Long-Range Snipers

Long-Range Snipers


A Canadian sniper hit and killed his target in Iraq at the staggering range of 3,540 meters.


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The Canadian military confirmed this week that a sniper with Canada’s elite special forces crushed the world record for the longest-known kill shot. The unnamed shooter hit and killed his target in Iraq at the staggering range of 3,540 meters, more than a kilometer further than the last record set in 2009 by British sniper Craig Harrison in Afghanistan.

To pull a trigger and have it hit a target thousands of meters away is a remarkable feat. It requires fine-tuned physical and cognitive skills, coupled with a savant-like awareness of how a bullet traveling over 1,000 kilometers per hour will interact with the complex environmental conditions along its trajectory. Indeed, long-range sniping is a combination of physics, art, and luck. Here we look at the obstacles that stand between a sniper and their target, and how they adjust to land the shot.

According to accounts from the Canadian Armed Forces, the recent record-breaking shot hit its target 10 seconds after the trigger was pulled. Meanwhile, the Earth kept spinning. Accounting for the planet’s rotation depends on the direction of the target. If it’s easterly, the bullet will land higher than the shooter aimed. If the target is westerly, the bullet will shoot low. If you shoot straight north or south, where the axes of the Earth are, there will be no effect at all.


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