The world record for long distance shooting returns to France! On the Canjuers proving ground, in southern France, on 29 October 2016 at 17:30, the hour at which visibility is perfect as the “mirage” effect disappears with the progressive cooling of the air, Sergeant Major Benjamin of the 4th light cavalry regiment (4 RCh) fired 12 bullets in 10 minutes of which three hit a 1.9×1.28m target 4,150m away, smashing the previous 4,005m record set by a Finnish sharpshooter last August.
To give you an idea, that’s as if you’d hit a packet of cigarettes along the length of the Charles de Gaulle aircraft carrier (261.5m), the big difference being that when you’re attempting to shoot at something 4,150m away “a 0.1mm click on the rifle scope modifies the point of impact by almost 50cm,” the 4th RCh says on its Facebook page. Just like the previous French record set in 2015, this one required extremely detailed preparation based on a wide range of parameters such as hygrometry, wind direction, weather conditions, reverberation, atmospheric pressure and the Coriolis* effect.
The result was only possible thanks to an entirely customised weapon. It was a .408 calibre Cheytac (10.3mm) rifle designed in partnership with Armeca, based in Sérignan du Comtat. The scope was a Vortex Razor HD GEN 2 (4,5-27×56) with a tilt mount (made bespoke by Fabrice Clément); the action was a LAWTON 8000 and the barrel a LOTHAR WALTHER (32″ with 8 grooves and a thread of 13).
To attain this performance Benjamin also personally selected the materials used to make the bullets: Cheytac 419 monometallic projectiles, VIHTAVUORI N570 propellant, Federal GM 215M primers and BERTRAM cases.
*The Coriolis effect on the trajectory of a projectile is the consequence of the rotation of the earth so that a “stationary” target is not really immobile but is constantly on the move. As a result, the target towards which the projectile is aiming will have moved a small distance (relative to the weapon) during the time the bullet is in flight. Thus, the correction needed to compensate the Coriolis effect is similar to the anticipation necessary to hit a moving target.