Mastering long-range shooting isn’t something that happens overnight for most people. It can take quite a while to become an accurate shot. There are a lot of different components that all need to come together to pull off the perfect shot.
As long as you put in the time and effort and invest in a high-quality night vision, however, you can master the skills necessary to always hit your target. Ten of our best tips are included below to help you improve your long-range shooting technique.
Tip #1 – Shoot From A Natural, Comfortable Position
Squeezing off the perfect shot is easier when your body is in a comfortable position. Position your body so that you are facing your target directly rather than turning at the waist. If necessary, reposition your bipod so that it allows you to shoot from a position that feels natural.
Tip #2 – Focus On Steadiness
Most of the time, when you are shooting long-range, you will be laying on your stomach. When setting up your position, make sure your body, elbows, and forearms are all comfortably touching the ground. Use your nondominant hand to bear the weight of the rifle, positioning the butt directly up against your shoulder. If necessary, reach for your back bag to provide additional support.
Tip #3 – Make Sure You Can See Clearly Through Your Scope
Never take a shot without verifying that you have a clear view through your scope. Problems like shadows or tunneling can interfere with your accuracy by creating a parallax error. The lenses of the scope need to be flawlessly in alignment with each other. The lens at the back of the scope should be a little bit thicker than the one at the front.
Regardless of whether you are using an aperture sight or a telescopic scope, the same basic rules apply.
Tip #4 – Don’t Move When Shooting Or Following Through
Get into position before taking the shot. Rest your index finger against the trigger, lining up your fingernail so that it is perfectly aligned with the trigger guard. The center of your finger pad should be touching the metal of the trigger. This set up enables you to pull back perfectly straight on the trigger. When you squeeze the trigger, stay totally still, keeping your eyes directly on your target and your sights in the exact same position. If you blink your eyes or move at all, your shot won’t connect with the target.
Take a mental snapshot of the location of your crosshairs. That way, you can locate them right away after hitting your target or missing your shot. This will allow you to make any necessary adjustments when taking another shot.
Tip #5 – Have A Firm Hold On The Rifle, But Don’t Grip It Too Tightly
When sighting in on your target, place your cheek against the stock and keep your head as straight as possible. Keep your thumb around the pistol grip for extra support and maintain a proper cheek weld.
Avoid putting your thumb on the back of the bolt. If your rifle has a heavy recoil, you can get hurt in this position.
Tip #6 – Learn Short-Range Shooting Before Taking On Long-Range Shooting
Even if you are excited by the idea of shooting targets from far away, you need to master short-range shooting first. Before you can take on challenges like wind resistance and elevation, you first need to develop excellent shooting technique.
Master shooting targets that are right in front of you before you move to targets that are further away.
Tip #7 – Learn How Bullets Are Affected By Forces Like Gravity And Wind Resistance
The tips above will help you master the basics of long-range shooting. Once you have a good handle on all of them, you can move on to more advanced topics like figuring out the distance between the target and your rifle, determining how the speed of the wind will affect your bullet, and putting ballistic information to work to take more accurate shots.
When you reach this point, you can begin using advanced equipment like laser range finders, wind gauges, and ballistic solutions.
Tip #8 – You May Need Additional Data Beyond The Wind Speed
A number of other factors can also affect the trajectory of the bullet when it is in flight. Everything from trees and vegetation to mirages and topographic changes can come into play. The only way you can master dealing with all of these factors is through real-world experience.
Tip #9 – One Amazing Shot Doesn’t Mean Anything
Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that you are good if you make one or two amazing shots. If you want to be an excellent long-range shooter, your shots always need to be perfectly accurate. Otherwise, you won’t be able to shoot live game successfully from a distance – especially if the conditions aren’t perfect.