Shoot a Target at 2.5 Miles!

Editor’s note: The other day, I was watching the Young Turks interview self-defense expert Rob Pincus and during the conversation, which was a compelling and friendly debate over gun control and the Second Amendment, Pincus mentioned a group of guys who shot a target out to 2.4 miles.

I thought to myself, how the heck did I miss that article?  I immediately began searching for it.

Well, as you’ll see above, I found the video on Youtube of the guys who pulled off this amazing feat.  Then I thought, well, if I haven’t seen it, chances are a lot of you guys haven’t seen it either.

The details are below,.  But there’s just one thing to add.  If they can do it at 2.4 miles, this weekend you ought to get together with your buddies and try to top that.  That’s right, see if you can light up some steel at 2.5 miles!

***

On November 22nd, Jim Spinella hit a 36” plate at 4210 yards with a HCR 375 CheyTac. That is 2.4 miles!

Over the past few years, Hill Country Rifles has been doing some very long range shooting with friend and customer, Jim Spinella.

Spinella hit a 36” plate at 3600 yards, 3800 yards, and on November 22nd, he hit a 36” plate at 4210 yards.

Each shot involved a new rifle build by HCR, all in 375 Cheytac. New lessons were learned and the rifles evolved into lighter, more useful designs.

One of the most interesting aspects to these shots is the engineering of custom mounts to avoid running out of scope adjustment. A 230 minute of angle (MOA) rail was machined for a 20 MOA Nightforce Unimount for a total of 250 MOA.

The Nightforce Beast scope also allows 34.9 MILS of additional come-up. That internal adjustment range is extremely important for this kind of shooting.

Because of the amount of cant in the mounts, the point of impact at 100 yards is 16 feet, 8 inches high. Crazy, right?

After hitting the plate at 3600 and 3800, the HCR team felt confident the 4210 would happen. Time to learn a new lesson.

“We checked the weather forecast daily a week ahead of the trip to FTW Ranch. Things looked pretty good,” said HCR’s GM, Matt Bettersworth. The ever-reliable weather app predicted sunny skies and high temps in the low 60’s. The weather pattern looked stable several days before and after the November 21st shoot date. Perfect shooting conditions.

Four days before the trip, a major cold front entered the forecast. Each day the predicted high temperature fell lower and the predicted winds got higher.

“The bottom line is that this was more about having a great time with friends and making some cool memories than it was about the distance,” said Spinella. “We pushed the team, the equipment, and the round way, way beyond any reasonable shooting range.”

At 4210 yards a ½ mph change in wind speed can move the bullet more than 4 feet.

The wind was blowing 15 to 35 mph most of the day Saturday, so the shot was moved to Sunday.

Conditions finally looked reasonable late Sunday afternoon. Reasonable ended up consisting of 3-6 mph of wind, usually left to right, but occasionally right to left, with a temperature of 58 degrees.

During the 3800 yard shot, the first shot was close to the target and easy to see. In fact, almost every impact was visible through the spotting scope.

“17 shots later we hit our target,” said HCR President Dave Fuqua. “It is amazing to see what happens to the bullet in the next 400 yards.“

The last 400 yards adds 1.5 seconds to time of flight and the bullet drops an additional 265 feet. That is a lot of time for the wind to push the bullet.

Another major obstacle to this shot was that the equipment would only calculate ballistics to 4000 yards. So just finding a starting point in terms of dope was a challenge.

Doug Prichard has been making wind calls in the FTW hills and valleys for over a decade, not to mention his extensive military training. He predicted the air would go flat just before Jim ran out of shooting light. He was right.

At about 5:15 the air went totally still. Cigarette smoke would have gone straight up if anyone still smoked.

Everything changed on a dime. The next shot hit the white rock with the red paint on it about 12 feet left of our target. The next shot was just to the right.

The last two magazines produced very consistent results at that amazing distance and the hit was made by making calculated adjustments to the known impact calls.

“This would never have been possible without a customer and friend like Jim and the amazing people and facilities at FTW ranch,” said Bettersworth. We are blessed to have the unique combination of a shop to build the rifle in, a customer to build it for, and a place to shoot these extreme distances.”

Shot Details:

  • Date: November 22, 2015
  • Location: FTW Ranch, Barksdale TX
  • Rifle: HCR Carry Weight 375 CheyTac
  • Action: Stiller CheyTac 1.450”
  • Barrel: Benchmark 8 groove, 1:11.5” twist, 27”, .750”@muzzle
  • Muzzle Brake: Benchmark Miller Prone
  • Trigger: Jewell with front safety set 2.0 pounds
  • Stock: McMillan A3/5 customized to fit action, bottom metal, with custom adjustable comb
  • Trigger Guard: Bear Custom DBM
  • Metal Finish: Two-tone Black, Tungsten Gray Cerakote
  • Scope: Nightforce Beast H59 reticle
  • Mounts: Custom 230 MOA rail, 20 MOA Nightforce Direct Mount
  • Unscoped weight: 12.5 pounds
  • Weight with scope and mounts: 15.5 pounds

Ballistic Data and Environmentals:

  • Total Elevation: 96.5 MILS (4.5 MILS in the reticle)
  • Windage: 2.3 MILS Right
  • Temp: 58 Degrees
  • Humidity: 50%
  • Elevation: 2000 ft
  • Station Pressure: 28.00 Hg.

For More Information:

{ 20 comments… add one }
  • StevieD October 15, 2016, 1:23 pm

    This is so COOL!!

    OK, you’re not going to put meat on the table. It doesn’t really have any practical military applications. Neither does golfing, tennis, bowling, or football 🙂

    These are a great group of friends with a lot of skills and knowledge who have a hobby they really enjoy. And they pushed the envelope. They did something that nobody else had done. And they had FUN and ENJOYED what they were doing. Next thing you know, they’ll decide to build a rail gun and shoot 5 miles :-). And they’ll have fun and give us all a little entertainment in the process.

    WAY TO GO GUYS!!! KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK AND HAVE FUN!!!

  • Jesse August 31, 2016, 10:28 pm

    I don’t see the big deal. I do this regularly in my backyard.

  • Kevin August 28, 2016, 11:46 am

    It baffles me how anyone could put a negative spin on this. Just look at these folks, guys, gals, kids, all with big grins on their faces. They aren’t trying to kill anything, just having fun. I bet that somewhere just out of sight is a BBQ pit and a big beer cooler. The only thing bad about this is that I wasn’t there.

  • Alvin York August 26, 2016, 3:36 pm

    Ok, so what is your point? When I was in 2nd Armor, we would shoot at targets this far but we had a reason to do so. What are these idiots reason.

    • MAS August 27, 2016, 7:46 am

      Why are they idiots for having some fun with guns? I fail to see anything offensive here.

    • DeeTee August 27, 2016, 12:44 pm

      “Idiots”? Why? You sound jealous. They have a reason, it’s fun, this is America. You know, life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness…. For now anyways. Enjoy it while you can, You may have to fight for it when you can’t.

    • Archangel August 27, 2016, 3:43 pm

      Because in order to cast a brass veto vote for Hillary and save america, you have to be, well, not close?

  • Larry Koehn August 26, 2016, 1:11 pm

    I saw that shaved head ex Seal that had the TV show shoot a 2′ x 2′ white steal plate with a Cheytac rifle at 2500 yards. I think the caliber was .406. His first shots at only 800 yards were all hits. At 2500 yards his first 2 rounds were misses and required scope adjustments. After that the next 3 shots were all hits. Last I knew you could buy that same Cheytac set up if you had deep pockets. For your sake I hope that you are a precision hand loader.

  • Scott August 26, 2016, 1:08 pm

    I am interested in bullet weight, BC (G1 & G7), fps at muzzle and at target, and total bullet drop. Do you have these values?

  • Captabn August 26, 2016, 11:50 am

    ROFLOL. I understand this is only for giggles and grins and I’m sure they enjoyed themselves. Now let’s change the sanario and add in a two way free fire zone, now how good are you and your expensive hand built longgun? How many rounds of ammo did it take to hit the stationary target? How many will it take to hit a moving man shooting back? Enjoy yourselves, have fun and tell Giness world records. Talk to Vietnam vet’s and please don’t join us in Afghanistan. Maybe the USMC/SEALS could use a “few good men” IMHO.

  • Stephen August 26, 2016, 11:28 am

    What it does do is push the limits. When humans push the limits, new things happen, new machines, parts, and ideas are made. So as they may have been lobbing these out there (sounds fun too) …..somewhere theres a guy who Now has a new challenge and with this comes the evolution of Guns in General. We laughed at Tesla, Franklin, and 100s of others….some were even killed for stretching the limits – RB asked about the Cant with the scope – barrel …. someone has a good question already. Applaud these guys for hitting a Giant target 1000s of ft away….maybe not perfect but evolution is slow….

    • Miles August 27, 2016, 12:34 am

      Why is it that some people are so self-righteous and full of themselves that everytime someone trys or does something they wanna do that they enjoy they bombard the coments section with negative crap that helps nothing but boost their own self-righteous egos.im guessing moms basement is starting to get on their nerves. So they need to go and find something constructive or at least somthing they enjoy and do it and keep their hot air holes shut. Good article i bet it was fun.

  • bruce porter August 26, 2016, 10:26 am

    Re the 2 1/2-mile shoot, maybe you should have made reference to a NYTimes Magazine piece back in 2000 on the first 2-mile shoot, in the Black Rock Desert. Here’s the site: http://www.nytimes.com/2000/11/26/magazine/the-big-bad-fun-gun.html?pagewanted=all

  • gene peveto August 26, 2016, 10:15 am

    i am not impressed by heating a target that far away with a crew like that. with a 1950’s, 22 rifle one could hit a 3 inch target at one mile with that many people telling the shooter where the bullet is landing. in 1964 i hit a 14 inch target at 500 yards with open sights with a M-14 Basic Training Issued Rifle and consistently.

    • steve August 26, 2016, 11:41 am

      lol. you have literally no idea what you are talking about.

  • RB August 26, 2016, 10:04 am

    So with that much cant in the scope base The scope must have been pointing at the end of the barrel. how would they see the target?????

  • dale August 26, 2016, 8:19 am

    Hey, it is supposed to be fun not war practical.

  • Rit August 26, 2016, 6:06 am

    Looks like this will just prove Napoleon’s Axiom….”Ride to the sound of the guns….”….scary for the first shot, but thr shooter better have a squad of guys to keep him outta trouble. It’s not gonna be easy to adjust for closer ranges than the first one, and it likely won’t be a standard long gun for Infantry-carry…so…one and boogie. Any modern vehicle would close the range too fast to allow for much more.

    Of course, I can imagine the surprised look on the target’s phiz and people scrambling around after such a ‘Billy Dixon’… But in HIS war, it only took one. Admirable weapon and ability, but it seems way out on the far edges of practicality, much like the anti-aircraft sights on the old Arisaka.

  • Will Drider August 25, 2016, 5:03 pm

    Okay………… now tell us what the max distance is for it to put every round in a man size target. Pretty much a mortar lobing in roundsand adjusting till you hit a plate wider then a combantant I have ever seen.

    • Greg Smith August 26, 2016, 4:02 pm

      Yes, I’d have to agree that it’s pretty much mortar lobbing, not really practical shooting, but I believe these guys are more interested in cool factor and having fun, you know…………fun 🙂

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