A key overmatch factor in combat is range: be able to attack your enemy from further than they can attack you. This concept has been applied to projectile weapons from arrows all the way to intercontinental ballistic missiles. In the case of precision rifles, long-range shots allow for surgical strikes against individual targets who may otherwise think that they are not in danger. Until recently, the commonly accepted longest sniper kill was made at a staggering 2.2 miles. However, Ukrainian forces claim to have beaten that.
In November 2023, the Security Service of Ukraine's Special Group "Alpha" reported a sniper kill at a distance of 3,800 meters, or about 2.36 miles. The reported record-setting shot was made by an unnamed sniper with a Volodar Obriyu anti-materiel rifle. Generally chambered in large calibers like .50 BMG, anti-materiel rifles are designed to destroy military equipment, structures, and hardware from long range. However, they have also been used to great effect against individual enemy personnel.
The previous three longest sniper kills were all made with anti-materiel rifles. In May 2017, an unnamed Canadian JTF-2 special forces sniper made a 3,540-meter kill with a McMillan TAC-50 rifle. Before that, an unnamed sniper from Australia's 2nd Commando Regiment made a 2,815-meter kill with a Barrett M82A1 rifle in April 2012. Finally, in November 2022, another unnamed Ukrainian sniper in the Ukrainian National Guard reported a 2,710-meter sniper kill with a Snipex Alligator rifle.
The Volodar Obriyu, Ukrainian for Horizon's Lord, is a Ukrainian-made multi-caliber rifle. However, the record-setting kill was reportedly made with a .50-caliber round. Specifically, Ukraine reports that the sniper used a newly developed round designated the 12.7x114mm HL. The rifle is visually simple in design, consisting of little more than a barrel, bolt, stock, grip, bipod, and scope.
Although grainy due to the extreme range, the video of the sniper kill reportedly depicts a Russian officer dropping after the shot. "SBU snipers are changing the rules of world sniping, demonstrating the ability to work effectively at fantastic distances," the Security Service of Ukraine said in a statement. "The occupier was eliminated by a precise shot of our special forces."