Welcome to a column about long-range shooting. Here you’ll find information on the latest guns, cartridges, optics, accessories and shooting techniques for hitting targets at ranges of up to 1,000 yards—and sometimes beyond. While tactical shooting will be the primary emphasis, long-range competition may also be touched on occasionally, as developments in target shooting often cross over to the practical realm.
“Long range” will have different meanings to different shooters, in different situations. For police sharpshooters limited by department policy to targets at 200 yards or less, a 175-yard shot at a hostage-taker’s cerebellum may be long range. In the military environment, the situation is more complex, because the targets, the weapons and the operational objectives are more varied. With an iron-sighted M16, enemy troops at 500 yards are at long range; a scope-sighted M24 or M40 takes “long” out to 800-1,000 yards, while a CheyTac M200 or Barrett 82A1 can hit radar dishes, light vehicles, aircraft—and sometimes even personnel—at ranges of 2,000 yards or more. For the purposes of this column, I’m will arbitrarily define “long range” as pretty much any distance past 600 yards.