October 25, 2020

A Beginner’s Guide to Long Range Shooting

Special to California Business Journal. 

Are you ready for hunting season? If so, you’re definitely not alone.

This is the time of year when millions of sportsmen across the country are preparing their gear for the opportunity to bag a trophy buck. Because while it might still be warm outside at the moment in most places, cool weather will be here before you know it.

Deer hunting means being prepared to take long range shots. But that’s easier said than done. Fortunately, you’ve come to the right place for help. This article takes a look at important tips for long range shooting. Keep reading to get the inside scoop on taking your marksmanship skills to the next level.

The Right Gear

Shooting a rifle with great accuracy requires the right equipment. This includes a high-powered rifle, scope, a bipod, and the best possible ammunition.

You’ll also need quality gear for packing your rifle and other equipment into the field during your hunt.

Keep in mind that a long range shot is considered anything from 600 to 1200 yards. This means that every single detail matters, thus nothing can be left to chance.

Take the time to prep your gear, learn how to care for it, and how to use it properly.

Bolt Action vs Semi-Automatic

When it comes to selecting a rifle for long range marksmanship, everyone has a different preference. There are two choices: bolt action vs semi-automatic.

Most shooters agree that a bolt action rifle is the better choice for precision accuracy at massive distances. And yet both types of rifles provide certain advantages.

For example, bolt action offers fewer moving parts, fewer barrel harmonics, is highly durable, and is easy to use. Whereas a semi-automatic offers lower recoil, allows you to take faster follow-up shots, and enables the shooter to engage multiple targets far more quickly.

Another important factor is the overall accuracy. When comparing apples to apples, a $1000 bolt action rifle right out of the box will generally offer greater accuracy than a similarly priced semi-automatic.

As you can see, when accuracy is your top priority, a bolt action rifle is hard to beat.

The Perfect Scope

If you’re shopping for a rifle scope, there’s no substitute for quality.

After all, shooting at a target from a great distance would be impossible without a powerful scope. A quality scope is designed to provide a clear picture of the target so that you can calculate how best to take your kill shot.

You can spend as much or little as you wish on a scope, but you ultimately get what you pay for. Keep this in mind when you’re trying to save a few dollars on a second-rate scope. Because when the moment really matters, and you’re taking aim after tracking a big buck for several days, you’ll quickly discover that being cheap isn’t always the wisest decision.

Be sure to check out these amazing tactical scopes.

Using a Bipod

Once you’ve established your target and are ready to prepare for the shot, you’re going to need a bipod.

Why is this? The simple truth is that firing from several hundred yards is unlike anything you’ve ever attempted. Keep in mind that moving the muzzle of your rifle even a fraction an inch will translate into dozens of yards once the bullet crosses the distance to your target. This means you have to find a way to remain perfectly still.

The only way to accomplish this is to rest on your belly on the ground and use a bipod to steady your rifle. A bipod is a simple device featuring two short legs designed to hold the muzzle of your rifle at the ideal height from the ground while you aim.

Your bipod will help reduce vibration, shakiness caused by nerves, wind movement. This is crucial for optimizing accuracy and making sure that the shot is dead-on when you pull the trigger. It will also allow you to make necessary adjustments to your scope as you calculate the distance to the target.

Understanding the Basics

This is high-level marksmanship. It’s definitely more complicated than simply shooting soda cans off the fence from across the yard.

Long-range shooting requires tremendous skill as well as an awareness of your environment. Keep in mind that you will be shooting from a distance of hundreds of yards, so even a minimal amount of wind can affect the bullet’s trajectory.

You’ll need to learn the basics of the best type of ammunition for your particular rifle, the difference between shooting in a mountainous area compared to flat land, as well as calculating how far the bullet will drop between the muzzle of the rifle and the target.

Developing the Right Habits

You’re going to need to develop a few good habits to become skilled at shooting long range. These include developing a pre-shot routine, learning good breathing techniques, as well as the proper technique for pulling the trigger to maximize accuracy.

The Best Cartridges

Hitting a target from long range is all about power and accuracy. It’s important to remember that all long range ammunition isn’t created equal. You need to learn as much about your rifle as possible, and then choose the cartridges that will provide the greatest accuracy and kill power for the type of terrain where you’ll be hunting.

Prepping for the Shot

The way you prepare for a shot is every bit as important as the gear you use. This is where the good habits you’ve developed will come into play. After all, anyone can invest in an expensive rifle, scope, and the best cartridges, but you still have to master the skills necessary to maximize accuracy.

Keep in mind that when it comes to hitting your target, luck is not a strategy. You must practice relentlessly and train yourself to be ready for the moment when you pull the trigger.

The Ultimate Guide to Improving Your Long Range Shooting Skills

Hunting season is right around the corner. Fortunately, these tips for long range shooting will help make this the most successful deer season ever.

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Written by

Rick Weinberg is Editor-in-Chief at California Business Journal. He is a well-known journalist, writer, reporter and on-air talent who has worked for the New York Times, FOX and ESPN. He launched California Business Journal to focus on California businesses and business professionals as well as California business news and information. Contact: Rick@CalBizJournal.com / 949-648-3815