The Snipers with the Most Confirmed Kills

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The Snipers with the Most Confirmed Kills

In the history of military warfare, a sniper is someone who is not only well-trained but is a force multiplier. Capable of holding back much larger groups, a great sniper can engage a target without being spotted. As such, a sniper can hold up entire troop movements until their position has been identified and eliminated. 

To become a sniper, you not only have to be extremely skilled, but you also need a lot of patience. Some snipers wait for days before their target appears without moving from their position. This takes much more than skill. With this in mind, let’s take a look at the snipers with the most confirmed kills in history.

20. Zhang Taofang

China flag waving on sundown sky
The most successful sniper in Chinese history.

Considered the most successful Chinese sniper of all time, Zhang Taofang is credited with 214 kills. All of Taofang’s work came during the Korean War and lasted over 32 days. What’s most notable about Zhang is that he only used an iron sight unlike other snipers on this list that used a scope.

19. Ranjith Premasiri Madalana

Sri Lanka Flag on pole for Independence day. The symbol of the state on wavy cotton fabric.
Ranjith is one of the few snipers who didn’t take part in WW2.

The lone Sri Lanka military member on this list, Ranjith Premasiri Madalana’s success came during his country’s civil war. Fighting between 2000 and 2009, it’s believed Ranjith had over 217 confirmed kills over these 9 years.

18. Mikhail Surkov

Flag of the Soviet Union. Russia is trying to restore the Soviet Union
Depending on who to believe, Surkov could be the world’s deadliest sniper.

A Soviet sniper in World War 2, it’s believed that Mikhail is credited with only 236 confirmed kills. However, newspapers wanted to provide a morale boost to the Russian people and credited Survok with 700 kills. If true, this would make Surkov the most deadliest sniper of all time.

17. Vasily Zaytsev

Statue of Vasily Zaitsev
A statute paying tribute to famous Russian sniper Vasily Zaytsev.

Fighting on behalf of the Red Army at the Battle of Stalingrad, Zaytsev has a total body count of 242 confirmed kills. Of these 242 kills, at least 11 are known to be snipers themselves. Zaytsev’s work as a sniper was so proficient, that the film Enemy at the Gates was made with Jude Law portraying the sniper.

16. Ivan Kulbertinov

The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics flag waving against sky, close up, isolated with clipping path mask alpha channel transparency
With over 252 to 487 kills to his name, Ivan’s position varies on this list.

Credited with 252 kills, Ivan Kulbertinov was a Soviet sniper during World War 2. What’s notable about Ivan is that his official award documents only account for 252 kills. However, a total of 487 confirmed kills can be attributed to his rifle, so Ivan’s position on this list varies.

15. Josef Allerberger

German flag in black-red-gold color on a sunny day in Germany. National yymbol of the “Bundesrepublik Deutschland“. Flag pole and wavy fabric blown in the wind on a blue sky day. Intense sunlit colors
Josef Allerberger is the second most successful German sniper.

A German sniper who fought in the 3rd Mountain Division, Allerberger has a confirmed kill count of 257. With this kill count, Allerberger is the second most successful German sniper of all time. Allerberger was an Austrian conscript drafted into the German army to fight against Russia.

14. Lyudmila Pavlichenko

A red push pin marking the port city of Odesa on the Ukraine coastline giving access to the Black Sea and invaded by Russian forces during the Special Military Operation
Lyudmila Pavlichenko is the deadliest female sniper of all time.

The most successful female sniper in history, Lyudmila Pavlichenko had 309 confirmed kills on behalf of the Red Army. Serving at both the siege of Odessa and the siege of Sevastopol, Lyudmila got most of her kills while serving on the Eastern Front.

13. Abu Tahsin al-Salhi

Target for shooting practice
An Iraqi soldier who saw action over many decades is 13th on this list.

As an Iraqi soldier, Abu Tahsin al-Salhi saw action starting from the Yom Kippur War to the 2003 US invasion of Iraq. Over this period, Abu was able to accrue an alleged 341 confirmed kills. There is a bit of an asterisk here as the body count is only attributed to ISIS kills and not other wars.

12. Matthaus Hetzenauer

big waving realistic national colorful flag of germany and national flag of austria . macro
Matthaus Hetzenauer will be remembered as the best sniper in German history.

An Austrian sniper and a member of the German army, Matthaus Hetzenauer is attributed with 345 Allied kills. Serving on the Eastern Front, Hetzenauer is considered the most lethal German sniper in history. What’s notable is that 345 confirmed kills were only counted as they were in the presence of an officer, so Hetzanauer may have an even higher body count.

11. Abukhadzi Idrisov

Red soviet flag waving in the wind.
Over 349 kills can be attributed to Abukhadzi Idrisov.

A total of 349 confirmed kills can be attributed to Red Army sniper Abukhadzi Idrisov. A Chechen sniper and machine gunner, Idrisov was yet another recipient of the Hero of the Soviet Union medal for his actions.

10. Semyon Nomokonov

Union soviet
Semyon Nomokonov was made a sniper by pure chance.

Logging a total of 367 kills, Semyon Nomokov participated in multiple battles during WW2. Initially joining the Red Army in August 1941, Seymon became a sniper by accident. After being transferred to a sniper platoon, he proved to be highly efficient across six different battle locations.

9. Francis Pegahmagabow

Francis Pegahmagabow
The ceremonial outfit of the most successful Canadian sniper in history.

One of the most efficient Canadian snipers in history, Francis Pegahmagabow has 378 confirmed kills to his name. An Indigenous soldier in the Canadian military, Francis is regarded as the most efficient sniper of World War I. Not only did he have 378 German kills, but he also aided in the capture of 300 more.

8. Stepan Petrenko

Gone symbol of Soviet Union
Stepan Petrenko was well known for his ruthless reputation as a sniper.

Credited with 422 kills in World War 2, Petrenko was awarded the Hero of the Soviet Union medal. After joining the Red Army in 1941, Stepan was sent back to a military school where his skill as a sharpshooter became well known. After being sent into battle, Stepan quickly earned a ruthless reputation for his sniper skills.

7. Fyodor Okhlopkov

The flag of the Soviet Union (USSR) waving in the wind.
Achieving 423 kills, Fyodor Okhlopkov wasn’t trained as a sniper until the war.

Well known for his 423 confirmed kills during World War 2, Fyodor Okhlopkov is another Red Army success story. Drafted into the Red Army as a machine gunner, Fyodor would soon become his unit commander. However, he was sent to another unit where he became a sniper after they learned of his background as a marksman.

6. Fedir Dyachenko

Communist Soviet Badge
Fedir Dyachenko was born in Ukraine and drafted into the Red Army.

A Ukrainian fighting in the Soviet Red Army, Fedir joined the fight on January 7, 1942. Receiving the Hero of the Soviet Union citation, Fedir is credited with 425 confirmed kills. Surprisingly, Fedir decided to become a sniper in the summer of 1942 after reading about successful sniper kills during Red Army attacks in Leningrad.

5. Nikolai Ilyin

Red banner with hammer and sickle. Flag of Soviet Union. Old symbol of communist movement. Red cloth in wind.
After starting the war as a machine gunner, Nikolai Ilyin was a successful sniper.

With 494 confirmed killed during World War 2, Nikolai Ilyin has the distinct honor of being the 5th most successful sniper in history. After joining the Red Army in 1941 as a machine gunner, Nikolai continued to work on his sniping skills. During the Battle of Stalingrad, Nikolai proved himself under fire where he achieved 95 confirmed kills in just 11 days.

4. Ivan Sidorenko

Target for shooting. Black and white light background or wallpaper. Backdrop on the subject of shooting sports and training
Ivan Sidorenko was not only a great shot, but he trained other snipers.

Considered a hero in the Soviet Empire, Ivan Sidorenko is credited with 500 plus confirmed kills. Taking part in the Battle of Moscow, Ivan was a self-taught sniper whose success caught the eye of his superiors. Ivan was so successful that he was ordered to teach 250 Russian soldiers to become snipers.

3. Vasilij Kvachantiradze

staircase to the entrance to the compositional center of the monument-ensemble “To the Heroes of the Battle of Stalingrad” on Mamayev Kurgan in Volgograd called Motherland Calls! view from afar
A staircase leading to a Battle of Stalingrad memorial where Vasilij got most of his kills.

The most efficient Soviet sniper of all time, Vasilij Kvachantiradze is believed to have over 500 confirmed kills. It’s assumed that of his 500 kills, at least 215 were German officers. Vasilij took part in many battles including the Battle of Stalingrad where he had 60 confirmed kills.

2. Simo Hayha

Germany and Finland two folded silk flag together
As the second most successful sniper, Simo Hayha had 542 kills.

Simo Hayha was a Finnish sniper who is viewed as the second most efficient sniper of all time. Fighting against the German invasion of Finland between 1939 and 1940, it’s believed Hayha had as many as 542 kills. Hayha remains famous for his “White Death” habit of lying in snow with white camouflage and picking off his targets.

1. Abdorrasul Zarrin

Abdorrasul Zarrin is remembered as the most accomplished sniper of all time.

A member of the Iranian military, Abdorrasul Zarrin is regarded as the most efficient sniper of all time. Serving in the Iran-Iraq war and the military between 1979 to 1984, Zarrin has 700+ confirmed kills. Unfortunately, he was killed in action in March 1984.

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