Understanding Long Range Shooting. Question.

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by MR WICK, Jun 8, 2022.

  1. MR WICK

    MR WICK Member

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    Is it me or is there an overwhelming amount of precision that goes into long distance shooting. If I do even the slightest of things different the round goes wherever it wants. The location of the butt of my rifle needs to be in an exact position inbetween my shoulder and pec, the rifle needs to be extended in front of me a certain and specific distance, my trigger finger needs to be in an exact place on the trigger, and the squeeze has to be slow and perfect. Even at 200 yards I need to be exactly spot on with each independent variable or the round goes way off course.


    Now. Is that me, the rifle, or is it just that difficult? I can't imagine at 200 yards with a quality rifle and match grade ammo that it should be that difficult.

    Using Benelli Momentum 223, 69 Grain Match Grade Ammo, Vortex Venom Scope

    Thanks All.
     
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  2. wiscoaster

    wiscoaster Member

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    It's you, it's the rifle, it's the ammo, it's the setup, it's the technique, it's everything .... all that makes it difficult, and that's what make it fun and interesting and a challenge. It's not that the round goes "wherever it wants" it's that there are so many variables involved and that they are magnified as the distance increases. Yes, it's difficult!! Have a great time overcoming those challenges!! That's what makes life a bitch, and by a very odd coincidence, makes life interesting and fun. You'd be pretty bored with no challenges to overcome.
     
  3. 12Bravo20

    12Bravo20 Member

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    As you have found out, consistency is the key to accurate shooting.

    Hitting a man size target at 300 meters with iron sights is fairly easy while shooting tiny groups using a good rifle and scope at that distance is definitely more of a challenge.
     
  4. Doc Samson

    Doc Samson Member

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    Yes, it's that difficult... for me anyway! I've printed some amazing groups at 100 yd. with my Savage, only to move to 200 with the same ammo and conditions, and end up where I have no clue (other than I'm clearly doing something wrong) what the heck is going on.

    Reminds me a lot of when I spent a fair amount of time golfing. You hit it just right and then spend the rest of the time trying to figure out "How'd I do that?"

    I do think correct and consistent practice is the key and I know I don't do enough of that...
     
  5. mcb

    mcb Member

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    Get good at shooting PRS matches and you will figure out how to get the accuracy in a lot of different situations and positions. Learning to build a good shooting position in an awkward position is a great skill to have for both competition and hunting.
     
  6. MR WICK

    MR WICK Member

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    Thanks everyone. I appreciate it.
     
  7. LoonWulf
    • Contributing Member

    LoonWulf Contributing Member

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    Just took my dad to some long distance shooting he couldn't get consistent impacts till we worked out his position so he was aligned properly and comfortably.....or as comfortable as you can get using the last hash in a scope cranked right to max lol.
     
  8. bangswitch

    bangswitch Member

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    It's all about consistency and practice. Consistency of your ammunition; consistency of your position, which translates to the consistency of your cheek weld, which translates to the consistency of your sight picture. Consistency of your breathing, when to squeeze the trigger at what point in your breath. Consistency of the weather; humidity, wind/no wind, temperature, elevation. Consistency of the rifle; cold barrel/hot barrel. Quality of the trigger; single stage, 2 stage, lots of creep, or smooth as silk. All those things have to be the same, relative to each other, every shot. What makes a group that covers a quarter at 100 yards, one tiny variation of any of those can destroy that accuracy at 500 yards, change that 1 MOA group into a shotgun pattern further out. A tiny, 1 inch error at 100 yards becomes a 10 inch excursion at 1000.

    The practice is to keep all those variables at a minimum every time you go out. Every trigger break should be a surprise when it happens.
     
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  9. taliv

    taliv Moderator Staff Member

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    yes, you do have to do some things consistently, but you have entirely the wrong list.

    things that should be consistent:
    ammo (neck tension, powder charge, primer seating, etc)
    rifle mechanics (firing pin velocity and lock time, action/barrel to stock contact)
    sight to target alignment
    adjustments for environmentals (wind, temp, altitude)

    things that do NOT need to be consistent:
    trigger pull, as long as it doesn't disturb your sight picture which in fairness, a bad trigger often does, but your finger doesn't need to be in the same place or your pull be exactly the same. e.g. it could be fast or slow and shouldn't matter to the bullet
    cheek weld, can be hard hold or not even touching and shouldn't matter to bullet
    grip on foreend, position of stock in shoulder, shouldn't matter

    now, some of those things DO affect your ability to spot your misses, see your trace, send fast follow up rounds, etc. but they shouldn't cause you to miss.

    if you find those things do matter, and you’re SURE it’s not mental, that would indicate a defect in your equipment. For example, if your cheek weld has to be exact, the real problem is likely something like parallax in your scope not adjusted properly. Or if your stock has to be in your shouldn’t just right maybe your bedding is jacked up.
     
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2022
  10. South Prairie Jim

    South Prairie Jim Member

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    Quote with replies;

    Now. Is that me, ( partly ) the rifle, or is it just that difficult?( rifle maybe..) ) I can't imagine at 200 yards with a quality rifle and match grade ammo that it should be that difficult. ( it is not difficult at all, 200 yards should be a chip shot)

    Using Benelli Momentum 223, 69 Grain Match Grade Ammo, ( match grade for whom ?) Vortex Venom Scope

    Here is some truth- a well tuned target rifle using tuned ammunition and I mean tuned for that particular rifle will hit where you aim as long as you or the wind does not influence it otherwise.
     
  11. edwardware

    edwardware Member

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    Not overwhelming, just more than you're accustomed to.

    Technique that seems impossibly trivial suddenly matters a lot, for reasons that aren't clear. . . that's what learning feels like.
    And your imagination is being informed by reality. Cool huh?
     
  12. Archie

    Archie Member

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    Yes. Long or short range accuracy is the result of the total. And long range shooting is very demanding. However, the same characteristics apply to short range (a comparative term of course) shooting as well.
     
  13. Remington1911

    Remington1911 Member

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    Personally I would say I need to know just what "goes wherever it wants" means. If at 200 that means 3" away that is one thing, if it means I don't hit paper it is another.

    Like others said, it is not hard to hit the torso of a man sized steel plat at 200, if you are calling it a failure if they are all not inside the distance covered by a golf ball, then that is different.

    From your post I am taking away you are getting say a 10" group at 200 for example and calling that a failure.
     
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  14. South Prairie Jim

    South Prairie Jim Member

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    If you ever get up my way give me a shout out, I’ll put you behind a good rifle and you can shoot mid range ( 500 yard) groups until we run out of ammo.
     
  15. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator Staff Member

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    You need:

    A very accurate rifle with a very good load in a sturdy/rigid stock.

    A very steady position.

    A good trigger, and the ability to pull it without disturbing the rifle, which means you need to be able to move your trigger finger without disturbing the rest of your hand, in other words, move independently.

    Have the rifle in your shoulder so it wants to recoil straight back and level. When we pull it over and shoot with it in a “stressed” position in our shoulder (pressure left or right holding it where we want it/has the crosshairs where we want them) it doesn’t start straight back. (You can fudge this a little with generous targets, but not for group shooting or small targets.)

    Breath control, do not hold your breath, breath long slow breaths (like when you’re trying to relax in a stressful situation). I like to shoot during the exhale if I can, and always for group shooting, but you don’t have to.

    I have made hits on steel way out there yanking the crosshairs to the target and yanking the trigger at basically the same time when the timer goes off trying to steal a hit, but I was already in position and 99% ready to fire.
     
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  16. Varminterror

    Varminterror Member

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    Rifle: if the rifle can and does shoot small groups, this indicates a reliable relationship between POI and POA, so unless you are changing something about the rifle between, or something breaks, it will continue to shoot that relationship between POI and POA. It’s a machine, machines don’t have bad days and good days.

    Ammo: if your ammo can and does shoot small groups, this also indicates reliable relationship between POI and POA, so again, unless something is changing, such as extreme environmental condition changes, then that relationship will also be retained. Ammo is chemistry and physics, both fixed sciences, and God doesn’t change His mind very often about the rules He laid down for how the world works. Ammo which isn’t temp sensitive AND exposed to temperature changes doesn’t have bad days.

    Shooter: Everything truly variable about the shooting system is the human element. Humans have good days and bad days. Fighting the rifle, failing to shoot with NPOA, target/group panic, missing wind cues, breaking the shot when not on target/center/hold, etc - these are things humans do to rifles which make good ammo and rifles look bad.

    Fundamentals of marksmanship are stated in many ways, but really are all quite simple. Whether you better relate to Aiming, Breath Control, Hold Control, Follow-through or BRASS (Breath, Relax, Aim, Squeeze, Squeeze more), or some other permutation, it’s all the same stuff - we have to support the rifle on target, then minimize our influence to the rifle while we break the shot, and continue supporting the rifle on target thereafter.

    This is new for you - marksmen aren’t built in a matter of weeks. Just be patient, and continue practicing the right things, variability will tighten up.
     
  17. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator Staff Member

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    Yep, it takes practice, plenty of it, and patience, let it come to you, don’t try to force it.
     
  18. Remington1911

    Remington1911 Member

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    The OP really has not come back and cleared some things up, I for one would like to know just what he is trying to hit. To me some of the replies are making it much more difficult sounding then I think it is. I can plop my butt down, set down my CZ 223 with a Tasco scope on top of my range bag and ding the 8" plate all day long with crap tastic steel case ammo I am trying to burn. It is not that hard and does not take a huge investment to do that. Now if I am going for the 2" tear drop plate that is a different matter with that ammo.

    To me it just sounds like some are making hitting at distance seem like a real big deal, guess it comes down to the size of the thing you are trying to hit....I never did see or missed that from the OP.
     
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  19. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator Staff Member

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    What level of precision he needs would be good to know.
     
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  20. jak67429

    jak67429 Member

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    And remember practice does not make perfect. Practice makes permanent. perfect practice makes perfect. You may want to find a shooting coach, good coach will notice things you are doing wrong that you don't. It is really hard to correct something you don't know you are doing wrong.
     
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  21. WVRJ

    WVRJ Member

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    For me,it's a never ending journey.I try to improve and tune the rifle and the ammunition.I try to have a good relationship with the optic and improve it when I can.I've improved the things I can as far as the equipment goes,but the most important part of the equation is me.I started reloading and shooting more seriously than just trying to be able to shoot a deer at 100 yards in 77 or 78.I've been doing this for a very long time and my shooting has improved a lot over the years.The first rifle I loaded for was a cheaper version of the Winchester M70 known as the 670 that was chambered in .243.I struggled to shoot groups smaller than 2 and a half inches at 100 yards.Long range was a 200 yard shot at a groundhog.As time passed my shooting improved,as did the equipment I used.Groundhogs at 3 or 400 yards were in great danger when I built my first custom rifle,a 25-06.That was in the early 90's.Around 2010 I got bit hard by the long range bug.I was trying to ring steel with a 308 at 1,000 yards.Nowadays,I'm still trying to do that,and I'm getting pretty good at it,especially with the 280AI I put together summer before last.My personal best 100 yard group is a .103 inch 5 shot group at 100 yards,which is a lot better that what I could do with the old Winchester all those years ago.What makes it better is that the rifle I shot it with was assembled and tuned and shot by me.When I make that 16 inch steel plate swing at 1,000 yards,it's just like killing a big buck used to be.I hardly kill anything any more,but the satisfaction that comes from improving and growing and cultivating what little talent I have is a great feeling.Because of how hard good rifle bullets are to find now,I've started working on my skills with the pistol.All offhand,iron sights with no rest shooting that is humbling to say the least,but still fun as hell,and that's what it's all about.That's why I love it.
     
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  22. Weflyfast

    Weflyfast Member

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    Earth.....turning
    Wind......blowing
    Fire....... consistent amounts and steady nerves

    Hmmm.....was a band back in the day too I think-
     
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  23. The Glockodile

    The Glockodile Member

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    4061353e7304cd0010e9021ddca55899.jpg

    Can't agree with this more.

    Comfort to the point where your rifle nestles just right into your shoulder and beanbag, wherein your breathing doesn't jostle the reticle as much...

    ...it's all about comfort and a little bit of trigger control.
     
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  24. South Prairie Jim

    South Prairie Jim Member

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    56A7E674-5488-4B44-888B-FF2E722FE4C0.jpeg Get comfortable and send a few..
     
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  25. The Glockodile

    The Glockodile Member

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    There was this video of someone who blasted their tail lights away, or something like that - circumstances similar to that picture up there :rofl:
     
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