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Long range shooting popularity

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by Klint Beastwood, Jan 17, 2018.

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  1. Klint Beastwood

    Klint Beastwood member

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    Is it just me or has the long range shooting newbie crowd gotten smaller again? I mean the art has always had a certain crowd to it, but for while it was dare I say “popular.” However I’ve noticed recently a smaller influx of interested persons in the recent months.
    I’m not talking about any place in particular... here, other forums, locally, etc
     
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2018
  2. JO JO

    JO JO Member

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    I think most new shooters now a days are all about AR15 type rifles and 9mm
    handguns, at least that’s what I have noticed, 90% of the rifles I see at the range is some sort or AR with 15 accessories mounted on them shooting at targets under 50 yards out,
    And in my area finding a public range that goes past 300 yards is a challenge, I think many new shooters don’t want to invest the money,time and leg work to find a range that has
    The distance to shoot out to
    At least that’s what I see locally to me
     
  3. ColoradoMinuteMan

    ColoradoMinuteMan Member

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    I think it was the "American Sniper" movie that motivated a lot of the long range shooting resurgence a few years ago. Pop culture tends to influence that sort of stuff as silly as that seems. I think one of the demotivators for people is access to ranges beyond 100 yards and even more so beyond 300 yards. Most city slickers don't have convenient access to ranges of that distance.

    Those who really are going to make a long term hobby of long term shooting are going to be those who are highly motivated and there seems to be an overall shortage of those who are highly motivated to do anything inconvenient these days.
     
  4. chicharrones

    chicharrones needs more ammo

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    Same here. All but one public outdoor range around me tops out at 100 yards. The odd ball tops out at 200 yards.

    Urban sprawl has pushed the outdoor ranges further and further away from the masses. I've been slowly but surely transitioning more and more to being an indoor range shooter. Which means handguns and it also means I might as well turn in my rifles for pistol caliber carbines.
     
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  5. cougar1717

    cougar1717 Member

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    Remember how hot the market used to be for the Ruger Precision Rifle? It is a rifle that could be defined as the entry level equipment for this discipline/competition. I remember when stores would get a few in and they would be sold almost immediately. The stability of the political climate, market saturation, preferences and other factors have had an effect. There are plenty available almost everywhere now.
     
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  6. taliv

    taliv Moderator Staff Member

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    i think it's as hot as ever. there are several new rifle ranges opening within 100 miles of me. more expensive rifles in the local gun stores are selling briskly. there are WAY more PRS matches this year

    i just think the online content has caught up to the trend. so n00bs don't need to ask the simple questions now as there are months worth of youtube videos to watch, etc.

    i can tell you match bullets from some brands are very hard to find. brass for popular long range match calibers is also out of stock everywhere
     
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  7. Klint Beastwood

    Klint Beastwood member

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    Here on the west coast areas there are plenty of ranges or Public land that you can shoot well over 1000y.
    As many mentioned above, there a various reasons why it might be slowing down.
    I personally noticed a lot of people spend a lot of money on a setup, plug numbers into a app after watching some YouTube how-to videos and just go to town. I’d see them come and go at my long range course, but see those same people with the family down at the pistol or carbine rifle area shooting plates. Maybe they got bored with hold over shots.
    The civilian guys/or others that shoot at the local competitions, they are still out there with their chronos, books, and load developements doing the thang.
    I’ve personally been taking a break from the range in general, for medical reasons, but I’ll be back to it when that gets resolved.
     
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  8. FL-NC

    FL-NC Member

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    I think several things are in play. For one, action movies DO effect sales of certain types of guns. Dirty Harry did more to sell 44 mags than Elmer Keith. Beretta 92's got scarce after Lethal Weapon came out, etc. Speaking specifically about long range, for one thing, having a place to shoot a long range rifle can be difficult for many people. The club where I shot in NC was a sportsmen's association, and the rifle range was only 300 yards deep. To me, "long range" STARTS at 400 yards. But watching what was going on at the NC range, MOST of those people had no business shooting at anything over 100 yards Then there is the skill factor involved- since its not as easy as people think, many get frustrated and closet their rifle, or better yet, sell it to people like me for a song. Also, the cost associated with getting into it in a serious manner. My current range goes to 850. If I bring my 3 most used rifles, we are talking around 11k worth of rifles and what is on them (more if the suppressors come out to play) $1 every time the gun goes bang. Add to that, the price of a Leopold mil dot spotting scope, PDA with TRAG software, mats, cases, bean bags, log books, chrono, and so on.
     
  9. Varminterror

    Varminterror Member

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    I’m with @taliv, the ranges are coming to meet the new market demand. The SAD part, I believe, is gonna be when all of that infrastructure investment gets abandoned when the popular trend is over. It’s easy for pop culture to abandon long range shooting, because it’s harder than many other forms, so I think it won’t last as long - but the ranges are getting built, and when they become available, guys will go shoot there until they realize long range isn’t for them...

    The AR boom was a perfect footstone for the long range boom. Guys bought AR’s as their first and only gun, many of them with cheap mil-spec barrels, then they quickly realized the limitations of the platform. So they went looking for something else... The market tried to push AR-10’s for a while, but guys realized the weight, recoil, cost, and relative imprecision of the AR-10 vs. precision bolt rifles didn’t make sense - buy a precision bolt gun... so here we are with the milk jug challenge, hundreds of guys online pretending they hit a jug on their first shot at 600-1000yrds, and thousands of guys wanting to follow in those footsteps... American Sniper certainly influenced it too, perfect timing... but too long ago now to be the only market motivation...

    When those guys realize the limitations of their skills, they’ll be selling the rifle. With an AR, anyone can go out and shoot fast and have fun. Not everybody can go bang 1-2moa steel at 1,000, and nobody wants to have their buddy ask about that slick looking rifle in the corner, that expensive looking rifle, and then have to admit they can’t hit jack squat with it.

    The only things I think are really over are the “blued and walnut thing,” and the “levergun thing.” Maybe the “expensive single shot thing” too...
     
  10. ATLDave

    ATLDave Member

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    1. I think there is a fairly finite supply of people who even can be meaningfully engaged in long-range shooting. Most people simply have no reasonable access to ranges in excess of 100-300 yards.
    2. Of the people who have access to long distance ranges, only a small subset will be interested in expending the serious money required to get up and running. The glass costs alone are pretty serious.
    3. Of those, only a portion of them will be interested in tackling the math and other inherent technical challenges in long range shooting. It's not easy.
    In short, there are a lot of barriers to entry, and finite number of people who are going to be willing to overcome them. The introduction of high quality Vortex optics and the RPR moved the needle on #2, and there was an influx. But barriers haven't been further lowered in most places, and now there's a new equilibrium.
     
  11. jmr40

    jmr40 Member

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    I think the AR craze has subsided and "precision shooting" is more common than ever. Ruger sells it as the Ruger "Precision" Rifle, not Long Range rifle. While movies like "Sniper" bring attention to long range shooting most sniper shots are well inside of 500 yards. In fact most LE snipers average shot is around 40 yards. But a 100 yard shot is farther than the typical soldier or police officer takes and they are usually shooting at very small targets or having to hit bad guys while missing hostages or other good guys.

    The Precision rifles where I shoot are far, far more common than hunting rifles anymore. Even most of the AR platform rifles are set up for precision. My range only goes 300 yards, but there is a lot of interest in being able to hit very small targets at 200-300 yards.

    And long range can be relative. Ruger is now also selling a 22 caliber version of the Precision rifle that I'm very interested in. I have access to a hay farmer friends land where I could shoot 1000+ yards. But am limited to when I can shoot there. Forget it during hay growing season. I've been shooting a 22 at 200+ yards at the range. It took a little trial and error to get the drops figured out and scopes dialed in at 200 yards. Now I set up clay targets on the ground at various ranges between 200 and about 250 yards. With a 22 that is every bit as challenging as shooting at 1000.
     
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  12. Bfh_auto

    Bfh_auto Member

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    I can only shoot to about 475 on my property. All I care about is being competent at 400 and less because that is the farthest I will shoot deer. Most are inside 100. Waiting lists at any longer range near me.
     
  13. Klint Beastwood

    Klint Beastwood member

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    There is a lot of misconceptions of what snipers do. People don’t know that
    Sniper work is much more observation, surveillance and reconnaissance then shooting however that is a part of it too...that and sometimes things just happen and you do what you have to. With that being said, in my experience, theatre is dependent on range. Afghanistan has well plus 800y engangments on both conventional forces and SOF personnel. I keep it vague as to avoid story time, but that’s just my experience.
     
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  14. Robert

    Robert Administrator Staff Member

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    I shoot my 20" ACOG'd AR to 425 as often as I can. I'm only going for hits on steel but at that range a com hit is a hit.
     
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  15. Robert101

    Robert101 Member

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    I would love to shoot long range. My longest range shooting has been to 450 yards. That is child's play to some. I don't believe I could hit a gallon container on the first shot at that distance. Too many variables for me like wind, terrain, and bullet configuration. I typically shoot Hornady 150 FMJBT (cheap jacket bullets) and mixed case brass loaded on a progressive. So yes, I know how to reload for more precision, but I choose not to in the interest of time and money. Maybe I'll fine tune later this year. I do live on the West Coast and the closest shooting area at that distance is on BLM land an 2.5 hours away in the desert.
     
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  16. Klint Beastwood

    Klint Beastwood member

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    You in Cali?
     
  17. cp1969

    cp1969 Member

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    As mentioned by ColoradoMinuteMan, Walter Mitty sniper-wannabes came out of the woodwork when American Sniper was released, same as the run on M29's after Dirty Harry.
     
  18. z7

    z7 Member

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    The long range market is booming with new “sniper” type rifles (tactical type target rifles, chassis, lots of rails, box mags etc) are being released. Mossberg, savage, Tikka, ruger, Remington and many others have factory rifles made for PRS type shooting

    Scopes are evolving at a rapid rate to support the PRS game

    Bullets are changing as manufacturers chase higher BC

    New factory offerings in cartridges like 6.5PRC 224 Valkyrie, 6mm creedmooe etc

    While the “noobs” are not all over the web discussing long range stuff, the market is doing great. While two years ago we were all concerned about the future of shooting sports, component shortages and high prices, days are good now with more innovation and competition giving us good options as shooters.

    I doubt this many companies would dedicate the resources to new long range products if they were not selling
     
  19. WestKentucky

    WestKentucky Member

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    For me it's always been about accuracy for function. Why shoot to 500 when you built that rifle for use in thick woods, or why shoot at 50 yards a rifle fully capable of 500.
    Last time I went to the range I carried a 32 revolver, 3 AR15 (rifle, carbine, pistol)a marlin 336, a marlin 62, and a Remington 700. I got the ar pistol ringing the 150 yard plate every other shot, good enough. I got the carbine halfway sighted in before the batteries on that junk red dot played out...It was free though...and when another guy showed up he made a smartalec remark about showing me what his Ruger 77-44 would do that my ARs wouldn't do...So he proceeded to hit the 150 plate on the third shot. I rang it 3 in a row with the pistol. So then he tries to up his game on the 300 yard targets, I skip it and wear out the 500yd with my rifle. I was content with just doing my thing until he made it a competition. So no, not all AR guys are tacticool operators, some of us have legit equipment that will lay down a nice group at any range. But yeah, I see 2 loose groups, triggerhappy goobers and accuracy guys. They don't cross over a lot, but they do cross over.
     
  20. JO JO

    JO JO Member

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    I have an old school AR A2 full size service rifle that is one of my favorite all purpose take to the range guns I own and It is accurate as I am with the A2 flip aperture iron sights,
    I do have better scoped rifles better for distance , and those you tube commandos look at me like I am a dinosaur with the full sized A2 until they see my targets, sorry for getting off topic guys
     
  21. gulogulo1970

    gulogulo1970 Member

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    Some people want a item for its capabilities. They'll get a car that can run an 8 minute time at the Nurburgring. Can they do that? No. The car could, with a well trained, experienced driver, just not with them. Still the owning of the car gives them pride of ownership.

    I would love a Ruger Precision Rifle, but my skills don't justify the money spent. I can shoot shotguns pretty well, handguns better. Rifles, well I'm not happy with where I am. My rifles are better at their job than I am. Until I get to where I can hit what I'm aiming at with boring regularity to 300 yards, I don't have any reason owning one, yet.

    I guess what I'm trying to say is there plenty of those rifles being sold that will never be shot to their potential or even shot much. You can hope that maybe by owning a "super rifle" shooters will not have any excuses and will hone their own skill. Some will and others won't and will just like owning something cool. Both of these camps will continue to drive the market for these rifles.
     
  22. Newtosavage

    Newtosavage Member

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    This.
     
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  23. sage5907

    sage5907 Member

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    There's a big difference between a long range hunting rifle and a long range precision rifle. If you don't believe me just go to GunBroker and look at the price of a Surgeon or an Accuracy International rifle. The rifle and scope combination could easily cost $10,000. For a precision rifle shooter to stay competitive their continuous practice costs several thousand dollars a year. I have a friend who buys several barrels at a time, and has his own tools to cut the chambers and headspace each new barrel. How many of you could afford to do that? My friend used to enjoy reloading but now he hates it. All he wants to do is shoot.
     
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  24. Steve S.

    Steve S. Member

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    Public ranges in our area max out at 100 yards; the large private range near my home is a very nice facility that goes to 600 yards. Membership requires a sponsor and $500.00 for year one membership (year two and onward is $250 per year). Not a horribly high cost (I guess) for access to a very nice range but I can enjoy shooting (to 100 yards) at a public range for free ($500.00 buys a lot of ammo and free range time). I just don’t shoot enough to justify the $500 but if I did, I would probably join.
     
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  25. Llama Bob

    Llama Bob Member

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    There were a bunch of people on the 1000y line at Pawnee in the snow last time I was out there. I'd say it's doing OK, but I don't track monthly Ruger precision rifle sales or anything.

    Now skeet, that's dying.
     
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