DTA & DTM 3080 Yards with HTI .375 CheyTac

Recent news has been reported of two Australian Snipers who shot and killed a Taliban commander at a record distance of 3079 yards during a simultaneous command fire. They were firing two Barrett M107 .50 BMG rifles. There has been a lot of debate whether the equipment used had the accuracy or sighting capability to make such a shot even possible. Australia has some very capable snipers and we aren’t here to be a part of that debate, we just got overly excited about the news because we wanted to see what kind of accuracy was really possible at 3079 yards so we headed out to the Utah desert with our DTA HTI .375CT rifle and DTM ammo in hand to see what we could do.

Witnesses

We put word out to our online community to see if any of you wanted to witness the testing, and had more than 20 people show up. Thank you to all of you that attended, including a special thanks to Craig Sawyer who took time out of his busy schedule to fly up from Phoenix and support our efforts.

View of target being ranged by Vector IV military laser, we moved back one yard beyond this distance to make it 3080 yards.

On the Range

We setup two cardboard targets approx 6’5” tall and 4’9” wide at exactly 3080 yards (1.75 miles). At 3080 yards we were not able to discern impacts for two reasons, one because at 0 deg temperatures the ground was iced over with snow, and two it was just too far away to see impacts reliably (even with the Pricey Hensoldt 20-60x spotting scope we were using). Our solution was to put two observers down range located near the target behind cover so they could see exactly where each shot landed. We shot all firing strings under their observation.

After inputting all of our information into our ballistic computer it told us our hold and we also noted that the projectile was dropping subsonic at 2560 yards so it would be a test to see if the projectiles destabilized during their 520 yards subsonic flight. We took our first sighter shots and found we were low. Each sighter string consisted of two to three rounds fired then the observers would point out each individual impact while we observed through optics and communicated over the phone. We would adjust and fire again. Normally, when measuring misses I use my cross hairs to see how far off I am from my aiming point but at extreme distances it becomes problematic because the fall angle is so steep that just a few feet makes a very large difference in drop. When it looked like I needed to come up 0.5 MILS I really ended up needing 1 MIL. I really like the method of firing a multiple shot group prior to adjusting the scope because it keeps you from chasing your target around. Rifles shoot at an area and you want to find out where the center of that area is before you get frustrated and waste ammunition while making adjustments every shot. It took us 10 shots or so before we hit the target which happened after a final wind correction. When our final three sighter shots hit the right target, two of the sighters were in the paper and one just below. After we got the confirmation from the observers about the three impacts then we fired six more rounds for a record group size using the same elevation hold but compensating for wind shifts throughout the string. The six shot string fell on the lower half of the target with two rounds hitting the ground approximately 6.5” below the targets edge.

Results

• The six shot string had a vertical spread measuring just 23.75”, that’s 0.74 MOA folks!

• The two strings of fire added together made 9 shots vertically measuring 50.31” or 1.56 MOA and eight of those nine shots had a vertical spread of just 35.63” or 1.10 MOA .

• Do to the wind changes the extreme spread of the 9 shot aggregate group was 65.5” or 2.03 MOA. For those interested Average Group Circumference for the 9 shot aggregate was just 26”.

9 shot string hits are spray painted orange, two shots up on the paper were part of the 3 shot sighter group.

Conclusion

Once zeroed we consistently hit the target we were aiming at nearly every shot (78% of the time because our group was off center). After we fired and recorded the record groups then Craig Sawyer put three rounds into a 24” group, great shooting Craig! Troy Vanvaley also fired three rounds hitting two out of three on the left target. We had proved that it was possible to accurately engage a 4 to 6 foot target consistently at 3080 yards! If we weren’t all frozen to the core we would have shot a lot more and let the witnesses put rounds on the two silhouette targets we had setup at 2000 yards.

Craig Sawyer shooting the HTI 375CT

Details about the Equipment Used:

1. Rifle = Desert Tactical Arms HTI .375 Cheytac: At Desert Tactical Arms we manufacture the HTI (Hard Target Interdiction Rifle). It was built from the ground up for extreme distance firing. It is the most versatile hard target rifle in the world because of its portability, being: 12 inches shorter and 12 lbs lighter than the Barrett M107 and because it can quickly be converted between the most capable extreme distance factory cartridges in the world; Including: .50 BMG, .375CT, .408CT, and .416Barrett.

2. Ammunition = DTM .375CT 352 gr @ 3118 fps BC = 0.89: To make accurate and consistent hits at 1.75 miles the ammunition is the key, no matter how accurate a rifle is, it can only shoot as well as the ammunition fired through it. At 1.75 miles even medium velocity spreads create significant vertical stringing, runout, land distance, brass, projectile, powder, and primer combinations all factor significantly into it. Like a professional chef, this fine-tuned recipe is what creates the magic. That is why we are producing our own production ammunition because we understand the true importance the ammunition plays. DTM ammunition sets the new standard because it is held to the highest standards and nothing goes out with more than 0.003” of runout and our velocity spreads are unmatched. In our test we wanted to demonstrate the best performance possible and the .50 BMG round is far from the best cartridge for such a test. We believe that the most capable extreme distance cartridge available from ammo makers today is the .375CT (Cheytac) because The .375CT stays supersonic 600+ yards farther than the .408CT. (can you say WOW?) Unfortunately the .375CT has been unjustly overshadowed by it’s predecessor the .408CT. Desert Tactical Munitions currently manufactures exceptionally accurate match 375CT ammunition. All shots fired in this test were with off the shelf DTM 375CT ammunition randomly selected out of our previous lot#. Our .375CT is loaded with a 352 grain lathe turned solid projectile from Cutting Edge Bullets, they have a true G1 ballistic coefficient of 0.89 and a velocity of 3118 FPS.

a. Brief History on .375CT for those interested: When the folks at Cheytac internally developed the .375 variant the marketing folks hid it in the closet because they had already invested so much time and money on the .408CT and they didn’t want to hurt existing .408CT sales by marketing a newer even better cartridge. Luckily I had the opportunity to shoot one of the first .375CT rifles six and a half years ago at Cheytac’s facility in Arco, Idaho. I fired it at a rock 2650 yards away and my five round grouping wasn’t more than 2 ½ feet in size. I was so impressed by its accuracy and power that I ordered a custom .375CT build immediately following. Unfortunately the builder never delivered a finished rifle. When I originally founded Desert Tactical Arms the SRS was designed to be chambered in .375CT but I realized that Cheytac as a company was on shaky ground and component availability was scarce their quality unpredictable in those days. We elected to downsize the SRS to smaller cartridges including .308win/.338LM which was the right choice to make. Apparently I wasn’t the only one who appreciated the .375CT cartridge because today some very high quality components are readily available on the market independent of Cheytac.

3. Rifle Scope: Vortex HD 5-20x mounted in DTA 40 MOA tapered rings: Shooting this great distance it requires a scope with lots of elevation travel and a reticle with precise holdover points. With this setup we maxed the turrets elevation adjustment out at 30.6 MILS and had to hold an additional 10.25 MILS of holdover with the EBR-2B reticle. Unfortunately their reticle really ends at 9MILS, which made it less convenient, and necessary to use the thick stadia line as a elevation reference. With the necessary wind holds then I was on the side of the thick stadia line so it did not obstruct my vision of the target. I would have elected to get rid of the thick stadia line at the bottom and continued the hold markings all the way to the edge of the field of view. It is important to note that we had to dial down to 12x magnification in order to view the bottom portion of the reticle that we had to aim with.

4. Support Equipment LR-Accuracy Bipod and DTA rear monopod: In prone position provided a very stable shooting platform which is uncommon for big 50 BMG rifles.

Details About The Shooting Conditions:

It was very cold when we first got to the range it was 5 deg F and after we finished shooting it got up to 17 deg F. As I was shooting I noticed that my breath had created an ice patch on the side of the HTI’s aluminum receiver just in front of my face. I smiled because I knew nobody else would be crazy enough to be out on the range in that kind of weather. Luckily the HTI has a nice rubber insulated cheek piece unlike the Barrett M107 which you would freeze your face directly on its steel receiver. The shooting conditions were not ideal to say the least; I couldn’t feel my fingers after the first two shots. Keeping my shivering under control was not too difficult especially since our HTI is very stable and easy to shoot.

Shooter: Nicholas Young
Spotter: Russ Wallis

Environmental (verified with Kestrel weather station)
Distance: 3080 Yards verified with vector IV (reliably ranges to 6KM)
Temperature: 15
Barometric Pressure: 30.3
Altitude: 4,639 ASL
Humidity: 46%
Bearing: .08 degrees true
Wind 6-12 mph from 1700

Bullet Flight Data
Velocity Remaining at Target: approx 850+ fps.
Time of Flight to Target: 6.5 second flight time.
Wind 6 mph (gusts to 10-12)
Elevation Adjustment Required: 40.8 MILS above 100 yard zero
Wind Hold range: 1 MIL to 2.5 MILS
Supersonic range in conditions: 2560 yards

Nick Young
DTA President 

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31 Comments

  1. December 21, 2012, 11:20 pm   /  Reply

    Nice work Nick! Semper Fi Steve Reichert

  2. December 22, 2012, 12:23 am   /  Reply

    Thanks Steve! Next time you should come out bro!

  3. December 22, 2012, 1:01 am   /  Reply

    It was almost considered impossible to accurately hit a target at one mile…not this, Wow! I hope you guys will continue to explore the possibilities with even LONGER targets. Imagine the ability to hit targets in the combat zone at this distance and the life’s that can be saved…Great shooting. I hope the Sniper community sees this opportunity especially in the hot zone in the Middle East. I bet that commander’s entourage was like: “Where the hell did that come from?” Nothing is more demoralizing then to lose your commander and not know who did it…just saying. Keep up the good work. Any idea what this rig build cost?
    SSGT LoGiudice USMC/ARMY

  4. John Fioretti
    December 22, 2012, 2:44 am   /  Reply

    Now that is what I call Great Shooting, And looks like the Opportunity of a life time.. Keep up the good work…

    • New Shooter Dan
      December 23, 2012, 1:53 am   /  Reply

      Appreciate it man. It was a good time!

  5. Nukes
    December 22, 2012, 2:55 am   /  Reply

    Good work! Well conceived and well executed.

  6. Paul Hardy
    December 22, 2012, 4:40 am   /  Reply

    Damned impressive shooting! Hopefully one of the scope manufacturers will listen to your comments about the shortcomings of the scope used.

  7. Paul Hardy
    December 22, 2012, 4:41 am   /  Reply

    Also a damned impressive gun and cartridge

  8. December 22, 2012, 5:44 am   /  Reply

    Thank you SSGT LoGuidice for the support sir. The rifle kitted out the way we used it in this test is $9,820 with rifle, bipod, rings, and scope. Base HTI rifle in .375CT is $7015.

  9. Hayzee
    December 22, 2012, 6:13 am   /  Reply

    Aussie SAS snipers are some of the worlds best. No embellishment needed, no lies told, just quiet results…

  10. Greg
    December 22, 2012, 6:28 am   /  Reply

    Beautiful work. Enjoyed reading the write up. Thanks for taking the time to put this together with pics/video! God Bless, Merry Christmas!

  11. December 22, 2012, 8:48 am   /  Reply

    Nice work Nick, I have been trying to move my HTI clients to the .375. but many are invested in 50 BMG. But they all know they can come around to the .375CT without dumping an entire system and they will.

    Mike

  12. Rob Maylor
    December 22, 2012, 1:56 pm   /  Reply

    Awesome work Nick, wish I was there to have a crack myself. As you know I’ve been a sniper for quite some time, most of which was spent in Australian SF. On hearing about this “miracle” shot I dismissed it straight away, along with most other snipers that I have served with over the years. From personal experience behind the Barrett this is some extraordinary shot! It is still rumor here in Australia, and I’m guessing if it was true the shooter would’ve been made a political hero whether he liked it or not.
    You guys created some terrific results buddy, good effort. Will have my own DTA SRS by mid 2013……can’t wait!!

  13. December 22, 2012, 9:24 pm   /  Reply

    Guys,
    Russ Wallis our spotter who actually recorded all of the data and environmentals let me know that I had used the wrong environmental data in my report so for those of you running calculations on your ballistic computers, I apologize for the mixup. We are correcting the data right now.

    Actual conditions punched into the Trimble Thursday morning.
    Altitude 4639
    Pressure 30.3
    Temp 15
    Humidity 46%
    Bearing .08 degrees true
    Wind 6-12 mph from 1700

    • December 23, 2012, 6:54 pm   /  Reply

      Data has been corrected in the writeup.

  14. Dave
    December 24, 2012, 6:20 am   /  Reply

    As we say here in Texas: “Damn fine shooting thar, Tex!” I only hope that I can collect enough beer bottles to afford my own rig like that. Like y’all pointed out though, the scope folks need to catch up what with the distance technology you guys are fielding. All I can say is “Hot Damn!”

  15. December 27, 2012, 4:39 am   /  Reply

    Wery impressed with distanse.
    Merry Critmass and all the best at New Year!
    Vladimir

  16. January 5, 2013, 7:34 pm   /  Reply

    never undwerestimate a warrior with the proper eqiptment and motivation. sua sponte!

  17. Rob Biggs
    January 5, 2013, 9:38 pm   /  Reply

    Fascinating article and impressive shooting. You guys really have this down to a science. Based on what you know now, what range do you estimate is the upper limit for 2 simultaneous shots on a man sized target? Or, using whatever ammo and gun you want, at what distance would you say it is physically impossible to make a consistent grouping?

  18. January 5, 2013, 10:56 pm   /  Reply

    […] via DTA & DTM 3080 Yards with HTI .375 CheyTac | Com-Link. […]

  19. Steve Lewis
    January 12, 2013, 6:51 am   /  Reply

    Very impressive work, keep up the good work, hope to meet you sometime, best regards – Steve.

  20. Mars
    January 18, 2013, 3:48 pm   /  Reply

    Did you run a computer ballistics program before you made the shot and how different was it to the actual shot. I crunched the numbers into the applied ballistics program all came up the same or very similar, but the bullet drop milrads where way off!

  21. chris
    January 23, 2013, 5:11 am   /  Reply

    THAT SHOOTING IS AMAZING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! SRS owner UK

    • New Shooter Dan
      January 23, 2013, 8:01 am   /  Reply

      Thanks & shoot on. It sounds like some of the DTA crew across the pond are going to replicate or go even further here in the next month or so-are you going?

  22. January 24, 2013, 3:57 pm   /  Reply

    I’m so excited about the .375 CheyTac, sick rifle!

  23. February 23, 2013, 12:21 pm   /  Reply

    […] tal disparo es posible. La respuesta, como en el caso del récord anterior, ha sido afirmativa. AQUÍ está toda la información de las pruebas realizadas para recrear el […]

  24. Basie Marais
    March 5, 2013, 3:20 am   /  Reply

    I would like to know which case did they use to manufacture the 375 Cheytac …hust be something like a .416 case neck down to .375 or what?

  25. John
    November 8, 2013, 8:54 pm   /  Reply

    Shootin’….you call that shootin’?

    Why, back in my day, if you couldn’t kill a squirrel with a head shot at 100 yards with a .22 cal. rifle with open sights….well you went hungry.

  26. May 2, 2014, 10:45 am   /  Reply

    […] on the market… If consecutive hits at distance determine the best rifle, then I'd submit: DTA & DTM 3080 Yards with HTI .375 CheyTac | Com-Link Even still, the 338 is inferior as an ELR rifle compared to the 375CT… and distances beyond […]

  27. July 26, 2014, 1:11 pm   /  Reply

    […] That’s when Nick Young, founder and resident rifle savant at Desert Tech, decided enough was enough. He loaded up his HTI chambered in .375 Cheytac and made his way to the nearest 3,080 patch of long range history he could find. He brought along Russ Wallis as spotter, a handful of witnesses and Craig “Sawman” Sawyer, former navy Seal operator, sniper instructor and Top Shot instructor, to help with the documentation which can be found here. […]

  28. November 2, 2014, 1:50 pm   /  Reply

    I am also shootinh the M300 with the .375 CT.
    I would love to know what was the load recipe you guys used.

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