Hello Long Range Hunting Members!
--found this site mentioned in snipershide.com and thought I'd take a look. I'm completely new to all of this, which makes me a know-nothing ('cept I *know* I know nothing) so I won't be posting much.
I recently took the Precision Rifle 1 class from Ward Brien of Sniper Tools and wrote a short review; although it was originally posted at Sniper's Hide, I thought maybe some LRH members might also find it useful. Longer-term, my goal this year is to become good enough for a wild pig hunt!
I couldn't find a "class training" section on the forum so I'm posting it here in "General."
Outstanding class, highly-recommended, take it.
I went from total beginner know-nothing to total beginner perfectly comfortable making hits out to 600 yards using mil-dot holdovers.
I had never shot a rifle other than BB guns in summer/day camp as a kid and this one other time in 11th grade when I shot a friend's Marlin 60 (?) .22 cal. By the end of Ward Brien's PR1 class, I was quite comfortable hitting an 18"x10" steel target 600 yards away using a mil-dot holdover. The reason I mention any of this is to give a reference point for where I was before taking the class and where I am after taking the class.
PR1 is a two-day course, roughly 1/3 lecture and 2/3 applied shooting. The lecture part was an overview of the major factors that affect shooting accuracy: rifle components (stock, barrel, scope, mounts, screw torque, etc), environmental components (wind, temperature, altitude, position of the sun, etc), and of course, the shooter (position, breathing, trigger pull, etc). Knowing these things helped establish a base for the applied shooting part of the class.
The applied shooting portion started with creating a ballistics table: we used a Kestrel 4000 to get environmental data, chronographed and zero'ed my rifle, then input everything to a PDA running Exbal software. In turn, the resulting ballistic table was, in effect, a customized table specific to my rifle and the prevailing environmental conditions, complete with appropriate MOA and mil-dot holds. In my Walter Mitty brain it was like James Bond getting his mission gear from "Q". Obviously, it was very cool.
The primary applied skills covered and practiced include: general maintenance and cleaning of the weapon, ranging distance with mil-dots, standard shooting positions (prone, sitting, kneeling), live application and drill of MOA tables (dialing in) on targets at various known distances, and live application and drill of mil-dot holds in quick succession on targets at various known distances. For me, the mil-dot drills were the most enjoyable.
To keep this from becoming a major essay I glossed over a lot of detail; the class touches on an enormous amount of information in a relatively short time. The instructor, Ward Brien, is engaging and effective. Although I'm still a total beginner I now have a firm idea of some precision shooting fundamentals. The next step is for me to internalize the lessons of PR1 and to do them "without thought." It was an outstanding time and I give the highest recommendation to both the instructor and the class itself.
The rifle was a stock Winchester M70 Stealth .308 (original version), Leupold Mark4/PR 4.5-14x40 Gen2, Badger base (20 MOA) and rings, Harris BRM-S, and Blackhawk ammo cheekpad.
The ammunition was Black Hills Match 168 grain except for one box of 175 grain when I ran out of 168...
Class was held at Angeles Shooting Range just outside of metro Los Angeles http://www.angelesranges.com/
Contact Ward Brien through http://www.snipertools.com/