7 Long Range Shooting Tips for Rookie Rifle Owners
Around 30 percent of American adults own a gun but many don’t know much about long-range shooting. Taking a gun to an indoor range can improve short-range marksmanship but out in the woods, it won’t help you to shoot at range.
In this guide, we’re going to give you some long-range shooting tips that can turn misses into hits and improve your accuracy. These tips cover everything from what kind of optics to buy to shooting techniques.
Are you ready to learn more and start taking better shots every time? Then keep reading!
Table of Contents
1. Get the Right Scope
If you want to get better at long-range shooting, you need a good scope on your gun. When considering different optics, it’s important to consider the range that you will be shooting at. For medium-range shooting, such as when hunting hogs, a 4X ACOG scope is a fantastic addition to your rifle.
If you want to shoot at longer ranges, we’d recommend investing in an 8X or 16X scope. These are superb for long-range shooting but they are a little heavier than smaller scopes.
Optics can be expensive and it’s easy to think you should avoid second-hand scopes but this isn’t the case. We’d recommend that you consider buying used scopes as you can sometimes get great deals on optics that have been barely used.
2. Clean or Replace Your Rifle Barrel
One of the biggest rifle shooting tips that we’ve got for you is to take care of your gun’s barrel. When you put a lot of lead through these guns, their accuracy can drop as rifling wears away. Even before this occurs, a dirty barrel can affect accuracy a lot.
Invest in a barrel cleaning kit and give your gun a little TLC. You’d be surprised how big a difference this can make if your gun is very dirty.
If you’ve shot your rifle a lot and cleaning it doesn’t seem to help, you might want to consider replacing your barrel altogether. If you really want to improve accuracy, consider investing in a longer barrel.
The key to great long-range accuracy is practice. It can be very difficult to find an indoor range with long enough lanes to practice long-range shooting. Instead, we’d recommend that you go to an outdoor range and practice there, shooting at several hundred yards.
Hold your breath to get a better shot as this will eliminate body movement. Squeeze the trigger instead of pulling it.
We would also recommend that you put the time in to discover the right bullet for you. There are many different bullets available in every caliber, some faster and some slower, some heavier and some lighter. Try out a good range and find which one you like shooting the most.
Put the hours in and you will improve. From Marine snipers to exceptional hunters, they all got there through hard work and practice.
4. Trigger Technique
We’ve mentioned that it’s important to squeeze your trigger rather than pull it but there’s more to it than that. The aim of the game here is to move the trigger without moving the crosshairs. This takes practice and we’d recommend that you practice it without a round in the chamber first.
Detach your magazine and clear the chamber. Try squeezing the trigger dry. Practice over and over until you’ve reduced the sight-plane movement.
If you find that your trigger requires too much pressure and you’re having to yank on it, we’d recommend taking your weapon to a gunsmith. They will be able to fit a new trigger or tweak the old one’s required pressure which can make a lot of difference to your shooting experience.
5. Avoid Flinching
One of the biggest problems for new shooters is flinching. When you fire the gun, the report of the rifle can make you flinch. The fire from the barrel and the recoil can also produce the same effect.
A lot of this flinching comes from knowing that the bang is coming. Try and focus on the mechanics of your shooting: feel the trigger under your finger, focus on the optics. Be mindful in this moment and don’t think about the noise.
If you still can’t shake the flinch, we’d recommend wearing strong ear protectors and investing in a bandana to wrap around your face, which can deaden the sound a little. Relax: you’re in control here.
6. Ensure Consistent Shoulder Pressure
Some people like to apply a lot of pressure with their shoulders, some people barely apply any. Either is fine: you need to find the right amount of pressure that works for you.
However, the real key here is to get consistency. If you’re used to shooting with a lot of pressure then you start taking shots with barely any pressure being applied to the stock, you’re going to mess up the shot.
Ensure that you’re always consistent with the amount of pressure that you apply to the stock when you’re shooting.
7. Keep Aiming
It’s tempting to take our eye off the scope when we’ve taken a shot to see whether we hit our target. Don’t do this. If you want to get consistent accuracy, you’ll need to keep aiming down the scope until you want to start shooting.
When you take your eye off the scope then put it back, you need to refocus and aim all over again. Stay with the rifle and don’t stop to admire your handiwork until you’re finished.
Apply These Long-Range Shooting Tips for Long-Term Success
These long-range shooting tips can help you get more accurate shots every time but you need to practice them. Keep going to the range and keep on putting these tips into practice before heading into the woods.
We hope you’ve enjoyed this article. For more interesting ones like it, check out the rest of our blog!