2-Day Gunner Marksmanship Course: September 19-20, 2015
I attended John's 2 Day Gunner class held at Rockcastle Shooting Center in Park City, KY. I had previously attended John's Pistol And Carbine class in Knob Creek two years ago. This was the MIKE class as there were three in the class. Most of the other shooters had also attended one of John's classes before too. Comms were good to go through emails about the class.
The shooters met at the Park Mammoth Resort where the Rockcastle Shooting Center is. I located John at breakfast with other shooters. We moved to the parking lot and rallied up there. We then caravanned to the gated range and locked ourselves in for the day. The weather was warm, but not too bad with cloudy cover later.
We set up the gazebo tent for overhead cover. John got a generator going and set up his wifi. All shooters got online and zeroed their rifles. All rifles were AR variants except for one shooter who shot both versions of SCAR rifles. John then recorded every shooter in the prone position on his iPhone. There was some minor technical difficulties with the wifi, but John got it going. John then went over what each shooter needed to do to improve their prone shooting position. This was beneficial for each shooter plus the other shooters got to see what the other shooters were doing. John has used this coaching app for several years and it is very beneficial to the shooter. Plus John sends the reviews to you, so that you can review them later on your own. John also "front loaded" the various info that we would need to shoot for two days. John covered the various holdovers that we would need to shoot the different yard ages. He also covered wind value and what we needed to do to compensate for it. The main idea was that the shooter would be using their scopes with different holdovers to hit the target instead of spending their time dialing in the proper clicks on their scopes.
After the video reviews, we started shooting for real. We had a complete valley setup with steel targets. This was especially helpful to hear a ping when you made a hit. There were targets set at 200 to 600 yards. A portion of the afternoon was shooting at specific targets at the 200, 300, and 400 yard ranges. All shooters were shooting with scopes and I was shooting an AR with an Aimpoint T-1. The 200 and 300 were good for me, but the set up on the 400 was unreachable on my setup. The rest of the portion of the afternoon was shooting at targets at the 400, 500, and 600 yard ranges. Most of the other shooters did well on the 400 and 500, but the 600 was a ways out there. Everyone gave it their best effort and John spotted their shots.
We finished up around 1800 Hrs. and headed back to the Resort for dinner. There was some concern for the size of the steaks due to an incident the night before. The steaks were good and dinner ended. Some shooters went with John to try NVGs in the parking lot.
I located everyone again having breakfast at the Resort. In the parking lot, John sent us our videos from the day before. We rallied and caravanned again to the range. Everyone set up again and John recorded everyone's kneeling position. We went over those videos and John pointed out what each shooter needed to do to improve. The weather was great being cooler and slightly overcast. We then had a shoot off with two shooters shooting against each other. This was the 200, 300, and 400 ranges. I was odd man out and shot against John. I think this was good as it made everyone run their gun a bit faster, but you still had to have good hits on the steel. The overall winner won an SOB belt. We also talked about mirages and how to compensate for them.
The early afternoon was working on the various yard ranges and different shooting positions. The rest of the afternoon was again shooting the longer ranges. Everyone was able to get plenty of time on their rifles. The pistols also came out and John made some 200 yard hits with a Glock.
We ended the day about 1600 Hrs. and cleaned up the area. Everyone milled around for a few minutes, but most had some long rides in front of them. That was the end of the class.
Class-I liked that it was at Rockcastle as I am a member there. Also that this training was set up for reachable ranges by most shooters. It was not a 1000 yard class or sniper class.
Range-it was good to shoot at various yard ranges and shoot steel.
John-is very personable and answered all the questions asked. He puts out alot of information that he's learned through the years. He also let the guys shoot his weapons that he had with him. It is also fun to hang out after class with him.
Shooters-there were only 7 of us in the class. This makes for more time on the trigger. Also everyone in the class was fun to shoot with.
Combat table-don't leave home without one. ?
Class-it might be nice to put in the class curriculum that a shooting scope is really necessary and possibly a rifle in the .308 range for hitting the longer ranges.
John-is continually updating his material, but it would be nice to have the handout we talked about in class. That might have also helped the front loading too. And it would be nice to have to review at a later time.
Range-the range could have been gone over by a grounds crew. The grass was high and hard in the prone to see through. Also the trash needed to be picked up.
Me-I had a Sig 716 with me, but couldn't run the scope I had on it. This was my problem as I should have known my equipment beforehand.
Overall, I would say that this is a good class for others to take and would recommend it.