The El Dorado County Sheriff’s Office has more than doubled the range of its specialized, long-range rifles. Supervisors approved a package of equipment the sheriff requested at their May 13 meeting which included two McMillan TAC-50 in 50-BMG combat weapons. The price for the two “packages” was $25,000 and includes training, scopes and other accessories. Compared to the .308 (NATO 7.62) rifles the department’s marksman unit has been using, Sheriff John D’Agostini explained in an e-mail to the Mountain Democrat that the TAC-50 is considerably more effective against “fortified stuctures (hostage/barricaded subject), long range threat, vehicle/vessel neutralization, etc.”
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According to the McMillan company’s Website, the TAC-50, was used in 2002 by a Canadian sniper in Afghanistan to kill an enemy soldier at more than 2,400 meters, “setting the world record for the longest successful tactical shot in combat.” That record was later broken in Afghanistan by a British sniper in 2009 who killed two Taliban soldiers at 2,475 meters.
The .308 is rated at about 1,000 meters. The company describes a range of ammunition that includes incendiary and explosive capabilities and the ability to destroy or disable vehicles, crew-served weapons and communications systems and “will penetrate most commercial brick and concrete walls.” The BMG designation refers to the 50 caliber Browning Machine Gun developed by John Browning in the 1910s.