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FREE SOE Long Range Clinic 24-27 Aug 2006

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Unread 08-28-2006, 09:13 PM
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Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 50
FREE SOE Long Range Clinic 24-27 Aug 2006 AAR

No free events for a while, probably next year. This was a promotional event. I am having a long range match the 7th and 8th of Oct, 2006.
SOE Competition Shoot 7-8 Oct


24-27 SOE Shoot AAR

Sniping Operations Executive offered a free long range shooting clinic from 24 to 27 August 2006. The primary intent of this clinic was to expose and offer specialized training to select attendees to present SOE’s advanced training methodology.

8 shooters were in attendance composing 4 shooting teams. The list of weapons and ammunition were impressive and as follows:

TEAM 1 2 Shooters sharing a rifle. 338 EDGE LEUPOLD & STEVENS (L&S) 300 gr. Sierra Matchking and 270 gr. Lost River Ballistic Technologies (LRBT) M40
TEAM 2 PGW 338 LAPUA US OPTICS SN3 300 gr. Sierra Matchking
TEAM 3 PGW 408 CheyTac US OPTICS SN3 419 gr. LRBT J40
TEAM 3 .300 Win Mag L&S 200 gr. Sierra Matchking
TEAM 4 .50 BMG AMAC 500 US OPTICS SN3 750 gr. AMAX
“ “ M107 Barrett .50 NIGHTFORCE NXS PMC BALL, 773 gr. LRBT, 750 gr. AMAX

The shoot was conducted in field conditions on a known distance range and an unknown distance range. The training was conducted in 5 phases.

Phase I: 24 Aug. This training was conducted in a classroom environment. Training consisted of history of military long range sniping, mostly in the .50 caliber class of rifles. SOE advanced methods of training and the history of this method was presented. We examined high speed video and frame by frame imagery of shooter error and examples of bad gun system design. Ted Williams of The Tactical Edge gave a short presentation on their tracking courses and the use of these methods and skills for IED detection and avoidance.

Phase II: 24 Aug. This was the first range event and consisted of obtaining muzzle velocities needed for input into the CheyTac Advanced Ballistic Computers. They CheyTac ABCs were used for fire control and multiple gun system management throughout the course of fire.

Phase III: 25 Aug. Training was conducted at the South Creek Flats range area. The range is basic but simple. Distances are measured to 3000 yards. We started by zeroing the rifles at 525 yards. All rifles were very impressive as all guns turned in sub MOA groups, with the best shot group obtained by Kurt of Las Vegas Steel Targets shooting his AMAC 500 and AMAX ammunition to 2.4” at 525 yards. Kurt’s humble and accurate fire throughout the training was a good example of what a good basic .50 AMAC can do. We shot to a range of 1525 yards that day before the long sun and heat brought the day to a close. A couple of hearty souls took shots at a steel target at 2056 yards that was placed in the rocks to the side of the range.

Phase IV: 26 Aug. Unknown Field Shoot I. Training here was conducted at the Arco Pass range area from Gun Position 1 North.

Ranges here were from the nearest range of 945 yards to a max range of 2235 yards. There were 14 steel targets in the target array, varying from the smallest of 12” x 12” (not the closest ones, they were 20” x 40”) to the largest of 20” x 40”.

Range cards with the distances to the targets were given to the shooting teams and elevation / Windage settings were generated and passed to the teams from CheyTac’s ABC system. While the winds were a challenge in learning 3 band wind reading methods, the elevation settings generated by the ABCs were spot on and accurate. A couple of the shooters had brought printouts from other programs that use a singular G1 ballistic co-efficient and were not nearly accurate enough at the extreme ranges.

In the first shots of the day, nearly all guns obtained 1st or 2nd round strikes on the steel targets. It was a joy to see and hear the results of hard training by these shooters BEFORE they came to SOE’s course. We spent about 6 hours working targets from various positions, all of which had their individual challenges for comfort and sustainability.

Phase V: 27 Aug. Unknown Field Shoot II. Training here was conducted at the Arco Pass range area from Gun Position 2 North. This gun position looks at the same array of targets from a different aspect angle, elevation and range to the targets. Ranges for these targets were from 1340 yards to 2653 yards. An additional target was added by Kurt from Las Vegas Steel Targets at a range of 1291 yards standing at Gun Position 1 South.

The gun positioning terrain was a bit more friendly here, but the comfort was soon forgotten when the winds started demanding more shooter attention. Shooter success rate was still high though on all but the longest range of targets. Range of the targets were:

1428, 1575, 1340, 1389, 1564, 2653, 1451, 1740, 1592, 1745 and 1291 yards.

Success and work needed. While high performance gun systems made up for a lot of wind estimation error a basic problem with communications caused more than a couple of errors. As most of these shooters had never worked together before, a challenge in the communications was apparent and mostly overcome with time and identification of issues by the instructors.

The following high points were noted by SOE:

1. Highly accurate rifles with high performance ammunition.
2. A willingness to perform and succeed by all shooters.
3. Careful management of resources.
4. Good position preparation within the constraints set by SOE.
5. A willingness to learn and understand unconventional methods of application.

The following common errors were noted as well, in order of magnitude:

1. Errors in Windage and Elevation settings on optics. While elevation settings were easy to work with, thorough knowledge of the manipulation of the Windage knob itself was identified. Turning left wind instead of right wind etc.

2. Miss-estimation of Windage. This takes time, and when challenged with some Kentucky Windage requirements, take some guess work. The CheyTac ABC worked well most of the time, but there were not enough ABC units for each team to have one.

3. Hot Guns. Rates of fire at times were too high for some gun systems. As a shooter was challenged by a missed shot, the desire to “ring steel” resulted in hot guns and more important, HOT AMMO. Ammunition management is critical in long range shooting as hot ammo results in high strikes.

Overall, the performance of the shooters was impressive in their ability to group shots on target. Hopefully we were able to add to their skill level. SOE wishes to thank and identify the level of dedication of these shooters. Most had to take time off from work AND pay their own way to the shoot. This alone shows a level of dedication that is needed to succeed at this sport and skill.

Dean Michaelis

Sniping Operations Executive
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