Intro to Long Range Shooting

Intro to Long Range Shooting

In this article you will learn a series of basic skills and tips on:

  • Long Range Shooting



  • Long Range Rifles



The Latest Trend in Shooting

Have you succumbed to the latest trend in shooting? Maybe you have, and just don’t know it yet. Does the report of a single rifle shot, followed by a long and reverberating rumble off in the distance, and seconds later by a sharp metallic “ping” excite you? If the idea of hitting tiny little targets, obscured by mirage and distance sounds like a challenge you are up to, then you may already be suffering from a deficit of distance. You can apply a skill like this to all of your shooting (competitive, hunting, recreational) Many people are intimidated by long range shooting, because they think shooting beyond two or three hundred yards requires very expensive equipment, and skills that they don’t possess. But, you’d be pleasantly surprised by how well you can do with what you have, with little to no upgrading. There are many people shooting beyond 1000 yards with factory built guns that don’t cost a couple months salary.

Long Range Shooting Desert Tech

1. A Rifle Capable of MOA Accuracy:

Minute Of Angle is 1/60th of a degree, an angular measurement. A very simplified description of MOA (Minute Of Angle) is basically this; a rifle that can shoot groups (bullet patterns) of one inch per every hundred yards. So an MOA capable rifle can maintain a one inch group at one hundred yards, and theoretically, the same rifle can hold about ten inches at one thousand yards. If you have a rifle that can shoot one MOA, then you are well on your way to long range shooting. Obviously, sub MOA (groups smaller than 1 inch) would be better since smaller groups equates to more consistency, and there is more to it than just the rifle, so we’ll get into that.
Desert Tech SRSA1 rifles all come with a 1/2 MOA guarantee, see more about them here: SRS-A1, and SRS Covert.

Best Long Range Rifles Desert Tech - Tomorrow's Weapons

2. A Repeatable Scope With Accurate Measurements (turrets or reticle):
Long Range Shooting Scope - Desert Tech Tomorrow's Weapons

Optics are one of those things where you get what you pay for. A good rifle scope is crucial if you intend on accurately engaging targets at any significant range, a quality optic will maintain a proper zero, as well as consistent and exact adjustments. A good sharp image is important, but for long range shooting, it is just as important to have the ability to accurately measure come ups. Come ups are required holdovers or corrections that are required to compensate for bullet drop. A bullet drops more the farther away it gets, and in order to accurately hit a target, a marksman must be able to correct for that drop with exactness. This can be accomplished with either holding over the target using a “milling” type reticle (see top image), or by “dialing up” using a scope equipped with adjustable turrets, which are marked for specific values. Either using the reticle or the dial up turrets, you can correct for the drop of the bullet

3. A shooter Capable of MOA Accuracy:

Having an accurate rifle and scope combination, is only part of the structure of accuracy. And one of the intimidating parts of long range is how much of it rests upon the shoulder and finger of the shooter. After all, an accurate rifle is useless in the hands of one who doesn’t know how to use it. Basic shooting skills are a must, proper trigger control, recoil management, and position building are all part of proper shooting form. Marksmen should be able to repeatedly shoot groups of 1 MOA or better, and should be able to do so from positions and with the equipment they intend to use in long range situations.
Trigger control is paramount, clean and deliberate breaking of the trigger should be your goal. Dry fire practice, and breathing exercises will sharpen your skill. The reticle should not move from the target when the trigger breaks.
Recoil management is necessary to keep the rifle on target; if you follow through the recoil impulse, keeping the rifle steady and on target, you will be able to see your own impacts, as well as be ready for the following shot. In the process of this follow through, you will aid the rifle in maintaining its firm foundation from which to accurately launch the bullet.
Position building is part of building that foundation; a good bipod or sand bag setup will help you to create a solid repeatable position to shoot from. You’ll know your position is good, when after the shot goes off, the rifle, you, and the reticle are all still in alignment with the target.

Long Range Shooting - Desert Tech Tomorrow's Weapons

4. Ammunition:

Here at Desert Tech we say; a rifle is only as accurate as the ammunition you shoot through it. The ammunition you shoot is also an important part of the foundation of accuracy. Whether you reload, or purchase your ammunition, it must consistently shoot well in your rifle (1MOA or less). The further the distances you shoot, the more important consistency will have in making those hits.

Best Long Range Ammo - Ammunition by Desert Tech Tomorrow's Weapons

5. A Known Distance (KD) range, or a rangefinder:

Long Range Shooting Rangefinder - Desert Tech Tomorrow's Weapons
It is difficult to know how far to come up if you don’t know how far you are shooting. A known distance range is an inexpensive way to test your skills, and your come ups. You can either shoot somewhere that has marked distances, or if you have one available, use a laser rangefinder. A laser rangefinder will allow you to shoot where you want, and know the exact distances to your target. There are many good options ranging in price from $450 for something like a Sig Kilo 2000, or $500 for a Leica 1600B, up to thousands of dollars for higher end units.
Once you know your target’s distance, all you need is the come up, or drop of the bullet to that distance. One very handy resource for finding a range is available on the Desert Tech website, enter your zip code and it will automatically populate on a map the nearest ranges to you and the distances available there:


Long Range Shooting Rangefinder - Desert Tech Tomorrow's Weapons

6. A drop table, or ballistic app:

A good drop chart is absolutely important for long range shooting, a drop chart is a graph that shows how far your bullets drops at any specified range. One can be developed through various methods, but the easiest and least expensive is with a ballistic computer like Trasol. They are easily downloaded to your computer or phone, and when given all the right information about your rifle, ammunition, and the weather conditions surrounding them, they can generate some very accurate drop tables for you:
Long Range Trasol Ballistic Trajectory Calculator App - Desert Tech

Once you have all these things accounted for, you are ready to start pushing back the berm. Ideally you will want to use targets bigger than one MOA, as it will help you get on target and give you some wiggle room to work with. Using your drop chart, you can adjust or hold over your scope for the distance you are shooting. With proper recoil management, you should be able to spot your hits/misses, if not, have someone spot for you. You can then correct for any windage (left/right) or elevation (up/down) changes, by adjusting your scope turrets, or your reticle hold on the target. Keeping notes on conditions and results will also help build experience you can use. As you exercise the basics of marksmanship, you will get better and better at hitting targets, and you will be able to use the same techniques to shoot farther and farther. Frequent practice is very important to building your skill set. You’ll soon be having a great time hitting targets that you had never even considered possible.

Desert Tech, LLC
Tomorrow’s Weapons

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