Update 10/25/17: We have a new world record! Americans have taken it back! Click here to read more.
It seems like every few months the “unofficial” long distance shooting record is broken by a team from Finland, the United States or Russia.
Lobaev Arms, a Russian company that makes precision rifles, claims it recently broke the world record, shooting a 1-meter target at 4,604 yards or approximately 2.6 miles, reports the Daily Star.
The Lobaev team used a modified version of their SVLK-14S “Twilight” rifle. The SVLK-14S is a production rifle that is made for shooting targets past 2,000 yards. It is capable of 5-shot, .2 MOA groups at 100 meters and is chambered in .408 Cheytac, .338 Lapua Magnum, and .300 Winchester Magnum.
The SVLK-14S that the Lobaev team used had a 935 mm/36.8 inch, 1/10 twist barrel and was chambered in .40 Lobaev Improved. The .40 Lobaev Improved cartridge launches a 419-grain projectile 3,200 feet per second and is based on the .408 Chey Tac round.
The Lobaev team was composed of Yuri Sinichkin, Evgeny Titov, Vladimir Grebenyuk and shooter Andrey Ryabinsky.
Atop the custom SVLK-14S rifle was a March 5-40 power riflescope. The March riflescope was most likely mounted on a scope base that had an 80 to 100 MIL cant.
SEE ALSO: Shoot a Target at 2.5 Miles!
Overall I am very impressed with the shot. Hitting a 1-meter target at 4,604 yards would require a rifle that is capable of sub-MOA accuracy. Aside from the necessary mechanical accuracy, the ammunition would have to have even velocities, with standard deviations in the single digits. The bullets were most likely monolithic and turned on a lathe. After being turned, they were measured for concentricity and loaded by hand. Perfect concentricity is necessary for a bullet to maintain its gyroscopic stability when crossing through the transonic barrier.
Hardware aside, a 2.6-mile shot would require a shooter to account for variables such as spin-drift, powder temperature, Coriolis effect, Eotvos effect, temperature, barometric pressure, humidity, density altitude, aerodynamic jump, and wind direction and speed.
Lobaev makes some very nice hardware. Their rifles are in use by law enforcement, military and competitive shooters around the world.
Though impressive, the unofficial world records are amusing due to the lack of a sanctioning by a governing body. It is hard to consider a long distance shot a world record when dozens of rounds were likely sent down range in the hope of hitting a target.
Earlier this year, Bryan Litz created a website called ELR Central. He came up with some standards and best practices for the Long Range shooting community, and though ELR Central is not a governing body, it does include some guidelines in regards to shooting for an “official record”.
Overall much respect to the Lobaev team. Okay team America, time to bring the “record” back to the United States!