10 Long Distance Shooting Tips

Long-range shooting is one of the most challenging shooting skills to master. It can’t be done in a day.

But with persistence, you will undoubtedly get better.

However, there are a few long-distance shooting tips that can instantly improve your shooting, especially if you’re new to long-range shooting.

On that note, here’s a list of some of the best long-distance shooting tips that you’ll find on the internet.

Long Distance Shooting Tips

#1 Start Small

It’s the most useful tip I can give you.

You must start by practicing shooting objects at a short-range, and when you’ve gotten good, increase your range.

Starting to shoot with bigger guns at longer ranges if your short-range skills are not up to par isn’t a good idea.

It’ll only slow your growth down because if you don’t know how to shoot accurately at short ranges, you’ll likely make many basic mistakes.

When you’ve learned to shoot accurately at shorter ranges consistently, you’ll be able to pick up long-range shooting a lot faster.

#2 Keep the Rifle Steady

Long-distance shooting is done prone for a reason – it helps keep the rifle steady.

So, you must ensure that you’re making the most of lying prone by planting both of your elbows and forearms on the ground firmly.

If you’re right-handed, support the rifle’s butt with your left shoulder and vice-versa. If you need it, take the support of the bag to cushion the kickback.

#3 Find the Right Position and Relax

Getting into the right position is one of the most critical parts of accurate long-distance shooting.

Start by making sure that your weapon is pointing at the target naturally. Then, make sure that the crosshair is where it needs to be.

Don’t think much if you find you need to realign the rifle — just do it.

When realigning the rifle, make sure you don’t just move your torso. Move your entire body and readjust your position, starting with the legs.

Don’t shy away from lifting and readjusting the rifle/bipod, either.

And most importantly, try to relax both mentally and physically as much as you can before taking the shot.

#4 Ensure Your View Is Clear

Having a clear view of your target when you look through the scope is critical if you want to be accurate.

If you see a shadow or notice a tunnel effect, there’s likely a parallax error. You won’t hit the target even if it seems like you will.

Only squeeze the trigger when you’re certain that your view is 100% clear.

Lining up the circles and making sure that the objective and ocular lens are perfectly aligned will help you avoid missing shots you can make.

To know if the lenses are correctly aligned, check that your rear lens exceeds the objective lens’s diameter by a tiny margin.

#5 Learn How Firm A Hold Is Firm Enough

You don’t want to be too relaxed when holding the weapon, but you don’t need to make a death grip either.

The point of holding the gun firmly is to control the recoil. The right grip cannot be taught, and you’ll need to figure it out yourself.

However, I can tell you how to hold the weapon correctly.

When you look through the sight, your cheek should engage with the stock of the gun. 

Your head must be upright, but not at an angle – it may cause needless strain and affect your ability to shoot well.

And don’t get into the habit of placing your thumb behind the bolt. It’s avoidable and will save you from a lot of pain. Also, avoid placing your fingers near the safety catch.

#6 Learn Not to Flinch

Not flinching can be especially tricky if you’re just starting out. If you accidentally blink or flinch, you’ll likely miss.

The only way to stop flinching is to practice more. You’ll get used to the kickback and will know what to expect after you pull the trigger after some practice.

Practice fixing your gaze on the target when looking through the scope, and refocusing your gaze on the target right after you shoot.

You must also ensure that you squeeze the trigger with the center of the index finger. 

Furthermore, your fingernail must be parallel to the trigger guard, so you don’t accidentally shake the rifle when you squeeze the trigger, and the motion is straight back.

#7 Study the Wind

You must only start to study the effects of wind and gravity on your shots after you’ve addressed all the tips above.

Once your aim begins to improve, you can invest in tools like wind meters and laser range finders.

Once you’ve transitioned from a novice to an intermediate shooter, you can also study ballistic data to improve your shooting.

#8 Know That There’s No Replacement for Experience

A lot of times, even knowing the ballistic data and studying the wind speed is not enough to shoot accurately.

There are many things you need to consider when shooting. The topography, mirages, and the many different wind values that affect the bullet’s flight make an enormous difference to your accuracy.

Only experience will teach you how to shoot in challenging circumstances.

#9 Lucky Shots Don’t Count

The unbelievable shot you made that one time doesn’t count for much, since you cannot repeat it.

If you’re a beginner, it can be really easy to let shots like those get to your head because they seem like proof that your shooting has improved.

Humbling yourself and staying focused on improving your aim is the only way to grow.

#10 Remember That Long-Range Shooting Is Not the Same as Hunting

Your targets don’t move and don’t have a pulse when you’re practicing long-distance shooting.

When going hunting, you must remember to stay ethical and ensure that you get the job done in the first shot. If you’ve never hunted before, go with someone who has and learn what you need to do.

Ensure you know what needs to be done if things go wrong, and you miss your shot.

This is me, Steve Coffman. I'm the Chief Editor of IGFA. I'm retired military personnel who is now into shooting and hunting. As an outdoor expert, I have experience in dealing with all kinds of guns, from light to heavy firearms. Currently, I'm spending my time hunting, shooting and writing on my blog.