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Big Green Blog

Long Range Shooting Gear

5.02.2023 | by Remington Contributor

Shooting laying on the ground near a pickup looking down a rifle scope

Today’s guns, ammo, scopes, and knowledge (Thanks, YouTube) are increasingly putting the furthest targets into range for everyday shooters and hunters.

Whether you’re sighting in your hunting rifle for deer season or building the greatest long-range Remington 700 competition rifle ever seen, understanding the basics of the gear needed to shoot long range will help you make precise and accurate hits on any target.

rifle sitting on cement at an outdoor range with a box of Core-Lokt Tipped

Gear Basics

The right rifle, optic, and ammunition will help you gain confidence shooting 100 yards, 1,000 yards, or beyond. Trusting and understanding your gear and how it all works together is a major step to shooting with long range precision.

  • Long Range Rifles: Bolt action rifle or AR-15 style rifle? The first choice you’ll have to make when selecting a long-range rig is your preferred style of rifle. Bolt guns are typically used or even required for long range competitions like PRS or NRL Hunter. The increased weight and heft of a bolt gun can help you build a stable and accurate shooting position…but be mindful of the amount of weight you’ll have to carry around.

    AR style rifles are also popular, providing additional easy customization options and chambering the newest, most technologically advanced rifle cartridges like 6mm CRD, 6.5 PRC, or 6mm ARC. Lighter rifles are more portable and lend themselves to long range hunting or mountain hunter scenarios but can sacrifice some accuracy with lighter barrels that heat up easily when taking multiple shots quickly.

    There is no “best long-range rifle.” It’s all about what kind of setup works best for you. If you’ll be taking your rifle to a match or competition, check the rules to make sure your rifle qualifies for the division or match you’ll be shooting.

  • Long Range Optics: Quality glass is an essential part of your long-range shooting game. If you’ve got a budget of $2,000 for your new rifle set up, you’d be better off spending $1,500 on a scope and $500 on a rifle than vice versa.

    Clear vision to see small, far-off targets is a given. Good quality scopes have consistent and precise elevation adjustments, with multiple rotations available to dial up and adjust to shoot as far as you’d want. Look for a parallax adjustment feature, a dependable zero-stop, and a MOA or MIL reticle that you’re comfortable using.

shooter looking down a rifle scope while laying on the ground

  • Don’t skimp on quality scope rings. If you’re not comfortable securely mounting your scope to your rifle, take it to your local gunsmith for a totally level mount.

    All major optic brands offer a variety of quality scopes designed for long range shooting with reticles to match. So, whether you’re choosing a Leupold, Vortex, Bushnell, Nightforce, Burris, Trijicon, or all else, look for scopes around $700 and up.

  • Long Range Ammunition:Just like long range rifles and scopes, there’s no one-size-fits-all cartridge, best caliber, or magic bullet that will have you ringing steel with your eyes closed at 2 miles out. You’ll want to try a few different loads to see what is most accurate in your rifle.

    For target and match ammo, look for ammunition and projectiles with a high ballistic coefficient or BC. Most match bullets are sleek with boat tails and heavy-for-caliber, IE have a higher grain weight than other bullets for a given caliber. Full metal jacket (FMJ) or OTM (open tip match) projectiles are most common, designed to shoot with flat trajectories, less wind drift and surgical long-range accuracy.

Rifle sitting on a stand on the group with a box of Core-Lokt Tipped

  • Accurate bullets combined with high muzzle velocities produce the best long range target loads. Cartridges or calibers like 6mm Creedmoor, 6.5 Creedmoor, 300 Winchester Magnum, 308 Winchester, or even 7mm Remington Magnum are all popular long range shooting choices.

  • Other Gear: At a minimum, you’ll need a good spotting scope and a rangefinder to get started. Here’s a list of other helpful long-range shooting gear.

    • Eye/ear protection
    • Windmeter (Kestrel)
    • Bipod
    • Shooting bags or sled if not using bipod
    • Ballistic app
    • Cheek piece
    • Chronograph
    • Bubble level
    • DOPE card
    • Notebook
  • Ballistic Apps: Unless your range buddy calling shots is a sniper team leader or rocket scientist, take the guess work out of distance and windage adjustments and use a ballistic calculator on your smart phone. Found in apps like Ballistic, you input your rifle data, ammunition/load data and environmental conditions, then rely on the app to give you accurate MOA/MIL adjustments for any given distance and windage. Using Ballistic App and similar tools to save your favorite loads lets you build a cheat sheet for quick reference shooting a match, making a shot on a hunt, or just plinking further than ever before.

All gear aside, there’s no substitute for trigger time and experience. So load up, hit the range, and get some practice.

For info on the basics of long-range shooting, check out these articles.

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