The Canadian Special Operations Command confirmed Thursday that one of its snipers successfully picked off an ISIS fighter from 2.2 miles away, Fox News reported. Not only did the fatal hit disrupt a “potentially deadly operation” in Iraq, but it also crushed the world distance record for successful sniper shots.
In a statement issued Thursday, the Canadian military said that a member of its Joint Task Force 2 “successfully hit a target from 3,540 metres [2.2 miles].”
At a distance of 11,316 feet, the deadly shot beat the previous record, held by a British sniper, by around 3,280 feet.
While the Canadian military did not disclose the exact location of the shot, the statement notes that the task force “provides its expertise to Iraqi security forces to detect, identify and defeat Daesh activities from well behind the Iraqi security force front line in Mosul.”
The unnamed sniper used a McMillan TAC-50, a .50-claiber gun that is currently the largest shoulder-fired firearm in existence, Fox reported. Shooting experts have lauded the feat as a clear demonstration of how incredibly sophisticated military snipers have become.
Ryan Cleckner, a former U.S. Army Ranger sniper who served two tours of duty in Afghanistan called the shot an “incredible” accomplishment. Cleckner, who authored the authoritative “Long Range Shooting Handbook,” noted that the operation owes at least as much to the spotter’s expertise as to the shooter’s skill.
“The spotter would have had to successfully calculate five factors: distance, wind, atmospheric conditions, and the speed of the earth’s rotation at their latitude,” Cleckner told Fox. “Because wind speed and direction would vary over the two miles the bullet traveled, the true challenge here was being able to calculate the actual wind speed and direction all the way to the target.”
The spotter also would have had to perfectly gauge the atmospheric conditions at the exact time the shot was fired, Cleckner explained.
“To get the atmospheric conditions just right, the spotter would have had to understand the temperature, humidity and barometric pressure of the air the round had to travel through,” he said.
California-based firearms expert and shooting instructor Dennis Santiago confirmed that the spotter-shooting relationship is key in pulling of a hit like this.
“Equipment is just a starting point. The shooter on a military team will surely be skilled enough to hold hard on the ‘aimpoint’ and fire the shot accurately,” he told Fox. “The spotter member of the sniper team is responsible for telling the shooter the precise moment the atmospherics align with the calculations they’ve made. When it comes together, it’s ‘mission accomplished.'”
(H/T: Fox News)