Monday, May 03, 2010

This Ain't Plinking...

For those of you who are not familiar with the term, Plinking is the shooting for fun. More often than not shooting with a .22 at soda cans. I grew up going plinking at the landfill near our cabin in the black hills. This open pit garbage dump was full of can, bottles, glass jars and mice. All just waiting for a kid with a .22 and a box of ammo to wander by. Best targets of all - old aerosol cans, like hair spray, etc.

This guy is British so he probably didn't grow up plinking. But then he wasn't plinking on the day when he made 2, that's right TWO back to back 8,120ft (1.54 mile) long kill shots in Afghanistan.

A BRITISH Army sniper has set a new sharpshooting distance record by killing two Taliban machinegunners in Afghanistan from more than a mile 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 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.

Read the whole article here.

Then to top matters off Corporal of Horse Craig Harrison a couple weeks later was shot in the head by a sniper, then a after that broke both arms when his vehicle was hit by a roadside bomb. When they sent Corporal Harrison home to convalese he insisted on returning to the front.

In the article linked above Tom Irwin, the director of Accuracy International, the British manufacturer of the L115A3 rifle, said:
“It is still fairly accurate beyond 4,921ft, but at that distance luck plays as much of a part as anything.”

Mr. Irwin, one shot from that distance may have a lot of luck involved. Two in a row - is possible because of training and skill. Not much luck there.

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