PINEDALE, Wyoming (KIFI) – A group of friends set the world record for the longest rifle shot at 4.4 miles on Sept. 13, but their journey to do so started a couple years back.
Shepard Humphries and Scott Austin led the group from Nomad Rifleman, a shooting range and training facility out of Jackson Hole, Wyo.
In 2020, they led a client to set Wyoming's long range shot state record at 3.06 miles.
This sparked Humphries and Austin's idea to break the world record, which, at the time, was four miles.
Later in 2020, they began planning and wanted to break the record by June or July of 2021, but complications and preparations stood in their way.
To achieve this shot, they needed a perfected, custom rifle, which wasn't completed until May 2022.
Scott Null and his sons, Meshac and Nehemia Null, from Driggs, built the rifle gathering parts from different states and even as far as New Zealand and Canada.
Once the rifle was complete, Humphries and Austin has their next set of challenges; testing the gun, weather and busy schedules.
The team was stationed throughout the range as spotters in enclosed steel bunkers, who communicates where the bullet made impact so that they could calculate a better angle and make adjustments.
But most of their spotting relied on sound of the bullet and where it could have hit.
Humphries says wind, temperature and humidity could be different in every square foot the bullet travels.
The team took 69 shots that day and finally hit the eight inch bullseye.
Humphries and Austin say their record breaking shot can not be easily repeatable even in the same hour due to temperature, winds or other factors.
Many hours of study and safety measures went into landing the 4.4 mile shot and Humphries says this is not something people should go out and attempt without proper education and practice.