Hitting the 8” circle on this target is wholly coincidental. At that range, it is smaller than the center dot of his EBR-7D reticle, and after almost 8,000 yards of atmospheric distortion, would not have been visible. 8” dots and waterlines commonly get eaten by distance even when shooting less than half as far as this shot. It hit the huge piece of steel, KINDA intentionally. Hitting the orange dot was coincidence, like dropping a penny on the ground which lands on edge and rolls, instead of falling on one side first.
The fact they the 4ft x10ft target did require skill and proper gear, but it was largely dependent upon statistical probability. They had a rifle and load capable of hanging onto respectable precision at distance, such they could know they’d be raining fire in the general area of the target - the same way Phillip’s team, the previous record holder fired their record in the same 69 shots. This record has been broken a few times in recent years, and you’ll notice, none of the attempts have ever failed - because they have the gear and skills to get close, and eventually, close hits. So it’s simply a statistical probability.
When you spend any time shooting out past 2000 yards with these super magnum rifles, you see what it takes, and you see what makes this “record” such a gimmick. It’s like YouTube videos on the “dude perfect” channel, where they know if they make enough attempts, they’ll eventually have some amazing trick shot on video. It doesn’t demonstrate a reliable or repeatable skill, but rather a statistical certainty. Alternatively, Sunday this week, a shooter from Kansas set a cold bore competition record, hitting 4 shots in a row (three required) at 2585 yards, first shots of the day. Also attending the same match was another (former) record holder, also from Kansas, who last spring hit a longest impact in competition record at 4134 yards. These are repeatable and reliable feats - these guys hit these distances (Ryan’s record, he hit twice, he and two others beat again a month later, and Derek’s record, he hit multiple impacts on multiple targets further than that cold bore +2 attempt).
Comparatively, these 7000+ yard “records” are high volume probability manipulation games. Absolutely, some years in the future, guys like Derek, Rob, and Ryan will meet and beat these 7000yrd exhibition records with competition performance which is reliable and repeatable - a demonstrable skill. And naturally then, the “lucky shot” exhibition records will be extended to 10,000-12,000 yards, at the bleeding edge of the grey space, beyond capability, reliant upon possibility.