There are a number of top snipers throughout history whose skill, marksmanship and dedication earned them a spot on this list. By definition, a sniper is one who can maintain a close visual of the enemy, engage a target from a concealed position or maintain a physical distance that exceeds the capabilities of the enemy’s personnel.
Snipers first appear in history in 1777 during the American Revolution. During the Battle of Saratoga, the Colonists would hide in trees and use their rifles to shoot British officers. The first official British unit of snipers was formed at the time of the Second Boer War, which occurred from 1899-1902.
Since the earliest recording of snipers, to present day, a number of great men have dedicated themselves to mastering the art. Their mark on history is indisputable. Below is a list of some of the top snipers throughout history.
A Look at Some of the Best
Rob Furlong – This Canadian Corporal is credited with one of the furthest sniper kills on record. The shot was made from 2,430 meters (2657.48 yards) – or just over 1.5 miles.
Chuck Mawhinney – Chuck was one of the US Marine Corps top snipers in Vietnam - tallying a total of 103 confirmed kills with an additional 213 unconfirmed.
Vasily Zaytsev – This WWII Soviet sniper is credited from some sources as having made 242 confirmed kills.
Lyudmila Pavlichenko – What makes this Russian sniper unique? Lyudmila Pavlichenko was a girl. During World War II she was credited with 309 kills. She is believed to be the most successful female sniper in history.
Francis Pegahmagabow – Francis is known as one of the most credited snipers of WWI. He is credited with killing 378 Germans and capturing 300 more.
Adelbert F. Waldron III – Adelbert F. Waldron III was a US Army sniper during the Vietnam War. He had 109 confirmed kills.
Simo Haya – This Finnish sniper has the highest recorded number of confirmed sniper kills during any major war— 505. He fought during the Winter War, which occurred between the Soviet Union and Finland just two months after the onset of WWII. What makes his record unique is Hay never used laser sight or .50cal ammo.
Carlos Hathcock – Famous for the feather he wore in his hat. Hathcock is credited with 93 confirmed kills during the Vietnam War. Some affirm his unconfirmed kills could reach well into the hundreds.
Craig Harrison – Serving in Afghanistan, Craig Harrison of the British Army set the record for the longest confirmed sniper kill in combat - 2,707 yd, or just over 1.5 miles.
Many great snipers have graced the world’s military. This list represents just a few of the top snipers throughout history.