Long-range shooting is no joke. If you’ve ever tried your hand at long-range, you know that to be true. It takes practices, precision, and persistence to get it right (and few often do). As tough as this skill may be to master, it’s also extremely rewarding and useful.
The focus and energy you get from long-range shooting are unlike anything else. It teaches you to connect with your body, your rifle, your bullets, the elements around you, and your target -- and that’s a beautiful thing. Plus, if you’re ever in a dangerous situation, this skill can come in handy and protect plenty of people from harm.
Ready to shoot like a sniper? Here are our top 5 tips for long-range shooting success:
- Choose your rifle wisely. There are plenty of costly options out there, but you can also get a decent rifle for next to nothing. But don’t let price dictate your choice. Do some research and personal testing to decide how heavy you want it and what type of barrel you need. Ultimately, find the rifle that makes you the most comfortable - because being uncomfortable can completely ruin your shot.
- Relax. The more you practice, the more you’ll learn how important this is and what exactly this means for you. No matter how often you shoot, you’ll still get that adrenaline going when it’s time for a shot, so prepare yourself for the shot by relaxing, breathing, and regulating your body temperature and heartbeat. Even the slightest bit of shaking or jerking can ruin your chance of making a shot. If you have to readjust, make sure you do so with your entire body rather than just twisting your torso to stay comfortable.
- Control recoil. The best way to control recoil and stay steady is to firmly hold your rifle, but ease up and avoid having a death grip on it. After you shoot, continue to squeeze the trigger and slowly release to the front. Oftentimes the moments following the shot are the most vital. A sniper’s goal is for the gun to come straight back to him after the shot. If the scope falls back on target, you’re good to go.
- Start short. If your skills aren’t totally reliable yet, start at short distances and slowly work your way up to further distances. Once you begin shooting consistently at shorter distances, it’s time to try out long-range.
- Understand the wind. Time to go all hippie on you, folks; become one with the wind. Study the effect of wind on your rifle, your bullets, your recoil, etc. so you know how to account for it later. It’s more than just knowing the speed and direction of the wind; it’s understanding the effects of the wind and it’s about practicing in various conditions. Remember, the wind is never constant, so always be willing to make adjustments.
There’s a whole lot more that goes into mastering the art of long-range shooting, so don’t just stop here. Keep practicing, and keep learning what it means to be flexible when shooting. Like I said before, it’s a very beneficial skill to have in case anything ever goes wrong, and it’s a great way to learn to connect and adjust.