Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Smaller Bullet Gets The Longer Shot
The Strategy Page ^ | 5/17/2010 | James Dinnigan

Posted on 05/23/2010 6:29:19 PM PDT by ErnstStavroBlofeld

It was recently revealed that, last November, a British sniper (corporal Craig Harrison) set a new distance record when he killed two Taliban in Afghanistan, at a range of 2,620 meters (8,596 feet). He did this with a L115A3 rifle firing the 8.6mm Lapua Magnum round. The previous record was held by a Canadian soldier, corporal Rob Furlong, who dropped an al Qaeda gunman at 2,573 meters (7,972 feet) in 2002, also in Afghanistan. Furlong, however, was using a 12.7mm (.50 caliber) rifle. These weapons are good at 2,000 meters or more, but weigh twice as much as the 6.8 kg (15 pound) 8.6mm rifles. Three years ago, the British Army began replacing most of its 3,000 7.62mm L96A1 sniper rifles with one modified to use the .338 (8.6mm) Lapua Magnum caliber round. This Accuracy International "Super Magnum" rifle is basically a L96A1 "Arctic Warfare" rifle modified to handle the larger, 8.6mm Lapua Magnum round. The new rifle (the L115A1) weighed 6.8 kg (without a scope), was fifty inches long and had a 27 inch barrel and a five round magazine.

Snipers in Iraq, and especially Afghanistan, have been calling for a longer range round, but find the 12.7mm (.50 caliber) weapons too heavy. The .338 (8.6mm) Lapua Magnum round has an effective range (about 1,500 meters) about 50 percent greater than the 7.62mm standard NATO round. Like most long range rounds, if the weather (clear) and winds (calm) are right, you can hit targets farther away. Those were the conditions Harrison encountered when he took his three shots (the third one hit the machine-gun the two Taliban were using.)

(Excerpt) Read more at strategypage.com ...


TOPICS: Foreign Affairs; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: 86mm; afghanistan; banglist; britisharmy; bullet; craigharrison; l115a3; rifle; sharpshooter; sniper; taliban

1 posted on 05/23/2010 6:29:20 PM PDT by ErnstStavroBlofeld
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: sonofstrangelove

Amazing shots no matter which round they used.


2 posted on 05/23/2010 6:40:22 PM PDT by valkyry1
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: sonofstrangelove

If smaller is better then they should really love the .300-378 weatherby magnum.


3 posted on 05/23/2010 6:41:00 PM PDT by mamelukesabre (Si Vis Pacem Para Bellum (If you want peace prepare for war))
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: sonofstrangelove

I have an AR-30 in .338Lapua Magnum that I have placed on target at 1500yds, but I’d dearly love to get my hands on a .416Barrett.


4 posted on 05/23/2010 6:50:56 PM PDT by P8riot (I carry a gun because I can't carry a cop.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: P8riot

My local firing range tops out at 80 yards. I don’t know what any of my rifles will do at long ranges.


5 posted on 05/23/2010 6:52:58 PM PDT by Sender (It's never too late to be who you could have been.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: P8riot

or a .408 Chey Tac


6 posted on 05/23/2010 6:53:03 PM PDT by P8riot (I carry a gun because I can't carry a cop.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: P8riot

Another sniper, retired in a high plains state, chose the .416. He has his own 1500 meter range, can shoot what he wants, and chose the .416 -which says a lot, I think.


7 posted on 05/23/2010 6:53:29 PM PDT by GladesGuru (In a society predicated upon freedom, it is essential to examine principles,)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: P8riot

But I have a lot of ideas for a 375 H&H magnum that has about the same energy as the 338 Lapua. Sigh. I’ll have to finally get reloading stuff.


8 posted on 05/23/2010 6:57:00 PM PDT by Sender (It's never too late to be who you could have been.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: Sender
Locally, I can do up to 1000m at the Quantico Shooting Club, but one of my old Navy buddies has 1,000 acres in Wyoming that is just right for the reach.
9 posted on 05/23/2010 6:58:30 PM PDT by P8riot (I carry a gun because I can't carry a cop.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: sonofstrangelove
I'm still trying to settle on a caliber for my next toy. Extreme long range and at least 1/2 MOA accuracy are a must.

.338 LM, .408 Chey-tac, or .416 Barrett are my serious contenders. .50 is out as it just isn't accurate enough.

Looking at either a Vigilance VR-1 as an "off the shelf" rifle. Or possibly customizing one with a Surgeon 1581 XL actions as it's base. Possible Kreiger barrel. I'd custom build a stock for my left-handed shooting style.

.338 LM has broad availability and good accuracy, even on the far end of it's envelope.

.408 Chey-tac has better range, similar accuracy, but the brass and bullets are as rare as Hen's teeth and the company may be having internal troubles.

.416 Barrett, brass is expensive, range is exemplary, but finding an action/barrel chambered for it is difficult.

10 posted on 05/23/2010 6:58:55 PM PDT by Dead Corpse (III, Alarm and Muster)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: sonofstrangelove

Never bring a machine gun to a sniper rifle fight;)


11 posted on 05/23/2010 7:01:11 PM PDT by Frank_2001
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: sonofstrangelove

Wind at the sniper’s back?


12 posted on 05/23/2010 7:02:28 PM PDT by HiTech RedNeck (I am in America but not of America (per bible: am in the world but not of it))
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: sonofstrangelove
Size matters.

So does aim.


Frowning takes 68 muscles.
Smiling takes 6.
Pulling this trigger takes 2.
I'm lazy.

13 posted on 05/23/2010 7:05:56 PM PDT by The Comedian (Evil can only succeed if good men don't point at it and laugh.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Dead Corpse
.416 Barrett, brass is expensive, range is exemplary, but finding an action/barrel chambered for it is difficult.

Precisely what is holding me back. It's expensive enough to handload the .338LM, I paid $2.50/casing (Lapua) from Midway a couple of months ago, with the price of the other components initially approaches $5/round. I have reloaded 20 cases 5 times each. Good thing I can re-use the brass a few times, and I've got 80 cases I haven't even touched yet.

.416 cases run upwards of $4 ea (unprimed) last I checked.

14 posted on 05/23/2010 7:14:08 PM PDT by P8riot (I carry a gun because I can't carry a cop.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 10 | View Replies]

To: P8riot
Set yourself up with an annealing rig, and you should be able to squeeze a few more reloads out of 'em as long as you aren't loading them hot.

I think that was one of the reasons the .50 was so popular. Recycled mil brass was cheap.

15 posted on 05/23/2010 7:17:54 PM PDT by Dead Corpse (III, Alarm and Muster)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 14 | View Replies]

To: Frank_2001

Conservation applies to ammo too. Why use any more than you have too?


16 posted on 05/23/2010 7:18:03 PM PDT by P8riot (I carry a gun because I can't carry a cop.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: Dead Corpse
Yeah, one of the things on my list. I load them a little hot.

92.5gr/H1000 topped with a 250gr Lapua Scenar

17 posted on 05/23/2010 7:22:19 PM PDT by P8riot (I carry a gun because I can't carry a cop.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 15 | View Replies]

To: sonofstrangelove
Furlong, however, was using a 12.7mm (.50 caliber) rifle. These weapons are good at 2,000 meters or more...

I SERIOUSLY doubt this!!!

Are they saying that the gun is not good at less than 2,000 meters?

18 posted on 05/23/2010 7:43:16 PM PDT by Onelifetogive (Flame away...)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: valkyry1

Just imagine what Carlos Hathcock could have done with one of these babies!


19 posted on 05/23/2010 7:48:09 PM PDT by Blood of Tyrants (The US will not die with a whimper. It will die with thundering applause from the left.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: sonofstrangelove

a range of 2,620 meters (8,596 feet) ... The previous record was held by a Canadian soldier [...] at 2,573 meters (7,972 feet)

Just wanted to point out a mathmatical error here. While the first conversion is right, the second equates to 8441 feet, not 7972. The difference in distances is 155 feet, not 624 as the article implies.


20 posted on 05/23/2010 7:49:08 PM PDT by samson1097
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: valkyry1

...set a new distance record when he killed two Taliban in Afghanistan, at a range of 2,620 meters”

—should be a new Olympic event.


21 posted on 05/23/2010 7:52:30 PM PDT by RepublicanMeansAmerican
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: Blood of Tyrants

When he used a .50 cal it was using an M2 mounted on a heavy tripod with a 10x Unertl scope. Pretty cool.


22 posted on 05/23/2010 7:59:09 PM PDT by USNBandit (sarcasm engaged at all times)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 19 | View Replies]

To: USNBandit

Yep. I read the book about 10 years ago.


23 posted on 05/23/2010 8:13:15 PM PDT by Blood of Tyrants (The US will not die with a whimper. It will die with thundering applause from the left.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 22 | View Replies]

To: sonofstrangelove

This is a pretty entertaining competition: How far away can you kill bad guys? Has Guinness picked up on this?


24 posted on 05/23/2010 8:20:11 PM PDT by stevem
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Dead Corpse
I'm going to offer some unsolicited advice.

Go with the .50 BMG. Ammo will be far more available for that in the coming days than any of the other platforms you are considering.

25 posted on 05/23/2010 8:23:46 PM PDT by Lurker (The avalanche has begun. The pebbles no longer have a vote.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 10 | View Replies]

To: P8riot
"Conservation applies to ammo too. Why use any more than you have too? "

I have a 6.5mm 1896 Swedish Mauser. The ballistic coefficient on that bullet is out of sight. The cartridge itself, however, is puny.

26 posted on 05/23/2010 10:14:58 PM PDT by matthew fuller ("In God We Trust" is being replaced by "Don't Aks, Don't Tell".)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 16 | View Replies]

To: matthew fuller
more to consider here besides bullet and barrel. Wind, barometric pressure, time of day/ As far as the different rifles are concerned go with a Barrett 50. You will never be sorry.
27 posted on 05/23/2010 10:23:29 PM PDT by BooBoo1000 (deserve it.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 26 | View Replies]

To: sonofstrangelove
Key issue: the .50BMG was built as a hard-hitting anti-materiel round - not for long range accuracy. Civilian shooters realized what it could do, and built precision rifles to match its capabilities. Military then noticed, and applied the previously-intended-for "hail of lead" ammo for sniping. The other "smaller" rounds were built for long-range precision from the ground up, hence the better range-and-accuracy performance.
28 posted on 05/23/2010 10:23:37 PM PDT by ctdonath2 (+)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Blood of Tyrants
Just imagine what Carlos Hathcock could have done with one of these babies!

Or Simo Hayha!

29 posted on 05/23/2010 10:44:37 PM PDT by Still Thinking (Freedom is NOT a loophole!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 19 | View Replies]

To: BooBoo1000

The 50BMG looses too much energy, and hence accuracy, at the ranges that the .338LM, .408Chey-tac, and the .416Barret are still driving nails.


30 posted on 05/24/2010 9:29:17 AM PDT by P8riot (I carry a gun because I can't carry a cop.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 27 | View Replies]

To: matthew fuller

I like the 6.5 x 55 for smaller game at long distances. It’s one of the best kept secrets out there. I used to have a model 70 chambered for it. Sorry to say, I let it go.


31 posted on 05/24/2010 9:39:22 AM PDT by P8riot (I carry a gun because I can't carry a cop.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 26 | View Replies]

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson