Want to up your overall shooting ability, learn to make long-range shots on targets and then everything closer will feel like a chip shot. Follow these basic steps to improve your long-range game.
To begin with: Make Sure Your Rifle Fits—Being able to control your rifle and maintain consistent attachment and form with every shot is key to repetitively making long, difficult shots. To do this, a shooter needs a rifle that fits them perfectly, with adjustable combs set so each time they place their face against the stock and line up to shoot, they are in the same position.
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- Focus the Reticle—A clear, focused reticle is critical for precise shot placement, so be sure your optic has the ability to adjust the reticle and bring it into sharp focus. A blurry reticle and imperfect shot alignment can translate to shots missed by yards when shooting out past 600 yards.
- Understand Parallax—Parallax is the apparent movement of the reticle when viewing it at different, distance magnifications. At 9x and below, it doesn’t matter, at 10x and above it can come into play if the reticle appears to move around in the scope when viewed. To properly adjust it, turn the parallax dial all the way out to infinity and then turn it back in focus until it stops moving.
- Square Off Behind the Rifle—Square the body off directly behind the rifle and in line with the target to provide a more reliable position that allows recoil to travel—and dissipate—along the length of your body, not jerking it to one side such as when you see shooters align their body off to the left or right of the rifle.
- Straighten That Scope—The reticle should be level with the horizon and straight across as you aim. A twisted or improperly mounted scope where the reticle is cocked at an angle can throw of your point of aim.
- Know Thy Load —This is where range time and understanding the ballistics of the load and caliber you are shooting are critical. Through practicing with loads in different conditions, a shooter needs to learn how much each click of adjustment of the scope will move the point of impact. They also need to understand how much the bullet will drop at various distances or drift in certain winds in order to make the appropriate adjustments.