While most of the students (myself included) spent Day 1 at the range familiarizing ourselves with the Gunwerks platform, Day 2 was about getting off the bench into some realistic field positions and making good shots on different target at a variety of distances. We had the same sighting targets at 400, 700, and 950 from Day 1, but got to see some additional small targets between 700 and 800 yards, and finally some small-scale elk silhouettes at 880 . . .
We first got into the prone position and experimented with utilizing the bipod. I shot sighters at 400 that were all over the place until I started forward loading my bipod. In tandem with a small rear sandbag, I was able to get a very steady hold that allowed me to engage targets with first shot hits all the way out to 950 yards. Luckily, the wind was calmer than Day 1, which helped quite a bit. In fact, one of my shots at 950 was dead on without any wind hold necessary.
My personal favorite shot of the day is pictured here. That shot right in the middle of the elk on the right was done by yours truly at 880 yards on the first try. I was holding about 1 MOA for wind and absolutely demolished the target. I’m sure it was dumb luck that it worked out this way, but my shot broke the weld on that target knocking both elk targets down. I couldn’t help letting out a little whoop and smiling like an idiot when that happened.
Our last position was the sitting position where we utilized the tripod for the front and then a flexible bipod for the rear. I didn’t have too much difficulty getting the tripod set up, but I had a bitch of time with the rear bipod. Once it is set, it is very stable, but getting to that point is difficult. One of the instructor’s guns has a little snap swivel that seems to be a much more solid platform. If I had Gunwerks building me a gun, I’d make sure to get that swivel installed.
My final delighter of the day was getting to shoot Aaron’s personal rifle chambered in 6 XC. According to his employees, this is the only gun he’s built for himself and it is truly, ridiculously, awesome. The 6 XC has very little recoil but reaches way out there in a very accurate way. I was making ridiculously small groups on the 400-yard target with ease. I hope Aaron’s guys don’t get in trouble for squirreling his gun out to the range. I doubt it since one guy got off the fence and put in an order for one when we got back to the shop! I think they had one more on the hook as well. It is that good.
The conclusion of Day 2 at the range was bittersweet. I was excited to get back home and put the things I learned to use, but I’ll miss feeling like a rockstar shot after shot. All the reading, research, and talk doesn’t mean a thing if you can’t go to the range and put it to practical use. Taking to the range at Long Range University is the perfect complement to the excellent instruction received during the morning sessions. Again, I can’t recommend this class enough for those that want to get serious about shooting at things that are very far away. If you are interested in attending Long Range University, please contact the friendly crew at Gunwerks and tell them TTAG sent you.