Whether you are shooting at a range or hunting for deer in the forest...
Learning to shoot well at long range is something most shooters want to master, but can it be mastered?
As the fun and excitement of the “bang” and the “boom” of the gun wears off a little, this is the point when the need to actually shoot your target with precision will become the goal.
So YES, it can be mastered, but it all starts with knowing some good advice and tips for becoming a better long range shooter, which can go a long way.
So here are 9 long range shooting tips you should use to improve your skills and increase your accuracy.
Long Range Shooting Tips
Shooting Tip #1: Have Your Gun Properly Zeroed In
Staff Sergeant George Reinas believes having your gun zeroed is critical in being like a sniper at long distances.
To zero in your gun, means to adjust your scope so that the crosshairs on the scope are actually aiming at where the bullet will go.
You can find the best long range scopes for the money here.
If your scope is not zeroed in, it makes it so you are aiming at one place, but your bullet is going somewhere else.
Reinas says that snipers believe their gun is zeroed in when they make three shots in a row that are within an inch of each other, at 100 yards out.
If you want to shoot accurately like a sniper does, you should have your gun zeroed in like a sniper.
Don’t settle for anything less.
Shooting Tip #2: Pull The Trigger On The Exhale
One of the long range shooting tips experts seem to agree on is that shooting at the right point in your breathing will make it so you have a more accurate shot.
When shooting at long range every detail is critical.
Many professionals believe that pulling the trigger at the very end of an exhale is the best time.
You do not want to do it after one quick breath, though. Try taking in two or three deep breaths before pulling the trigger.
Shooting Tip #3: Make Sure Your Body Is BEHIND The Scope
When shooting with a scope at long range, many shooters will place their bodies at an angle behind it.
The problem with this is that when a gun shoots, recoil occurs. Your body then absorb the recoil. However, if most of your body is to the side of the gun, less recoil occurs and a greater jerking motion happens instead.
The bigger the jerk = a bigger pull on the gun = a less accurate shot.
Make sure you position your body square behind the scope, so that your body can absorb as much energy as possible.
This will allow for more accurate shots, at longer distances.
Shooting Tip #4: Follow Through With The Trigger
When you are shooting at long range you need to make sure you follow through with your trigger pull.
Although this may seem like something small, it can make a HUGE difference in long range shooting.
Many people get anxious and jerk the trigger in a slapping motion and then get out of shooting position. This is not a good idea.
Make sure you pull the trigger tight and hold it.
You also want to leave your head against the stock, and follow your shot through your scope.
According to many professionals, your shot is NOT done until the bullet hits your target.
With long range shooting, this could take a couple of moments.
Shooting Tip #5: Make Sure Reticle Illumination Is OFF
Many high end scopes have reticle illumination as an option.
If you are using a reticle for long range shooting, though, you will not want the illumination feature on. Make sure it is OFF.
When the reticle is illuminated it make it more difficult for accurate long range shooting.
Shooting Tip #6: Focus On The Cross-Hairs
If you ask most shooters what they are focusing on when they look through their scope, many will say the target they are aiming at, the piece of paper a couple hundred of yards out, or the side of the deer they are hoping to hit.
However, what you SHOULD be focusing on is the cross-hairs of your scope.
If your scope is zeroed in than your bullet is going to go where the cross-hairs go.
Therefore, focusing on the cross-hairs is a lot more beneficial than looking at your actual target.
Shooting Tip #7: Invest In Good Scope And Mounts
If you haven’t learned by now, having a scope is critical with most long range shooting tips.
Having a scope is not enough though. You need to not only make sure you have the best long range scope but you also need to make sure it is mounted correctly.
Having a good scope, and good mounts, could make all the difference when shooting at long range.
Shooting Tip #8: Learn To Read The Wind
Like several of the other long range shooting tips have mentioned, at long range the slightest of changes can have great impact on your shot.
One of these little changes could be the movement of the wind.
Many people look at the wind around themselves, when the wind around their target could be much different.
Reading the wind wrong could cause for major accuracy errors.
There are many courses that are offered to help long distance shooters learn to read the wind.
There are also different types of equipment you can buy that can help you, like windage meter tools, that deliver precise elevation and windage solutions for any gun, any round, any shot.
Shooting Tip #9: Practice Makes Perfect
One of the most important long range shooting tips is PRACTICE.
This may seem like a simple concept but for many this too often goes ignored. Everyone seems to have busy lives nowadays.
They barely have time for things they HAVE to do, let alone things they want or need to do. Often beginners will get frustrated with slow progress at the shooting range, which deters them from wanting to go even more.
It’s a vicious cycle. Shoot poorly = frustrated = do not want to go shooting = less time at range = shoot poorly = frustrated…..you can see my point.
Understand that with anything, consistent practice alone will make you see improvement.
So stick to it. Don’t give up. And practice, practice, practice.
Final Thoughts - Long Range Shooting Tips
Shooting at long range can be a challenge for many: the learned, as well as the new shooter.
However, the better you get at shooting the more fun you will have and the more accurate you will be.
If you take into consideration the above long range shooting tips your skills will improve in no time.
Stay safe and happy shooting!