Tips to Help Improve Your Long Range Shooting Skills

 In Rifles

Shooter looking through scopeIt 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.

Scopes

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.

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Showing 2 comments
  • emily bennette
    Reply

    This is some really good information about long range shooting skills. I just started going deer hunting with my father and I am not very good at long range shoots. So, I like that you pointed out that you should practice and that will help you improve. I haven’t been practiced a lot and it might be a good idea for me to start doing more. It might be good for me to get extra targets and set them all out and different distances and see how accurate I am at each of those distances.

  • James Bergman
    Reply

    Thanks for your tips! The best way to get better at shooting has to be getting a lot of practice. The thing that took me the most work was the follow through. It is really easy to try to look up right after firing a rifle, and I really had to concentrate to get myself not to. Besides, there is no better way to get used to how to set your sights.

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