all those famed shots were more of flukes than of skill
The people who make these shots have a base of skills that provides the basis for staying alive while shooting other people at long range. Combat is not getting up for a warm bed and clean sheets with a perfectly zeroed benchrest rilfe and going out for a few hours and then when you get tired going back home and having a warm bowl of chili and a beer or if you happen to bang your rifle hard, stopping of at the range to check your zero.
A good combat sniper makes do with what he has and he does not have the luxury of going to zero his scope every time a flea lands on his barrel. My snipers were supposed to go and have the armorer pull PM on their rifles and scope and rezero once a month but in reality we ran so many missions back to back that they often went two or three month of full combat without getting a chance to check their zero. This is slogging through rice paddies falling down jungle hills and laying in rain. Lones Wigger and Virgil Umphenour regularly threatened to have me court martialed if I did not let my snipers come in once a month. You can google up both of these people if you wish. You can also google a pdf document call "Americal Snipers in Vietnam"
If a sniper needs to make a shot beyond the capability of his scope what should he do? Sit down and say too bad and give it up like all of you would or should he run the dial to the top and then try to use his knowledge and skill to compensate for lack of equipment and send a round downrange as best he can figure it out and if he misses just give it some more elevation and try again. Maybe if his PDA battery is dead or if his Kestrel 3500 will not read the humidty he should just call his mama and say he'll be home for dinner.
Here is an excerpt of the document and this guy is using a M21 with a 3X9 BDC type scope (Leatherwood ART) in a 1 inch tube. Do the math on the drops need ed for a 308 and see if any 1 inch tube scope in the world has enough elevation to get to 1600 meters. These are meters not yards so do the math. Then remember my sniper beat that shot by several hundred meters and it was witnessed by quite a few people many of whom are still living and I am in contact with them. The only way these shots get made is the guy dials to the top and then holds over some more.
And for all of you guys who kneel and worship at the alter of bullet expansion I will just remind you that these are FMJs.
Ok, I have ranted and raved and now I feel better.