10 Pieces of Advice for Enhancing your Long-Range Game.
Long-range shooting is a skill which can only be honed through hours of practice, with many factors to consider before mastering the art.
Relax, get comfortable.
Get into a comfortable position and try to relax your body. A tense body will result in a missed shot. Make sure your crosshairs are in the right place, and your rifle is pointing naturally at your target.
If you need to make adjustments, do so by moving your whole body. Starting with the legs, let your torso and upper body follow.
Ensure your position is solid.
For prone shooting, your body must be well grounded. Keep your elbows down and your forearms on the ground. Your non-dominant hand should be used to support the rifle butt in the shoulder.
Get the perfect view through your scope.
Never take the shot until your view is completely clear. Remove any distractions and obstructions to your view. Be certain the front (objective) lens and the rear (ocular) lens are in perfect alignment with the rear lens just exceeding the diameter of the front lens.
No undue movement when taking the shot - release and follow through.
Squeeze the trigger, don’t pull. Use the centre of the pad of your index finger and your fingernail parallel to the trigger guard, so the motion is linear.
Maintain a fixed gaze through the scope. Flinching or blinking when squeezing the trigger could have a major impact on where and what you hit.
Remember where your crosshairs are when you take the shot, as you’ll need to refocus on the moment the bullet hits the target or lands nearby.
Hold the firearm firmly, but not tightly.
You want to be in control of your firearm, but not strangle it. When looking through the sight your cheek should firmly engage the stock with the head held reasonably upright and not an angle. Good ‘cheek weld’ is vital. Keep a firm hold of the pistol grip with your thumb curled around it for safety.
Leaving your thumb behind the bolt or alongside the safety catch can be a painful habit if your progress to large calibre rifles with heavy recoil.
Go short before going long.
Focus on nailing the basics before progressing. It’s important to build a solid foundation of experience before making the step up to longer distance shots. Jumping in at the deep end could create bad, potentially dangerous habits.
Practice, practice practice!
Reading and increasing your knowledge is one of the best ways to become an expert in any topic, however, the key to mastering it is by doing! Measuring wind speed, working with changing conditions and gauging distances are going to be learned with getting your hands dirty.
And practice some more.
Experience will be the difference between a hit an miss. Topography, trees, multiple wind values, updrafts and downdrafts all effect bullet flight. Spotting and taking shots will provide you with the necessary skill to hit the target in tough, changing conditions.
Great kid! Don’t get cocky!
Don’t hang on to those lucky shots we all take now and again. Keep practising, learn from your mistakes and be curious about how to get better. Expert shooters constantly analyse what they can improve on and hone their skills in the field.
Don’t confuse the range with the real thing.
Respect the animal you’re about to hunt. Take calm and calculated shots and fire with 100% certainty. Make sure you have the skills in reserve to finish the job if anything goes wrong.
Thank you to Deerhunter for the article. The original, unadapted article can be viewed on their site at https://www.deerhunter.eu/en
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