No Off Season put on its first long range shooting school for my cousin, Kristy Titus. Kristy is an up and coming outdoor TV personality and, as such, wanted to increase her knowledge and competency in long range shooting. We don’t pretend to be experts in the field but I felt we could give Kristy a good foundation to start her on the right path in long range shooting.
The course began with classroom time on equipment, shooting form and technique and ballistics. We then mixed range time with classes on ballistics programs, MOA calculations and use, wind doping and environmental factors affecting shots as well as slope shooting. Ben demonstrated LR reloading techniques.
At our range, we worked on Kristy’s benchrest technique, evaluated her rifle’s performance and introduced her to more of the equipment she would use in her long range shooting. We had her shoot a rifle of known accuracy to evaluate her BR shooting and got her on gongs at 200 yards. Kristy is a representative for Swarovski so we got to enjoy using some nice optics she brought for the event.
After getting her shooting form and techniques headed in the right direction, we moved right into prone work on the gongs. She practiced with a headwind and then went on to 400 yard gongs in a full value crosswind. We wanted her to use the same tools in the class as she would on her own so, even though we took weather with the Kestrel 4500 with HORUS/ATRAG ballistics, we had her work her firing solutions on the Shooter program on her Smart Phone. Her first 400 yard shot in the full value crosswind was a hit and she was able to put a three shot group on it measuring just over one MOA. Not bad for her first time shooting that far.
After still more class time, graduation day found us heading to the rockchuck fields for some in-field practice and evaluation. Kristy’s first opportunity came on a steep uphill shot into a quartering wind at 211 yards. Kristy made perfect adjustments and sent the big rockchuck into the air! Let’s just say that Kristy’s natural enthusiasm really came out! Her next shot at 270 yards in the opposite direction resulted in a consecutive hit on another steep shot in the wind. At that point she would have been rightly content to stop if her instructors hadn’t urged her to move to the portable bench to try some 650 yard ‘chucks.
Again, Kristy used the Shooter program to input the shot parameters. She dialed her solution into my rifle scope (Her gun was not quite ready for this kind of shot) and after two very near misses, she had her first direct hit on a 650 yard rockchuck. To say she was stoked might be an understatement! We may have just created another LR varmint hunting addict. A few minutes later she took another turn on the rifle and scored a first-round hit at 650. She was virtually in disbelief at what she could accomplish with some basic knowledge and the right equipment.
We really enjoyed taking someone with very little long range knowledge and experience and in three days have them start making hits on targets the size of a football at 3/8 of a mile. I’d say she graduated with honors. Thanks for coming over, Kristy!
Kristy’s Blog of the event can be seen here: