Gizmag reports that a british Corporal Craig Harrison killed two Taliban with consecutive shots at a distance of 2.47 kilometres (8120 ft) in Helmand Province, Afghanistan last November (2009). He then fired a third shot and hit the Taliban’s PKM machinegun in perhaps the most prodigious feat of marksmanship in military history. He used an Accuracy International L115A3
Snipers are the most cost effective way of killing the enemy. Individual snipers routinely account for more kills than entire battalions operating in the same place at the same time, hit the target almost every time, and each bullet costs around €2.
The previous record holder – Furlong – killed an al-Qaeda fighter from 2.43 km during Operation Anaconda in Afghanistan in 2002.
Craig Harrison’s AI L115A3 cost the British Ministry of Defence GBP23,000 (US$34,000), weighs 6.8 kilograms, and fires an 8.59mm bullet which is heavier than the 7.62mm round of the previous L96 model and hence less likely to be deflected over extremely long ranges. The L115A3 has a five-round magazine, enabling the sniper to fire five rounds rapidly, though that would almost never happen.
The L115A3 has an adjustable cheek piece to comfortably align the shooter’s eye with scope, and a folding stock so the rifle can be more easily carried in a backpack.
It comes with an adjustable bi-pod stand and a suppressor to reduce the flash and noise of the gun – once the enemy knows where a sniper is, he too becomes a target – and a scope, in this case a 25 X magnification S&B 5-25×56 day scope.
In extremely skilled hands, the L115A3 can hit a human-sized target from 1400 meters (even at that range, it hits harder than a .44 Magnum does in the same room), which means Harrison’s shots put him in almost superhuman company, as he almost doubled that distance, in combat, and killed a first then second Taliban with consecutive shots, then took a third shot at the PKM machinegun they unfortunate pair had been carrying with the intention of disabling it – the gun was hit but damage could not be assessed.
Though the day was clear and still and in thin mountain air, Harrison still had to aim six feet higher than the targets, and two feet to the left to allow for the gentlest of breezes and bullet fall.
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