For some time long distance shooting has been booming in our country. That is why we have developed this decalogue of advice that will help you in this exciting hunting mode.
Before starting maybe we should specify that technically speaking, the consideration of short, medium or long distance will give us the cartridge that we use. By general term in average calibers is considered the average distance from the 350 m. To 600m. Although popularly any hunter who is asked these are shots to “long distance.” It is obvious that this type of shots offers greater difficulty and that the success of collapsing a piece at those distances is conditioned by some variables that we will comment.
The calculation of the actual distance
Few hunters can give an accurate estimate of the distance to a piece. This is further complicated in unfamiliar terrains without distances references. On the other hand, I must tell you that it is completely normal, according to a study by the US Army. In reality, very few people can give a precise approximation of distance, although in any case, it will be an approximation.
Some will say that knowing the size of the target and by grading the grid can do an approximate calculation of distance and so, but we re-enter the field of inaccuracies. Today we have technology at our fingertips that allow us to know with complete precision the distance to the animal that we want to shoot down and, more importantly, can calculate the compensation of the angle with which we aim, to avoid that the shot is Let’s go high. There are magnificent laser range finders and binoculars on the market with a rangefinder that offer all the information of the direct distance and compensated with just a click of a button.
Knowing our optics perfectly
In long distance shots, as important is the optics as the rifle, so selecting the most appropriate and knowledge of it is another decisive factor. Choosing the type of reticle and its position in the first or second focal plane, the number of increases, the diameter of the optics, the graduation of the turrets and even the weight of the same will make the difference. If we do not even know how to operate with it, to correct the clicks or even simply knowing the fall of our projectile at different distances, to use the graduation of the reticle, we will hardly be precise in our shots. The “automatic” zeroing displays are especially useful since they allow us to start from a known position and adjust the necessary clicks knowing the distance to which our prey is.
The crosswind problem
It is possibly the most difficult variable to control, since it may be that the wind in our position, for example, does not correspond to the one in the vicinity of the animal to be knocked over. On the other hand, there may be changing winds from different angles. That is why before taking the shot we must be attentive to the signals that the environment offers us, both at sight and through the viewfinder or binoculars, for example, tree branches, grass blades, shrubs, etc. It is easily understandable that the more distance required by the shot, the more error can cause the wind, from missing the shot to deflect the impact of the area of the death of our prey, leaving it wounded and caused its flight. Only training in wind conditions will allow us to acquire the necessary skill to minimize its effect. Obviously, the use of heavy points in our ammunition will also help to save or mitigate this obstacle.
This problem is possibly the least worked by the hunters in general and the one that ignores most ignorance, perhaps because of that we all often rely on projectiles heavy in powerful calibers.
Use of suitable projectiles
For longer distance shots we have to follow, as a general rule, what sports shooters know well, that although light bullets in principle have a flatter trajectory, they tend to use heavy bullets. At a long distance, heavy bullets for that same caliber have a better behavior by resisting cross winds, retaining more speed and energy in their fall trajectory. This latter aspect is important to increase the chances of collapsing our piece causing death (depending on the impact zone). The projectiles with pointed shape and tail of boat are the ones that have better behavior at a long distance, in short, bullets with high ballistic coefficient.
In the market, we have different projectiles that have these characteristics, in addition to having a magnificent expansive behavior once they hit the target.
Physical and mental control before the shot
The psychic and physical disposition before firing is crucial for accuracy. Being calm, calm, controlling the breath and with a proper posture are the guidelines to follow. Also, we must avoid rushing and wait for the animal to be in good position. All this that seems obvious and relatively simple is not so much if what we see through our viewfinder is the piece that we have always longed for and that few or maybe once in a lifetime we will have to shot. As in other points, only continuous training can guarantee that we save these types of situations with temperance and that we do not overflow the emotion.
We must also consider our physical condition. It is not the same a person of 20-30 years that someone from 50-60 with overweight. Riding on the mountain for hours with a heavy rifle is not the best circumstance for achieving accurate long range shooting. It may be that when we are given the opportunity to shoot we are so extremely tired that we are incapable of firing with the least dexterity. The solution, in this case, is to improve our fitness and choose a rifle that has an adequate weight within the other conditions mentioned in the article.
Samples of some especially light rifles:
- REMINGTON 783 -3.1 Kg.
- THOMPSON VENTURE -3.1 Kg.
- REMINGTON 700 SPS -2.9 Kg.
- REMINGTON 700 ADL -3.0 kg.
- Seven Synthetic REMINGTON -2.5 Kg.