The True Difficulty of a 2.2 Mile Sniper Shot – By TiborasaurusRex

A lot of ado has been made over the recent extreme long range confirmed kill by the Canadian sniper. A confirmed kill past 1,000 yards is impressive by itself, but to truly have a confirmed kill past 2 miles is a feat of legend – as it has been made to be.

Those of us not experienced in extreme long range shooting take the distance for granted. With 800 yards stretching the limits of an AR-15 in 5.56 and 1000 being a well-respected range for the .308 Winchester, its hard to fathom a 3,800 yard shot.

Fortunately, there are those who put their passion into relatable videos, such as one TiborasaurusRex. Where T-Rex can get off into the technical weeds once or twice and occasionally repeat himself in repetition for triplicate’s sake, he is a well-respected technical extreme long range shooter. Working with Colin Burns, a very-well respected ballistician, he breaks down how that shot would even be possible.

Hint – Its very hard and takes some specialized equipment.

As an added bonus, Rex and Burns really look at the exact equipment the Canadian sniper would have likely had, a Schmidt and Bender PMII scope on top of a McMillan Tac-50 rifle.

Was it lucky or skill? Watch the video to make an informed decision for yourself. If anything, you will truly appreciate the complexity of that shot and the skill it took to even be lucky.





Frank.K

TFB’s FNG. Completely irreverent of all things marketing but a passionate lover of new ideas and old ones well executed. Enjoys musing on all things firearms, shooting 3-gun, and attempting to be both tacticool AND tactical.


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  • Twilight sparkle

    I’ve been following that guy for awhile, he’s got some other pretty informative stuff and some interesting videos tho he does seem to get a bit religious at times

  • valorius

    I’m an ex Infantry SDM, to me this shot is unfathomable…but even more impressive is the 1,400 meter shot of Congressional Medal of Honor winner Billy Dixon in 1874— a .50-90 Sharps with IRON SIGHTS! o.O

    Dixon was one of only 8 civilian congressional medal honor winners in US history. His shot caused an Indian army of between 700-1000 braves to retreat. Talk about a force multiplier.

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/c5a8271c0016477a2ec514de92f404d532b7950c7c49256924f16b2b352afdd8.jpg

    • Dougscamo

      Going from memory here….Adobe Walls?

      • valorius

        Yep.

        • ozzallos .

          Yep.

          • Edeco

            Totes.

      • valorius

        Yes.

      • jonp

        Reportedly he double charged the brass to get that much range and even then it was a hail mary. But it worked, he made the shot and everyone that was alive at that moment kept breathing

    • mcjagermech

      Considering how iron sights were back then, how did he ever manage to do that?

      • Major Tom

        Elevation and windage. That’s all there is to any shot.

        • Snakebait511

          Don’t they take into consideration things like humidity, temperature, barometric pressure on long shots? But considering the way things were back then, using iron sights, that would be all. I went through Parris Island in 1969 and we qualified with M-14’s with open sights. Nowadays, don’t the M16’s have red dot sights in boot camp?

        • Brad Ferguson

          Elevation is Science. . . Windage…Is Voodoo.

    • Rnasser Rnasser

      Every round has to hit something somewhere eventually…
      One thing is discussing putthing rounds on target with a high probability of first shot hits, quite another discussing a shot that hits its target once in a couple of lifetimes.

      • valorius

        He fired 3 shots to score a hit that caused an entire army to retreat. Hard to do any better than that.

    • Edeco

      I was pissed reading the Lonesome Dove series, McMurtrey treats the Adobe Walls people shabbily, but has fictionalized versions of Charles Goodnight and John Wesley Hardin popping up every five pages. He also thinks there were shotshells in TX before the Late Unpleasantness of Northern Aggression.

    • Snakebait511

      Wow! That’s phenomenal! I’m a former Marine with no experience using scopes…had no clue how to sight one in, but am learning with my new Savage Axis II MP in .308. A friend of mine who is also a former Marine grunt who fired just about every weapon in the Marines is educating me. I couldn’t imagine a 2.2 mile shot like that. Looks like our snipers need to step up their game!

    • Snakebait511

      Thanks for your service brother!

      • valorius

        Thank you. 🙂

        • Snakebait511

          Valorius, it’s apparent I erred! Based on your photo, am I right to say you’re a “sister in arms” vice “brother in arms”? If I’m wrong, please forgive me! But I do appreciate your service!

          • valorius

            LOL, i’m a long haired white dude. 😉

          • Snakebait511

            I DO apologize brother! You’re picture wasn’t very clear. Before I entered the Marines in 1969, my hair was long and my recruiter cut it with scissors before I left for Parris Island. It was long because I was too poor to get a haircut. I’m glad he cut it too! I learned right away quick that D.I. didn’t stand for “Decent Individual”. Anyone with long hair paid a price especially the draftees. Boot Camp was a nightmare!

          • valorius

            LOL no worries. 😉

  • Kelvin

    @5:24 ” at 60 degrees Fahrenheit…”

    Now I’m doubly impressed.
    Literal “impossible shot” using NV.

  • Joe Schmoe

    To be honest, at that range with that time of flight and all the factors involved, it’s really no more than a lucky shot in my opinion. The world and the Deash bastard basically moved into the round that was in the air rather than the other way around (on a theoretical level when considering the mad calculations involved).

    He could have fired a browning with a hail mary and perhaps achieved the same result for all intents and purposes.

    Still, mad props to the guy for making that shot in the end.

  • Raginzerker
  • Dougscamo

    Combination of skill and luck….but why not try considering the target? Mission accomplished….

  • Johnsmyname

    I saw this when T-Rex first put it out. I’ve read/watched most of his stuff and he’s right on. As a long range shooter and familiar with all this stuff I have to call BS on this shot. Is it even possible, I guess so but so many factors make it largely improbable, the biggest being the destabilization of the round long before it reaches the target. It would be like hitting a fly at 300 yards with a 4 moa gun.

    • Thomas Gomez

      The shot happened. The technology has been out for a while, but the tech those guys used for that shot came out around SHOT show. As laid out by T-Rex it would appear to be impossible. For guys that have acutally been trained at Accuracy 1st …not impossible. If you add a prism that snaps to the front of your scope that immediately gives you 80 mils, not that hard. Combine that with good training and Applied Ballistics…not that hard. I have head of Hodnett taking guys out to 3k with a 300 win mag. Biggest issue is wind and the fact that your target is moving. If the target is stationary and you can call wind, or observe your last shot…not hard.

      • CommonSense23

        I’ve got trained by Hodnett. This shot is almost 100 percent luck. These long distance shots are far less skill and far more luck dependent.

        • Thomas Gomez

          I disagree. At that range, as long as you can model your bullets flight, account for wind and density altitude, it becomes a matter of probability.

          • CommonSense23

            Yeah. Which the probability is entirely low. And which point it’s how many rounds can you fire before the target disappears. These shots are far less skilled bases, and depending completely on factors outside the shooters control. First we don’t even know if he hit the guy he was aiming at. Which happened with one of the previous record holders. We don’t know how many shots he took. There is a point where luck takes far more importance than skill. And this guy was way past it.

          • Thomas Gomez

            There is some luck, but it is not “100 percent” luck. You need a deep understanding of long range shooting, and have the technology to make a shot like that. We have the tech. I saw the TACOM HQ Tarac at SHOT this year, and I knew someone would beat the record…not only beat it, shatter it by roughly 1000 yards. I bet you an American SOF team beats the record in the near future.

            King of the Two Mile in Raton. They shoot 2 miles all the time.

      • Johnsmyname

        Regardless of the equipment to see the target and the trajectory algorithms to plot the shot, the ballistics just don’t make sense. That’s on top of all the uncontrollable environmental factors. Even if we figure the round stays hypersonic to 2600 meters, that’s still 1,000 meters of destabilized flight. Not impossible, but definitely lucky even with a crate of ammo and hours to burn.

        • Thomas Gomez

          What you just said would have been true 15 years ago. Get a high BC bullet that will maintain its gyroscopic stability through trans and subsonic flight. Shoot it through a fast twist barrel. True your BC at transonic and subsonic ranges, and you are good to go.

      • Johnsmyname

        Regardless of the equipment to see the target and the trajectory algorithms to plot the shot, the ballistics just don’t make sense. That’s on top of all the uncontrollable environmental factors. Even if we figure the round stays hypersonic to 2600 meters, that’s still 1,000 meters of destabilized flight. Not impossible, but definitely lucky even with a crate of ammo and hours to burn.

      • RazorHawk

        Didn’t Chris Kyle already do this? In combat?

        • Thomas Gomez

          Chris Kyle’s longest shot was around 2000 yards, and he had to stack mils. Amazing shot for the technology he had to work with. 2 miles is 3,520 yards.

  • m-dasher

    Rex…….a man with no formal training, pedigree, or credibility (other than a youtube channel)………somehow fancies himself an “expert”….

    but i suppose if you are backed by Buck Angel….errr, i mean James Yeager…..thats all the credibility you need.

    • Saint Stephen the Obvious

      Rex has probably put more round down range and at farther distances than you… so I can see why your jealous.

      Saint Stephen the Obvious

      • m-dasher

        longer range….probably, hard to find ranges over 1K in the east.

        more rounds down range……not even close….i can guarantee that

    • Johnsmyname

      I see where you’re coming from, I whole heartedly disagree. I doubt you’ve seen much of his material, nor are you involved with any kind of extreme long range precision shooting. If eithe rof the above were true, I don’t think you’d make the statement. The guy has a great Youtube channel that goes pretty in depth into the science behind the mechanics of long range shooting. And he’s not “backed” by Mr. Yeager, the guy responded to a couple of his videos and showed up at one of the Long Range Training seminars (not that it has anything to do with his own credibility or expertise).

      • m-dasher

        i am former NCAA, compete at Perry/ Bristol every year and shoot regularly at 1K…..

        and ive actually watched most of his SNIPER 101 series…..honestly, most of the info from that series comes striaght from freely available Army field manuals…..and a lot of that info is out of date and sometimes blatantly wrong

        • Johnsmyname

          The Army field manuals are a bit out of date and sometimes blatantly wrong. I think he covers that in a few of the videos. I’m not sure what your issue is with the guy, but I don’t think you can argue that his videos are information and factual. Your post seemed to be an attempt at cynical humor, but I don’t think it is deserved.

          • m-dasher

            honestly i dont have a HUGE problem with rex…….his videos are about 10x longer than they need to be…..ive seen a lot of technical info incorrect in his videos…..and i dont really fancy him an “EXPERT”……..but ide still probably grab a drink with him.

            i just find it funny how most of his viewers have a cult like following of him, and instantly believe everything he says…..and when someone points out something incorrect, they all jump over them like rex can do or say no wrong.

            quite frankly i think rex and his viewers have him hyped up a little more than he deserves……hell yall act like he is a super shooting sniper messiah…….and i really dont see any proof of that.

          • Johnsmyname

            I agree with you there, he’s definitely no messiah. I just think he seems humble enough and put together a very well done (although undoubtedly long winded) series for new to mid level long range shooters and doesn’t deserve any jabs. I think your aggravation is more with the followers than the guy himself. Your first post didn’t read that way.

    • RSG

      Wow. Please delete this completely false statement. Matt was in fact a US Army sniper. He’s one of the most talented extreme long precision shooters in the US. Unfortunately, his humility has allowed uninformed comments like yours to see the light of day.

      • m-dasher

        he was in the army…..he was not a sniper.

        and honestly, how do you know hes talented?………with all due respect, is there any record of him shooting outside his youtube channel?…..any level of competition record?….anyone from the service who has vouched for his shooting ability……..because i have not seen any.

        i mean hell, anyone can put together a highlight reel, and run that on youtube.

    • WAYNESKI

      tell you what man, it’s easy to talk s&*T behind your puter, post YOUR videos on long range shooting.

      because which is better? watching rex…..or a blank screen on youtube….

      or reading your comments that improve my shooting ZERO.

  • Sermon 7.62

    Yes, it was a real shot.
    A bunch of people were standing together, he aimed and shot and hit one of them. That’s a great new record!

  • Michael Shannon

    Questions that should have been asked but would unlikely get a factual answer.

    Was the target an area or a person?
    How many people were in the target area?
    Was the target (if the person actually targeted was the one who was hit) silhouetted?
    Was he standing?
    Was he moving?
    How many shots had been fired before the “hit”?
    How many shots were fired after the hit?
    How did killing one attacker stop an attack?
    How many snipers were firing?
    How long had they been shooting from that location?
    What king of system did they use that would allow that much elevation?
    Did they just happen to have the system with them?
    What range was the rifle zeroed for?

    I suspect the target was an area and the “hit” was one of many shots fired into it. They’d have been better off with a M2 Browning if the goal was suppession.

  • Michael Shannon

    A happy coincidence? About a week after this story hit and every news outlet in Canada went on about how great it’s army was, they announced that they’d extend their participation in the Iraq/ Syria mess for another two years. Their government also explained how sniping wasn’t combat (neither is apparently are air strikes).

    It’s a bit too convenient.

  • free

    Kill one jihadists from 2.2 mile, and bring other jihadists that killed almost one american soldier in Afganistan 8 millions because USA violated his rights in Guantanamo.
    Strange country Canada, they want to be happy flower friends of all country (not nation), and at the same time they over heat internet with they super sniper story.

    • Harry Canyon

      You need to update your translation software…

    • int19h

      What’s strange about it? When a government violates constitutionally guaranteed rights of someone, it ought to pay up for that – who that person is, is irrelevant. It’s what “equality before the law” means. It’s fortunate that Canadian politicians still understand why it’s a good idea, since ours seem to have been lacking in that department in the past decade.

      • RazorHawk

        what? are we talking about the same Canada?

        They just passed a law where Christians and Conservatives who refused to feed the delusions of the rainbow jihadis, by calling surgery mutilated men a “she” or a “her” and vice versa, will be arrested and put in jail.

        Canada is a rainbow jihadi dictatorship, worse than even California or any other rainbow jihadi state. Age of consent in Canada is 14!!

        Canada makes San Fran demonrats look like Puritans.

        • nick

          ummm…no, age is 16 btw. We do have pretty tough anti hate speech laws, yes, and most of think that’s a good thing
          Canada is diverse, that’s true, but, we have a robust gun community, a small, but very hard, military that work well with our US and NATO partners
          I suggest you expand your vision of who we are, you might be surprised at the amount of folks here you agree with, so much so the ones you don’t agree with, wont matter to you, and will be free to live how they see fit.

          • jonp

            Mark Stein will tell you how intolerant the Tolerant Canadians are with free speech

      • jonp

        If your not a US citizen you have no Constitutional Rights. The Founding Fathers never meant for the Constitution to apply to every person on Earth no matter what the Leftests would like. This is becoming political……

        • int19h

          We’re talking about a Canadian citizen having his rights as codified by constitution of Canada (the Charter of Rights and Freedoms) violated by the government of Canada, for which said government paid restitution. What does this have to do with US or its Founding Fathers?

          Although now that you mention it, you’re plainly wrong. The original text of the Constitution does distinguish between “citizens” and “people”, since it uses both words. And the only place where it uses the word “citizen” is to describe eligibility for various offices, and when judicial power applies to foreign citizens. In all other places, it uses the word “person” or “people”.

          And how could it be any different? The Founders were strong believers in natural rights – and natural rights by definition exist whether there is a polity (and citizenship in said polity) or not. They’re rights that everyone has by virtue of being a person, from the moment they’re born. As far as the Founders were concerned, the Constitution merely recognized those rights and emphasized the need to protect them – it did not create them.

          And it is a good thing, too. If the rights only applied to citizens, why, then violating your rights would be as easy as stripping you of citizenship.

          • jonp

            No, I’m plainly right. The Founding Fathers never meant the Constitution to apply to every person on Earth, where ever they are and certainly not if they are foreign nationals on foreign soils. You gave a lengthy answer that is pure hogwash.

          • jonp

            Wait a sec, are you implying those on American soil or anybody anywhere? I was referring to those on American Soil. Anyone here is covered, those not on our soil are not. I think we have the same understanding I was not clear as to what I was referring to.

          • int19h

            Everyone, not just citizens, in American jurisdiction. This is normally American soil; but it can also be foreign soil if US establishes its presence there in such a manner that its jurisdiction fully extends there (e.g. US territories, even where residents aren’t citizens yet; or Guantanamo).

            It doesn’t mean that any enemy soldier has full Constitutional rights on the battlefield, of course.

          • jonp

            We are on the same page then. I misread your earlier comment.

      • PaulDF

        So if my 2nd Amendment right to own a firearm is infringed by, say, California – then they should pay up for that infringement? Is that your stance?

        • int19h

          Sure, if the court rules that there was an infringement, and that they are liable.

          I would actually be delighted if there was some form of punitive damages for all rights violations, because right now a common pattern is that governments (on all levels) routinely violate rights, knowing that by the time any complaints get through the court, it might already be moot (as in, the original circumstances no longer apply). And individual actors are usually covered by qualified immunity. So no-one basically has any meaningful incentive to not infringe.

  • TheNotoriousIUD

    “Was it lucky or skill?”

    You dont “accidentally” hit someone from that distance. The guy is a pro sniper, it wasnt luck.
    If the shot had bounced off a rock and THEN tagged haji then maybe.

    As it stands he deserves all credit.

  • Sledgecrowbar

    36 minutes? Could we maybe bring this down to just explaining the whole idea, setting up for the shot, taking the shot, and reading aloud War and Peace? I think that could be done in ten minutes.

    • JMR

      None of his videos are short. They’re all long and boring.

  • Ευστάθιος Παλαιολόγος

    “Sniper’s Hide Interview John of TacomHQ at King of 2 Mile Event”

    Tried to post a youtube link, but it seems that it’s not working, so search for the title above. It’s from SHLowlight.

    Much respect for T-Rex, the person above though gives another “solution” and he seems to have “inside information”

    flanker7

    • Thomas Gomez

      You are 100% correct. Not hard if you have been trained by Accuracy 1st/Hodnett, and you have a prism that immediately gives you 60 to 80 mils when you snap it to the front of your scope.

  • RSG

    For those wondering….it was 10,000 inches of bullet drop in the nearly 10 seconds of bullet flight. And without scope correction, the holdover would’ve been 800+ feet over target. Also, the projectile went transonic about halfway to target.

    • Jim Smith

      Based on the assumptions it was a 50 BMG McMillen. Barrett makes a .416 that is ballistically superior to the 50. Do the Canadians use the Barrett?

      • nick

        the “standard issue” is the McMillen , but there are other platforms in JTF2 in use, but those are redacted on the TO and E for that unit
        we have a “don’t ask, don’t tell” response to that unit here
        We for along time had some pretty worn equipment, when I was in , our standard sniper platform was the Parker Hale C3, great when new….but long in the tooth when then went out of service

  • JMR

    I tried to post a link to an article that TFB did but apparently you can’t link to their own articles… because…. reasons¿

    Anyways that article was when they interviews the guys behind the Mark and Sam at work YouTube channel after they made a hit on 24″-24″ steel plate at a whopping 4384 yards or something. Using only a two person shooter spotter team.

    So it’s entirely possible.

    Mark and Sam are setting up to try a 5000+ yard shot now.

  • JMR

    I tried to post a link to an article that TFB did but apparently you can’t link to their own articles… because…. reasons¿

    Anyways that article was when they interviews the guys behind the Mark and Sam at work YouTube channel after they made a hit on 24″-24″ steel plate at a whopping 4384 yards or something. Using only a two person shooter spotter team.

    So it’s entirely possible.

    Mark and Sam are setting up to try a 5000+ yard shot now.

  • ABeiruty

    Pure luck a 30″x20″ target (torso size) is around 0.2milx0.1mil around 2.2 miles. The crosshair of best scope are 0.1 mil x0.1 mil. Uncertainty of wind at that distance would guarantee a first shot miss. That of course is in the absence of wind Doppler radar with integrated full wind profile into the Ballistic Solver. Next step is a laser guided bullet. Was it this used in this case? Maybe it is a Classified info at this time.

  • Jim_Macklin

    3,800 yards and the difficulty is not wind, drop or even flight time. The issue is optics and mirage.
    A general rule is that the unaided human eye with perfect vision can see 1 minute of angle if there is contrast.. A human stands 70 inches tall average so a person standing on a ridge or wearing 100% contrasting color mach be seen.
    But at 2+ miles the target might not be where the image appears to be depending on temperature and stratification.
    If the target was sitting in the open, they’d likely be shorter than the eye could see. When yo add magnification the distortion makes a single round hit at 2 miles luck.
    If you want certain kills at 2+ miles, a 20mm Vulcan cannon can put 1,000 projectiles in the box and fire those rounds in just a few seconds, before the targets can take cover [not really].
    The purpose of such as shot is to keep the enemy uncertain and at a distance, if luck is on your side, just the sound of a bullet or two every day with one hit every few years is enough psychological tactic to keep the enemy paranoid.

  • Badger

    There was speculation as to how a 2.2 mile kill could be verified. My first though was it was confirmed by a drone, but they never mentioned that.

  • Repoman3737

    The biggest thing that no one is mentioning in as many comments I could read is in the original article it claims the shot was from the top of a hi-rise building and shot at a downward angle. I think that would really change the degree of difficulty and also lower how high over the target you need to aim. That same article also said it was a lapua round I forget what size they said and I’m not real familiar with the round as in is it only available in one size and not sure of the capabilities of the round. It was a larger newspaper that printed the article but who knows how accurate it is in this day and age.

  • Mark Howard

    Wasn’t the sniper shooting from the top of a seven story building?
    Taking that in account, you could get the target inside the scope without special equipment for hold over.

  • Disgusted Citizen

    In situations like this, luck occurs when preparation meets opportunity.

  • jonp

    Total luck and if the sniper is asked he will say the same

  • Robin

    Luck or skill who cares? It’s an impressive feat, but tactically irrelevant. This is what I think happened:
    The unit probably spotted a target that they were allowed to engage, but not worth the cost of CAS or indirect fire. He made a bet with his spotter (who probably still owes him crates of beer) that he could hit the target. He made the shot, and some people take this way to seriously. If you need someone dead at 2.2 miles, heavy fire support is still the way to go even though a 2.2 mile shot is possible.

  • bobfairlane

    What if he used some kind of magnifier in front of the scope?