Twenty years ago or so, the idea of hitting a man-sized target at a mile 1760 yards was the stuff of legend. Yes, there were historical precedents, such as Union sniper Captain John T. Metcalf, US Army Corps of Engineers, who in 1864, reputedly shot a Confederate officer at a range of 1666 meters previously measured with a surveyorâ€™s transit using a heavy .50-caliber scoped muzzleloading rifle, and Carlos Hathcockâ€™s 2000-yard plus kill during the Vietnam conflict with a single shot from a .50BMG M2, but these were considered rare events done by almost superhuman marksmen and perhaps assisted by a bit of luck. Today, however, guns, cartridges, scopes and more have enabled consistently accurate riflery at 1500 yards and much more. In Iraq and Afghanistan, for example, American soldiers with the .50BMG Barrett M107 have made more shots of that type than can be recorded.
Interest in such shooting is not just academic, or limited only to combat environments overseas. Maximizing the security of American airports, seaports, power plants, stateside military bases, strategic industrial installations, border areas and more, involves expanding the perimeter of protection as much as possible. A rifle capable of engaging and nullifying vehicle-borne threats at distances out to 2000 yards and beyond is, thus, an increasingly important tool in dealing with potential terrorist attacks in the homeland.
Although the one-mile shot is no longer a once-in-a-lifetime event, itâ€™s not something that one can do with a factory .30-06 hunting rifle and a 3-9x scope. Consistently hitting a man-size target at 1700 yards or more requires a special combination of cartridge, rifle, optics and accessories.
Imagine being so far away from the shot that you don’t’ even hear it, just ::twack:: brain matter all over the floor.