Beginners Guide To Long Range Shooting

By | 28/10/2022

So, what is the interest in shooting Long Range most?

The feeling you get when y’all can hit a tiny target, virtually out of sight, is really amazing for many of united states. Taking your skills to that level takes some time and training, only it’southward gratifying when you reach that adjacent stride in your shooting skill set up.

Ane reason many shooters are moving up to longer ranges is the challenge. It’s pretty piece of cake to hunt or plink at the range and get expert hits on target sub-200 yards, but every bit soon as you offset to get longer then some skill is involved equally is the need to practise some bones math and use more tools. These complications hateful that information technology’south harder and more time consuming to shoot this fashion and that makes information technology highly-seasoned to those who want to get to the side by side level.

Here we explain the nuts of how to get started in Long Range Shooting.

How to “ring steel” at thousand yards

When you lot hitting a target at 1000 yards and hear the steel “ring” it’s a real buzz! Believe us, it really is a fantastic feeling beingness able to achieve that level of accuracy.

Achieving this goal is orientated around several key areas you need to master to be consistent out at distance:

•    Understand and exercise the “fundamentals” of shooting – working on your technique

•    Choosing and setting up the right tools for the mission: the weapon system and associated equipment

•    Using high quality consistently accurate armament (match or hand loaded) in the right caliber for the job at mitt

•    Using a range of new skills and knowledge near how to alter the firing solution and zero, based on ecology factors

•    Practicing and testing the chosen setup at distance and noting that data (DOPE) every bit you amend

Training, and experience, are the most critical factors for success.

What is Long Range shooting in terms of distance?

Wikipedia defines long range shooting as “a collective term for shooting disciplines where the shooter has to engage targets at such long distances that he has to calculate ballistics, especially with regard to current of air.”
Bryan Litz, Founder, and President of Applied Ballistics LLC defines long-range as “where you need to make pregnant adjustments to your nothing to hit a target due to gravity drib and wind deflection.”

There are likely many ways to categorize what long-range shooting means to people, simply we are defining the various ranges as below since we are going to exist shooting long range:

•    Short range is less than 300 yds.

•    Long range is 300-1200 yds.

•    Extra-long (ELD) range is greater than 1 mile

What is the departure between range “plinking” and long-range technique?

The big difference between simple range target shooting and long range is the need to compensate for bullet driblet, environmental conditions and to accept the tools to figure those things out and so that a firing solution can exist made. Unlike range shooting or hunting at short distances where you can eyeball the bullet drop, at 1000 yards you need to be accurate, precise and to have a set of numbers to put into your scope to compensate – yous can’t really gauge where the bullet volition hit.

Shooting at altitude too means that you need your shooting “fundamentals” to exist top rate (A stable platform, natural point of aim, proper sight alignment and sight picture plus trigger control) considering any errors are exaggerated at long distance. Well-nigh of the states are looking for sub-MOA type accuracy to be able to stand any chance at longer ranges.

What are MOA and sub-MOA?

MOA stands for “Infinitesimal of Angle” and the reference to sub-MOA is a way of expressing the accurateness of a rifle or shooter. I MOA at 100 yards is one inch – that ways to be able to shoot sub-MOA y’all need to be able to shoot a group of shots that are less than an inch in diameter.

What is the best quotient for Long Range Shooting?

In that location is no “all-time” Caliber. In that location are many choices, and these are driven by what yous intend to do. If you are casually shooting, that’southward one affair, vs. long range hunting or entering a PRS match. Each of these will aid y’all decide what is all-time for you and each has several caliber choices to pick from. Long range shooting requires calibers that can shoot long distances, maintain velocity, and avoid deflection from the current of air equally much as possible.

So, for long range hunting or target shooting, we now know nosotros need to choose a caliber that has a high BC, and and so the critical deviation between target and hunting will be effectually the ability of the quotient to take down the target animal – small, big or large game. Likewise, we should consider other factors such every bit price, availability, and recoil. The length of time it takes a round to remain supersonic, and its retained free energy on impact, are two more of the many considerations we discussed in the previous chapter, on speed.

A common caliber for hunting (and military long-range shooting) is the 300 Winchester Magnum (Win Magazine), and for target shooting today, is the family of 6 and vi.5mm cartridges. However, there are many calibers to choose from, and it can be overwhelming trying to effigy it all out. Some would say that the 300 Win Magazine has been superseded past calibers around the 7mm, due to having a ameliorate BC and more range. But then once more, getting ammunition can be more hard, so each choice has different considerations.

What is BC and why is that important?

BC stands for Ballistic Coefficient. In elementary terms, this is all about the shape of the bullet. Specific bullet shapes perform ameliorate at long range, they tend to have a more aerodynamic shape with a boattail design. Each bullet has a BC number, you tin can detect this on your box of ammo. in many cases or from the manufacturer’s site.

This BC number is essential as you need information technology when computing the trajectory (bullet drop) of your shots. Information technology’south an integral part of the formula, along with other factors like your firing azimuth, altitude, muzzle velocity, sight top and more.

What is a precision rifle, and do I demand i?

A precision rifle is simply a rifle that has been congenital to a college “standard” in terms of components than your average hunting rifle with regard to shooting at longer ranges. It is also likely in a chassis more similar an AR. Often these rifles are offered in longer range calibers and have rails for like shooting fish in a barrel attachment of higher end optics. They also tend to be heavier which helps reduce the effects of recoil.

You don’t demand to take a special rifle to shoot long range, but you lot exercise need 1 that is consequent and i that has a good butt that is capable of shooting the right caliber round out that far.

What is the essential gear to get started?

This may surprise you, but the nearly meaning single budget item should be your optic, non the rifle. Almost proficient quality modernistic rifles, in the correct caliber, tin can reach out to 1000 yards but the same cannot be said for lower cost optics.

Optics for long range shooting also tend to exist different to regular hunting type scopes. They ordinarily accept a bullet drop compensation (BDC) reticle with hash marks that allow the shooting to compensate for Wind conditions (and even drop). These scopes likewise need turrets that enable the shooter to “punch” in the changes needed for different distances. These turrets need to “rails” accurately, cheap scopes often have bug in this expanse. The other key feature is a parallax knob that allows the shooter to remove parallax from the scope as this will bear upon the final point of impact if not compensated for when shooting at altitude.

Then there is reading the conditions out at that distance, and that requires amend quality drinking glass and higher magnifications than a “regular” low-end scope.

The 2d consideration is the Rifle, the key is to get one with a good butt, a good stock and i designed for the chore. The boilerplate hunting rifle is not ideal for longer ranges. It may be able to do it, just it’s likely not going to be consistent or repeatable, and that’south a large role of the sport. Being both accurate and precise.

These are the central basics to get started, however, yous will also need a range of additional tools if you lot plan to do information technology seriously.

More long-range tools

The tools are what nosotros use to decide our firing solution. They are used to approximate the Wind locally, to do the same for environmental conditions that touch the trajectory of the bullet, to range the targets and to wait at the environment to determine the effects of Wind, and its direction and speed down range. Then, a Windmeter, Rangefinder and Binoculars/Spotting Scope are additional tools that are helpful.

Many long-range shooters will also employ a phone app to do the math required to piece of work out the drib to the target based on the data generated past the tools. The app. volition allow the shooter to create a “ballistic table” in real-time and use that data to make changes to the optics in order to hit the target.

There are plenty more options, like telescopic levels and bipods that should be considered – every part of the system counts as the room for error is much smaller at distance.

So, what does it price to get started in long range shooting?

Long range rifles used to be designed for practiced military snipers, often based on the Remington Model 700 and other similar deportment. Today, with the sport having become popular worldwide, manufacturers have stepped up, offering more than toll-constructive options for the general public.

For as little as $2-3000, you can put together a long-range “system” (rifle, scope, bipod, range finder, wind meter, cleaning kit, and accessories) capable of nailing long range targets out by 1000 yards, using quality ammunition.

Then, we know nosotros need the “nuts” to get started, it is all-time to focus on your cadre equipment of rifle and telescopic start – become the best you can, or save, and make sure y’all have the right tools to become going. Then you can add on extras. A rifle and scope tin be acquired used to save money, it’due south all about the quality of the system that matters as you will read in this book.

Examples of upkeep rifles that all merits sub-MOA accuracy out of the box at long range are the Remington Model 700 SPS Tactical, the Ruger Precision Burglarize, The Tikka T3, Browning X-Bolt Long Range, or the Savage 12 Long Range Precision just to proper name a few. Today we are spoiled for choices at reasonable prices.

Of course, at that place are options to spend a slap-up bargain more than, such as custom rifles from the likes of Gunwerks and GA (who specialize in long range hunting rifles built to your specification), or the more armed forces type from Accuracy International, Cadex Defence, Surgeon, Barrett, Blaser, Steyr, and many more.

The options are vast, and as usual with any large buy, taking time to try out what you can, and request questions at your local club, dealer or Facebook grouping helps with making the right determination. The time-honored saying of “you get what yous pay for” generally applies hither as does “measure out twice and cutting once” – Get the very best you tin afford, especially with optics (you often want to spend more on optics than the rifle), to avoid having to go on trading up later. Y’all would as well do well to consider your “mission” and therefore what caliber rifle y’all demand (hunting, target or match) before you go shopping.

In the end, you need a heavy-barreled rifle with a good trigger, bipod and quality stock, plus a good quality higher magnification telescopic to get started. You will too need high quality “lucifer” ammunition, and few more optional tools, like a rangefinder, wind meter, and spotting scope, that we will cover in detail later in the grade.

Long range shooting is indeed costlier than a bones hunting or target setup just is also accessible to most shooters with a reasonable budget. For as little as $3000, y’all can put together a “system” (burglarize, telescopic, bipod, range finder, air current meter, cleaning kit, and accessories) capable of nailing long range targets out by 1000 yards, using quality armament.

Takeaway: Don’t get caught in the equipment race.

No corporeality of coin or equipment volition purchase you a spot in the winners’ circle. Buy the all-time equipment you can beget, find a practiced load for it and get practice your technique at short range, a lot. In one case you lot are hitting the mark at 100 yards consistently and shooting picayune problems hole groups, so it is time to shoot longer range. Judge what the air current is doing and take a shot. Detect what happened and record that information for later utilise. Now rinse and echo oft.

Then many people think information technology is almost the amount of money spent. In reality, information technology’southward virtually the amount of time spent practicing.

What is the biggest issue when switching up to shooting long range?

By far the hardest function of the switch is learning how to read and recoup for the furnishings of the Current of air (and other environmental factors). The Wind is described as the big equalizer. Those that are practiced at reading and making changes to their shots for it are by far the best long-range shooters – fifty-fifty with inferior equipment – they will outshoot those not every bit experienced or skilled in Wind reading.

Learning how to read the Air current can’t be easily taught, information technology’s the one matter that needs lots of in-the-field feel and personal trial and error. Once you master the Air current, you will exist an excellent long-range shooter.

Where to shoot Long Range?

1 of the biggest challenges many of usa face up is being able to make it any practice at long distances, many ranges are simply one-200 yards in the US. Many just have a few slots open up fifty-fifty if they take a long-range option and then for many of us that leaves us looking for BLM or private land to shoot on.

Source: https://www.longrangeshooting.org/articles/the-dummies-guide-to-long-range-shooting