Long range shooting with the proper tools and knowledge is a lot of fun and easier than most would think. It does require a level of patience but is well worth the effort when you’re able to place a bullet accurately at a half mile plus. Let me explain.
A few years ago my dad and I were hunting coyotes we spotted a few out at about two-hundred fifty yards so we started lobbing bullets hoping to hit our target. After a few shots the coyotes looked up at us and then continued on with what they were doing, making us feel very stupid. We never hit them but that was the day we started looking into shooting long range, and making sure that the next time we had such a shot we would know EXACTLY how to hit our target.
After reading this article you will know the secrets to long range shooting and learn a few tricks that I’ve picked up through years of practice and experience. It doesn’t matter what kind of rifle you’re shooting you can be accurate at long ranges with this information. There are however rounds and rifles that provide for real long ranges like 7MM or 7MM STW or even a 338 or.338 Lapua. There’s a ton of ideal long range rifles, but if you don’t have an ideal rifle its ok. You can still get real good at a 700-900 yard ranges and let’s face it how many animals do you think you can kill if you were extremely proficient at 700 to 900 yards?
For the sake of time I’m going to use details from my particular round a 7mm. My rifle is a Remington 700 7mm. What we’ll cover is the following.
1. Rifle (7mm Remington 700)
2. Round (Actual Bullet)
4. Bullet Data
Again we covered #1 you need a rifle and you need to know its capabilities. So lets get to #2 the bullet. I use a 162 Grain Sierra BTHP with 68 grains of IMR 4831 Powder. I tested bullets and powders and this was the most accurate for me up close at 100 and at long ranges of up to 1500 yards. My bullet isn’t ideal for long range large animals as the knock down power decreases dramatically at long ranges.
Next we need Bullet data if you can’t reload get a good bullet that provide you with the following information preferably right on the box. Hornady has this information right on the box of most of their higher powered rifle rounds. All you need from the box is Muzzle Velocity, you will need to find bullet coefficient in a book on the particular round or often times the manufacturer has a web page dedicated to identifying bullet coefficient.
1. Muzzle Velocity
2. Bullet Coefficient
With this information you can now begin to plug your data into either an exbal program on a hand held PDA. (We use a DELL we got on eBay for $90) or the Iphone has a nice app called “shooter” here’s what you need in the features of your long range shooting application.
1. Muzzle velocity
2. Barometric pressure
5. Wind correction
6. Sight above bore (usually this is 1-2 inches)
7. Cosign or Angle of shot.
Plug your information into your computer and then when your in the field you simply plug in the information that’s needed relative to your new location. So here’s what I typically do. With my bullet data consistent, the only things I need to change are field conditions. When we are getting ready to hunt I pull out my Kestral meter (kestrel.com) and I get temperature, altitude, barometric pressure and humidity and I put it all in the computer.
I then pull up my drop table so that I know my bullet drop at 300, 400 and up to 1500 yards or more. This is key but the final tid bit is this.
You can go big with a night-force scope for $2500 or you can do what I did and get a simple Bushnell Elite – the key is being able to set your MOA or minutes of angle.
Your drop table will give you MOA’s as adjustments to your scope to set your scope for the distances that you shoot. I have up to 47 Minutes of Angle adjustment on my Bushnell Elite.
So when I’m ready to take a shot I pull up my Lika 1200 (good for up to about 1500 yards at dusk) I get my distance, lets say 945 yards. I then pull up my drop table which has my field conditions and bullet data already in it and I look t 945 yards and it tells my to come up 27 MOA. I go to my scope and dial up 27 Minutes of Angle and guess what? That’s right Im now set at ZERO at 945 yards which means I just put my cross-hairs on the target.. Churchill shooting