Shooting positions /Techniques
The best position for long distance shooting is the prone position. This position offer the best control of the rifle, for best performance a bipod at the front of rifle will hold the rifle steady at the front with a threaded butt spike to allow adjustment of the back end of the rifle.
Muzzle brakes are great for long distance sniper shooting as they remove a lot of force from the rifle and help you stay focused on the target. Muzzle brakes and recoil compensators are devices that are fitted to the muzzle of a firearm to redirect propellant gases with the effect of countering both recoil of the gun and unwanted rising of the barrel during rapid fire. Muzzle brakes are very useful for combat and timed competition shooting, and are commonly found on rifles firing very large cartridges , as well as some artillery and tank guns.
Pay Once For Good Gear - It's Worth It
Some of the equipment discussed in this website is expensive-- really expensive. Let's get this out of the way: long range shooting is not cheap, but the rifles and optics are where the upfront expense lies.
Long range shooting is also expensive because it requires a lot of practice to become really good, and practice means time and ammunition.
Many people balk at spending £1000’s or more on a rifle or scope. Spending money for good equipment in these two areas especially are some of the best places to spend money in a precision rifle system. Along with the rifle action, stock, and mounts, these costs are fixed over the life of the rifle. The cost of training, ammunition, and barrels dramatically eclipses those fixed costs.
The key to sniping is accuracy, which applies to both the weapon and the shooter. The weapon should be able to consistently place shots within high tolerances. The sniper in turn must utilize the weapon to accurately place shots under varying conditions.
A sniper must have the ability to accurately estimate the various factors that influence a bullet's trajectory
and point of impact such as: range to the target, wind direction, wind velocity, altitude and elevation of the sniper and the target and ambient temperature. Mistakes in estimation compound over distance and can decrease lethality or cause a shot to miss completely.
Snipers zero their weapons at a target range. This is the process of adjusting the scope so that the
bullet's points-of-impact is at the point-of-aim (centre of scope or scope's cross-hairs) for a specific distance. A rifle and scope should retain its zero as long as possible under all conditions to
reduce the need to re-zero
during shoots. A sandbag can serve as a useful platform for shooting a sniper rifle, although any soft
surface such as a rucksack will steady a rifle and contribute to consistency. In particular, bipods
help when firing from a prone position, and enable the firing position to be sustained for an extended period of time. Many police and military sniper rifles come equipped with an adjustable bipod.
Accuracy and range depends on the cartridge used .308 /7.62mm is accurate to 800-1000 meters
The range to the target is measured or estimated as precisely as conditions permit and correct range estimation becomes absolutely critical at long ranges, because a bullet travels with a curved trajectory and the sniper must compensate for this by aiming higher at longer distances. If the exact distance is not known the sniper may compensate incorrectly and the bullet path may be too high or low. As an example, for a typical military sniping cartridge such as 7.62x51mm NATO (.308 Winchester) M118 Special Ball round this difference (or “drop”) from 700 to 800 metres (770–870 yd) is 200 millimetres (7.9 in). This means that if the sniper incorrectly estimated the distance as 700 meters when the target was in fact 800 meters away, the bullet will be 200 millimeters lower than expected by the time it reaches the target.
Laser rangefinders may be used for the greatest accuracy. One other useful method is comparing
height of the target (or nearby objects) to their size on the mil dot scope, or taking a known distance and using some sort of measure (utility poles, fence posts) to determine the additional distance. The average human head is 150 millimeters (5.9 in) in width, average human shoulders are 500 millimeters (20 in) apart and the average distance from a person's pelvis to the top of their head is 1,000 millimeters (39 in).
determine the range to a target without a laser rangefinder, the sniper may use the mil dot
reticle on a scope to accurately find the range. Mil dots are used like a slide
rule to measure the height of a target, and if the height is known, the range can be as well. The height of the target (in yards) ×1000, divided by the height of
the target (in mils), gives the range in yards. This is only in general, however, as both scope magnification (7×, 40×) and mil dot spacing change. The USMC standard is that 1 mil (that is, 1 milliradian) equals 3.438 MOA (minute of arc, or, equivalently, minute of angle), while the US Army standard is 3.6 MOA, chosen so as to give a diameter of 1 yard at a distance of 1000 yards (or equivalently, a diameter of 1 meter at a range of 1 kilometer.) Many commercial manufacturers use 3.5, splitting the difference, since it is easier to work with.
Explanation: 1 MIL = 1 milli-radian. That is, 1 MIL = 1x10^-3 radian. But, 10^-3 rad x (360 deg/ (2 x Pi) radians) = 0.0573 degrees. Now, 1 MOA = 1/60 degree =
0.01667 degrees. Hence, there are 0.0573/0.01667 = 3.43775 MOA per MIL, where MIL is defined as a milli-radian. On the other hand, defining a mil-dot by the US Army way, to equate it to 1-yard (1 m)
at 1,000 yards (1,000 m), means the Army's mil-dot is
approximately 3.6 MOA.
It is important to note that angular mil (mil) is only an approximation of a milliradian and different organizations use different approximations.
At longer ranges, bullet drop plays a significant role in targeting. The effect can be estimated from a chart which may be memorized or taped to the rifle, although some
scopes come with Bullet Drop Compensator (BDC) systems that only require the range be dialed in. These are tuned to both a specific
class of rifle and specific ammunition. Every bullet type and load will have different
ballistics. .308 Federal 175 grain (11.3 g) BTHP match shoots at 2,600 ft/s (790 m/s). Zeroed at 100 yards (100 m), a 16.2 MOA adjustment would have to be made to hit a target at 600 yards (500 m). If the same bullet was shot with 168 grain (10.9 g), a 17.1 MOA adjustment would be necessary.
Shooting uphill or downhill is confusing for many because gravity does not act perpendicular to the
direction the bullet is traveling. Thus, gravity must be divided into its component vectors. Only the fraction of gravity equal to the
cosine of the angle of fire with respect to the horizon affects the rate of fall of the bullet, with the remained adding or subtracting
negligible velocity to the bullet along its trajectory. To find the correct zero, the sniper multiplies the actual distance to the range by this fraction and aims as if the target were that distance
away. For example, a sniper who observes a target 500 meters away at a 45-degree angle downhill would multiply the range by the cosine of 45 degrees, which is 0.707. The resulting distance will be
353 meters. This number is equal to the horizontal distance to the target. All other values, such as windage, time-to-target, impact velocity, and energy will be calculated based on the actual range
of 500 meters. Recently, a small device known as a cosine indicator has been developed. This device is clamped to the tubular body of the
telescopic sight, and gives an indicative readout in numerical form as the rifle is aimed up or down at the target. This is translated into a figure used to compute the horizontal range to the target.
Windage which plays a significant role, the effect increasing with wind speed or the distance of the shot. The
slant of visible convections near the ground can be used to estimate crosswinds, and correct the point of aim. All adjustments for range, wind, and elevation can be performed by aiming off the target, called "holding
over" or Kentucky windage. Alternatively, the scope can be adjusted so that the point of aim is changed to compensate for these factors, sometimes referred to as "dialing in". The shooter must remember to return the scope to zeroed position. Adjusting the scope allows for more accurate shots, because the cross-hairs can be aligned with the target more accurately, but the sniper must know exactly what differences the changes
will have on the point-of-impact at each target range. For moving targets, the point-of-aim is ahead of the target in the direction of movement. Known as "leading" the target, the amount of "lead" depends on the
speed and angle of the target's movement as well as the distance to the target. For this technique, holding over is the preferred method. Anticipating the behavior of the target is necessary to accurately place the shot.