7 Mistakes in Long Range Shooting

Long range shooting comes with a lot of technicalities. To get it right, there are lots of things you need to pay attention to from getting your new long range scope, to setting it up, and finally getting the right shot. People generally make mistakes when it comes to long range shooting.

A fast one would be assuming that it is just the same as the close range shooting. There are many other mistakes that people especially newbies make and we’re here to highlight them. Not only that, we’ll give you the best way to avoid them. Well, here are the seven most common mistakes people make in long range shooting.

7 Mistakes in Long Range Shooting

Knowing about liable mistakes is the best way to avoid making them. If you are aware of it, the chances of making them would be less. Let’s get right into it, shall we?

  • Choosing the Wrong Long Range Scope

We can’t stress enough the need for choosing the right long range scope. When it comes to making the right choice, people make two disadvantageous assumptions:

  • Believing that Your Scope Should Cost As Much As Your Rifle

Rifles cost a lot and most people believe that to get a good long range scope, it needs to be as expensive as their rifle. This assumption is very wrong and can lead to choosing the wrong long range scope. While this would eventually affect your budget to get other ammunition for practice, focusing on cost would deter you from the other important factors. While some long range scopes can be ridiculously expensive, some manufacturers have worked on getting more functional and affordable options. These rifle scopes feature improves reticle technologies that make them more functional in shooting farther and more accurately. This makes them competent enough to meet your needs without leaving you in debt.

  • Assuming that Price and Quality Match

It does seem like every problem people encounter when it comes to choosing long range scopes has to do with money. This is why we always stress in the need to budget. However, this notion is not completely delusional. There are some cases where price and quality match. Still, if you go out with this idea you would be at a disadvantage. There are other budget friendly options that give you just the, right if not perfect, function. Getting a very expensive scope doesn’t automatically make your aim better. There’s loads of practice involved in making you more skilled and with time, you’ll get to know that price doesn’t matter.

  • Shooting in Poor Weather Conditions

For long range shooting, weather is a factor that affects accuracy. Whether it is too windy, sunny or too hot, it can adversely affect your readings. For example, shooting in very hot conditions can affect accuracy because of ‘mirage’. It also affects the velocity of the muzzle and the powder burn. For windy situations, you, there can be a shift in shot position. So, it is advisable to avoid long range shooting in extreme weather.

  • Using the Wrong Ammunition

Asides the scope and rifle, the rifle ammo is very important in long range shooting. Some loads work better than others especially in long range shooting. Using a poor ammo can really affect the accuracy of your shots as well as contribute to shooting inconsistencies. A good advice would be to get quality ammunition for a better experience.

  • Unstable or Mobile Rest

While making targets, the rest is very essential for making clear, consistent and accurate shots. If the rest is uncomfortable or shaky, you would get inconsistency which can be frustrating. Ensure that your rest is very stable and tightly held. This would help you save time also. 

  • Inconsistent Shoulder Pressure

When it comes to shoulder pressure, experience helps this one. With constant practice, people develop better shoulder pressure skills. Nevertheless, inconsistencies in shoulder pressure can be a big and frustrating mistake in long range shooting. Different rifles come with differing calibers and recoils.

These require differing shoulder pressure to control the shot accuracy. If the rifle recoil is high, you would need to apply extra shoulder pressure to control your shot. There is no formula for it. All it needs is a mental estimation of how much more pressure you need to apply and keeping it consistent.

  • Poor Control of the Trigger

Generally, long range shooting requires skills and in developing those skills, trigger control cannot be denied. You have to be consistent in your trigger press. The goal is for a clean and smooth release. To do this, pull your fingers to the end and follow through immediately after the shot is done. Avoid jerking the trigger and snatching it regardless of how the shot goes. Continue doing this until you’re good on your trigger technique. 

This also includes your follow through. It is advisable to keep your head on the stock for at least 2 seconds after you have made your shot. Most people would want to lift their head to see how far the shot went of if the target was accurate. Run the bolt for the next shot without changing the position of the rifle. This would help you prevent the rifle aim from upsetting during the shot.

  • Overheating the Barrel

While shooting, there is heat build-up. This the amount of heat built up in rifles differ based on the calibers, weather and rifle position. Most people disregard the heat build-up in their rifles and fire on. This can be very problematic in the long run. While shooting, there is supposed to be a rest period between shots. It is very essential to know how many shots can be fired in your rifle before the rest period. This would prevent overheating.

Some Extra Advice to Avoid Mistakes in Long Range Shooting

  • Check Parallax Making a Shot

Parallax error is a very significant problem in long range shooting. To avoid this, place your scope’s objective and reticle in the same focal plane despite there are differences between FFP and SFP according to Accurate ordnance.Most long range scope come with a parallax knob but there is a need to also run a manual check. This should be fine every time you’re about to make a shot or when you change the range or position of a shot.

  • Check the Rifle Cant Before Pulling the Trigger

Rifle cant can push your shots very wide so there’s a need to check it before pulling your trigger. This is because little movements can cant the rifle. Through the bubble level on the scope, you run a level check before making a shot.

  • Check Natural Point of Aim Before Making a Shot

You need to take extra care at setting your natural point of aim right before a shot. This involves your breathing also. If your shot stringing is vertical, it shows a very poor breath control and not checking the natural point of aim after you make a shit.


Mistakes in long range shooting are very common. This is because there are lots of technicalities required in long range shooting. As we have highlighted, practice makes perfect. To be the best long range shooter, we have provided you with a few mistakes to avoid and some tips to ensure accurate shots. Why not get on with them and develop your skills? Let us know about your experience.

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