10 Long Range Target Shots That Defy Physics
Daniel Xu 12.12.14
The last time you hit the rifle range, you probably did not spend half of the time there doing math. However, that changes when you want to stretch the limits of what current firearms technology and the laws of physics will allow. If you want to reach out and touch a target at 700, 1,000, or even 3,000 yards, then you will need the best of the best: quality scopes, a well-crafted firearm, the right ammunition, and perhaps most importantly, the skill and experience to make such a shot possible. The shooters on this list almost make it seem easy. There is little discussion of minutes-of-angle, milliradians, or adjusting for temperature. Here, there is just shooting. Sometimes it’s off-hand with a 37-pound .50 BMG Barrett à la Rambo, sometimes with a antiquated World War II rifle and iron sights, and even with a revolver popping a balloon at 1,000 yards. These shooters may not be breaking physics, but they are certainly making it bend.
1. Two-mile (3,650-yard) shot
Under the tutelage of a former US Army sniper, Billy Carter trained intensively for one year before he was able to make this astounding shot on 3,650-yard target—just over two miles—at the NRA’s Whittington Center in 2013. The shot was made with a .375 CheyTac USA M200 Intervention rifle, a Vortex Razor HD 5-20x56mm scope, and hand-loaded ammunition.
“This was unreal. To think just a month before, I didn’t even know the velocity of my load! To pull off a two mile hit was such a rush. For everyone involved, it was dream come true,” Carter said in a press release.
2. 1,000-yard balloon popper
Speed shooter Jerry Miculek may be better known for his lightning-fast trigger finger, but he is also a renowned marksmen as well. The world record holder demonstrated that fact by wielding a Smith & Wesson 929 revolver to pop a balloon at 1,000 yards. While viewers have some doubt over whether the balloon was actually popped by the bullet or a fragment coming off of the steel plate, the result is still impressive.
3. 1,000-yard off-hand shot with .50 BMG Barrett M107
Most people probably can’t count on one hand (or even one finger) the number of people they know who can shoot a Barrett M107 accurately while standing. When the shot approaches the 1,000-yard mark, that number drastically decreases towards zero. In this video, however, former Army Ranger, sniper team leader, and current rifle instructor Ryan Cleckner tackles the task. To keep this in perspective, a M107 weighs about 37 pounds loaded.
4. The Jerry Miculek version
When Jerry Miculek isn’t performing a one-second mag dump on the Barrett M107, he’s shooting it off-hand at a 1,000-yard balloon target. This is the “Jerry Miculek” version of the other Barrett video above.
5. 2,530-yard shot with Savage 110 BA rifle
The Savage 110 BA is a handsome rifle and this video is a very impressive demonstration of what it (and its .338 Lapua cartridge) is capable of. According to the LiveLeak user who uploaded the video, the shots were made from a distance of 2,530 yards, or roughly 1.4 miles away. It took the bullet 4.5 seconds to strike the target after leaving the muzzle.
For those who are curious, the scope is a Nightforce NXS 5.5-22×56.
6. 230-yard slug slinger
Who says that shotguns can’t be long-range precision tools? YouTuber Hickok45 challenged conventional thinking by setting up a 230-yard target and pelting it with one-ounce 12 gauge slugs. Not only did the shotgun prove to be accurate, but he actually appeared to have put two slugs through the same hole.
7. Mosin-Nagant with iron sights at 944 yards
Sometimes you don’t need an expensive setup to ping long range targets. This storied military rifle is as cheap as they come, but have more than proven their worth through numerous wars and are still popular at shooting ranges today. As for any doubts to its design, fans of this venerated rifle just refer to Simo Häyhä (otherwise known as the White Death), a Finish marksman who counted 505 kills during the Winter War, the highest recorded number of confirmed sniper kills made by any soldier in history. Often laying in wait in the snow, Häyhä’s weapon of choice was a Finnish variant of the Mosin, which he used without any optics.
8. 300-yard archery shot
If you’re getting upset this list seems dominated by firearms, here’s one for you archers.
Bowhunters may differ on what the maximum effective—-as well as ethical, if you’re shooting at game—range of any particular bow is, but most agree that an amazing long-distance shot on the range is still very impressive. In the video below, Matt of Trophy State of Mind TV decides to set his sights on something a little bit further—300 yards further, to be exact.
The archer doesn’t go into much detail on the setup he was using, but Matt did specify that he was shooting Black Eagle Carnivores.
9. 322-yard crossbow shot
Compound bows should not get all the glory, either.
“My Matrix 405 with HHA Optimizer/ Twilight DLX Scope and Excalibur C2 Crank Busted 9 inch Balloon at 322 Yards away,” wrote the uploader of this video. “Ranged with Nikon Pro Staff 3 Range Finder. Used Excalibur 20 inch Carbon Lumenok bolt and 125 grain field tip. The bolt penetrated target 7 inches. 322 yards and bust.”
10. The Mosin strikes again at 1,000 yards
You just can’t keep a good Mosin down. According to the video’s description, the owner bedded the receiver and part of the barrel, replaced the front sight with a custom one, and modified the trigger to have a two-pound pull. The ammunition used was Brown Bear 174-grain FMJ.
What are some of the craziest long-range shots you’ve made?