This article was originally posted on Thefirearmblog.com
We at TFB reported on October 9th, courtesy of Hrachya H., that Lobaev Arms from Russia had previously set the long range shooting world record. They used a wildcat cartridge based off of the .408 Chey Tac called a “.40 Lobaev Improved” to accomplish the tremendous feat. What the .40 Lobaev Improved offers, similar to Ackley cartridges, is an increased case capacity. Unbeknownst to the Lobaev Arms team, an American shooting team had reached out even further without their knowledge because they had not gone public with it yet. That American shooting team was led by former Navy SEAL Sniper Charlie Melton.
Charlie Melton, the owner of Charlie Mike Precision shooting school, worked with Brad Stair of Performance Guns to accomplish the 2.84 Mile shot on September 30th, 2017.
The rifle that Brad built up for Charlie was an Armalite AR-30 chambered in “.408 Tejas” which is another wildcat caliber based off of the .408 Chey Tac. Once again, what the .408 Tejas offers over the .408 Chey Tac is increased case capacity.
An essential rundown of the setup Charlie Melton used for this world record long range shot looks like this:
- “Performance Guns” Rifle Build: Armalite AR-30 .408 Tejas
- Barrel: 31″ Pac-Nor w/ Armalite Muzzle Brake
- Ammunition: 420 Grain Screw Machined Bullets – 3,065 FPS
- Trigger: “Jewell Triggers” tuned to 6 oz.
- Bi-Pod: Shots Gunsmithing Bi-Pod designed for the Armalite AR-X series
- Scope: Nightforce NXS 12-45x56mm
- Rings: Ivey Adjustable Scope Rings w/ a Charlie TARAC Prism
Most of the gear they used is very specialized, supremely high quality and fairly straight-forward to understand. The one piece of equipment that is especially unique and uncommon is the Charlie TARAC Prism. In an extremely compressed explanation, what the Charlie TARAC Prism from TACOMHQ accomplishes for the user is it provides elevation gain, or enough room within your scope to hit your target, at extremely long distances. My good friend and great writer from GunsAmerica, Thomas Gomez, does a phenomenal job of explaining what the Charlie TARAC Prism from Tacom HQ is truly capable of for the user.
When it boiled down to the preparation of the shot that was to be attempted, they made handloads in groups of 10 with varying powder charges in each batch of 10. Essentially, a ladder test was worked up for their .408 Tejas hoping one batch would group slightly better than the others allowing them to connect on target.
After shooting through 3 batches unsuccessfully, Charlie Melton connected on target with his 7th shot in the 4th batch; round number 37. According to some number crunching by Thomas Gomez, who is an avid and accurate long-range shooter in his own right, the bullet that finally connected on target was likely in flight for 12.816 seconds!!! Charlie could have lit a victory cigar by the time it hit!
Thomas Gomez interviewed Brad Stair of Performance Guns inquiring just how accurate is the gun he made for Charlie to accomplish this incredible shot. Brad stated that it was capable of 1/4 MOA at 100 Yards. That is roughly (not an exact conversion) the ability to shoot 1/4″ groups at 100 yards! Brad elaborated that most all of the rifles that leave his shop for customers are capable of a 1/4 – 3/8 MOA at 100 yards.
Congratulations Charlie Melton, Brad Stair and everyone involved in helping to complete that shot! That is truly incredible!