Top Gear for New Long-Range Shooters

 Top Gear for New Long-Range Shooters

Most Important Gear for New Long-Range Shooters

Even if you’ve been shooting firearms for a while, it can be a little intimidating to move into the long-range shooting space. After all, if you’re used to shooting targets at 100 yards, it’s going to take some adjustments and a lot of practice to be comfortable shooting out to several hundred yards or more. Beyond that, you’re also probably going to need some new shooting gear. So if this describes you, here’s some of the best gear for new long-range shooters.

Best Gear for New Long-Range Shooters

Before you get started in this new and addicting pursuit (whether for hunting or competition purposes), you’re probably going to need some new gear. True, you can still take some pretty long shots with your standard hunting gear, especially if you’re already used to hunting out west or in the mountains. But you’ll likely need to elevate your shooting gear game a bit if you’re going to try some truly long-distance shots (such as 500+ yards). This is particularly true if you want to get first-shot accuracy out of your gear.

With that, you need to decide what your maximum ethical range is if you’re going to use your setup for hunting. Taking shots beyond a certain distance may not deliver a lethal shot to an animal. Whereas you can shoot at targets all day long at any distance – if you miss or are off-center, it’s just something you need to work on. No big deal. With that introduction, let’s jump into the best gear for new long-range shooters.

  • Rifle – one of the first things you’re going to need is a rifle that is capable of delivering shots out to your ideal shooting distance. There are plenty of long-range rifle calibers to consider, from a 6.5 Creedmoor up to a .300 Winchester Magnum. Importantly, you’ll want to find something that is comfortable for you to shoot repeatedly because you’ll need lots of practice at the shooting range. If the recoil is too much, you’ll start flinching and that will definitely impact your accuracy over the long term. Different calibers fire bullets with different trajectories, so you’ll want to be familiar with that too.
  • Ammunition – long-range rifle ammo goes along with your choice of rifle. Ideally, you’ll be able to find a range of ammo loads from different brands for your rifle caliber selection. That way, you can adjust it based on what you’re hunting or where you’re shooting. If you’re going to use your rifle setup for long-distance hunting, you’ll need to make sure the rifle and load combo can deliver enough energy downrange to still be lethal. Also, it’s a bonus if your chosen ammo isn’t too expensive. After all, you can go through a lot of cartridges when trying to dial in your setup and this can become a very expensive hobby if you choose a rare or hard-to-find caliber.
  • Rest/Tripod – one thing that slips people’s minds when it comes to gear for new long-range hunters is a quality rest or tripod. To make an accurate shot out to 1,000 yards, you’re going to need a rock-solid and steady rest. One thing many shooters do is simply lay down and shoot off of a shooting rest/bag, which is a good solution for many situations. If you go to a shooting range, there may be a sturdy shooting bench to sit at, which is great too. When you’re hunting, you can use a collapsible tripod to keep your rifle steady. It all depends on your shooting style and preferences.
  • Rangefinder – if you’re going to make accurate shots at extreme distances, you absolutely need to know how far away your target is. Otherwise, a slight miscalculation could translate into missing your target by feet. When you take this sport up, plan on investing in a quality laser rangefinder that is accurate out to well over your planned shooting distance.
  • Ballistics Meter – when you want to pursue first-shot accuracy at long distance, a ballistics meter will be the best gear for new long-range shooters. A ballistics meter will help measure the wind speed and direction, temperature, humidity, barometric pressure, and altitude. Using all of these metrics, this tool will provide windage and elevation solutions to make sure you make a great first shot with the specific conditions you’re facing.

Where to Start?

Now that you have a grasp of the best gear for new long-range shooters, where do you begin? We recognize this isn’t exactly a cheap list of items. It’s possible you already own a rifle that will be compatible with long-range shooting, as long as you can find the right ammo for it. And if you get really serious about long-range shooting one day, you can invest in a quality rifle built for this purpose. In the early stages, you can always use sandbags for a rest if need be until you can afford something a bit more elegant, although the Accuracy 1st Shooting Rest Bag is a pretty cheap and durable option. But when it comes to laser rangefinders and ballistics meters, they are pretty crucial for accurate long-distance shots.

The Kestrel 5700X Elite is a top-notch ballistics meter. It helps measure all of the environmental or atmospheric conditions discussed above very quickly with a built-in ballistics solver so you know exactly how your bullet will perform over that shooting distance in those specific conditions. You can conveniently attach it to a tripod along with the Kestrel Vane Mount so it will determine the wind speed and direction even more accurately and free up your hands so you can focus on shooting. Using these measurements, it can deliver your windage and elevation solutions to your Apple watch or similar device so you can make a quick adjustment without losing your concentration. Last, LiNK wireless Bluetooth connectivity lets you pair your Kestrel 5700X Elite with a compatible laser rangefinder to quickly range your target and determine the ballistics solution. Compare some third-party software platforms and various hardware partners compatible with out devices here.

We hope you can use these guidelines if you’re looking for gear for new long-range shooters. While you can sometimes make up for cheap gear with enough practice, long-range shooting requires an investment for certain items. But once you have the right items, your long-distance shooting skills can improve dramatically.

Related Posts
  1. The Best States to Long-Range Hunt The Best States to Long-Range Hunt
  2. Long-Range Tips and Making the Most of Your Hunt with Kestrel Ballistics Long-Range Tips and Making the Most of Your Hunt with Kestrel Ballistics