A Canadian sniper shot and killed an ISIS operative 3,540 meters away, shattering the old record by more than 1,000 meters. The Canadian Armed Forces confirmed the kill Thursday, saying a member of its Joint Task Force 2 made the shot in Iraq within the last month.
Because of security reasons, the name of the sniper, exact location and date of the record-breaking shot will not be disclosed, according to Canada’s Globe and Mail. Positioned atop a high-rise, the sniper used a McMillan TAC-50 rifle to take out the target, which took less than 10 seconds to hit.
Arguably the most accurate .50 caliber system on the market, the TAC-50 is a rotary-bolt action rifle that’s fitted with a muzzle brake to reduce recoil. The U.S. Navy also uses the rifle, but it is designated as the MK 15.
Here is the TAC-50 in action below:
“The shot in question actually disrupted a Daesh [Islamic State] attack on Iraqi security forces,” a military source told the newspaper. “Instead of dropping a bomb that could potentially kill civilians in the area, it is a very precise application of force and because it was so far way, the bad guys didn’t have a clue what was happening.”
Previously, British sniper Craig Harrison held the distance record when he killed a Taliban gunner with a 338 Lapua Magnum rifle from 2,475 meters away in 2009. Before him, another Canadian recorded a kill at 2,430 meters away Afghanistan in 2002. And Canadian Master Cpl. Arron Perry shot an insurgent at 2,310 meters during the same operation, Globe and Mail notes.
The American record is held by U.S. Sergeant Bryan Kremer, who killed an Iraqi insurgent at 2,300 meters in 2004.
Snipers are arguably the most feared soldiers on the battlefield precisely because of shots like this Canadian performed. The sniper’s job is to make himself or herself invisible to enemies who usually have no idea where the shooter is positioned until he or she fires the first shot—sometimes after hours or days of waiting. Snipers are generally taught to move to new locations as to make their position elusive. They work with spotters, who help them adjust their aim in case they miss and to watch the shot as it is fired.
Basically, snipers are stalkers, as some of them will tell you.
While much of this remains confidential, I’d still love to hear the backstory on this two-mile kill. We know the sniper was supporting Iraqi security forces under attack, but how long did it take him to fix in on the target? Where exactly was the insurgent located when the shot was fired and why was this particular one taken out and not others? How many stories high is the building where the sniper shot from and how far down did he have to adjust his shot to hit the target? What make him think the shot was even possible? All of these elements, and more, go into a kill shot.
So far, we know a man hit someone from more than two miles away, which is insane. Wherever the Canadian was in Iraq, ISIS is probably scared shitless of him. How do you defend against a two-mile shot in the middle of battle?