The Telegraph reports:
Gazing through the telescopic sight of his M24 rifle, Staff Sgt Jim Gilliland, leader of Shadow sniper team, fixed his eye on the Iraqi insurgent who had just killed an American soldier.
His quarry stood nonchalantly in the fourth-floor bay window of a hospital in battle-torn Ramadi, still clasping a long-barrelled Kalashnikov. Instinctively allowing for wind speed and bullet drop, Shadow’s commander aimed 12 feet high.
A single shot hit the Iraqi in the chest and killed him instantly. It had been fired from a range of 1,250 meters (1367 yards), well beyond the capacity of the powerful Leupold sight, accurate to 1,000 metres.
“I believe it is the longest confirmed kill in Iraq with a 7.62mm rifle,” said Staff Sgt Gilliland, 28, who hunted squirrels in Double Springs, Alabama from the age of five before progressing to deer - and then people.
“He was visible only from the waist up. It was a one in a million shot. I could probably shoot a whole box of ammunition and never hit him again.”
Later that day, Staff Sgt Gilliland found out that the dead soldier was Staff Sgt Jason Benford, 30, a good friend.
The insurgent was one of between 55 and 65 he estimates that he has shot dead in less than five months, putting him within striking distance of sniper legends such as Carlos Hathcock, who recorded 93 confirmed kills in Vietnam.
M24 Rifle manufactured by Remington.
[Commenting on this incredible shot from personal combat experience, a former Green Beret says:]
No matter how incredible it sounds, it really takes a long distance shooter to appreciate just how hard a shot that was to make.
There are so many things that have to work perfectly to make a shot like that. At that distance, even your pulse can make a difference of inches by the time the round gets to its target. And think about this, at 1000 yds, it takes 1.8 seconds for the round to reach the target. That's an eternity in combat.
Most people think Hollywood, and anything can be done there. That's why I try and take so many of my friends out at least once to my desert range, and let them try some long shots, snap shots, and even double taps with the pistols. Because it all looks so easy when Clint, or Bruce, or Arnie does it...but when they try it, it gives them a little appreciation of just what skill it does take to do things like that. Watching people try to shoot double taps is really amusing. A majority of the time the second round hits the dirt five feet in front of the target, and the total distance to the target is sixteen feet.
And I am in awe of this guy, I don't know if I would have chanced the shot. And even though he agrees it was luck-- I think his comment was give him a million rounds, and a million chances, and he might never do it again-- it is still very impressive.