Interest in all things precision rifle continues to soar. But getting the most out of your rifle game, especially in a precision rifle match, requires some expertise and practice. That’s why we caught up with Bushnell pro Troy Livesay, and he dropped some serious words of wisdom to help you get dialed in to go long.
Bushnell Pro Troy Livesay Long-Range Tips
We know jumping into competition can seem daunting. Or even upping your game to a higher level of competition brings its own stress. Maybe you’ve been doing this a while now, and you just want to raise your performance. Regardless of your experience level, follow this guide from one of Bushnell’s top pros, and you’re sure to find increased success.
Tip #1: Confidence in Equipment
To perform at the highest levels, shooters need confidence in their equipment. Livesay says taking the question out of your gear enables shooters to concentrate on the task at hand. So buy good gear and practice with it. Then you only need to worry about targets on match day.
“I think it’s important in this game, it’s a pretty mental game, have confidence in your equipment,” Livesay said. “Have a solid optic, a solid stock–just have a real solid setup. I think if you have confidence in your game, that allows you to do your job.”
Tip #2: Create a Routine
Shooters need to create a match-day routine that works for them. Competitions comprise a whole lot of standing around waiting, then a flurry of stress-inducing moments of action. Develop a routine that keeps you organized, ready and calm. Get all pre-stage tasks out of the way as soon as possible. Then all time between stages can focus on stage planning and prepping your mind.
Tip #3: Stage Planning
Long-range competition requires meticulous planning, memorization and more. So the better you can rehearse every movement, every shot, everything you will see, the better off you are.
“Prior to starting a stage, run it through your mind mentally as many times as you can,” Livesay said. “Try and burn a mental picture of those targets. Pick some landmarks. ‘OK, I’m gonna shoot two shots from the tank trap, two shots from the barricade. The right IPSC on the 800-yard berm.’ Burn that into your mind so you can basically get up there and subconsciously complete the course of fire.”
Tip #4: Develop Your Own Wind Plan
Calling wind when shooting long-range remains a critical component. Rather than rely on your stage buddy, come up with your own plan. Try not to get to wrapped up in what other shooters say they’re doing. You’ll shoot better by developing your own plan and sticking to it.
Tip #5: Make a Correction When You Miss
Hey, we all miss targets. Even pros like Livesay send rounds to no effect. Just don’t keep pounding away without making a change. Be bold, make corrections, and send it.
Shooting your first–or even next–precision match can bring on the stress for sure. But don’t let the nerves keep you out of the game. Follow Livesay’s advice, get some practice in, and jump right in. To find a match near you, check out Precision Rifle Series.