Difficulty at 1 mile?

Ringo7978

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I’m still new to LR and have only shot out to 600y, but have set a personal goal to shoot out to 1 mile. Maybe this is stupid and if so let me know.

There is a range relatively close that offers 700, 900, 1200 and 1750y targets that I would like to visit fall of 2021. I realize that I will encounter things I never had to deal with before - super to subsonic transition, coriolis effect, wind, etc. The difficulty from 100 to 600 seems pretty linear, but I expect that to change, right? Where would I start to see the game really change? I am shooting 6.5 CM.
 

TacticalDillhole

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    I’m still new to LR and have only shot out to 600y, but have set a personal goal to shoot out to 1 mile. Maybe this is stupid and if so let me know.

    There is a range relatively close that offers 700, 900, 1200 and 1750y targets that I would like to visit fall of 2021. I realize that I will encounter things I never had to deal with before - super to subsonic transition, coriolis effect, wind, etc. The difficulty from 100 to 600 seems pretty linear, but I expect that to change, right? Where would I start to see the game really change? I am shooting 6.5 CM.
    With 6.5, around 1000-1200 depending on conditions. But anyone can shoot a mile. Question is can you do it consistently and without just slinging lead at it
     

    stello1001

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    The load you are shooting also comes into play at that distance. Are you reloading a good bullet, are you going to use factory ammo, etc.
     

    rustyinbend

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    Tight groups at 100-yards to drill for accuracy, high-quality optics, well-known (chronographed) muzzle velocity, and an accurate ballistics calculator ... were 1, 2, 3, and 4 for my eventual success at a 1-mile shot. Hit with both 300-WM, and 6.5-CM. Took a lot of practice to get there, but seeing the light come on and hearing the spotter say "IMPACT" ... what a great feeling. Good luck, Sir.
     
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    DTF370

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    6.5 CM is a fantastic round, but I think you’ll find 1 mile to be much easier with a round with more gas. 6.5 PRC and 300 PRC are some of the hot ones now. 300 WM, 338 LM, 300 norma, etc. are proven performers. My advice would be stick with the 6.5 CM for a while and become a great 1000yd shooter first. After you get to that level you’ll likely have fueled this ungodly expensive hobby into upgraded stuff.

    I’m a good, but far from great shooter. For ELR, my performance has been more limited to the transonic zone as a general rule of thumb. Don’t get me wrong, you can shoot into subsonic, I just haven’t had as much success as my supersonic zones.
     

    Ringo7978

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    Tight groups at 100-yards to drill for accuracy, high-quality optics, well-known (chronographed) muzzle velocity, and an accurate ballistics calculator ... were 1, 2, 3, and 4 for my eventual success at a 1-mile shot. Hit with both 300-WM, and 6.5-CM. Took a lot of practice to get there, but seeing the light come on and hearing the spotter say "IMPACT" ... what a great feeling. Good luck, Sir.
    Thanks! That’s my plan to work on fundamentals for the next 12 months and then see if I can stretch it. I don’t plan on ELR often, or even more than once so I can’t see in investing in another rifle. I just want to experience it at least once!
     

    Newbie2020

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    Seriously: find a Frank Galli @lowlight class somewhere. Cheaper than a new rifle and cheaper than wasting ammo on poor practicing developing poor habits. It was amazing for me. I’m no longer fumbling around in the dark. At least I now have direction for my practice live and dry fire reps. SOOO much misinformation and disinformation online and at my local range. “A lot of good bad shooters out there...”
     
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    DownhillFromHere

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    With three years or so total experience learning (still learning) precision rifle - shooting, ballistics, reloading, etc. - I shot the mile for the first time last week. A few thoughts:
    • I shoot a custom 6.5CM (well, 2 of them) with handloads running around 2800fps - good rig for 1200-1400 yards. Can't stay above transonic further than that with sane loads. See story below for shooting the mile.
    • When you get out past 850 or so, you're going to be far more affected by wind, light, and mirage than coriolis, spin drift, etc. Forget about them until you have a lot more experience at more than 1000 yards.
    • Effects of light and mirage are surprising at longer ranges. I have found I can do head shots on an 850-yard IPSC quite well early in the morning. But when sun gets high and mirage starts swirling, just getting consecutive hits on a desired quadrant or half of the plate gets harder.

    I recently joined a venue with multiple ranges, each with lots of frequently-painted steel out to 900-1300 yards and one range that goes to a mile. I didn't even try to go beyond 1100 yards the first day. I got hits out that far, but they were not consistent. I was pleased with consistency out to 750. But it confirmed my need for more experience at 1000+.

    On the second trip, I joined a buddy of mine (who may well read this and comment) who was eager and straining at the bit to shoot the mile. It was his first trip to this venue, maybe the first time shooting a mile. He had a 7mm RemMag for the occasion. The wind was blowing steadily - sometimes gustily - 8-12mph full value left-to-right. It took him, I think, 4 shots to hit the 48"x48" square plate at 1760 yards. So then he went after the glory shot at a 12" round plate at the same range. Short story, he hit it twice. Twelve-inch target. One mile. Holding 4-6 mils left in the gusty wind.

    So I tried the big plate with my 6.5CM. It took about 8 shots or so for me to hit it; I held something like 22.7 mils up and 6 mils left. Terminal velocity was somewhere around 1075fps... Too many shots were no-calls; but the ones we could see... a couple hit high, a couple low, a couple left/right. We're talking over a full mil between highest to lowest spotted shots. So, in my mind, shooting a mile with a 6.5CM is doable but there's a fair amount of luck involved, especially in the wind, so I claimed victory with one hit and quit.

    Interestingly, my buddy had as much trouble as I did hitting the 48"x48" target with his 6.5CM. Since he had no trouble pounding it with his 7RM, it's safe to say the 6.5CM isn't "optimal" for the range.

    It was so windy that day that all the shooters on the 1200 range were struggling with the furthest targets, and I recognized some very skilled marksmen from matches I've shot. Once again, I could do pretty well out to 850 yards, but beyond that... more practice needed.

    Bottom line is, you're right: shooting at 1000+ yards is way different than shooting 500-600 yards. My take is, based on my one trip, that shooting a mile with a 6.5CM is a stretch under any conditions. It's doable, sure. I'm not sure how much ammo I'll spend poking at it; I'm much more interested in becoming consistent at 1200 and in.
     
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    phlegethon

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    I did an ELR match on Saturday with thirteen shooters, all of whom were pretty experienced. My 300 PRC was tied for smallest cartridge with one other guy and everyone else had bigger guns all the way up to several .416 Barretts. We started with five shots at a 36x36" steel plate. Only four guys got ANY hits at one mile, and only one of them got more than one. So yeah, a mile can be hard. Don’t let that stop you from trying, because with good conditions it may not be that bad, but realize that routine hits at one mile even with a monster cartridge are not a realistic expectation.
     

    308pirate

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    I’d love to, but I don’t have the money and time to head to Alaska.
    If you were serious about training and not about being a gear queer you wouldn't pull out such a lame excuse.

    Frank Galli does training all around the country and while he's good there are others who are good trainers as well.

    You only have to do your homework and ask the right questions.
     

    Ringo7978

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    If you were serious about training and not about being a gear queer you wouldn't pull out such a lame excuse.

    Frank Galli does training all around the country and while he's good there are others who are good trainers as well.

    You only have to do your homework and ask the right questions.
    I’m not sure that was a warranted response. I’m new to LR shooting, I am trying to learn. I am asking questions and people are helping.

    Would training benefit me? Sure! However I do have two young kids and a full time job so heading out of state for training is not a luxury I have at the moment. I’m not trying to make excuses.
     
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    Rob01

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    On the second trip, I joined a buddy of mine (who may well read this and comment) who was eager and straining at the bit to shoot the mile. It was his first trip to this venue, maybe the first time shooting a mile. He had a 7mm RemMag for the occasion. The wind was blowing steadily - sometimes gustily - 8-12mph full value left-to-right. It took him, I think, 4 shots to hit the 48"x48" square plate at 1760 yards. So then he went after the glory shot at a 12" round plate at the same range. Short story, he hit it twice. Twelve-inch target. One mile. Holding 4-6 mils left in the gusty wind.
    Nope it wasn't. Just with this rifle. ;)
     

    308pirate

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    I’m not sure that was a warranted response. I’m new to LR shooting, I am trying to learn. I am asking questions and people are helping.

    Would training benefit me? Sure! However I do have two young kids and a full time job so heading out of state for training is not a luxury I have at the moment. I’m not trying to make excuses.
    I understand all that. Your only reply to the suggestion to get training was "I can't go to Alaska". What does that have to do with anything?

    There is training widely available throughout the country. You can't go out of state? What does that mean? You can't drive 2 - 4 hours to go to one or two states over?

    Almost all of us have kids, jobs, responsibilities, and other demands on our time.

    All the questions that you asked in your first post will be answered in a good training class. Not only that, you will find which things you thought you knew but were wrong, and which things you didn't know that you needed to know much faster, much cheaper, and less painfully than trying to figure it all out on your own.

    Now, do you want help or not?
     

    Steel head

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    I’m not sure that was a warranted response. I’m new to LR shooting, I am trying to learn. I am asking questions and people are helping.

    Would training benefit me? Sure! However I do have two young kids and a full time job so heading out of state for training is not a luxury I have at the moment. I’m not trying to make excuses.
    Don’t be intimidated by your goals, even if your not successful at first every opportunity gives you information and that information is extremely helpful in future attempts.
    I’ve shot with 2 SH members and witnessed them hit a mile+ their first attempt within less than a box of ammunition and my location isn’t an easy shot.
     

    Ringo7978

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    Don’t be intimidated by your goals, even if your not successful at first every opportunity gives you information and that information is extremely helpful in future attempts.
    I’ve shot with 2 SH members and witnessed them hit a mile+ their first attempt within less than a box of ammunition and my location isn’t an easy shot.
    Thanks, based on what I am hearing it's not a crazy goal and something I'll shoot for after spending some time learning and working on fundamentals.
     

    rustyinbend

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    I’m not sure that was a warranted response. I’m new to LR shooting, I am trying to learn. I am asking questions and people are helping.

    Would training benefit me? Sure! However I do have two young kids and a full time job so heading out of state for training is not a luxury I have at the moment. I’m not trying to make excuses.
    You might not be sure, but I am ... it "was not" a warranted response. I apologize for that ... and want to assure you that the vast majority of us here on SH are here to help, and be helped. Not to judge or criticize. My few years of history on this forum is 95% awesome, with 5% causing me to think "WTF?". Keep asking questions - keep shooting - keep learning - you'll get that 1-mile shot !!!
     

    Rob01

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    Keep an eye out in the training section for classes near you. I know there are some.

    Also as mentioned a mile with the Creedmoor is not out of the question. Gets much harder with a bunch of wind but on a calmer day it's definitely doable. Just go out and try it. All you are doing is getting data on how to adjust and make the hits.
     

    Ringo7978

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    Keep an eye out in the training section for classes near you. I know there are some.

    Also as mentioned a mile with the Creedmoor is not out of the question. Gets much harder with a bunch of wind but on a calmer day it's definitely doable. Just go out and try it. All you are doing is getting data on how to adjust and make the hits.
    Thanks, I’ve gone through the training section but couldn’t find anything local. I’ll keep an eye out in hopes something pops up.
     

    DownhillFromHere

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    So I need to backpedal, just a little, from my previous post in this thread wherein I said shooting the mile with a 6.5CM is a stretch for the relatively light caliber. While I stand by that in absolute terms, I'm learning the 6.5CM isn't so undernourished as I thought. Hitting that 1-mile plate just once, seeing with my own eyes the 12" plate hit twice in a few shots, learning that quite a few people have hit the 12" plate with 6.5CM rifles, and starting to pay attention now to the ELR forum... ok, maybe I'll do more "beyond 1000 yards." But my immediate goal remains building skill in the 850-1200 yard envelope.

    The addiction burrows deeper into the psyche.

    @Ringo7978 , as you hang out here on SH over time, you'll find that the great majority of people here want to be - and are - helpful to new members / new shooters and one another. You'll learn to recognize them. You'll learn that some are knowledgeable but irascible. Some will argue with a signpost; when you see the popcorn memes appear in a thread, the signal to noise ratio has likely fallen to near-useless. Heed the advice of the sage who, when asked "What is the secret of happiness," replied,"Don't argue with idiots on the internet."

    Ok, off to look at magnum-boltface actions...
     
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    ColinW

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    While we're all busy bitching about taking training courses(which are great!) and traveling to Alaska(once you get up here and truly experience it, you wont want to leave. Trust me)….There could be some more valuable topics/questions to bring up to help this man out:

    1) Ringo, do you reload your own ammunition? If not, have you verified your muzzle velocity data at all? Reason I ask is, handloaded ammunition can have MUCH more consistent velocities shot-to-shot. This is important and I'll get back to "Why?"

    2) Do you know how to (or have you ever) create a ballistic solution? This could help you in determining your shot. Otherwise, you'll just be "walking it in" and wasting your ammo without knowing just WTF is actually happening when you miss.

    3) How much do you know about external ballistics/bullet flight? Reason I ask is, it's important to know what variables are actually effecting your shots. With LR shooting, there are variables you can determine and there are variables you can't, but you can at least get some data together to "narrow" the margin of shot error. So, it's important to know what to account for. For ballistic solution purposes, Do you know about(and what are) ballistic coefficients, G1 vs: G7?

    The reason I ask all this stuff is, when stretching the limits of a given bullet, it's kinda helpful to know what's going on and it's relatively important to ask you this kind of stuff so we can help you get shots on target. The reason I ask you about reloading is, you gotta know what bullet your shooting, what the correct G7 B.C is, and what your muzzle velocity variations are. At a minimum. Because if you're just shooting regular Hornady/Federal/whatever the hell ammo and you have a 100 fps velocity variation shot to shot and you miss your target repeatedly, you would know that it's your muzzle velocity variation causing you to miss high or miss low, not including left or right for the wind/environment, and to the right for not accounting for spin drift and/or Coriolis effect for the direction in which your shooting. See what I mean?

    So, bottom line....Do you know what factors are at play and actively occurring to help you get shots on target?
     
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    Ringo7978

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    Thanks for the well thought out response!

    1. I do not reload yet, but I am saving my brass. At this point I am sticking to a single type of ammo, which I did chrono and saw variations of +-16fps.
    2. Im not sure what you mean by ballistic solution, but I am all setup with StrelokPro where I have configured my rifle and ammo including measured speed, etc.
    3. Regarding ballistics, I know there are constants such as gravity, and variables such as temp, humidity, wind, ammo variance, and me. I am familair with G1 vs G7, and using G7 in my calculations.
     
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    lowlight

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    My classes are not limited to Alaska, we just happen to talk about the Alaska more often because they are done in blocks. I do classes in a host of states and locations.

    Our Colorado class shoots to a mile with everyone who can manage it. We get all on at a Mile, including the 6.5CM shooters. We just pick up the bigger plate to catch more rounds. Behind this target is the permanent one that is 18x30 vs the 40" square we throw up for our basic class. In fact you can see the second plate on the ground which is gonna get added to 1600 and 1500 so we have bigger plates at more distances. For us we use smaller plates which are hidden behind the big plates.

    IMG_0851.JPGELR Is not a mystery beyond having capable equipment and making sure your cartridge has the best load possible, after that it's just like other shooting, manage the wind and things get hit
     
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    ColinW

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    Thanks for the well thought out response!

    1. I do not reload yet, but I am saving my brass. At this point I am sticking to a single type of ammo, which I did chrono and saw variations of +-16fps.
    2. Im not sure what you mean by ballistic solution, but I am all setup with StrelokPro where I have configured my rifle and ammo including measured speed, etc.
    3. Regarding ballistics, I know there are constants such as gravity, and variables such as temp, humidity, wind, ammo variance, and me. I am familair with G1 vs G7, and using G7 in my calculations.
    Ok, sweet! I figured it'd be important to ask your level of "ballistic knowledge" to get a hint of your shooting knowledge and experience. Otherwise, people can say they've been shooting for decades, but not quite understand the factors at play for shooting at extended target distances.

    Other than that dude, if you already know your average muzzle velocity, verify your bullets G7 B.C (to Applied Ballistics data!!), and know how to account for spin drift and Coriolis.....Just go f***ing shooting! :) I meant ballistic solutions as; gathering all the necessary information needed in order to put into a calculator for a shot call. I use a Kestrel with Applied Ballistics software for shot calls, because it actively accounts for environment for me, so I can't verify the validity of shot calls in Apps like StreLok or whatever. I've got all the Applied Ballistic books that have the bullet data in the back, so if you can't find or need to verify any G7 B.C's that you'll be using for your shot calculation, shoot me a message! . The biggest F---ing nemesis in shooting LR is the damn wind. And that only comes with practice, because it changes every second.....Sometimes twice in two different directions between you and the target. Plug all the current environmental data, scope height and bullet info into your app and send it! :)
     

    Ringo7978

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    My classes are not limited to Alaska, we just happen to talk about the Alaska more often because they are done in blocks. I do classes in a host of states and locations.

    Our Colorado class shoots to a mile with everyone who can manage it. We get all on at a Mile, including the 6.5CM shooters. We just pick up the bigger plate to catch more rounds. Behind this target is the permanent one that is 18x30 vs the 40" square we throw up for our basic class. In fact you can see the second plate on the ground which is gonna get added to 1600 and 1500 so we have bigger plates at more distances. For us we use smaller plates which are hidden behind the big plates.

    View attachment 7430946ELR Is not a mystery beyond having capable equipment and making sure your cartridge has the best load possible, after that it's just like other shooting, manage the wind and things get hit
    Where can I find a listing of dates for Colorado? I'd like to get something setup for next year.
     

    Ringo7978

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    Ok, sweet! I figured it'd be important to ask your level of "ballistic knowledge" to get a hint of your shooting knowledge and experience. Otherwise, people can say they've been shooting for decades, but not quite understand the factors at play for shooting at extended target distances.

    Other than that dude, if you already know your average muzzle velocity, verify your bullets G7 B.C (to Applied Ballistics data!!), and know how to account for spin drift and Coriolis.....Just go f***ing shooting! :) I meant ballistic solutions as; gathering all the necessary information needed in order to put into a calculator for a shot call. I use a Kestrel with Applied Ballistics software for shot calls, because it actively accounts for environment for me, so I can't verify the validity of shot calls in Apps like StreLok or whatever. I've got all the Applied Ballistic books that have the bullet data in the back, so if you can't find or need to verify any G7 B.C's that you'll be using for your shot calculation, shoot me a message! . The biggest F---ing nemesis in shooting LR is the damn wind. And that only comes with practice, because it changes every second.....Sometimes twice in two different directions between you and the target. Plug all the current environmental data, scope height and bullet info into your app and send it! :)
    Thanks again @ColinW, I appreciate your help and the help of everyone else on this thread. Time to get out and just keep shooting.
     
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    Newbie2020

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    My classes are not limited to Alaska, we just happen to talk about the Alaska more often because they are done in blocks. I do classes in a host of states and locations.

    Our Colorado class shoots to a mile with everyone who can manage it. We get all on at a Mile, including the 6.5CM shooters. We just pick up the bigger plate to catch more rounds. Behind this target is the permanent one that is 18x30 vs the 40" square we throw up for our basic class. In fact you can see the second plate on the ground which is gonna get added to 1600 and 1500 so we have bigger plates at more distances. For us we use smaller plates which are hidden behind the big plates.

    View attachment 7430946ELR Is not a mystery beyond having capable equipment and making sure your cartridge has the best load possible, after that it's just like other shooting, manage the wind and things get hit
    I can testify: Frank and Mike are tremendous teachers and communicators and they’ll teach you how to get the most from your rifle system if you’re willing to listen and put in the work. I’m a total noob and after three days they had me consistently hitting that same 40” square at a mile.
     

    ColinW

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    Thanks again @ColinW, I appreciate your help and the help of everyone else on this thread. Time to get out and just keep shooting.
    No worries dude! Happy to lend a helpful paragraph on here. If you ever need some refresher "at home" training, reading Applied Ballistics for Long Range Shooting was the single greatest book I bought to learn just WTF is going on after my rifle goes boom. It helped me exponentially!

    P.S: Don't come up here to Alaska. It can be dangerous. Because after seeing how magnificent it is, you will never be satisfied living in any other place as long as you live. ;)
     
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    DarrinW

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    You can hit the mile with a lot of things, 6.5C being one of them. It depends on a few things, Do you have enough elevation in your scope to even dial it. If not do you then have enough on the reticle to hold the rest of it. How many rounds do you want to spend on trying it? Ive hit an 18" plate with a 338LM, a 6.5C, and a 308. The 338 wasnt bad, 2 shots but we already had the dope. The 6.5C was 4 shots, but again we already had the dope. My 308 took 2 dam boxes as i was dancing around it. With shitty switchy wind id be right next to it one round then the top of the burm the second with the same hold in 12mph winds coning at 7 oclock from the position. Hopefully there is a big berm to spot your misses. And pick a day with little wind. Wind sucks at that distance.
     

    eastexsteve

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    I’m still new to LR and have only shot out to 600y, but have set a personal goal to shoot out to 1 mile. Maybe this is stupid and if so let me know.
    Not stupid. You have been given a lot of good advice on this thread. Especially, the advice to seek instruction from those who teach precision long range.

    If I add anything here, it's coming from someone who doesn't shoot precision rifle, but I have been shooting a lot my whole life. So, that might just make me a precision rifle dummy LOL! But, the hurtles I found in shooting a mile was to make sure I had a rifle and load combo (whether factory or reloads) that would consistently shoot sub MOA, and that I could consistently make it perform that way. And, that bullet had to handle the transonic transition well. My attempt was early one morning with absolutely calm conditions. The rifle I used was a .308 tactical bolt gun with 24" barrel shooting Federal 185 Bergers. I first took two shots at 1,000 just to make sure everything was where I thought it would be. Then, I went 2 for 5 on a 24" gong at one mile. The first hit was at 10:30 about two inches inside the edge. The second hit was 3:00, 5 inches from the center. I missed it three times. I've never tried it since then.