Setting Up For The Long Range Shot, by Shawn Carlock

Len Backus

Staff member
May 2, 2001
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Setting up

Your article was very helpful and informative. I am still new to all of this and reading your story really gave me some insight. I do have a question reguarding the wind meter however. Now we all know that the wind is going to be different from where you set up versus what its doing at target distance. Is the reading that is taken just used as a gauge for drift out at the target or do you set up for drift with the by use of the Pc with the reading as a plugin for the formula?

I use the wind meter as a given to compare to. If I am reading a 7 mph wind where I am standing looking across a canyon and the trees brush and grass are giving the same indicators on the opposite slope it is reasonable to assume that it is 7 mph or so on the other side. I do how ever know from experience that the wind speed in the middle of the canyon will be higher so I'll probably shoot it for 10 mph. The wind meter just gives me a place to start. No matter what you have at your disposal for equipment windage is still going to be your best guess.

Great writing. These types of articles, written by guys with vast knowledge like you and the others, are going to be a fantastic data base of information for people coming into this sport. As you know, people first starting out, have a lot of questions and usually don't know where or how to get them answered. If they'll just read the articles on the home page they will gain so much info in a very shot period of time that they'll be light years ahead of where they would be if they just tried to learn it on their own.

I had the opportunity to read these articles before the board really changed over and went "public". It was some of the best reading I've ever been fortunate enough to have at my disposal.

Again congrats to you and all of the other authors and I just hope people will read it all, from beginning to end. They'll be glad they did, I know I was glad I read it.

It's just this type of "polish" that this site has that puts it at the top of the heap.

Keep up the good work and write some more if the opportunity comes up.
The article was good but how about the "Video" ???? When will it be released? There are a lot of folks here that are waiting to send you $$$ for this informative and educational piece that you have been talking about. BTW, I am in for one myself.

I hope to release it early this fall. I am shooting and editing video as fast as I have time but there is a lot to do in capturing footage from the field.
Good article with good pointers.

I have a major problem with the first recommendation, " Assume a solid shooting position, do whatever it takes to achieve this." Especially the "do whatever it take to achieve" part.

When I "settle" for less than a solid position, I always miss. And luckily they have been clean misses. But, they were shots that I would have made if I would have just taken a few seconds longer and done it right.

Again, a good write up. Looking forward to what's comin'....
I've been shooting at a place that I suspect I'm getting a "lift". I was re-reading your article on this and would like to know a bit more about downdraft and lifts caused by the wind.
While I am looking at the wind I also determine if it can be effecting my elevation. This happens a lot in canyon country where wind will blow over a saddle or ridge and give you a lift or downdraft. If I see this effect I correct for it now.
How do you see this effect?


I am writing an article for the forum on reading the wind as we speak. I will cover this in detail, but simply put most people read wind with little reguard to what happens when it goes over a terrain feature. This effect is most common in a head or tail wind but can also be seen in a full cross wind if you are shooting across the head of a canyon for instance and the wind in the canyon go into or out of it some how. The easy way to think about it is to imagine standing at the head of a canyon shooting way down it in to the bottom with a head wind. Let's say there is a steep angle of 45 degrees from you down to the head of the canyon where it starts to run down range from you. If you are 300 yards from the head of the canyon and 300 yards from the bottom of the canyon with a 10 mph head wind and shooting 600 yards your shot will be high by about the same value as a 300 yard 1/2 value cross wind @ 10 mph. If I see this condition I would subtract that number from my elevation. I used this method to get some great video footage at 1602 yards hitting a 12" disk I had a lift that I had estimated to be effecting my elevation 2.00 MOA I was close the effect ended upo being 2.50 MOA. Hope this helps and like I said I will have a much more detailed and pictured article later.
Thanks, that's very interesting. It'll be awesome reading when you get done with it! :)
Just like Water

To visualize how air moves around/over terrain, spend some time staring at water moving along a creek. Just pick a spot and see the way the water flows.

Air is a fluid and behaves pretty much the same as water flowing over rocks. See how the water becomes turbulent in certain areas but calm in others. Watch how bubbly it gets depending on how deep it is, how fast it is going. Also, how it is rarely constant but does have patterns.

Watch birds when they soar around cliffs. A great diagnostic tool if they fly in the areas you plan on hunting.

Ultimately, practise and experience is your best tool. I am by no means an expert wind/condition doper but everytime I go out shooting, I pick up another snick of info.

I have now reduced the number of shots fired per session and focus on making every shot a hit. I pay alot of attention on mirage vs grass/trees vs wind flags. There can be some very conflicting feedback but once you figure out which is the most influential or how to 'average' the effects, you are well on your way.

Make every practise shot the same as the shot of a lifetime. When you miss, analyse why. What signals did you miss? Form or condition? knowing why you missed is just as important as hitting.

Big reason high velocity with high BC bullets shot with low dispersion is so critical. The bullet ballistics helps us fly through some conditions and hit the target. makes the shot more forgiving.

Getting away from shooting on a range has been the best aid in helping my field craft. All the comforts and crutches are gone.

Another thing, practise walking or running a ways before the shot. We aren't always in a calm state when we see our intended quarry. Better to know now how badly you wobble when you are catching your breath. Then you can learn ways to calm down your body for the shot - research what biathlon shooters do, amazing.

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