From breaking distance records to having the most confirmed kills, history is full of extraordinary individuals with the divine skill of being able to take down a human target in inhumane conditions. By far, these trained killers stand out as the ten most deadly snipers that ever lived.
10. Craig Harrison
Designated the “Silent Assassin,” British Army sniper Craig Harrison broke a distance record by killing two Taliban machine gunners from a mile and a half away. The New York Daily News reported that the two targets were taken down from a distance of 8,120 feet. The confirmed kills took place in Afghanistan in November of 2009.
Harrison broke the record with a British-built L115A3 Long Range Rifle, which only has an effective range of 4,921 feet. When asked how he did it, Harrison replied, “Conditions were perfect, no wind, mild weather, clear visibility.
9. Carlos Hathcock
Dubbed “Long Tra’ng” (“White Feather”) by his North Vietnam enemies, Carlos Hathcock was a United States Marine Corps sniper during the Vietnam War. According to the Cleveland Advocate, he was one of the first snipers to ever use the .50-caliber as a sniper weapon.
Hathcock was famed for his service record of 93 confirmed kills. He was also known for his ability to successfully complete extraordinary missions. In the first sniping event he encountered, Hathcock and one other U.S. sniper held down 100 Viet Cong soldiers for five days. He is also known for killing one of the most sadistic individuals encountered by the U.S. in the Vietnam War – a female Vietnamese officer nicknamed the “Apache” due to her vicious torture methods. So feared was Hathcock by the Viet Cong, they eventually put a $10,000 bounty on his head.
8. Charles “Chuck” Mawhinney
Chuck Mawhinney’s father was a Marine in World War II, so he felt he was destined to be one, too. Graduating from high school with the Class of 1967, he immediately joined the service. After successfully completing Scout Sniper School at Camp Pendleton, he was sent to Vietnam in May of 1968.
According to American Rifleman, Mawhinney was taught how to shoot from a very young age. He was quoted as saying, “There wasn’t any big transition from hunting in Oregon to becoming a sniper.” The American sniper had 103 confirmed kills and another 216 probables, making him one of the deadliest Marines to ever hit the battlefield.
7. Adelbert Waldron III
Until 2011, Adelbert “Bert” Waldron held the record for the most confirmed kills by an American sniper. Serving as a U.S. Army sniper, Waldron had 109 confirmed kills during the Vietnam War.
Sniper Central reported that Waldron originally joined the U.S. Navy, for which he served twelve years. A few years after leaving, he enlisted in the U.S. Army and qualified as an expert marksman. After graduating from sniper school, he once again worked aside Navy men in the Mekong Delta. Waldron was credited with making a single shot confirmed kill at 900 yards from a moving Tango boat.