Long Range Shooting with Irons

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Long Range Shooting with Irons

May 6th, 2020

5:24 runtime

With today’s technological advancements, shooting long range accurately and efficiently is becoming easier and easier. Because of the rise of high-quality optics, many new shooters fail to realize how capable a shooter can be armed only with a pair of iron sights. Check out my video above (article continues below).

Rich decided to see what he could do with irons all the way out to 500 yards with the Loaded M1A rifle in 6.5 Creedmoor.

All variables like rifle type, optics, ammo, wind, elevation and temperature play an important role when calculating a successful shot. With a good set of optics, you can overcome those variables quickly. But what if your optics fail? A true test of skill and engineering is shooting your rifle (in this case the M1A Loaded Precision 6.5 Creedmoor in a Desert FDE stock) long range with your iron sights.

The 6.5 Creedmoor cartridge is a great option for long range shooting.

Removing the fancy optics makes the elements that affect your shot a hyper-sensitive calculation. For you old school guys looking to find the next best rifle to help you reach new distances using iron sights, the Loaded 6.5 Creedmoor is the rifle for you. The same goes for those wanting to learn how to shoot effectively using iron sights.

The rifle tested featured a Desert FDE stock with multiple adjustment points and solid construction.

Setting Up Your Shot

I recommend using a steel target when shooting long range. The reason for this is the quick feedback you receive when you hit your target. Plus, everyone loves the ping of a steel target.

Rich used Fort Scott Munitions ammunition in the test.

When choosing a rifle for long-range shooting, one of the critical components of that rifle system is caliber. There’s a reason why 6.5 Creedmoor is hugely popular in the long-range shooting world. The ballistic performance of that round enables shooters to get on-target.

The Loaded M1A offers you a great deal of performance in an appealing package.

The M1A Loaded 6.5 Creedmoor is more than capable with its high muzzle velocity and low recoil for the accurate shot. Right out of the box, my rifle’s iron sights were spot on.

Zero the Sight

Just like a mounted scope, your iron sights need to be zeroed in properly. First, you need to understand the type of sight you’re using. The front sight on the 6.5 Creedmoor is a National Match .062 post. The rear is a NM Grade Non-Hooded Aperture .0520, Adjustable, ½ MOA windage and 1 MOA elevation. Knowing your barrel length is important, too. Here are the specs on the M1A 6.5 Creedmoor Loaded’s barrel: 22″, 4-Groove, 1:8 RH twist, stainless steel National Match medium weight.

Rich was really impressed with how the M1A shot on the range with just the irons.

Pro Tip: It’s always good to have a spotter working with you. This makes for quicker adjustments as you push the target farther and farther out.

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Springfield Armory® recommends you seek qualified and competent training from a certified instructor prior to handling any firearm and be sure to read your owner’s manual. These articles and videos are considered to be suggestions and not recommendations from Springfield Armory. The views and opinions expressed on this website are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Springfield Armory.

Product prices mentioned in articles and videos are current as of the date of publication.

Richard Wilkins

Richard Wilkins

Rich Wilkins, known as “Patriot Rich,” enjoys shooting, bodybuilding and all things guns and gear.

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