The concept of snipers picking off targets swiftly from extreme distances has piqued the interest of people around the world since the inception of military practice. Sniping has evolved a lot since the Trench warfare of the First, and Second World Wars. The curiosity about the deadly art and the psyche has remained, however, as there is just something bone-chilling about a special breed of warrior, who stealthily stalks his prey for hours, patiently waiting for that one fleeting moment, in which all those years of training unravels itself in one precise kill. This article intends to highlight the five longest recorded sniper kills in contemporary military history.
1.) Carlos Hathcock (United States Marine Corps)
Legendary Vietnam era master sniper Carlos Hathcock is the stuff legends are made up of! With a confirmed kill record of 93 enemy combatants and earning the nickname white feather, words fail to describe the daredevil exploits of the United States Marine sniper. Just any one of Hitchcock’s feats deserve mention in any list about snipers, after all, the marine had crawled for three days without food or sleep into enemy territory, evading Vietnamese military patrols, and getting close enough to shoot an NVA General in the heart! In another incident, the elite US sniper shot an enemy sniper with Hitchcock’s bullet piercing through the Vietnamese sniper’s rifle scope! This is an iconic incident that has been reimagined several times in Hollywood movies depicting military snipers! What puts Carlos Hathcock on this list however is his historic 2,500 yards long kill with using a now prehistoric M2 Browning machine gun! The record remained unbroken for 39 years until it was beaten by Canadian sniper Arron Perry in 2002, during Operation Anaconda in Afghanistan.
2.) Arron Perry (Princess Patricia’s Light Infantry, Canadian Army)
Canadian Army sniper Arron Perry, picked up the mantle, breaking the record set by USMC sniper Carlos Hathcock after nearly four decades on a different battlefield. Perry served as a sniper in the Princess Patricia’s Light Infantry regiment of the Canadian Army. A Master Corporal at the time Perry was deployed under ‘Operation Anaconda’ to counter insurgents swearing their allegiance to Al Qaeda. During one of the sniper teams engagements, Perry zeroed in on an insurgent approximately 2,526 yards away, squeezing the trigger and eliminating the dreaded terrorist! The sniper rifle system used to accomplish this astonishing feat was the C15 Sniper weapon system, a favourite amongst Canadian troops
3.) Robert Furlong (Princess Patricia’s Light Infantry, Candian Army)
Another Canadian Sniper, who has served in the Princess Patricia’s Light Infantry regiment, Robert Furlong, like Perry, was also a part of ‘Operation Anaconda’ in Afghanistan. During a fierce engagement with the Al-Qaeda, the now 40-year-old retired sniper managed to kill an Al-Qaeda fighter from a hair raising distance of 2,657 yards, using a Tac-50 sniper rifle. Furlong was awarded the Bronze Star for valour by the US forces and the General Campaign medal by the Candian Army.
4.) Corporal of Horse Carlos Harrison (Blues and Royals Regiment, British Army)
British Sniper Carlos Harrison quickly became a media sensation following his historic sniper shot in Afghanistan! Harrison served as a Corporal in the British Army’s famed cavalry regiment. The ace marksman was already a veteran of several military conflicts, such as Bosnia and Iraq before his deployment to Afghanistan. The British sniper honed his deadly accuracy and tactical acumen down to an art form during his service in Iraq. During his time in Afghanistan Harrison saw combat in the infamous Helmand Province, a tiny piece of land which saw a bulk of the fighting in the decades-long campaign in Afghanistan. During a fierce encounter, the famed British sniper broke all previous records gunning down two Taliban machine gunners from a distance of 2,707 yards, with his trusted British army issue L11 543 sniper rifle. The kill was confirmed by an Apache Attack Helicopter with the help of the choppers range finder.
Name: Undisclosed (Joint Task Force 2 Canadian Special Forces)
The record for the longest standing sniper kill was made by a Candian sniper from the uber-elite Joint Task Force 2 in 2017. Not much is known about ultra-secretive JF 2, in fact, the Candian Prime Minister was substantially kept in the dark, to the point of being oblivious of the unit’s activities. While the unit has gained some prominence in recent years, with several of its operations being acknowledged, the identity of the Special Forces sniper has understandably not been disclosed. What is public knowledge, however, is the unbelievable distance in which the fatal shot was made, the Canadian operator took out an ISIS terrorist from a range of 3,871 yards! Demolishing any of the previous records as mentioned earlier by a margin and then some more! The Canadian sniper embodies the sniper credo of ‘one shot one kill, no luck all skill!”
Sniper rifle and ballistic technology along with training doctrines have evolved since the battlefields of the great wars, one thing which has remained is the sniper’s otherworldly patience, lasers like focus and blood-curdling ruthlessness. These self-reliant soldiers distinguish themselves from the rest working in small teams taking on some of the deadliest missions, with minimal support, making their hair raising exploits some of the romanticised military escapades in popular culture!