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Precision Rifle Course

475 Views 25 Replies 8 Participants Last post by  zetor
Two day precision rifle course taught by Robert Brantley at The Arena Training Facility in Blakely, Georgia.


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.


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So the .308 really is outclassed which is why it has its own class.
So the .308 really is outclassed which is why it has its own class.
There is a lot of difference in the performance of .308 and the newer rounds, which were designed to have improvements in many areas that make them better for PRS competition (and that is more than just accuracy at range, ballistic coefficient, etc. It includes things like much lower recoil so you can actually see whether you hit the target, and, if not, where you did hit so you can adjust, which is very tough to do with a .308).

With that having been said, take any of the top 10 guys at any competition, hand them a .308, and watch them make me look like a beginner who has never fired a rifle before in comparison with my spiffy new 6GT.

A good rifle that fires 1 MOA will do well with a really good shooter, .308 or not.

Everybody has some fantasy about showing up and winning. Showing up and competing in one of these competitions for the first time is a very humbling experience.

I keep improving every time I show up, but I still rank toward the bottom, even after each improvement. Meanwhile, there is a guy with a .308 in the top 1, 2, or 3 at every match (overall, not just in Tactical). These are not PRS, though, again, so a caveat is that these are only out to 525 yards (River Bend Precision Rifle Match).
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I keep improving every time I show up, but I still rank toward the bottom, even after each improvement.
FWIW, I quietly follow your exploits and you impress the hell out of me.
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I fully know what you mean. I have a Colt 7mm Remington magnum. It will do everything that these new rounds will do. Except recoil. The recoil is slightly punishing. However, in the past I have been quite accomplished by using it out to 600, 700 yards. I never went beyond that much because I felt that was what I would experience in hunting in Wyoming.

My Steyr, SSG 308 is really a sniper rifle from two generations ago. Indeed, this one is almost 50 years old. I used to practice with it in Bakersfield at the range there, but I’ll be doggone if I can remember the distances I used to shoot with it.

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So the .308 really is outclassed which is why it has its own class.
If precision rifle shooting competition is something in which you would be interested, the River Bend Precision Rifle Match (there is a Facebook Page you can join) is a good way to try it out and see what you think of it. The distances will be limited to 525 due to there not being a longer range available. The match director keeps the entry fee very low at 40 bucks. It is not super-competitive. Everybody loves to see new shooters and encourages them and helps them with advice and loaning equipment. I think we had 10-15 first time shooters at the last match in May. It is the first Sunday of every month.

Lots of guys show up with an AR15 or AR10 and an optic and do surprisingly well getting hits.

Just don't show up thinking you will place well if it is your first time, and you will have fun.

Oh, and do yourself a favor and work on flexibility in your knees and hips. I did not even know I had a huge flexibility problem until I tried this out and shot the first low stage.
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I wouldn’t enter any match as a newcomer and expect anything other than finishing at the bottom.
That’s what has happened in ever match I’ve entered as a new to the sport shooter.
The comment on the .308 being outclassed by the newer cartridges at 1200 yards needs to just be taken as the fact that it is. It wasn’t meant as a preemptive excuse. It wasn’t meant to offend .308 owners either.

F-class is set up similarly with .308 and .223 being F-t/r and other calibers being open class.
At 600 yards I don’t think the difference is much.
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