New World Record for Long Range Shot
December 6, 2017 By Dave Young (YoungBuckDave)
Back in our August issue of the "GTI Monthly Mission Brief" I told you about a new world record that a Canadian Sniper set by successfully engaging and killing an ISIS fighter at 3,540 meters which equals to 2.19 miles. Even though this Canadian Sniper still holds the record of the longest confirmed kill, a retired Navy SEAL on September 30th, 2017 hit a 40 inch steel target at 5,000 yards which equals to 2.84 miles!!! Even though this shot was not taken in battle this record is still none the less truly amazing. To achieve this type of a shot retired Navy SEAL Charlie Melton teamed up with Brad Stair of Performance Guns who built the rifle that Charlie used to achieve this record. So, what does it take to be able to execute a shot of this magnitude?
First off, we are going to break down the rifle that was used to be able to reach a target at this amazing distance. The rifle was an Armalite AR-30 chambered in .408 Tejas which is based off the caliber .408 Chey Tac. The rifle had a 31-inch Pac-Nor barrel equipped with an Armalite muzzle brake. The trigger on this rifle was a "Jewell Trigger" with a trigger pull tuned in at 6oz. The scope that was used to achieve this amazing shot was a Nightforce NXS 12-45x56mm which used Ivey adjustable scope rings with a Charlie TARAC Prism and a Shots Gunsmithing bipod designed for the Armalite AR-X series. Let's just say this rifle and its set up isn't something you will exactly find at your local gun show. All of the gear used to build this rifle is very high quality and its intended use is very straight forward. The one unique part that was used in this rifle was the Charlie TARAC Prism that provides the user with the capabilities of elevation gain and enough room within your scope to hit your intended target at extremely long distances.
The next factor that played a big role in making a shot like this was the ammo. The ammo they used is not something you can pick up at your local gun shop. The ammo used was hand loaded and was grouped into 10 different groups with each group being loaded with various powder charges. The thought process behind this was that after multiple shots with different powder charges they would find the perfect charge to achieve a shot of this magnitude. After 37th shot they found the perfect charge that could hit the 40-inch target at 2.84 miles. The round that hit the target was a 420 grain Screw Machined Bullet that traveled 3,065 FPS (feet per second). From the time the shot was fired it took the round 12.816 seconds to hit the target.
Some are trying to dispute this record because it took more than one shot but the way I look at it is to achieve a shot of this magnitude at a distance of over 2 miles is still an amazing accomplishment. It is not something that someone would be able to do without some testing to find the perfect combination. The way I look at it is there are two types of records out there; one that is the longest shot ending in a confirmed kill and another record that is a record for the longest shot on a target. Regardless how you view this accomplishment successfully hitting a target at 2.84 miles or 5,000 yards is truly an amazing accomplishment.