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Video: Atmospherics and Ballistics for Long-Range Shooting

Kestrel Applied Ballistics meter dessert tan

Cheaper Than Dirt!, as well as the National Shooting Sports Foundation and others, believe it is important to promote safe, comfortable, and proper shooting techniques to customers. This video focuses on the importance of understanding the effects of atmospherics on a projectile when calculating an accurate firing solution for long-range accuracy.

Kestrel Applied Ballistics meter dessert tan
The Kestrel 5700 provides you with more functionality and improved environmental features over previous models.

Long range can easily be defined differently by many people. For hunters in the hardwoods of Pennsylvania, over 50 yards may be long range. On the other hand, hunters on the flat open areas of Wyoming may think 500 yards is a chip shot. With an AR shooting a flat .223 Remington, 6.5 Creedmoor, or .224 Valkyrie, the drop at 500 yards may be an easy calculation or simple holdover.

The shooting sports are no different than other sports. There will always be those who strive to take the sport to the next level. Some will aim for perfection, others will push new boundaries and redefine the norm. Long-range shooting, when properly applied, is a thing to behold. It allows hunters to ethically expand their range or hone the necessary skills to ensure an ethical harvest at shorter distances than practiced.

Within the safety of your home, long-range shooting has little practical purpose for self-defense, but in farm or ranch country, area defense may be a real possibility. Then there is the dollar bet. The tin can, clay pigeon, dirt clod or whatever at a seemingly impossible distance. Most of us remember pulling off the shot the shot and besting a friend or family member; the shot that is still recalled when spinning a tale over a cold drink.

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Click the image to check stock and find Cheaper Than Dirt!’s price for the Kestrel 5700 Elite Electronic Hand Held Weather Meter.

However, these shots were different. They were luck or trial and error. This video is a brief introduction to a path of making a single, accurate shot at distances over 500 yards.

is your “long shot” story? Do you have any tips for shooting distance? Share them in the comment section.

Bryan Litz is a renowned ballistician for Berger Bullets and Applied Ballistics and author of many Applied Ballistics books.

The Mission of Cheaper Than Dirt!'s blog, The Shooter's Log, is to provide information—not opinions—to our customers and the shooting community. We want you, our readers, to be able to make informed decisions. The information provided here does not represent the views of Cheaper Than Dirt!

Comments (6)

  1. Longest shot was around 650 yards. Dawn light, 60ish degrees, high humidity. With an unspecified weapon (think 70’s sniper). In an undisclosed location (think operation condor). Although that’s about all I can say about the specifics. It was a beautiful thing. Target at the very bottom of the reticle, slightly right. No spotter. Kinda surprised myself. REALLY surprised the un-named target.
    Ahhh, the good old days.

    As always
    Carry on

    1. Hell man, I was beginning to think I was the only one that remembered all those things that never happened, in all those central and south American places we never were.

    2. Of course, I remember. Only my “secret” mission that never happened was in a different part of the world and at a different time. Nice to know there are some of us still around.

  2. Longest shot (several shots actually) was at 500 yards while in the military using an M1 Garand .30-06 – and hit my intended target each time – using open sights. Longest single shot using a handgun was at 80 yards using a Ruger single-six revolver, loaded with .22 shorts – and hit my intended target (a small bird) – shooting off-hand with open sights. Of course, I’ve been shooting for many years, having started when I was only 8 years old with a single-shot J.C. Higgins .22 rifle (from Sears). My experience shooting has served me well, first in the military and then as a law enforcement officer.

  3. The Kestrel 5700 full up system is nice but expensive. You can use a Kestrel DROP and cheap wind meter and Bluetooth automatically link data to your cell phone “shooter APP” for a quarter of the price. Plus you can read the screen on the smart phone, which already cost you but its sunk cost.

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