The McMillan TAC-50 is a bolt-action .50 calibre sniper rifle. Canadian snipers used these in Afghanistan to great effect. Several teams operated in support of American troops and their help was so appreciated that the Americans awarded each man a Bronze Star.
Master Corporal Graham Ragsdale, Master Corporal Tim McMeekin, Corporal Dennis Eason, Corporal Rob Furlong and Master Corporal Arron Perry.
One sniper, Corporal Rob Furlong, attained fame for the longest distance kill shot, 2,430 m (2,657 yds) by a sniper during Operation Anaconda 2002 March 2 to 11. Although this record has since been surpassed (in 2009), as most records eventually are, it garnered a lot of attention at the time and did a lot to raise World opinion about the skill of Canadian military.
How did the Canadian Government react to the record shot and the award of the Bronzer Stars? Not well at all. They were embarrassed that Canadian soldiers were superb at doing their job. Canada has developed a myth starting in the 1970s approximately that Canada’s soldiers are not warriors but rather are mild-mannered Peacekeepers, bravely standing between two warring parties. That is actually an extremely dangerous role and Canadians have been killed on Peacekeeping duties. However the Canadian government’s “institutional memory” is greatly flawed and they forget that Peacekeeping is only one of many roles a Canadian soldier may be called upon the fulfill. A soldier’s primary duty is to fight.
Here is the actual rifle, serial number 99GA004 which Furlong used for that World record shot. The photos show it while on display at the Canadian War Museum in Ottawa in 2007. The photos were taken by Colin MacGregor Stevens and I have retouched them slightly, mainly to remove glare, sports and reflections as the rifle was inside a Plexiglass case.
Link to the Canadian War Museum’s artifact catalogue for this sniper rifle. “Object Number” (i.e. Accession Number) 20080103-001 Rifle made in 1999 by McMillan Bros Rifle Co., Inc. Model C15 ( TAC 50). Serial number 99GA004 The description is very poor as it says it was used in Canada (only) and does not mention the World record shot at all.