Today we are going to discuss some more long-range shooting tips. The big focus will be how to get stable for poking holes at distance. Most of this is taken from competition shooting but can modified based on the gear you have during hunting or tactical situations.
First, we want to create as solid as a base as possible. Use a bipod, tripod, tree, rock, bag, whatever is available. Try to get as many points of contact as possible because this will help keep you from swaying and having to try and ‘ambush’ the target with your sights versus maintaining a solid sight picture the entire time. A solid base also helps you get back on target for either adjustments or follow-on shots. This is especially crucial if you are working by yourself without a spotter. If possible, we love to use the prone, but this is not always an option.
The next thing you should try and do is fill gaps. By this I mean, try to fill any open space around your body with bags in order to rely on creating a structure versus your arm or body floating and wiggling in space. This can even be something as simple as putting a rock or bag under your foot if it isn’t fully planted on the ground. The goal here is to get as solid as possible. (There seems to be a theme here and you’ll hear it again.) If it was feasible, you would just carry around a bean bag and plop down on it when you need to shoot. Shooting bags are nice because they are made to help give the slightest adjustments just by squeezing or releasing pressure. You can do a decent job accomplishing this using an assault pack as well if you are carrying one of those instead.
Lastly, if you have it and have the time, you can use a tripod as a rear support if you can’t shoot from the prone. To do this, just take your off-hand and clamp the buttstock of your rifle to one leg of the tripod. (Make sure you are clamping against and not just grabbing the tripod and resting the buttstock on your hand.) Most tripods are light enough nowadays that you can just keep it held in place if you need to move or reposition. If you can rest the front of the rifle off of something and then use a tripod in the rear, that gives a very stable position.
Using a tripod against the buttstock to get solid. (Also, notice the right leg up
so that my elbow can rest against it instead of floating.)
Preference is to always be in the prone because that is the most stable you can be. But, if this isn’t possible, make sure you are using what you have at your disposal to get a solid platform that allows you to make accurate first round hits and rapid follow-up shots when necessary. Now get out there and try some of these ‘field’ positions because you never know when the time will come for such a useful skill.