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What is a Sniper in the Army & Other Military Branches? What is the Longest Sniper Rifle Shot?

The definition of a sniper is a marksman or qualified specialist who operates alone, in a pair, or with a sniper team to maintain close visual contact with the enemy and shoot enemies from concealed positions or distances exceeding the detection capabilities of enemy personnel. A sniper is a highly trained soldier who specializes in shooting targets with modified rifles from incredibly long distances. The military uses snipers in a variety of ways on the battlefield. It may surprise you to know that the sniper’s primary mission has nothing to do with pulling a trigger. The biggest role on the battlefield for a sniper is reconnaissance. Snipers are highly trained and masters of stealth. This makes them perfect for the job of sneaking behind enemy lines to provide command with information about the enemy’s size, strength and location. If needed, snipers are capable of dismantling the enemy with a few well-placed shots from a rifle. Snipers hunt for key people rather than the entire enemy. These key people include but are not limited to officers, pilots, armor drivers, technicians and communications operators. Snipers track movements and wait patiently for the enemy to present the perfect opportunity for the perfect shot. The deadly shots they are capable of firing can kill without warning and can break the enemy’s will and ability to fight.

An Impressive Feat of Military Marksmanship

There was a record set in military marksmanship recently when a Canadian sniper in Afghanistan made the longest shot. The shot was fired at 11,300 feet. This converts to 3,766 yards. Imagine that! There are many reasons this is remarkable with one being that it took only 10 seconds from the moment of firing of the bullet to make impact with the target; an ISIS fighter. This amazing shot replaced the previous record that was set by a British sniper’s hit of 2,925 yards on the Taliban. The sniper, Craig Harrison, a Corporal of Horse in the Blues and Royals, used an Accuracy International rifle chambered in .338 Lapua adopted by the British as the L96A1. The Canadian who set the new record is a soldier in the Special Forces and a member of Canada’s Joint Task Force 2. The shot he fired actually disrupted an Islamic State attack on Iraqi security forces, according to The Globe and Mail. American military snipers typically shoot with a .50 BMG, Barrett M107, while Canadian snipers prefer bolt-actions for long-range sniping work. The rifle used by the JTFs 2 sniper is a variant of the McMillan TAC-50 adopted by the Canadians as the C15 Long Range Sniper Weapon (LRSW). This weapon is a 26-lb. built-action 50 BMG rifle built specifically for the Canadian Armed Forces by McMillan Firearms Mfg. in Arizona. The rifle features a McMillan fiberglass stock with a pistol that can be broken down for transport. The C15 is chambered in .50 BMG and is built with a proprietary McMillan action with a fluted, two-lug bolt and feeds from a five-round capacity detachable box magazine. The barrels for the TAC-50 are made by Lilja Precision and the 39” tubes are hand lapped.

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