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.
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 â€” even though they were 3,000ft beyond the most effective range of his rifle.
â€œThe first round hit a machinegunner in the stomach and killed him outright,â€ said Harrison, a Corporal of Horse. â€œHe went straight down and didnâ€™t move.
â€œThe second insurgent grabbed the weapon and turned as my second shot hit him in the side. He went down, too. They were both dead.â€
The shooting â€” which took place while Harrisonâ€™s colleagues came under attack â€” 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 Harrisonâ€™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 Harrisonâ€™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 armyâ€™s most powerful sniper weapon, is designed to be effective at up to 4,921ft and supposedly capable of only â€œharassing fireâ€ beyond that range.
â€œWe saw two insurgents running through its courtyard, one in a black dishdasha, one in green,â€ he said. â€œThey came forward carrying a PKM machinegun, set it up and opened fire on the commanderâ€™s wagon.
â€œConditions 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.
â€œThe driver of my Jackal, Trooper Cliff Oâ€™Farrell, spotted for me, providing all the information needed for the shot, which was at the extreme range of the weapon.â€
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 Patriciaâ€™s Canadian Light Infantry, who was using a 12.7mm (otherwise known as the .50 BMG — DZ) McMillan TAC-50 rifle.