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Ukrainian sniper breaks world record with 3.8 km shot using Horizon's Lord sniper rifle

As reported by Albina Fella on November 18, 2023, a Ukrainian sniper associated with the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) recently achieved a new record for a successful sniper shot. Using the Ukrainian Horizon's Lord sniper rifle chambered in 12.7×114mm HL, the sniper hit a Russian soldier with a 12.7x114 Wildcat cartridge at a distance of 3,800 m, surpassing the previous record of 3,540 m. A video has been released to provide evidence of this achievement, clearly depicting the precise hit on the Russian soldier.
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Unveiled in 2021, the Horizon's Lord sniper rifle, developed by the Ukrainian MAYAK arms plant, employs a novel cartridge, the 12.7x114HL, derived by necking down the 14.5x114mm case. (Picture source: Ukrspecexport)

In the domain of sniper engagements, instances of confirmed kills at distances exceeding 1,250 m have been recorded, though it's important to note that such data is not consistently tracked or managed through official channels. The top five instances of these long-range kills are noteworthy for their exceptional distances, with only 22 confirmed kills recorded beyond the 1,250-meter mark. This Ukrainian sniper simply achieved the longest recorded sniper kill at 3,800 m using the Horizon's Lord rifle chambered in 12.7×114mm HL during the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

In May 2017, a member of Canada's Joint Task Force 2 (JTF-2) achieved the second-longest recorded sniper kill at 3,540 m during the Iraqi Civil War. The third position goes to an Australian sniper from the 2nd Commando Regiment, SOCOMD, Australian Defence Force, who achieved a kill at 2,815 m in April 2012 during the War in Afghanistan.

The fourth position is held by a Ukrainian National Guard sniper, who, in November 2022, achieved a kill at a distance of 2,710 m during the Russian invasion of Ukraine. The sniper used the XADO Snipex Alligator rifle chambered in 14.5×114mm. In the fifth position is an English Corporal who served with the Blues and Royals of the Household Cavalry, who, in November 2009, secured a kill at 2,475 m using the Accuracy International L115A3 rifle and .338 Lapua Magnum LockBase B408 bullets during the War in Afghanistan.

Ukraine Horizon Lord sniper rifle 925 002

The bolt mechanism incorporates two rows of locking lugs. Fired cartridge cases are ejected downward, facilitating the loading of new rounds into the chamber through the bottom ejection port. (Picture source: PJSC “Plant Mayak”)

Unveiled in 2021, the Horizon's Lord sniper rifle, developed by the Ukrainian MAYAK arms plant, features a single-shot bolt-action design and employs a novel cartridge, the 12.7x114HL (the abbreviation HL is assumed to represent Horizon’s Lord), derived by necking down the 14.5x114mm case. This design choice aims to provide the rifle with an extended effective range and improved trajectory compared to rifles chambered in .50 BMG.

The Horizon's Lord rifle is characterized by a single-shot bolt-action mechanism and a substantial barrel length of 1000mm. To meet practical battlefield requirements, the rifle adheres to weight and length restrictions, with a maximum overall weight of 15 kilograms and a folded stock length not exceeding 1.6 m.

The development of the 12.7x114HL cartridge was driven by the need for a versatile round, offering precision long-range shooting capabilities and specialized bullets suitable for anti-materiel applications. The choice of the .50 caliber was motivated by its compatibility with precision long-range projectiles and the availability of various special military bullets used in .50 BMG and 12.7x108mm rounds.

The performance enhancements of the 12.7x114HL cartridge include flatter trajectories, extended supersonic range, enhanced energy retention at extended distances, and reduced sensitivity to wind effects. Additionally, the cartridge achieves a 30% reduction in recoil compared to the 14.5x114mm.

Regarding ammunition details, the use of custom-made brass cases sourced from a US manufacturer and designed for .50 BMG boxer primers, along with the selection of .50 BMG powders from manufacturers like Alliant, Hodgdon, and Vihtavuori, underscores the emphasis on precision.

Looking toward the future, ongoing negotiations with a US company aim to develop a slower burning powder tailored for the 12.7x114HL cartridge, potentially increasing muzzle velocities. The versatile design of the Horizon's Lord rifle allows for the easy interchangeability of calibers, accommodating transitions between .416 Barrett, .460 Steyr, .50 BMG, or 12.7x108mm. Additionally, a straightforward barrel change facilitates conversion to 14.5x114mm or 23x115mm.

Beyond its individual capabilities, the Horizon's Lord rifle is designed to foster compatibility with other firearms. Other rifles and machine guns chambered in 14.5x114mm can be easily converted to fire the 12.7x114HL cartridge. Moreover, the company is actively developing a new machine gun named UKR (УКР) chambered in this innovative cartridge, signaling a broader integration of the 12.7x114HL ammunition across different firearm platforms.


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