Craig Harrison (sniper)

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Craig Harrison
Born 1975 (age 38–39)
Cheltenham, Gloucestershire
Allegiance United Kingdom United Kingdom
Service/branch British Army
Rank Corporal of Horse
Unit Household Cavalry
Battles/wars Afghanistan War
The L115A3 Long Range Rifle.
Schmidt & Bender 5-25x56 PM II LP telescopic sight, similar to the sight used by Harrison, and its adjustment controls
Seen at 5x zoom
Seen at 25x zoom
The P4 stadiametric rangefinding reticle as used in the Schmidt & Bender 5-25x56 telescopic sight. The small red figure in the images is the silhouette of a man standing at a range of 2,475 m (2,707 yd).

Craig Harrison (born 1975) is a Corporal of Horse (CoH) in the Blues and Royals RHG/D of the British Army, and holds the record for the longest confirmed sniper kill in combat, at a range of 2,475 m (2,707 yd). Established in November 2009, this exceeds the previous record of 2,430 m (2,657 yd) set by Rob Furlong in 2002.[1] This record was certified by Guinness World Records.[2]

Record details[edit]

In November 2009, Harrison consecutively struck two Taliban machine gunners south of Musa Qala in Helmand Province in Afghanistan at a range of 2,475 m (2,707 yd) using a L115A3 Long Range Rifle.[3][4][5][6][7] In a BBC interview, Harrison reported it took about nine shots for him and his spotter to initially range the target successfully. Then, he reported, his first shot "on target" was a killing shot followed consecutively by a kill shot on a second machine gunner then a third which disabled the machine gun.[8]

In the reports, Harrison mentions the environmental conditions were perfect for long range shooting: no wind, mild weather and clear visibility.[9]

Ballistics and use of environment and equipment to achieve the aiming solution[edit]

According to JBM Ballistics,[10] using drag coefficients (Cd) provided by Lapua, the L115A3 has an approximate supersonic range (speed of sound = 340.3 m/s) of 1,375 m (1,504 yd) under International Standard Atmosphere conditions at sea level (air density ρ = 1.225 kg/m3) and 1,548 m (1,693 yd) at the 1,043 m (3,422 ft) altitude or elevation (air density ρ = 1.1069 kg/m3) of Musa Qala. This illustrates how differences in environmental conditions can significantly affect bullet flight.

The Schmidt & Bender MILITARY MKII 5-25x56 0.1 MIL RAD parallax, illumination, double turn telescopic sight used by Harrison on the L115A3 Long Range Rifle can be adjusted in 0.1 milliradian or mil increments (at a distance of 2,475 m (2,707 yd) 1 adjustment increment of 0.1 milliradian equates to a 24.75 cm (9.74 in) point of impact shift) and has a maximal vertical elevation range of 26 milliradian. To increase the maximal elevation range Accuracy International produces mounts for telescopic sights with a 13.09 mil (45 MOA) built in vertical cant designed for their .338 Lapua Magnum rifles fitted with the 5-25x56 telescopic sight. Even with a 13.09 mil canted mount the employed sighting system is not able to dial in over 39.09 milliradian of vertical aiming correction, which is significantly less than Harrison required during his record shot.[11][12]

The external ballistics software program by JBM Ballistics predicts that the bullets of British high pressure .338 Lapua Magnum cartridges using 16.2 g (250 gr) Lapua LockBase B408 bullets fired at 936 m/s (3,071 ft/s) muzzle velocity under International Standard Atmosphere conditions at 1,043 m (3,422 ft) elevation (air density ρ = 1.069 kg/m3) and assuming a flat fire scenario (a situation where the shooting and target positions are at equal elevation) and a 100 m (109 yd) zero (the distance at which the rifle is sighted in) arrive at 2,475 m (2,707 yd) distance after approximately 6.017 seconds flight time at 251.8 m/s (826 ft/s) velocity and have dropped 120.95 m (396.8 ft) or in angular units 48.9 milliradian (168 MOA) on their way. Harrison had to use the P4 reticle offering 0.5 mil spaced holdover hash marks in his 5-25x56 telescopic sight to compensate for the lack of vertical aiming correction and thus achieve the required aiming solution. The long horizontal line at 5x zoom or magnification represent 49.09 milliradian (168.6 MOA) or slightly over the required assumed vertical elevation.[13]

References[edit]

See also[edit]

Records
Preceded by
Rob Furlong
Longest recorded sniper kills
2009-2014
2,475m (2,707 yd / 1.538 mi)
L115A3 w/ 16.2 g (250 gr) Lapua LockBase B408 bullets
Succeeded by
Incumbent