Two day precision rifle course taught by Robert Brantley at The Arena Training Facility in Blakely, Georgia.
Arena's multi-purpose training complex is the leading choice for elite training for Military, Law Enforcement, and Civilians in the Southeast.
This is an excellent training facility that has everything you need for any kind of weapons training and caters to military customers (everything from enough acreage on the ground for airborne assaults to close quarters indoor battle with catwalks for instructors overhead, to a 40 foot tall shooting platform with about a mile and a half shooting range).
The class starts with the fundamentals, setting up your equipment, how to use a data solver, setting up your rifle and optics for your own body, obtaining a zero on the rifle, muzzle velocity, and so on, before proceeding out to the UKD range and engaging targets at distance.
We then shot, starting off the bench with a bipod and sand bag, at various distances, starting at 400 yards or so and moving out to 619, 850, and then . . . The course went to 1217 yards (3651 feet, so over half a mile, .6914772 miles), and I was pretty easily engaging the man-sized target, so I ended up switching over to what I called "The Little Piggy" and found I could hit that, too.
Reading the wind was emphasized heavily during this portion. This turned out to be more difficult than I thought. I assumed that if the wind is blowing left to right, that it changes the point of impact to the right, and that is all. I was not aware that it also changes the elevation, and the change is different depending upon the direction of the wind. This does not really show up at the distances I had shot previously (out to about 525 yards), but it does show up beyond that.
Then we moved to positional shooting off various barricades, like the skill set barricade, the stairs, rocks, and so on. Robert Brantley spent a good deal of time with us on getting on target more quickly and being more stable in positions, which are the main reasons I took the course.
I improved in every way, and reached out much further than I ever had.
My rifle went down during the course. It appears that bad primers (half a dozen were pierced) blew metal back and killed my trigger, so that the gun fired when chambering.
The instructor, Robert Brantley, had not only a new trigger with him, but ammunition to fit my gun (minus the defective primers), so we tore it down and got it back up and running. He also had the owners of the action company and the trigger company on speed dial and was able to speak and text them, on a weekend, to narrow down the cause of the malfunction and get the rifle running again. He reached out to a contact at Hornady, but they did not reply over the weekend.
Recommendation - this class was outstanding. If you are interested in getting into precision rifle, I recommend taking a course from Robert. It is not a problem if you do not have a rifle. He brings with him at least four rifles properly equipped for precision rifle shooting. In fact, I used one while my rifle was down - Trump Stick 1, a Defiance action and Bartlein barrel on a custom red, white and blue camouflage Manners stock, which I understand is the only one of the series of three not in the hands of a Trump family member (Eric and Donald Jr. own the other two). it is visible in the photograph below.
Do not hesitate to take a class from Robert Brantley. He is serious about teaching, and he alters his course to meet the needs of the students in front of him and address those needs.
Me shooting off the rocks Sunday. Kneepads, but still cut up my knees (you can see the right one is slipped down, but I kept at what I was doing). That is a mud and rock slope under me with over six feet of change in elevation. We were learning here to engage two targets at two different distances from five different positions. Get on target, stability, holdover, etc., were skills being developed here under the watchful eye of an experienced instructor.