View Full Version : Most accurate civilian rifle at one mile ranges.

April 28, 2002, 03:44 PM
What very long range accurate rifles are there available to the average person through their corner FFL? Let's put a price limit of $10,000 on such a dream gun. Let's also start the discussion with the .338 Lapua and the .50 cal. Here is a link to begin with.
What weapon system might be better for accurate placement and effective terminal performance at one mile or maybe even 2 kilometers with average winds? Note that I'm speaking about a practical long range weapon -- something which does not require absolutely perfect windless conditions to effectively terminate, at one mile or more, a 250 lb enemy soldier wearing light body armor (head shots at that range are unrealistic).

No, I'm not advocating 20mm Lahti's or airstrikes either. I said commonly available at your local FFL.

James K
April 28, 2002, 11:49 PM
Well, a mile is 1760 yards, and I don't think even the best military snipers bothered to try at that range. In fact, it is nearly impossible to even see a man at that range unless he is standing still in the open. Generally, you have to find the target first before picking it up in the scope.

You might also try http://www.beyond1000.com for some info on shooting at those ranges and rifles a lot less than your $10,000.


April 29, 2002, 12:40 AM
There have been a few (very few) confirmed kills at over 2,000 yards done by military. No reason why a civillian could not duplicate the equipment and feat. A lot of practice with an excellant big bore gun. An excellent spotter, spot on ranging, accurate wind reading........

And of course more than a modicum of luck.

The better you are, the luckier you get more often.


April 29, 2002, 05:36 AM
Check out this guys site:


Guy hit from 1890 yards with a 95gr .243.

Impressive to say the least.


April 29, 2002, 06:06 AM
I'll believe the one mile shooting when I see it done.

April 29, 2002, 08:44 AM
The Canadian Snipers thread (http://www.thefiringline.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=110477) mentions a recent 2430 meter shot in Afghanastan with a MacMillan Tac-50. This occured a few days after he made a 1700m shot.

April 29, 2002, 10:25 AM
Personally, I think anyone wanting to shoot a mile would probably start his selection with the .50BMG guns, they should have enough retained energy at the end to do some damage.

April 29, 2002, 10:41 AM
Shooting at a mile, like shooting at any other distance, is much more effected by skill than equipment. No matter what you buy, and no matter what you spend, you won't be able to hit anything at a mile without significantly more skill than the average Joe.
I have the video tape, The One Mile Shot, by David Tubb. He can do it, and does it on tape, and he does it from a prone position, not a bench. He is also one of the best shots alive today bar none.

CZ Gunner
April 29, 2002, 11:17 AM
A mile ?!?!? Sounds like Bill Gates' new house (dining room).

Why would ANYONE in the "civilian world" need to make such a shot?

Just curious.

:eek: :rolleyes: :p :D :) :( :eek:

April 29, 2002, 11:25 AM
I have a work associate that routinely puts holes through suspended golf balls at 1,000 yards. I'll have to ask him what the manufacturer of his rifle is but it is a 7 mm and he says the heart of that accuracy is the painstaking handloads he assembles to get that kind of performance.

April 29, 2002, 12:06 PM

Have you looked into the 50 cal Astol Tihsallub limited production rifle? Incredible!!!!

April 29, 2002, 12:47 PM
I got a brochure listing about 10 reasons why the .408 Cheyenne Tactical is better than the .50 at extreme range. About the only drawback I see is there are only about 40 rifles on the planet.
419gr and 305gr.

Table says supersonic all the way to 2500. .50 transitions to subsonic at 1500.

Velocity at 1500, 1520 to 1067 for the .50,
energy 2150 to 1688,
time of flight 2.36 to 3.001,
drop is -878.71 inches to -1276.04.

April 29, 2002, 03:00 PM
First, for long distance shots using a "portable" non-.50BMG rifle, forget about "production" rifles. You're gonna want a custom. That'll probably run you about $2,500 or so.

Add about a $1000 (or so) for a scope.

Add another $1,000 (or so) for precision reloading equipment. Things like neck turning tools, inside micrometers, etc.

Take your time to learn to use the stuff.

I'd recommend Bill Shehane (www.scopeusout.com) and his 6.5/284 Shehane wildcat at 1,000 yards... Bill's one of the "kings" of thousand yard competition gunsmiths.

At further, you might be best served to give McMillan a call.

April 29, 2002, 06:19 PM
Take your time to learn to use the stuff. That statement cannot be overstated.


April 29, 2002, 10:05 PM
I have a work associate that routinely puts holes through suspended golf balls at 1,000 yards.

Let's say for the fun of it a golf ball is 1.5" in diameter (I know that's too big.)

That means that he's got to shoot BETTER than 0.15 MOA to make that happen.

I think that the benchresters are winning 300 yard competitions with 0.10- 0.11 MOA groups but he's shooting over 3 times farther than they are...

This guy could make a lot of money:

1. Selling rifles and ammo to benchrest competitors.
2. Winning benchrest competitions.
3. Training shooters how to exactly dope wind conditions.


April 29, 2002, 10:11 PM
This past weekend, at a major BR contest, with some of the absolute BEST shooters in the world competing, the average MOA for the 20 targets averaged was a bit over 0.3 MOA.

Participants included Tony Boyer, who came in 2nd. Seems it was MAJOR windy, and he leaked one for a 1.3" group at 200...

April 30, 2002, 06:08 AM
Once you get past 1000 yards, you probably gotta consider the .50s only...They are available (although expensive) and proven in combat (see the article mentioned, about Canadian snipers)...Even if subsonic, retained energy is high...Quality reloading componenet readily avaiable, as well as alot of knowledge from the longe range guys....I believe 1000 yrd record held by a .50, 2 1/2" group????

April 30, 2002, 08:46 AM
JohnKSa, you said it! If this guys's hitting golf balls at 1000 yards, he's setting world records. I'd also like to know....what power scope do you need to even SEE a golfball at 1000 yards.

4V50 Gary
April 30, 2002, 10:45 AM
Hitting golfballs. Heck! I can't even do that with a putter. Gimme my gun.

Getting back to 1 mile shots, go big bore. Haven't heard of the .408 Cheyanne Tactical but if it offers superior ballistics over the 50, go for it. In terms of rifle, for commonly available rifles, I'd go with a single shot bolt action like a McMillan, Barrett or other reputable make. The other half of the battle is to handload to get the best out of the barrel.

April 30, 2002, 12:00 PM
The One Mile Shot video tape is pretty good. He goes through all the ins and outs of making a shot like that. Obviously it takes a very accurate rifle, and of course extremly accurate handloads. Then you have to have an angled scope base that makes up for the fact that your scope runs out of elevation before you get that kind of range (he was already using a Leupold Tactical scope that has a greater elevation range than a run of the mill scope). Then he calculates on paper what kind of drop he is getting at that range. Then he uses many years of championship shooting experience at the thousand yard line along with wind flags to dope the wind. After all this he was on paper with every shot. However it wasn't like he could put all his shots on a human silhouette target. Let alone doing something like that on demand; flopping down into a prone position and hitting a human without all the prep work. He wasn't using a .50, it was some wildcat caliber that I guess is all the rage in the 1000 yard matches. However this was a custom rifle and not something that is available at your local dealer.

April 30, 2002, 12:14 PM
Love the idea of the 408Chyenne, heck at 2k yards even the 338Laupa mag should stay supersonic or hold a balistic edge over the 50BMG. Most of the data I've seen show all but the best 50BMG bullets going subsonic before 2k yards. While the 408Chyenne can definitely go way out there while staying supersonic I'm not too sure what the 338Laupa can manage when using bullets that are best of the breed.

Anyhow, shooting golf balls at 1k yards. I've seen various statements over the years that throw up a red flag just as quickly as that one, my favorite is "shooting silver dollars at 1k yards" or in some instances a mile even. The uneducated fall for it every time but once you get into it with them and use a little logic it's quickly chaulked up as a near impossible task.

Heck, most of the 50BMG rifles out there that are used by the military aren't typically capable of better than 1-1.5MOA, that alone should make it more of a 1300-1500 yard rifle(considering you want a high probability of first round hit, granted the person knows how to shoot well) if we're talking bipedal species as targets.

One mile hits and beyond are certainly pushing things a bit more, somebody always mentions the feat that Carlos Hathcock pulled off in Vietnam making a 2200+ yard shot on a VC with a scoped M2 setup on top of a mountain, sometimes those who bring up that shot try to make a jump in rationale that if the not so accurate M2 can accomplish that hit than a more accurate "sniper" rifle could do the job with greater ease. The only thing I can say to that was that Carlos Hathcock had an entire belt of ammo to make use of with little real need or concern for a first round hit, there was a bit of luck involved with making that hit and it probably helped that he had enough ammo to allow him to work up a lead with each target, while being a great shot if he had a Barret M82 back then or one of the bolt action 50s the ability for him to follow the target and compensate so quickly likely wouldn't be possible.

April 30, 2002, 06:10 PM
Um...in March, at the Colorado Rifle Club, Bill Schrader set a 1000yd world record 5-shot group of 1.437", with a Rem700 in .300 Win, Hart bbl and McMillan stock, ( found at Xtreme Accuracy (http://www.xtremeaccuracy.com) and The Sniper's Hide (http://www.snipershide.com) )

That being said, I think that the .408 CheyTac and the .338 Lapua are going to be the best contenders for "off the shelf" one mile shots. There may be others, but one thing to consider is that the ammo for these two is high-end production IF you can find it. You'll probably have to roll your own, where you can pursue consistancy to near madness.

The .50 is also possible, but Mil-surp ammo is probably out. One big reason Hathcock made his ~2500yd hit on a 12 year old mule is that the target was in the EXACT same location where Hathcock zeroed the weapon the day before: he was using the same ammo, at roughly the same time of day with similar environmental conditions. However, Dean Michaelis (http://www.snipersparadise.com/sniperstore/Bookstore/bookstore.htm) has an incredible book on long range shooting with the .50. His suggestions about environmental and meterological factors, as well as rangefinding, (he uses a theodolite), are outside the box. He suggests adjustments for the wind over the range of the shot, barometric pressure changes, enviroment temp, ammo temp, WIND TEMP, ( which can alter drifts several feet), spin drift... it's a little mind-numbing. I'm tempted to buy a Tac-50 just to see if his stuff works!

One mile, (1750yds) hits can happen, but alot needs to go into the prep.

My two cents.


April 30, 2002, 08:28 PM
in March, at the Colorado Rifle Club, Bill Schrader set a 1000yd world record 5-shot group of 1.437",

Well, shooting a 1.5" group isn't exactly the same thing as being able to 'routinely' hit a 1.5" circle. The second is considerably more difficult.

Anyway, regardless of how you look at it--the 'golf ball friend' is shooting well enough to 'routinely' set world records.

Now, figure the odds...

Two useful formulas relating MOA group size to group size in inches.

1 MOA is

(distance to target in yards) / 95.5

Group size expressed in MOA is

(group size in inches) * 95.5 / (distance to target in yards)

May 30, 2008, 02:08 AM
I'm sorry if im a bit vague, as I have not researched this in a while, but i seem to recall that .35-low .4's have the best ballistic patterns (meaning longest range). Just thought I might throw that out there.

May 30, 2008, 02:58 AM
lets see under 10 grand? available at your local ffl?? capable of 1-2 mile shots? sounds like somebody wants a windrunner......


May 30, 2008, 07:28 AM
Golf ball diameter 1.68" for regulation PGA ball.

1 moa at 1000 yards is aprox. 10.5"

So at 1000 yards a golf ball is aprox .1moa If someone is doing that then they should be shooting 1000 yard competition.

The IBS 1000 yard world record for a 5 shot group is 1.403"

These guys are not using store bought rifles. These rifles are custom made from the ground up. with scopes that run in the 45 to 60x or more power range. Many of the scopes are often taken once bought and sent to have the power boosted. Rifles cost in the $3000+ range with optics costing $1000+.

Just because you have more money than brains does not mean you can shoot 1000+ yards. There is much more that goes into shooting 1000+ yards than a fancy expensive rifle. You have to have the art of reading wind down to a science. reloading takes hours upon hours with very special equipment. You are not cranking out 1000+ yard ammo on any lee, dillon or Hornady progressive press I can tell you that.

Magnum Wheel Man
May 30, 2008, 10:17 AM
1st off... please forgive my ignorance :o

I have my own 300 yard rifle range, & have been getting a growing interest in shooting longer distances... I could, after the crops are out, go to the corner of the property, at over 1000 yards...

since I'd be a newbie at that distance, I guess I've got a few questions... starting with "cheap" rifle / scope / caliber questions ( I'm hoping these are along the lines of what the OP was asking... though I don't want to spend anywhere near the $10,000 figure he listed )

but also a few more odd questions...

you guys are mentioning "how long the cartridge stays supersonic"... is there a huge difference in groupings, after the bullet goes from super sonic, to subsonic ???

can one of the "newer" subsonic rounds ( like 50 Whisper ) for example, effectively shoot that far ???

I'm just wanting to punch paper ( or maybe a 55 gallon drum ), at the maximum distance I can stretch out on my property, so the terminal effects (to me ) are purely acidemic, but could a .243, .308, .338, at 3/4 + or - of a mile, to a mile ( provided you could ever hit your target ) , be considered even close to terminal ???

of "common man" calibers, which do you think would be most accurate, & still ( in theory ) offer at least marginal terminal performance on my steel drum ???

I currently have & can load for .243, 7 X 57, .308, 30-06, 338 Win Mag, 375 H&H

I'd also like your thoughts on the 8mm Remington Magnum, for long range, as I've always had an interest in that cartridge ( & the 416 Rigby, but the cost of the later has kept me from a purchase there ... yet )

I realize I'd have to ( or at least it would be most practical to ) set up a rifle just for very long ( to what I'm used to ) distances, so of non custom, out of the box, & common calibers, which is a good starting point ???

is there a website, or link, that offers scope mounts, that are angled to allow enough adjustment of good quality common scopes, to use for my situation ???

shinnery jim
May 30, 2008, 10:57 AM
now I am not a long distance shooter. 200 or 250 yards tops. I have no experiance at the extreme distance shooting. and I have no interest in it. but I do know of one man who was good at it way back in blackpowder days. if you have never heard of Billy Dixon look him up. I have. he and a group of soilders and buffalo hunters were trapped for three days by a war party of indians at adoby wells. he took his sharps buffalo rifle and shot the chief off his horse at near a mile. that ended the attack. the Army corp of engeneers measured the shot at 7/8 of a mile. but Billy Dixon said it was as much luck as skill. but I have found that luck follows the guy who practices a lot.:p

May 30, 2008, 12:23 PM
First off, did anybody notice that the original post is over 5 years old?

Second off, for long range, you need very heavy bullets with a very high BC (0.700+) and adequate muzzle velocity (let's say 2300fps+ for argument's sake) coming out of a very accurate rifle. If you don't have the highly accurate rifle, the bullet doesn't matter. It's also noteworthy that rifles that may not be MOA at 100 yards may be under a MOA at 300 yards. But really, a highly accurate .300 magnum or even a .30-06 would turn the trick with really heavy VLD bullets. They also make 168 grain and 180 grain match bullets for .30 caliber as well. And for .243, I think they have 115 grain bullets out for longer range shooting. But really, as long as it's a highly accurate rifle with handloads the gun likes (and a twist rate that will stablize the bullet), plinking at extreme ranges shouldn't be a problem.

May 30, 2008, 12:29 PM
Thread resurrected after 6 years...

At this point, a .408 or a .50 would pretty much be the ticket. Maybe a .338 Lapua. But none of these are really a "deer hunting" rifle, unless you take your ATV with you...

For glass, consider a "frozen" Leupold, with externally adjustable mounts. Or maybe one of March's scopes. Saw some at the Supershoot, and they're VERY nice. But VERY expensive.

Zak Smith
May 30, 2008, 02:36 PM
What caliber for 1,500 yards?(besides .50 BMG) (http://www.thefiringline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=294198)

(Comments were about 1500 yards.. 1760 is just a bit further, but disproportionately more difficult.)


There is not necessarily a need for large calibers to enable 1500 yard hits. From a ballistic standpoint, you need: a high BC to retain velocity and resist wind drift; and a sufficient muzzle velocity so the bullet is solidly in the supersonic flight regime when it hits the target.

What large calibers do provide is a higher BC given a smaller bullet length to caliber ratio, which basically means that you can get a similar velocity for the same BC in a less overbore condition. (They also kill things better at long range, but this thread seems to be mainly about target shooting.)

For reference, on a warm day at sea level, a 0.60 BC bullet needs about 2950 fps muzzle velocity to be traveling 1200 fps @ 1500 yards. For contrast, on a warm day 5000' higher (e.g. Denver), a muzzle velocity of 2500 (0.60 BC) will still be above 1200 fps at 1500 yards.

It's easy to see how the atmospheric conditions can make a huge difference. I have made hits on 1340-yard targets using my 308, but it was at an equivalent density altitude of 7000'; my .308 load shoots a 0.508 bullet at about 2900 fps. I have also made a hit at 1670 yards (5.1% shorter than a mile) using my .260 Remington; my .260 load shoots a 0.61 BC bullet at 2820 fps, and the equivalent density altitude was about 10,000'.

Here's some data for comparison, using 1000' equivalent density altitude

_Bullet_ _BC_ _MV_ 0 300 600 900 1200 1500 | YARDS
50BMG Solid 1.120 2700 > 2700 2472 2256 2052 1859 1678 | velocity (fps)
50BMG AMAX 1.000 2700 > 2700 2445 2206 1981 1770 1576 | velocity (fps)
338LM Solid 0.896 2950 > 2950 2651 2371 2109 1866 1641 | velocity (fps)
338LM 300 0.77* 2700 > 2700 2371 2066 1784 1529 1314 | velocity (fps)
50BMG Ball 0.701 2850 > 2850 2479 2139 1828 1550 1317 | velocity (fps)
338LM 250 0.675 2950 > 2950 2557 2198 1870 1576 1330 | velocity (fps)
7RM 180 0.684 2900 > 2900 2516 2165 1844 1558 1318 | velocity (fps)
7RM 168 0.643 3050 > 3050 2630 2247 1899 1588 1329 | velocity (fps)
6.5x284 139 0.615 3000 > 3000 2566 2172 1817 1506 1256 | velocity (fps)
243WIN 115 DTAC 0.585 3100 > 3100 2636 2216 1839 1509 1248 | velocity (fps)
260 139 0.615 2820 > 2820 2402 2024 1685 1396 1176 | velocity (fps)

50BMG Solid 1.120 2700 > 0.00 2.65 11.07 26.05 48.52 79.59 | wind (inches)
50BMG AMAX 1.000 2700 > 0.00 2.98 12.53 29.66 55.61 91.85 | wind (inches)
338LM Solid 0.896 2950 > 0.00 2.95 12.45 29.60 55.76 92.64 | wind (inches)
338LM 300 0.77* 2700 > 0.00 3.94 16.85 40.71 78.06 131.41 | wind (inches)
50BMG Ball 0.701 2850 > 0.00 4.02 17.25 41.80 80.42 135.93 | wind (inches)
338LM 250 0.675 2950 > 0.00 3.99 17.13 41.59 80.24 136.16 | wind (inches)
7RM 180 0.684 2900 > 0.00 4.03 17.30 41.98 80.92 137.09 | wind (inches)
7RM 168 0.643 3050 > 0.00 4.00 17.24 42.01 81.37 138.71 | wind (inches)
6.5x284 139 0.615 3000 > 0.00 4.30 18.61 45.56 88.68 151.52 | wind (inches)
243WIN 115 DTAC 0.585 3100 > 0.00 4.33 18.79 46.18 90.32 155.11 | wind (inches)
260 139 0.615 2820 > 0.00 4.70 20.38 50.02 97.34 165.37 | wind (inches)


As for my choice, make it an Accuracy International chambered in a sufficient caliber, with a S&B PMI scope until there's something better,

May 30, 2008, 08:31 PM
A good heavy barreled Shiloh Sharps 45-90 with black powder and will consistanly hit something a mile away, with peep sights. Oops wrong forum for BPCR.....

May 30, 2008, 10:59 PM

Does AI make a left hand and how does it compare with Dakota Longbow?


Zak Smith
May 31, 2008, 12:09 AM
Tom Irwin posted over on SnipersHide that left-handed AICSs will be available this summer. I think he said they had done runs of left-handed AWs in the past, and it was a possibility for the future; however, I have never seen or heard of a left-handed AW to date. Do note that for positions other than "slung up", a left-handed shooter can generally operate a right-handed gun faster than the other way round, because he can retain a firing grip with his strong hand.

As for the Longbow, the only person I know who bought one could not get it to shoot better than a couple inches until he sent it to GA Precision for a new barrel and a new bedding job. Looking at the construction, the Longbow could not be as stiff as the AI receiver either, though it is up to debate whether that actually matters or not.

May 31, 2008, 10:07 AM
i will give the golf ball shooter ten to one odds for ten shoots in a row at the golf ball at 1000yds, i have not shoot lone range for a long time but i remember have 63 inches wind drift at 1000yds at williamsport pa. in the 70,s.shooting a 6.5x300WWH. the small groups impress me,but every thing has to go just right to achive them. the key to long range sniping is a top notch spotter. eastbank.

May 31, 2008, 03:00 PM
The guy on, I think it was future weapons. He is the Navy seal sniper. shot 2500 yds with the .416 and I dont see why you couldnt get one.


June 1, 2008, 11:23 AM
A Lee-Enfield in .303:
Handles itself nicely at 2300 yards. I dunno if it still does or not, but there you have it.

A might bit cheaper than $10,000 too.


Double Naught Spy
June 1, 2008, 12:56 PM
The guy on, I think it was future weapons. He is the Navy seal sniper. shot 2500 yds with the .416 and I dont see why you couldnt get one.

This is a bogus setup on Future Weapons. I don't buy it that he made his first shot with the .416 at 2500 yards, cold, and shot better than Jon Weiler, who at the time was Barrett's "pro" sniper trainer, recently back from the Gulf and active duty as a sniper. What makes it even more truly bogus is that he called the hit himself, before Jon and Jon was the spotter. You can't see a .416 at 1000 yards, in the black with a 20x Leupold scope and so there is no way in hell he was going to see it at 2500. Note that Jon has the larger spotting scope and is still looking when the shot is called as a hit.

December 15, 2009, 03:25 PM
I dont know if this gun could nessisarily shoot the extra 760 yards but, I do know that the gunwerks LR-1000 with a Huskema Optic scope can be very effective all the way out to 1000 yards straight out of the box.

This rifle with the scope and turret ellivation dialer will run 6,500 dollars befor tax. Now I am not an idiot I know the question asked for a mile long rifle but for a 7mm hunting rifle that can be bought by anyone and with that person having a little talent in the field of shooting, I do not see why the mile long shot could not be taken by the same rifle.


Come and take it.
December 15, 2009, 03:31 PM
Preferably the gun should be light as comfortably possible. Running a mile and than shooting something can be tiring.

December 15, 2009, 03:56 PM
Now I am not an idiot I know the question asked for a mile long rifle...
Yes, but the question asked for a mile long rifle 7½ years ago!!!

Big Bill
December 15, 2009, 04:14 PM

Zak Smith
December 15, 2009, 05:02 PM
You resurrected this 18-month old thread to plug your company. :barf:

At $4500 for the rifle alone, you're more expensive than GAP rifles and a TRG-22/42 (both proven in military service or competition), and only a little cheaper than an AI (history speaks for itself).

But hey, if your business model is to cash in on people who saw the TV show and have more money than sense, good for you.


December 15, 2009, 05:33 PM
22Lovr - If it ain't witnessed or on video, it never happened. :rolleyes:

December 15, 2009, 08:49 PM
22Lovr - If it ain't witnessed or on video, it never happened.

You may be waiting a while for 22Lovr to respond to that. He hasn't posted on TFL since January 2003! :D

December 15, 2009, 09:14 PM
all the Barrett rifles are civilian legal. theres the 98 bravo in .338 lapua magnum all the way up to the m82a1 .50 caliber which runs about 10 grand. there is also that .408 cheytac that some other people were talking about. if i had the money i would buy one. there are also custom rifles by companies like mcmillan that make rifles in .338 lapua mag. just depends on what you want to spend and what kind of gun you want

December 16, 2009, 09:31 AM
I believe that the .416 Barrett really cranks!:D

December 16, 2009, 10:14 PM
A US Army soldier (and member of AR15.com) got 2 kills at 1.5 miles range with a Barrett M82A1 .50cal rifle

December 16, 2009, 10:49 PM
Cheytac wont sell to civilians