In November 2009, the Accuracy International L115A3 sniper rifle was the weapon used in the most prodigious feat of marksmanship in military history – two consecutive confirmed kills at 2.47 kilometers were followed by a third shot which disabled the (much smaller) machine gun the two combatants had been carrying. Now a British sniper in Afghanistan has reportedly killed six insurgents with one bullet from a distance of 850 m (930 yards) using the L115A3.
Last December, a British sniper in the Coldstream Guards killed six Taliban with one bullet during a gun battle with 15-20 Taliban in Kakaran in southern Afghanistan according to a report in The Telegraph.
The initial target is believed to have been wearing an explosive vest which was to be used in a suicide bomber attack, and the bullet caused the vest to explode, killing five Taliban in the near vicinity. Another unexploded suicide vest was found nearby, indicating that the shot may have saved more people than it killed.
As is customary when soldiers are still "in theater," the name of the Lance Corporal who took the shot has been withheld, though it has been confirmed that the Coldstream Guard sniper is 20 years of age, and killed a Taliban machine-gunner from 1,340 m with his first shot on his current tour of duty.
The L115A3 sniper rifle is produced by Portsmouth-based Accuracy International, a company established by two-times Olympic shooting Gold medalist Malcolm Cooper.
The £23,000 (US$38,250) rifle weighs 6.8 kg and was designed using the knowhow Cooper had gained in international target shooting and fires an 8.59 mm bullet. Even at its most extreme range, a bullet from the L115A3 hits harder than a .44 Magnum does in the same room.
The high-accuracy L115A3 sniper rifles have become favorites with elite military forces worldwide and are used by both the British SAS and US Delta Force.
Our article on the most prodigious feat of marksmanship in military history contains a more detailed history of sniping, the Accuracy International L115A. The article details the feat of British Corporal Craig Harrison who killed two Taliban with consecutive shots at a distance of 2.47 kilometres (8120 ft) in Helmand Province, Afghanistan in November, 2009.
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