What kind of rifle can do this?


June 20, 2007, 03:02 PM
I just saw the movie "The Shooter (starring Mark Wahlberg). It just got me thinking that what kind of rifle can shoot a target a mile away? Or was that just Hollywood? Or what would be best rifle shooting a half mile? What kind of scope, bullets and etc.

Sorry if this kind of topic is allready made.

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Bartholomew Roberts
June 20, 2007, 03:08 PM
It just got me thinking that what kind of rifle can shoot a target a mile away?

Depends on how big the target is... quite a few rifles can launch a projectile a mile, including most of the stuff used for hunting and target shooting. You might check some of the precision shooting threads by Zak Smith using the "Search" function for your answer (or you can check the tacked "Reading Library" thread as well). 1,760yds = 1 mile.

June 20, 2007, 03:19 PM
But, hey, why not. Although 1 mile shots are probably very rare, they can be done. The first thought is a 50 BMG. It has the range, and I think that a few snipers/ marksmen in Afghanistan and Iraq have made a few (highly publicized) one mileish shots.

The 338 Lapua Mag would also probably have the legs.

I have read about folks repeatedly making 2000 yard (1.136 mile) shots on a “humanoid target” with DL Sports specially designed 300 RUM. This is however a 30 something pound rifle (well, I think it’s a rifle) specifically designed for loooooong range.

I am sure that any of the big 6.5mm rifles could reach out there as well.

As far as glass and bullets go, I would not have the foggiest. Zak might know and would probably be the best people to answer your question.

June 20, 2007, 03:27 PM
Hitting a target at a mile requires a lot more than just a good quality rifle. It takes an amount of skill, science and luck that most people will never comprehend. If I was going to shoot at a target that far away, I would start with a 50 BMG at a bare minimum. I may even try to get one of those 20mm rifles I have seen. I hated that movie simply because it sounded like someone looked through a book about snipers and pulled some random terms and stuck them in the script. An awful lot of stuff in that movie was mostly crap.

June 20, 2007, 04:01 PM
that gun is called Barret Barrett M107 it more then $10,000


The Deer Hunter
June 20, 2007, 04:10 PM

I think not.

June 20, 2007, 04:28 PM
The Barrett M99 in .416 is claimed by Barrett to more accurate at distances shot by enthusiasts and it's on sale for a mere $3750. I'll take ten if they throw in 2500 rds of ammo.

Texas Colt
June 20, 2007, 04:42 PM
Billy Dixon shot an Indian off his horse at 1538 yards (9/10 mile) with a 50 caliber Sharps in June of 1874 at the Battle of Adobe Walls.

June 20, 2007, 04:43 PM
“I just saw the movie "The Shooter (starring Mark Wahlberg). It just got me thinking that what kind of rifle can shoot a target a mile away? Or was that just Hollywood? Or what would be best rifle shooting a half mile? What kind of scope, bullets and etc.”

If your experience is Sniper Dude movies, and Nuts and Ammo magazines, in that media market it is commonplace, almost an afterthought to hit a teacup from 1000 yards first shot. In fact now, the 2000 yard shot is what they brag about. Everybody seems to be one shot one kill at a thousand.

Which recalls to me a moment when I was on the 1000 yard range with a Wimbleton Cup winner, who is one of the top five shots in the US. Just before sighters, we were discussing just how seldom either of us ever hit the 36” black with our first shot at 1000 yards. We concluded that all Sniper Dudes and such just had to be the most awesome shots in the whole wide universe, and wished we could see one of these superhumans in action on the firing line.

But not one have we seen…..……….

If I wanted to hit someone first shot at a half mile, I would call in the Artillery.

Texas Colt
June 20, 2007, 04:55 PM
... the rest of the story is that even though he was a well known long-range shooter and buffalo hunter, Billy Dixon admitted his shot was nothing more than luck.

June 20, 2007, 04:57 PM
My box of 22LR says it's dangerous for a mile. So maybe a Ruger 10/22?


June 20, 2007, 05:48 PM
Another flagrant flaw of "sniper dude" movies is that the camera shots through the scope are usually at 100x magnification or more. Never mind the hitting, even seeing a real target at a mile is extremely difficult.

June 20, 2007, 06:31 PM
One mile shots are doable, and have been done. I am NOT claiming to have made one! HOWEVER, rarely is it the first shot - more likely that the spotter helped the shooter 'walk' the bullet onto the target.

I read a statistic somewhere, too bad I cant remember the source, that the longest sniper kill was somewhere in the neighborhood of 1.5 miles. I remember thinking that it would take the bullet something like at least 3seconds (before air resistance) to reach the target. Calcualating the drop and guestimating the wind drift would be a nightmare!

50 Shooter
June 20, 2007, 07:13 PM
I have personally made 1 miles shots with my .50, was it the first shot? No, took me about 10 rounds the first time. We also have a 2000 yard target set up where we shoot long range. The three rifles that have the best chances of making these shots that I've personally seen are, .50 BMG, .408 CheyTac and .338 Lapua Mag.

Charles S
June 20, 2007, 07:20 PM
The esteemed Carlos Hathcock made a confirmed shot at 2500 yards with a 50 BMG.

It is in the book One Shot One Kill.

That is a really long way.

Jim Watson
June 20, 2007, 07:20 PM
Jack Bean made a shot nearly as long as Billy Dixon's, at least 1300 yards, maybe farther, the survey and the report allow of several different spots; and he hit the man he was aiming at. But he was using his own rifle (Billy had a borrowed gun.) with scope sight! In the late 1870s (Sharps went out of business in 1881.) as many as 25% of Sharps rifles were sold with factory fitted telescopic sights.

Old Time Hunter
June 20, 2007, 08:05 PM
Billy Dixon's is the only one actually documented by the US Army Corp of engineers....and you are correct IT was a borrowed rifle and it was with open sights.

He went on to win the Creedmore competition later on against the rest of the world using a run of the mill 30" Sharps Business, they all used the most state of the art target rifles of the day with extravagant sights, his had a standard mid-range ladder sight. From then on he was paid not to compete, but did demonstration shooting at the contests. He was also hired by the US Army Corp of Engineers to do the long distance testing in New Jersey in the late 1880's....proving that the Army should stick with the .45-70 cause it still could be affective at 2000 yard ranges. Apparently he had no trouble going over a mile.

June 20, 2007, 08:51 PM
While we are on the topic, what brand/model of gun was Mark Wahlberg's rifle (the camo one with the leftie action)?

50 Shooter
June 20, 2007, 10:06 PM
It's a CheyTac M200 in .408 CT.

June 20, 2007, 10:40 PM
The esteemed Carlos Hathcock made a confirmed shot at 2500 yards with a 50 BMG.

Bingo. Then again Mr Hathcock was a Wimbeldon Cup winner. I believe this competition is open to military and civillian shooters, so he might in fact have been the best shot in the world at that time.

June 21, 2007, 11:57 PM
It's been awhile since I read "Marine Sniper" so my recollection might be a little fuzzy, but wasn't Hathcock was shooting a M2 .50 BMG Machine Gun which was mounted on a tripod, and upon which he had mounted a scope, when taking that 2500 yard shot? Not that it's any less impressive, but not exactly your usual sniper rifle, or even the one he used most of the time.


50 Shooter
June 22, 2007, 01:53 AM
Yes, Hathcock used an M2 set in single (semi) fire mode. The part that strikes me as funny is that he hit the bike first that the guy was riding. You would've thought that he would've ran for cover.

When the Canadian sniper made his record shot, he actually blew something out of the Taliban soldiers hand. What the heck was he doing still standing there after the first shot?

June 22, 2007, 02:25 AM
if i were walking along a wall and i hear a .50 gunshot a mile away and see brick flying everywhere in front of me.... i might just die of a heart-attack :p

June 22, 2007, 02:54 AM
"...2500 yards..." 2500 yards is equal to 2,286.00 meters.
The CF sniper using a .50 BMG rifle and American ammo, made a 2430 meter shot. 2,430 metres = 2,657.48 yards. They made more than one 2400 plus meter shots, using 2 to 5 rounds to make the kill. Both he and his spotter were nearly killed by the USAF some time later. A dud 220 pound bomb landed 30 meters from where they were trying to become one with the dirt.
Both were recommended for the U.S. Bronze Star. Of course, our government is still dithering about letting them accept it. That's nothing new. When 2PPCLI(same Regmt as our snipers) was awarded the Presidential Unit Citation in Korea, it took 8 years for our twits to let the Regmt wear the badge.
"...he would've ran for cover..." The last words of the Mayor of Hiroshima come to mind? "What the f*** was that?"

June 22, 2007, 07:44 AM
The folks probably did think "what was that" because the bullet did what it did before the sound registered, quite a bit sooner. It is even possible (I don't know) that the second shot was down range before the noise of the first one completely registered with the victim. In other words, you're riding your bike and something hits it. But, riding a bike, things hit it from time to time, and you herd no noise, just a good whack. By the time you are deciding that perhaps somebody just shot at you, you discover someone just shot you.


June 22, 2007, 07:59 AM
but wasn't Hathcock was shooting a M2 .50 BMG Machine Gun which was mounted on a tripod, and upon which he had mounted a scope, when taking that 2500 yard shot?

Yes. and he had already "ranged" the target, as the bicyclist used the same route every day. Rarely mentioned when the story is recounted.....

June 22, 2007, 09:20 AM
Pretty much any firearm will shoot more than a mile (the maximum range of a typical deer rifle, IIRC, is around 3000-3500 yards at 25-30 degrees elevation). Even a .22LR will shoot a mile.

The trick is having a gun that is accurate enough to hit the desired target at 1760 yards. Ideally, you'd like a cartridge/bullet combination in which the bullet stays supersonic until it hits the target, because the supersonic-subsonic transition (transonic region) erraticly disturbs the bullet's flight and can mess up accuracy. A flat-shooting gun helps by reducing elevation errors related to range estimation, though even a .50 BMG bullet is falling like a brick at 1760 yards.

As some have mentioned, .50 and .338 are supersonic beyond a mile, and smaller calibers can also do that with the right choice of bullets and initial velocity. Ross Seyfried built a .30-416 for target shooting at a mile, and methinks the 7mm WSM will do it as well with the right loads.

Here's a group shot with a 7mm WSM at 1000 yards:


June 22, 2007, 09:25 AM
The website they gave out in the movie is genuine, too:


It is called the TRAP system (Telepresent Rapid Aiming Platform) and is being evaluated by the military for several uses. If you have seen the SWORDS robot on the Military channel, Discovery, etc. it is a version of TRAP on a TALON robot chassis.

The TRAP is capable of just better than .2 MOA in aiming precision. Even with the LRF unit and ballistic drop compensation reticle, you still have to be a trained marksman to make long shots with any rifle, manned or remote operated.

It was still fun to see TRAP show up in the movie - I wouldn't go see any crap with Wahlberg or Glover otherwise...

June 22, 2007, 12:15 PM
All I know is that the next time I hear some gun show commando tell Hathcock's Bicycle story in first person with him being that person I am going to throw up!:barf:

They are usually the same gun counter commandos who "served" with Marcinko after their successful sniper career in the "Nam".:rolleyes:

June 22, 2007, 12:45 PM
Here's a group shot with a 7mm WSM at 1000 yards:

I bow down in awe....

Zak Smith
June 22, 2007, 11:58 PM
Hey, you're talking about me!!! :what:

marksman13 is right when he says it involes "skill, science, and luck".

However, there is a lot of mysticism that surrounds long-range shooting because so few people get the chance to do it. And thus we get a lot of replies like how you need a 50BMG to make hits at 1000 yards and only a super ninja monk can do it. On the other side, there is false bravado those that claim they can shoot 2" groups at 800 yards all day long with their Dragunov. The truth is somewhere in the middle.

I have taken a new shooter who has never shot a long-range rifle before, and had them hitting a 1000-yard silhouette in under 10 minutes... with my gun, ammunition, and data.

As other have said, you need a cartridge that will make it to the max distance before going trans-sonic, and you need a rifle with sufficient mechanical accuracy, and then it's all you. The other issue is the air density, which can change the max effective range of a cartridge 500 yards or more (from a cold day @ sea level to a hot day at 8000').

Super-duper calibers are not needed to make hits at long range. I have hit a 2' diameter target at 1340 yards with a 308 (albiet only about 50% of the time-- the misses were unspottable).. and that's 3/4 of a mile. 1/2 mile is "only" 880 yards, which is well within 308's range (though I'd take my 260 over the 308 any day). There are a lot of calibers that can make it that far, but you need high BC values. At my altitude, 260, 6.5-284, 300WM, 6.5x47, 7RM, 388LM, etc, should all make it there provided the right load is used. Detecting hits from the smaller 6.5mm calibers may be difficult since they are not as audible on steel.

The last time we were shooting at a mile, it took both the 50BMG and the 338LM's present a shot or two to get the wind figured out, and then they were making hits. At 1340 (again, 3/4th mile), hitting a 2' diameter circle with the 338's was boring... well, until the wind changed again. At that distance, each 1 mph crosswind (averaged) pushes the bullet another approx 8 inches. It's easy to see how a very slight change in condition can yield misses.


June 23, 2007, 12:08 AM
Doping the wind is the skill most shooters lack for long distance shooting, largely for lack of practice.

Out my ways, most ranges only go out 100 yards, and the wind is a negligible influence that close. There's only one I can think of that stretches to 500.

June 23, 2007, 08:28 AM
The professional High Power shooter David Tubb has a video about making a shot at a mile. I don't remember the caliber but it was a "real" rifle, not a 50. It was a bit windy and it took a couple shots to get on target, then he shot a group. But to hit a man sized target at one mile on the first shot? Nobody can count on that.

June 26, 2007, 03:17 PM
So much information, and so odd words.. It takes time to really understand all this. :)

I really appreciate that so many pro's have taken the time to wrote in here. Thanks. Really did not expect that you would be that precise.

June 26, 2007, 03:18 PM

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