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Long range shooting technique
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Hey all,
I have been shooting since I was big enough to hold a rifle, and by now I’ve learned some techniques that deal with the actual act of pulling the trigger. For instance take a deep breath and hold it then squeeze the trigger yadda yadda. But I am rather new to the long range scene and was wondering if there were any other top secret techniques that are more focused on getting good groups at long range. Or am I just overthinking it all?

Thanks, Luke


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Posts: 9 | Location: Corvallis, Montana  | Registered: 01 June 2019Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Become one with gun, grasshopper.

Om, Om, Om.

Once you go through the initial mechanical act of getting the rifle settled on the rest, good stock weld, rifle not canting, then it is just a matter of breath control and correct timing of the touch off.

I've found I shoot better at longer ranges, if I become still within myself and focus solely on the sight picture.


BH63


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Posts: 2205 | Registered: 29 December 2015Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Get a match trigger! Seriously!
Peter.


Be without fear in the face of your enemies. Be brave and upright, that God may love thee. Speak the truth always, even if it leads to your death. Safeguard the helpless and do no wrong;
 
Posts: 10227 | Location: Jacksonville, Florida | Registered: 09 January 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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There aren't really any different shooting "techniques" - you could shoot at 100 yards over and over. When I was young, my goal was to put ten shots inside 5 inches at 300 yards shooting sitting with a sling. Those skills helped a lot once I mastered that and moved further.

Long range shooting is different in that the wind is the biggest factor in a hit or a miss. If it isn't, then you really need to work on fundamentals.

There are also loading techniques, eg, getting SD as low as possible so that your vertical "spread" at long ranges is 1/2 MOA or better but that is really a different topic.


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Posts: 7259 | Location: Arizona | Registered: 28 July 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Yea there is, but I doubt it's a top secret. It's called breath control. Do not hold your breath, but rather control your breathing. Depriving the body of oxygen doesn't make it shoot better, it makes it shoot worse.
So keep breathing at your normal rate this keeps your heart rate stable. Next thing, relax and focus on what you are doing, spend time in the scope, many shooters get in the scope just long enough to fire the shot then immediately look to the spotter for confirmation for hit or miss staying in the scope and following thru, your shot ends when you see the end result of the shot seeing the hit or miss thru the rifles scope, very important. This will help you get in the groove so to speak, not just covering a target and yanking the lanyard and hoping for the best.
Control it, press the breath out, stability, squeeze, bullet in flight, watch the hit or miss, correct if needed, repeat.



 
Posts: 890 | Location: satterleearmsrifles.com | Registered: 12 November 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Natural point of aim is essential marksmanship. For more information on marksmanship, check these links. Listed below are the links to the National Match Competition, Long-Range Target Shooting, and the Civilian Marksmanship Program.

http://www.usrifleteams.com/forums/
http://www.usrifleteams.com/lrforum/index.php??
http://thecmp.org/


DR #2276
 
Posts: 94 | Registered: 04 July 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I would say a lot of trigger time with an accurate training rifle, 22rf, air rifle, 223, etc. Natural point of aim is big, breathing yes, but not holding a full breath. Just pause your breath at neutral pressure (halfway between your inhale and exhale). The more you shoot the more you’ll do many of those things automatically without thought. One of my best performances at a Service Rifle competition was after a summer of shooting thousand of pellets through a HW-97 field target air rifle. Mostly at paper, blackbirds and groundhogs. Much of it off hand. My timing/trigger control was at a high point and birds 60+ yards didn’t stand a chance. That’s not ‘long range’ by any means but it carries over to any distance you’re shooting.


Shoot straight, shoot often.
Matt
 
Posts: 1080 | Location: Wisconsin | Registered: 19 July 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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^
I often carry a .22 rifle to the range when shooting my centerfires. If I am exhibiting bad habits or rushing shots, I stop and shoot 30 or 40 rounds wither .22 at 25 yds.

By the time I hit 20 rounds or so, I am getting fingernail sized groups.

Going back to my CF, I find my groups have improved greatly.

BH63


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Posts: 2205 | Registered: 29 December 2015Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by Timan:
Yea there is, but I doubt it's a top secret. It's called breath control. Do not hold your breath, but rather control your breathing. Depriving the body of oxygen doesn't make it shoot better, it makes it shoot worse.
So keep breathing at your normal rate this keeps your heart rate stable. Next thing, relax and focus on what you are doing, spend time in the scope, many shooters get in the scope just long enough to fire the shot then immediately look to the spotter for confirmation for hit or miss staying in the scope and following thru, your shot ends when you see the end result of the shot seeing the hit or miss thru the rifles scope, very important. This will help you get in the groove so to speak, not just covering a target and yanking the lanyard and hoping for the best.
Control it, press the breath out, stability, squeeze, bullet in flight, watch the hit or miss, correct if needed, repeat.


A chain is only as strong as the weakest link. In the chain of events that takes place in long range shooting, the weakest link is the same whether it is at 300 yds or 1000. Our own lack of stability.
 
Posts: 9610 | Location: Tooele, Ut | Registered: 27 September 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by Wstrnhuntr:
quote:
Originally posted by Timan:
Yea there is, but I doubt it's a top secret. It's called breath control. Do not hold your breath, but rather control your breathing. Depriving the body of oxygen doesn't make it shoot better, it makes it shoot worse.
So keep breathing at your normal rate this keeps your heart rate stable. Next thing, relax and focus on what you are doing, spend time in the scope, many shooters get in the scope just long enough to fire the shot then immediately look to the spotter for confirmation for hit or miss staying in the scope and following thru, your shot ends when you see the end result of the shot seeing the hit or miss thru the rifles scope, very important. This will help you get in the groove so to speak, not just covering a target and yanking the lanyard and hoping for the best.
Control it, press the breath out, stability, squeeze, bullet in flight, watch the hit or miss, correct if needed, repeat.


A chain is only as strong as the weakest link. In the chain of events that takes place in long range shooting, the weakest link is the same whether it is at 300 yds or 1000. Our own lack of stability.


No, it is the wind. You can buy a RF to measure the distance, a bipod to make you steady, etc. You can help yourself immeasurably by shooting a high BC bullet fast, but the only way to master LR shooting is to master the wind.

The first thing I think about after measuring the range is the wind, and I constantly watch it until I am ready to pull the trigger.


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Posts: 7259 | Location: Arizona | Registered: 28 July 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by AnotherAZWriter:
quote:
Originally posted by Wstrnhuntr:
quote:
Originally posted by Timan:
Yea there is, but I doubt it's a top secret. It's called breath control. Do not hold your breath, but rather control your breathing. Depriving the body of oxygen doesn't make it shoot better, it makes it shoot worse.
So keep breathing at your normal rate this keeps your heart rate stable. Next thing, relax and focus on what you are doing, spend time in the scope, many shooters get in the scope just long enough to fire the shot then immediately look to the spotter for confirmation for hit or miss staying in the scope and following thru, your shot ends when you see the end result of the shot seeing the hit or miss thru the rifles scope, very important. This will help you get in the groove so to speak, not just covering a target and yanking the lanyard and hoping for the best.
Control it, press the breath out, stability, squeeze, bullet in flight, watch the hit or miss, correct if needed, repeat.


A chain is only as strong as the weakest link. In the chain of events that takes place in long range shooting, the weakest link is the same whether it is at 300 yds or 1000. Our own lack of stability.


No, it is the wind. You can buy a RF to measure the distance, a bipod to make you steady, etc. You can help yourself immeasurably by shooting a high BC bullet fast, but the only way to master LR shooting is to master the wind.

The first thing I think about after measuring the range is the wind, and I constantly watch it until I am ready to pull the trigger.


I would think that reading the wind would fall under the category of knowledge rather than technique. But your point is well taken.
 
Posts: 9610 | Location: Tooele, Ut | Registered: 27 September 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by Wstrnhuntr:
quote:
Originally posted by AnotherAZWriter:
quote:
Originally posted by Wstrnhuntr:
quote:
Originally posted by Timan:
Yea there is, but I doubt it's a top secret. It's called breath control. Do not hold your breath, but rather control your breathing. Depriving the body of oxygen doesn't make it shoot better, it makes it shoot worse.
So keep breathing at your normal rate this keeps your heart rate stable. Next thing, relax and focus on what you are doing, spend time in the scope, many shooters get in the scope just long enough to fire the shot then immediately look to the spotter for confirmation for hit or miss staying in the scope and following thru, your shot ends when you see the end result of the shot seeing the hit or miss thru the rifles scope, very important. This will help you get in the groove so to speak, not just covering a target and yanking the lanyard and hoping for the best.
Control it, press the breath out, stability, squeeze, bullet in flight, watch the hit or miss, correct if needed, repeat.


A chain is only as strong as the weakest link. In the chain of events that takes place in long range shooting, the weakest link is the same whether it is at 300 yds or 1000. Our own lack of stability.


No, it is the wind. You can buy a RF to measure the distance, a bipod to make you steady, etc. You can help yourself immeasurably by shooting a high BC bullet fast, but the only way to master LR shooting is to master the wind.

The first thing I think about after measuring the range is the wind, and I constantly watch it until I am ready to pull the trigger.


I would think that reading the wind would fall under the category of knowledge rather than technique. But your point is well taken.


Fair enough; like I said on a question of bipod loading, a lot of guys get hung up on little things that may be important, but once you start shooting long on days the wind is blowing, all of those things are non-issues.

One thing I have learned is that it is a waste of time to try and learn to shoot in the wind at LR with a rifle that can't shoot 1/2 MOA or better. Perhaps you hit 7 inches left holding 2 MOA at 800 - was that a bad wind call or simply a shot that would have landed 1/2 MOA left with no wind (ie, a 1 MOA rifle)? The 1/2 MOA rifle's shot would have hit 2" left, moving 7 inch to the left shot to 5 inches, which is my goal in LR shooting.


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Posts: 7259 | Location: Arizona | Registered: 28 July 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Posts: 8958 | Location: Denver - Go Rockies!! | Registered: 12 February 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I have only been hunting with him for couple days in Scotland. Both AnotherAZ Writer andn his bride are super people. And I know he is a damn good long range shooter. When he posts, I read and listen.


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Posts: 1740 | Location: Chattanooga, TN | Registered: 10 August 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Thanks for the kind words MD


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