Training Steps To LR

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  • Training Steps To LR

    Hi All,

    I have just bought my first rifle and would one day like to be able to shoot over longer distances. I'm sure some people plant their target at 800m on the first day but that's probably not the greatest idea. I'm not planning on shooting past 200m until I get consistent. What is the recommended progression for advancing to longer range? Would it be shooting within a certain MOA at different distances over 3 or 4 groups (probably hundreds) consistently? I guess Im after some sort of training program as it's always nice to see your progression and be able to compare results from one session to another. Do people keep log books at all? What sort of information should I be keeping track of? I have searched around but haven't come up with anything yet.

    Im using a Howa .308 and a Vortex Viper 6-24 if anyone is interested!


  • #2
    I dont think restrictign yourself to a range is the best way to train, sure at first spend a coupel of session getting the fundemtals down at the shorts, but shooting longs early also has its advantages, for instance errors in techinque are more apparent, starting to understand wind early in the piece is also very helpful.

    Once you have your rifle/load/gear sorted dont be afraid to take it out step by step, 3-4-500yds, hell I was shootign 1000 my 3rd week into target shooting, did me no harm. if anythign it got me instantly thinking about all the fundementals, you dont have to be shooter mcgavin to get a half decent group at 50-100yds even 200, try gettign one at 1000 and you'll be working hard for it though!!!


    • El-Skippo
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      Log book of scores and ploting the poi's on a target sheet is a good way of keep track of your progress.

      If your going to join a range or are already a member of a range. Perhaps look at joining a disapline for example f class for ranges out to 1000 yards. Field class ( mainly like hunting positions out to 300-500 ) hunter class is kinda like field class but at unknowen ranges from 50-300 yards and at animal targets ( inanimate ) in differant positions of stand, sit, prone.

      Ask around the club esp the top shots, as there advice and pointers can help you become a better shot.

      Practice makes perfect. ( a .22 or .223 ) is a good aid for practicing on the cheap.

      Do the afraid to ask questions as there are many here and at the range willing to help ... Excuse the few that don't come off as stand offish ... They come round eventually when they get to know ya.

      All in all the best advise, is enjoy your new sport. She can be quite addicting trying to achieve better and better in one self.

      Oh and welcome to the forum.

  • #3
    Best way is to either join or at least shoot with a fullbore rifle club. There is bound to be one not too far from you.
    There you should have the opportunity to shoot f class over various ranges (eg 300 meters to 800 meters at Malabar) without developing delusions about how fantastically accurate your Tikkowington rifle is.


    • Guest's Avatar
      Guest commented
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      I'd take a few steps backwards here and ask the question "what is the reason you want to shoot Long Range?" and build from there.

      Long range is addictive, the 1500 yards at Coonabarabran needs to be shot on a lot more because there is nothing else like it in the country, but it is only one aspect of the long range genre.

      aykay: are you thinking you want to compete in the long term? or is this a recreational thing and you want to dip a toe in the water? The advice will be slightly different depending on the response.

      Competition at known distance is the best way to get exposure to long range shooting within a support network of a Club. Hopefully any Club you might seek to join will have some kind of coaching/support network for new shooters and that should help a lot.

      Dipping a toe in the water brings with the the challenge of finding a place to shoot safely and doing it.

      Whatever you do, read all you can, believe a 10% of what you read on Forums, make friends, ask questions, maybe join a NRA Club and shoot as often as you can.

  • #4
    The 1000 yard mark is a magic turning point - partly the move to four digits and partly where common rounds used to start dropping off due to poor bullet options.

    I like 1000 yards/900m a lot. 1000 Yards BR is discipline worth looking at and they shoot it at Belmont Range in Brisbane on a regular basis. Use your Google.

    Five shot groups are an odd one - patience and endurance rolled up in a short range package. Watch out for the yips that can come in around shot 4 or 5 when sudden your target trigger weighs like a brick and the pulse points are dancing.

    If you want to take it easy on the barrel - consider three round groups. If you get a good load it should show by then.

    Good luck!


    • #5
      all I can add is get plenty of trigger time at various ranges with a .22. Cheap shooting but alot of long range shooting principles learnt on the .22 are transferable to larger centrefire calibres. I know others will tell you that there are better calibres out there for long range shooting than the 308, and I would agree, however, the 308 is a honest and reliable calibre. I have just recently stretched my 308 out to 1000m. If you are going to reload find a projectile that is accurate at range and preferable in the 165grain to 180grain range. The most important piece of information is don't take it too serious and have fun with it.



      • #6

        I think joining a club and shooting F-Class is certainly one way to LR but it isn't the only way . If you want to end up shooting in competitions and such well that's definitely the way to go but if you are not that interested in the club scene and are thinking more along the lines of LR hunting joining an F-class club is not essential .

        The one BIG advantage of shooting comps is initially your going to have plenty of experienced advice around to work on various facets of LR shooting ( position , breathing , wind reading ( on the range) load development etc ) but this can also be a bit different to a hunting situation and some of the things you will learn at F-Class shoots don't really apply in the bush. ( and this works the other way ) Some of the shooters i've been fortunate enough to shoot with have never shot at a club in there lives yet these guys are seriously talented shooters .

        To my way of thinking if you want to shoot LR you have to look at the whole set up , it's just no good just owning at good rifle and scope , you really have to reload , so your going to have to be able to use someone else's gear or get your own , like wise is you want to shoot LR in the bush your going to need a Range Finder and some sort of ballistics software also. Now at a range you'll have flags ever 100 yards but no such luck in the bush so a Kestrel will be on the Christmas list as well as a good spotting scope and or bino's.. Get the picture , it's expensive but you do really need to match you rifle , with your scope and pick you ideal projectile and tune that to shoot from your rifle with repeatable accuracy , you'll need to get a handle on wind speeds and atmospheric conditions , and altitude .It's a system your trying to develop but once you have got all this sorted it's bloody great fun… When i started to get serious about LR i read and read and got a handle on Ballistics i start looking at Thomas Hauglands LR blog on You Tube and others and correcting some of my faults , i asked him heaps of questions ( he's very generous with his time) … Basically i sort out people who are great at what they do and took there advice and then just did plenty of practice… I'm still learning but i get better with ever shot. I've been to a few f-class shoots but it's not my thing but it may be perfect for you.



        • Guest's Avatar
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          As a beginner in long range hunting, to me. the biggest difference between shooting fclass and LR hunting is that you really have to know your atmospherics well as you dont get the benefit of sighters (and you're not shooting in a controlled environment). In Fclass I've seen some terrible shots for the first, second and third shots but once the shooter gets dialled in they proceed to shoot some excellent groups.

          For LR hunting theres no long drawn out shot strings that you have to concentrate on. Having said that you'll have shot countless groups during load development and in the process of gathering your data anyway so your skills in that area will be pretty damn good. I would be surprised if there was a decent long range shooter that couldnt put down some excellent groups on paper.

          At the risk of getting getting killed, to me, LR hunting is the pinnacle of long range shooting since your marksmanship skills more or less have to be 'complete' (in the same way i reckon that landbased game fishing is the pinnacle of all fishing) - lots of people will disagree though but thats my opinion and my flame suit is ON! :lol:

      • #7
        Just thought of something else..

        If you've got a mate who's keen on LR also learn together ! Nothing beats another set of eyes , they can watch you while you shoot and pick-up on any bad habits . You can share the cost of you reloading gear , likewise rangefinders , spotters , kestrels etc. You learn what the other is capable of and what there not , out in the field you can discuss the shot , this helps a lot at analysing the conditions. You can have one hunter do the ranging and ballistics whilst the other just concentrates on the animal and wind… Yep the best bit of equipment you can have in the field is a hunting buddy that on exactly the same page as yourself ! I'm very fortunate to have my brother just as focused on LR as myself and it's improved my LR skills Ten fold !


        • Pody
          Pody commented
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          nuthead I've felt safe playing with guns compared to some of the places I've fished!