Courtesy of Tactical Life

In June, a Canadian Special Forces sniper set a new record by killing an ISIL fighter from a distance of about 2.2 miles. The shot was taken using a McMillan TAC-50, bolt action rifle. To the precision shooting community, the weapon of choice is not a surprise. The tighter tolerances of bolt guns allow for more accurate fire to be delivered. But this is only part of the reason why bolt guns will always be relevant to modern military operations.

Law enforcement officers and soldiers that are not in sniper duty positions spend most of their time on the range between the 5- and 50-yard lines. Most of the world lives in urban environments. As a result, lethal encounters tend to happen within close quarter distances. Despite this reality, precision grouping exercises at midrange or even just 50 yards offer tremendous benefit to the development of capable marksmen.

Shooters learn a lot about trigger control and shot discipline when they are forced to group consistently at 200 yards. Regardless of using magnified optics or iron sights, the forced patience learned by grouping at distance is different than marksmanship taught for CQB-style “runnin and gunnin.” In fact, it can be easy for marksmen more focused on speed at the 7-yard line to develop a false sense of ability. Allowed to rush makeup shots, this sacrifices effective shot placement in favor of speed.

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