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Dramatically Improve Your Shooting Game With These 8 Long Range Shooting Tips

Long Range Shooting has undergone a massive surge in popularity over the last few years, with more and more wannabe snipers heading to the fields in order to indulge in what they consider to be regular short range shooting, just at longer distances.

This couldn’t be any further from the reality of the situation. Long range shooting requires a new set of skills and a new level of understanding in order to be successful.

Shooting at longer distances with the same mindset as a short range shooter is merely a prescription for a waste of time, effort and ammunition.

On the flip side, there are the shooters who seem to think that they can fast-track their way to long range shooting success by purchasing the latest and greatest long range gizmos and gadgets. Believe me, if it was that easy, everyone would be doing it.

It doesn’t matter how expensive your rifle and scope were, if you haven’t paid your dues by spending countless hours out in the field, it’s never going to make a difference.

If you are interested in taking your long range shooting skills to the next level, here are 8 tips to speed up the transition from rookie to straight up pro.

01. Choose Your Weapon Carefully For Long Range Shooting

Choose Your Weapon Carefully

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One of the most important decisions when learning to shoot at long ranges is choosing your weapon.

Rifles come in a myriad of different sizes and weights, so it’s crucial that you choose one that not only fits into your budget but also one that meets all of your requirements.

For some, a heavier gun will be the obvious choice.

If you travel with your gun in your truck, if you’re strong and don’t mind the extra weight or if you’re lucky enough to have a shooting range as your back garden, a heavier gun will provide additional stability to every shot, making your life considerably easier.

However, if you are going to be hiking through the mountains with your rifle on your back, or if you find that you simply have a softer touch and a steadier hand, a lighter weapon would obviously be the better choice.

The only downside is the fact that a lighter rifle will be influenced a lot more by your breathing, heartbeat, wind and other external factors, so make sure you are prepared for that.

Finding the perfect weapon for your own personal requirements may take some trial and error, but once you find it, you will be glad that you decided to put in the extra effort.

02. It’s All About The Preparation!

It Is All About The Preparation

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The key to long range shooting success is to always make sure that you are in a comfortable position and that everything is set up exactly how you prefer it to be.

Consistency is king when it comes to shooting, so make sure that you develop a solid pre-shot routine and make sure that you stick to it every time you lay yourself down to shoot.

If your body is laid in a comfortable position and the crosshairs are aimed perfectly at your target, you have already won half of the battle.

Keep your legs wide in order to strengthen your core and to improve balance, align your spine with the bore of the rifle in order to control the recoil, grip the gun comfortably but not too tight as to encourage unnecessary movement and prepare for action.

Consistency is a word that you will hear a lot throughout this guide.

Why?

Because it’s one of the most important aspects of the game. Develop a routine that you are comfortable with and stick to it.

03. Breath In… Breath Out… Shoot!

Stillness and composure are everything when long range shooting.

The slightest twitch or movement can be the difference between a hit and a miss. Developing a “Shooting Routine” can help to make the entire process a little bit more consistent, and with consistency comes results.

The routine that I have discovered to work the best is to simply take in 2 – 3 long, deep breaths and after the final exhale, pause your breathing and shoot.

It’s in this 2 – 3 second pause after the final exhale that you will typically be at your most still and peaceful. There is no better time to take the shot that in that moment.

However, don’t hold your breath for too long. If you can’t take the shot immediately after expelling your final breath, simply take another long deep breath and try again on your next exhale.

Holding the position for too long will cause you to tense up, making the shot considerably harder.

04. Don’t Forget To Follow Through

Following through is not a concept that is taught enough in long range shooting.

In almost every other sport on the planet, the coach will emphasise the importance of following through with the movement pattern in order to complete the necessary action, whether that is shooting a basketball, kicking a soccer ball or throwing a roundhouse kick.

Not following through with the trigger after the bullet has been released from the gun encourages jerking motions. Pull the trigger slowly and don’t stop pulling the trigger back until it can’t be pulled back any further. At this point, you can release the trigger slowly.

Practice your follow through and I guarantee that your shooting will become smoother, more consistent and in most cases, a lot easier.

05. Data Collection Is Everything While Long Range Shooting

Data Collection Is Everything

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The only way to ever improve at a certain skill is to practice, we all know that for certain, but with long range shooting, there is an extra step involved – Data collection.

Experience and lots and lots of data collection is the only way to take your shooting skills to the next level.

All of the other tips in this short guide will help your shooting game without a doubt, but if you really want to take your long range shooting to the highest level, you’re going to have to hit the field, empty some rounds and kick your analytical brain into overdrive.

The key is to take a mental screenshot of every single shot that you take, whether it’s a hit or a miss.

Remember the weather conditions, remember the elevation, remember the windage, remember the way you were laid and remember the setup of your equipment. Remember EVERYTHING!

Understanding how a previous shot behaved in certain conditions will help to improve your understanding of how to correctly set up for future shots.

The more times that you can shoot into a strong southerly wind with a .308 rifle and .300 BLK bullets, the more likely you are to hit the target when those conditions come around again in the future.

06. Be Patient When You Are Into Long Range Shooting

To follow on from the previous tip, another key skill that is beneficial to develop is patience.

While it’s true that more practice will certainly help to speed up the learning process, it’s still going to take a lot of time before you have a complete understanding of the long range shooting fundamentals and an even longer time for you to have gathered enough data to make you confident in every shot that you take.

Don’t be discouraged at the start of your journey. Remember that practice makes perfect, believe in the process, collect plenty of data and enjoy yourself. The more that you can enjoy yourself, the faster you will learn.

07. Be Respectful When You Do Long Range Shooting

Be Respectful

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For target shooters, this advice is irrelevant and you can skip to the end of the article, but for those who want to practice their long range shooting out in the field in a real hunting situation, please don’t forget to respect your target.

If your target is a living, breathing animal, makes sure you are close enough to kill them with a single shot, if not, at least make sure that you have enough reserve ammunition to put them down swiftly in order to reduce suffering.

Hunting is a gentleman’s sport, not a savage blood sport. Respect your targets and don’t get too cocky and confident in your long range abilities.

08. Don’t Forget To Have Fun With Long Range Shooting

Hopefully these 8 long range shooting tips have given you the tools and the knowledge to drastically improve your shooting skills.

These tips have helped me over the past several years of my shooting career and I know that if they are implemented correctly, they can work wonders for your shooting game.

With all of that being said, I would like to wrap up this article by sharing with you my final (And Favorite) tip – HAVE FUN!

Shooting is very analytical. It requires a deep level of concentration and focus. So much so that it can be incredibly easy to get lost in the process, leaving you with nothing but stress and the constant need to always be better.

If you ever feel yourself getting bogged down by stress and frustration, take a step back and remember the reason why you are out there in the first place – to have fun.

Keep the fun alive and I promise that you will continue to enjoy shooting for the rest of your life.

This site is a free online resource that allows consumers to view our editorial rankings and product comparisons. All of our research is our own and is not biased towards any specific product or company. To read more visit our About Us page. Darren Collingwood - Former Police Officer - Yorkshire

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