Looking into Formal Training

I’ve been seriously considering signing up for some more formalized training. I’ve learned a lot on my own by experimenting, but there just isn’t really a substitute for having a knowledgable coach looking over your shoulder and helping you with the little things. Since I don’t know anyone who I would place into such a category personally, I’m going to have to look elsewhere. There are two options before me, and I may just do both of them if finances allow.

There is an Appleseed shoot in August about an hour from where I live. The commute there and back for two days isn’t that big of a deal, as I’m already used to waking up at early hours (thanks, Air Force!). I already happened to have requested the required days off from work, and the $60 entry fee (plus ammo) is very affordable. I think this would offer great exposure to exactly the kind of shooting I’ve been doing.

Additionally, I noticed that rifles only is going to hold their five day Precision Rifle 1 & 2 combo course in the Sacramento area in October. If I really wanted to bear down into the brass tacks of precision shooting with extremely knowledgable and capable instructors, this would be the event. But, at $1550 registration, plus 500 rounds of .308, plus hotel and food, this would be stretching my ability to pay. I have to carefully consider the cost/benefit here. I’m not a sniper in some high speed military or LE unit. Such a course would really end up being little more than [expensive] fun. I have to wonder if I took all of that money and applied it to ammunition or a few performance upgrades to Gungnir (bedding job, barrel work, magazine, optic, etc.), would it be better spent?

In other news, Rifleslinger put up a target for his uses that I think I’m going to appropriate for mine. Its size and scoring system actually work out very well for my stated accuracy requirements. It also allows me an easy, and objective, way to score my shooting for any given range session.

8 thoughts on “Looking into Formal Training”

  1. If you are active duty military the Appleseed shoot may be free (except for a small range fee charged by the host range). Look into the pricing schedule.

    I cannot recommend Appleseed highly enough (full disclosure: I’m an AS instructor). I came into Appleseed in ’09 after a lifetime of shooting rifles going back to the early ’70’s. 1975 high school smallbore (.22 rimfire) rifle team individual NJ state champion, then took up highpower rifle bullseye twenty years later and made expert, then took Col. Cooper’s General Rifle course and got an expert certificate in ’99. I thought I knew my stuff, and I STILL learned good things at Appleseed.
    Go, you will be glad you did.

    1. Thanks, Pete. I think’s been pretty much settled that I will be signing up for this AS event in August. There are far more reasons to do so than not. My biggest concern at this point is not pissing off the range officers by using an AR-15. Some quick searching around the AS forums indicates that a lot of the California instructors are not accustomed to seeing them in their classes, and often assume that they are illegal and banned.

      1. You can contact the CA cadre via the Appleseed website forum and discuss the situation with them there. Better to get things ironed out ahead of time.

        What you learn at an Appleseed will serve you well for any type of rifle shooting you pursue thereafter. It’s a perfect primer for the National Match Course (NRA highpower/service rifle team), and the skill set applies (in varying ways and amounts) to everything from CQB to hunting to long-range precision.

      2. I registered for it last night, and I’m looking forward to it. I didn’t see any information on the site about it being a reduced round count event, or if its only going to be at 25m versus the longer ranges. I’ll see if I can get a hold of the organizers.

        I was surprised to see that optics are allowed at these events. I was always under the assumption that they were iron sights only kind of things. In either case, I plan on using iron sights. The skills developed there will better translate to use with magnified optics rather than the other way around (in my opinion, at least).

    2. Good on ya for using irons. Aperture sights work very well and getting comfortable with them lets you do some really good shooting with a GI rifle.

    1. It’s top on my list. I’ve got just a couple weeks left on my masters classes, and then I’ll be able to read books for myself again.

      I remember when you first posted the link, the very first bullet you had in there about too much shooting from a bench resonated with me. I’m looking forward to getting into the rest of it.

    2. So, funny story. I was adding a few books to my shopping cart on Amazon, and was about to add yours to the cart. I happened to open up my iBooks program to see if it was available there. Well, up popped your book, about 80 pages in. I actually bought your book months ago, when you first recommended it, but only got a bit of the way through it due to classes. Now that I’m about finished with those, I’ll get back on working my way through your writing.


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