Long Range AR-15 – Putting It All Together by Ed Hale

I must admit that there was “much” needed for this AR-15 to be ready for real long distance and it may be that “more” is needed to accurize it. So what did I do to make it more suitable for long distance? Use a systematic approach that  makes sense without going overboard.  And use what you have as much as possible; improvise,adapt and overcome says the “gunny”. I keep saying that, for sure some of that will happen.

cropped-IMG_0909.jpgFirst was to change the mil-spec trigger. As you can see from a previous article I installed a 2 stage Timney Trigger.

Screenshot (6) copy

It has 2 pounds pull in the first stage as it is squeezed rearward and then 2 more pounds to break and release the internal hammer within the trigger. It is crisp once the first stage is complete. Next was to put a better scope on it. Leupold’s VX-6 is an outstanding scope  with a working range from 3x to 18x with a 44mm Objective lens.

a zero to 600 ad

The VX-6 is unique in all rifle scopes for its 6:1 Zoom capability, with unserpassed light transmission and optical clarity throughout the entire magnification range. This was the scope that helped me drop my whitetail deer at 300 yards this past fall. See this link.http://www.nhrifleman.com/2015/11/02/savage-11111leupold-vx-6-and-nosler-e-tips-field-test-by-ed-hale/

The scope model includes the Illuminated Boone and Crockett Reticle with the option of creating a Custom Dial System (CDS) for dialing in your favorite bullet, (based on the ballistic coefficient) out to 600 yards. I have not  entertained creating the CDS dial as I keep moving it onto different rifles and calibers. It is such a rock solid scope that I use it to test rifles. Next, I mounted a Mark 2 Integral Mounting System. (See the article on it)

Ammunition: I am using Nosler Custom Competition ammo as you may have already seen in early articles. I will be testing 69, 77, and 80 grain bullets at longer ranges with different powders and cartridge overall lengths.



I am in training too.

Reloading: I found that Custom hollow point target bullets need special attention when seating them so I did some research and purchased a Redding Custom Competition seating die below. The design of this die and its capability of keeping the cartridge straight and in alignment with the bullet is not only well known but perhaps even legendary.


Powder: You will need to experiment. Right now I am using Reloader 15 powder.

Reloder 15

Behind the Rifle: I have visited Sniper Hide and found a piece on Breathing and Natural Point of Aim. There is a video there you can purchase. I chose to read and practice. They instruct to break the shot at your natural respiratory pause (meaning at the bottom of your exhale). https://snipershide.mycustomevent.com/ShoppingCart.aspx?com=detailview&iid=103&cid=247

I never trained to shoot at the bottom of my exhale but somewhere in between. I have lots to unlearn it seems but some I did well on too. I need to play with cheek weld on my AR stock too, which will cause your shots to never fly well if you can’t weld your cheek consistently.  I am very unfamiliar with the collapsible stock settings too making it a real learning experience.


I found a number of sites you can google on shooting techniques for long range. They are too numerous to list but the word to the wise is practice each day if you want to win matches. Dry fire with snap caps can help but remember only perfect practice makes perfect. I must put lots of bullets down range too using the skills I have learned. You can do it too. I am looking forward to loading up some rounds and burning some powder.

Good Shooting!

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