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Thread: Long Range Shooting

  1. #1
    Member highestview's Avatar
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    Default Long Range Shooting

    Whats a good resource to learn long range shooting right? Is there a good book to read or does someone in Alaska teach classes? I have a .300 Win mag and I know it shoots far enough for me, but I want to learn to really do it right. Also I'd like to learn how to calculate distance and adjustments. Where's a good place to get the REAL answers?

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    Member rugersbro's Avatar
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    Default Long range shooting.

    Here are some might fine people to help you.

    http://appleseedinfo.org

  3. #3

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    That's a good resource, and there are lots of books and articles.

    I'll offer two pieces of advice:

    The hardest thing to learn is when NOT to shoot.

    And, there's no substitute for practice, and lots of it.

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    I went to the site in the link. After reading the details I noticed they recommend 250 rounds per day for the two day course. I think 500 shots is excessive and takes a 1/4 of your rifles life away in one weekend.

    It may be a good course but I would prefer more class room instruction. I think understanding wind, altitude, temperature and angle variations would be better. I also think that 100 shots would be sufficient for a two day course.

    A book that I have been reading carefully for the past few weeks is Applied Ballistics For Long Range Shooting. The book comes with a CD for ballistic data and solutions for long range shooting. The author is Bryan Litz, there is plenty of interesting data in this book, I'm still trying to get the big picture.

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    Member Chisana's Avatar
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    How serious are you in this endeavor? How do you define long range? I would say long range for a 300WM is 1200 yards, is that what you are looking at?

    You are not going to learn long range shooting from a book, but Precision Shooting at 1000 Yards is as good as any.

    If you are serious I suggest getting into NRA High Power Rifle competition or taking a General Rifle or Precision Rifle class at Gunsite (www.gunsite.com).

    I shot high power for about 7-8 years and it is a great format for learning what you and your equipment can do. I've also been to three Gunsite classes and am going to another this spring. There is no better place to learn the practical use of firearms.

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    You don't say where you are, but if you're in Alaska keep in touch on the forum and I'll post dates for this summers long range matches at Ft. Greely. 800, 900 &1000 yds. It's a good way to start and get some experience at known distances with people who have been there, done that.
    "A strong body makes the mind strong. As to the species of exercises, I advise the gun. While this gives moderate exercise to the body, it gives boldness, enterprise, and independence to the mind."

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    Everyone is giving you good advice here. LR means different things to different folks and you can surmise from the posts there is not "one way" to learn how. Here's a website that is mostly focused on BR and LR competition shooting. http://www.6mmbr.com/index.html You'll need to determine if you hope to shoot competitively or if the desire is more of a personal challenge. Different needs requires different equipment, but the skills are very similar regardless.

    Chisana's
    recommendation Precision Shooting at 1000 Yards http://www.amazon.com/Precision-Shoo.../dp/0967094887 is a good place to start, though it is not a technical treatise on how to shoot LR. My suggestion for a beginner would simply be to start incrementally. That is, if you are shooting from 100 yards then move your targets to 200 yards until you can call your shots with precision. Then to 300, 400 and so on. You'll develop shooting skills and learn incrementally with this method and there is much to commend it IMO.

    There is no way to become proficient with LR shooting without a lot of trigger time. Do not worry about shooting out barrels as that goes with the sport, but much of the hype on the shortness of barrel life will not effect you until you can hold .25 MOA anyways. You should expect 3-4000 rounds of accurate barrel life, which is a lot of shooting with a 300 WM. Visiting the shoots that gunbugs suggested is an excellent place to receive some pointers and find some direction in this pursuit. Listen to the guys that shoot well and ignore the guys that don't. Let me warn you that LR shooting can be both frustrating and addicting. For example .5 MOA (1/2 inch groups) at 100 yards does not mean .5 MOA (5 inch groups) at 1000 yards; it's just not that simple. Not only that, but shooting at the range is not the same as shooting in the field. Making LR hits is addicting, but the misses can be so frustrating that a lot of guys simply give it up. You must also realize that it is an expensive addiction and I am not just talking about finances. LR shooting costs a good bit of money for the equipment (its maintenance and replacement), but it also requires dedication in handloading and perhaps the most expensive investment is it requires a dedication of time. If you do not have the resources for all three of these components I suggest you wait until you do and then pour yourself into it.

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    Member Doug in Alaska's Avatar
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    Someday someone may kill you with your own gun, but they should have to beat you to death with it because it is empty.

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    I was going to mention longrangehunting.com, and I would add the book "The Accurate Rifle" - not specific to hunting, but at long range, accuracy is a much bigger deal. This book spells it out pretty good.

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    I'm guilty of assuming that the question was about long range shooting at game. There's some great advice here for match shooting, and that discipline is great for teaching you the basics you'll apply for long shots on game.

    But don't assume that good performance on the range translates directly into good performance on game. On hunts you're shooting a one-shot match at varying distances, uphill and down over rough terrain, often with breezes moving up or down canyons..... and from improvised field shooting positions.

    If your ambition is long range shooting at game, don't get stuck on the range. Get out into the field. Varmint shooting is great practice, but not accessible everywhere. There's an archery tradition called "roving," which is simply wandering through the hills with friends shooting at impropmtu targets, one shot each. The shooter who hits closest gets to pick the next target. Where terrain and lack of population allows, this is probably the best possible practice for long range shooting with rifles, too.

    "See that little white rock over there between those two spruce trees across the canyon? I bet it's 500 yards anyway. I think I can hit it." Did I mention it's a whale of a lot of fun, too? But you REALLY have to be sure of the area you're shooting and safe backstops. That's good practice too.

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    Here's the link to a demo that I like to play with.

    http://www.shooterready.com/lrsdemohi.html

    They're trying to sell a program (which may be worth it), but the demo gives you some good insight into the math side.

    Also, here's a link to Army FM 23-10 "Sniper Training" which has some really good information.

    http://www.globalsecurity.org/milita...-10/index.html

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by highestview View Post
    Whats a good resource to learn long range shooting right? Is there a good book to read or does someone in Alaska teach classes? I have a .300 Win mag and I know it shoots far enough for me, but I want to learn to really do it right. Also I'd like to learn how to calculate distance and adjustments. Where's a good place to get the REAL answers?
    What kind of LR shooting do you want to do and how far?

    The long range hunting site that Doug posted is the best source of info and help on the web for LR shooting. the book, Applied Ballisitcs, that Marshall posted is also a great resource that addresses external balisitcs. The author, Brian Litz, who is Berger's chief ballisitician is an active member at the long range hunting site and there is a lot more expertese there as well. The other books mentioned are also probably good but I'm not familiar with them.

    First you'll need precision eqipement. Most off the shelf rifles wont cut it. Savage has an excellent reputation for accuracy and a lot of guys are buying them. Rem Senderos and Sub MOA Vanguards are alos excellent rifles. IMO, the Sendero is about the best factory LR platform available. If you want to shoot sub MOA to 1000 yds, you'll need an outfit that can shoot sub .5 MOA to 500 yds and that takes some doing.

    You'll also need a very good scope with 100% repeatable and reliable target turrets. In the $600-$1000 range there is Clearidge, Vortex, Sightron and Leupold. On the higher end, Nightforce is the most popular and IMO the best for the $$$$.

    Handloading with good equipement, especially qulity dies, will be a must.

    If you are LR hunting or shooting at unknown distances you'll need a good range finder.

    You'll also need a portable weather station for doping enviromental conditions.

    Just some considerations to think about. There's a lot to it.

    Cheers and good shooting,

    Mark

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    Some of the comments about long range shooting posted here are reasons why organized shooting event numbers are staying the same or going down. "dont show up unless you have top of the line equipment" "Dont shoot if you dont have the time to dedicate to it" etc. I have seen several new shooters show up down here at Greely for LR and after they are told they need a $4000 rifle, a $1200 spotting scope and the list goes on, they dont come back. I dont think the NASCAR guys started out driving with a NASCAR. Come shoot if you like it spend more time and money if you can, make empties and improve at it. As far as long range hunting goes, it has become a fad because "hunters" dont know how to stock anymore. Sure its fun to blast varmits at LR, but there is a lot of big game going over the hill with a bullet in the hind quarters that is never recovered and dies. I spent 9 years sheep hunting before I shot one, sure I could have shot at sheep accross the valley and maybe hit one, but I have to much respect for the animal to do that. Only thing that gets wounded on the rifle range it your pride, choke it down and make empties and have fun and get better at it.

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    Default Good Read

    I really liked "The Hunters Guide to Long Range Shooting" by Wayne Von Zwoll. It had nice perspective about what to and not to shoot at. He did not preach on custom guns and made a good case for the average Joe to practice enough to confidently take game at extended ranges.

    I think 400 yards is a long shot and would have to be VERY sure of shooting that far on game. It is intriguing to try and shoot longer distances, but I realize that to do it well requires some excellent equipment for reloading as well as an excellent rifle. Not to mention the time. I have a couple of good rifles and good reloading equipment and it still takes a bunch of my time. I really enjoy shooting 200-300 yards and reloading for accuracy. When I think I have my stuff all dialed in at the range, I move off the bench and become quite humble again.

  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by M1alaska View Post
    Some of the comments about long range shooting posted here are reasons why organized shooting event numbers are staying the same or going down. "dont show up unless you have top of the line equipment" "Dont shoot if you dont have the time to dedicate to it" etc. I have seen several new shooters show up down here at Greely for LR and after they are told they need a $4000 rifle, a $1200 spotting scope and the list goes on, they dont come back. I dont think the NASCAR guys started out driving with a NASCAR. Come shoot if you like it spend more time and money if you can, make empties and improve at it. As far as long range hunting goes, it has become a fad because "hunters" dont know how to stock anymore. Sure its fun to blast varmits at LR, but there is a lot of big game going over the hill with a bullet in the hind quarters that is never recovered and dies. I spent 9 years sheep hunting before I shot one, sure I could have shot at sheep accross the valley and maybe hit one, but I have to much respect for the animal to do that. Only thing that gets wounded on the rifle range it your pride, choke it down and make empties and have fun and get better at it.
    M1, you are speaking from ignorant bias. LR hunting is a fad because people dont know how to stalk? Get real. I've done plenty of stalking and so have the LR hunters I know on the LRH site. Many, if not most of them are bow hunters and so am I. There just isn't any reason for ignorant statements like yours.

    Another ignorant statement...

    ....but there is a lot of big game going over the hill with a bullet in the hind quarters that is never recovered and dies.
    IME, LR hunters are more conscientious about taking a shot than the average hunter who shoots at close range. Many of which who take their rifle out once a year to sight it in with a few shots and call it good, then go out in the field and start slinging lead. I've seen it. There are a lot more wounded animals running around from close range shots than from responsible LR hunters. And dont go and put the lead slingers in the LR group. I've seen them too.

    You didn't shoot across a canyon because you couldn't and you couldn't because you don't have the knowledge and experience and probably not the equipment judging by your post.

    Do you know what the word ignorant means? It means without knowledge... and that reflects your post sir. You dont have a clue.

    I'll leave you with this...

    There are those who can and those whine...

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by M1alaska View Post
    Some of the comments about long range shooting posted here are reasons why organized shooting event numbers are staying the same or going down. "dont show up unless you have top of the line equipment" "Dont shoot if you dont have the time to dedicate to it" etc. I have seen several new shooters show up down here at Greely for LR and after they are told they need a $4000 rifle, a $1200 spotting scope and the list goes on, they dont come back. I dont think the NASCAR guys started out driving with a NASCAR. Come shoot if you like it spend more time and money if you can, make empties and improve at it. As far as long range hunting goes, it has become a fad because "hunters" dont know how to stock anymore. Sure its fun to blast varmits at LR, but there is a lot of big game going over the hill with a bullet in the hind quarters that is never recovered and dies. I spent 9 years sheep hunting before I shot one, sure I could have shot at sheep accross the valley and maybe hit one, but I have to much respect for the animal to do that. Only thing that gets wounded on the rifle range it your pride, choke it down and make empties and have fun and get better at it.
    I certainly did not intend to turn anyone away, but I can see from your post that I may have unintentionally done that. I am not sorry for what I said, because with average factory ammo and average factory rifles with average shooting skill you'll not get on the target board at LR much less fall in love with LR shooting, but I should have said it differently and with more tact.

    As for your comparison of NASCAR, most drivers start in the stands or the pits at a very early age and watch for years before they ever get behind the wheel of a car. That concept would be a great idea for LR shooting except that most guys are unwilling to watch for several years before firing downrange. IME the average shooter gets burned out with LR shooting because it's not easy and no one seemed to explain to them that hitting targets at more than a half mile is harder than it looks on TV or sounds in a magazine.

    I did not mean to imply that it's a discipline only for the wealthy, I can assure you I am not wealthy and that LR shooting has provided hours & hours of enjoyment for me, but the fact remains that it costs more than most guys are willing to spend in either time or money. You can't buy a rifle, buy ammo and simply set your sights for LR shooting. That was the point I was trying to get across. If you are going to be a competent LR marksmen it requires dedication in many facets. I hope more guys will get involved and I was not trying to turn him away, but rather my intentions were to simply be realistic in the requirements and the expectations.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MontanaRifleman View Post
    M1, you are speaking from ignorant bias. LR hunting is a fad because people dont know how to stalk? Get real. I've done plenty of stalking and so have the LR hunters I know on the LRH site. Many, if not most of them are bow hunters and so am I. There just isn't any reason for ignorant statements like yours.

    Are you overly sensitive or is it arrogance. My statements were generalities with my point being Lack of equipment is not a reason not to shoot a LR match, however lack of experience is a reason not to hunt LR.

    Another ignorant statement...



    IME, LR hunters are more conscientious about taking a shot than the average hunter who shoots at close range. Many of which who take their rifle out once a year to sight it in with a few shots and call it good, then go out in the field and start slinging lead. I've seen it. There are a lot more wounded animals running around from close range shots than from responsible LR hunters. And dont go and put the lead slingers in the LR group. I've seen them too.

    Yes you are correct, all hunters need to be more conscientious.

    You didn't shoot across a canyon because you couldn't and you couldn't because you don't have the knowledge and experience and probably not the equipment judging by your post.

    I have no ideal of your capabilities or you of mine, is this arroganace or do you work for the FBI as a profiler specializing in hand writing?

    Do you know what the word ignorant means? It means without knowledge... and that reflects your post sir. You dont have a clue.

    DO you know what arrogance is. If you took my statement personally, I would apologize, However I did not attack you personally as you did me, so grow up.

    I'll leave you with this...

    There are those who can and those whine...
    Just because it can be done doesnt mean it should be done.

  18. #18

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    M1, you made a couple of very generalised statements that that have no merit. They were made without knowledge (ignorance). Here they are...

    As far as long range hunting goes, it has become a fad because "hunters" dont know how to stock anymore...
    That is just plain BS pure and simple...

    Here is another one...

    ...but there is a lot of big game going over the hill with a bullet in the hind quarters that is never recovered and dies.
    Empty chatter... How many animals do you know that have been wounded from a carefully planned LR shot??? I am not talking about slob hunters who just sling lead. I am being consistant with the OP's thread of "learnig" LR shooting and talking about People who have the right equipement, knowledge and experience.

    And then there is this...

    I spent 9 years sheep hunting before I shot one, sure I could have shot at sheep accross the valley and maybe hit one, but I have to much respect for the animal to do that.
    Good for you... That's you and you should refrain from placing your limitations on others. I am fairly new to LR shooting and am comfortable to about 700-800 yds, and if I had a chance at a sheep or elk or whatever 700 yds across a canyon and IF the conditions were right, I would take the shot. In time, as I become more experienced and familiar with my equipment, my comfort range will extend. I had the chance of taking a couple of cow elk this past season at 800 and 600 yds. They were on the move heading toward private land and to work closer to them would have and did result in loosing the opportunity because they did cross the fence by the time I got closer to them. The reason I didn't take the shots was it was a little too windy for my comfort zone. Bottom line... if I'm comfortable with the shot I'll take it no matter what the distance and If i'm not, I wont.


    Just because it can be done doesnt mean it should be done.

    You should think about this a little.... If it can be done, then it can be done...If it can't, then it can't.

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    Montana rifleman calling folks ignorant is just another in a long line of ad hominems from you.

    Glad you finally admit you are new to long range shooting, that way members here can properly evaluate your pontifications, especially with respect to your personal gunwoobie, the Remington Sendero

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    Member Doug in Alaska's Avatar
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    Must be a full moon.
    Someday someone may kill you with your own gun, but they should have to beat you to death with it because it is empty.

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