Long Range Accuracy
Varmint Blaster's Page!
IF YOU INTEND ON HITTING ANYTHING FARTHER AWAY THAN YOUR TOES...
There are some accessories that are a must have...
Accuracy is a mathematical calculation called a 'Firing Solution'.
The more variables you can identify and control, the more you will hit your intended target.
Repeatability is the duty of a true marksman.
If you hear a lot of bragging about this one shot or that one shot someone made then you may
want to take the story with a grain of salt.
Unless you can repeat the shot at will, then it's just luck and really can't be claimed as an
Here is a list of some things I think are either mandatory or a good idea for determining your
firing solution and executing your shot.
SOLID OPTICS MOUNTS.
No such thing as over built optics mounts.
Mounts and rings should always be made of steel, not aluminum.
You should always use a one piece base rail. Several companies are way too fond of the two
piece mounting base, and that's just plain wrong.
If you are shooting at squrrels at under 100 yards away, a two piece base and aluminum rings
are fine, but if you want to hit anything consistanly at extended ranges, you must use the
Now that you know what to look for in a good base and ring set, on to the scope it's self.
Optics are like the mounts, you get what you pay for.
If you buy a $60 scope from Wal-Mart, expect to hit $60 worth. (IE: Not very often...)
There are only a few companies that are absloutely reliable at 1,000 yards and beyond...
IOR, Leatherwood, Leupold, Schmidt & Bender, Ziess
Some of the problems you will find with lesser manufacturers;
Zero strays when magnifaction is changed. (lenses are not optically centered)
'Fog', 'Streaks', 'Stars' or 'Halos'. (poorly manufactured lenses, improper/non-existant
coatings &/or tube not sealed or charged)
Dim sight picture. (improper objective size for the magnification, coatings)
Tube distorts when tightened. (cheap manufacture, idiot on the screwdriver)
Lack of features, like paralix adjustment, anti-scratch coating on outer lenses, ect.
Picture the face of a watch...
Imagine the 12 Noon position as straight up.
Imagine the 1 minute mark...
That 1 minute mark is 6° of cant.
6° of cant at 100 yards is about a 1/2 inch miss!
6° of cant at 1,000 yards is a 55 inch miss according to the U.S. Marine Corps Sniper Manual.
There are two types of ACD (Anti Cant Device) I use with success,
One is from B-Square is a stick type bubble level that
mounts on your scope rail, and the other from
Mounting Solutions sells
the scope tube clamp type bubble level.
Here are examples of both types.
You must use a good quality level to verify the scope alignment with the bore of the rifle.
Another way is to insert a wooden dowel rod or coated cleaning rod in the bore, make a small
loop in a piece of colored string, and slip it over the rod.
Hold the string straight up, and align the vertical cross hair in your scope with the string.
This will ensure your bore and vertical cross hair are square.
Now, hang a string with a 'Plum Bob' or weight attached out about 25 yards.
Clamp the rifle in a gun vice or cleaning fixture, and align the vertical cross hair with your
This means your bore and scope are vertically aligned.
Now, install the bubble level taking care not to move the rifle.
The scope tube clamp type of level is particularly effective in this type of install.
This will insure your bore & scope are vertically aligned, and the bubble level is correct.
With the scope rail mount type of level, you will have to clamp the rifle in a fixture, use a
good quality bubble level across the scope mount bases to level the rifle before installing the
stick type bubble level.
(Just because the stick type level is supposed to install correctly, doesn't mean it's going
Once you have verified the level is correct on the base mounts then install the scope mounts &
scope and use the rod in the bore trick (explained above) to square the scope vertical cross
Why more scope manufacturers haven't installed a bubble level of some kind, on or in the scope,
is beyond me.
The only one I know of is Springfield Armory, and they do make a very good quality product.
SHOOTING RESTS & BY-PODS.
Look at a shooting rest as 'Shot Insurance'.
If you think you can make the shot off hand, then you making the shot from a rest should be a
Paper targets are one thing, but if you want to 'John Wayne It', don't do it with live game.
Even varmints shouldn't be wounded and escape just because you wanted to show off.
Even if you miss completely, you have taught the critters to hide when humans are around, and
that is going to make it harder for future hunters to remove the destructive varmints.
Be a good hunter... Make the shot and don't 'Experiment' with live game, even varmints.
There are a TON of different types of shooting rests out there, from a walking stick type to a
string you tie around a tree or post, and they are ALL good ideas!
No excuse for holding a rifle off hand when you can rest it.
By Pods should only be used on soft surfaces or in areas where packing in and out a shot rest
bag is impractical.
There are exceptions to the rule, but for the most part, heavy caliber and heavy recoil rifles
will 'Bounce' when you use a by-pod on a hard surface.
When I'm bench shooting, or hunting from rock or a manufactured blind, I try and use bags or my
day pack for a rest.
By-Pods are most effective when you are in the prone position anyway, and that's usually on dirt
or grass & weeds anyway.
Buffalo hunters used walking sticks, or two sticks crossed & laced with leather as a rest.
I'm particularly fond of an old walking cane with a 90° handle. It's the right height when I'm
setting in my lawn chair waiting for the old ground hogs to pop a head up...
Care has to be taken when using stick type rests.
During recoil, when the stick moves forward or backward, it's going to seriously affect your
elevation, especially if your stick rest is at an angle of more than 5° from vertical.
This is referred to as 'Camming Over', and it cam really throw a shot off!