Getting Started

Discussion in 'The Basics, Starting Out' started by Ian M, Sep 5, 2001.

  1. Ian M

    Ian M Well-Known Member

    May 3, 2001
    Len and Dave,
    Great topic - there is a wealth of experience on this forum to help someone get into long range shooting. First things first - the prospective shooter has to understand that long range accuracy is for real, it is not a fluke. Then he has to start learning what is involved in making long shots - and the fun begins.

    Long range shootiong can be hitting gophers at 100 yards with rimfires, you don't have to own a .338-378 to shoot long.

    Very few shooters become proficient long range shooters and hunters, but the ones who do have a lot of enjoyment. Personally, I enjoy clanging steel or smacking far-off rocks because I can simply do a BUNCH of shooting.
  2. Dave King

    Dave King Well-Known Member

    May 3, 2001

    You're right, long range shooting is not a fluke. I think some folks believe this because of the chance hits they've witnessed while shooting or have seen other make.

    I was talking with a fella just last evening about getting into long range shooting. I've been hunting with him for a short while and he's expressed an interest in the discipline. He truly had NO IDEA that rifles were accurate at distances to 500 yards and further and no concept of how to use the scope to make the adjustments (other than holding over the critter).

    He readily agreed that he could sight-in his rifle for 200 yards (to hold straight on and hit) and that he could ALSO sight in his rifle for 100 yards (to hold straight on and hit). When I asked him if he could also do this for 300, 400 and 500 yards he started to get the picture. "All I need to do is sight-in for those other distances and record the scope settings at those distances!! YoooHooo")

    (We haven't got to any discussions on wind yet but I believe it'll be an eye opener too!)

    He also mentioned that he'd never given any thought to what he was doing when he just willy-nilly bought any available box of ammo even if the bullet weight was the same. He KNEW he had to sight his rifle in every hunting season but never really understood why (fully). We talked about LOT control and that the cartridges from one box may not be the same components as in another "identical" box and why he shouldn't expect then to 'fly' the same from the rifle.

    We came to the conclusion that he really knew a good deal about shooting and ballistics but that he'd changed ammo manufacturers and LOT numbers so frequently that he couldn't count on consistency in his shooting.

    He has a good rifle and like most folks believed it's limitations were far shorter than they actually are.

    The discussions continued... he had no method to consistently clean the rifle, or to remove the rifle from the stock if necessary and return it to the same EXACT condition it was in the previous time in the stock. He didn't think that taking the gun out of the stock and replacing it could cause any significant error in shot placement.

    Any quality shooting is good shooting practice... Gophers at 100 yards with a rimfire is good practice. Rocks at any distance is good practice too!

    I think most shooters could become very good long range shooters if they'd just take the time to only change one item at a time and analyse the result. It'd take a lot of the mystery out of shooting.

    A once heard that a shooter can learn more about shooting in one day of shooting prairie dogs than he could in an entire lifetime of shooting deer.