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Broncos79

Tips to improve 3 gun Rifle distance shooting

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Hello All -

 

recently shot a couple of 3 gun matches and had a great time but struggled with the distance shots 200yds and 250 yds

 

any tips are appreciated 

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1- Make sure your rifle is zeroed at a known distance. 

2- Ideally, know the characteristics of the round you’re shooting and how it behaves from your rifle. Pretty much, to do it right you need a chrono, although you can get reasonably close with someone else’s data from a similar barrel. 

3- Using #1 and 2, know your hold overs for distance. Either use an app (Strelok is great) or test them yourself. Ideally both. 

4- If you figure out anything else, let me know! I’m not great at distance either!

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Can you give a little more info or some self diagnosis?

 

In general, you need a good zero (zero at 50 yards, confirm at 200 if you can) and a stable position. Pulling the trigger without a great sight picture makes you frustrated and then you keep missing. So spending the extra time getting a stable position and getting sights on target pays off. (Example: If you are shooting off a wobbly barricade, you can brace it with your body).

 

To get repetitions, you can dry fire at a reduced size target using positions that you'll see in a match.

 

 

 

 

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Great tips - I did recently zero at 50 yds after my last match

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Great tips - I did recently zero at 50 yds after my last match

 

I don’t own a chronograph  - May have to look into that

 

i upgraded my trigger but it seems like maybe trigger control could be part of the issue?

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Trigger control would only be an issue if you are smashing the trigger to the point that sights are off the target when the rifle fires. Typical 3 gun target are pretty forgiving size wise.

 

A 50 yard zero doesn't require a chrono or hold overs until you are past 250 yards

 

Remember the fundamentals of rifle marksmanship are: stable body position (natural point of aim), sight alignment, trigger, and breathing

 

Practice these in dry fire and your results are certain to improve

 

Also, attending an "Appleseed" rifle clinic will help you learn (or relearn / reinforce) the fundamentals.

 

 

 

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Very good point that the typical zero may not require any significant hold out to reasonable distances. 

 

Once technique I’ve heard about a couple times on the 3 Gun Show is to make large adjustments on subsequent shots instead of slowly walking your shots in. Let’s say you hold center of the target and miss 3” left of the target. Many shooters would incorrectly adjust 3 inches to the right, thinking “I missed by 3 inches so I adjust by 3 inches.” What’s incorrect here is that you didn’t miss by 3 inches, you missed your point of aim by 3 inches plus half the diameter of the target. Assuming that the shot felt and looked good (you didn’t yank it off target), adjust by a large amount- fire your next shot holding on the right edge of the target, or (if you can be precise enough) 3” right of that.

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Posted (edited)

Zeroing at 50 will get you just that, accurate at 50 yards. If you zeroed at 50 and are missing at longer distances you didn't confirm or true your scope for those distances. Zeroing at 50 is just a start, not something you can use at longer distances without checking. Most in this game will zero at 200...which is close to a 50 but usually not right on.

 

My 200 yard zero will hit about 1.5 inches high at 50. So if I zeroed right on at 50, imagine how far off I would be at 200...

 

Better to get on or close at 50 with elevation and get windage perfect, and then ZERO elevation at 200, leaving windage alone unless there is absolutely no wind. After that, any normal 3gun target will be a hit from 50 to about 225 when aimed at COM. Further than 225 you will need to confirm hold overs for various distances. Some have a good reticle that has suggested drops out to around 600. If so, its even better to confirm or even zero at the 300 yard mark, which will get the longer marks even closer to perfect.

Edited by RiggerJJ

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5 hours ago, DKorn said:

1- Make sure your rifle is zeroed at a known distance. 

2- Ideally, know the characteristics of the round you’re shooting and how it behaves from your rifle. Pretty much, to do it right you need a chrono, although you can get reasonably close with someone else’s data from a similar barrel. 

3- Using #1 and 2, know your hold overs for distance. Either use an app (Strelok is great) or test them yourself. Ideally both. 

4- If you figure out anything else, let me know! I’m not great at distance either!

I agree with the post above. I would also add proper application of the fundamentals. Sight alignment, trigger control and breathing become very important at distance. Also I didn’t see what division you were shooting. 

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All - this is very helpful - as mentioned I have only shot 2 matches ever - please explain more regarding breathing techniques 

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I located an Appleseed course near my town in Arizona - thank you for the recommendation 

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Breathing usually shows up as vertical dispersion on the target. I'd say it's the least important of the fundamentals of marksmanship. 

 

Try it out, Get in a good firing position and watch the sights move up and down as you breath. Hold your breath too long and watch the sights wobble. You should be shooting in a pause when the sights settle (either on the inhale or, more common, the exhale)

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Hit a range and let her rip, after brushing up on the basics discussed above of course.  Are you throwing 55gr or a heavier round?  The 55's are not great in wind so that may be an issue as well.  

 

I shoot a lot of "long range" 3 gun (out to 500-600) and I maintain a 200 yard zero, as do most of the guys and gals who shoot much better than I do.  It seems excessive but once you know your holds by Strelok and confirmed by practice you will be good to go.  

 

I've also learned that the extra second or two I take to get into a better position will yield much better first round hits.  Going one for one on a long distance stage feels great! 

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two things.  first you have to know, from actual shooting/testing, where you hit at various distances.  zero at 50, 100, 200, whatever, but then shoot out to your max distance in 50yd increments and see where you are actually hitting, and write down where you need to hold to impact at those distances.

 

related, you need fairly accurate ammo.  i just cheaper blaster ammo inside 100 or so yards but then 69g match ammo out past that.  you should be able to get 2" groups at 100yds, and preferably half that.  find what works in your rifle.

 

2nd is how steady is your reticle on the target?  obviously if you're floating around, you won't have great accuracy.  if you just have a crap milspec trigger, consider upgrading.  it's a LOT easier to hold steady with a light, crisp trigger than when it feels like sandpaper or rocks.  personally i love the geissele ssa-e two stage triggers.  pull it all the way thru when engaging close blaster targets, then one stage at a time on the long range stuff.  i try to jam the magwell into something (tree, fence, barricade, etc) and lean into it to get it steady.

 

ok, i guess 3 things...

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Thanks for the tips I did install an SSA-E trigger big improvement in the feel 

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I tend to hear a Loud spring noise in the stock - any ideas on why and what my options are to eliminate the spoon on a cheese grater sound?

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11 minutes ago, Broncos79 said:

I tend to hear a Loud spring noise in the stock - any ideas on why and what my options are to eliminate the spoon on a cheese grater sound?

That’s normal, it’s your buffer spring.  Best way to eliminate that sound is to get a JP silent capture spring.  They’re a little pricey, but think they are worth the money.

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Posted (edited)
On 4/22/2019 at 8:29 PM, Broncos79 said:

I tend to hear a Loud spring noise in the stock - any ideas on why and what my options are to eliminate the spoon on a cheese grater sound?

 

Or get the VLTOR A5 buffer system (made in Tucson).  But actually I'd say shoot more and learn more before you do too many upgrades.  I've learned that after the buzzer goes off I never notice the sound of the action spring and it has never slowed anyone down.

 

the best way to learn long range is to go shoot it. Practice with targets at varying distances and learn exactly where to hold for each target.  You'll start to see how good/bad your ammo is beyond 200 yards.  If you are at a public range just move the target to every possible distance and take pictures so you know exactly where your bullets are going.

 

2nd best way for me was to learn ballistics.  For the price of 2 boxes of good ammo you can buy the basic training software at https://shooterready.com. This will get you a really good intro on exterior ballistics and you can use the simulator software as sort of a game to try it out. that software emphasizes using the turrets, but you don't have to do that - you can figure out the range and then adjust your holds. But understanding all the variables of exterior ballistics helped me learn much more than I would have learned shooting 2 boxes of ammo.

 

3rd thing to do is to get a ballistic app and program it.  After you learn the details of exterior ballistics you'll be able to get all the data into a picture that shows exactly where to hold in your scope (or red dot). I use Strelok Pro because I like the visual overlay of the reticle.

 

While you are doing all that, keep shooting.  www.azmatchfiner.com will give you most of the known AZ matches.

 

There's a black rifle match up here in Mesa next Saturday - you'll get a lot of rifle practice there and there will be a bunch of people willing to help spot and give you corrections. sign-up is at https://www.practiscore.com/rio-salado-black-rifle-may-2019/register (go to practiscore and search for "black rifle" and you should be able to find it each month.) Registration opens Monday at 600p and is usually full by 615p.

 

 

Edited by emjbe

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Great info on the ballistic calculator - I shot a 3 gun match at Ben Avery today - learning more all the time - I had my first experience with a spinning at rifle range - it was challenging- any spinner tips?

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There's a lot of great info above. I would add to make sure your rifle barrel is not resting on a barricade, post, etc. And also to be aware of how canting the rifle in awkward shooting positions effects your point of impact. 

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Thank you the ammo top I reload and have started working up load to improve accuracy 

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