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Old 03-05-2013, 6:47 AM
mievil mievil is offline
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Originally Posted by jrtf83 View Post
I think we'd all be interested to hear what it was that you didn't like about it. Care to share?
I had just gotten back at 11:30PM from the 4 day, so didn't have time to elaborate. haha

I took the 4 day Practical Rifle course. We had 64 people in our class. It was HUGE. I suspect this has to do with recent events and that classes before were lower. Lots of people with zero prior experience, which is absolutely fine.

From the newbie side, the instructors did not go over little bits of detail. "Expect this MOA", "Perform a double tap to the thorasic cavity", call outs like this were not explained to people. If I have never taken training before, and renting a firearm on location, what the heck do statements like those mean. We are on the line, "Perform a double tap to the thorasic cavity"......OK....what is that?

We only practiced malfunction drills twice in 4 days, add once in dry immediately before the test in one practice per type of malfunction. Then we were tested. Seemed a bit low for me. I did run malf drills in the hotel for about an hour off of day 3 which helped, but I thought this was supposed to be a large emphasis on this part of the training.

We had 3 instructors on hand for the most part each day. For 64 people. This was very, very low in my opinion. Occasionally, such as when 2 day got out, we would inherit the instructors from that class for about 2 hours, but then they were off doing other things. There were several times that I would be looking for clarification on a procedure and the intructors would be sitting back by the trailer talking or sitting down while the line was on the pad.

It was windy. Not terribly bad, but due to this, and the size of the class, approximately line 1-6 and 24-30 routinely could not hear the callouts of the main RO. We were always asking for repeats of callouts, and finally resorted to having the actual class members start relaying calls down the line. I was on line 30, so if anyone on the line was talking, I had to ask them to stop so I could hear what was going on.

While we were in the box for procedural instruction, there was constant talking by members of the class. Distracting talking. I really only remember one time that the RO told the class to shut up.

I brought an AK and was the only one in the class to have done so. I knew things were going to be different for me, and expected to not do as well as others because it was a brand new platform for me. 99.5% of the class had ARs. We had one M1 Carbine, two SCARs, one FS2000, one 7mm bolt gun, and 58 ARs. Everyone did receive training on how to operate their individual rifles, and those of us that were not running ARs did in fact receive specific instructions on the line every time which was actually nice.

This is a brand new rifle for me. I've never operated the AK before. I was running iron sights trying to see how I could do. I had a bear of a time getting my rifle zeroed. The rifle was factory zeroed at 100m. When we went to 50 to zero, which all three of the instructors said was not the actual place to zero an AK, we thought we had it dialed in a tad high off the bag, they had raised my sight a turn and a half. Then when we went to different positions on the line, I found I was low, then low, then more low. At 50 off the bag I was 6 inches off center. At 100 I had nothing on paper. At 200 I was certain I had actually hit the 30 number placard. I asked for assistance from all 3 ROs that were on line at all 3 positions and got "hmmmmm that's weird." I asked if they could shoot my gun to see if it was something I was doing personally. "We'll get you dialed in." I asked if I could take time after the class to try a bag again and was told "we'll get you dialed in before the end of the class." This was very, very frustrating for me. When we were at 25 up to 5m I was POA/POI. I felt that was a little strange since they were saying we should be compensating. Hostage taker all my shots were exactly where I pointed the gun. I informed the RO that my suspicion was the gun was sighted in low because I didn't have to compensate. He said that was because my sights were so close to the barrel...... At 25 on back, I was basically throwing money downrange trying to figure out my POI. At the end of day 2 I informed our lead RO that I felt like I wasn't getting the assistance I wanted to get the rifle dialed in, and frankly, I needed help. Again, "We'll get you dialed in." I drove back to the hotel in a high degree of mixed emotions on this.

At the end of day 2, in the hotel, I reset my rifle to factory zero figuring I needed to do something. Back on the range day 3, I found I was about where I should be 25m and forward. At 50 I was a smidge high, at 100 I was a smidge low, and at 200 I was aiming at about the belly button and getting chest to neck, shoulder to shoulder. This was more inspiring. This means my spread now was due to operator error. This I can deal with. I found I do have an issue of sight alignment when I am standing, compared to when I am prone. I do have a hard time figuring out the sights on this gun because of this. I have two different sight pictures between the two different positions. I asked an RO how I should be looking at my sights and told him the two different pictures I observed. He told me, "line up your sights as best as you can." I said I understood, but which sight picture should I be trying to reproduce. I should have one picture all the time, so I am at the same self induced zero in all positions. He looked at me with a smirk and said the same thing. "Line up your sights as best as you can." This is not an answer.

After that, at the end of day 3, I decided to just do the best I can do. I do have a huge issue with my trigger control. There are lots of things I need to work on here by myself, and with ammo prices being as high as they are this is going to be tough. I have very fast presentation, but I rush the shots which hurts my shot placement. I need to work on my aim at prone. Forcing a sight alignment that does not feel natural to me is difficult. So I need to work on that, too.

What it comes down to with my views on this class....I obviously need personal work with the rifle. I have issues on trigger. I felt like I learned all this on my own. I do not feel I got the level of personal interaction that I should have with the instructors. Hearing "We'll get you dialed in" for half a day while I'm throwing ammo down range was not inspiring. I felt the instructors were more on hand to baby sit, and should have been on hand to instruct. The speeches were cool. It made me think of a lot of things I had never thought of before as a firearm owner. The instructors were nice. Too nice? I think they should have held more order in the class. Should have been more strict. But how strict do you get to keep new people returning without running them off?

I have heard the handgun course is much more strict, and would like to experience that. Long ramble and I apologize. There were things I liked about the class, and some that I didn't. I think it had a lot to do with the issues I was having, so a lot of it was self induced misery.
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