These 12 tips will keep your long range shots on target.
When we think long distance, a stocked rifle will be your best performer over a more unstable handgun platform. These tips are geared more for the long distance rifleman, but can be also helpful to the handgun shooter, too.
1. Each shot is a special event.
When you fire a single shot, reflect on the shot, where it impacts and where you feel you need to improve on before the next shot.
2. Slow down that trigger finger.
Fast shooting does not allow you to take the time to prepare for a perfect shot. Save your ammo and shoot slower. Your groups will thank you.
3. Quality ammunition is the way to go.
If you are shooting cheap ammunition and expect superb groups, you will be in for a disappointment. That quality rifle needs well-loaded ammunition. Anything else is good for shooting at cans up close and that’s it.
4. Reload your own ammunition
Factory ammunition will get you only to a certain level of accuracy. Handloading allows the shooter to specifically make ammunition that fits what that weapon shoots the best. Close tolerances and quality will cause your groups to shrink in size.
5. Make sure your sighting equipment is quality.
Cheap scopes lose zero easily and end up as trash. A quality scope just might get handed down to your grand children one day. Invest in your scope and even your lower end rifle may shoot better than you thought it could.
6. Are all screws and mounts tightened to the right torque specifications?
A loose scope mount or action screw can send bullets into the next county.
7. Give it a rest.
There is no place in offhand shooting at long distance for really tight groups. Get a good rest such as a shooting sand bag and settle those crosshairs down on target.
8. Trigger jobs help tremendously.
A rough trigger will give a rough group. Your trigger should be light and smooth to where the weapon actually fires with no jarring motions.
9. Keep your weapon clean.
Now this is a subject that has many shooters sharing many thoughts. I have always striven for clean barrels and actions for better functioning and less chance of rust. My groups are quite good over other shooters who say a dirty bore out shoots a clean one.
Try that experiment for yourself with your weapon and see who is right.
10. Keep your ammunition clean.
Are your rifle cartridges floating around in your hunting vest? Well they are picking up grit that could cause a jam or throw off a shot. Keep ammunition in containers that will keep them dry and clean.
11. Do your research.
As shooters we are always looking for the newest tips and equipment that just might make for tighter groups. Read great informational books such as Long Range Shooting Handbook, A Beginner’s Guide to Precision Rifle Shooting by Ryan Cleckner. His book is certainly a must read if you are serious about long distance shooting.
12. Breathe. Relax and let the gun do the work.
Squeeze that trigger gently until the weapon fires. Practice, practice, practice.