Long Range Hunting | Helpful Guide With Illustrations

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.
Our Associate portal can be found here

Long-range hunting might feel overwhelming as it requires confidence and constant practice. Long-range hunting is a skill that you must master so that you can hit your target. The type of ammunition that you will use for hunting is key; as a beginner, you should learn to hit a target on a shorter-range first before investing in long-range hunting.

Hunting requires you to focus on your gun at a good angle while taking into consideration other climatic elements such as fog, sunshine, temperature, and wind. A slight change in the speed of the wind could alter your ability to hit your target. Know the specification of your gun and choose one that is designed for long-range hunting.

5 Best Long-Range Hunting Cartridges

A good long-range hunting cartridge should shoot at a long distance, which eliminates the possibility of missing your target. Some of the fast long-range hunting cartridges in the market are easy to use and gives you the expected speed and ballistic co-efficient.

408 Chey-Tac Long-Range Cartridges

Chey-Tac cartridge can shoot a copper ultra-high ballistic coefficient bullet, which is estimated to be about 419 grams at 2900f.p.s. This cartridge’s power is not affected by the wind and can aim at a target at almost 100 yards away. This ammunition is one of the best that most long-range hunters use and would recommend for the adrenaline-filled experience.

338 Lapua Long-Range Cartridges

Lapua cartridge is a military generated rifle and was developed by Fins, which is a notable ammunition company. It acts as a sniper tool and can shoot to over a mile giving you practical applications for the long-range hunting experience. The fact that it is a military gun means that it is efficient in shooting at a target at a long distance.

Hornady’s 6.5 Creedmoor

Creedmoor is a Federal Premium long-range cartridge with a muzzle velocity of 2825f.p.s shots flat. Its bullets are tough enough and can handle close impacts while delivering fast speed at a long distance. The bullets are least affected by changes in the wind velocity due it is weight and caliber measurements.

26 Nosler

The cartridge works in a standard length action and shoots so flat that you will not worry about missing your target. The cartridge has high ballistic coefficient bullets with 129-grain AccuBond and can shoot perfectly beyond 1750 yards at 3400f.p.s, making it one of the monster cartridges in the market.

The 7s

This cartridge is famous for its imperial use by the Germany Army during the Nazi regime, and it is aerodynamic and best for hunting large animals. It has the fastest speed, and the bullet might even hit the target before you hear the sound of the shooting.

Best Long-Range Hunting Rifle?

Nosler M48 Long Range Carbon Rifle is the best hunting rifle with high accuracy and offers a long-range shooting platform. This rifle helps you to concentrate on the ammunition and the ability to get the maximum accuracy when shooting at the target.

The rifle is light-weight as it is made of carbon-filled wrapper barrels that make it stiffer and can dissipate heat quickly. The weight-saving also increases comfort when handling the rifle, and it increases its efficiency.

The gun has high cheek rest that gives the best cheek rest for your rifle and has a better palm swell with a molded texture, making it easy for a firm grip when shooting. The gun is weather-resistant and is built for durability and is best for trekking in the fields with your hunting dogs. This gun is best for long-range mountain hunting and in the wide-open fields.

What Caliber Is Best For Long-Range Hunting?

Long-range hunting does not need more than .30 caliber cartridges, but you might find some that exceed this range in the market. Caliber is the diameter of the rifle and which corresponds to the diameter of the bullet. Long-range shooting does not require light-weight caliber rifles as they may fail to perform well.

Rifles with a caliber less than .30 have a high ballistic coefficient, which allows the bullet to cut through the air at high speed. Your rifle can have less drag in the air if the ballistic coefficient is high. The caliber of a rifle will, therefore, determine the trajectory of the bullet, which is crucial in shooting a target at long range. Remember that a heavier bullet can travel through air without being affected by the thrifts of the winds. Use a bullet that has a sharp pointed tip, which is good for cutting through the air.

What Is Considered Long-Range Hunting?

Long-range hunting is shooting at a distance between 300 and 1200 yards. At long distances, a hunter has to calculate ballistics to hit a target. You must also know how to control your body well for a chance to hit your target.

With long-range hunting, you have to consider the wind drift, and the type of bullet you use, faster calibers create a straight ballistic curve, which results in shorter flight time. Most of the time, you are accompanied by a hunting dog that helps with sniffing, thus making it easy to locate your target. Knowing the direction of your target is not enough in long-range hunting as you have to deal with a three-dimensional shooting, which involves manipulating your body to take the best shoot.

A hunter often aims at killing an animal in the most painless way, which means you have to hit vital organs that kill the animal instantly. For this purpose, a shoulder blade shot is one of the skills long-range hunters should keep in mind. For instance, the best shot for large animals should be behind the shoulder where vital organs like the heart lungs and large blood vessels are located.

With animals that are in the same height in the terrain as the hunter getting the target spot on their bodies is easy. If you are in varying heights with the target animal, then you have to shoot at an angle, using ballistic knowledge. Gravity acts with the same force at each point of the curve of the bullet as it travels; the bullet drop, therefore, remains the same with the flight time.

Watch not to overshoot at the target at a higher spot, and you must know the range and angle of the ammunition so that you do not jeopardize your shot. For the perfect shot, always carry a laser rangefinder, which should be a piece of basic equipment for you as you head out with your hunting dogs for an adventure.

What Is The Best Rifle Scope For Long-Range Hunting?

A 6-18 by 50 scope is recommended for long-range hunting as it helps you focus and see clearer over a long distance. Most of the rifle brands feature this scope, and you can find it easily in the ammunition shops.

The essential part of the scope is the lenses, which in most cases, are objective lenses on the end of the scope which furthest from the rifle stock. The scope is the lenses that are close to the eye, which help magnify the objects even at long distances. They transmit light back to the ocular lenses and the eyepiece that is essential for vision. Most of the rifle scopes are water and fog proof, and you can use it for any type of weather and in foggy mountains.

The scope works like a telescope and thus the need to have high resolving lenses for long-range hunting. You should have high-resolution ocular lenses that can magnify the light from the focal point. Remember that when you look at the scope, the image you see is the light that indicates where the shot will go if you pull a trigger. This light helps you direct your shot at your target, which is key in hitting it.

In What States is Long Range Hunting Illegal?

Some states have partial rules prohibiting long-range hunting while others completely prohibit the activity. A few of the states that prohibit long-range hunting include Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Virginia, North Carolina, West Virginia, and South Carolina. Some of these states, however, only prohibit hunting on Sunday, some of these states already have discussion underway to do away with the prohibition.

A few of the states maintain that hurting animals may not be ethical and thus the reason for the prohibition on long-range hunting. Some long-range hunters are said to lack enough resting, which might affect their ability to give perfect accuracy. Stray bullets might hit people walking by, resulting in unpredicted damage. Some hunters moreover have less time to rest, and this might affect their ability to make a better judgment while hitting a target.

Most of the states which prohibit long-range distance hunting might have relaxed rules for close-range hunting. The legislators believe that one can easily reach their target if they are closer to the animal more than when they are far. The wind direction could change between the distance of the shooter and the animal leading to a missed target. Most of the hunters, moreover, might hit a target and find it hard to find it later, and since they were far away from the animal, they did not hear it react to the bullet, they account for it as a missed target.

The Effective Range of 30-06 and the Other Most Used Calibers

Cartridge Bullet/BC Recoil f-p/fps MV MPBR

  • 03 06 165-gr./.490 23.9/13.9 2950fps 327yds
  • .300RUM 180-gr./.510 37.2/.16.5 3,300 364yds
  • .300W.M 180-gr./.510 33.8/16.5 3,050fps 339yds
  • .308 Win 165-gr./.490 19.4/12.5 2750fps 306yds
  • 7mm R.M. 162-gr./.490 26/14.5 3,000fps 340yds
  • .280Rem. 150-gr./.555 20.7/13 2,950fps 331yds
  • 6.5 C.M 143-gr./.625 14.3/10.7 2700fps 307yds
  • .243Win 100-gr./.410 11.2/9.5 3,000fps 325yds

Long-Range Shooting for Beginners

The first thing that matters for long-range shooting is the type of rifle you are using to hit your target. Ensure that it has the right scope, choose a rifle that works best for you, one that you can easily handle without feeling any pressure. Your ammunition should feel like a well-assembled machine, and you should have a gun that has better adjustment features.

• Set your own rules

Define what is considered acceptable for you, as a beginner, it might be hard to hit the vital organs, but you will improve with time. If you do not set standards for the shot, then you might not have a perfect shot as you might fail to consider shooting with a purpose.

• Trust your intuition

Trust your corrections and spotters when aiming at a target, be okay with the correction being wrong as you will improve eventually and get a better shot. If you are not confident with the shot as a long-range hunter, then you might fail to improve your skills. As you make a long-range shot, ensure that you are collecting data, record every shot that you make as you might need to use the data from previous engagements in making your future moves.

• Learn to read the forces of nature

Master the forces of nature, for instance, you should know that wind may change direction and velocity within the range. Learn how a wind of a certain velocity may feel on your face and the effect it has on the vegetation. Note how the same wind looks like on the ground, and standing height and how it might affect your ability to hit the target. Other climatic factors that might affect the speed of your bullet include barometric pressure, humidity, and temperature.

For a long-range hunter, you should know how to apply Kestrel Applied Ballistic meter. Using the data collected from previous hunting and the ballistic calculation, you can identify when to take the best shoot. Therefore it is important if you track the performance of your rifle in different climatic conditions such as sunlight, wind, and precipitation, which helps in building your skills and performance.

Most long-range hunting skills improve with practice, and no hunter is ever satisfied with their skills, and you should know this while growing your skills. When learning from an expert, follow their instructions, but learn to set the goals that can help you challenge you is key as a learner.

30 06 Long Range

Although 30 06 long range hunting ammunition is over a century old, it is relevant and still effective; it is military ammunition made in 1906 and was used by horse riders. This gun was invented after the Spanish American War. The gun has a 150-grain spire pint with 2700 f. p. s with a ¼ inch neck that can hold—308’’ bullet.

30 06 helped win the World Wars and was one of Teddy Roosevelt’s favorite gun when he visited the Amazon and the African safari adventures. The gun was one of the best long-range hunting gear by the mid-20th century and became king in the hunting game worldwide.

Judging the gun right now proves that it was made to last as it beats modern guns with roughly 100 different combinations of bullet and brands currently in the market. You find the ammunition in almost every retail shop and is cheaper compared to other guns, although it is as effective as the new models. Almost every rifle specifications are almost similar to the 03 06 range, which includes chambers, bolt actions, and the barrels.

The original 03 06 rifles weighed 8.6 pounds, but the latest version weighs 5 pounds and is effective in firing at a range of almost 1,000. The gun is accurate, and it depends on how the user can manipulate its angle and how they turn the rifle for precision.

Big Game Shooting Bench and Caliber

A shooting bench is one of the important equipment that you take with you to the field when practicing, and a bench gives your gun a proper rest. The rifle should be rock steady, which is necessary when hitting a target; the length of the gun should be centered in a position that can easily hit the target. When you place your gun on the shooting bench, ensure that you are not holding any weight, as this might compromise your shooting skills.

It is easy for a beginner to aim at a target when they use a table as it helps them regulate their breath and focus on the target. A beginner can eliminate the possibility of missing a target by working on the fundamentals without carrying the weight of the ammunition.

When you are confident with your skills, you can lose the bench and practice holding the gun in position and aiming at the target. You can gradually lose the bench by using shooting sticks that can support the rifle while you are sitting on the ground, aiming your target. Avoid kneeling, which is unstable and not good for improving your hunting skills.

Amazon and the Amazon logo are trademarks of Amazon.com, Inc, or its affiliates.

Scroll to Top