If you like a challenge and are a hunter, or just want to have fun at the gun range, then a good challenge is taking some shots at long-range targets.
The farther the target, the more variables there will be. It’s a difficult challenge, and you’re going to need some essential rifle accessories.
Gun and rifle accessories are very useful in any situation. In long-range shooting, however, these accessories become a great asset to you. You’ll need the right ones to help you make those challenging shots. Keep reading for the most essential and must-have accessories for long-range shooting.
Best Sights, Optics, & Scopes for Long Range Shooting
You can’t hit a target that you can’t see. Whether it’s target practice, a competition, or hunting, the target will be far away and hard to see, let alone hit. You need an optic that allows you to not only see the target, but also predict where the bullet will hit the target. For those who don’t know, sight is an optic without magnification. These are good for close-range targets.
A scope, however, is what you need for long-range shooting. Scopes are optics that provide magnification. Scopes can provide different magnifications, and some even have variable magnification. Variable magnification allows the user to choose the magnification they want on the fly. This can be useful for hunting if your target decides to run further away from you.
Best Scope Magnifications for Long Range Shooting
Scope magnifications are designated as 3×50. Here is what that means:
- The 50 just tells you the diameter in millimeters.
- The 3x is most important. It tells you the magnification you’ll get. With a 3x magnification, you’ll get an image inside the scope that looks 3 times closer than it really is.
3x and up is what you want for long-range shooting.
Watch out for Too High of a Magnification on Your Scope
Keep in mind that if you are using a 4x scope, and double it to an 8x scope, that the object will appear even closer and look even bigger than it originally was. According to Bushnell, the height of a target will appear taller when there’s an increase in magnification. This may cause you to overshoot, thinking the target was there when in reality, they were just under your aim.
You don’t want to overdo magnification. You want a magnification that allows you to hit the target without overshoot that’s caused by the scope. You want you making mistakes, not your equipment. As magnification increases, so do the distortions in the scope’s image. You are not looking at a direct image of reality, but a distorted reflection of it. A 10x scope doesn’t actually bring a deer ten times closer to you.
Bushnell recommends those shooting over 500 yards to use a 10x scope. For those hunting, most deer will be within 100-200 yards. A scope with a magnification of 4x-6x is recommended for deer hunting. At the end of the day, use the magnification that you feel most comfortable with and clearly gives you an advantage by helping you accurately hit a target.
Best Scopes for Long Range Shooting
Vortex Optics Sonora 4-12×44 Second Focal Plane Riflescope – Dead-Hold BDC Reticle
This Vortex Sonora 4-12x riflescope is a good and affordable option.
- Cost: It’s about $150
- Magnification: It has a variable magnification of 4x up to 12x! That’s a lot of zooms! Maybe even overkill and may cause you to overshoot. Make sure to adjust and use the best magnification that you can work with.
Reviews: Amazon customers have highly rated this scope for being easy to work with.
Overall: A wide range of customers seem to like it. This is a good option for beginners and those who want a more affordable option without sacrificing quality.
Vortex Optics Crossfire II 2-7×32 Rimfire, Second Focal Plane 1-inch Tube Riflescope – V-Plex Reticle
The Vortex Crossfire 2-7x riflescope is a great, affordable option for beginners.
- Cost: It comes in under $200
- Magnification: From 2x up to 7x. It’s a great scope for hunting
Reviews: This scope is highly rated on Amazon for its clarity and reliability.
Overall: A reliable and affordable option for long-range shooting beginners.
Best Laser Rangefinders for Long Range Shooting
To hit a target accurately, you need to know exactly how far the target is. You can estimate and make adjustments when you miss the target, but what if that target is your dinner for tonight? If you miss a deer, you will be alerted and run. It may never be seen again, and you’ll be starving tonight. A laser rangefinder will alleviate this issue.
A laser rangefinder does exactly what it sounds like. It uses a laser rather than human estimation to find the exact range of the object it is pointed at. This can be a great help for hunters and increase your chances of hitting the target greatly. Accuracy and precision become increasingly difficult at longer ranges, so get some help with a rangefinder.
Bushnell Engage Hunting Laser Rangefinder
The Bushnell Engage Hunting Laser Rangefinder is built for hunters.
- Cost: It can cost up to $180
- Features: Fog, water, & dirt protection. ARC Tech for help shooting from trees and high perches.
Reviews: Amazon customers have reported it as being easy to use and having a sharp picture.
Overall: A great versatile option for hunters who prefer to hunt from trees.
Rangefinder, Hunting Golf Laser Range Finder, 800 Yards High-Precision Flag Lock with Vibration Hunter Scope for Golfing Hunting, Free Battery
This Hunting & Golf Rangefinder is a great option for those who don’t need a rangefinder with all the bells and whistles.
- Cost: It will cost up to $70
- Features: Doubles as a rangefinder for golf balls
Reviews: Amazon customer reviews have been satisfied with this rangefinder as a cheaper and still quite capable option.
Overall: This is a good option for beginners and those who want to be frugal.
Best Wind Meters for Long Range Shooting
Shooting long-range has many variables that may mess up your shot. Before taking the shot, take a note of the wind. The wind is strong enough to deviate your rounds while they’re in the air. This can be frustrating when you set up the perfect shot beforehand and forgot to check the speed and direction of the wind. Wind meters are capable of doing so for you. No need to lick your fingers and stick them in the air.
A wind meter will take in the speed and direction of the wind and report them to you. Some are even capable of syncing up with a rangefinder. All your needed data is displayed on one screen. How useful is that?!
Caldwell Wind Wizard II Wind Meter with Multiple Wind Readings, LCD Backlight, and Lanyard for Long Range, Shooting, and Hunting
The Caldwell Wind Wizard II is what hunters and gun enthusiasts want.
- Cost: It can cost up to $50
- Features: Protective casing with a lanyard for carrying easily
Reviews: Customers from Amazon have rated it mostly favorably, but have complained about the measurements being slightly off
Overall: This is a good & affordable starter option for long-range shooting
HOLDPEAK HP-866B Digital Anemometer Handheld Wind Speed Meter Gauges with Data Hold, Backlight, Wind Chill Indication for Flying, Hiking & Shooting (Bonus a Small Tripod)
The Holdpeak HP-866B Wind Speed Meter is another option that may be useful for many.
- Cost: It’s about $36
- Features: Tripod stand for ease of use
Reviews: Amazon customers have stated that the product is easy to use and has a good value.
Overall: A handy and affordable option that helps you monitor the wind without needing to hold up the meter all the time.
Best Scope Levels for Long Range Shooting
When you build a table, you want to make sure it’s flush to the ground by using a level. It’s the same idea with a rifle to the ground. Shooting a rifle that’s not leveled can ruin your muscle memory. You have to be consistent when you’re learning how to shoot at long range. Be sure to level your rifle to keep consistency, and you’ll improve your long-range shots.
GHHJX Solid G Gunsmith Level, Professional Gunsmith Magnetic Leveling Tool, Set of 2
The GHHJX Solid G Gunsmith Level is an affordable level that gets the job done.
- Cost: About $10
- Features: Comes in a set of 2 and has a magnetic bottom
Reviews: Customers from Amazon report some problems with accurate levels, but a good product to use when they are accurate
Overall: You get two levels for 10 bucks and both are magnetic allowing you to stick it directly to your rifle. An easy to use & affordable product.
GHHJX Precision Scope Magnetic Level for Precision Shooting, Diameter 32mm
The GHHJX Precision Scope Magnetic Level is also a reliable level to use if you want something a bit bigger and noticeable.
- Cost: Up to $9
- Features: Degree markings to measure angles and magnetic for easy attachment
Reviews: Amazon customers say that the level is accurate and easy to use
Overall: For those who want a level that’s a little bigger and easier to read this is a good option.
Best Rifle Supports for Long Range Shooting
Recoil (kickback from your rifle when you fire) can screw up your aim and make you miss the target. To fix that, you, first of all, need proper form. Not holding and handling the rifle properly means you won’t prevent the rifle from kicking back so much. Most pros will have proper form, but it doesn’t help to ask someone anyway if you’re in the right position.
Once you got the proper form set up for long-range shooting, you’ll need some extra support. This support can come in the form of sandbags, bipods, and tripods. Sandbags can be placed down, and you can have your rifle rest on them. If you don’t want to haul around heavy bags of tiny rocks, then a bipod or tripod are great alternatives.
Bipods are bipedal stands for rifles while tripods are… well tripedal. It’s the same idea as a stand for cameras. It gives the rifle stability without you needing to take on all the recoil yourself. Bipods and tripods are great for long-range shooting and will help you be more accurate in your shots.
Best Sandbags for Long Range Shooting Support
It may seem out of place to show you how to find sandbags, but as of 2021, there’s a sand shortage. Yes, we’re not joking. We really are running out of sand. Apparently, sand is an important ingredient in construction. Anyway, here’s one on Amazon that can help you out and take in some of that recoil.
Military Sand Bags Deluxe Quality – Size 14 x 26 Inch, Sandbags Woven Polypropylene, Empty Heavy Duty Sand Bags for Multipurpose Task, Military Green
Your basic sandbag. Nothing special. It’s just a bag… full of sand. It gets the job done. Not much more to say.
- Cost: $12.50 for a pack of ten bags
- Features: Sand. But also a well-woven bag that will prevent the sand from spilling out
Reviews: Amazon customers have had a positive experience with these sandbags and noted their durability
Overall: For $12.50, you can get ten durable sandbags! Ten! Your Amazon driver may have trouble bringing it to your doorstep. Get yours before… nobody can!
Best Bipods for Long Range Shooting Support
CVLIFE 6-9 Inches Tactical Rifle Bipod Adjustable Spring Return with Adapter
This CVLIFE Tactical Rifle Bipod has a ludicrous number of Amazon reviews.
- Cost: About $24
- Features: Springs for easy folding, adjustable legs, & rubber ends for greater stability
Reviews: A shocking 21,000 Amazon customers have vouched for the product, but a few have complained about leveling issues, so get one of the levels mentioned above.
Overall: A bipod that hunters and gun enthusiasts can rely on. It gets the job done and absolutely should be your first choice when choosing a bipod for long-range shooting.
Best Tripods for Long Range Shooting Support
Tripods are best for heavy-duty rifles and allow users to increase their height greatly. It’s a lot like a camera bipod. You can increase the height enough that you can get into a sitting position instead of a prone position and some even as high enough for you to be standing.
Thunder Bay Tripod Shooting Stand for Hunting Guns, Rifle Swivel Mount and Rest, Adjustable Stick Height, Lightweight and Compact, V Grip, GSX Series
The Thunder Bay Tripod is a support stand that’s simple and practical.
- Cost: Up to $70
- Features: Adjustable height, v-shaped mount, & 360-degree rotation
Reviews: While the reviews on Amazon are mostly positive, it does seem like there’s some confusion on the height and if anyone above 5’8 can properly use it.
Overall: It extends in height up to 60.4 inches and has a folded height of 18.1 inches. For those who are taller than 5’8, it may be best to read some further Amazon reviews before purchasing.
Best Gun Chronographs for Long Range Shooting
Ballistic or gun chronographs are instruments used to measure the velocity of a fired bullet. The velocity is measured in feet per second (fps). Chronographs usually have two rods that can sense the speed of a passing projectile. You’ll place a ballistic chronograph in front of your rifle, but not through it. Only the flying round will go through. This tool can help you accurately time your shot by accounting for bullet travel. Bullet travel is how long a bullet takes to get to its destination. That all depends on the velocity of the fired round.
Ballistic Precision Chronograph
The Ballistic Precision Chronograph is something newbies can use to get an idea of their bullet’s speed and direction.
- Cost: Up to $115
- Features: Two rods that measure the velocity of projectiles, a digital display for ease of use, has an app
Reviews: Reviews are mixed. Some Amazon customers love it for its accuracy and others say the accuracy is hit and miss. No pun intended.
Overall: A good starting option for anyone looking for a chronograph. It even has an audio jack that you connect your phone to and lets you record data to the Caldwell Ballistic Chronograph app. The app is available both on Android and Apple app stores. This chronograph can help you in your desire to improve your accuracy.
A Spotter or Spotting Buddy Can Help You
This is one of the best tips you’ll get. It can be hard to juggle all these useful gadgets. Having a friend can not only make the experience much more enjoyable and fun but allows you to focus on shooting the target itself. It’s always good to delegate. Your friend may enjoy being a spotter and be of great help to you.
A spotting buddy will take in all the needed data and do all the calculations for you before you take the shot. A spotter will also watch the bullet and see how it performs. They may notice that the bullet went an inch above the target and advise you to readjust and calibrate your rifle and scope.
Dope Card for Improving Shooting Performance
Every dope needs something to write down all the important data that you or your spotter will be gathering. Dope cards are useful cards that can be used for recording important information. There’s a lot of information to take in and record, so be sure to keep track of everything through a written record. Having a pen and dope card by your side can give you an idea in real-time of your performance over time.
A spotter buddy is a great combination. They can do everything for you and easily show you how you’re doing. If you really want to get better at long-range shooting and win those long-range shooting competitions, then a dope card or any form to record on is essential for keeping track of improvement.
Raine Tactical Gear – Shooters Armband Sleeve – Tactical Gear – Wrist Sleeve – Shooting Range Accessories – Wrist Map Holder – Military Arm Pouch
The Raine Armband Sleeve is a great choice for most.
- Cost: About $30
- Features: Three protective windows for holding dope cards
Reviews: Amazon customers appreciate the convenience of the armband, but say it tends to fog up.
Overall: It allows you to record info quickly on your arm. Holds up to three dope cards. It protects the cards themselves from water and dirt with a protective and transparent film. This is a good option for hunters and competitors.
Best Ammunition for Long Range Shooting
Ammunition for long-range shooting is one of the most important aspects of long-range hunting. Check out these rounds!
Barnes LRX Bullets
The Barnes LRX Bullets (or Long-Range X Bullets) are an exceptional option for long-range shots.
- Cost: Prices vary depending on the type of rounds you need. Head to their website for more info.
- Features: Bullet nose that separates into four razor-sharp petals delivering all kinetic energy into target and Boattail shape for reduced drag & increased accuracy.
Reviews: This comprehensive review from Desert Dog Outdoors reports the LRX line of bullets one of the best rounds for hunting at long range.
Overall: These rounds deliver high performance in speed, accuracy, and the capability to humanely kill prey by delivering all kinetic energy into the prey. Through the ability of the nose to flatten and separate into four razor-sharp petals a quick and clean kill is done. These bullets deliver high performance while being perfect for ethical long-range shooting.
Best Tracing Rounds for Long Range Shooting at Night
Many hunters like to hunt at night. It can be enjoyable yet difficult due to the low visibility. Tracing rounds can help a lot. Tracing rounds (or tracers) are rounds that light up while they fly through the air. They light up because they are on fire. That’s why they’re also called incendiary rounds. They burn.
Nearly all tracing ammunition are incendiary. They burn while flying in the air and continue to burn when they land. This is dangerous for both indoor and outdoor use. You don’t want to cause a forest fire. In fact, tracing rounds are banned in California since they are a fire hazard. California has enough firefighters putting their lives on the line anyway, so let’s keep them out of harm’s way.
Here are some alternative Long Range Tracing Rounds:
Streak Visual Ammunition
Streak Visual Ammunition from Ammo Incorporated is a great option for tracer rounds.
- Cost: Prices vary depending on the type of rounds you need. Head to their website for more info
- Features: Has glowing ends instead of burning ends & safe for indoor and outdoor nighttime shooting
Reviews: This review from 1ShotTV shows off the capability for night-time shooting, but also shows that these rounds don’t light up so well during daytime shooting.
Overall: Unlike most tracing rounds, the Streak rounds are suitable for both indoor gun ranges and nighttime outdoor use. That’s because the Streak rounds are nonincendiary, meaning they don’t burn; thus, they don’t cause fires.
How does the Streak round light up then? The Streak rounds ingeniously achieved luminesce by having photoluminescent ends. On the back of the bullets are red spots that light up by taking in light from a muzzle flash. This makes the round glow as it flies to the target. It gives you the effect of shooting a laser gun without putting anyone or anything in danger. Pretty cool, huh?
Contact Action Target
Long-range shooting can be a fun and engaging hobby. It requires lots of practice to get to the point of being both precise and accurate at long ranges. This may take a long time and requires patience to master long-range shooting. For hunters, this skill may be needed for food and may want some help to not miss the initial shot. These essential accessories can make long-range shooting easier to accomplish and help you make those difficult shots.
With over 30 years of experience, Action Target can help you build the perfect range for your unique needs. Whether you’re building a commercial range that caters to casual or tactical training or a law enforcement range to better prepare your officers, our experts can help with the challenges of building a range. Talk to one of our representatives in your neck of the woods here.