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How to shoot 1,000 yards with no scope

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The video from Fieldsports Channel shows a match at the Stickledown Range at Bisley in the UK, where dozens of shooters congregate frequently every year to participate in various shooting competitions.

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This one is the Inter-Counties match between dozens of shooters capable of hitting a target 1,000 yards away – without using any scopes. Some of the best, most awarded long-range shooters were shown to be in attendance.

Several interviews with shooters were conducted. One of them said that the idea is to train yourself to stay still so there’s minimum movement, lower your breathing and you just have to believe that when you have the black target in your sights, you can hit it. The targets are large squares with number indicating who is shooting what, with a large black circle in the middle.

Contestants line up on the starting point, each one flanked by two people: one is a spotter who judge the wind, keeps the shooter calm, manages the time limit and calls out adjustments, while another is the plotter who marks on a drawing where the bullets have gone, so that adjustments can be made.

The highly competitive game is a team effort: each team of 10 has 8 shooters, and one hour and a half to get the highest score each one can make. A team made up of female shooters from Sussex is doing well against the men, but they say there are a lot of really good shooters in attendance, so competition is tough.

The preamble is a 900 yard shootout – around 8 Big Bens laid end to end, according to the narrator, followed by 1,000 yards, which is like 8 football pitches laid out lengthwise. Match officials are on their toes, keeping track of the shots and the targets.

Everything counts in this competition, even clothing. Shooters have to have a good jacket that offers shoulder support, as they wear a sling that keeps their rifles in place with minimum movement. Only basic sights are allowed on the competitors’ guns.

Andrew Mercer, chief executive of the NRA that hosts the event and takes care of the range, says that they train obsessively and competitors are thoroughly screened. They make sure everyone is competent, and manage the ranges with great care. Safety is a big priority.

As the competition ends and the trophies are handed out, a miniature cannon with tiny cannonballs is fired to celebrate the successful event.

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