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By Erik Alexander on 2/4/2016 9:24 AM
Precision rifle with US Optics AcademyI wake up on the third day of training with a sense of pride and accomplishment. The previous day went by so fast and the memory of seeing the steel swing at hundreds of yards away energizes me now. Tyler and his staff are ready to test us. Their mischievous grins resemble the Cheshire Cat from Alice in Wonderland. Priceless!

The focus today is estimating our range, practicing hold overs and testing our skills under timed pressure. Today’s technology cheats the estimation with range finders, but it is beneficial to have a backup plan in the event the range finder fails. Tyler provides a simple formula using the target’s height and/or width. To test us, Tyler’s team shuffles the steel plates at varying distances on the 1000 meter range. Guessing the the distance without using the scope reticles as a guide for the formula isn’t going to work. 

By Erik Alexander on 2/2/2016 5:54 AM
Precision Rifle 1 US Optics AcademyDay two’s classroom session opens my eyes to many new ways to approach medium to long range hunting.  For most hunters, deer and wild boar hunting is generally done within 100 yards.  At times, and depending on one’s geographical location, it can stretch as far as 400 yards or more.  With that in mind, I eagerly take notes as Tyler discusses “External Ballistics”. This is the science of the bullet’s motion and action in flight from the instant it leaves the muzzle until it impacts the target.  This stuff matters as we shoot further. Learning the effect of gravity and drag on a projectile, about shooting at a moving target and how to use my environment to estimate a wind correction are all things I can apply when hunting. This class is already paying off!
By Erik Alexander on 1/31/2016 7:18 PM
US Optics Academy ReviewFor some time I buried the thought of trying my hand at long range shooting. Like a lot of shooters and hunters it seemed like the next logical step in my shooting and hunting experience, but with a busy schedule and lacking any kind rifle that would be up to the task I didn’t try too hard to make it happen. With this latent desire in the back of my mind I get a phone call that drives that thought forward to all I can think about. Special Hunting Weapons and Tactics™ (SHWAT™) has a media invitation to attend the U.S. Optics Long Range Precision Rifle 1 Course at the Altair Training Solutions facility in Naples, FL. It’s just a few hours from my home. As part of my SHWAT™ invite, I’ll be issued a Desert Tech SRS A-1 along with 300 Win Mag DRT Ammo and a U.S. Optics LR-17 riflescope. The opportunity is nothing short of brilliant, but admittedly I’m somewhat apprehensive. I’ve always been an AR guy, but I have a sneaking suspicion I’ll soon discover that running and gunning with an AR is the polar opposite to precision rifle shooting…
By Jonathan Owen on 1/27/2016 1:54 PM

SHOT Show 2016I spent all of last week in Las Vegas. Normally, I’d rather be in the mountains somewhere, or chasing wild hogs across Texas wheat fields. But last week was the annual Shooting, Hunting, Outdoors Trade Show, aka, SHOT Show. Or just SHOT. 64,000 people showed up this year to see what’s new, what’s hot, what’s recycled… The fact of the matter is that no one can take it all in and I’m not going to write a review on something I saw for ten minutes at SHOT. Instead I submit my high altitude overview of my impressions to you here. In depth stories around these things are in the works for 2016.