The Longest Shot In Iraq

Spec Ops Shooting

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Attesting to the improved long-range accuracy of the M118LR round is its performance in combat in Iraq. On 11 November 2004, USMC Sgt. Herbert Hancock, chief Scout-Sniper with the 1st Battalion, 23rd Marine Regiment, engaged a 120mm mortar crew firing on Marines from Fallujah, across the Euphrates River. Hancock and his teammate, Cpl. Geoffrey Flowers, climbed to a rooftop to spot the mortar crew. Just as they brought Marine mortar fire on the insurgent position, Hancock laid his crosshair on one black-robed crewman, dropping him. He ran his bolt and got a second insurgent, too. The others were pounded by Marine mortars.

Later, when his two one-shot kills were confirmed by a ground party, the distance was measured —an impressive 1,050 yards. Thus far, that seems to be the record for a .308 rifle in Iraq, but equally, it's verification of the wisdom in developing the M118LR round.

European ammo quality is excellent as well. I extensively tested Sellier & BeDot's 168-grain Match and found it comparable to the best American loads, so good that I approved it as the standard competitor's round for the 1997 Super Sniper Shootout in the Czech Republic because we had difficulty bringing in American ammunition.

Additional match-grade loaders include PMC, Winchester, and Remington, though they don't seem to make a special effort to market this ammo to police snipers.

Other specialty ammo—including glass-penetrating and frangible rounds—give today's police sniper such a variety that it's almost like carrying around golf clubs, ready to fit the club to the shot, giving him impressive flexibility and precision.

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