Within the realm of the civilian firearm enthusiast world, there are a variety of ways in which shooters can display expert marksmanship, particularly with accurate, long-range shots.
According to Wide Open Spaces, a Texas man could very well have set a new, unofficial record for the longest shot with a rifle after he connected with a target positioned some three miles away from him and his custom-built rifle.
The record, which breaks the old, unofficial record of 2.84-miles set in 2017 by retired U.S. Navy SEAL Charles Melton, will likely also be deemed unofficial as well. The Guinness Book of World Records is not expected to recognize it as official because the shooter used special optics on his rifle, a piece of equipment that has been ruled as disqualifying in the eyes of Guinness.
It was first reported by the Abilene Reporter-News that the incredible three-mile shot was made on Jan. 14 by a Tuscola, Texas, man named Bill Poor on a ranch near Midland.
“The last guy (to do this) hit a target up in Utah at 5,000 yards away and it took him 38 shots,” stated Poor. “I hit 5,280 yards in eight shots.”
To make his shot, Poor used a specially built rifle from Virginia-based Vestal Custom Rifles which was chambered in the sniper-specific caliber of .408 Cheyenne Tactical, or CheyTac, a round that weighs in at 390 grains and comes out of the gun at an estimated 3,160-feet per second.
Mounted atop that rifle was a special scope attached to a custom-designed seven-inch tall riser, which allowed for the incredible distance.
Even then, Poor had to make his shot from on top of a raised platform and aim significantly higher than the 53-inch target that was three-miles away in order to account for the curvature of the earth and bullet drop, as well as the relative humidity, temperature, wind and even the density of the air that day.
According to The Dallas Morning News, Poor explained that he had been calculating and planning the record-breaking shot for about three years, and stated, “It didn’t happen overnight. It took a lot of homework and a lot of science.”
Unfortunately, that hard work and dedication to his craft likely won’t be paid off with official recognition of his shot by Guinness, just as the organization didn’t recognize the shot by Melton, because they both used scopes.
“They do not recognize shots with optics,” Poor said. “Several guys have tried and sent them in everything, but for some reason they just don’t want to take it.”
For its part, Guinness noted the significant variance of different types of optics as the reason why it refuses to accept record shots from marksmen utilizing rifles with that particular accessory, in order to keep the playing field level for all potential record-breaking shooters.
As for the shot itself that Poor took, it actually traveled through the air for 14 seconds after being fired prior to hitting the target three miles away, and required the assistance of two separate spotters who helped Poor make adjustments with his aim until he hit the sweet spot.
“It’s a 14-second flight time,” explained Poor. “It’s 10 seconds before the spotter downrange can hear the boom of the rifle going off, and another four before the bullet hits the target. You have that much time and you’re thinking ‘This is it.'”
Though Poor’s record will likely remain unofficial, it also may not even last for very long, as the former SEAL he just bested for the longest shot has since stated that he intends to reclaim the unofficial record for himself again soon.
“Stand by,” Melton told the Dallas Morning News. “We are about to do 6,000 (yards).”
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