The course is a four day course. The rough agenda for each day is contained below.
Each student will receive a loose leaf binder, note pad and handouts. Students will bring an unloaded rifle, a calculator, and pen or pencil, seat cushion, lunch and drinks (non-alcoholic, of course) to the classroom. At the range, students will need a rifle, about 100 rounds of ammo, front rest or bi-pod, sand sock (rear rest), eye protection, ear protection, shooting mat, backpack filled with clothes, calculator, note pad, pen/pencil, and a spotting scope with tripod or monopod support.
The class is limited to 10 students per session. Students pair up into spotter/shooter teams of two, taking turns spotting and shooting at the range. Students must ensure their equipment can shoot long range. They need a fairly accurate scoped rifle (no iron sights in this class) and match grade ammunition (hand loads or match factory about 100 rounds). Almost any caliber center fire rifle cartridge can be used, but the fast 6mm and above cartridges are best, although a .223 or 22-250 will do. A 308 Win (7.62 NATO) is a great choice. Students are discouraged from bringing big magnums unless they can shoot them well and stand the recoil of many, many rounds! To shoot at 600 and 800 yards, students' scopes MUST have target turrets or ballistic compensating reticles with both drop and wind compensations. 20 minute bases and steel rings are recommended for scopes to ensure enough vertical elevation adjustment to compensate for drop at 800 yards. If a student's rifle cannot accommodate enough elevation adjustment out to 800 yards, we'll take him or her as far as we can with the equipment..... If students need to buy a scope or bases/rings for this course, they are encouraged to call the instructor to discuss options.
Day one: Saturday, 0800-1700
Rules & Safety
Selecting Shooting Systems
Rifle Data Book & shooter/spotter conversations
Evaluating students' systems
100 yard zero
200 yard shots
Practice Shooting Fundamentals off bench
Day two: Sunday, 0800-1700
Target Ranging and Shot Compensation
In Class Calculations
Internal & Terminal Ballistics
Map Cold Bore Shot #1
Turret or Compensating reticle test shots
Practice Shooting Positions - bench, sitting, kneeling, standing, sticks, pack
Day three: Saturday, 0800 - 1700
Stability and Flight
Gravity and Drag
Coriolis Effects (Horizontal & Vertical)
Map Cold Bore Shot #2
300 yard shots
300 yard shots off sticks and packs
Day four: Sunday, 0800-1700
Long Range Test
Introduction to Dangerous Game
Map Cold Bore Shot #3
600 yard shots
800 yards shots
Review and awards
For further information and to register for the class, please contact:
Your selected rifle must be accurate enough to shoot 1MOA groups (approximately 1" at 100 yards). Most modern rifles are built with CnC machining, so they're all pretty accurate. Stick with a bolt action if you want the best accuracy for the most reasonable cost. Winchester, Remington and Savage all have good reputations for accuracy out of the box on their new guns. The type of bolt gun depends on what you want to use it for. If you want a general range gun to shoot long range, go with a 308 win cartridge and mid weight to heavy barrel bolt gun. Expect to pay $1000 to $1100 for a heavy barrel, accurate bolt rifle. If you want something to hunt with that is light, go with something like the Winchester M70 extreme or Kimber Montana in a faster round that is matched to the heaviest game you want to hunt. If you are looking for a benchrest competition gun, look for the custom action, 20# gun, but look to pay $4000. Sure, you can go with a semi-auto, but a custom, accurized one that will match up with a good factory bolt gun will cost you much more than the bolt gun.
As far as optics, I would look at something costing at least $700- $1000 to get a reasonably good one. If you can afford it, go for the $1500 to $2000 range. Nightforce, Trijicon, Vortex, Leupold, Meopta, Nikon, and Zeiss all have excellent reputations for lens clarity and quality. Go with something with an upper range magnification power of at least 14X. 16-20 X is better. Anything over 24X is really not necessary unless you're doing long bench rest competition with 20# guns. To accurately shoot long range, the scope is the most critical part of the system, so spend your $$ there. Either Mil or Moa turrets are fine. I prefer Moa Turrets and Moa reticle, but another good combination is Moa turrets and Mil dot reticle. Mil turrets and Mil reticle is also a good combination. Most ballistics programs will output in either measurement system. If the spotter has no reticle in the spotting scope, shot corrections are easier in Moa using "Shooters Moa" - 1 Moa = 1" at 100 yards, etc. Mil corrections are easier if the spotter has a Mil reticle in the spotting scope (Leupold TDS). I don't know of any current spotting scope with a Moa reticle in it.
The "Gold standard" is Nightforce!! Expensive, but worth it in my opinion. Nightforce is what I run on my long range hunting guns.