Tips to Help Improve Your Long Range Shooting Skills
It takes practice and skill to become consistently successful at long-range shooting. Here’s a quick survey of points to keep in mind for improving your abilities.
Proper physical positioning
Whether standing or lying prone, it’s best to position yourself squarely behind the rifle. If you’re angled in relation to the firearm, the recoil will jerk you more than it would otherwise. It’s easier to stay on target when your body is aligned with the weapon and therefore evenly absorbs the recoil.
Illuminated reticles are popular for certain scopes these days, but you should turn it off when shooting long range. It’s apt to thicken the reticle and mess up the focus due to an effect known as blooming, which occurs when you view a lighted object.
Get A Grip
Get a consistent, comfortable hold on the rifle. You should bring it into position the same way every time you shoot if you want to ensure accuracy. Accordingly, experts recommend a rifle with a tactical stock for long-range shooting. This enables you to quickly and easily adjust the cheek-rest and length of pull to your liking.
Be sure to adjust the parallax
The visual shifting of the reticle when you see it at different distance magnifications – if the reticle looks like it’s wavering when you’re set at 10x or higher. (You shouldn’t have a problem with this for settings of 9x or lower.) Simply set the parallax adjustment to infinity and then turn it back into focus, and the reticle should appear stationary.
The Follow Through
As with sports like tennis and golf, you need to have a follow-through when taking your shot. For long-range shooting, this means you shouldn’t immediately release the trigger after you pull it. Instead, hold on to it and don’t lift your head up off the stock. Hold still and watch through the scope to see the bullet hit the target. With a bolt-action rifle, you can now keep your gaze fixed on the target as you cycle the bolt to shoot again. Sticking with this form ensures that you won’t have to reposition yourself or the scope.
Practice Practice Practice
Learning to shoot well at long-range is, like anything else, largely a matter of practice. That being the case, dealing with the wind is probably the element of shooting that simply has to be learned entirely through experience. It’s an exceedingly subtle factor to get a handle on. One helpful hint experts offer is to gauge the wind near your target by using mirage (the shimmering heat waves rising from the ground), which you can see through a high-power optic. This may give you a clue as to whether you should adjust your aim, and is so, how far.
Sure and Steady
Shoot after exhaling and before you draw your next breath – this is when your body is most still.