Long range shooting requires sending off consistently successful shots that go out to at least 500 yards. This can only be accomplished by doing lots of homework and through practicing extensively in different conditions. Below are 6 ways in which long range shooting accuracy can be improved:
Proper Breathing and Positioning of the Body
The aim of a long range shooter should be to stabilize his or her rifle to ensure little or no movement when the target is in focus. Therefore, many individuals do not see the value of proper positioning of the body when the shooter is lying prone. They believe it has little or no effect on the result of the shot. However, for long range shooting accuracy, consistent body position is vital. You will be able to more correctly handle recoil when the axis of the bore of the rifle is parallel with your spine. It also assists with follow-up shots, if required, as the rifle is pushed right back into the shoulder. Additionally, the position enables the muzzle to move straight up instead of going to the right or left.
In a standing position, shooting with your feet apart will help with your stability. The skill of trigger control is learned and it takes practice to eliminate the jerk and master the art of control. Follow-through is also important in long range shooting, although it is typically discussed when using shotguns.
Where breathing is concerned, at the bottom of a breath, close to the end of every exhale, is where the most stable shot will be sent off. To be optimally prepared to make excellent long-range shots, you must perfect the art of coordinating body positioning, trigger pulling and breathing.
Understanding the Scope
The long-range optics available today are tremendously advanced; however, merely purchasing a costly scope does not guarantee precision. You will need to know the type of scope to purchase and how to use it. There are a number of different features that are available at different prices, for different scope models. Therefore, you need to know exactly what you want and the proper use of the optic.
Adjusting the Diopter
Pretty much all modern long-range scopes are outfitted with diopter adjustment rings. They allow for quick adjustment of the focal length of the scope to suit your eye. Essentially, you will be able to adjust the scope in order for the reticle to be in focus for your eye. This eliminates blurry and fuzzy images. There are available scopes with a threaded eyepiece; these require the reticle to be focused and the scope can then be locked into position. Scopes outfitted with diopter rings require only a twist of the wrist for the reticle image to come into sharp focus.
Most scopes take a mere moment for the diopter to be adjusted. However, having it accurately focused could make a remarkable difference when it comes to precision at extreme ranges. Additionally, you can help your eye to focus on the reticle by looking at a light-colored background. This also assists you in finding the perfect setting for the diopter.
Preventing Problems with Parallax
Parallax problems come about when the reticle and the objective of your scope are on different focal planes. This could result in big problems for long-range shooting. When making the transition to long-range optics from traditional hunting scopes, many shooters are unfamiliar with parallax. This is because a lot of hunting rifles have a set parallax at around 150 yards. Additionally, parallax problems are so minute at moderate ranges and under most typical field conditions, shot placement will not be significantly affected. The same is not true for those shooting at extremely long ranges.
Focus distance can be altered with adjustable parallax scopes. This brings the reticle and the objective onto the same plane to decrease or considerably eliminate parallax problem. The majority of scopes that have side parallax adjust have the ranges imprinted on the adjustment knobs; however, these are merely reference points. Looking at the target through the scope enables you to accurately adjust parallax so the target will come into proper focus with little or no movement of the reticle.
Improve Your Ability to Dope the Wind
Most long-range shooting enthusiasts are aware of how to make adjustments for elevation. These experts know their range, have the dope on their load and their scopes are set accordingly. However, wind drift consistently and complicates things, especially since several factors can cause a bullet to quickly drift off target. The factors include changes in the wind and changes in air currents and terrain.
This can be remedied by looking through the scope and watching the area around the target before firing. This will help you to figure out the location’s wind speed. You should also make shore your shot will not be hindered by dried leaves and grass. These frequently overlooked details might seem small; however, they could be the difference between a miss and a direct hit.
Maintaining a Regular Cleaning Routine
It is well established among long range shooters that when it comes to rifle barrel cleaning, there is a sweet spot. Essentially, a barrel that is freshly scrubbed will not send off as consistent a shot as a barrel that has been fouled from firing off a few shots. However, an excessive amount of fouling can accumulate in the throat or the barrel of the rifle. The outcome of this is typically significant changes in POI.
Generally, competitive long-range shooters work diligently to discover the sweet spot as it relates to cleaning; this could take some time. The most precise barrel is typically one that is a little fouled; however, that is a generalization. There are actually some premium and other types of rifle barrels that perform optimally when they are completely clean. Maintaining a consistent cleaning regimen that assists you in determining the best precision from your barrel is the best way to get the best possible accuracy. After the best fouling level has been established, stick with that routine.