- Dave Thomas, Austin American-Statesman
Imagine for a minute you’re standing on a ledge atop the Texas Capitol dome, with a rifle in your hand that looks a sight more sci-fi than most.
Don’t worry, this story has a happy ending. Still, the Texas Rangers are watching you closely.
You’ve got that gun pointed south down Congress Avenue, all the way to a target no bigger than a couple of large refrigerators standing next to each other … next to Southside Flying Pizza. That’s right, as far as you could see before the road makes a curve toward the east.
You fire. Adjust. Fire. Adjust. On the eight shot, you hit that target, which is about 2.5 miles away from your perch.
Two and a half miles! Congratulations!
But it’s not a record. Bill Poor has you beat by half a mile.
A couple of weeks ago, the West Texas blacksmith and custom knife maker used a highly modified .408 CheyTac rifle to hit a target 3 miles away. It took 14 seconds for the round to reach the target.
Poor has witnesses and video for his world record shot, but Guinness isn’t recognizing the feat — saying shots using scopes don’t qualify.
Nonetheless, Poor has the crown among the Extreme Long Range shooting community … and a challenger. Retired Navy SEAL Charles Melton, whose 2.8-mile mark Poor eclipsed, is planning a 3.4-mile shot.
Though the notable straightaway on Austin’s South Congress Ave. wasn’t long enough to exactly illustrate Poor’s shot (three miles would take you past the H-E-B at Oltorf, all the way to the Habana Restaurant), there’s not a 3-mile straight shot anywhere.
No, no matter how many stand-on-a-tuna-can-and-see-Canada jokes you make about West Texas or Kansas or anywhere, at three miles you have to adjust six feet for the curvature of the earth. Then there’s cold weather, hot weather, wind, humidity — they all affect the flight of the bullet and the shooter has to account for all that. Poor discussed the science behind his shot with the Abilene Reporter-News last week.
Poor made his record shot on a ranch near Midland, but lives in Tuscola (once home to former Longhorn quarterback Colt McCoy) south of Abilene. In addition to a range of shooting interests, the blacksmith makes custom knives and shoes horses. His Facebook page makes the claim that he holds the world record for longest tomahawk throw.