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woman crouched practicing long-range shooting with an assault rifle during women of steel eventwoman crouched practicing long-range shooting with an assault rifle during women of steel event

Long-Range Shooting Basics: A Beginner’s Guide to Precision Marksmanship

Long-range shooting is a thrilling and challenging activity that requires a great deal of skill and precision. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced shooter, it’s essential to understand the basics of long-range shooting to achieve accuracy and consistency.

C2 Tactical offers several basic and precision rifle courses to help you master the fundamentals and sharpen your proficiency in long-range shooting. But first, review this beginner’s guide to precision marksmanship.

Basic Marksmanship Fundamentals

First, it’s essential to understand the fundamentals of marksmanship. This includes:

  • Proper shooting position
  • Grip
  • Breathing
  • Sight picture
  • Trigger control
  • Follow through

These elements are crucial in achieving accuracy, especially at longer ranges. A good shooting position provides a stable platform for shooting, while a solid grip ensures that the rifle is held firmly and securely. Controlled breathing allows you to hold the weapon steadier for more precision at longer ranges. Sight picture refers to the proper alignment of the front and rear sights, while trigger control involves pulling the trigger smoothly and steadily without disturbing the aim. Follow-through is maintaining the same position and sight picture until you finish firing at the target for more consistent shots.

Bullet Ballistics

Next, it’s essential to understand the ballistics of the bullet. This includes factors like bullet weight, velocity, and trajectory. Wind, gravity, and air resistance affect the bullet’s trajectory. Understanding these factors will help you adjust your aim to hit your target accurately.

  • Bullet drop is how much gravity pulls the bullet toward the earth while in flight. The farther the target, the higher you’ll need to aim to compensate for lost altitude. Rifles and ammunition perform differently, so factoring this element can be complex.
  • Strong winds can push bullets off course, and this can be especially so at longer ranges. Plus, wind direction and speed constantly change, presenting an exceptional challenge in any outdoor location.
  • Extremely long-distance shooting is affected by The Coriolis Effect, which is the effect of the Earth’s rotation on a bullet’s point of impact. This is generally not an issue for most targets less than a mile away.

Shooting Equipment

Regarding long-range shooting, the rifle and scope are crucial components. Choosing a rifle that is appropriate for the shooting you’ll be doing is essential. A long-range rifle should have a heavy barrel to help dissipate heat and reduce recoil. A rangefinder and spotting scope are other critical tools in your long-distance shooting arsenal. They can remove the guesswork and help you become a more precise shooter. The scope should have a high magnification and a reticle that allows you to estimate range accurately. A good rule of thumb is to spend your best on a high-quality scope. Generally, an average rifle with a great scope will produce far better results than an expensive rifle with a cheap scope.

Practice, Practice, Practice

Finally, practice is essential for developing the skills necessary for long-range shooting. This includes practicing the fundamentals of marksmanship and honing your skills in estimating range, windage, and bullet drop. Consistent practice will help you develop the muscle memory necessary for accurate shooting and build confidence in your abilities.

Learn More About Long-Range Shooting at C2 Tactical

Long-range shooting is a challenging but rewarding activity that requires a great deal of skill and precision. You can achieve accuracy and consistency in your long-range shooting by understanding the fundamentals of marksmanship, ballistics, rifle and scope selection, ammunition selection, and practicing consistently. Remember to prioritize safety, follow proper range etiquette, and enjoy the thrill of hitting your target accurately from long distances.

Contact C2 Tactical in Tempe or Scottsdale and speak with a team member about our basic and precision rifle courses to help you master the fundamentals and sharpen your proficiency in long-range shooting.

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