Forum - Banjo Ben Clark

Long Range Shooting

Calling all long range shooters out there that are good at teaching technique!

I’ve began trying to extend my reach with my hunting rifle. After watching the video, are there any critiques you can give me that might help my groups get a little tighter?


Oops…something didn’t work…

Maybe that fixed the video issue.

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Hi Rance , The video reveals a lot. Your rifle is not being supported at the stock. When you take the shot the bipod lifts clear off the ground caused by the recoil, this will have a bearing on your grouping. I was an army weapons coach in a previous life and trained recruits in the use of small arms. The British Light Machine Gun had a bipod and could prove a deadly accurate or terribly unstable weapon depending on who was using it. , The pistol grip was a little further forward and we used to grip the butt with our left hand to help stabilize the weapon… It had a bipod similar to your rifle which bounced around a lot. If you mounted the LMG on a tripod you greatly increased the weapons accuracy.

Try supporting your stock with the left hand, keep your left elbow on the ground close to your body. It may help you stabilize the weapon if you wrap your rile sling around your left arm. Be careful not to tense up, watch your breathing. Take a deep breath and partially exhale just before taking the shot. I noticed your face twitched a little before you took the shot, that may indicate a little momentary tension just prior to easing the trigger. For some additional tips check out some Army and Olympic training vids on YouTube. Hope this helps.


In addition to what Archie writes, other considerations might include the trigger assembly (Timney long range custom or the like), the barrel (bedded or not bedded, etc) and the cartridge quality (projectile design, loading and priming and case prep). you’ll find hours of information on the 'net – the more you read, the better you can weed out bad from good advice/information.

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From a friend who was special ops sniper: What are your groups doing? Stringing up and down or left to right, or are they in a cluster, just not as tight as you would like? Are you using a rear bag?
I can’t see what your trigger finger is doing, but middle of pad on first joint and pull straight back.
Search google for “pre loading bi-pod” techniques.
I know bi-pods are sometimes necessary, but for testing accuracy of rifle and ones self, sandbags front and rear are usually best, especially from a bench…
Looks like your arm is running through the rifle sling? If you are grasping the sling in the rear to help steady the rifle, you could be causing the rifle to do weird things while in recoil. For instance the rifle twisting or jumping off of the bench before the bullet completely exits the barrel! This could be mistaken for an exit node issue, when that’s just not the case…just my .02

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Interesting, how long have you been doing this?

I’ve only recently gotten into long range hunting the past couple of years. Before then I never had a necessity to get my projectile out there much further than 200-300 yards. A lot of hunters in my area talk about regular 600-900 yard shots to fill a tag.

I don’t really shoot long range for any other purpose than hunting, unless my wife and I are at the gun range with a bet on the table.

Just curious, what are you shooting that still has enough energy for a kill shot at 900 yards? My brother in law set up a shooting range up to 1200 yards. He said he hit a cow with his AR15 at 1200 yards and it just bounced off the cow’s hide. Scared the cow, but not much else. :laughing:

Make sure your pants legs are rolled up when your bro-in-law is telling you cow stories…haha!

Do a quick google search for longest recorded sniper kills and you’ll be amazed. Of course, those guys aren’t shooting .223.


I appreciate your question, Mark. I challenge guys on ethical hunting practices all the time and hold those ethics in high regard myself. Every hunter should.

I’ve done quite a bit of research on this. The magic number in terms of energy that most hunters will describe to you is 1,000 ft-lbs to bring down any big game. I shoot a 7mm mag loaded with 160 gr. Nosler Accubonds that retain 873 ft-lbs. of energy at 900 yards. That’s pretty stinking close to that 1,000 ft-lbs number and, I would argue, certainly enough to drop a whitetail.

However, in terms of ability, I’m not even near comfortable taking a 900 yard shot in the field, yet. I’m looking to get comfortable at about 700 yards at this stage in my life. With that, I’ve got 1182 ft-lbs. of energy. More than enough.

When I mentioned the 900 yard shots, I said hunters around here regularly talk about it. For instance, one hunter in our congregation shot a cow elk at 880 yards 2 years ago with his 300 win-mag. Dropped her right there. (Yes, there were witnesses). According to ballistics data reports, he only had 948 ft-lbs of energy, but I guess that elk didn’t study hard enough on what should kill her.

All that research I’ve been doing doesn’t just center around energy though. There are several other factors that come into play. Here’s a paragraph from one article I bookmarked a while back that makes a ton of sense to me:

“What kills animals is the terminal ballistics of a projectile. This is the tissue disruption and damage to the vital circulatory, neurological, or respiratory system of the animal. As an example, it is more ethical to hit a whitetail with a 225-grain Barnes Expander bullet, which has a mere 600 ft.-lb. of energy at 75 yards, than with a 500-grain solid from a .470 Nitro Express, which has 4,000 ft.-lb. of energy at that range. The superior terminal ballistics of the Barnes bullet will dispatch the whitetail more swiftly than the solid bullet will.” - Outdoor Life

There’s so much science that goes into a projectile.


I knew there was a lot of science in ballistics, but I had no idea I’d get that kind of education when I asked the question! Thanks for that extremely thoughtful reply. Fascinating!

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Sir, you need to fire and then run up and give them the bayonet! Your grouping will then be tight.

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