Interest in precision rifles continues to increase

Discussion in 'Gun Control' started by spiritgide, Jun 8, 2024.

  1. spiritgide

    spiritgide Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    For those that do not know what "precision rifle" means, it's basically one designed for long range, typically 1000 yards or more. While lots of rifle will thow a bullet that far, few can do so with consistent accuracy. It's also quite competitive, and it's expaned from LR (long range) to ELR (extreme long range). I have a friend who has set several records and made shots at 4 miles. However, 1000 yards is quite a challenge, and yet with the right gear and knowledge, getting easier to do.

    I'm posting this as a guide to acquiring that skill.

    The equipment needed-

    The right rifle. My choice is 6.5 Creedmoor, but I also have a .338 Lapua and a 50 BMG.
    The latter have a substantially longer range- and a substantially harder kick. I also have a Valkyrie, which will make the distance, and a couple others I don't favor as much.
    What you need is a caliber and load that will maintain supersonic velocity at that range with a minimum of drop and drift. The rifle needs to be a quality build with a quality barrel- but the load is as important as the rifle. Long-range is all about Consistency, repetitive accuracy.

    A great trigger. Ideally, the trigger is very smooth, the squeeze does not disturb the sight picture, and it tells you precisely when it's about to fire. On bolt actions, the best I've ever found is a Trigger-tec Diamond. Adjustable down to a 4 oz pull. Have one on the Creedmoor. You don't touch the trigger until you are ready to fire, because the resistance is almost zero. Unfortunately- it's a very expensive trigger.

    The right scope. This is very important, and cheap scopes usually do poorly. A good scope will be crystal clear at the range, and track, meaning that you can adjust it several times and the optics will put you in the same place when you come back to the beginning. Power- X25 range. While I have a high end scope on a 6.5, I found an extremely good scope at reasonable cost a couple years back that I now have five of. That is a Vortex Razorback Tactical. The tactical version is a first focal plane; the plain Razorback is not. Current price on these is around $450. Lifetime no questions guarantee. It's on the .50, the only scope that has ever lasted on it.

    A range finder, and a spotting scope. The rangefinder is a must, the spotting scope lets a buddy help in spotting hits, reading wind signs and so on. Range finders aren't too expensive, spotting scopes can be.

    A stable tripod for the front of rifle.

    Rear shooting bag. This is a must! A rear bag sits under the rifle butt, and your arm wraps around it. The bag is loosely filled, usually a plastic bead media. If you squeeze the bag with your arm, you can make tiny and very stable adjustments in the sight picture. This allows you to reduce the effects of breathing and pulse timing. When you are trying to raise or lower the crosshairs an inch at 1000 yards, the motion needed in the rifle is like a hair's thickness. The bag makes it easy, and stable.

    Next- A ballistics calculator. The range of things affecting bullet flight is long, many complex. These days, you download a smartphone program (I use one called Strelok, but there are many) and enter the data it asks for. caliber, bullet weight and velocity, etc, and it tells you what adjustments to make to your scope. even compensates for earth rotation, the whole works. Military snipers used to have to do all that in their heads. today technology has made that part of it easy.

    I said this is a very competive sport. One record holder put 10 shots in teacup size circle at 1000 yds. The average guy can't do that of course, but with the right gear and a little practice, he can be hitting a 12" target at that range consistently. It's like many skills, the feeling you have mastered it is a rewarding one.

    There is one aspect to this that technology can't help with. Wind affects everything, and it's always a variable, so the shooter has to learn to read the wind. Not just from the shooting position, but over the distance to the target. There are many tricks to doing this, but it's a skill that takes time to learn, and they are never perfect.

    Hope this helps those who have thought about the long-range challenge, it can be done.
     
  2. Turtledude

    Turtledude Well-Known Member Donor

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    Never got into that because there is only one range within two hours of my home that goes up to 600 yards and that club has a 3 year waiting list. My home ranges are limited to 300 yards so my Remington PSS in 308 and my match AR 15 used for National Service Rifle Events is pretty much my arsenal of long range stuff though I do have a 700 in 308 for hunting zeroed at 200M
     
  3. spiritgide

    spiritgide Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    Finding a place to shoot that distance is hard, especially in more developed areas. The nearest range to me is several hundred miles away, but I have some relatives with large farmlands and geography that makes a private range possible. Operating a commercial range on that scale is very expensive, thus uncommon.
     
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  4. Galileo

    Galileo Well-Known Member

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    Isn't there a separate Firearms and Hunting Forum for such discussion?
     
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  5. spiritgide

    spiritgide Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    This forum is.... Gun control. While most people think of that as regulating who can have a gun or taking guns away from people- this post is about actually controlling the gun and it's use, not people.
    Guns are only a threat in the hands of dangerous people or untrained, unskilled people.

    I promote knowledge, skills and proper use of firearms, because that knowledge makes firearms and those who use them safer. Guns are not going to go away because some fear them- and the same people who fear guns seem to want to go easy on the people who use them abusively.

    Not trying to start a discussion on the subject, just pointing some who might be interested into the skill side of it.
     
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  6. Turtledude

    Turtledude Well-Known Member Donor

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    are you upset that he is talking about positive uses of firearms?
     
  7. Mungo Jerry

    Mungo Jerry Newly Registered

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    Cheating.
    Sling, shooting glove, shooting jacket and a mat.
     
  8. spiritgide

    spiritgide Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    Depends on what you are doing. If you are at a target range, bench shooting 1000 yards or more, these are what I use, and all the precision rifle competitors I know use, it's what the post refers to.
    I've not hunted for a very long time now, but have hunted varmints at long ranges, like coyotes and prairie dogs, from sitting positions. Using a sling to stabilize, and it works very well. Different situations call for different gear.
     
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  9. Toggle Almendro

    Toggle Almendro Well-Known Member

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    Haven't you anti-Second Amendment guys all given up anyway? It seems like you guys' arguments have all been defeated.
     
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2024
  10. Mungo Jerry

    Mungo Jerry Newly Registered

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    NRA highpower. You don't get to use any of that fancy stuff.
    My best string at 1000 was 19 of 20 into a pie plate. 199-12x
     
  11. Turtledude

    Turtledude Well-Known Member Donor

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    different types of shooting have different rules. at my club, we have a small house next to the rifle range. I remember a Bench rest shooter next to me. he's shoot three rounds-with a gun solidly mounted in a rest-he'd go into the small building-and hand load three more rounds-come out, shoot them, I shot three strings of off hand military match (200 yards 10 shots/10 minutes) standards in the time this guy shot three groups
     
  12. spiritgide

    spiritgide Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    the guy who got me into precision shooting now holds 3 world records. Made a 4-mile shot a while back, uses crazy wildcat stuff. I have some heavy stuff, (lapua, 50) but hate the kick.
    But- an interesting record is one recently set in I think Sweden. Rules are- bolt action, iron sights, 5 round clip, 200 yards, most hits in 1 minute, 18" target. Winner- I think scored 39.....
     
  13. Wild Bill Kelsoe

    Wild Bill Kelsoe Well-Known Member

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    I did a lot of long range shooting in the Army with my personally owned guns. It was easy to draw a range from range control. One of the old trashy ranges, of course. Not one of the new ones with nice shooting stations and a place to get out of the sun and nice walking paths down the shooting lanes. One range that always sticks in my mind is range 33 at Fort Polk.

    Since I retired, I'm like you: it's a lot of trouble participating in that kind of shooting.
     
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