- Former USAMU WW2 sniper received the coveted Black Hat in March 2009.
- The veteran made an impossible 1000-yard shot using a custom Remington Model 700. The challenge took place at Fort Benning Military Base.
- Shooting USA set up the shot challenge after Gundy wrote to them about his experience in WW2. Gundy scored on all three consecutive shots.
In March 2009, The USAMU (United States Army Marksmanship Unit ) awarded 84-year-old Ted Gundy a former WW2 sniper the coveted Black Hat. Gundy is a World War Two veteran who actively contributed to the Battle of Bulge, Cologne Plains, and Remagen Bridge with the 99th Infantry Division.
Only the US Army’s finest shooters have been bestowed the honour of the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit’s (USAMU) Black Hat. It symbolizes unmatched discipline, expertise, and high professional standards. Historically, there have been only eight recipients of the Black Hat outside of the Marksmanship Unit.
Gundy was made his unit’s sniper after he scored highest in his basic rifle qualification training. He was sent to Belgium in 1944 , just before the Germans launched their last major offensive.
During an official visit to Georgia’s National Infantry Museum, Gundy performed burial services for fellow veterans wearing his army uniform. On this occasion, he received the Black Hat for the impossible 1000-yard shot that he made at the age of 84.
What happened with Shooting USA?
Shooting USA, a shooting enthusiast website, wrote about how modern military snipers make shots at more than 1000 yards. Gundy read the article and reported that shooting at 1000 yards was impossible with the weapons he used in the Battle of Bulge in 1944.
The editors at Shooting USA decided to give Gundy another chance with modern weapons.
Jim Scoutten, from Shooting USA, approached the USAMU and requested if it was possible to bring Gundy to Fort Benning’s military range in Georgia. The sniper team agreed and made arrangements to welcome the old soldier.
The Impossible Shot
Since Gundy had not fired a shot since World War Two, his warm-up target was 300 yards away. Surprisingly, he consecutively hit the target three times using a replica of the Springfield Model 1903 A4. A weapon similar to the one he used against the Germans during WW2.
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On that day, Navy Arms, the replica gun manufacture, also gifted him the weapon.
Moving to the next round, Gundy faced what he thought was an impossible shot. A target at 1000 yards using the USAMU’s custom Remington Model 700.
Gundy expressed in a 2009 Shooting USA video, “I couldn’t dream how you would do this in a thousand years.”
He added, “How you’d even see it, a human that far away … I hope I can hit the target, but if I were betting money, I’d bet nine to one that I don’t.”
Before the shot, USAMU’s sniper team gave Gundy some advice. For example, how a weapon’s accuracy could be affected by environmental factors, and how to adjust for those. Gundy examined two snipers as they fired test shots for him.
When the time came, the old veteran did not bet against himself despite the odds.
Rightfully so, he scored a headshot on his first attempt. Similarly, he shot another on his second and even the third attempt. Watch the video here. Sadly, the old veteran passed away on a Monday afternoon on 12th October, 2015.
United States Army Marksmanship Unit (USAMU or AMU)
The USAMU is a part of the U.S. Army and provides arms marksmanship training to all soldiers. In addition, it enhances the army recruiting process. Established in 1956 by president Dwight D. Eisenhower, the USAMU also competes in international shooting competitions.
Following the launch, six USAMU members won medals for shooting in the 1964 Summer Olympics. Since then, the USAMU has earned a reputation as the country’s premier training school for competitive shooters.