My time at the Thompson Long Range Shooting School in Utah provided me a tremendous amount of information about long range shooting. So much so, I had to include five more tips for long range shooting. Last week's blog offered 5 tips for consistently hitting your target at ranges out to 1,000 yards or more. Here are five more...
#1. Don't Cook the Round
|The author showing off his skills at 1,000 yards — three hits.|
When sighting-in and firing at a steady pace without allowing your rifle to cool between shots, don't allow a round to sit in a hot chamber for too long before firing. Heating can change the properties of the powder in the casing and give inconsistent results. Consistency is critical for long range shooting. In the field, you will be shooting from a cold barrel with cold ammunition, so try to replicate that at the shooting range.
#2. Be the Wind
Wind is the enemy of long range accuracy. Learn to judge wind direction and speed by looking at the grass, leaves, dust, bugs or heat mirage. Mirage is usually the most consistent indicator as it only flows in the direction it's blown and doesn't sway back and forth. Practice at various ranges in various conditions to get to know what impact wind has.
#3. Don't Judge Up Close
Some bullets may not fully stabilize in flight until 300 yards down range, so don't judge accuracy and make decisions on loads based on groups at 100 yards if you are looking to shoot at long range.
#4. Cleanliness Has its Downside
Long range accuracy is all about consistency. After firing several shots and getting your rifle nicely "dialed in," cleaning the barrel can change the point of impact. Fire at least 4 or 5 fouling shots after you clean your rifle and confirm point of impact before heading to the field.
#5. Remain Ethical
Being able to shoot at long range doesn't mean you have to go looking for long range shots while hunting. Look at it instead as an insurance policy when you have no way to get closer to your target and you have to take a long shot. Having confidence at long range will only make you an even better shooter at shorter ranges. Remember, you are now shooting at a living, breathing creature, not a paper or steel target.