JACKSON, Wyoming – The world’s farthest long-range rifle shot was fired on Tuesday, surpassing the previous record by nearly half a mile.
The previous 4-mile record set in 2020 was broken by a 4.4-mile target hit in the high desert of western Wyoming. The bullet took 24 seconds to hit the 8-inch bull’s eye, but breaking the record had been the goal for over a year.
After setting Wyoming’s state record of 3.06 miles in 2020, Scott Austin and Shepard Humphries assembled a team of extreme distance enthusiasts to tackle the world record.
“This has been the most challenging, difficult, frustrating, time consuming, yet most rewarding professional project I have ever undertaken,” said Humphries.
They started planning the project in late 2020. Featuring custom parts from around the world and fine details like hand-thrown bullets, the rifle was built and ready to fire as recently as May 2022.
Months of testing then began on a wide range of systems such as anemometers, custom steel bunkers and optics.
“With this kind of shooting, no one has figured out how to score first-round goals. It’s not the kind of thing where you buy a new gun and some ammo right off the gun shelf and get lucky,” Humphries said.
Bunkers protected spotters from being hit as they were scattered between the shooter and the target to control accuracy. Humphries’ wife Lynn Sherwood led the spotting team, which primarily used audio spotting to calibrate the shot, which Humphries says could be a brand new concept for extreme long range. Audio spotting is known to complement visual spotting, but due to the distance of the target, spotters couldn’t always see the bullet’s impact dust as well as they could hear it rushing by.
A few hours later, it was the 69th shot that hit the mark. Austin and Humphries say that while their hit isn’t scientifically consistently repeatable, it makes it rather coincidental that Paul Phillips’ previous 4-mile record also landed on the 69th shot.
“Together we’ve spent over 1,500 hours of research, ups and downs, blood, sweat, excitement and tears, with dozens of amazingly gifted people and companies personally investing in the goal,” Austin said.
“Together we have spent over 1500 hours of research, ups and downs, blood, sweat, excitement and tears, with dozens of amazingly gifted people and companies personally investing in the goal,” said Austin.
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