Precision Shooting

Precision Long Range Shooting, Try it Suppressed

This was a while back but a really good segment on precision long range shooting conducted by Larry Vicker and spotted by Walt Wilkinson of Gunsite. They were pushing the range limits on the Lapua 338. Though the video states debunking myths on long range shooting, the results is what is significant.

Larry was using a 338 Lapua/250 grain bullet with Schmidt&Bender scope, Atlas bipod and with a Armament suppressor. A fact that most long range shooter understands when shooting out to beyond 1000 yards the bullet starts to drop like a rainbow. Thats due to (getting a little technical here) the environmental factors of temperature and barometric pressure. So to overcome this is to run the math in a ballistic app. That’s the reason why they say a grouping at 1500 yards should be at fifteen inches group, where at closer range your groupings could be at 5 inches.

The un-suppressed rifle starts out at 300 yards for zeroing and pushes out to 2500 and outer space to see where the rounds go. For the 338 Lapua with the 20 inch barrel the drop off point was at 1470 yard. The bullet is tumbling, yawing, spinning out of control and would land in a group size of a Volkswagen.

From here its back to the 1313 yards where the gun was in the zone with a suppressor attached. Suppressed Lapua had no problem hitting steel targets at 1313 and 1470 yards, but lost it at 1583 yards.

Neat Discoveries
Un-Suppressed with a 338 Lapua

  • 1313 yards on target
  • 1470 yards falling off into no where land

Suppressed with a 33 Lapua (Suppressor has given it more velocity)

  • no problem hitting steel at 1313 yards
  • hit target at 1470 yard
  • Went into outer space at 1583 yards

You can skip to 8:50 (1082 yd), 9:26 (1313 yd) and 13:35 (suppressed 1470yd) to view the shots.

Video Transcription

[Larry] Long-range shooting is the Firearms equivalent to the fishing story. Every time you talk to somebody, the distances got farther and the shot got more difficult. I got a little taste of that myself last year, on the mile shot episode. We’re gonna revisit that topic out here at Gunsite with my good buddy Walt Wilkinson. He’s one of the Gunsite staff instructors, retired sgt major from US Army Special Forces, 30 years in service, and he’s a world-champion fifty caliber shooter. We’re gonna visit some of the excellent long-range facilities that Gunsite has to offer. I’ll be shooting a very special 338 Lapua, and Walt will be shooting his World Champion 50 Caliber BMG Boltgun. This is a real special episode, and if you’re into long-distance shooting, make sure you stay tuned, because we’re gonna debunk a lot of myths along the way.

Ok, the gun I’m using this year out at Gunsite in the season 2 long-distance episode is an Accuracy International AX 338 Lapua, provided to me by my good friend Randy Pennington at Mile High Shooting Accessories in Denver Colorado. Randy reached out after he saw what we did last year on the show, offered up a gun for Season 2, and it turns out, he’s a Vietnam vet with a service-related disability. Really good guy. And what I consider the best one-stop shop for high-end sniper rifles and accessories in the country. This entire gun was decked out by Mile High shooting accessories. Let me take you through it.

They are the exclusive distributor for Suppressed Armament Systems, which was the suppressor that came with the gun, has a 20-inch barreled AX, the base rifle 338 Lapua, a Schmidt and Bender scope which he supplies, I actually got this particular one in flat dark earth from Mark Cromwell at Schmidt & Bender USA, this is one of the exact scopes that they’re sending to SOCOM for the PSR program. The 5-25 PM2 is the gold standard for long-distance shooting now, and this is the scope that was actually chosen by the shooters of SOCOM before the rifle was chosen. That’s how good of a piece of kit this is.

The Spur mount was supplied by Mile High, they’re one of the spur distributors of the States. Excellent mount, has a leveling bubble in the bottom, clamps on very solidly, unlike the gun we had last year.

[Flashback cameraguy] Woah, we’re F***.
[Flashback person 2] What?
[Flashback Larry] The mount’s loose. F*** the scope is F***in loose again.

[Larry] Best mount I’m aware of on the market today, bar none. Also, Atlas bipod has a throw-lever mount, and last but not least, folding stock, and it has Blue Force Gear sling on it.

Now it’s a tactical sling as you know, you can run the adjustment on it in and out as need be, or you can actually cuff up, pinch down on your arm, and then use this as a support as a standard service rifle sling. It’s one of the many factors in why that sling was adopted by the Marine Corps, as the recommended sling for the M16-M4 family.

Ok TacTV fans, I’m out here at Long Range Ridge with my good buddy Walt Wilkinson, Sargeant Major retired, we’ve known each other for a long time; Walt’s a staff instructor here at Gunsite, and one of the most dialed-in gun guys that I know; and a world champion 50-caliber thousand-yard shooter. He is obviously the guy that I want to tap into for long-range shooting. Now I’ve brought out a 338 AI gun, and you’ve got your Steyr here, correct?

[Walt] Yes I do, my HS50.

[Larry] I guess we’ll confirm zeroes and we’ll get out here and start shootin’ some targets at distance.

Walt, I know you’ve told me this before, but remind me, when did you get into long-range shooting?

[Walt] Back in Ohio in Highschool, alright, you know the groundhog thing, all over the place, me and my friends got into long-range groundhog shooting right there. We progressed through the 25016 up into our first precision guns once I got into the service and was able to make a little bit of money, with a Remington 40XB and 7mm Remington magnum.

[Larry] Now remember, you’re an old boy like me, you bought that at Advanced Shooting supplies in Columbus.

[Walt] That’s correct. Me and my buddy got consecutive serial numbers, single-shot 40XBs.

[Larry] Good deal. Now, we’ve talked about a variety of things off-camera here, when it comes to long-range shooting, everything kinda changes at a thousand, right?

[Walt] That is correct, once you get to that range, the bullet is dropping like a rainbow, so small problems in your calculations equal a lot, alright? So the environmental factors of temperature and barometric pressure really affect the bullet, and you’ve got to really either run the math, or have your dope book set up so that you know what the bullet’s gonna do at different temperatures. And then of course, the answer to the problem nowadays is the ballistic computer.

[Larry] Absolutely. Now, we know you’re a world champion 50 cal, what else do you shoot with?

[Walt] I compete with the 308, because I think that’s the best round really to train with, I’m not using one of the supercalibers there. The long-range matches, I use the 338 Lapua, going out to 2250 there, and then of course I shoot the practical 600-yard matches and the 1000-yard match with my Steyr HS50.

[Larry] And one of the refreshing things about some of the stuff we talked about, is you don’t buy into the perpetuated myth of the sub-MOA accuracy in terms of the ammo-shooter-gun combination.

[Walt] That’s one of the hard things that a lot of the students come out here, and they want every single group to be a half-inch or so. And that’s not gonna be the case, alright. Some people will claim that, you know, when they shoot, that one-time quarter-inch group, that now their rifle is a quarter MOA rifle, and they don’t. No, the stars just aligned, and you got the bullets to go into the same area in a tight group. A one-MOA gun, that’s what you’re looking for. And we always have to explain that to the students, whatever range we’re at. You know, at three hundrd, this is a perfect group, alright. And at four hundred, this is a perfect group. You’re doing fine, don’t get all frustrated. In most cases, with the environment, environmental changes and the ammunition and the rifle put together, a one MOA group is really what you should expect.

[Larry] So if you’re shooting to 1500, it’s a fifteen-inch group.

[Walt] It’s a fifteen-inch group. It’s an excellent group at that range, because the environment really starts to come into play there.

[Larry] Good deal. Well I can tell you, last season we had a blast with our mile shot. By your standards it was, you know, it was rather crude, per se. But this season, I want to tap into a real subject matter expert, and look into the science, and debunk some of the myths behind shooting at long range. You’ll be firing up your fifty, I’ll be firing up my 338, we’ll have a great ****in time.

[Walt] I think we will. And we certainly have the facilities here to do that.

[Larry] You’ve got that right.

We’re up here at Long-range ridge, my buddy Walt Wilkinson’s spotting for me, and we’re dialing in my AI AX 338 with Schmidt & Bender 5-25 on top of it. Walt helped me get zeroed in at a hundred, then we confirmed it at 300 on the woodfield range, and now we’re stretching it out to eight, nine-hundred, a thousand, different steel targets, and he’s calculating the come-ups, so when in theory we could be on the first shot or the second shot at most; and by-and-large, it’s been right on the money.

[Walt] Ok, I’m gonna give you your wind-holes in mils, alright, so figure out what they are.

[Larry] It looks like incriments of ten, and then five, but in the center crosshair, only out to ten on each side; north-south-east-west.

[Walt] Ok, so-

[Larry] So I can swag five.

[Walt] Two, five, seven, that kind of thing?

[Larry] Yeah.

[Walt] When you’re ready, let me know, it’s the small square one, third one from the right.

[Larry] I’m ready.

[Walt] Ok. Favor right.


[Walt] Looked like windage was good, just underneath.

[Larry] Yep.

[Walt] Ok, dial up point-five. So now we’ve come up point-five, six-point-two. That’s what we should be up right now, eight eighty-two. Lemmy know when you’re ready, shooter.

[Larry] I’m ready.

[Walt] Favor right. [Shot]…Clang.

[Larry] Yep.

[Walt] Can’t ask for more ‘n that.

[Larry] Nope.

[Walt] I think it hit. Just off the cross, upper-left-hand quadrant of it.

[Larry] Mkay.

[Walt] Alright, we’re gonna move to the thousand-eighty-two, two targets left.

[Larry] The one with the crosshair on it?

[Walt] Correct.

[Larry] I… am ready.

[Walt] Right edge.


[Walt] Right edge, you hit below the center just a little bit, though it looks pretty good. Tell me when you’re ready.

[Larry] Ready.

[Walt] Right edge.


[Walt] Clang. Trace said maybe just a little bit below center. Okay, moving. Thirteen-thirteen.

[Larry] That’s in that open field?

[Walt] Yeah, to the left, the two that are together, tall and short.

[Larry] I’m ready.

[Walt] Right edge.


[Walt] OH!

[Larry] He f***in skedaddled!

[Walt] Almost got ‘im dude! There was a jackrabbit behind the target I was tryin’ to get.

[Larry] Yeah! High left!

[Walt] Come down point-four, we should at least get in there.

[Larry] Alright.

[Walt] Tell me when you’re ready.

[Larry] I… am ready.

[Walt] Right. Point-five.


[Walt] There we go. OK, we know we can pound out to that. Now we’re gonna stretch.

[Larry] Alright.

Right now, the 338’s doing great, we’re gonna use a Blackhills 250-grain. Mile High shooting and accessories hooked me up with the gun. We’re at 1300 now, we’re trying to push farther, and by all accounts, with a twenty-inch barrel, we’re gonna start running into challenges, so we’ll see how it shakes.

[Walt] Let’s see what that little 20-inch barrel is capable of.

[Larry] Alright.

[Walt] It’s lightening up pretty good for us, not a problem, Mirage is not an issue.

[Larry] I’m ready.

[Walt] Right, point-three.


[Walt] YES. I love it when I can see the bullet.

[Larry] How’d that shake?

[Walt] It’d be a fifteen-inch group. Dial up point-four for me.

[Larry] Nineteen-eight.

[Walt] Nineteen-point-eight. Ok. Getting less wind up at altitude, most of it’s on the ground. So tell me when you’re ready.

[Larry] I am ready.

[Walt] Right edge.


[Walt] Just off the right edge. So we’ll make the adjustment, we don’t care what’s going on. Tell me when you’re ready.

[Larry] I am ready.

[Walt] Favor left. Favor left.


[Larry] Oh. Yeah, I saw that.

[Walt] Guess what.

[Larry] Yeah.

[Walt] We may have found that point in the world where that thing’s gonna start dropping off. We just hit one point too low. In the last one we were hitting dead on, ok.

[Larry] Yeah.

[Walt] Let’s try that again. Top, left-hand corner of the target.

[Larry] Got it.

[Walt] Watch your reticle.


[Larry] Yeah. You’re right.

[Walt] We have reached that point. So at this point here, we’ve now gone down below the speed of sound, and the crossing back through the sound barrier, the bullet ends up having issues, and will start tumbling, spinning, and yawing and everything else. So we have definitely reached that point. We didn’t reach it out at thirteen-thirteen, but now at 1470, we’re there.

[Larry] Well my world-class spotter-slash-ballastician Walt has figured it out– this gun is basically good to go out to 1313 on steel, but now we just tried just shy of 1500, and it’s a no-go. The group size down there is probably the size of a Volkswagon.

[Walt] It’s gettin’ big, yeah.

[Larry] And so what we’re gonna do now, we’re gonna back it back down to the zone where we know we can get good hits, we put the suppressor on it that Mile High shooting and accessories supplied with the gun, we’re gonna see what kinda hits we get with the same data we had unsuppressed.

[Walt] Sounds like a plan.

Larry, you ready?

[Larry] I’m ready.

[Walt] Wind has shift…ed.

[Larry] Yeah it has, I can tell.

[Walt] Left edge. [Bang] …Clang.

[Larry] WOOOOW.

[Walt] I’m gonna say that it hit…

[Larry] In the upper-left quadrant?

[Walt] Yep, right in there. That, that was impressive, you know, to go add that suppressor and then have no real point of impact shift at that range.

[Larry] At thirteen-hundred?

[Walt] Yeah.

[Larry] I’m very impressed.

[Walt] Yeah. You gonna try, go back out to 1470? Alright. Here we go. Dial nineteen-eight.

[Larry] Alright.

[Walt] Larry, you ready?

[Larry] Yeah I’m ready.

[Walt] Give me left edge. [Bang]

[Larry] Wow.

[Walt] It hit… center… low. So, with that in mind, larry, come up point three.

[Larry] ‘Kay.

[Walt] Let’s see what happens. Point-three would give us twenty point one, correct?

[Larry] 20.1

[Walt] 20.1 and that’s the suppressed one. Tell me when you’re ready.

[Larry] I’m ready.

[Walt] Alright, focus on the reticle, I can’t stress that enough. Left edge. [bang]

[Larry] I’ll be ****.

[Walt] I’m gonna say that hit center, low. That laid waste. The suppressor’s given it more velocity and we’re getting there.

[Larry] Well the guy got Randy Pennington, the guy that sent it to me, from Mile High, said that most people, once they start shooting these suppressed, they’re shooting suppressed all the time. I am genuinely impressed with that exact same hit with that exact same dope at 1313 with the suppressor on it. Basically it hit a man at 1300 meters with exactly the same dope, suppressor on and suppressor off. That’s very impressive.

Ok now we shot the gun 1470 with the suppressor on and we got hits that we previously did not get any hits on unsuppressed. Now we’re gonna see where it falls off the edge of the cliff, so to speak, and push it another hundred yards or so, to just shy of sixteen-hundred yards.

[Walt] Ok. 1583, alright, I want you to dial 21.7. 21.7. It works out to about a mil and a half for that next hundred yards.

[Larry] Got it.

[Walt] We’re getting out there, now. Focus on the reticle, tell me when you’re ready.

[Larry] I’m ready.

[Walt] Left, point-three.


[Larry] Oh. About where the crosshair was at.

[Walt] Just out there. Tell me when you’re ready.

[Larry] I am ready.

[Walt] Favor left.


[Larry] Nah.

[Walt] Unobserved.

[Larry] Yeah. Outer space.

[Walt] That’s not really good, because that was point-seven lower.

[Larry] Yeah.

[Walt] Than where we hit before. Larry give me another one.

[Larry] ‘Kay.

[Walt] We’ll make an adjustment off that. Tell me when you’re ready.

[Larry] Ready.

[Walt] Let me have the upper left-hand corner of the target.


[Larry] That’s it.

[Walt] Not only is it hard to spot out at that range, but yeah, we just had a half-mil shift between those two. Yeah. So.

[Larry] We were able to hold it together at fourteen-somethin’, but…

[Walt] So that is definitely– that is the threshhold of everything that– the suppressor gave us that extra one-hundred. Yeah. And when we added a hundred, we lost it.

[Larry] Makes sense.

Sources: Vickers Tactical, Gunsite, TacTV