How to Shoot Long Distances

Long distance shooting can be more difficult than shooting at short distances. You will generally need a more powerful optic sight and larger caliber rifle to shoot long distances. There are a number of reasons to shoot at long distances, however. Long-range shooting competitions are common in many parts of the United States. Many hunters will find themselves shooting at game from long distance as well. If you want to shoot long distances there are a number of things you should consider.


    • 1

      Choose a proper long-distance rifle. The rifle will need to be able to accurately fire a bullet the required distance to hit the target. Select a high-power caliber if you are using the gun for hunting; the bullet will still need sufficient stopping power at long distances. Higher power rounds will have flatter trajectories and will allow the margin of error to be greater if you misjudge the range you are shooting at.

    • 2

      Select a powerful scope. Your rifle's optical sight needs to have enough magnification to be able to identify and clearly see your target at long range. Choose a light-gathering scope if you intend to be shooting in low-light conditions. Mount the scope as solidly as possible.

    • 3

      Sight in the rifle. This step is vital, because it is what will ensure that your rifle and scope are in proper alignment so that you will hit what you are aiming at. Test the rifle from a bench to dial in the scope, then sight the rifle in from the position that you intend to be using it from. At long distances you may need to slightly adjust the scope to transition from a bench to a prone or kneeling position.

    • 4

      Practice shooting at long distances. Long distances can make shots more difficult. According to Wisconsin Varminters, "A mistake that throws your bullet off by one inch at 100 yards will be magnified at farther ranges." Use proper breath control and trigger squeezing techniques at all times to make sure your shots are accurate.

Tips & Warnings

  • Common long distance calibers include the 7mm Remington Magnum and the .308 Winchester.
  • Make sure you know what is beyond your target when shooting long distances. If you miss, a round can travel far beyond your intended target.
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  • Photo Credit sniper rifle on the tripod and optical sight image by Vladimir Melnik from

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