I consider long range rifle shooting to begin at 500 yards and extend from there. Everyone has their own idea of what long range shooting is, but that is my starting point. Inside of 500 yards is my medium range and inside of 100 yards I consider short range. I was first introduced to long range shooting in the Army. I was lucky enough to attend a course called SOTIC and there we shot out to 1000 meters or so. I fell in love with the entire process. It satisfied my need to experience shooting as less of a manual skill and more of a cerebral process. Math was involved as we figured wind factors and bullet drop and the like. This was some time ago and while the distance and equipment were cutting edge then, things have changed dramatically and equipment in particular has not only expanded our capabilities, but it has become very affordable. As a result, in recent times we have seen two things occur concurrently. The distances people shoot at has increased, and more people are gravitating to long range shooting for recreation.
While it is easy to walk into most gun stores and buy a very suitable rifle and scope, along with ammunition that is match grade, the one problem many long-range shooters have is the lack of a place to shoot. There are precious few public outdoor shooting ranges with a 1000-yard range. If you want to expand your skills, and put your equipment to the test, you need to find a place to do so. Ideally someplace within easy driving distance. If you live in the Los Angeles area, there is a range that supports your long-range shooting habit. That is the range at California Tactical Academy.
The rifle range at CTA allows for paper and steel targets out to 500 yards and steel targets all the way out to 1000 yards. This allows the shooter to work up their data for bullet drop, or confirm ballistic tables and then actually engage long range targets all the way out to 1000 yards. There are few things more satisfying for a shooter than to be able to see and hear a 1000-yard steel target get hit. A good wind call, along with the proper data will get you there. And many people are now discovering this. The California Tactical Academy rifle range sees people from as far north as Bakersfield and as far south as Orange County come out to shoot. There are even outdoor ranges that can be rented for private use where you can shoot beyond 300 yards. For the budding long-range shooter, California Tactical Academy offers classes in long range shooting and soon will be holding regular Precision Rifle matches where shooters can get together to compete, exchange ideas and discuss equipment, ballistics, and in general, enjoy time with fellow long-range shooters.
Not too long ago I was in Colorado on an Antelope hunt. The fellow I was hunting with was an accomplished long-range shooter who thought nothing of harvesting an Antelope at over 700 yards. He practiced on a weekly basis with his equipment and knew his rifle and ammunition well. When I asked him how he, a married man, managed to get in weekly practice, he said, “I told my wife I don’t play golf.” What he meant was this, long range shooting is his form of recreation. Some people relax by playing golf, or tennis, or going bowling. Some people find joy in ringing the 1000-yard steel.
We hope to see you at the range.
About the writer
Military and Law Enforcement Veteran
FBI certified firearm instructor
MP5 and Sub Machine gun instructor
Defensive tactics instructor