Carter breaks two mile long-distance shot record
By Vanessa Oler
Raton, NM — Billy Carter, using 375 CheyTac USA, LLC. rifle, hit a 2.07 mile target at the National Rifle Association’s Whittington Center last Wednesday April 24, 2013. After one year of intensive training and practice, Carter’s achievement highlights the limitless possibilities of partnering CheyTac USA technology and expertise offered by the Whittington Center staff.
Carter grew up shooting on his father’s range, working every position in the growing company and now sits as Vice President of Carter’s Shooting Center, Inc. in Houston, Texas. CSC, Inc. is amongst the largest private firearms retailers in the country, boasting 60 years of unparalleled knowledge of and service to the firearms industry. To say the least, Carter knows his way around guns.
Competitive shooting, however, was never a pastime of Carter’s. “Aside from some registered skeet targets in the 70s, I never really got into all that stuff,” says Carter. “But then a buddy of mine came to me with some questions about reloading for long distance shooting.” Interest piqued, Carter signed up with Jim Elmore and Bruce Mansur, Gerald Guzman for the Extreme Long Range I course through the Whittington Center’s Whittington U program.
April 2012 brought Carter into contact with Jon Weiler. Weiler is a former U.S. Army Sniper with over ten years active experience. Weiler, through his private consulting company Professional Marksmen, Inc., works with enforcement personnel from the United States, Mexico, Taiwan, Singapore, Greece, The Netherlands, and Israel. In 2011, Weiler was contracted by the NRA Whittington Center to assist in the creation of their training division: Whittington U, focusing on the technical aspect of precision long range shooting.
“Weiler was an excellent instructor, designing the course to help you stairstep your way up to incredible distances. It wasn’t like you were just going to spend all day blindly shooting at some impossible target,” Carter says. “He teaches you how to succeed at shooting long distance by starting with the basics – correct prone stance, trigger control, and rifle positioning.”
Progressing through the long range courses at Whittington U, Carter began to realize his .50 BMG and 338 Lapua were insufficient for the upcoming Extreme Long Range III Course – with targets increasing in difficulty from 750 yards to 3650 yards. Finding a horrifying lack of data and an even smaller pool of rifles and cartridges to choose from, Carter began to scramble. Industry insiders hinted that Australian sniper teams were using a 375 CheyTac to cover distances in excess of 3000 yards.
A call to CheyTac USA, proved productive. “I asked them a simple question, if all the variables were accounted for was it possible? They were the only people who had confidence in their rifle, who could say – yes it would do that.” Carter bet it all and ordered the CheyTac M200 Intervention in June 2012. The rifle is chambered in 375 CheyTac caliber, weighing 31 lbs with an overall length of 53” and a barrel length of 29.” Scoped with Vortex Razor HD 5-20x56mm and a 35mm tube, Carter could see why CheyTac USA had such faith in their machine.
Compiling components for loading practice rounds also proved challenging. Using CheyTac USA brass, Federal GM215M primers, Retumbo Powder at 136.5 grains, Carter topped his load with a CheyTac USA 375, 350 grain Balanced Flight Trajectory, copper nickel alloy bullet. Not until March 2013 did all the elements of Carter’s gamble fall into place, just one month from the LR3 Course at Wittington Center.
The first day, the class checked all rifles on the sight in range at 500 yards and began engaging targets at 1200 yards. The winds picked up to 25 mph making accuracy challenging. A cold front moved in that evening, leaving even the Whittington Center staff anxious about whether or not their students would be able to accomplish anything.
Carter woke up to 22 degrees and laughed, “no one had prepared for this, and all kinds of crazy theories sprang up about how to counteract the cold. We were jumping in and out of our trucks to keep warm. At one point we had all the ammo in heaters, but as soon as that brass hit the cold air it was useless. With driven snow in the afternoon, visibility was zero so we just sat around, staring at each other and trying to keep from freezing to death.”
With only one day left, the class decided to go big or go home and headed straight for what was supposed to be their third engagement. This range had four targets: 1890 yards, 2970 yards, 3040 yards, and 3650 yards. Carter figured he could skip the first two, but was checked by Weiler.
“You have to build up to it, he told me.” Carter recounted, “I took 15-20 rounds to work my way up to the 3040 target. At that point you have to take a break. I pulled out my kestrels and started doing the math. My scope had no more vertical space, so I was forced to use five MOA at 3040, then calculate a full value 3 o’clock wind. Basically speaking, I was shooting out of my scope at that point. And hoping.
“And then it happened so fast. The first three shots, I wasn’t there and I knew it wasn’t going to work. But then I got close. The adrenaline started rushing and I couldn’t stop. I’m almost there, I thought. I’m almost there.”
Weiler, at the spotting scope, kept an even tone: “Same hold.” Carter shot again. Weiler let the excitement rise in his voice: “I can now say you’ve hit that 3650 target twice.”
“This was unreal. To think just a month before, I didn’t even know the velocity of my load! To pull off a two mile hit was such a rush. For everyone involved, it was dream come true,” said a grateful Carter. He plans to continue pushing himself and CheyTac USA technology to new levels as he keeps using the skills instilled in him by Weiler and the Whittington U staff.
Carter’s Country: www.carterscountry.net
Jon Weiler: www.professionalmarksmen.com
Video Interview: http://youtu.be/8t6V46lH3xs
Whittington Center: www.nrawc.org