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werger_9 02-14-2012 03:59 PM

newbie question on long distance shooting
Hey guys/girls

New to the forms was interested into getting into long range rife shooting, I live in Canada and have a non-restricted license, and am wondering what would be a good rife to get into shooting/ learning how to shoot a mile+, i have been shooting for a few years now and have always loved the long shot. Any ideas/comments on a first rife that I should be looking into to get to my goal of shooting at a mile? have a limited "student" budget. Any hints on getting me to where i want be?
thanks for the input

** shoot safe, long and accurate**

The_Kid 02-14-2012 10:33 PM

Your question isn't all that easily answered, it is a lot more than what kind of rifle.
I figure at the least, a bolt action rifle chambered in 300 Dakota Magnum has the potential to reach 1 mile accurately.

I would suggest getting a .308 bolt action first and learn about reloading and long range shooting. You'll need to be committed to learning all you can over a good amount of time to develop the skills and gather the proper equipment for 1 mile shooting. It takes a lot more than a rifle.

Sniper03 02-14-2012 11:26 PM


Hit the nail on the head! I have been a Sniper School Instructor for years and there is a lot more to long range shooting than one would think. And you are correct it is thrilling and rewarding. He suggested a good 308 rifle capable of shooting 1000 yards and groups of 1/2 MOA or less at 100 yards. You must learn the equipment. But the main things you must learn is effects. Including Wind, Light, Humidity, Temperature, Elevation. All these things play an important role in hitting the target at distance. If you can work up to 1000 yards in time you will gain a wealth of knowledge and skill. Later when you have the funds to advance to a weapon for further distances then you can get into weapons chambered in calibers that have the capabilities of the longer distances. Like 338 Lapua, 416, 50 BMG and others. For me my longest shooting experience was at 2200 meters which simply is equal to 7216 feet
(5280 Ft. in a Mile) I did this with a McMillan Bolt 50 Cal. BMG Seal Team Sniper Rifle. They also now use the Barrett M82-A Series Rifles. Your looking at around $9000.00 for one of those. So that is where the budget issues come in. There are also several good books on LR Shooting. I will leave you with one thought we teach in the schools. You can not shoot what you can not see clearly! So buy good Glass (Scope) First and then buy a weapon to go with it! Not the other way around which is what most shooters do wrong. They buy a good rifle and then skimp on the Glass!!!
Good luck with your choice!:)

utf59 02-15-2012 05:33 PM

Doing what you want on a "student" budget will be a long-term proposition that will involve scrimping and saving for a good rifle and optic. While you can get a good .308 rifle for under a grand, you'll spend a lot on a scope capable of getting you out to 1,000 yards, much less a mile.

The real problem is that you need three items of equipment to get you on target at that range: a very well-made rifle, a top-notch scope, and a round capable of reaching that distance that is also loaded with tight enough tolerances to be consistent at that distance. And you'll need a lot of experience.

I agree with The_Kid's suggestion to start off with a less-expensive rifle and shorter distances. Once you've gotten yourself to 800 to 1,000 yards, take the step up.

BTW, do you have a place where you can shoot a mile or more? Even in sparsely populated areas, that's a lot of real estate. A lot can happen during the flight of a bullet at that range.

I'm going to throw out a suggestion for a budget "starter" rifle that's inexpensive to buy and inexpensive to shoot, assuming ammunition availability is similar in your area a Mosin-Nagant.


There are upward of a bazillion variants of that rifle. If you decide to go that route, do your reading and do your shopping. In the stated, you can get one for a little over a hundred bucks easily. But some are better than others. DISCLAIMER: I haven't shot a Mosin-Nagant at long distance, and I don't know how accurate they can be made. But I have met people who swear by them, and you could learn a lot shooting one.

As Sniper03 said, don't skimp on the scope. Do some reading on long-distance shooting. And once you get past the initial learning phase (if you aren't already shooting rifles) WRITE EVERYTHING DOWN! Look online for log books and print out some sheets to keep your data on.

Good luck, and welcome to the forum! When you get a chance, drop by the Introductions section and tell us a little more about yourself.

werger_9 02-15-2012 07:04 PM

Hey guys,

Thanks for the helpful input on how i should start about learning to shoot at these long distances, as for the the range that i can shoot at yea i do have a mile and a half lane way on the farm i work at. Its the same place i duck hunt at, as for the the rife choice i was looking into a Zastava 308 win or a 7mm Rem Mag, anyone shot either of these weapons? and as for getting a quality optic what should i look into/ what would you recommend? and ammo i'm not the best picker, what should i look for in it?

i really appreciated the input and thanks for not tearing me a new one asking a question like that lol

** shoot safe, long and accurate**

chewchew 02-15-2012 07:42 PM

About 15 years ago I set up a 500 yd. range. The first thing I needed was a ballistics chart on the weapon and the bullet. The weapon is Remington 700 heavy barrel sedero in 220 Swift. I bolted my ajustable lead sled to the bench and put a 12' target exactly 500 yds. I had a 24 power scope with a spotter looking through a 60X spotting scope. Then only on calm non windy days we would try to get the scope and the load to work together. After about 2 weeks and a lot of different loads, I got to shooting 2" to 4" groups.
It was a lot of fun but a lot of time and reloading also.
After I thought I was good, the Sarge let me use the 1000 yd range at the armory. After going through a 2 day course with an M21-M1A-7/62X51....I decided it wasn't meant to be. I got frustrated and quit. All I can tell you is get a good instructer and good luck.

The_Kid 02-15-2012 08:24 PM


Originally Posted by werger_9 (Post 709555)
as for the the rife choice i was looking into a Zastava 308 win or a 7mm Rem Mag, anyone shot either of these weapons?

Either of those cartridges would work well. I don't think the rifle manufacturer is as important as some think. As long as the rifle hasn't a problem that cause inaccuracy, it will be accurate.
Case in point, today's shots with a 30-30 lever-action.

The rifle did wonderfully, I was the weak link that time with an incorrect sight setting. The hits were just 2 inches apart and I didn't realize until it was too late, where the hits were.

But get a bolt action; they are much easier for someone to help you troubleshoot if you run into problems.


Originally Posted by werger_9 (Post 709555)
as for getting a quality optic

I don't know much about scopes, other than the ones I've owned, which are cheap.
When I get about $1000, I'll by myself a Leupold or other name brand scope for my modern bolt action.

werger_9 02-15-2012 11:08 PM

hey guys

thanks for the input chew and kid, i'm going to do my homework about this and shoot for a 308 win i think, as for the scope i have no idea where to start any idea sniper03? since well you have the experience and knowledge that i lack lol.

but if anyone has shot a zas 308 let me know if you would recommend it or not.

Sniper03 02-16-2012 12:21 AM


Just for an idea of the scope I will share the details of my LR Rifle today.
It is a Remington 40X Sniper Rifle built by Paul of the Remington Custom shop several years back. It was one of the rifles that was in the production schedule for desert storm. Where when the enemy soldiers would come out of hiding they would die going to he head (Restroom). Can't imagine attempting to make a decision weather to go take a D--p and die or have a mess on your hands!!!:D
I was at Remington one afternoon while attending school there and they had 40 ea. of the 40X Sniper Rifles on racks in the custom shop going to the US Military. Anyway, a little history there also! My favorite rifle which I still have today is a 40X Remington in 308 7.62X51 NATO. I have a Harris Bi-Pod on it a Leupold Mark 4 LR/T M-1 30mm Tube Scope and a 22 Degree Scope Base to mount my Leupold Rings on which allows me the come-ups (Adjustments) that I need get out to a 1000 yards. Without one you will be limited normally to around 600 yards 700 yards max. with a standard base as far as elevation adjustments that you will need. The Leupold Mark 4 M-1 I have has 1 MOA Elevation Adjustment and 1/2 MOA Windage Adjustment for quick adjustment. Some might think that this is not precise enough but I have never had any difficulty tuning in directly on the target. You can check because some of the other models of the Leupold Mark 4 LR Scopes have 1/4 adjustments which most are familiure with. You will be talking starting around $1100.00 for a Mark 4 like the one I have and then they can go up. But the Mark 4 is also one of the favored brands and models by the Seal Teams and a lot of Military Snipers. There are other good scopes out there so just because I favor the Leupold MK4s doesn't mean that they are the only good scope out there for long range shooting. Good glass is not cheap but if you take care of one it can be a once in a lifetime purchase! That is the way I rationalize it! My problem is I have Champaign taste on a Beer budget. But I have found anything worth haveing is worth waiting for! (Saving Up Otherwise!) And I have never been happy in the past when I purchased something I realy did not want to satisfy an urgent impulse. And ended up costing me twice as much in the long run! So shop wisely and listen to the knowledgable folks here on the Forum that are very experienced. Ammunition wise for the 1000 yard shots was 308.7.62X51 was Federal Premium GM308M 168 Grain BT HP (Sierra Bullet). When you get your rifle PM me and I can give you the come-ups (Adjustments) for my 1000 yard shots based on a 100 yard zero. Keeping in mind all rifles are different and have their own personalities like people. So my DOPE as we call it, will not probably exactly match the adjustments for your rifle and ammunition even if you got a 40X exactly like mine and shot the same ammunition. Ammunition LOTS also can effect this! But it will get you close in the ball park for a base! Then you get to learn about the external factors I mentioned in my previous post on this thread.
Good Luck! Sounds like you have a good place where you can shoot long range and learn the skills. That is something most people would give their left arm for so to speak!


werger_9 02-16-2012 12:52 AM

wow thank you for the input, that really helped out, now i just gotta save up for the glass and rifle... how many tours have you done if you don't mind me asking?

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