Does Long Range have to be long distance?


Well-Known Member
Jan 8, 2004
I'm interested in what constitutes long range.

On friday night I took a really hard shot at last light on one of our roe deer. These deer would make a Coues deer look big, they field dress at around 40lbs and have a back to brisket of around 9" including fur.

Equipment was a stand with a rail overlooking a flat field of winter wheat. A pair of Ziess 7x42 binos just showed a tiniest flash of pale on the doe's behind that confirmed the fact that it was a doe. It was too dark for my Swarovski spotting telescope. From memory the hedge is 275 yards.

A semi contorted hold allows a steady sight picture with both elbows rested, the gusting wind is directly behind. A hold just below the fur and on the shoulder. At the shot I am blinded by the flash but hear a good thump. As the flash fades I see the doe coming back down to the ground from her jump, whirl and run the 30yards back to cover.

I climb down from the seat, give the dog a pat and we walk back to the car in the farm yard to give the doe time to stiffen/die and facilitate tracking. We are back 10 minutes later and walk the dog back to the point the doe was. On with the tracking harness and the flashing collar. She pulls strongly which is good. We get to the cover and I release her. The flashing lights move through the thorns quickly and then stop. Staying stopped for a while means she is at the doe. I walk forward and find the doe dead. Out with the torch. An exit wound 2 above the brisket just touching the rear of the shoulder and an entry wound just behind the near shoulder. Field dress, give dog the kidneys and drag back to the car. Change into office clothes and ring wife to explain I have been held in a meeting.....

Rifle is a 9lb fine looking Mauser custom sporter with a 24" shihlen in 6.5x55 with a 6x42 Swarovski shooting a 100gr ballistic tip at 2,900fps and has shot a number of .25moa 3 shot groups at 100 and 200yards.

So do you have to have charts, dial ups, fibreglass, bipods, VLDs or can you do long range merely by stretching basic equipment to it's (or your) limits on smaller targets at shorter ranges?

BTW it is legal here to shoot up to 1 hour after sunset,at which point it is very wise to make use of a dog for blood trailing which is also legal.

[ 01-13-2004: Message edited by: 1894 ]

I'm not sure what makes long range "Long Range"? We've been debating this a while and it seems to be a fluid issue.

I guess, if you aren't doing anything different from when you shoot "short range" you're not shooting "long range". But that won't work for many of us now shooting "long range" as a "common" method as we may have adapted our "short range" technique.

One difference that seems somewhat universal is there seems to be a need to adjust the sighting systems by some mechanism or method. Once this starts happening one can get a better handle on marching the distance out significantly. There are of course exception; precision shooting also often requires sight adjustment for short(er) distances so as with most things in life there are significant "gray or grey" areas.

Some may point to marksmanship as an indicator and it's certain that a poor marksman will have little luck hitting objects at extended ranges but conversely the skill of marksmanship does not require long range shooting skills.

The actual distance at which "long range" begins is personal and can also be dependant upon equipment... I consider 300 yards with a 22LR long range but with a 308 Win it's just another shot.

I'm sure others will chime in, we seem to like this "What is Long Range?" topic... maybe someday we'll actually have a clear definition.
It also depends on the shooter. A long range shot for my dad is 200y. For me its over 500y. All depends on you and your equipment.
1894, I think "long range" is like a work in progress. When I got bit by the bug (not that long ago) I thought 300 yds was a long shot. Now that I'm reloading and have up- graded my equipment 300 yds isn't all that far. I'm hoping that with time and practice 300 yds becomes a chip shot and 500-700 yds becomes "not all that far"
1894, sounds like a long shot to me with the low light and such. Sounds like a very good shot as it was.

I'am just a hunter and have taken shots from close range 5-15yds out to 300-400yds as need be in the past 44 years of hunting.

This past year I have been shooting alot with a 300saum and also a 300wsm and most the time I'am rock shooting.

Useing my laser range finder to range a good looking rock, then makeing my best shot at what ever the range it may be. So I have shot alot between 400-600 yds.

This past fall I took a Mule Deer Buck at 265yds and a 6x6 Bull Elk at 575yds. The 265yd shot I call a fair shot and the 575yd shot a long shot for me as it is my longest to date.

I'm looking forward to shooting longer shots at rocks and if need be long shots at game. If there is anyway to get closer to the game I will do so. If not and I feel I can make a good shot a long range I will do so.

My hunting,everyday carry rifles weigh 7-8lbs, so they limit some longer range shots in the field. For now out to 600yds is about all I'll do,and I'am happy with that. Thanks Outlaw.
The best "long range" shot I've ever made was at a whopping 18 yards. Of course, I was shooting a bow and my target was a mouse. It might now qualify as long range, though- I didn't adjust my sights. I was in my early or mid teens and still didn't think I needed them.
Yeah, I think long range is subjective to your equipment and skill level.
it's all in the equipment you use my very best shot was a 317 yard hit on a groundhog using a kimber hss in 22 lr. it took a half dozen sighters and around twenty feet of elevation but i yelled for five minutes.
What country are you in?
We shot Roe deer in Bamberg,Germany a few years back and most were taken at 75 yards and some were taken with a 16 guage shotgun and slugs.265 yards in Europe would be long range hunting as it is seldom done.

Shots in woodland will generaly be under 150m but on the big arable fields (ie like your bean fields)it's often not possible to get closer than 200m.
I agree with some of the others.I have some friends that I shoot with that would have trouble with a mature elk at 200yrds.while others in my same group have no problem with the top of a groundhogs head @ 300yrds.I think that whatever a person holds as a long shot is his choice. If he connects on the outer limits of his ability he is shooting LONG RANGE. Never judge a man by the distance he shoots ,just be glad you have someone else in the sport to shoot with.
Long range is longest distance you can accurately place a shot knowing your limitations with your equipment as well as your talent.
Yes, I think the most important factor defining "long range" is personal ability. The guy who rents the woods next to ours was lamenting this fall how he missed "the big one" at about 100 yards, he didn't know how. I didn't bother reminding him that the year before I'd finished off a 6-point that he had shot in the butt from 30 yards (while it was standing broadside).
Being a handgun hunter and using a revolver. Long range to me is anything over 25 yards when I shoot open sights and over 100 yards with a scope on it. I made a head shot on a squirrel at 20 yards with a beretta mod. 21A .22LR with a 2" barrel. If you have ever tried to shoot one the sights are so small you can hardly see them. That was long range for me at that time with that gun. It is a personal range that you can make without missing. IMHO
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