Long Range Test Study Guide
Long Range Certification at the Palmetto Gun Club is a requirement to shoot on the rifle range beyond 200 yards. The process to get certified involves studying up on ballistics, taking an exam administered by one of the authorized long range certifiers, and demonstrating your knowledge and rifle ballistics on the long range to one of the authorized long range certifiers. There is a test study guide posted here. The guide basically tells you in broad terms what you need to study, but you will have to do a little research to find details on each topic. The web is a good tool, but there are also some great reference books on the subject, such as Hatcher's Notebook by Julian S. Hatcher and Understanding Firearm Ballistics by Robert A. Rinker. Both books are available via many web sources. Contact the Chief Instructor to let him know when you are ready to take the test, and he will get you in touch with an authorized long range certifier to take the test and witness your shooting at 600 yards. The authorized long range certifiers are: Gary Wilson or Chip Stehmeyer and others as designated by the Long Range Match Director and Chief Instructor.
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IT IS RECOMMENDED THAT YOU USE THESE QUESTIONS TO GUIDE YOUR STUDYING BEFORE TAKING THE TEST.
HAVE AN UNDERSTANDING OF MOA AND MIL AND WHAT THEY MEAN
HAVE AN UNDERSTANDING OF HOW SIGHTS ADJUST
HAVE AN UNDERSTANDING OF MATCH PROTOCAL (SEE CLUB RULES ON CLUB WEBSITE)
HAVE AN UNDERSTANDING OF SAFETY ISSUES WHILE ON AND OFF THE LINE IN LONG RANGE RIFLE SHOOTING (SEE CLUB RULES ON CLUB WEBSITE)
HAVE AN UNDERSTANDING OF WHAT CAUSES DIFFERENCES IN INDIVIDUAL RIFLE ACCURACY
BE ABLE TO CALCULATE SIGHT ADJUSTMENT FROM 50 TO 1000 YARDS WITH A VARIETY OF SCOPES
BE ABLE TO DESCRIBE THE DIFFERENCES IN SCOPES AND HOW THEY ADJUST
DESCRIBE WHAT MAY HAPPEN TO A BULLET WHICH STRIKES THE GROUND AT A 15 DEGREE ANGLE.
DESCRIBE THE PURPOSE OF A SKIP BERM
DESCRIBE HOW AMMUNITION IS AFFECTED BY TEMPERATURE, AIR PRESSURE AND HUMIDITY
CALCUATE THE VALUE OF A MIL AT RANGES FROM 100 TO 1,000 YARDS
120 Sparrow Drive
Isle of Palms, SC 29431
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EQUIPMENT SUGGESTIONS FOR LONG RANGE SHOOTING
Here is a link to the book I recommend...
Your selected rifle must be accurate enough to shoot 1MOA groups (approximately 1" at 100 yards). Most modern rifles are built with CnC machining, so they're all pretty accurate. Stick with a bolt action if you want the best accuracy for the most reasonable cost. Winchester, Remington and Savage all have good reputations for accuracy out of the box on their new guns. The type of bolt gun depends on what you want to use it for. If you want a general range gun to shoot long range, go with a 308 win cartridge and mid weight to heavy barrel bolt gun. Expect to pay $1000 to $1100 for a heavy barrel, accurate bolt rifle. If you want something to hunt with that is light, go with something like the Winchester M70 extreme or Kimber Montana in a faster round that is matched to the heaviest game you want to hunt. If you are looking for a benchrest competition gun, look for the custom action, 20# gun, but look to pay $4000. Sure, you can go with a semi-auto, but a custom, accurized one that will match up with a good factory bolt gun will cost you much more than the bolt gun.
As far as optics, I would look at something costing at least $700- $1000 to get a reasonably good one. If you can afford it, go for the $1500 to $2000 range. Nightforce, Trijicon, Vortex, Leupold, Meopta, Nikon, and Zeiss all have excellent reputations for lens clarity and quality. Go with something with an upper range magnification power of at least 14X. 16-20 X is better. Anything over 24X is really not necessary unless you're doing long bench rest competition with 20# guns. To accurately shoot long range, the scope is the most critical part of the system, so spend your $$ there. Either Mil or Moa turrets are fine. I prefer Moa Turrets and Moa reticle, but another good combination is Moa turrets and Mil dot reticle. Mil turrets and Mil reticle is also a good combination. Most ballistics programs will output in either measurement system. If the spotter has no reticle in the spotting scope, shot corrections are easier in Moa using "Shooters Moa" - 1 Moa = 1" at 100 yards, etc. Mil corrections are easier if the spotter has a Mil reticle in the spotting scope (Leupold TDS). I don't know of any current spotting scope with a Moa reticle in it.
The "Gold standard" is Nightforce!! Expensive, but worth it in my opinion. Nightforce is what I run on my long range hunting guns.
Vortex, Trijicon, Leupold and Zeiss are also good choices:
http://www.midwayusa.com/product/863511/trijicon-accupoint-tr23-rifle-scope-30mm-tube-5-20x-50mm-dual-illuminated-mil-dot-with-green-dot-reticle-matte (Incorrect reticle shown on the graphic, but this is the correct model)
Here are a couple of links to a good mid-range scope by Weaver (their scopes are reliable and affordable):
From SWFA for $799 - http://swfa.com/Weaver-4-20x50-Tactical-30mm-Rifle-Scope-P40579.aspx
From Amazon for $772 - http://www.amazon.com/Weaver-Tactical-Scope-4-20x50-Reticle/dp/B002RGCIGO
As far as mounts for the scope go, get a 20MOA Picatinny base and Picatinny tactical rings, probably medium height. EGW and TPS bases and rings are great value for the quality.
http://www.midwayusa.com/product/626901/egw-30mm-picatinny-style-rings-matte-medium (need to change to 1" rings for 1" scope tubes)
http://www.midwayusa.com/product/845031/tps-30mm-tsr-picatinny-style-steel-rings-matte-medium (need to change to 1" rings for 1" scope tubes)
Personally, I prefer the TPS products because they are steel Vs aluminum, however the EGW HEAVY DUTY aluminum bases and rings will do well also.