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Food for thought: Or at least Oreos For Thought as this is more Junk Food than nutrition.

My wife & I were flying in a hot air balloon. The "pilot" said that air currents went in various directions. That we were flying through a layer cake of different speeds and directions of breeze. So that to attempt steer a balloon the method was to descend, to the altitude where the wind was moving in the desired direction.

So he spit.

The spit-blob would fall and ------and as we watched, it would zig right, then left, as it fell. He would then lower us to where the wind seemed to be heading the correct way. Thus he was able to "steer" us directly to one of their landing sites. The guy was very good at this. Had I been running that rig I'd end up in Bolivia.

The point is that this .50 Cal Long Shot, as it traveled it's long & tall arc, likely had to traverse many layers of air, that were moving in several different directions.

With literally no way to see, thus account for, that effect.
 

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69 shots to hit a target the size of a barn door.
It's like a million monkeys sitting at a million typewriters til one of them writes like Shakespeare.....
Exactly! If they could set up and hit the gong in 10 shots or so, THAT would be quite the feat. But to just keep launching bullets until one hits...not exactly earth shattering.

I shoot .22 benchrest. We shoot at 50 yards and to hit the "X", which is a dot about the size of the head of a pin, we're always taking the wind into account. In 50 yards, it's not uncommon for a light wind to push the bullet 1/8"-1/4". Plus, sometimes, in just 50 yards, one wind flag is showing right to left wind, and the next one 15 yards away shows wind from the opposite direction. So take that info and turn the 50 yards into 7,744 yards and there's absolutely no way to judge and hold for the wind. And trust me...it's ALWAYS blowing. Having said all this, every shot this group made was a bang and a prayer.
 

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It would be straightforward to radio sonde with ballon to get the physics of the air. Plug that into a ballistics program to get the point. Is it all that different than a howitzer except for scale?
 

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It would be straightforward to radio sonde with ballon to get the physics of the air. Plug that into a ballistics program to get the point. Is it all that different than a howitzer except for scale?
Definitely. The more mass the projectile has, the less effect the wind would have on it. At just 50 yards, the wind blows our little Eley 40 grain bullets (.22 benchrest matches) where ever it wants to. Over the 7,744 yard distance, the wind could have lots of effect on a rifle round.
 

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it was actually a .416, which helps a LOT.
Food for thought: Or at least Oreos For Thought as this is more Junk Food than nutrition.

My wife & I were flying in a hot air balloon. The "pilot" said that air currents went in various directions. That we were flying through a layer cake of different speeds and directions of breeze. So that to attempt steer a balloon the method was to descend, to the altitude where the wind was moving in the desired direction.

So he spit.

The spit-blob would fall and ------and as we watched, it would zig right, then left, as it fell. He would then lower us to where the wind seemed to be heading the correct way. Thus he was able to "steer" us directly to one of their landing sites. The guy was very good at this. Had I been running that rig I'd end up in Bolivia.

The point is that this .50 Cal Long Shot, as it traveled it's long & tall arc, likely had to traverse many layers of air, that were moving in several different directions.

With literally no way to see, thus account for, that effect.
 

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Hitting that target 3 times in a row would be skill.
you are so right! give it a try! not to be a jack ass, but some of ya all seem to think this is easy, doesn't matter, or who cares. stop and think about this. it is a world record, it moved the goal by a full 10%, and as the write up states, this work will be studied for some years to come. will effect how training is done in sniper schools. how equipment is designed. and yes this shot also had to take into account rotation of the earth.
 

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I concur with best.45. No easy feat, even with multiple shots.

Today I was looking at a group of buildings which is visible from my home on clear days. Same approx distance as this Long Shot. It's a cluster in the distance. One cannot see the smaller structures but the big buildings can be made out.

Then using my 7-21 x 40 binoculars I can make out fuzzy dots on one building that I presume are sliding glass balcony doors. Which would be similar in size to the target in this story.

But hitting one? No way. Maybe I could randomly hit somewhere, on one of the several buildings, with a whole day to do it, some luck, & an unlimited supply of ammo. But to hit one individual door, on one individual building? Nope.
 

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Discussion Starter · #56 ·
Exactly! If they could set up and hit the gong in 10 shots or so, THAT would be quite the feat. But to just keep launching bullets until one hits...not exactly earth shattering.
Yes, but at that distance, you have to be pretty damn good just to be in the right county. Its not just lobbing lead, its hitting a sheet of plywood from 4+ miles. Evidently, it is earth shattering since its a record!!!
 

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Hmmm... I don't know. Seems more like an artillery or mortar pattern of dispersion than an exercise in rifle marksmanship (50% over, 50% under, 50% left and 50% right of the calculated point of aim). A single hit on a 1.5 MOA x 1.5 MOA target out of nearly 70 shots fired just sounds pretty random. Fire enough rounds and eventually you'll get a lucky hit right on the designated target. There's a reason why the big guns use fragmenting high explosive shells and measure accuracy by getting hits within the bursting radius of the target. Unfortunately, with rifle fire close just doesn't count.

I'm sure the team put a lot of time and effort into calculating the winds, etc., and there was certainly some skill needed. However, throw enough technology into reading the winds and calculating the holds and the exercise begins to look like a team running a fire direction center and not so much like a shooter, a spotter and a rifle.
 

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Discussion Starter · #59 ·
😆 OK, OK…….you guys sound as if you could pull it off on a Saturday afternoon.
I’ll guarantee, that if you sat at that same bench and gazed off in the distance, you would have a different opinion. It’s 4-1/2 miles fellas. Hitting a grain silo at that distance would be a trick. With that scenario in mind, one has to wonder what the percentage of hits would be?
 

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Yes, but at that distance, you have to be pretty damn good just to be in the right county. Its not just lobbing lead, its hitting a sheet of plywood from 4+ miles. Evidently, it is earth shattering since its a record!!!
Not a sheet of plywood.

"The target they shot at was constructed of thin sheet metal and measured 10 feet wide by 7.6 feet tall."

My point is that with the variability I've seen in wind patterns shooting my little .22 benchrest rifle at just 50 yards, their shot that finally struck the target had a large degree of luck to it. It easily could have been pushed by the wind in both directions 10 times before reaching the target.

I think the most interesting fact concerning this record and the one that previously held the record is that they both hit on the 69th shot. Hmmmm.....
 
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