Thunder Beast Arms Practical Field Rifle 101: Day 3 Recap

Posted on October 7, 2011

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The third and final day of the course started indoors. Although the 101 course is primarily a prone-based class, Ray and Shane made an administrative decision to teach us several field expedient positions today. While prone is clearly the most stable position, it isn’t practical in some hunting, field matches, and/or tactical situations. Ray and Shane demonstrated several variations of sitting, kneeling, and offhand, all utilizing some sort of additional support (a pack, shooting sticks, sling, tripod, etc.)

Ray demonstrating reverse kneeling with shooting sticks:

From 2011_10_11

Shane showing supported sitting:

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Supported offhand:

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After we the classroom portion we went back to the KD range and setup 6-dot targets on the 100 yard line to ensure we were dialed in. I found that my gun was exactly .2 mil low and .1 mil right. After adjusting the scope, I hit the six 1/4″ dots during the “Dot Drill.” I was happy with that. During the rapid-fire dot drill, I did fairly well, but I pulled one shot out of the 1″ ring. Next we went to using the shooting sticks during the dot drill.  I rapidly learned that kneeling is definitely less stable than prone, but that with some care and good body position hitting the 1″ circle at 100 yards was totally doable.

Here’s the class on the firing line:

From 2011_10_11

After getting the dots and basics of the field positions down we went to an elevated gravel road where we could shoot targets from 115 yards out to about 550 yards.  We pretty rapidly learned the limits of our ability with the various improvised positions.  Reverse kneeling from a stump worked pretty well, as did the combination tripod/bipod combo. Offhand remained a challenge for all but the closest targets.

Classmates hammering steel from fields position:

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Ray Dog about to fire the MRAD:

From 2011_10_11

Me letting one rip with the MRAD:

From 2011_10_11

After that portion, some students had to leave for their drives home. The rest of us went to the course from day 2 and just worked. One fellow student, a 1000 yard benchrest national champion gave P and I a brief primer on reading the wind. As an aside, wind was by far the hardest aspect of this game for me. With the right dope I was easily capable of ringing the long steel, but without the right wind-call I would miss every time. Often by trial and error I could find a wind-call that put me on steel, then replicate that call on other targets, but without firing a sighter, I found it very hard to be dead on, first shot. Ray and Shane were emphatic that learning to make decent wind calls is the most challenging part of long range. I half-jokingly said. Long Range Field Matches should probably be called “Distant Wind Estimation Classes,” as the winners and losers are sorted by the ability to make distant hits without tools like wind flags.

More tomorrow. Excuse the typos and mistakes, I’m beat.

TheNouveauJäger

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Posted in: Training