What is the furthest distance that a rifle bullet can travel?

Written by keith bryant | 13/05/2017
What is the furthest distance that a rifle bullet can travel?
Snipers set the records for long-range shooting. (hardcore image by Andrey Kiselev from Fotolia.com)

The range of a rifle bullet can be considered in several ways. General range capabilities show the greatest possible distances. Effective range is a more precise measurement that factors accuracy. Long-range rifle shooting dominates the record books.

General Range Capabilities

The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, which regulates hunting, has a chart showing distance ranges for common sizes of ammunition. The distances can range up to a mile, depending on various conditions. The chart shows that 7mm, .338 calibre and .300 calibre Win. Mag. cartridges have the greatest ranges--up to 5 miles.

Effective Range

You will typically find "effective range" as a rifle specification associated with ammunition size. The Barrett M82A1/XM107 long-range rifle has an effective range of approximately 2,200 yards, using .50 calibre standard military ammunition. In 2009, Cheyenne Tactical introduced the M-200 .408 calibre Magnum; the company claims it has an effective range beyond 2,500 yards.


There is a difference between how far a bullet travels before it hits the ground, and how far it can travel with accuracy. In November 2009, a British Army sniper, Corporal of Horse Craig Harrison, logged two enemy kills in Afghanistan. Both targets were 2,706.7 yards away, setting a world sharpshooting record.

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