Shooting a precision rifle effectively is, in the beginning a slow methodical process. You want to start off executing the techniques in the most exacting manner possible. If not in my videos I attempt to execute the motions the same way every time.
It’s all about perfect practice. Focusing on the technical side of things.
We have to deal with several factors when it comes to shooting long distances, i.e. beyond 100 yards. Wind, Trajectory, and most importantly, the Fundamentals of Marksmanship. It’s at 100 we zero the rifle and practice our technique so we are not effected by the wind. After 100 yards, everything becomes part of the equation as it all becomes a factor.
Setting up your Rifle
The first thing you want to do, before you ever hit the range is set up the rifle properly. Think of your new rifle the same way you would a new car. The first thing you will do is adjust the seat and mirrors to fit you. So you want to adjust the fit and feel of the rifle along with the scope so it fits you the shooter. Understand over time it may become necessary to further adjust. As you find your comfort zone you may need to change things ever so slightly. Imagine settling into your car seat and having to tweak the mirrors. Same thing with your rifle.
You set up the rifle dry, off the line or at home. Relaxed with no pressure. My order of advice would be:
- Get behind the rifle with no scope and get the feel for it.
- Adjust the Length of Pull if able, you should be adjusting it to fit in the crook of your arm and allow you the shooter to reach and engage the trigger correctly.
- Attach the scope and test your eye relief. You should be comfortable behind the rifle so your eye is in line with the ocular Lens. We want edge to edge clarity so don’t be afraid to move the scope in either the rings or by using the picatinney rail. If you have to, adjust the cheek weld of the rifle to line the eye up behind the scope.
- The Rifle will be set up for your primary position be it Prone, Bench, etc.
- Relax behind the rifle with the scope mounted and test the height of the bipod. You should be comfortable and not straining your neck. Adjust the height to fit. Remember, if you are in the prone, there is no position lower than prone so if you have to raise the bipod - do it. Close your eyes and open them, testing the position of the scope.
- With a blank background focus the ocular adjustment making sure the reticle is sharp. Do not stare at it, instead, look it quickly, if it’s not sharp, remove your eye and make a small adjustment, then retest. If you watch the reticle while adjusting the brain will correct for you which is not what we are looking to do.
- Before you hit the range, you can use a program like JBM Online to print your “Try Dope”. This is your basic data to get you close. Take the basic data and insert into JBM and print that sheet. Use your local conditions. This is just a starting point so don’t expect to be perfect. We just want to be in the ball park. If you have a chronograph you will use that to tighten up the data when you hit the range. This the only point in which you would swag information for your ballistic solver. It’s just your starting point. The more valid information you have the better, but don’t expect much if you are just guessing. Try Dope that is all we want.
Online Training Videos to Watch First
Before you hit the range you want to watch the F.o.M. Videos first as well as the following:
- F.o.M. Natural Point of Aim
- F.o.M. Sight Picture
- F.o.M. Breathing
- F.o.M. Trigger Control
- F.o.M. Follow Through
- Introduction to the Prone Position
- Fitting the Rifle to the Shooter
- Online Training Recoil Management 1, 2, 3
- Proper Grip
- Follow Through Revisited More Trigger Control
These are the basic “Shooting Lessons” so you want to focus on these techniques and don’t be afraid to dry fire and test your position while going through the motions dry.
Lessons for Gathering Dope and Working your Ballistic Solver
- Understanding your Ballistic Computer
- Gathering Dope for your Ballistic Computer
- Dope to Ballistic Computer
- Demonstration of the AB Solver
- Applied Ballistics Android Tutorial
- Introduction to Reading the Wind
- Wind Formulas
- Reading the Wind a Field Lesson
- Deciphering Mirage
After the Range and before moving on, don’t forget to watch:
Cleaning your Precision Rifle
The Advanced Lessons
The lessons above are where you want to start. It’s where you zero the rifle, gather and true your dope, and manage the biggest variable the wind. I would recommend practicing these lessons before moving on to the advanced lessons. You may not have access to things like a mover, so don’t worry about that until you have too.
- Indexing and Trading Alternate Position
- Introduction to Alternate Positons
- Sitting with a Tripod
- Modified Position Trekking Poles
- Online Training Shooting with Sling
- Sling Shooting Part One (Kneeling)
- Sling Shooting Part Two
- Moving Targets Parts One & Two
- Angle Fire
- Moving to a Magnum
- Canted Rifle / Level Scope
- Drills and Skills
Remember it’s a process. You have to engage in perfect practice even during dry fire. Don’t just go through the motions. Lastly, slow is smooth and smooth is fast. Don’t race yourself or others around you.
Record your data and do not just depend on your ballistic solver. Back everything up with hard copy.