Improbable Aiming Skills

    Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.
    Pretty mundane on this page.

    There, you see, is a man who could hunt flies with a rifle, and command a ducal salary in a Wild West show to-day if we had him back with us.


    With this, Talinia could split a hair on your head at 500 yards. Blindfolded.

    Item description of Bow of Destiny, Neopets

    If a hero picks up a sword, he will instantly gain Implausible Fencing Powers... and, similarly, if he picks up a gun, bow, crossbow, throwing-knife, shuriken, or other long-range weapon, he'll instead gain Improbable Aiming Skills.

    Basically, this is the natural flip-side to the Imperial Stormtrooper Marksmanship Academy—while villainous Mooks are terrible at aiming, heroes are inversely superb at it. This enables such feats as Blasting It Out of Their Hands, creating a Pinball Projectile, knowing how to Lead the Target from kilometers away, or the Offhand Backshot (the firearm-based answer to the Offhand Backhand), and is in no way dependent on the factual accuracy of the weapons in question. A frequent user of this trope is The Western, where the heroes are often using guns that were, in real life, notoriously inaccurate at anything other than point-blank range, for feats that would make a modern-day sniper with a top-tuned high-tech rifle turn green with envy.

    Improbable Aiming Skills is a prerequisite if The Archer wants to pull off a Multishot successfully.

    Warning shots might take the form of a Knife Outline or William Telling.

    Is sometimes parodied by implying that the shooter meant to do something entirely different and messed up in a spectacularly lucky way.

    The Achilles' Heel to someone with this ability is someone who can Dodge the Bullet. They tend to have little problem with Human Shield situations.

    Almost always used by The Gunslinger (or, in fantasy settings, The Archer). Contrast with A-Team Firing, More Dakka (which emphasizes quantity over quality), Shoot the Rope and the Imperial Stormtrooper Marksmanship Academy. When the computer AI pulls this off, it's The Computer Is a Cheating Bastard. See also Always Accurate Attack.

    Examples of Improbable Aiming Skills include:


    • Dodge's new[when?] commercial for their latest[when?] truck. The guy wakes up to the sound of a cricket chirping, in the middle of the night, across a babbling brook, and silences it with a single accurate shot with a compound bow in between chirps.
    • A recent[when?] advert on ESPN America to coincide with the new[when?] Sherlock Holmes movie had Robert Downey, Jr. (in normal clothes but clearly referencing Holmes) suggest that a play where a Quarterback's pass was tipped by an opposing defender only to land in one his team mates arms and be easily run in for a touchdown may not have been a fluke.

    Anime and Manga

    • In "Blade of the Immortal" Habaki has a pistol-wielding marksman who manages to save Habaki's daughter/subordinate from death by arrows, by shooting all 10-20 of them out of the air. Made even more improbable, by the fact that they were flintlock pistols.
    • With an odd example, Ataru Moroboshi usually uses a frying pan to block Jariten's fire breath and to hit him away, usually a few blocks. In one episode, Jariten's mother visits, and he tries to get a carnation for her, only to be delayed by many bizarre circumstances that you get used to when watching this show. In an act that might be considered kindness, Ataru hits Jariten with the frying pan, who goes flying...right into his mother's lap. Please note that Ten's mother was at least a mile away, which makes Ataru more or less as accurate as a sniper...with a frying pan.
    • JoJo's Bizarre Adventure has Hol Horse, whose Stand basically grants him Improbable Aiming Skills as he can control where the bullet goes after he's fired it.
      • Even further along the timeline is Guido Mista, whose Sex Pistols Stand kicks the bullets he fires out of a gun. If he doesn't feed them first they won't work and also will sometimes beat each other up.
    • In Jura Tripper, Tiger shoots a saddle latch, causing it to rip and release the saddle. From a flying dinosaur.
    • Mana Tatsumiya in Mahou Sensei Negima could ricochet her bullets and hit her targets with a sniper rifle, even when she couldn't see the target and was firing impact-fused bullets which should have detonated instead of bouncing. Similarly Gandolfini, one of the mage-teachers, was capable of intercepting an incoming bullet and hitting it head-on with one of his own.
    • Mazinger Z: One of the Dr. Hell's Mechanical Beasts (Jenova M9) could shoot down anything as far as one hundred kilometres away. Baron Ashura decided trying its aim by shooting down a passenger plane.
    • The king of Improbable Marksmanship, however, is probably Vash the Stampede from Trigun. Capable of putting a bullet down the barrel of a sniper's BFG from a kilometer or so away. Earlier in the series, he attends a quick-draw contest, and is able to ensure that every hit is non-lethal by flicking pebbles at the bullets in-flight and altering their course. In the same contest, he tries to get out of the qualifying round by intentionally missing the targets; he fails. Missing, that is.

    Vash: Eh... oops. I hit them all...

      • Vash aims, mind you, with a gun that has its sights off. Luckily he left his gun with a master gunsmith in one episode, the same episode we discover that his gun's sights are off by two inches after five feet. Presumably a master gunsmith would fix that.
      • Nicholas D. Wolfwood from the same series was also quite good, but he naturally pales against Vash.
    • Vash lost the title to Rushuna Tendo, the main character of Grenadier. Also a peace-loving, gun toting blonde in a red jacket, she at one point stopped a massive barrage of bullets by firing a single bullet, that caused a chain reaction where each bullet deflected the next bullet down the line until the final bullet destroying the machine gun firing said bullets (To be fair, the gun in question was firing them in a very tight spiral (kind of like an inverted gatling gun), but it's impressive nonetheless).
      • In the final battle in the series, in which Rushuna faces off against her Evil Counterpart, 80% of the bullets they fired would hit each other exactly between them. In one case, rapid-fired while jumping away from each other.
      • The improbable aiming with these two starts well before a shot is even fired: to load their guns, they literally thrust their chests in the direction that allows the bullets stored in their cleavage to leap right into the loading chambers.
      • The very first time you see Rushuna use her gun, she picks off a sniper from about a mile away. With a revolver. Firing it across her body at waist height. And she makes sure it's not a lethal shot.
      • I think you mean she's the queen of this trope, not the king. Also note that Vash does not need a gun to deflect bullets.
      • Also, Rushuna is probably based off of Vash, if you know what I mean.
    • Train of Black Cat pulls many stunts similar to Vash, including shooting down both barrels of a Dual-Wielding opponent and shooting other people's bullets out of the air (after a few seconds talking about how their shots would be ineffective anyway). Maybe most improbable is when he shoots a can off a stump, then shoots it five more times while in the air, aiming at the same spot where he shot it the first time. He only hits three, gets annoyed, and is later spotted next to a pile of similar cans having wasted a lot of bullets. One can only assume he got it right at some point.
      • Because he was transformed into a child at the time (and therefore couldn't handle the recoil of his gun), it's implied that he always gets it right in normal circumstances, and was frustrated by his inability to do so.
        • Actually, he hadn't yet been turned into a child. Still full-sized, he complains that he's "losing his touch" and that he needs to practice, something he apparently hadn't done in a while.
    • The vampire leads of Hellsing are extremely good (though not infallible) shots due to a sort of "third eye" superpower they have. Even more impressive is the manga's Rip van Winkle, whose magical rifle fires bullets that change course mid-flight to such a degree that they can hit multiple targets and blow up helicopters.
      • The fully human Integra Hellsing (in the first TV series at least). She is shown as capable of shooting the exact same spot on a target repeatedly (creating a single hole in it) and rapidly shooting the shape of a cross into the face of a vampire (take into account the gun's recoil and the fact that the vampire would stagger back after each shot).
    • Amazing shooting skills are a key characteristic of the female assassins in the anime Noir. Among other things, one of the characters—on two separate occasions—is capable of shooting the blade off a knife being swung at her partner. She does this with a handgun at up to fifty feet away.
      • Then again, Kirika was also raised from earliest childhood to be the perfect assassin, so it's reasonable to assume that her training included lots and lots and LOTS of firearms practice.
      • Are you seriously suggesting any use of this trope in anime is even remotely justified?
    • Gunsmith Cats revolves around high-octane gunning and driving around the streets of Chicago—and the main character's trademarked ability to shoot her opponents' trigger finger off at a generous distance. (Hence her nickname, "Thumb-Snap Rally".) She's also hit an oncoming RPG dead-center to detonate it before it reached her, put a hole clean through a target's hand from a neighbouring rooftop (although that wasn't with a handgun) and on more than one occasion has fired her gun in order to hit someone with the ejected bullet casings. Once when asked at gunpoint to disarm, she let her magazine fall on her foot, whereupon she kicked it back into place and shot her assailant (who was understandably dumbstruck at the maneuver).
    • Seto Kaiba from Yu-Gi-Oh!!, who on more than one occasion knocks something out of someone's hand with a piece of cardboard.
      • Before him, there was the Agent S5, who used poker cards as projectiles.
    • Yu-Gi-Oh! GX takes this further with Austin O'Brien, whose duel disk doubles a gun. He's more than capable of hitting a target several hundred feet away. For whatever reason, the cards tend to explode upon impact.
    • One Piece being a World of Badass, top snipers are commonly capable of pulling this off. Among the top contenders for main character Usopp's CMOA is when he hits the main antagonist of an arc with a rubber-band slingshot, while standing on the top of a tower several miles away while there is hurricane force wind, with perfect precision. Even the other characters point out that it should not be posssible.
      • Usopp also once shot a ball from his slingshot through a crown on a weathervane chicken that essentially across most of a city. He initially didn't see it because it was so far away.
      • There are two other characters connected to Usopp, who, at least at the time of their introduction, actually outclassed Usopp in Improbable Aiming Skills. These are Yasopp, Usopp's father, who has claimed to be able to hit an ant between its eyes. The other is Van Auger, Usopp's obvious Evil Counterpart, who has demonstrated lethal accuracy from so far away the main characters can't even see the island he's shooting from. It is unclear whether or not Usopp has surpassed either yet, though it seems almost inevitable that he ultimately will. Van Auger shouldn't be surprising, as his clothes, gun, and aiming ability all seem to be taken directly from Terry Gilliam's The Adventures of Baron Munchausen.
      • And now we have the Mato Mato fruit, who allows the user (the fishman pirate Vander Decken IX) to turn whoever he touches into a target, so that any item he toss will chase him down forever and hit him, unless there is an unavoidable or faster-moving object in the way.
      • Kizaru has shown himself to be a pretty accurate marksman too, shooting Luffy's seastone key in half from an incredibly long distance.
    • Riza Hawkeye from Fullmetal Alchemist. Her idea of disciplining a puppy is to empty a pistol's magazine around it, without even grazing the puppy. Not to mention that she can face even the most menacing monster calmly, only to lose it when she thought her beloved boss was dead.
      • The anime has one instance of her destroying a small tractor with one bullet, that is to say the vehicle fell apart.
      • Also, Izumi's pretty sharp with that knife, though she's more of a Kung Fu/Alchemy Badass than a Knife Nut.
    • Though normally she's Overshadowed by Awesome, sometimes to the point of being a Damsel in Distress (though, to be fair, her fiance Ranma Saotome gets the Damsel in Distress treatment too, sometimes actually being a damsel), Akane Tendo of Ranma ½ nevertheless is repeatedly shown to have amazing skill with thrown or projectile weapons. In one of the earliest stories, she manages to accurately shoot an arrow laden with a bag containing about a kilo of catnip, and repeatedly manages to nail just about anyone she pleases with thrown weapons, no matter what she's actually throwing. One notable example is when Hikaru Gosunkugi tries to ruin Ranma's reputation by dressing up in costume and harassing Furinkan Girls, only to pull this on Akane, who promptly attacks him and, when he outruns her, throws an apple at him. It bends around a corner, practically at a 90 degree angle, and hits him hard enough to knock him head over heels.
      • Ranma also exhibits some improbable aiming skills, as he was once able to flick a stub-sized pencil from across the classroom, while jumping, and stick it point-first into the hole of the fifty-yen coin in his teacher's hand. He was also able to jam a polearm weapon perfectly into the key-like slot on a statue, while falling from several hundred feet in the air.
    • In Higurashi no Naku Koro ni Kai, Kasai manages to snipe out all four tires of a van (think of the angles!) in under 7 seconds from a great distance. This apparently requires no resighting, reloading, or any movement on the part of the shooter.
    • In Rose of Versailles, Oscar is a legend with a sword, so when someone challenges her to a pistol duel, everyone thinks that she's **** ed. However, one Retcon later, she's also been practicing with guns her whole life. Who knew?
    • Kurz Weber of Full Metal Panic!! is apparently one of the most naturally talented marksmen in the world, and generally handles sniping duties for his unit. This includes, at one point, making a shot from the back of a moving truck that goes straight into a Humongous Mecha's machinegun, disabling the weapon—using an ordinary sniper rifle. His personal best? A 1,620 yard kill-shot at heart, at night, during a storm, suffering from dying injuries. At the time the novel in which this happened was written, the world record was 2,500 yards, with a considerably more powerful rifle, in considerably more ideal conditions (Good lighting, no crosswind...).
      • Compared to Kurz, Sousuke's marksmanship is merely normal, but he still nails a watermelon from something like fifty paces, blindfolded, during a game of crack-the-watermelon in Full Metal Panic! Fumoffu.
      • And then there was Shinji, he hit several turrets while running so he could be able to look at the girls bathing. He lands on Sousuke's crotch.
    • The Major from Ghost in the Shell once shot a fleeing perp in the ankle, as he was landing from a jump, at what could have been no less than a hundred meters. Justified somewhat with the Major being a full cyborg capable of acting with literally mechanical precision and has targeting software capable of calculating all aspects of the shot.
      • More justified in season 2, where they establish that she actually uses a specialized program loaded into her cybernetics just for shooting at specific ranges.
      • Specifically, she has a program capable of shooting down sniper rifle bullets with a Walther WA2000 at close range.
    • In the Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex 2nd GIG episode "Poker Face", the Major and Saito face off. It becomes a game of I Know You Know I Know when Saito is viewing the skills of The Major and realizes she does not have the software for midrange sniping skills. He attempts to shoot her before she can download the software. The Major had been fooling Saito into thinking that she couldn't shoot down his bullets midflight the whole time and shoots him in the eye. Maybe.
    • Vice of Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha, who managed to snipe the head of a Combat Cyborg who was attacking an ally, with said ally being in the way of his line of sight, through a building window, from a moving helicopter that couldn't be seen from said building. And he did this while said cyborg had previously been playing possum, so he only had a split second to react and perform the shot.
      • Subverted in a flashback by the same character. A gunman is holding a little girl hostage. He takes the shot and hits her in the EYE!!! The guilt from this caused him to quit his job as a sniper and become a helicopter pilot. The girl visits him later in the series while he is hospitalized and she appears to have a glass eye.
      • Near the beginning of A's, Nanoha, while training, uses a guided magical bullet to hit a juice can 100 times in midair, and is slightly disappointed when the can doesn't fall into the trash bin after the final strike.
    • Golgo 13 beats all of the above. In the movie The Professional, he killed a man by aiming through the skyscraper between them. Not enough for you? The pinnacle of improbable aim comes from the chapter "Hollywood Cinderella", where he aimed at a target by watching them on TV. He could probably shoot you from another continent given the right gun.
      • In the second episode of the recent anime, the cops manage to get all the evidence they needed to incriminate him: they found him in the only hotel room the shot could be taken from, they found the rifle he used in the dust chute, they found the shell from the bullet fired, etc. For all purposes, he was caught. Then they did the math on the shot: 500 meters away, through a two-foot gap between buildings, through tempered bullet-proof glass, at sundown with the sun shining on the window he was to fire through, with the wind blowing across the shot requiring it to be off-center. The cops determined the shot to be ABSOLUTELY IMPOSSIBLE. They had to let him go. The head inspector even commented "To prove that he's guilty, you'd have to prove there's a monster amongst us with the skills of a god." YEAH.
    • Mobile Suit Gundam 00's Lockon Stratos is recruited for the PMC Celestial Being because of his ability to, with the aid of his Dynames Gundam, shoot a satellite out of orbit from the ground, not to mention during the siege on the Ptolemaios, the Gundam was not calibrated and he ignored Haro's request to tune the gun and instead programmed it to manually target or else he would have been inactive for a good 10 minutes. That and he also has skill with a real life sniper rifle.
      • A less noticed example would be Gundam Wing's Lady Une. She managed a headshot with a standard hand gun, while the target was in free-fall and she was in the airplane she had trown the target out of 8 seconds prior.
      • Gundam Seed: Kira Yamato once he gets the Freedom Gundam. Granted, he is using a targeting computer for aid, but nonetheless, he frequently fires five beams at once, which disable (not destroy) five different mobile suits per volley. He's even better in Gundam Seed Destiny, where he's got even more beams and often fires from strange angles (such as being upside down). You could maybe chalk this up to his being a Coordinator... except that no other Coordinator in the series even comes close to that level of marksmanship. It gets to the point that some fans declare him a God Mode Sue due to his skill.
    • In Samurai Deeper Kyo, Basara, who is a member of the Junishinsho, is able to fire countless arrows at incredible speed, and almost never miss, even when he is aiming at such tiny points like eyes or in peoples' mouths. And as if that weren't badass enough, his specialty is firing his arrows in the air so that they will come down around him at the exact moment his enemies close in for the attack. It's implied that Basara is such a strategic genius that he can predict when his enemy will close in, but it seems more like a supernatural ability than anything else.
    • In the manga Gun Blaze West, "Target" Kevin is a sharpshooter... with a double-barrelled sawed-off shotgun. Yeah. He's also got a twelve barrelled number for special occasions, but still seems to think of himself as an ace marksman even though it would take more effort not to hit something with that monster.
    • Parodied in Ninin ga Shinobuden, where a squad of Ninja pin all of Miyabi's rogue summoning scrolls to the wall with shuriken. Then they all start expressing their surprise, as none of them had ever used a shuriken before.
    • Almost everyone in Angel Heart and City Hunter is crack shooter, but the most egregorious example is Umibozu, who retain his aiming skill even after got blinded. Really.
    • Let's not forget Jigen from Lupin III.
    • While training, Itachi of Naruto leaps into the air and, while upside-down, hits eight targets with his kunai, and strikes two of them in midair in such a way to divert their course to hit two targets behind a rock, while still getting those two to their targets. In an early episode, Zabuza throws some shuriken at Naruto, but Haku, who is standing between the two and off to the side, out of the way of the shuriken's flight path, throws needles at them and knocks them out of the air.
      • Apparently Tenten has this ability, however, this never stops anyone from just blocking or deflecting her ninja tools.
    • Madlax, who can kill anyone not protected by Plot Armor with a single shot regardless or whether or not she's running, jumping, or hanging upside down. Half the time she doesn't even aim.
      • Half the time she doesn't even have her eyes open.
    • Taken up to major proportions in Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann, which has Yoko in the Final Episode when she snipes the Anti-Spiral's Homeworld. Note that although it seemed like an easy hit, take into account that the fight had the Grand Zamboa and Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann moving faster than the speed of light. And Yoko STILL manages to hit her target even through a hail of laser fire while her target was moving at the speed of light. It's a Crowning Moment of Awesome for Yoko cause is just shows that she has some SERIOUS Sniper skills.
    • Although his excess of guns is usually just for intimidation (and laughs), Hiruma in Eyeshield 21 has insanely good aim when it counts with his guns or a football. The Kid, too, although he's descended from Olympic champion marksmen.
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      • Pretty much all the quarterbacks, as expected of them, have great aiming skills, with the biggest exception being (probably) Homer from the NASA Aliens/Shuttles, who has a super long, super huge pass, but has little control on where it lands and so he relies heavily on his receiver, Watt.
    • Throwing a fifty-meter long lance into low Earth orbit in order to hit an Angel barely a few hundred meters across dead on? It doesn't matter if the thrower was a semi-organic Humongous Mecha with a trio of supercomputers doing ballistic calculations, that sort of thing is a bit much for your average person. Apparently, Rei can do it.
    • Ookami-san's Ryoshi can shoot marble-sized balls with a slingshot with remarkable accuracy. He shot a moving baseball out of the way, for crying out loud!
    • Revy from Black Lagoon not only hits practically every time, but she does it wielding TWO GUNS AT ONCE! And it seems like every Mook she shoots dies instantly or is at least incapacitated.
    • In Hidan no Aria, Reki, who's signature quote is "I am a single bullet. It has no heart. Therefore, it does not think. It just flies straight towards its target", shoots the unilluminated clamp holding a bomb to the shadowed underside of a speeding bus off... from a distance of at least 200 meters... from inside a pace matching helicopter (think of the down draft on the bullet), through the siderails of the bridge that are flashing past several times a second... thus forcing the bomb to not only detach from the bus but bounce off the bridge to detonate harmless in the water. She is said to be able to shoot anything within a 2 km radius without missing.
    • In Digimon Tamers, Henry combines this with his usual What Do You Mean It's Not Awesome? posing. One card, three targets, and the card game wasn't even his forte in the first place.
    • Natsuki from My-HiME shoots several Flechette Storm magical darts out of the air with dual pistols.
    • In Canaan In the first episode, Canaan takes out several enemies at long-range with a pistol.
    • In Death Note, when in the last episode Matsuda manages to accurately shoot a pen out of Light's hand as he tries to write down Near's name on a hidden piece of Death Note.
    • Genjyo Sanzo from Saiyuki for sure. He has not only shot a single playing piece off a floating table when both of them were whirling around in a torrential maelstrom, he once shot a poison seed out of Gojyo's heart with such pinpoint aim that it destroyed the seed without killing Gojyo.
    • Mirai Nikki: Yuno is scarily good with a handgun as well as any bladed Psycho Weapons she gets her hands on. Best exemplified when she took down a police SWAT team by shooting them all in the neck, thereby avoiding their bulletproof vests and helmets.

    Comic Books

    • Bullseye, the Psycho for Hire Career Killer who serves as the Arch Nemesis to Daredevil, who mixes this with a physics-defying ability to propel projectiles to turn a variety of mundane household objects into Improvised Weapons. Among the objects Bullseye has used to kill people: paperclips, playing cards, golf balls, orange pits, a ballpoint pen, a toothpick, a salted peanut, and one of his own teeth. He rarely stoops so low as to use an actual gun.
      • Taking it Up to Eleven, one comic has him saying that the prison he's in has him on stool softeners and a liquid diet for fear that if he has a solid BM, he'll weaponize that. And he would, too.
      • Putting this through Serial Escalation to make a Moment of Awesome is a two-part mini-series called Bullseye: Perfect Game. The series revolves around the fact that Bullseye is so bored, he takes an entire year off to kill one guy in the most spectacular fashion possible. The target is a baseball player, so Bullseye becomes a pitcher. When their teams face off, Bullseye creates a perfect game, by clipping his own team beforehand, from throwing a speck of dirt into an eye to cause an infection to killing someone with a thrown battery, and striking out every batter so the score is 0 to 0 in the last inning, with his target about to strike out. Too bad the umpire called the last pitch a ball.
      • In the film, he goes after Daredevil because he made him miss.
    • There are two Lanterns that top him. Bedovian, a Yellow Lantern and John Stewart, a Green Lantern. The two of them are capable of sniping each other from three space sectors away. Just to give you an idea of how big a sector is, the entire universe is divided into 3600 sectors by the Green Lantern Corps. A conservative estimate would put the size of a sector in the several hundreds of thousands of lightyears.
      • Stewart and Bedovian weren't necessarily hundreds of thousands of light years away from each other in that instance. The space sectors into which the universe is divided are wedges, with each wedge narrowing as one approaches Oa, the center of the universe. Thus, the closer one gets to Oa, the less distance one has to travel to cross any three sectors. At the time of the sniping incident, Stewart was on or very close to Oa and, if Bedovian was also fairly close to Oa, they may have been shooting across three sectors without being all that far from each other(while not quite as incredible, the distance would still be pretty impressive).
    • While all The Minutemen from One Hundred Bullets wield handguns with deadly accuracy; Minuteman Willie Tymes never misses. His fellow agents gave him a nickname "My first shot is my last."
      • That's a really awkward nickname.
    • Lucky Luke is the quintessential Wild West example. He can shoot off the firing pin of a derringer tinier than a pinky—and do so faster than his shadow. There are other occasions of improbable aiming in the comics—in one instance, two Dalton brothers shoot two bullets at each other that collide with each other half-way between them.
      • Note that Lucky Luke is a parody of Western heroes, so his speed and aim are meant to be impossibly amazing, just like the bad guys are meant to be improbably stupid.
    • From both The DCU and Marvel comics, self-trained superhero archers Green Arrow and Hawkeye, and their families of characters, can ricochet arrows off walls and into targets. And that's not even getting into "boxing glove arrows", "bomb arrows", "net arrows" or "cat arrows" (don't ask). They have, at times, been depicted as so implausibly good, some people theorize that they actually have psychokinesis and are simply using it to show off by making it look like they're the world's greatest archers. The fact that the artists and writers of their titles usually don't do very much research into how archers actually even hold their bows drives it home for a lot of people.
      • In The Dark Knight Returns, Green Arrow has lost an arm and still manages to be a crackshot.
        • Green Arrow once lost both arms (he got better) and still managed to pull off a shot by bracing the bow with his feet and pulling the arrow back with his teeth.
          • Although, it must be remembered that the footbow does exist, and, indeed, the longest arrow flight world record was set in 1979 with a footbow—2009 yards and a bit. It is even possible to hit targets with some reliability with one.
      • In Marvel's Ultimate universe, Hawkeye is an expert marksman who chooses to use a bow because of the challenge. He was shown to be deadly with anything he could throw, even killing a room full of armed guards while strapped down to a chair by flicking his fingernails. (He did mention at some point that it was not only practice, but that his vision was artificially enhanced.)
        • At one point he runs out of arrows and starts shooting piece of rebar at people. It's such typical behavior that no one even mentions it.
      • The main universe Hawkeye, in the new Hawkeye And Mockingbird series, fired three Pym Particle arrows - arrows whose heads were capsules filled with dozens of toothpick-sized arrows that were treated with the chemical Ant-Man uses to get bigger/smaller. When they deployed and expanded, the thugs they were facing got to fight in the shade. Every single one was taken down non-fatally. Hawkeye simply said he never hits what he wasn't aiming for. Did I mention this was during a motorcycle chase?
      • Not to mention in the alternate future Old Man Logan, where Hawkeye is blind, yet just as good, managing to get three gangsters in the mouth with three arrows just by listening to where they are.
    • In the Sin City story Hell and Back, a sniper has a rifle with telescopic sights mounted on a tripod. He misses, the good guy, Wallace, returns fire, across a street, into a darkened building with a short-barreled revolver. His bullet goes down the telescopic sight and through the snipers eye into his brain.
      • Both Sin City and The Badger have featured a character throwing an object with such accuracy that it plugs the barrel of an enemy's gun. What wouldn't a darts player give to be able to throw like that?
      • Daredevil has also done the plugging-a-gun (and surely Bullseye too, though I can't think of any specific examples). Frank Miller really likes these feats, doesn't he?
    • Allan Quartermain gained access to The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen mostly by virtue of his Improbable Aiming Skills. At least he's got the good grace to use a rifle. The film version did, at least; in the comic, Allan is considered valuable for his experience in adventuring more than anything else, and his signature weapon is an elephant gun and, later, a custom-made double-barreled shotgun—firearms that are very hard to miss with.
      • In the film, he also manages to teach Tom Sawyer to shoot just as accurately, which proves useful in taking out the Big Bad. Interestingly, the film also shows that Quartermain's vision isn't what it used to be. He needs glasses, but can still shoot just as precisely.
    • The Saint of Killers from Preacher has magical (they were made from the sword of the Angel of Death) revolvers that cannot miss, never run out of bullets, never jam, never inflict anything less than a fatal wound, and can be drawn faster than the eye can see. Given that he's also completely invulnerable, getting on his bad side (or, for that matter, getting close to him) is not recommended. In the final issue he kills God with his guns
    • Lightly used in Usagi Yojimbo: at a carnival, samurai Usagi cannot hit a target while Rich Bitch turned Defrosting Ice Queen Kiku gets a bull's eye on her first try. She explains that she "just aimed everywhere except the target."
    • Deadshot, a gun-wielding assassin and sometime Heroic Sociopath from The DCU, has a long-standing reputation for never missing his shot (unless he happens to be aiming at Batman). In a recent miniseries, he took out six targets scattered around a room while blindfolded.
      • Earlier in the same series, he failed to shoot a target in the bullseye while blindfolded...because Captain Boomerang Jr. had hit all his bullets in mid-air, using bent paperclips. (Admittedly using Super Speed, but still).
      • One of the only times Deadshot did miss, it was in his youth, a tree branch he was standing on snapped under him, and what should have been a disarming shot became a kill shot. The person he unintentionally killed was his beloved older brother.
    • In The Outsiders, while in a prison riot, Captain Boomerang Jr. had grabbed and thrown something, bouncing it off the walls, to hit and knock out a fellow prisoner.
    • Superman, in one comic, pretends to be a villain named the Golden Dart, kidnaps Lois Lane, and throws darts at her. His Improbable Aiming Skills allow him to keep himself from hitting Lois, instead missing her by "scant inches".
      • To be fair, it's Superman... he could just put the darts there while we blink...
    • Kid Twist, a particularly slimy individual from Joss Whedon's run on Runaways, has this as a power: once he sets eyes on a target, he never misses. This includes casually firing his gun behind him, and having the bullet turn corners.
    • In an early issue of Cable & Deadpool, while Wade (Deadpool) is casually conversing with Nate (Cable) about how he no longer feels the urge to kill, he rolls a pebble around between his fingers. When Nate's not looking, he lets it fly and nails a dragonfly so that the pebble knocks the body dead-center, leaving the wings on either side. (Really.)
    • The Archer Strongbow of Elf Quest never misses, to the point that when he does it's an obvious sign that he's in a bad way psychologically. And shortly after recovering from that, he gets the ability to hit a target without evening seeing it, though he's assumed to owe that to magical help.
    • Since Cyclops of the X-Men is using Eye Beams, you'd expect him to have very little trouble hitting whatever he can see. That doesn't explain his ability to pull off such shots as precision-stunning Professor X after ricocheting the beam around three corners or destroying six fast-moving targets, at least two of them behind him, with a single shot.
      • It's been officially stated that Cyclops's mutant ability includes an intuitive knowledge of how to ricochet his own optic blasts.
      • In old comics, this was attributed to his spending most of his training time in the Danger Room practicing how to pull off ricochets and other trick shots with his eyebeam. It even joked that he's one hell of a pool player.
      • The X-Men Noir series recasts him as an ace gunman, thus having him play out a more typical version of this trope. Not only that, but he's an actual Cyclops, sporting a possibly blind, possibly glass left eye.
    • Kris de Valnor from Thorgal is reputed as a deadly archer and proves it many times through the series. However, Thorgal himself can top her feats when pressed. In one instance he won a Duel to the Death by firing two arrows at once. One of them hit the villain while the other collided with his crossbow bolt in mid-air.
    • Arrowette of Young Justice, who is probably not a member of the Green Arrow Clan, was once shown having a conversation with her mother (the first Arrowette) while playing darts. The camera pans back to show a line of darts driven into each other point to tail, Robin Hood style, from the first, dead center on the target. The ladies decide they really need to find a different game to compete with.
    • In a Donald Duck classic, one of the nephews manages to deflect Donald's golf ball into a hole-in-one by rapidly firing several shots at it. With a toy airgun. Which he just happened to have with him. To the golf course.
    • Wolverine has demonstrated this by first throwing a dart, and hitting a perfect bullseye, turning away from the dartboard and sitting down at a table, throwing his remaining two darts behind his shoulder, where they both managed to hit the bullseye as well. When challenged to get 3 bullseyes again, he stood up and stacked the darts on each other. He has also thrown a katana with his left hand (he's right handed) at an attacking stuka plane, hit the pilot in his side, causing him to crash and burn. He has said that he can put six shots through a quarter, and still have change left for a gum machine.
    • And, of course, there's Captain America's ability in throwing his shield to hit multiple targets by means of ricocheting, and still come back to his grasp.
      • Though, in early issues of the Avengers, the "coming back" part was explained by little magnets on the shield and on his gloves!
      • This was later retconned into simply being the product of lots and lots of practice; when John Walker was brought in to replace him as Captain America, it took weeks of training with the Taskmaster for him to even be able to throw it reliably; he never figured out how to get it to ricochet or hit multiple targets or come back to him after being thrown.
      • The only other person who could match Steve's ability with the shield including the ricocheting was the previously mentioned Hawkeye.
    • 52: The Great Ten's Celestial Archer is capable of freaking ridiculous feats with this. He can shoot out the sun and hit a target on the other side of the world. In his defense, his bow is a weapon of the gods and thus is inherently capable of doing that kind of thing.
    • In his first appearance in the pages of JLA, the villain Prometheus fired a bullet at Catwoman from one of his gauntlet-guns. The Huntress shot the bullet out of midair with a crossbow bolt. This is a woman who, when introduced, was just a schoolteacher who worked out a lot.
    • In Wanted, the Killer, who is clearly a Captain Ersatz of Bullseye and Deadshot, is so great a shot that he decides to pack it in the first time he misses a target from less than a half-mile away. His son, Wesley, inherits the power, which allows him to shoot flies out of midair, deflect bullets with a knife, and shoot people between the eyes without looking at them.
    • Speaking of flies, in an early episode of Usagi Yojimbo, the hero is attacked by a ruffian who is so dirty that flies swarm around him. That is, before the attack. A second's worth of flashing steel later all the flies are lying on the floor, split in half. Except for the last one that's been filleted.
    • Jeremy from Zits once gets really, really, lucky in a story arc involving him making a twice-in-a-lifetime, back-handed-courtlong-backwards-eyes-closed shot in a game of HORSE with his friend, Hector. Of course, the jury's out at the end of the story on whether the shot counts if the ball goes through their neighbor's driveway's hoop instead of their own...
    • Former Green Arrow sidekick Roy Harper, aka Speedy aka Arsenal aka Red Arrow aka Arsenal again, boasts that he never misses—boasts that he can back up. During the Rise of Arsenal storyline, Roy, in a fit of rage, stricken with grief, addled with drugs, and handicapped by his unfamiliar cybernetic arm, breaks his bow, throws it at a bullseye -- and hits it dead center. Even when doped up, handicapped, and mentally unbalanced, he never misses.
    • Resident Action Girl Dani Moonstar of the series New Mutants. Doubles as a Crowning Moment of Awesome—with her arm broken, she uses her one good hand and her FOOT to shoot her tormentor in the throat with an arrow.
    • Oxbow from Marvel: The Lost Generation is capable of hitting his target every time - including the time he went to the moon, where it took him exactly one arrow to get accustomed to the different gravity!
    • Best Tiger, a new member of Image Comics' Guardians of the Globe, is by a wide margin the greatest marksman to ever live. Which is why he wears a blindfold so his work will remain challenging. He is introduced using a single bullet to take out several dozen men via ricochet; he intentionally inflicted superficial yet disabling wounds so the bullet would be able to keep up its momentum.
    • DV8 once contended with a mercenary calling himself Dirge. When Dirge first met Frostbite, he bragged that he once shot nine teeth out of a man's head in nine different shots without hurting him otherwise. The tenth shot killed him, but it wasn't Dirge's fault the guy couldn't keep still.

    Fan Works

    • In the notorious badfic Sailor Moon: American Kitsune, Davey Crockett manages to shoot and completely destroy a throne on the Moon from the Earth with a sawed-off shotgun without hurting the character sitting in it. Don't think about that too hard, or your head will explode.
    • In Light and Dark - The Adventures of Dark Yagami, Dark buys a sniper rifle with which to assassinate Near, and aims at him from the top of the "Eyfal Tower". The implication is that he could have killed Near with a single bullet and didn't need to buy a box... if Near hadn't used a Nerf gun to shoot out Dark's bullets and scope. Later, in what might be due to a typographical error, Dark manages to kill 1000000 (one million) Stormtroopers with 100000 (one hundred thousand) bullets, which requires killing on average, ten people with a single bullet, and only misses once.
    • And then there's Haloid. The Spartan soldier in that video is simply put, an insane marksman with just about ANYTHING. Ricochets from sniper fire hitting moving targets and ricoheting off of OTHER moving targets, insane levels of accuracy with rapid-fire weapons at a full run, THREE TON VEHICLES, SHOTGUN FU. Seriously. It's like watching every action movie hero's specialty with a weapon crammed into a can of complete fuckwin.
    • Tiberium Wars has a deliberate Take That directed at the official novelization, where a character gets a headshot on a target a hundred meters away with a pistol... except unlike in the official book, the one making this headshot is Colonel Nick "Havoc" Parker.
    • In the Poke Wars 'verse, Dawn (yes, that Dawn) becomes an amazing sharpshooter after her dampeners are disabled. Her key highlights:
      • In The Coalescence she lands "headshots" from a pistol on a swarm of Cloyster. Their "head" (actually the black pearl) is small relative to their body, they are leaping up and their shells are open only for a short time. She doesn't miss a single shot.
      • In Dawn of a New Era she kills three Fearow, one after the other, with headshots... from three kilometers away.
      • In The Pokémon They Carried, it is implied that all the snipers defending Groudon's Wall can easily make two kilometer shots and Dawn happens to be the best of them all.
    • Jun-A266 in Halo: A Fistful of Arrows gets some pretty good shots, like sniping an abductor holding a hostage from a helicopter. But he's also shown struggling to snipe a Hunter, and one improbable shot turns out to have been a Gone Horribly Right for him.

    Films -- Live Action

    • In Mystery Men, the Blue Raja can hit pretty much anything with a fork
      • Also the Spleen demonstrates his keen sharpshooting. If you want to know what he uses for ammo, just pull his finger.
    • Pretty much any Hollywood depiction of Robin Hood, ever. Robin was no doubt relatively handy with a bow, but in reality you can't shoot a hangman's rope with a longbow and wooden arrows from 50 metres away on demand (no, nor can they split an arrow every single time, sorry). The longbow was fearsome as a weapon of war because of its range and armour-penetration, not its accuracy—for that, the English had tens of thousands of peasants shooting at armies of Frenchmen.
      • It's not just Hollywood: several of the ballads have Robin performing feats such as splitting willow wands in two or shooting a fleeing man at a distance of a mile while on a Roaring Rampage of Revenge.
      • As a note, the longbow was brutally accurate... at shorter ranges, and requiring much greater time and patience than an open battle could give (think sniper, or ambush). Robin still pushes it more than somewhat.
    • John Woo's Hard Boiled.
    • In the Star Wars movies, Padmé and Leia both apparently never miss their target. Definitely raises some questions regarding George Lucas' attitude towards women (not bad, though). Of course, Leia has the Force working for her, but that still doesn't explain her mom...
    • In Star Trek: Insurrection, the crew need to shoot down small and fast flying drones that are teleporting the Baku. They almost never miss.
    • Legolas also demonstrates a truly astounding aim with his longbow in The Lord of the Rings—of course, improbable skill with a bow is a feature commonly credited to elves in most fantasy settings. However, since they usually live very long time, with aging not being (much of) a problem for them, it usually makes some sense. Legolas is, at this time, just shy of three thousand years old -- he's had a lot of time to practice.
      • Also, it's mentioned in both the movies and in the novels that Elves have spectacular vision, and at one point, Aragorn asks Legolas to look for what a band of Uruk-Hai is doing, and while said Uruks are well out of eyeshot for Aragorn (and the viewer), Legolas apparently has no problem seeing them.
        • And his feats of eyesight mentioned in the book including counting both the fast-moving Riders of Rohan and their riderless horses and observing that their leader is very tall while said Riders are still several miles away.
      • And the couple of times he's shown pulling a multishot on screen, its at point blank range against a large target (presumably because a larger beast needs a larger wound).
      • Subverted during the Helm's Deep siege when he inexplicably fails to kill one lousy Uruk torch-bearer twice, both times hitting his shoulders.
        • Justified: He's firing from almost directly above, the Uruk has a thick sloping helmet on so going for a head shot is pointless, and the purpose of shooting him in the collar bones is to try and make him drop the torch. Unfortunately, they apparently picked the torch-bearer for having the highest pain threshold in Saruman's horde.
    • There have been at least three cases (specifically The Magnificent Seven, Blake's 7 and Firefly—the latter two are probably homages to the first) where are a character is commended for a good shot only for them to say they were aiming somewhere else.
      • The Mel Brooks send-up Robin Hood: Men In Tights. Robin has the noose around his neck, but gets saved when Achoo the Moor (Dave Chappelle) fires an arrow that slices the noose from the gallows, allowing him to escape. We later find out that the target was the hangman.
      • In Farscape, D'argo at one point throws his sword and impales a Peacekeeper mook through the heart at impressive range for using a heavy blade that was by no means designed for throwing. When complimented he replies that he was aiming for the Peacekeeper's head.
      • On one episode of Criminal Minds, while in a hostage crisis, Spencer Reid shoots the crook and mass murderer dead center of the forehead. Not only was he said to have failed his firearms qualification that the start of the episode, he claimed he'd been aiming for the guy's knee. At a distance of about six feet, that's a spectacularly bad shot.
      • Also seen in Sinbad the Sailor (with Maureen O'Hara and a very acrobatic Douglas Fairbanks, Jr.) wherein the mostly useless comic relief stuns everybody by felling a threatening Bad Guy with a crossbow. Afterward admitting he did it by aiming "at everything else"!
      • In the film Geronimo, the titular character manages to shatter a jar of whiskey just as an opponent is taking a drink from several yards away. When he's commended for a good shot, Geronimo unabashedly admits, "Not so good. I was aiming for his head."
    • Ridiculously fast and accurate shooting was one of the standard features of Spaghetti Westerns and one of the things that distinguished them from standard American films of any quality. Ironically, Clint Eastwood's ability to Quick Draw a handgun, shoot, and kill any number of men in any fight without missing a shot—or being hit in return—was seen by some critics as making his films more realistic ("gritty, rugged") than the plausible shooting skills of a John Wayne, Glenn Ford, Jimmy Stewart, or Randolph Scott film.
      • This was subverted in Unforgiven, where Gene Hackman's character explains that a true gunman must sacrifice speed for accuracy. In the end, Eastwood's character wins only by shooting carefully at close range.
      • Speaking of John Wayne, in his final film he specifically disavows this trope, noting that he owes his reputation as a shootist to an unflinching readiness to kill his opponent, not fancy quickdraw skills or even accuracy.
      • Parodied in Blazing Saddles, when The Waco Kid shoots the guns out of the hands about ten Mooks in two seconds.
    • In Hitman, the film of the game series, Agent 47 scores an impressive streak of headshots with his pistols during the hotel escape scene.
    • Used heavily in Shooter, especially the helicopter scene. There are snipers good enough to find a target, adjust for wind and drop, and fire in less than a couple seconds, but there aren't any live ones that would try to hit the rotary blade on a helicopter.
      • He was aiming for the engine/motor housing for the rotary blade, a pronounced feature on most heavy helicopters, and after several shots he hit it. It still boarders on improbable but it's closer to reality than the scenario described above.
    • Shoot Em Up is basically an entire film dedicated to this trope.
    • The Blaxploitation film Three The Hard Way has the heroes with glorified cap pistols defeating the Mooks who have fully automatic machine guns.
    • The 2004 Dawn of the Dead remake offers a borderline example with the character of Andy, who proves to be very accurate with zombie-killing headshots. Of course, the man owns a gun store, and is shooting from the safety of his roof using a high-powered rifle with a scope. And there's the fact that there are so many zombies, it's like trying to drain the ocean with a teaspoon...
      • Averted in the original movie, where the two SWAT guys are accurate shooters whereas the civilian helicopter pilot is inaccurate and panicky, until he has time to practice under the tutelage of one of the SWAT men.
    • Subverted in Shaun of the Dead, where the gang has to team up in order to reliably use a rifle "that actually works". The scene plays out exactly like the earlier one when Shaun and Ed are playing Timesplitters at home. Their aim does improve, though.
    • No mention of Land of the Dead yet? Charlie, the mildly-retarded sidekick, has a "good eye," as he puts it. He can shoot a dwarf in the head behind cover from across a room in the middle of a riot. And he nails a zombie in the face by firing inches past a teammate's head, though he does complain that it was a little off-center. When offered an automatic weapon that can fire 14 rounds per second, he just says "I don't normally need that many."
    • The Bourne Supremacy features an instantly-fatal shot against a human target at around 200 metres. The target (Marie) is not only moving away, she's inside a car travelling at about 20 mph, the shot is through traffic and the sniper hits on his first shot from a standing position.
      • Kind of a subversion though, since he was actually aiming for the guy next to her (Bourne). This is just a weirdly specific miss.
    • The Arnold Schwarzenegger movie True Lies is full of this trope and enemies who attended the Imperial Stormtrooper Marksmanship Academy as well. One scene in particular stands out: Arnold's character is escaping down a snow covered hill by sliding down it on his back and using a pistol to take out pursuing enemies on skis, at night; the aforementioned enemy marksmanship can be seen here as well.
      • Commando had a scene when Arnie's storming the villain's mansion and is picking off henchmen with seemingly no effort.
    • In House of Flying Daggers Jin fires off four arrows in quick succession at the four soldiers attacking Xiao Mei. Not only does each of them hit the target, said target is a spot where the arrow will stick in their clothes without hurting them since the whole thing is a setup for him to earn Xiao Mei's trust.
      • They also all manage to impact at about the same time, which is pretty unlikely.
      • In this movie, anyone who throws the flying daggers never misses the mark. They even went through the trouble of using Wanted style improbable physics.
    • Wanted. Improbable Aiming Skills: The Movie. How bad? Throwing a curveball with bullets, shooting the wings off of insects, shooting down an enemy's bullet intentionally, and on and on. The fact that the ads showcase this and tell nothing about the plot... well, be afraid. Be very afraid.
      • It's out now, and it's worse than you feared. Bullets fired from guns don't need to go in straight lines. With a flick of the wrist, an assassin can get a bullet to swerve around an obstacle and hit a target directly behind said obstacle. Yes, that means they can shoot around corners without relying on ricochets to change the trajectory. The most Egregious example, hands-down, comes in the climax. A member of the Fraternity (a secret society of assassins that decides who to kill by studying textiles) has decided that the abilities wielded by the assassins are too dangerous in the hands of mortals. This rebellious member fires a single bullet that travels around the room in a circular path, killing most of the remaining members, and comes back around, hitting the person who fired the bullet. Rule of Cool and all that.
      • In the original comic series, Wesley is an impossibly good shot beyond any rational measure (it's a superpower). In the first comic he is forced to shoot the wings off of flies, in the end he does so by closing his eyes and shooting wildly around the room. Needless to say he succeeds. His father is also murdered by an unseen gunman who shoots him from "two cities away". Like the movie the plot of the comics is based entirely on Rule of Cool.
      • It's just because Timur Bekmambetov does what he wants. (If you're curious, he directed the movies Night Watch and Day Watch, both of which were also largely funded on Rule of Cool.)
      • This is taken to its logical extreme in the comic. Wesley and his father are literally perfect shots; at the end of comic, Wesley's father forces him to execute him, because a few weeks ago he missed a target (with a pistol) at about half a mile, chalking it up to old age. He can't imagine being less than the absolute best.
    • In Support Your Local Sheriff James Garner is asked to demonstrate his gun handling skills and manages to both subvert and play the trope straight. He begins by tossing a washer into the air and shooting at it with his pistol, then claiming the bullet went through the hole. The skeptical townsfolk ask him to repeat the stunt, although for the second shot a piece of tape is applied to the washer. Guess where the second bullet goes?

    "(gulp) I hope you didn't take no offense at anything we may have said earlier.."

      • Later on he drives a nail into a board by shooting it.
    • Inverted in the Iron Man movie, where a mook in a tank picks off Iron Man while he's engaged in a dogfight. The mooks with firearms are also pretty sharp, if only to demonstrate the imperviousness of Iron Man's phlebotinum suit.
      • Inverted in the other direction as well. Iron Man relies on a super efficient targetting system to headshot multiple badguys holding Human Shields rather than just eyeing it.
    • Played straight in Terminator 2: Judgment Day, in which Arnie manages to hold off an entire army of cops... with a minigun... without even injuring one. His kill counter even has a decimal place that shows 0. After all, John Connor told him not to kill anyone.
      • This was ironic, since in the original Terminator Arnie seemed to have flunked from the Imperial Stormtrooper Shooting Academy; he needed a taget-pistol with laser-sighting, just to hit someone at point-blank range; and he took out an entire bar-full of other people with his Uzi while missing his intended target, since his aim was so bad. Of course it was a different timeline, so perhaps the Terminators became more accurate; but still he was exactly the same Terminator to all other appearances.
        • To be fair to the original Terminator, both shots taken in the bar sequence would have been hits had they not been interfered with -- in the instance with the laser-sighted pistol the Terminator was hit with a shotgun blast in the back at the instant it was pulling the trigger, throwing its aim off, and the Uzi burst would have gone directly into the back of Sarah Conner's head had it not been intercepted by someone stepping immediately behind her at just the wrong instant.
    • Averted in the original RoboCop. Robo can pull off all kinds of amazing feats of ballistics, including neutering a would-be rapist by shooting through his victim's skirt, but it's all programming—the original Murphy couldn't shoot for beans, and after a Directive 4 malfunction takes his targeting systems offline, neither can Robo.
      • In the third movie, RoboCop shoots the gun out of a villain's hands—then continues to shoot it, and it bounces in the air for a few seconds almost as if it were attached to a string.
      • In the TV series, he has a habit of using ricochets to hit people.
    • Spoofed in the comedy Bullshot (1983). "By rapidly calculating the pigeon's angle of elevation in the reflection of your monocle, then subtracting the refractive index of its lens, I positioned myself at a complementary access... and fired. It was no challenge at all."
    • Quigley from Quigley Down Under. Partly justified by his being a marksman and his enemies being a little too into flashy quick draws and the like.
    • Done awesomely in Kiss Kiss Bang Bang. In the climactic car-chase/shoot-out (which involves a coffin containing the body of the victim, a delivery truck, and an overpass), Harry, the coffin, and a revolver go skidding over the bridge: the coffin snags on the railings, partially open with the victim' hand hanging out; Harry manages to grab the corpse's hand and save himself, and then, with the other hand, plucks the gun out of midair and shoots the big bad right in the heart. The bad guy's response is priceless.
    • Last of the Mohicans does this near the end of the final battle. Hawkeye charges into a small group of the enemy, shooting two Kentucky rifles simultaneously from the hip -- and hitting a separate enemy with each shot.
    • Joked with in Treasure Planet, where Dr. Doppler (who doesn't appear to have held a gun before) manages to shoot and hit his mark exactly.

    Captain Amelia: Did you actually aim for that?
    Dr. Doppler: You know, actually, I did.

    • Humphrey Bogart reminds how flippin' awesome is to be an American in the wartime propaganda film Sahara were a German aircraft does two flybys of our heroes, and is unable to hit the broad side of a tank in the middle of the desert while Bogie on the other hand, can shoot a single plane down, despite flying at high speeds at a great distance with just one shot of his sidearm. Wow.
      • The strafing scene is defensibly realistic; it's a lot harder to hit something with a ground-attack aircraft than it looks. The pistol shot is still ridiculous.
    • The Joker in the 1st Tim Burton Batman film hits the speeding Batwing...with a handgun with a 3 foot long barrel.
      • In a similar vein, Batman manages to completely miss the Joker while strafing him with twin mounted machine guns earlier in the scene.
    • The Grammaton Clerics in Equilibrium are masters of Gun Kata­­, which the film states is in part a mathematical system for determining aiming angles with the highest probability to hit. Cleric Preston displays this repeatedly, usually taking out a half-dozen or more opponents with robotic precision.
    • In the movie version of I Robot, Bridget Moynahan shoots a robot attacking Will Smith with her eyes closed. He's less than happy when he finds out... but, "it worked, didn't it?"
      • Not to mention Will Smith pulling out two guns and hitting his targets while jumping off the back of a moving motorcycle.
    • Enemy at the Gates, though it's justified in that the whole movie is about two exceptional snipers. The Nazi major in particular has some insane skills, including the ability to shoot through a piece of string the hero is trying to use to retrieve his out-of-reach rifle.
    • Subverted in Inglourious Basterds. One lone Jewish girl escapes the Nazi soldiers who kill her family and starts running towards the hills. Colonel Hans Landa sees her, and aims a small pistol at her. He carefully takes aim, even though by then she's much too far away for him to hit, and just before she runs over the hills and out of sight, he yells BANG!, and puts away his gun.
      • "Au revoir, Shoshana!"
    • McQ. At the beginning of the movie the title character shoots a hitman fleeing from him at an impressive distance with a six-inch magnum revolver, much to the awe of a witness. However this crack shooting is not carried on in other scenes, where admittedly he's being shot back at. However when McQ gets his hands on an Ingram MAC-10, the question of accuracy becomes moot.
    • The Boondock Saints: Immediately after the Dynamic Entry into the Russian mobsters' hotel room, the Sibling Team happens to get caught up in some rope, and then draw weapons and outfire nine mobsters. Of course, they do this all while dual wielding 9mm pistols, upside down, and spinning, after having a good eight foot drop. And they don't miss. Lampshaded, multiple times, afterwards.
    • In Dragonheart, Brother Gilbert finds out that he is naturally a perfect shot with a bow and arrow. This puts him directly into a moral conflict as he's a priest and abhors killing, but the villagers need to be protected from the evil soldiers. He eventually gets around this by using non-lethal shots and triggering traps.
    • In the second grade Marc Dacascos movie, DNA, the movie's climax involves the main character diving off a cliff into the water, holding a small rocket launcher, turning around mid-air and blowing the monster to pieces with one single shot. Granted, it was from point-blank range, but considering the circumstances, it's still pretty impressive.
    • Relentlessly spoofed in the Austin Powers movies. There are some scenes where Austin fires around two or three shots, resulting in around 20 bad guys falling down dead at once.
    • In Tombstone, despite most of the fight scenes featuring close range shooting still resulting in misses, on both sides, Wyatt Earp manages a shot to the throat while both are on horseback, Wyatt leaning off his saddle and shooting from under the horse's neck. This is achieved with a single bullet from a pistol that in an earlier scene required six shots to hit one of the Cowboy's once.
    • In Crocodile Dundee, Mick Dundee can hit just about anything he wants precisely. Shown by his knife throw against one of the punk kids and later killing off a security camera feed with a stone.
      • The knife was a bit risky, but he lined up the stone for several seconds before throwing it. Unusually good, but not magically so.
      • Sue Charlton in the climax of the second film, shooting dead a drug lord from some distance away, on the first shot, when she's probably never touch a gun in her life.
      • At the end of the first movie, the limousine driver downing a crook with an improvised boomerang
    • In one of his movies, Charlie Chaplin throws a rock after a fleeing badguy and knocks off his hat from three blocks away.
    • In the 2005 version of King Kong, Jimmy, who has never handled a gun before, manages to shoot several huge wetas off of Jack, who is moving. With a Tommygun. And he didn't kill Jack either. The characters didn't look nearly shocked enough.
    • Subverted in Orphan by the end of the movie when Max picks up a gun that Kate had dropped earlier and aims it at Esther, but ends up shooting the ice they're standing on instead.
    • Subverted in Starsky and Hutch when Hutch is held at gunpoint Starsky offers to take a shot at his captor with Hutch's permission. Despite the fact that Hutch vehemently refuses to give permission, Starsky spins around and takes the shot but misses wildly and hits their boss instead.
    • Seso in Prince of Persia the Sands of Time.
    • Parodied in Top Secret with Scary Black Man Chocolate Mousse, who at one point manages the extraordinary feat of firing a machine gun at full-auto into a melee and hitting only the bad guys.
    • Jason Voorhees. Tends to prefer melee weapons, but give him a crossbow or something like that, and prepare to be called "Snake" the rest of your life. In Freddy vs. Jason, he actually throws his machete through a guy's chest as he's running away from him.
    • Duncan by the end of Mystery Team.
    • Peggy Carter in Captain America the First Avenger makes some amazing shots. One of them is putting a bullet through the head of a Nazi driving in a car at least a block away.
      • Can't forget Cap himself and his ludicrous ricochet shots with the shield.
    • In the 1954 Davey Crockett On The Mississippi Crockett subverts this. Crockett is challenged to a trick shooting contest in a tavern. Crockett walks around, carefully lining up pans and pictures and other objects, then takes a shot with 'Becky' his famous long rifle over his back with a mirror. It *does* bounce around until he apparently catches the bullet with his teeth. He later reveals he had the bullet in his mouth the whole time and wasn't really worried about the ricochets.
    • Major Dallas displays exceptional aim when taking out sundry Magalores on the flying hotel, starting with a triple headshot from across the auditorium, proceeding on to take out at least seven bad guys with a single burst of full-auto, without harming any civilians, and finishing up with a William Tell style headshot of the lead mangalore, over the head of one of the hostages. To be fair though, he actually appeared to have to aim that last one.
    • Robot Jox: Subverted: Tex, a retired Jock, is famous for a match where he defeated a technologically far superior Russian opponent with a shot that precisely hit a weak spot he had no way of knowing about. When asked about this, he dismissed it as being pure blind luck.[1]
    • The Matrix: Agent Smith manages to shoot Morpheus's ankle though a wall. (A minute earlier, he missed Neo in a helicopter at short range, but at that point he was still thrown by Neo firing a minigun at them.)
    • In The Avengers, Hawkeye offhand-backhands a flying Chitauri with an arrow.


    • Older Than Feudalism: Odysseus shoots an arrow through the handle rings of twelve axes in The Odyssey.
    • Classic examples include Wilhelm Tell and Robin Hood. Natty Bumppo (as mentioned in the quote) was probably the first character to do this with guns, or at least to do it with guns and get famous. Mark Twain ridiculed Bumppo's sharp-shooting in this article.
    • Legolas in the Lord of the Rings, though not as evident as in the film, he's never depicted as missing his target.
      • The book version does get one feat that's more impressive than anything the movie version ever did -- shooting down the Fell Beast that one of the Nazgul was flying on, while it was at hundreds of feet of altitude, while at night, while standing in a small boat going down the rapids of the river Anduin.
    • In the novel Drakon, Gwen Ingolfsson intentionally shoots a running man in the knee, at 200 yards, on the first shot, with a notoriously inaccurate and ungainly "handgun" that she's never even seen before as she's just arrived from an different universe. Yes, she's a genetically-engineered superwoman, but that incredibly loud explosion was the Willing Suspension of Disbelief undergoing spontaneous combustion. The same author's Dies the Fire series features a number of improbably good archers, though at least all of them are explicitly described as practicing constantly and having been at it since childhood.
    • Comes up in the Discworld novels several times:
      • Parodied in the novel Pyramids. The main character is on his final exam for his Assassination class and decides he can't kill the person sleeping in the bed, even if it means his teachers may kill him for disobeying. So he defiantly shoots his crossbow at the wall, and it happens to ricochet off several surfaces and into what turns out to be a dummy. He passes the final exam, but his instructor chides him for using showy, over-the-top methods in his assassination.
      • Parodied again and deconstructed in Guards! Guards! wherein Colon claims to amazing feats of archery lead to his friends talking him into trying to shoot at a dragon's Achilles' Heel while wearing a blindfold, standing on his head, and so on, in an attempt to get the shot to be exactly a Million-to-One Chance... because million-to-one chances always work out, right? It turns out he doesn't even hit the broad side of the dragon.
      • Lampshaded in Reaper Man when Death uses his unerring dart skills to play "badly" and hit a bystander behind him. He addresses the fact that, logically, it is a lot harder to intentionally miss the board and have the dart end up hitting a bystander behind him than to get a bulls-eye.
      • Jason Ogg used one of Binky's old horseshoes (the thing) to play horseshoes (the game), and never missed.
      • In the latest Discworld novel, Willikins manages to hit a woman's broom from in the middle of a mob, without injuring the woman herself.
    • In the Halo Novel First Strike, Master Chief is getting help in a battle from Linda, another Super Soldier like him, armed with a sniper rifle. During the course of the fight, Linda makes a number of difficult shots, often shooting enemy pilots right out of their fliers while in flight (and in at least one case, using a ricochet to do it). When he finally grabs a flier of his own to go pick her up, he finds her hanging from a cord, and realizes she's been doing all that shooting one-handed. Her shooting skills are helped by the fact that she wears a Power Armor that responds to thoughts, not muscle movement
    • Honor Harrington puts 4 rounds into a guy, straight up the center, within centimeters of each other, before he even falls down, from the hip, before raising the gun and putting a fifth one between his eyes. From 40 meters away (over 120 feet, to us Americans not in the military). Over the span of about three seconds.
      • You forgot to add the fact that she was able to do this because a) She practiced all the time b) She practiced intensely for the duel for weeks c) She had time to line up all her shots and d) the telescopic vision mode of her artificial eye effectively gave her a sniper scope built into her head. The second duel however, is this trope to a "T" - she was wounded, had rolled on the ground and STILL managed to make the shots that obliterated her opponent's heart.
        • In the second instance her opponent was only about 50 feet away, and she had time to aim. Putting three shots rapid-fire into a two-inch group at 50 feet is well within normal standards for an experienced marksman, and Honor is a genetically-engineered human being who has enhanced strength, resilience, and a pain threshold that's pretty much off the charts so her wounds would not affect her aim materially.
        • Also subverted in that it wouldn't have mattered if Honor hit him or not - the police officers present at the scene were already drawing down on her assailant (shooting your opponent in the back makes it an illegal duel, hence, murder), and one of them manages to wound him fatally at the same time Honor gets off her last shot.
    • The Warhammer 40,000: Gaunt's Ghosts novel Honour Guard includes a passage where the character Lijah Cuu effortlessly shoots tiny critters that even the eponymous regiment's marksman Larkin would hesitate about going after. Unfortunately, he's also the regiment's Ax Crazy...
    • Subverted in Flashman by George Macdonald Fraser, where the title character participates in a duel; because Flashman has rigged his opponent's gun, the opponent misses, and Flashman decides he will not shoot his opponent, instead firing a harmless shot aimed well off to one side... which ends up blasting the top off of a bottle of alcohol some distance away. Everyone takes this as proof of incredible marksmanship, giving his reputation a major boost.
    • Good old Sharpe has this a few times. Hagman, a former poacher, is an amazing shot, and proves it repeatedly by shooting Frenchmen at just the right moment. The only time he misses is the first time you see him... because he's trying to shoot a rabbit at 200 meters with a blackpowder rifle, without aiming. And he still almost hits.
    • When he's not recovering from torture, Stephen Maturin of Patrick O'Brian's Aubrey-Maturin series is a crack shot with a pistol, much to the shock of a few people around him.
    • In Stephen King's The Dark Tower series (whose first novel just happens to be called The Dark Tower) Roland of Gilead is the embodiment of this trope, with improbable aiming skills demonstrated any time he draws (which is generally done at lightning speed). In fact, Roland is so adept at reloading his revolver he describes it as his "..fingers doing their reloading trick," as if they aren't even under his control.
      • The other three main characters (Eddie, Susannah, and eventually Jake) all may qualify - Eddie manages to pull off an impressive display of gunslinging with no significant the buff...just after traveling from another dimension. Granted, may have had something to do with his Berserk Button being pressed.
    • The villain too can have these skills, as seen in Ian Fleming's Goldfinger.

    "I have never needed more than one .25-calibre bullet to kill. I shoot at the right eye, Mr Bond. And I never miss."

    • Considering everyone was forced to read this book in high school, how can we forget Atticus Finch?
      • It's much easier to hit a target coming at you as it keeps getting bigger.
    • The Executioner. Cold Sniper and Vigilante Man Mack Bolan uses his marksman skills to psych out his Mafia enemies, on one occasion shooting a perfect cross through drawn drapes while talking to a man inside the targeted room on the telephone. Another trick when sniping at long-range is to predict where the target is going to run to once his comrades start dying and fire a bullet into that space. Subverted on one occasion when Bolan realises he's missed because the man is actually crawling away, using a flimsy plastic sunning board for cover. As Bolan is firing a .460 Magnum rifle this does him no good at all.
    • Yasmini in S.M. Stirling's The Peshawar Lancers has precognition which tells her the precise direction to point her gun and the exact moment to squeeze the trigger. She's got her eyes closed as she does.
    • Katniss Everdeen in The Hunger Games. She spent years hunting with a bow and arrow, and in the second book during training for the second Hunger Games, she hits five birds tossed into the air at once, before they hit the ground.
    • Catti-Brie in R. A. Salvatore's Forgotten Realms novels. She doesn't do anything very spectacular, but as soon as she happens to find a magic bow, the others can count on her sniping anyone from any distance, even though we've never seen her so much as practise shooting.
    • Imperial Stormtroopers as written by Timothy Zahn, he of the White and Grey Morality where Imperials actually get to be competent. Most clearly seen in Allegiance. Human Shield? Not a problem for a stormtrooper who's trained as a sniper. Just shoot past the hostage's ear.
    • In the Standard Fantasy Setting inversion of Villains by Necessity, Samalander, the last assassin, always hits something with a thrown knife, even if it's not his intended target. Misses will even ricochet implausibly and hit something, even if it's Sam himself.
    • Eddie Drood, hero of Simon R Green's Secret Histories, has a magical gun specifically designed to allow him to do this. The Colt Repeater never runs out of bullets and will automatically hit what you want it to hit as long as you point it in the right general direction. Unfortunately, not everything he meets is vulnerable to bullets.
    • In The Dresden Files Kincaid displays this kind of accuracy, firing off dozens of shots with perfect accuracy while dodging wildly, but Harry claims that Kincaid can't be human because of his ability; all humans sometimes miss. Kincaid denies this, indicating that he's just that good. He's lying through his teeth. He's centuries old, and apparently half-demon.
      • Johnny Marcone, Fool Moon. Hangs upside-down, tied up, slowly spinning, throws a knife at and hits/cuts the rope tied to a tree so Murphy, Harry, and the Alphas can get out of the pit and beat loup-garou butt. Did we mention this was at night?
    • Sword of Truth: Richard Cypher develops this ability around the second book, apparently a sign of his magical powers becoming evident.
    • In Shogun, the samurai Buntaro nails a gatepost that is behind him with an arrow fired from inside a house. Admittedly the walls were only paper, but still...
      • Not only does he hit the gatepost several times, the arrows are stated to all go through THE SAME HOLE in the ricepaper walls. He's also been drinking heavily.
    • Raj Whitehall from The General owes his Improbable Aiming Skills to the computer he's telepathically linked to.
    • Percy Jackson pulls off an incredible shot nailing a monster through all three hearts with one arrow, all the more incredible because he is the worst archer at Camp Half-Blood. Luckily in his reality prayers are instantly answered - providing your divine relatives are feeling helpful that is.
      • A better example would be the children of Apollo or the Hunters of Artemis, neither of which require the direct assistance of the Goddess-Queen Hera to shoot projectiles straight out of the air.
    • In Prince Caspian, Susan demonstrates her skill as an archer in a contest by piercing an apple at such a distance that her opponent, another excellent archer, claims it looks like a cherry, not an apple. Justified in that while she's good at archery, she's also using a magic bow, given to her by Father Christmas.
    • In The Wheel of Time this is the hat the Two Rivers. One of the main characters almost ends up in a fight with his foreign wife when she jokingly asks him if all of his people are as skilled as he is, and he honestly answers that no, the older men are much better.
    • In the Codex Alera, woodcrafters are incredibly accurate and powerful archers, able to thread arrows between inch-wide gaps in Legion shieldwalls and accurately put arrows into the crewmen of enemy ships moving at full speed on rough seas at three hundred yards.[2]
    • In One Shot the hero realizes that the Improbable Aiming Skills of a sniper are really too improbable. The guy was only an average sniper in his army days and had only sporidically practiced in the years since. He was cheating by shooting his practice targets from short range and then claiming that he did so from 600 yards. In turn another shooter who had below average scores on the shooting range was really an amazing sniper. He 'cheated' by not actually aiming at the bulls-eye but another spot on the target. He always hit what he aimed at but no one else realized that. Both men only used the shooting range when nobody was around to witness their deceptions.
    • Wax, in The Alloy of Law, is such a good shot that he was able to shoot a bullet he had previously fired to change it's trajectory and get a headshot on someone hidden behind a human shield (though he had some help because he was able to calculate where he needed to hit the bullet in a bubble of fast time and then he fired as soon as the bubble ended).
    • Every member of the Ranger Corps from Ranger's Apprentice can fire off five arrows and have a sixth at full draw before an enemy could draw their sword. Halt has managed on two occasions to imagine where a target will be, fire without fully seeing where it is, and hit it dead on both times. From the day they start their apprenticeships to the day they retire, Rangers practice their aim whenever they get a moment, meaning that they're expert marksmen in months and uncanny shots in a year. The Temuji are just as good or even better than the Rangers.
    • Ayla from the Earth's Children series once hit four clods of dirt thrown in the air with her sling before any touched the ground, and in general has better aim than anyone else in the series.

    Live-Action TV

    • Arguably one of the best examples was Rita Repulsa. In the original series of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, she would do her Make My Monster Grow by throwing her wand. Thanks to the miracle of Stock Footage, it would land in the exact same spot, every single time. Oh, and did I mention that she was throwing it from the moon?
    • Jack Bauer... because he's Jack Bauer.
    • Shooting the gun out of Bad Guy's hand was a routine shot in the kiddie TV Westerns of the 1950s. The title character in Annie Oakley never shot anyone in any other way. It made her even nicer as a heroine.
    • In the Red Dwarf episode "White Hole" Lister displays Improbable Aiming Skills when it comes to driving a planet into a white hole by stimulating a solar flare. While this sounds like a mindbogglingly complex procedure, it's basically the same as playing pool. Apparently. (He was even able to make it a trick shot!)
      • Note that the actor who played him, Craig Charles, also has them, as he actually did make the pool shot.
      • Improbable Aiming Skills are spoofed when the crew enters a Western VR environment in "Gunmen of the Apocalypse". Both the Cat (as The Riviera Kid, gunfighter) and Lister (as Brett Riverboat, knife-thrower) were able to do things that were clearly completely impossible... until the special skills were erased from the databank.
    • In Lost, Locke is scarily accurate with throwing knives, in one early episode planting a knife in a chair right next to Sawyer's head, from a good 15 feet away, just to make a point.
      • Jack is also a good enough shot to shoot a rope, despite having no discernible experience with weapons.
      • The Others are also excellent shots, the anti-stormtroopers.
      • The mercenaries on the freighter in season 4 know their jobs (and guns) well, as shown in "The Shape of Things to Come" when they fire three instant death shots in a row. Then again, when the group turns their collective attention from extras to Sawyer immediately afterward, they start to fail.
    • Parodied/Subverted in the first episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer season 3. While trying to take down a vampire without the Slayer's help, Oz, Willow and Xander get beaten and the vampire starts running away. Oz stands dramatically with stake in hand, the music swells and he throws the stake only to have it clatter harmlessly off a nearby gravestone. He sighs and says "That never really works."
    • In The Man from U.N.C.L.E. episode "The Never Never Affair", Napoleon Solo demonstrates extremely Improbable Aiming Skills when, bound to a chair, forced to hold a pistol with his hands tied behind his back pointing the pistol behind him, and while having to look into a mirror to see his target, he nonetheless warns a THRUSH agent that any attempt to detonate an explosive booby trap in the face of other U.N.C.L.E. agents arriving at the scene would result in Solo shooting the THRUSH agent. The THRUSH baddie pooh poohs Solo's threat, and makes for the detonator, only to be shot by Solo. Solo then hangs a lampshade on it by looking surprised and muttering, "Well how about that!" when he sees the THRUSH agent go down.
    • Several episodes of MythBusters had segments addressing splitting arrows with other arrows at range.
    • In Brimstone, Detective Ezekiel Stone has no problem shooting out the eyes of the escaped souls.
      • Justified in that in Brimstone, a soul escaped from hell gains supernatural powers related to the individual's history and/or mental condition. As a former cop, it's entirely conceivable that superhuman shooting accuracy is Stone's power (though this is never stated outright, as the series didn't last long enough to make a point of it.)
    • Firefly runs rampant with this. A lot of shots are pulled from the hip, but nonetheless hit targets quite precisely; Zoe even manages to shoot a man's gun out of his hands from a good fifty meters off in "Safe," and Mal's quick-draw shots are legendary.
      • Zoe's shot is even more remarkable given that she does it as soon as the man draws the gun - from another man's holster.
      • Also, River killing three of Niska's men with one shot each, while her eyes are closed, and the bad guys are hiding behind cover...Jayne's disbelief is understandable. So is his line, "She killed them with math, what else could it be?", heavy on the sarcasm. Being a subject of a Super Soldier project, she only took a one-second look, memorized their positions, and shot them by remembering where they were and working out the math of how to angle the gun.
      • Also, one particular Noodle Incident: Jayne once hit a man in the neck at five hundred yards, with a bent scope.
      • Early in Serenity, Jayne gets hit with a harpoon fired by Reavers, and Mal shoots the rope to free him. But it takes him three tries.
    • Castle uses The Magnificent Seven version of this mentioned above in the episode "Boom!", while managing a Shout-Out to Firefly at the same time.

    Beckett: Hell of a shot, Castle.
    Castle: I was aiming for his head.

      • Also in the episode "Home is where the Heart Stops", Rick Castle, in order to win access to jewelry photos"

    Beckett: If you put any of the next three in the 10-ring and I will give you the files...
    Castle: Yeah?
    Beckett: Yeah.

      • Castle rips off 3 rapid-fire shots, taking out the X with a perfect cloverleaf

    Castle: You're a very good teacher.

      • The pilot shows him to be a crack shot at a gun range, although it is believable that in Real Life he would have trouble properly aiming at someone who is about to kill his Love Interest. Adrenalin would also be a major factor.
    • The Lone Ranger used this to avoid ever having to kill an opponent.
    • The Tenth Doctor shot a tiny diamond with a pistol from across a large room in the Doctor Who story The End Of Time. Particularly improbable and/or impressive given the Doctor's aversion to guns.
      • Earlier, in "The Sontaran Strategem", the Tenth Doctor disables a Sontaran by hitting a tennis ball with a racket so that it ricochets around the room until it strikes the Sontaran's probic vent, in the back of its head.
      • The Fifth Doctor once shot out a dungeon door's padlock with a flintlock pistol.

    Tegan: You missed!
    Doctor: I never miss (nor had he).

      • The Fourth Doctor's companion, Leela, kills a Sontaran by throwing a knife into its very small probic vent from across a room in the serial The Invasion of Time. Earlier, a Time Lord had told her that a Sontaran could theoretically be killed that way, but of course, no one could throw a knife with such accuracy. Leela then throws hers at something equally small, hitting it perfectly.

    Leela: Why not?

      • Leela shoots the dragon's eye with remarkable accuracy in "The Talons of Weng-Chiang", given that she was unfamiliar with the type of weapon used. (We never see her using a handgun prior to this episode.)
      • In "The Face of Evil" the Doctor passes the test of the horda, shooting a descending rope with a crossbow. Most of the time he's not even concentrating on the rope, then he abruptly turns around and shoots. It turns out he learned his archery skills from William Tell.
      • Sergeant Benton once hit a rooftop windvane across the village green and the Brig shot a man off a prison wall at about the same distance.
      • River Song also displays some remarkable aiming skills, at one point, blindly spinning in a circle as she fires her handgun, and managing to kill all the enemies in the room - despite there being plenty of objects for them to take cover behind.
    • The Comic Strip Presents spoofed this in Detectives on the Edge of a Nervous Breakdown. A detective from the gun-toting cop shows of The Seventies shoots at a Nineties-era suspect at a hundred yards and misses, because reality has now taken over the genre.
    • Charmed has a few instances of this, but many may be justified by the fact that they're witches. However, in the eighth season, Billie manages to throw a potion bottle in the partially-open mouth of a demon, while she's lying on her side after being thrown to the ground, about ten minutes after being beaten up by said demon. Since she doesn't seem to use her powers and is pretty much just winging it, I have to call it this trope.
    • Olivia Dunham from Fringe almost constantly shoots people right between the eyes, regardless of how quickly they're moving, whether they're inside a car, or even if she just picks up her gun and fires (seemingly) at random.
      • Interestingly, when she is in the Alternate Universe, and Walternate implants Fauxlivia's memories in her head, she suddenly becomes a crack shot and claims she normally sucks. Apparently, memories equal hand-eye coordination.
    • Torchwood's Captain Jack Harkness uses this trope to establish his pure awesomeness at the beginning of series 2.
      • There's also a few instances where Gwen pulls this off, namely shooting at a car repeatedly without changing stance and then running off when the driver realizes she's been shooting at the wheels and they've gone flat in Children of Earth.
    • In the pilot episode of "Psych" Shawn Spencer displays this ability at the police shooting range where after watching a female officer slowly and carefully fire a number of shots he rapidly fires the same number of shots at the same target with each of his bulletholes overlapping one of hers.
      • Near the end of "Shawn Takes A Shot In The Dark" Shawn manages to shoot out the engine of a moving vehicle with just four shots. While laying on the hood of another moving vehicle. Both of which are moving at high speeds. While he's injured from being shot himself.
        • These are actually kind of Justifiable seeing as how Henry has trained him with every cop skill possible. It's not totally implausible that Henry would have started him at the gun range as soon as he could safely hold a gun and would have taught him how to shoot accurately in almost any situation.
      • Juliet O'Hara shoots a machete wielding crazy, in the HAND, during a wind storm at night with limited visibility while he was attacking Shawn. "Tuesday the 17th"
    • In addition to making ridiculously awesome (but plausible) shots with a sniper rifle, Gibbs and his NCIS team are routinely capable of shooting bad guys in the forehead with a handgun—even from behind a hostage (but DiNozzo did shoot off the hostage's ear in that instance), from the trunk of a car, or while running at full speed.
      • Tony misses sometimes, but usually he always bull's eyes whatever he is aiming at with whatever is at hand. Examples include the knife when Ziva is trying to teach them knife throwing skills, the straw paper war, McGee's food.
    • Hotch on Criminal Minds is acclaimed, in-universe, as the BAU's best shot. He rarely misses, and once, while traveling in a moving SUV, shot an unsub off of a moving freight train. The quality of JJ Jareau's shooting talent has a smaller sample size, but she * did* once shoot a guy between the eyes, from across a room, through a plate glass door. (Through the FBI seal, no less.)
      • However, there is debate over whether Reid's headshot of Phillip Dowd at the end of "LDSK" subverts this trope or plays it straight. The episode's subplot had revolved around Reid's lack of shooting acumen; however, when he gets a chance during the climactic hostage situation, he plugs Dowd between the eyes. The veracity of the following statement is dubious.

    Hotch: Nice shot.
    Reid: Actually, I was aiming for his leg.

    • Averted in a late 3rd season Burn Notice episode "Good Intentions". The bad guy has Fiona at gunpoint a long distance off, and Michael draws his weapon, only to be talked out of it by Sam, who points out he'll never hit his target at that distance with a pistol.
      • Of course, Sam himself was capable of drawing a martini glass on a target at maximum range with a handgun.

    Sam: Did you notice the little olive?

      • Both Fiona and Jesse are pretty good with a sniper rifle. Jesse is able to shoot through Michael and kill the guy behind him, while only wounding Michael. Fiona makes a kill shot from afar while standing up.
    • Green Arrow is an impressive shot on Smallville, able to shoot a specific country on a globe or into the opening of a soda can. Clark Kent also hardly ever misses, whether he throws a football, basketball, bowling ball, knife, can, anything. He even shoots a bullet out of the air with his heat vision. It is implied that his talent comes from his powers, as in one episode where he was Brought Down to Normal, he found that he now sucked at basketball.
    • Played jarringly straight on a recent episode of White Collar, when Agent Peter Burke uncannily shoots the radio out of a mook's hand, with no damage to anything or anyone but the radio.
      • It is, sort of, a Running Gag on the show that Burke often exhibits abilities that impress everyone, even Neal, such as when he charms a Black Widow with a tango, while Neal and his partner are shouting in his ear to abort. These abilities usually come with no warning.
    • In Third Watch, Davis assumes Sully is practicing this trope when Sully shoots the gun out of a crazed gunman's hand. Promptly subverted when Sully answers his admiration with, "Yeah, but I was aiming for his head."
    • Misfits The mysterious Super Hoodie is able to throw a paper airplane across Southmere Lake with enough accuracy to twat Kelly in the eye. After Super Hoodie's identity is revealed, Simon demonstrates that he is beginning to develop his superhuman aim by throwing a peanut in the mouth of the allergic Villain of the Week's mouth, all while being strangled.
    • Eliot Spencer in Leverage Does Not Like Guns. However, in one episode, the team is ambushed by a group of armed Mooks in a warehouse. In order to let the others escape, he grabs two guns and proceeds to distract the enemy. This distraction involves moving quickly through the warehouse in a hail of bullets, while picking off Mooks with well-placed shots. One memorable scene involves him sliding on his knees in a puddle, while making precision shots. Apparently, just because someone Does Not Like Guns, doesn't mean he can't use them.
      • Eliot has former military special operations experience, which means he of necessity has substantial experience and training with firearms. He just doesn't normally use guns because guns = lethal force and killing people for a living is a habit he's trying to quit.
    • In News Radio, Dave puts on a knife-throwing act for a talent show as "Throwgali". He impresses his co-workers beforehand by turning off a light switch fifty feet away by throwing a knife, and then turning it back on again by throwing a knife even though the room is now dark. There is another knife thrower in the talent show called "Throwdini". He and Dave salute each other, saying, "To the sharp arts!"
    • On Alphas this is Hick's special power. He can analyze the environment and then make the perfect shot. In the pilot he kills a man in a windowless room with a sniper rifle by shooting though a grate, down a ventilation shaft and then cliping a second grate in such a way that the bullet tumbles just enough to hit the target sitting under it. Later on when faced with a hostage taker he ricochets a bullet off a sign so it hits the bad guy in the back since it is the only shot he can take without hitting the hostage. He can also shoot the hinges off a door using two pistols Guns Akimbo from across a street. He can also use his power for throwing object and to execute incredible feats of acrobatics.
      • Also of note is Marcus from one of the first episodes. His power is a more extreme version of Hicks' (which has more psychological side effects than Hicks' does). In the first few minutes of the episode, he flicks a quarter and hits it on the precise spot on a bar that would cause it to fall and set such a chain of events moving that he would be able to escape the ambulance he was in. His aim is so naturally perfect that he can't understand how other people can do things accidentally and not see the repercussions.
    • Unlike Mulder, Scully of The X-Files very rarely misses what she's aiming at. Mulder lampshades this after she's shot him, to prevent him killing someone else.
    • While playing darts in Once Upon a Time, the Sheriff/The Huntsman hits the bullseye three times in a row, then throws the fourth dart at the door right next to Emma's head. When Emma points out that he could have hit her, he claims that he never misses.
      • Prince Charming has also exhibited this, saving Snow White by hitting a guard on a galloping horse from a relatively long distance. In another episode he intercepts an arrow midflight with a sword.
    • In an episode of Arctic Air a drug trafficker and a hitman are both killed during the same night by long range rifle shots. The difficulty of the shots is magnified by the fact that it happened during a major snowstorm with heavy winds. The police suspect that the criminal group the men were working for hired a sniper to kill them. It turns out that the shooter was a young Native kid whose life was threatened by the criminals. His grandfather was a legendary hunter and marksman and he taught the kid everything he knew. Nobody suspected him since he never had a chance to demonstrate his skill since he left his village and came south to work for the airline.
    • In the first episode of Sherlock, we are introduced to John's aiming skills when he shoots the cabbie through two windows and just over Sherlock's shoulder - one handed. With the gun in the wrong hand. It's even more awesome in the unaired pilot.
    • Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: When Bashir was revealed to have been genetically engineered all along, among the many other Marty Stu abilities he was immediately given were Improbable Aiming Skills, the most ridiculous of which was him walking out of a bar with his back turned towards the dart board (and at an angle because the door wasn't perfectly aligned with the dartboard), tossing the dart over his shoulder without looking and still perfectly hitting the bullseye.

    Tabletop Games

    • Zen Archery and Zen Marksmanship in GURPS divide range penalties by 3 when used successfully. The Precision Aiming technique is meant to be a more realistic version, taking much longer to do and requiring special equipment for a more modest gain.
    • Warhammer 40,000
      • Imperial Assassins are all trained to a ridiculous degree, each and every one of them qualifying as a superior shot to the best master-snipers in the galaxy by the time they are ready to be sent on actual missions. And then there's the specialist sniper school of Assassins, the Vindicare Temple, where the end goal is an entire army of guys who shoot like everyone else on this page. They specialise in making headshots through active forcefields, at ranges of multiple kilometres, just to silence one recidivist governor or heretical demagogue before he can do enough harm to require an intervention in force.
        • On tabletop, the Vindicare Assassin has the ability, unique among all people in the 40k universe, to specifically single out a specific target in an enemy squad.
        • In stories, they do ridiculous stuff, like one shot per kill from a pistol while jumping from building to building. Or head shot at fighter pilot while swinging from a small balloon rapidly ascending in a light breeze (The Samos Sanction).
        • There is a Warhammer 40k comic that has a Vindicare assassin successfully making a headshot on an unaware standing target with a sniper-scoped anti-vehicle rifle... while several miles away in lateral distance and also while at several miles of altitude, while free-falling through the air, in the middle of a High-Altitude Low-Opening parachute jump. The assassin's internal monologue lampshades that he isn't even finding this shot particularly difficult; apparently this kind of thing is a boring routine day at the office for Vindicare assassins.
      • The Eldar Exarch skill Crack Shot eliminates enemies' benefit from cover, to the point that Maugan Ra has close to a 50% chance per shot of killing a Space Marine in a fortified bunker.
    • The Deadlands spell Kentucky Windage removes all penalties to the target number. Called shot to the head, shooting from the hip, watching the target in a shaving mirror while your back is turned? No problem!
    • Exalted: load enough points into Archery and learn enough relevant Charms, and you can reasonably shoot an arrow through a keyhole on the other side of the country. Mind you, this is small potatoes given that one martial arts combo allows you to destroy the world in one mountaintop kung fu move.
    • In Aberrant, all Novas with Mega-Dexterity have improbable aiming skills, but those that take the "Accuracy" enhancement are even better. They get three bonus dice for any aimed attack, in addition to the bonuses they get for having Mega-Dexterity in the first place. It has to be a pretty tricky shot for such a Nova to miss.


    • Bionicle classifies this as an actual superpower, with the Mask of Accuracy giving the wearer the ability to turn any object into a projectile that will always hit its target. Many characters have Improbable Aiming Skills without the help of a mask, however.

    Video Games

    • In City of Heroes, all attacks are determined whether they hit as soon as the animation starts. Basically, the animation just determines how long the attack takes to carry out. But it can take a few seconds to get to the part where you appear to attack. Which can lead to a melee attack hitting an opponent 30 feet and around a corner by the time your character actually swings, and the same goes for the computer hitting you.
    • Red Dead Revolver and Red Dead Redemption. It ain't called "Dead Eye" for nothin'.
    • Dante from the Devil May Cry series is a pretty damn good shot even in the game proper, but only demonstrates truly ridiculous levels of skill in the cutscenes, such as as the intro of Devil May Cry 3, where he—among other things—kills several Mooks with a single bullet by sending a bunch of billiard-balls into the air, and then shooting one of them in such a way that it starts a chain-reaction, sending the balls flying in all directions like gigantic, colorful buckshot. This is due to the fact that he's a human/demon hybrid using magical, demonic handguns.
      • In Devil May Cry 4, Dante puts a round through the Mad Scientist Agnus' papers. When Agnus picks one up to examine the damage, Dante puts another round through the exact same hole to kill him.
        • In the same game, in the boss encounters with Dante, he rarely uses his guns, unless of course Nero tries to shoot him, at which point Dante will begin to shoot the bullets out of the air.
        • Also in the same game, Dante manages to pull off "stacking" five bullets on the end of the handle of his sword (a la Robin Hood, just with bullets), stuck inside the Big Bad, each landing perfectly behind the other, with the final one thrusting it into its core.
    • Final Fantasy XIII deserves some mention. While free-falling from a jet, Lightning manages to fire one bullet and perfectly hit Fang's Eidolith (which is also moving and is about the size of a large pebble).
      • Did we mention that Lightning's weapon of choice, the Gunblade, has no ironsights or aiming method to speak of?
      • Arguably done more for Rule of Cool than for any other reason. Having Lightning shoot the Eidolith wasn't necessary (bearing in mind that in-game, Fang's is one of only two that activates on its own when used), but it just looked awesome.
    • Partially subverted in Deus Ex. Weapons in which you are untrained or only slightly trained have very bad aim. Although the player can start off with very good aim in one type of weapon or decent aim in several, they'll still have a few really inaccurate crappy ones for most of the game until enough skill points are gathered to push them to Advanced or Master training level.
    • Enter the Matrix has numerous examples, but one instance in particular is quite noteworthy; in the airport level, Ghost is tasked with shooting out the nose wheel of a Gulfstream jet to prevent it from taking off; Ghost being in a control tower and the plane being about a hundred yards away or so and beginning its takeoff roll. Granted Ghost is armed with a Barrett sniper rifle, but even the best snipers would be hard-pressed to make that shot.
    • Revolver Ocelot from Metal Gear Solid is another rare villainous example. Though wielding a revolver (and never, ever using his other hand to steady it), he's got unerring accuracy, on-par with even Sniper Wolf. He can even richochet bullets off of walls. When Cyborg Ninja cuts off his right hand, he just starts shooting with his left instead, without any perceptible drop in accuracy.
      • This may be accounted for by the fact that Revolver Ocelot the son of a psychic. However, that doesn't explain how, in a New Game+ file, Snake can pull off the same stunts, shooting around walls and even aiming behind enemies and hitting them in the back.
      • Metal Gear Solid 3 subverts this; the future Big Boss, then known as Naked Snake, gave Ocelot the idea of using a revolver as his weapon of choice, after noticing that with his previous gun (a Makarov PM handgun), he twisted his elbow to absorb the recoil, which actually worsened his aim with it.
        • Later in the same game, Ocelot adds a stock to the revolver to steady his aim for a long-range shot. And misses.
        • In MGS3, the first time we see Ocelot, he displays Xanatos Roulette Aiming Skills, managing to fire a bullet that ricochets multiple times before killing a Mook. When Snake later gets one of the revolvers, the bullets still ricochet, so he could concievably do the same if the player was good enough.
      • Also subverted in The Twin Snakes, where, during the torture scene, Ocelot is spinning his gun on his left hand and drops it by accident—lending a bit of credibility that his left hand isn't quite as accurate as his right. He later goes on to shoot the PAL key out of Snake's hand near the end of the game.
      • Ironically, in Twin Snakes, the legendary sniper villain character Sniper Wolf also subverts this trope by submitting to certain real-world sniping necessities of behavior: her accuracy suffers unless she's lying down, she takes an elevated position and plans ahead to hold that superior position throughout her battles. The irony comes from nearly every other villain in the game embodying a trope in order to make themselves unique, while Wolf's more conventional sniping ability is soundly trumped by Solid Snake's employment of two tropes multiplied together. In the cutscene in which Wolf is defeated (following a player-controlled sniper-fight boss battle in an outdoor snowfield in Alaska, against an enemy wearing all white, in the midst of a blizzard), Snake is suddenly disarmed by Wolf shooting the PSG-1 sniper rifle from his grip and taking a bead on his forehead. She is undone, however, when Snake suddenly performs a perfect backflip, lands with his heel against the rifle's stock to propel it into the air, executes a full 360 turn to grab it, aims, and fires the killing shot straight into Wolf's lungs from more than a hundred yards distant. In Wolf's defense, she does recover from surprise in time to return fire simultaneously, but without the power of being the primary focus of the cutscene, her shot harmlessly misses. The combined power of Improbable Aiming Skills and Cutscene Power to the Max has a resonance, it seems, rendering the protagonist briefly perfect.
    • Altaïr, the main character of Assassin's Creed, also displays an unbelieveable level of accuracy with his throwing-knives. His knives always hit, even on a moving target that changes direction unexpectedly, and ALWAYS kills instantly, without even giving the victim a chance to cry out. Well, unless it's one of your 'Targets', in which case they just basically ignore the throwing-knives for no apparent reason.
      • Ezio is the same with throwing knives in Assassin's Creed II and Assassin's Creed Brotherhood. He also has a small pistol, which is extremely accurate for those days. In Brotherhood, Ezio gets a crossbow, which will hit (and instantly kill) anyone he aims at. In fact, Stealth-Based Missions become really easy once the crossbow is introduced.
    • Gordon Freeman in Half Life. He's not shown to be supernaturally accurate, at least compared to other First Person Shooter heroes. However, unlike almost all other FPS heroes (who at least have some form of military background), he's a theoretical physicist who's never picked up a gun in his life prior to the events of the game. This makes incredibly impressive his ability to rapidly learn to use an assault rifle well enough to fight off both an alien invasion and a battalion of highly trained special forces soldiers.
      • Well, except for the firing range in the hazard course which is apparently mandatory for all Security Officers and people using the H.E.V. Though, it's never clear how often they're required to run it.
      • Lampshaded in the sequel, in which Breen, through his "Breencast" system, berates his mook army for being completely unable to impede Gordon's progress: "This is not some agent provocateur or highly trained assassin we are discussing. Gordon Freeman is a theoretical physicist who hardly earned the distinction of his Ph.D at the time of the Black Mesa Incident... The man you have consistently failed to slow, let alone capture, is by all standards simply that, an ordinary man."
      • Maybe Averted, at least in Gordon's case. At the beginning of Half Life when you first acquire the HEV Suit, among the systems being activated, a targeting system is mentioned.
      • That explains how he can hit a tiny Magnusson Device from 100 feet away with a pistol without even looking down the sights!
        • Well actually not so much for the pistol simply because its not accurate enough but Gordon Freeman has PERFECT aim with a revolver firing from the HIP.
    • The Lone Wanderer in Fallout 3 takes this trope to ridiculous extremes, being able to shoot a switchblade out of someone's hand and follow it up with a perfect headhsot. From fifty metres away. With a sightless (I shit you not) hunting rifle. He can still miss with a shotgun at point-blank range, oddly enough.
      • And that headshot doesn't even appear to be a true headshot. Instead the target is decapitated with a Clean Cut, the seemingly undamaged head lying next to the corpse. This is particularly hilarious when considering that the ammo used by Sniper rifles and the 'Infinity plus one rifle', Lincoln's Repeater (.308 and .44 Magnum, respectively) would have caused a lot of Pink Mist to spurt from the headless body. Compare a point blank hit with a shotgun which blows the enemy into many bloody chunks.
        • The sniper rifles and repeater are nice, but they just don't provide the satisfaction that decapitating someone with a BB gun does.
    • Final Fantasy Tactics Advance makes use of arc trajectory algorithms for Archers/Hunters/Snipers/Assasins with bows and line-of-sight algorithms for Gunners to see if a projectile would be obstructed by an obstacle or the terrain itself due to tiles with varying heights to make it seem more realistic... but this all goes out the window when you order your bowmen/gunslingers to use specials, which ignore those algorithms and just check to see if the target is within weapon range. This leads to cases where you can have an archer shoot at something that's pretty much 2 tiles away and 10 storeys above, or have a gunner SHOOT THROUGH A MOUNTAIN FACE AT POINT BLANK RANGE and hit the target on the other side, 7 panels away.
      • It's amusing to think that a bullet backed up by Ultima Charge would behave this way.
    • Compared to other AI allies throughout the series, Captain MacMillan from Call of Duty 4 is a deadshot. Within a second of killing your first mook (as Lieutenant Price), his partner is killed by MacMillan, regardless of who you choose. Despite his skills, he's only there to supervise your preemptive assassination attempt on The Man Behind the Man. During the hectic escape from the operation, you're hard pressed for cover and ammo while MacMillan patiently urges you on, and turns his side of the field into a graveyard.
      • Technically, you're both there to kill your target. Snipers rotate rifle duty and spotter duty regularly, in order to avoid eye strain and tunnel vision (among other things). Price just happens to be the man on the rifle when the target shows up. And lest we forget, that particular shot was a little over a mile distant. Granted, the M 82 A 1 used for the shot has a maximum range of two miles, and realistic problems, such as slight wind causing the bullet to miss by four or five feet and the Coriolis effect (needing to correct for the rotation of the Earth), are present and compensated for.
    • Sometimes a common occurence in FPSes, especially if The Computer Is a Cheating Bastard, but played straight in Time Splitters, as the Phlebitonium for much of the game, and in fact the concept itself, is plain and simply Rule of Cool. Of special note is that the computer tends to be completely suck with normal shotguns at long ranges, but does quite a few headshots with the BLUNDERBUSS. Speculation has it that this is due to a couple of the set patterns of blunderbuss firing arcs, and the height at which the computer naturally aims. If you require evidence, use all zombie characters, while playing one yourself, and take note of the amount of headless people running around in some all blundie games.
      • Also see: any oldschool 2d sprite FPS, where so long as you can see the creature in the distance, if he has a bullet-type attack which deals instantaneous damage, he can hit you very easily, even if he's a few pixels high. Averted with the Spider Mastermind in Doom due to the chaingun's naturally random 'spray'.
    • The assault rifle in Left 4 Dead has laser-like accuracy that gives it essentially infinite range. This can be a bit annoying when playing as the infected on versus, as Survivors will be able to spray bullets at you from halfway across the map and still get a headshot.
    • Arcade Light-Gun shooters take this to a ridiculous extreme, for both you and your opponents. Not while using their guns, though, oh no. This trope is only invoked when your enemies throw something at you. Whenever anything is thrown at you, from a knife to a 55-gallon drum, it will hit you with 100% accuracy. Yes, for some reason a thrown baseball is more likely to kill you than an assault rifle in these sorts of games. For your part, however, you're quick enough on the draw to shoot whatever's coming at you out of the air with a single shot. Here are a few highlights of the genre:
      • Area 51: You can shoot grenades, oil drums, and RPGs out of the air with one shot from a pistol.
      • Target: Terror: You can shoot groups of dynamite (complete with timer) out of the air with a single pistol shot. Apparently they must have set said timers for 4 seconds, as they will explode the instant they hit you. Not only that, but one of the bonus levels involves you doing this while terrorists throw a non-stop string of dynamite bombs attached to frozen turkeys at you!
        • To neutralize the hijacker, you must shoot out his rather small Dead-Man Switch remote, otherwise he blows up the plane.
      • House of the Dead: Zombies will throw axes at you. This in itself is amazing, but they will always hit unless you shoot them out of the air with a single shot. Always. Even when the zombie throwing it is fifty feet away, TEN FEET BELOW YOU, AND DECAPITATED!
      • Silent Scope: Sniping from a moving vehicle? Check. Shooting out the rotor of a helicopter from said vehicle? Check. Sniping a boss with a Meat Shield in another erratically-moving vehicle? Check. Sniping searchlights while parachuting? Check. Shooting knives and grenades in midair? Check. Destroying a tank by sniping down its barrel? Check. Shooting the handcuffs (or bomb detonators) off a hostage? Check. Sniping underwater? Check. The player himself needs to have extraordinary sniping skills and dexterity to beat the game.
    • Batman in Batman: Arkham Asylum. In melee combat Batman always hits—often with multiple batarangs—his targets if he's facing towards them. But then, hey, he's Batman.
      • Batman: Arkham City has a side-quest featuring Deadshot, who manages to kill one of his targets by ricocheting the bullet of a metal shutter first
    • The archer units in Stella Deus The Gate Of Eternity can shoot anywhere as long as the target is in weapon range. This includes around corners, up hills, and through obstacles.
    • Borderlands in Playtrough 2 and 2.5, Bad Muthas and Superbads gain HUGE advance in terms of accuracy. For example: You're 40–50 meters away from Bad Mutha enemy, that said enemy haves shotgun with 20 accuracy. However... It still manages to get most of the projectiles to hit you, when you couldn't hit them with same shotgun from that range.
      • Surprisingly for enemies that are Demonic Kamikaze Spiders in close combat, Psychos have perfect accuracy whether they're twenty or two hundred yards away. It wouldn't be nearly as absurd if not for the fact that they're throwing axes at you.
      • Also used in Mordecai's back story. He apparently won a sharp shooting contest while he was 17 against several professional snipers with much more experience. The kicker? They all used sniper rifles; he used a revolver. The snipers then chased him off and called him a cheater.
    • Enemies in Rainbow Six can headshot you with almost any weapon from beyond visual range while aiming the wrong way, and can shoot at impossible angles that you can't.
    • The Mark & Execute ability from Splinter Cell Conviction allows Sam to One-Hit Kill, depending on the equipped weapon, up to four enemies in rapid succession even when they're in rather different locations. You'd be hard-pressed to find a Real Life marksman who can do so with his speed and accuracy, nevermind as consistently.
    • Prototype allows you to pick up any shouldered weapon and start leaping tens of meters into the air while always maintaining an accurate aim on any target, moving or still, that you've locked on to.
      • Locking on to a specific target isn't actually required to demonstrate this trope in its full glory. Pick up a gun with high-velocity projectiles(in this case, either the rifle or machinegun). With significant upgrades to the jump ability, leap across the street with plenty of human class targets with substantial threat ratings like normal soldiers near a hive or base. While still in air, tap the fire button rapidly. Voila, dead soldiers lying flat, all taken one bullet each in the span of about what, 2 to 3 seconds?
      • Subverted somewhat in that automatic firing will cause a decrease in accuracy the longer the trigger is pulled no matter the player's stance.
      • Even more spectacular, is the throwing of objects(even while moving in the air). Should the moving target change velocity or direction slightly, the thrown object can mildly compensate mid-flight, making it look like the ambulance you've just hurled is homing onto the Apache chopper trying to dodge your attack. Improbable aiming taken to the absurd degree.
    • The AI in Worms is an incredible shot. Infact they seem to feel the need to rub it in, ignoring targets directly next to them to shoot at things a long distance away that they wouldn't be able to physically see or know exist if it wasn't for the side view.
      • Let's see - using a bazooka to shoot an enemy on the other side of the map. If that's not badass enough, the AI always relies on wind, so even if a straightforward shot at maximum power will still hit, they'll settle for firing in the opposite direction with somewhere between 10 and 50% of power and the shot will still do max damage. That's to say that the AI frequently does shots that could be classified as improbable at best, then there are the shots that go through a gap that by all accounts should not fit a bazooka and that's while the said bazooka is doing a turn under the influence of a very strong wind. Not badass enough? The AI using a bazooka is the preferred option for you; if the enemy pulls out a grenade, you can only pray it doesn't target the worm that will actually die by taking maximum grenade damage. Their favourite tactic is to make the grenade ricochet a bit (say, at least 3-5 times) and land on the head of your worm at the same time the fuse time runs out.
      • And this is on all difficulty levels; the only real difference is that lower AI levels will either sometimes miss (on purpose) or just be really bad at picking targets.
      • The "Cocky" AI in Worms Reloaded does this on purpose. It chooses to do the most difficult (but still viable) shots possible in order to show off.
    • Kevin Ryman and Alyssa Ashcroft in Resident Evil Outbreak can both take a little longer to aim a handgun to receive a much higher chance of a critical hit.
    • In Valkyria Chronicles, all the guns used by the player's squad start off mediocre and are gradually improved, and all start off with low accuracy, indicated by a huge possible hitbox, even sniper rifles. Later in the game, the hitbox of a sniper rifle is small enough to target soldiers on the other side of the map, specially if using Marina Wulfstan, whose hitbox becomes a single dot, this means she will hit dead-center any target at any distance ten times out of ten.
    • Displayed by your enemies in Will Rock: They can hit you from every possible distance with: Fireball shots, arrows, javelins, axes, knives, morning stars, acid, tridents, fiery stones/pebbles, fiery bullets and lightning bolts.
    • In the Medal of Honor series, Nazis have near-perfect accuracy when blind-firing behind cover (ie what is supposed to be suppressing fire).
    • Enemies with automatic weapons in Soldier Of Fortune II are implausibly accurate at long range, while the player suffers from A-Team Firing with the same guns.
    • A nameless, fameless Mook proves his serious chops in Final Fantasy XII's opening movie. The Imperial Trooper who kills Rassler does so by shooting him with an arrow. Through the one unarmored spot on his body (a one-inch gap between his breastplate and his neck/shoulderguard armor right over his collarbone.) While Rassler is mounted on a chocobo and jostling about erratically. In the din and chaos of a pitched battle. Across the span of a bridge. At night. If it wasn't for the fast Basch kills him with an equally improbable shot (albeit with an armor-piercing arrowhead, so he didn't need to aim at a weak spot,) the man would probably be deserving of a promotion.
    • The Zelda games—and any games that have auto-targeting—use this when you can lock onto an enemy and let loose with arrows or whatever weapon you have. It only gets really absurd when, in The Legend of Zelda Twilight Princess, a mini-game requires you to shoot an arrow at a post on a guard tower a hundred yards away, but the arrows don't drop at all and there is a targeting sight. The mini-game wins you the Hawkeye, an item that functions like binoculars, or a sniper scope when combined with the bow, giving you even more improbable aiming powers!
    • Falmer archers in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim are neither better nor worse at archery than the other races, which is damned impressive, considering that they're all completely blind.

    Visual Novels

    • Umineko no Naku Koro ni gives us the four Chiester sisters. Their first apperance is for them to shoot down two people running away from them with a single arrow. After the people have turned at least one corner. And that's their most basic shot. They go on to do things like firing an arrow from the other side of a forest, through an open window and then through a keyhole into a locked room to kill two people.
    • Maji de Watashi ni Koi Shinasai! has Miyako and Yoichi (one of the new characters in the sequel), who are both members of the "Five Bows Under Heaven". Less improbable but still impressive is the Prime Minister with a rifle.

    Web Comics

    • A comic of Eight Bit Theater had Black Mage and Red Mage discussing on who'd win in a fight: Bullseye and Green Arrow, based on either's Improbable Aiming Skills. RM then said Green Arrow could shoot several arrows precisely at once. BM argued—and was pinned to a tree by such an attack...
    • Parodied in this strip of The Last Days of Foxhound with a shooting contest between Sniper Wolf and Revolver Ocelot.
    • In a recent Better Days strip, the main character manages to shoot two men directly in the head while holding an obese man still with one arm.
      • And using a silenced weapon, may I add, which makes it even more ridiculous.
      • Of course he can.
    • Janet of Gunnerkrigg Court can nail an arrow mid-flight.
      • Several generations prior, Steadman was able to hit a moving target at the bottom of a very deep ravine, in the middle of the night.
    • The Adventures of Dr. McNinja: The Flying Shooting Juan
      • Mitzi's speciality is precisely aimed demolitions. She uses this skill to land a treasure chest on Dark Smoke Puncher, and get the Doc's katana back to him. And she did this before she knew where they were going to be standing.
    • One of the characters of Gone With the Blastwave can headshot a plane pilot with a sniper rifle... at the moment that leads the now-unpiloted plane to crash into an allied tank.

    Soldier 1: Hey, it worked.
    Soldier 2: .... you've been doing this for too long.


    Web Original

    • A Survival of the Fittest example is Trish McCarroll. Using an AK (notorious for recoil) that she'd never fired before (or any guns for that matter), she managed to hit Sloan Henriksen four times in the heart and six in the lungs in a single burst of fire. It's put down to luck, but still, for somebody who has never used a gun it was an incredible feat. Amusingly, given that SOTF is a play by post game, it was actually Sloan's handler that caused the Improbable Aiming Skills. (by mentioning which places the characters was hit in the death post)
      • Along similar lines is Reika Ishida who was shot in the heart or where her heart would have been had she not been a mirror-image twin by Kris Hartmann who not only has no gun experience, but was turning around at the time of firing. The killer later shot Amber Whimsy in the heart as well, this time while lying on their back and not bothering to set up the shot. This can be somewhat forgiven, however, as both characters were relatively close to one another.
      • Clio Gabriella was able to shoot Chris Davidson in the face despite the fact that not only did the character have nerve damage to their hand, but they hadn't been intending to pull the trigger.
    • Chaka. It's part of her superpowers. She can use her Ki to throw just about anything wherever she wants. Knives, shuriken, throwing spikes, you name it. She has a 'dartboard' that is the size of a quarter, and she throws sewing needles at it. She still hasn't missed the bullseye.
      • Also, Hive and Deadeye have superpowers that let them be unbelievably good snipers. Okay, Hive had decades of experience as a U.S. Navy sniper before getting those powers.
    • Ballistic, a superhero from the Global Guardians PBEM Universe is said to be the best shot in the world with a handgun, and qualfiies as a Trick Shot, a master of Gun Fu, and is absolutely a Quick Draw.
      • Red Eagle, Briar Rose, The Bowman, Obsidian Arrow, Yeoman, Artemis, and Warpath are all "super archers", and are able to skim the wings off flies in mid-flight with their arrow-shots.

    Western Animation

    • The Yuyan Archers from Avatar: The Last Airbender can literally shoot the wings off a fly (or at least pin it to a tree from a hundred paces away—without killing it), or at least that's what Zhao said. Though this was most likely hyperbole, they are able to pin Aang to a log by his shirt and nail someone hiding behind a human shield in the head.
      • Mai has also demonstrated impeccable and deadly accurate knife-throwing skills. Although sometimes it's shuriken. She keeps several dozen in the sleeves of her robe.
    • The ARC Troopers from Star Wars: Clone Wars possess impressive powers of accuracy, almost every shot blasts a droid's head off and a single trooper takes out a Trade Federation armored tank in less than 5 seconds by running up the side of it, blasting the top off, shooting several shots from the inside of the machine and running like hell.
    • Averted in Code Lyoko, where Odd and Yumi miss quite frequently, especially when the shot would be difficult in real life (i.e. shooting at a moving target). Then again, since often the enemies simply dodge, and Odd's arrows are often shown moving as fast as a real arrow, this might be a case of The Computer Is a Cheating Bastard. Played relatively straight with Aelita (after she gains her Energy Field in season 3), who only misses when she's distressed.
    • Ferb in Phineas and Ferb As Candace is falling into a Canyon with a coin powered rocket when she run's out of quarters. Ferb casually does "The Robot" for a couple of tourists, who give him a quarter. Then he proceeds to slingshot the coin, straight into the slot.
    • Played with in South Park: Butters hits his target every time, without looking—but only in the guy's crotch balls dick naughty bits.
    • In King of the Hill, Bobby has very few talents but at a carnival after picking up a bb gun at a shooting gallery finds out he's an excellent shot, later when taken to a shooting range he shoots off his rounds pretty quickly and Hank is disappointed that he didn't listen to him only to discover all of his shots hit the target dead center.
    • Used in the M.A.S.K. episode The Golden Goddess to a ridiculous degree. Alex Sector (never previously known for his aiming skills) disables an elephant with laser cannons without harming it. He fires the cannons the elephant's feet such that the elephant steps/falls into the blast craters... which are the size of its feet. Alex accomplishes this feat:
      • From above and behind
      • While parachuting from a plane in a semi truck
      • With the giant laser cannons mounted distally on the truck
      • Hitting beneath all four feet on both sides of the elephant, without hitting the elephant
      • Missing only one set of three paired shots
      • With the "camera" noticeably rocking to convey how unsteady a platform he's shooting from
      • This just after commenting "... if I can just keep this blasted truck steady enough."
    • In one episode of Class of the Titans, Atlanta splits an arrow robin hood style. Then splits that one. While upside down. On a rope.
      • Talking of Robin Hood, in the Walt Disney film Robin splits his opponent's arrow. With an arrow he deflected mid-flight with a second shot (after his first was interfered with). With both the deflected and the deflecting arrow being improvised bits of stick half-broken in the middle. And a bow made of a green stick and pieces of skin. And standing on stilts with a giant fake beak strapped to his face. While singing the Chinese National Anthem backwards (actually this last part is not true).

    Real Life

    • Real World Examples: A number of competition and professional shooters, over a number of decades, have performed incredible feats of gunplay. These include:
      • going from a standing rest position to drawing and firing an killing headshot in 0.26 timed seconds—and being even faster than that, being able to throw a handful of eight clay pigeons behind them and promptly shoot all of them in the air with a shotgun,
      • setting up two targets and using a sword in between and in front of them to cut the bullet and strike both targets accurately,
      • being able to fire sixty rounds from ten revolvers and put every shot into a four inch circle in 17 seconds?picking up and putting down each revolver in succession,
      • firing eight rounds from a revolver in 1.00 timed seconds (480rpm -- matching a machinegun's rate of fire!) with all rounds hitting the target,
      • and many, many more.
    • It should also be pointed out that these shooters practice daily, going through tens of thousands of rounds of ammunition per year, and are the absolute top masters of their respective field at an Olympic level of skill. Look up folks like Bill Munden, Ed Cantrell, Elmer Keith, Jerry Miculek, or Rob Leatham for starts...or, for that matter, Annie Oakley.
      • The Discovery Channel series Time Warp aired an episode titled "Sharpshooter", which featured (among others) super-slow motion photography of a professional rifle shot shooting at and hitting an ordinary playing card edge on! Granted, it took him a couple shots before he hit the card, but the feat seems to be at least in the running for being a Crowning Moment of Awesome.
        • Although it looks very impressive hitting a playing card edge-on is only slightly more difficult than hitting the bullseye normally, because the effective target area to hit the card is a circle slightly less than twice the diameter of the bullet. (i.e., even if the bullet just grazes the card along its side the card is still getting cut in half).
    • Ed McGivern was the living embodiment of this trope. In addition to five shots at five yards into a silver dollar in 45/100ths of a second (with a stock DA revolver), he could shoot six hand-thrown clays, centerpunch washers, fire revolvers akimbo at separate targets with equal effectiveness, and score hits at 600 yards (again, with a stock revolver). In one chapter of his book, he says (paraphrased), "anyone can do this. I pulled it off by standing in a field in Montana and burning up 30,000 rounds to master this one trick (shooting aerial targets)."
    • Getting away from handguns and shotguns, three notable sniper shots: the legendary Carlos Hathcock, 2,286 meters, the current record set by Rob Furlong, 2,430 meters. The difficulty of these long ranges is pointed out by the facts like Furlong's shot, at a moving target, took 4 seconds to go from the gun and had a bullet drop of about 146 feet. Beating even that was Royal Marine Matt Hughes. Although his shot at an Iraqi sentry was a relatively short 860 meters, the gale-force crosswind meant his bullet curved 56 feet sideways.
      • Simo Häyhä. Of particular note is that Häyhä did all of his work without a scope. Yeah. The greatest sniper in history killed 546 Soviet soldiers using only iron sights. He may not have matched other snipers in sheer range, but you have got to respect a sniper so skilled he hunted with only a pair of very fine-tuned bits of metal telling him where his shots were going to go.
        • He was eventually presented with a higher-quality rifle, but removed the scope because 1. the shine off the lens could give away his position to enemy snipers and 2. he didn't need it, as noted above.
      • Rifleman Thomas Plunket. In 1809, using a black powder rifle over an open sight, he shot a French general dead at a range of 500 meters. Then he shot the first man to come to the general's aid, just to prove it wasn't a lucky shot.
      • Billy Dixon. He and a group of Bison hunters were defending the settlement of Adobe Walls from Comanches. Dixon, armed with a Sharps rifle, knocked a Comanche off his horse at a surveyed range of 1,538 yards.
        • Even as Billy Dixon was (most possibly) one of the best long-range riflemen in the entire world, he did not give much credit to his shot and did not attempt to duplicate it.
      • Military snipers in general. US Army snipers average one confirmed kill for every 1.78 bullets fired. Add in the probable kills, and the accuracy goes up to one kill for every 1.32 bullets fired.
      • Rob Furlong's record is actually now a former record. The new record holder is Craig Harrison, who not only hit a target over 8,000 feet away with a rifle designed to have an effective distance of 5,000 feet, but decided that wasn't badass enough and did it twice.
        • Not reported in that link is that with his third shot, Corporal Harrison disabled the machine gun his victims were using. As they say in America, three up, three down.
    • In 2005 in Ar Ramadi, Iraq, a patrol was on a rooftop in the eastern part of the city scouting out sniper positions. A member of the patrol was killed by a terrorist sniper from the city hospital, over half a mile away. An impressive enough shot, but the Army sniper, SSG James Gilliland, with the patrol was better. Within seconds of the shot, he turned, acquired the terrorist's position, and returned fire, killing him with one shot. A within-seconds snap-shot kill at over 1,000 meters. Not to mention he somehow found the spot the bad guy was firing from amongst the many windows of the hospital.
      • He even made Wikipedia, as the 7th longest sniper kill in history, and more interestingly, the longest sniper kill made with 7.62mm ammunition, a fairly "typical" round, rather than the .50 caliber anti-material round, or specially designed for extreme range sniping .338 Lapua Magnum.
    • Not that shooting guns out of people's hands can't be done, but it's just too Awesome but Impractical to use.
      • The comment of the guy who'd just had the gun shot out of his hand as the police wrestled him to the ground? "That was a great shot!"
    • During an eight hour battle between US Marines and Taliban fighters, a Marine marksman single handedly thwarted a company-sized enemy RPG and machinegun ambush by reportedly killing 20 enemy fighters with his devastatingly accurate precision fire. What made his actions even more impressive was the fact that he didn't miss any shots, despite the enemies' rounds impacting within a foot of his fighting position.
      • Did we mention he went 1 for 1? 20 shots and 20 kills.
    • The memoir Sniper One tells of the exploits of a UK sniper platoon in Al-Amarah, one of the most dangerous, and least-known, battlefield cities in the Iraq War. They have a number of feats such as these. Expecially when they get their hands, briefly, on a .50 calibre anti-tank rifle.
      • Anti-tank rifle? The only place you're likely to find an anti-tank rifle is in a museum, since they went out of style in the early years of World War II.
    • The Beanshooter Man, who performs this trope with a slingshot of all things.
    • In the 17th century the kickass soldier/scientist/artist/bucaneer Prince Rupert Of The Rhine shot a hole through a weathervane from 200 yards using a flintlock pistol. When King Charles I, who was watching, claimed it was a fluke, he did it again. The weathervane was still in place, with its two musket holes, 200 years later.
    • In the vein of Simo Hayha above, in WWI a brigade American Marines engaged a German division at Belleau Wood, sniping targets at up to 800 yards (which is far enough you don't hear the rifle's report before the bullet) with iron sights. The fire was so devastating the German commanders thought the Americans had machine guns.
      • A similar feat has been attributed to a British rifle platoon at a bridge in 1914. The British trained specifically for this pre-war with the "Mad Minute" training exercise in which riflemen had to put at least 15 aimed shots into a target 300 yards away within 60 seconds.
    • Gather 'round, tropers, and hear the tale of the man who made .50 calibre sniping popular. Carlos Norman Hathcock II, Gunnery Sergeant, USMC had 93 confirmed kills in Vietnam ("confirmed" meaning an officer-rank third party actually saw the dead body). He scared the NVA so much they put a $30,000 bounty on his head. He sometimes used the Browning M2 machine gun with a custom-mounted scope to make shots at over 2500 yards. That's right, this man sniped with a machine gun. He even disabled a child gun-runner by shooting his bike—but then the little punk got up and started shooting, so Hathcock had to shoot him. Also, one of his confirmed kills was an actual Scope Snipe.
    • British hunter and explorer Walter D.M. "Karamojo" Bell shot a bit over 1500 African elephants during his career, with 7x57mm, 6.5x54mm and .303 rifles. Most of his kills were brain shots from the first bullet. All of them with military-type full metal jacket bullets. He never used any sort of expanding bullet and appeared rather disinterested in large-caliber "elephant guns". (Modern "men" are rather scared when it comes to hunt a bear with a .303, 7.92x57mm, .30-06 or anything that does not look like a cannon).
    • Dersu Uzala Arseniev is about one native friend whom he met while exploring Far East. The protagonist shoots so ridiculously well, done in a fiction, this would make eyebrows rise, but it's a memoir. A typical example: two of his men on rest tried to shoot a duck, missed, it flied a bit away and this somehow turned into sport, until it was at least 300 steps away by the author's estimation. Enters giggling drunk Dersu. "Your shot well. Now my want chase duck." He raises the gun and fires almost without aiming. The bullet hits water, its splash showers the bird. It squeaks in panic and flies farther. Next shot—another close hit. Now most of them have to use binoculars. One tried to compete and shot. The ricochet made the bird dive for a moment, but that's all. Dersu aims carefully—yet another very close hit. The duck flies away for good.
    • U.S. Army Corporal Alvin York. When his unit was spotted by a German machine gun company and his entire squad either had been cut down or had fled to cover except him, he stood and took the concentrated fire of thirty-two German machine guns and over 100 German riflemen without receiving so much as a scratch on him. But this trope comes into play for his offensive capability: With only his semi-automatic rifle and Colt .45 pistol, he shot 28 Germans and forced them to surrender to him alone - and according to all accounts, he didn't miss one single shot.

    York: I jes couldn't miss a German's head or body at that distance. And I didn't. Besides, it weren't no time to miss nohow.
    Official report of the battle: The American [York] fired all of the rifle ammunition clips on the front of his belt and then three complete clips from his automatic pistol. In days past he won many a turkey shoot in the Tennessee mountains, and it is believed that he wasted no ammunition on this day.

      • York's aim was so spectacular, when a group of six German soldiers fixed bayonets and charged him, York took out his pistol and shot them all back to front, so the ones in front would not know their fellows were dying until too late. Again, without missing a shot. York believed that God protected him and guided him, which given what he accomplished doesn't seem entirely unreasonable.
      • The machine guns fired from camouflaged positions; York couldn't see any of the men crewing them. But he saw the gun muzzles, and he knew where the gunners' heads had to be relative to those.
    • Corporal Olaf Lagus, the son of General Ruben Lagus, in the Finnish Army, Continuation War in 1944. He was a Sturmgeschutz III gunner, and just assigned to combat duty. He shot a total of four rounds in the war (before he was wounded in action and hospitalized), and with each round he destroyed a Soviet T-34. His efficiency was full 100%.
    • Lieutenant Antti Tani, Finnish Air Force. He destroyed a Soviet Ilyushin Il-2 Shturmovik - a heavily armoured ground attack plane dubbed as "flying tank" in 1944 with just one single round before the guns of his Messerschmitt Bf 190G jammed. An electric failure had jammed the trigger mechanism after the gun shooting just once.
    • A famous example on the reverse side of this: Union General John Sedgwick, at the start of the Battle of Spotsylvania Courthouse in July 1864, complained as his staff and artillery ducked for cover from snipers about 1000 yards away, "They couldn't hit an elephant at this distance." Seconds later he was killed by a bullet just below his left eye.
      • Some would say that Death by Irony and Tempting Fate were invoked in full effect here; it certainly makes his death a funny story to tell in history class. What was sad about it, though, is that he wasn't a bad General, or a bad man, period; he was just trying to encourage his troops, and was cut down rather ghoulishly with the Union being so close to victory. Still, one does have to admit that this story is an effective tale illustrating the importance of a sniper:
        • 1) If he can pick off important military personnel, then he can affect the outcome of a battle by upsetting the chain of command and the morale of the enemy.
        • 2) He can pin down the enemy and severely impede their advance.
        • 3) Lastly, snipers are messengers of death from long range. For perspective, 1000 yards is about 3000 feet and extremely impressive for a Civil War era rifle—very little hope of counter-acting that.
    • Lieutenant James Launders DSO* DSC* commanding His Majesty's Submarine Venturer. Not only did he sink the U-864, he did so using a three dimensional firing solution he worked out on paper as both submarines were submerged at the time. This is the only time in history that one submarine sank another while both were submerged.
    • The world record for benchrest shooting (custom guns firing custom bullets) is a 1.2 cm group of five shots at 300 yards, an area a fraction the size of a AA battery.
    • Subversion. The French politician Clemenceau was a quarrelsome fellow and regularly getting challenges. However his opponents always chose a pistol rather than a sword. Clemenceau was good with both. But he did not trust himself to aim a pistol well enough to wound a man without killing, and he was confident enough that he could just cut up someone to teach them a lesson with a sword. Thus anyone who took him on wanted to make sure they were unharmed by taking advantage of his restraint (or of the fact that being a manslayer led to complications he preferred to avoid).
    1. It is later revealed that he did aim for that spot: The Russians bought him off and arranged for him to win that fight to give him credibility.
    2. By comparison, three hundred yards is the maximum arcing range for a composite longbow intended to be fired in massed volleys to harrass the enemy. Woodcrafters are sniping people with near-horizontal shots at that range.