Long-distance shooting takes an extreme amount of training and concentration. Only a few are able to hit the furthest of targets.
But when they do, these shooters earn the title of best of the best. These are the shooters who can take a weapon in their hands and make history.
So, we’re taking a peek into the world of long-distance shooters and the feats they’ve accomplished…
Longest Shots in History
Longest Confirmed Sniper Kill
The easiest long-distance record shot to confirm is the longest confirmed sniper kill.
Militaries keep much better data on these types of events than your average joe and have the credentials to back up their claims as well.
Your Uncle Lou does not.
To date, the record holder for longest military sniper kill belongs to an unnamed Canadian sniper (and his spotter) attached to Joint Task Force 2 in Iraq.
In 2017, as ISIS attacked members of the Iraqi security forces, this duo of Canadian snipers set up for the kill…from 2.14 miles away.
The men were positioned atop a high-rise building, and using a McMillan Tac-50 — the standard sniper rifle of Canada’s Armed Forces (CAF) — which shoots a .50 BMG.
The bullet took 10 seconds until it hit its target, but it did, and put a stop to the ISIS attack. A total of 3,871 yards was traveled by the round — 1,000 yards further than the prior world record.
There’s video proof “and other data” to verify the shot actually took place, but you’re not going to see it until your beard is gray.
According to the CAF, “For operational security reasons and to preserve the safety of our personnel and our Coalition partners we will not discuss precise details on when and how this incident took place.”
Longest American Sniper Kill
The longest American sniper kill ever made was by Sgt. Bryan Kremer of the 75th Ranger Regiment in 2004 in Iraq.
Using the M82 SASR with a Raufoss NM140 MP 0.40 caliber bullet, he killed his target 2,515 yards away (1.43 miles).
And really, that’s all you’ll really ever know about the matter. The details of this shot have been a closely guarded secret that we’re unlikely to uncover anytime soon.
Longest PRS Competition Shot Ever Made
PRS shooters have a lot more time to line up their shots, a lot less stress, and some very individualized loads that help them to make some awesome records.
This by no means is to detract from what these shooters are capable of — they are serious ranges — but to see the military hitting these distances requires everything to be just right.
With PRS, the target’s not moving, nobody’s shooting back, and you don’t have to worry about who’s nearby.
That all said, PRS shooters are seriously good, and for proof of that, just consider the longest rifle shot ever made in a PRS competition — 4,134 yards (2.35 miles).
This was accomplished in 2021 by Ryan Cheney in Conway Springs, Kansas. Cheney was using a GA Precision custom chambered in 33XC when he made this world-record shot, hitting a 6×6-foot steel target.
It took 9.4 seconds for Ryan’s bullet to travel its way downrange and make history.
That’s an incredible shot.
Longest Rifle Shot Ever Made
What happens when you put 13 gun nuts together in the middle of nowhere with a big ol’ rifle?
You get the longest rifle shot the world has ever seen.
Retired Marine Paul Phillips, the owner of rifle testing company Global Precision Group, went out into the field with his buddies with a .416 Barrett.
Sixty-nine shots later, the 13-man team hit a target four miles away — a new world record. This is the longest documented rifle shot ever — 7,070 yards away.
Seems there’s something to be said for hanging around with the boys.
Longest Pistol Shot Ever Made
This is a bit controversial, but officially, the longest pistol shot ever made was by former ICE agent Victor Avila in 2020.
Using a 10mm handgun, an ELR target, and shooting from the standing offhand position, Victor was able to hit a target 2,010 yards away.
The catch here is that Victor had a specialized brace attached to his pistol from USA1Shot.
These braces are designed to be a quick attachment to an officer’s sidearm for when they can’t get to a rifle in time.
Does adding a brace to a pistol in effect take some of the glamour out of a long-distance record shoot? Some have argued yes.
Either way though, this is still a fantastic shot. Victor was aiming for a 3×3-foot ELR target, hitting it after the bullet had traveled through the air for 11 seconds.
If you’re a purist and don’t believe Victor’s shot should have counted because he added a brace, the longest recorded pistol shot seems to be Jerry Miculek at 1,000 yards with his Smith & Wesson 929.
You can see the video of Jerry doing this below:
Longest Airgun Shot Ever Made
Ever been out with your airguns and think, “I wonder how far this thing can shoot?” So, did Chris Turek.
After learning that the Guinness World Record for airgun shot distance was only 100 yards, he set out to blow the record out of the water.
The catch was the specifications Guinness had for the contest. They required that Chris use a .177 caliber, 7.7-grain pellet.
Chris finally made the world record after 10 shots. You can see the video of Chris’ efforts below:
Longest Movie Sniper Shot Ever Made
This is where things get tricky.
Rarely in movies do we hear the protagonist say, “This is a 3,578-yard shot,” right as they pull the trigger. We have to do a bit of estimation then as a result.
Thankfully though, American Sniper does that for us. Not only is this based on historical events, but literally right before he takes the shot, Chris Kyle says the target is 2,100 yards out.
The only other movie I think that comes close to this distance is Shooter. When Mark Wahlberg is atop the snowy cliff and blows the weirdos arm off, we can see that he’s doing this from very far away.
I wouldn’t say it’s American Sniper distance — he can obviously make out the bad guy’s thumb — but it does show an extreme distance away.
These are the best of the best when it comes to long-range shots and represent some of the finest shooters the world has ever seen.
Nobody else (as of yet) has been able to outdo these numbers. But, hey, mountains are made to be climbed and records are made to be broken.
What are your thoughts? Are there other movies with further sniper kills that I’m missing? Let us know in the comments below! What to get your long distance on? Check out our guide to the Best Beginner Sniper & Precision Rifles.
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Cool article. That first guy outa pop that cap off his scope. ( maybe that's a new record in the making) As a kid wondered how far my Crosman 760 would shoot if I pumped it like 50 times. I was able to hit the livestock watering trough from what seemed like a mile away but she never held pressure after that! :(