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Long range shooting school recommendation
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A couple weeks ago, I was wondering what I’d be doing for hunts later this year when the world gets back toward some semblance of normal. Things were looking up when a buddy drew a desert sheep tag for Nevada and another drew the best mule deer tag there, the PIW tag. I suddenly had a couple great hunts to help out on, but still nothing for myself.

Problem is, I sent my Pre-64 model 70, which is/was a .264 Win Mag, in for a new barrel since I’d shot out the original barrel. The rebuilt rifle, which is still a .264 and has the Same Brown Precision fiberglass stock it been wearing for 36 years, was pillar bedded, got a new 26” Krieger match grade barrel, Cerakoted, And got a new Leopold VX5 in 3-15 with a BDC turret. It’ll be a pretty good long range rig. I really needed a hunt of my own to break in the new version of my old 264; and last week my dilemma was solved...

I drew a Desert Bighorn tag here in California, in a unit that produced really good rams (165-174) last year. So, now I need to get ready for my Desert Sheep hunt. I’ve been thinking about all the things to do to prepare for my sheep hunt and started thinking about attending a long range shooting school. I figure my sorta new rifle and this once in a lifetime tag is a plenty good enough excuse to take a long range class. I’ve shot plenty of animals over the years, some at long ranges, but just learned the hard way, through trial and error. I think it’d be great to learn more about shooting at longer ranges. Practicing at 500-800 yards seems like it’ll make the 300-400 yard shots easier.

So, what schools have you attended and recommend?
 
Posts: 3286 | Location: California | Registered: 01 January 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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for Hunting applications--FTW

http://ftwsaam.com/saamtraining.aspx?id=prcsn


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Posts: 3721 | Location: TX | Registered: 03 March 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Originally posted by DLS:
A couple weeks ago, I was wondering what I’d be doing for hunts later this year when the world gets back toward some semblance of normal. Things were looking up when a buddy drew a desert sheep tag for Nevada and another drew the best mule deer tag there, the PIW tag. I suddenly had a couple great hunts to help out on, but still nothing for myself.

Problem is, I sent my Pre-64 model 70, which is/was a .264 Win Mag, in for a new barrel since I’d shot out the original barrel. The rebuilt rifle, which is still a .264 and has the Same Brown Precision fiberglass stock it been wearing for 36 years, was pillar bedded, got a new 26” Krieger match grade barrel, Cerakoted, And got a new Leopold VX5 in 3-15 with a BDC turret. It’ll be a pretty good long range rig. I really needed a hunt of my own to break in the new version of my old 264; and last week my dilemma was solved...

I drew a Desert Bighorn tag here in California, in a unit that produced really good rams (165-174) last year. So, now I need to get ready for my Desert Sheep hunt. I’ve been thinking about all the things to do to prepare for my sheep hunt and started thinking about attending a long range shooting school. I figure my sorta new rifle and this once in a lifetime tag is a plenty good enough excuse to take a long range class. I’ve shot plenty of animals over the years, some at long ranges, but just learned the hard way, through trial and error. I think it’d be great to learn more about shooting at longer ranges. Practicing at 500-800 yards seems like it’ll make the 300-400 yard shots easier.

So, what schools have you attended and recommend?


Perhaps if you are new to long range shooting these might help, but honestly, if you have a good RF like the SIG 2400, you are only going to miss due to wind. And the problem with shooting schools IMO is you only have a few "first shot" chances over the course of several days. Anyone can correct a missed first shot, especially if they have a dedicated spotter.

If I was running a shooting school, I would start out right away in the morning, typically no wind. Then talk about wind techniques in the classroom. Then go out and shoot when the wind starts blowing. After lunch, do the same.

My long range school is drive out to the desert, shoot at a target 800-1300 yards away once. Do as often as possible. In Colorado, I leave my rifle on my shooting patio and take shots only when the wind condition is different - at least a few hours between shots.

If you want to get at 800 yards, you need a place to practice at least weekly. There are so many little things about wind that take a while to figure out.


Don't Ever Book a Hunt with Jeff Blair
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Posts: 7423 | Location: Arizona and off grid in CO | Registered: 28 July 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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As AZ says, you might want to save your money on a school. Trigger time beats a 5 day school any day. Shooting 600 - 800 yards will teach you a lot about yourself, your equipment, and most of all your patience.

But if you don't have access to a proper range, then maybe a school is best. We can't all be like AnotherAZWriter...


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Posts: 22442 | Location: Occupying Little Minds Rent Free | Registered: 04 October 2012Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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https://www.accuracy1st.com/training/courses.cfm

Here's a list of some school put on by the world's foremost sniper trainer Todd Hodnett. He's the cream of the crop.
 
Posts: 30 | Registered: 10 June 2020Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Originally posted by Opus1:
As AZ says, you might want to save your money on a school. Trigger time beats a 5 day school any day. Shooting 600 - 800 yards will teach you a lot about yourself, your equipment, and most of all your patience.

But if you don't have access to a proper range, then maybe a school is best. We can't all be like AnotherAZWriter...


Good point, Opus. I’ll be doing plenty of shooting on my own. A buddy drew a Nevada Desert Sheep tag, and we are going to get together a few times this summer and fall to shoot at distances in desert winds. I’m just figuring that attending a school would teach some theory and be something to do to get ready, sorta like preparation is part of the fun of going on safari.

On a related note, my rifle builder sent me a few texts today to update me on load development. California requires non-lead Bullets statewide, so we decided to build a load around the Barnes 127 grain LRX bullet. He sent me a text message photo with the question “Good Enough?” It was a 3-shot group that a penny would cover. 3/8“ group. Yeah, that’s Good Enough, especially for a caliber that never had a reputation for extreme accuracy. At 3,230 FPS, it’ll be an accurate, flat shooting rifle and load.
 
Posts: 3286 | Location: California | Registered: 01 January 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Good luck on your quest and hunt!

tu2


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Posts: 22442 | Location: Occupying Little Minds Rent Free | Registered: 04 October 2012Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I know enough from my shooting days at Camp Perry and a stint at Bench Rest to know that I don't take shots at unwounded game beyond 400 yards.

I would suggest that you make a point of checking/confirming your 'cold bore' zero/POI, as that is what you will encounter in the field. Then you factor in the range, wind, uphill/downhill....and do what you think is ethical.
 
Posts: 3120 | Location: Western Slope Colorado, USA | Registered: 17 August 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Congrats on the sheep tag>


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Posts: 960 | Location: Oregon | Registered: 12 June 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Well, I did get in some good long range practice, out to a bit over 600 yards. Not as much as I wanted but enough to know my limits. I figured I’d be comfortable out to 450 yards or so on an unwounded animal in calm winds, as I was able to group shots under 2” at that distance.

As my sheep hunt turned out, the most important thing would have been more practice in high winds. And practice with unstable rests. I had a couple opportunities at good rams where I passed on shots at 300-350 yards in winds of 20-30 mph, depending on which ram and time. I am definitely going to spend more time practicing in big winds in the future.

In the end, it all worked out as I shot a great, old ram with a first shot at 257 yards in about a 25 mph crosswind. Had a lousy rest with no opportunity to get more solid as the group of 6 rams was watching us nervously. First shot was pretty good but a bit back, made him really sick. He turned and was going straight away and I hit him in a good and also bad spot with 3rd shot (2nd shot was just over him). Third shot hit him at base of right horn from the rear, I was trying to shoot him at base of tail as he trotted away and my shot was high again, but knocked him out cold. He got up after about a minute and I had to put a finishing shot in.

I don’t have a picture loaded where I can put it on here but he’s a 10 - 11 year old ram, heavily broomed but very symmetrical, only had 1 5/8” total deductions, and grossed 164 5/8”. He’s an old warrior with chunks out of both horns and a big Roman nose. I’m extremely happy with this ram. My outfitter, Dry Creek Outfitters, was simply excellent. Those guys are excellent sheep hunters and great people to share time with, in camp and on the mountain.
 
Posts: 3286 | Location: California | Registered: 01 January 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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in winds of 20-30 mph, depending on which ram and time. I am definitely going to spend more time practicing in big winds in the future


That is tough shooting no matter what.
 
Posts: 17074 | Location: wis | Registered: 21 April 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Originally posted by p dog shooter:
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in winds of 20-30 mph, depending on which ram and time. I am definitely going to spend more time practicing in big winds in the future


That is tough shooting no matter what.


No kidding. One issue with "big winds" is they tend to change faster than your time of flight at long range, making it virtually impossible.

But even low velocity winds can be tricky at long range (past 700), because their direction is difficult to assess (it might be blowing one way at your shooting position and completely different downrange). One thing I have learned is don't "overthink" slow winds.

Another issue is terrain. Wide open and flat is so much easier than hilly with valleys and canyons.

That said, there is no substitute for practice. I have been at my CO place for the last month and get to shoot several times per day.


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Posts: 7423 | Location: Arizona and off grid in CO | Registered: 28 July 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I am late getting back to looking at this post but congrats on an incredible ram. Post pics if you can.
 
Posts: 125 | Registered: 26 March 2016Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Originally posted by bghntr416:
I am late getting back to looking at this post but congrats on an incredible ram. Post pics if you can.


 
Posts: 3286 | Location: California | Registered: 01 January 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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