Category Archive '.338 Lapua Magnum'

03 May 2010

Household Cavalry Marksman Claims New Sniping Record

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Corporal of Horse (equivalent to Sergeant) Craig Harrison, Household Cavalry Regiment

Last November, while escorting an Afghan Infantry unit, CoH Harrison’s troop commander’s Jackal fighting vehicle came under fire from insurgents armed with a PKM. From further back on the ridge, CoH Harrison rested the bipod of his .338 Lapua Magnum L115A3 on a compound wall, and shot both jihadis dead at 1.54 miles, establishing a new military sniper’s record.

London Times:

A British Army sniper has set a new sharpshooting distance record by killing two Taliban machinegunners in Afghanistan from more than 1 miles away.

Craig Harrison, a member of the Household Cavalry, killed the insurgents with consecutive shots — even though they were 3,000ft beyond the most effective range of his rifle.

“The first round hit a machinegunner in the stomach and killed him outright,” said Harrison, a Corporal of Horse. “He went straight down and didn’t move.

“The second insurgent grabbed the weapon and turned as my second shot hit him in the side. He went down, too. They were both dead.”

The shooting — which took place while Harrison’s colleagues came under attack — was at such extreme range that the 8.59mm (.338 Lapua Magnum — DZ) bullets took almost three seconds to reach their target after leaving the barrel of the rifle at almost three times the speed of sound.

The distance to Harrison’s two targets was measured by a GPS system at 8,120ft, or 1.54 miles. The previous record for a sniper kill is 7,972ft, set by a Canadian soldier who shot dead an Al-Qaeda gunman in March 2002. …

Harrison and his colleagues were in open-topped Jackal 4×4 vehicles providing cover for an Afghan national army patrol south of Musa Qala in November last year. When the Afghan soldiers and Harrison’s troop commander came under enemy fire, the sniper, whose vehicle was further back on a ridge, trained his sights on a Taliban compound in the distance. His L115A3 long-range rifle, the army’s most powerful sniper weapon, is designed to be effective at up to 4,921ft and supposedly capable of only “harassing fire” beyond that range.

“We saw two insurgents running through its courtyard, one in a black dishdasha, one in green,” he said. “They came forward carrying a PKM machinegun, set it up and opened fire on the commander’s wagon.

“Conditions were perfect, no wind, mild weather, clear visibility. I rested the bipod of my weapon on a compound wall and aimed for the gunner firing the machinegun.

“The driver of my Jackal, Trooper Cliff O’Farrell, spotted for me, providing all the information needed for the shot, which was at the extreme range of the weapon.”

Harrison killed one machinegunner with his first attempt and felled the other with his next shot. He then let off a final round to knock the enemy weapon out of action.

Harrison discovered that he had set a new record only on his return to UK barracks nine days ago. The previous record was held by Corporal Rob Furlong, of Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry, who was using a 12.7mm (otherwise known as the .50 BMG — DZ) McMillan TAC-50 rifle.


L115A3 long-range rifle

07 Aug 2008

Snipers in Afghanistan Going to .338 Lapua Magnum

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photo credit: DEMIGODLLC
.50 Browning Machine Gun (12.7 x 99mm), .338 Lapua Magnum (8.6 x 70mm), .308 Winchester (7.62 x 51mm) , .223 Remington (5.56 x 45 mm) (photo by DEMIGODLLC.com)

Strategy Page reports that the War in Afghanistan is producing the need for an ability to reach out and touch someone at greater distances, and the .338 Lapua Magnum, basically a .416 Rigby necked down to .338, is being found to represent the most practical answer to current sniper needs.

There is a big push in the U.S. Army and Marine Corps to get a sniper rifle that can consistently get kills out to 1,800 meters. The current 7.62mm round is good only to about 800 meters. There are three options available here. The most obvious one is to use a 12.7mm sniper rifle. But these are heavier (at 30 pounds) and bulkier than 7.62mm weapons, but can get reliable hits out to 2,000 meters.

Another option is to use more powerful, but not much larger round. For example, you can replace the barrel and receiver of the $6,700 M24 sniper rifle for about $4,000, so that it can fire the .300 Winchester Magnum round. This is longer (at 7.62 x 67mm) than the standard 7.62x51mm round, and is good out to 1,200 meters. Another option is to replace the barrel and receiver of the M24 sniper rifles to handle the .338 (8.6mm) Lapua Magnum round. Thus you still have a 17 pound sniper rifle, but with a round that can hit effectively out to about 1,600 meters.

Snipers in Iraq, and especially Afghanistan, have found the Lapua Magnum round does the job at twice the range of the standard 7.62x51mm round. The 8.6mm round entered use in the early 1990s, and became increasingly popular with police and military snipers. Dutch snipers have used this round in Afghanistan with much success, and have a decade of experience with these larger caliber rifles. British snipers in Afghanistan are also using the new round, having converted many of their 7.62mm sniper rifles.

Recognizing the popularity of the 8.6mm round, Barrett, the pioneer in 12.7mm sniper rifles, came out with a 15.5 pound version of its rifle, chambered for the 8.6mm.


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