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View Full Version : AAR: Tiger Valley PR2 course


rksimple
10-06-2007, 8:13 PM
Well, I just got back from a week out in the hot and humid state of Texas. I attended the PR2 course offered from Tiger Valley, by Waco, TX. Upon arrival, I was greeted by HUGE crickets, spiders, and all other kinds of bugs you could imagine. The range itself is an NRA style 1000 yard range with pit service. There is a bunkhouse, which I stayed in, that is right there on the range property...I was grateful it had A/C. Attendees ranged from normal civilians to competition shooters to LE.

Anyway, the first day, we went over the basics. TJ Pilling, a retired SWAT sniper, gave the instruction for the first 2 days. Internal, external, and terminal ballistics were all reviewed, as well as basic scope adjustments. Proper prone shooting was also covered. We went out to the range late that morning and began getting our dope to 1000 yards. One group would shoot while the other worked the pits. We got to 600 yards the first day.

The second day we started with classroom instruction once again, this time covering urban precision riflery. Sectorization and observation were well explained. We also had a brief introduction to "kims" games-"keep in memory" games. We then hit the range to confirm dope to 1000 yards. JBM was off by about 1.5 MOA at 1000...it was good enough to get on paper, though. We finished the day with a kims game. We had to look at a table for one minute with various objects scattered about. After the minute of observation, from memory, we had to remember what objects were present and list them by: What it appears to be, color, condition, and then draw the item. It was quite a challenge.

The third day, John Tillman, ex-marine sniper and scout/sniper instructor, taught the course. We went over moving targets and different methods for engagement of said targets. We covered a lot of everything with him from ballistics to positional shooting, to improvised supports (like 550 cord on a vertical pole...awesome stuff!). He was very informative. Shooting that day consisted of movers to 600 yards, stop and go's at 700, and bobbers at 800. We switched to silhouette targets for 900 and 1000 yards. This was all in practice for the qualification course which took place the following day.

Here's John with a smoke showing us the intricacies of the swirling wind.
http://i17.photobucket.com/albums/b82/rksimple/IMG_7818a.jpg

Day four began with an unknown distance course. We were given roughly 20 minutes to range 6 steel targets and set up a range card. On command, we then engaged the targets, the furthest being 1035 yards. The prize for hitting all the targets on the first round was a new 30 round AR mag...only one person did it...I had to disassemble it to bring it back as spare parts :D Immediately thereafter we began the qual course. It was a direct copy of the shooting portion of the marine corps sniper qualification. It involved a static FBI silhouette and 14 inch wide cardboard silhouette on a long stick as the mover. The guys in the pits would hold the stick and target up over the berm and walk back and forth. Hits were marked on the static targets after every round. From 300 to 600 we fired 3 rounds to the static target and 2 on the movers. At 700, 3 to the static and 2 to stop and go movers. At 800, it was the same, but the movers were bobbers this time appearing for 4 seconds and dropping. 900 and 1000 involved 5 shots to the static target only. 40 rounds total and 35 hits needed to pass. Only one person passed, with a score of 36. I'll give you a hint, he was shooting a Savage :D

Here's the UKD setup with my humble stick.
http://i17.photobucket.com/albums/b82/rksimple/IMG_7824a.jpg

Later that evening we had a night shoot on a lightly illuminated steel target. TJ fired different sorts of fireworks while we were shooting on command for some distraction.

The last day, we did a sort of open shoot from the tower on the UKD targets from the previous day. We shot at different color balloons on command as well. After I figured out the switchy wind, I was able to make a couple headshots on the 1035 yard steel. It felt good.

http://i17.photobucket.com/albums/b82/rksimple/IMG_7836a.jpg

It was a great group of guys with lots of nice equipment (faces altered to protect the innocent...
http://i17.photobucket.com/albums/b82/rksimple/IMG_7844a.jpg

All in all it was a great class. It had a good pace without being too stressful. All of the information covered would give anyone plenty to study and all of the fundamentals of long range precision riflery.

rksimple
10-06-2007, 8:19 PM
Here's a couple more pics...

Some UKD steel as seen by a USO with a GAP reticle:
http://i17.photobucket.com/albums/b82/rksimple/IMG_7834a.jpg

From the tower:
http://i17.photobucket.com/albums/b82/rksimple/IMG_7825a.jpg

I had a blast!

Prc329
10-06-2007, 8:24 PM
I'm planning on taking a couple of courses next year. Just haven't decided which ones yet. How did the IOR work out for ya? I want those knobs for my scope.

virulosity
10-06-2007, 8:26 PM
funny how the guy with the least expensive rifle was the only one to pass the class :hurray:. sounds like a fun class and something I will definitely have to do in the future.

rksimple
10-06-2007, 8:34 PM
Sent the IOR back after it failed. They sent me a new one and I opted to get my money back from Scott at LO, so I could get what I really wanted all along...an SN3. I must have just got a bad one as there were only a couple guys with issues. Everyone loves 'em. I kind of regret getting a refund because I would like to have both the SN3 and the IOR. The glass is amazing on that thing.

I shot the course with my Bushnell 3200 10x. It performed flawlessly. With that scope on top, I have less than $1K into the entire rifle. When we finished the qual course, John added up our scores and asked my teammate (we did the course in 2 man teams) what he had invested in his complete rifle. He replied about 4k. John then looked him straight in the eye and asked, "How does it feel to get beat by a thousand dollar rifle?" He doesn't beat around the bush, does he? :eek:

Prc329
10-06-2007, 8:37 PM
That just shows how good you are since you did so well with "low end" equipment.

Prc329
10-06-2007, 8:40 PM
Not to mention savage just makes a damn good rifle.

rksimple
10-07-2007, 9:45 AM
Not to mention savage just makes a damn good rifle.

They do. But getting behind some of the customs that were there really made me jealous. The bolts were incredibly smooth and very easy to operate quickly. With various brakes and suppressors, they were also very easy to shoot quickly. I really need an upgrade...my R+D rifle can't get here soon enough!

BTW: TJ is putting together a USO group buy. Big discounts he says. Keep an eye out.

Prc329
10-07-2007, 10:20 AM
As much as I love my savage, the remmy is so much better feeling in that AICS.

DJDace
10-07-2007, 10:57 AM
How did the guy with the semi-auto fare? If I am seeing things clearly it appears there was only one shooter with an AR style rifle :)

Just curious as I went the same route with my precision rig. I'm sure elite quality bolt-guns will always have an edge, but it would be heartening to know that the AR's can still hold there own :)

Great post btw! Looks like it was alot of fun and really informative. I can't wait to start learning the fundamentals and applying them on the range!

rksimple
10-07-2007, 11:40 AM
How did the guy with the semi-auto fare? If I am seeing things clearly it appears there was only one shooter with an AR style rifle :)

Just curious as I went the same route with my precision rig. I'm sure elite quality bolt-guns will always have an edge, but it would be heartening to know that the AR's can still hold there own :)

Great post btw! Looks like it was alot of fun and really informative. I can't wait to start learning the fundamentals and applying them on the range!

I should have mentioned that. The autos can hold their own provided they have a GREAT shooter behind them, especially in rapid fire stages. They are not NEAR as forgiving in the follow through department and they are harder to shoot well. There were two guys using AR-10's and each one of them had problems.

The first day, one guy had a primer blow (2nd reload on FC brass) and it got smashed into the locking lugs so his bolt wouldn't lock up. It took a while for him to, first, figure out what was wrong, and then second, get it into action again. The other had a problem with FTF's and a dud or two. Seemed like we were always waiting on the gas guns. In talking to the other guys that had attended other courses, they had the same observations of gas guns.

There isn't really the ability to do a brass check/press check with a gas gun either. Not that its super important for competitors, but for LE and .mil snipers, it is. They described a method in which you check the mag before insertion, chambered a round and then removed the mag to make sure the bullet in the top of the mag was on the other side. A couple of times, the AR10's didn't strip a round from the mag. This made for a pretty embarrassing "click" when commanded to fire.

There is just less to go wrong with a bolt gun, IMHO. Inherent accuracy between the two is rather negligible. I love my precision AR, but for serious work, I'm going to stick with the bolt gun for a while.

Prc329
10-07-2007, 11:54 AM
What load did you use? 155s right? What was your recipe? Your loads seem to do rather well.

rksimple
10-07-2007, 12:10 PM
What load did you use? 155s right? What was your recipe? Your loads seem to do rather well.

155 Scenar's at about 2830 fps. I used unsorted RA60 brass (military) neck sized with the Hornady bushing neck sizer. 44.5 grains of Varget with the bullet seated to 2.830". It was VERY consistent. The temps didn't affect me very much at all. I had a group at 1000 that had maybe 4 inches of vertical dimension to it. I can't complain.

When my new rifle arrives I'll be using Win brass for matches. I'm going to run my Lapua cases through until they fail and see where that takes me. If I get 15-20 reloads out of 'em, I'll stick with Lapua. Otherwise, I'll probably stick to Win or remington...whatever I can get a good deal on.

At the class, one guy was shooting a .243 Win with 115 DTAC's at almost 3000 fps. His elevation to 1K was only 6.5 mils! I was again jealous. On the qual course, he cleaned everything to 700 yards. It was only at 800-1K that the wind got him. I'd love to have one...maybe on the next build:D

Prc329
10-07-2007, 12:37 PM
Nice. With 45g of RL15 I got 2800 fps from a 22.25" barrel. The wind was screwing with my groups at 100 cause it was moving my target but it was pretty consistent and center mass at 500 and 600 yards.

After hearing so much about the 155s and how they shoot out the remmy and your success in class with them I think I am going to stock up on them and buy some more win brass. I'll save my LC for loading for my M14 since they don't seem to hold as much.

rksimple
10-07-2007, 2:47 PM
Yeah, it was nice having a slight advantage with the Scenars. My teammate was using corbon factory 175's (SMK's) for the duration. I usually had about 2/3 of his windage value. One of the guys on the AR10 was using FGMM 168's and was keyholing at 1000. You have to choose your load with care when going to extended distances.

proraptor
10-08-2007, 8:36 AM
awesome shooting...so did you get an award or something for passing the class?

rksimple
10-08-2007, 9:28 AM
awesome shooting...so did you get an award or something for passing the class?


Just a Tiger Valley medal. It represents a lot to me though. The day before the qual we did a quick UKD challenge thing. I tied with my teammate. We had a shoot off for speed and hits at the 4, 5 and 600 yard steel. I beat him by about half a second and won a Tiger Valley T-shirt. Not too bad considering what I was working with.

PistolPete75
10-08-2007, 10:07 AM
nice, it looks like you had lots of fun!