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Breaking Into Precision Rifle | Part 4: Training

Breaking Into Precision Rifle | Part 4: Training

Journey Through Long-Range Precision Rifle Training: Insights and Experiences
Series by Dustin Sanchez


In part four of our precision rifle series, we dive into my first genuine long-range training experience at Blue Steel Ranch (BSR) in New Mexico, under the guidance of JP Rifles and renowned instructor Brian Whalen.

The Training Evolution

  • PR1 & PR2 Courses: These back-to-back courses encompassed six days of intensive shooting and learning. PR1 focused on data gathering, ballistics, and mastering the Kestrel.
  • Classroom Insights: Initial sessions were classroom-based, emphasizing data analysis and the importance of understanding ballistic calculators.
  • Practical Application: The hands-on component included zeroing rifles, adjusting for parallax, and real-time shooting out to 1,350 yards.

Key Learnings and Adjustments

Making stock adjustments
  • Rifle Setup: A surprising revelation was the need to adjust my rifle setup, including cheek weld and butt pad positioning, for optimal body alignment.
  • Shooting Practices: The courses emphasized shooting techniques, wind reading, and making elevation calls, culminating in shooting at the rim, a vast range of targets scattered across a canyon.

Unique Experiences at Blue Steel Ranch

22lr training at Blue Steel Ranch
  • Facilities and Accommodations: BSR offers comfortable on-site lodging, allowing for immersive training without the need to leave the facility.
  • 22 Long Rifle Training: A highlight was using .22 LR rifles for training, focusing on shooting from barricades and understanding shooter positioning and error minimization.
  • Team Dynamics: The training also involved working with partners for spotting and wind calls, essential skills for long-range precision shooting.

Reflections and Outcomes

  • Personal Growth: The training was an enlightening and exhaustive experience, leading to a significant improvement in my understanding of long-range shooting concepts.
  • Community and Connections: BSR fostered a strong sense of community, with friendships and shared learning experiences among fellow shooters.
  • Application in Matches: The skills and knowledge gained translated directly into improved performance in both local and major matches.

Looking Ahead

The next chapter will explore my experiences in a team match at Blue Steel Ranch, applying the lessons learned in a competitive environment. Stay tuned for insights into team dynamics, navigation, target acquisition, and the thrill of long-range competition.

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