The L115A3 long-range rifle was used by a British soldier to hit and kill two Taliban targets at a distance of 8,120 ft, a record for sniper shots. The weapon is a version of the 338 Lapua Magnum rifle from Accuracy International of North America Inc. in Fredricksburg, Va., the U.ŠS. headquarters of a British firm. It was modified under the British Ministry of Defense’s Sniper System Improvement Programme. So now it fires an 8.59-mm round, which is heavier than the original 7.62-mm round and, therefore, less likely to be affected by winds during long shots. It also has a spotting scope that magnifies by a factor of 25 instead of the original scope which only has 12× magnification. Muzzle velocity also increased from 838 to 936Šmeters/sec.

The civilian version of the rifle is available to qualified buyers, but prices are in the $9,000 range.

© 2013 Penton Media, Inc.