Gunwerks Long Range University: Range Day 1

There are few things more satisfying than putting three rounds on steel at 700 yards. Save for possibly putting three more rounds on steel at 950 yards. Thanks to Gunwerks, I’ve now done both. And I did it with relative ease. Make the jump to hear how . . .

After cramming our heads with all manner of long range knowledge – and our bellies with the provided lunch – we caravaned out to the Gunwerks private range. As you can see, this is a very nice setup that allows solid bench rest shooting without too much fuss or muss. Our goals for the afternoon range session were simple. Get comfortable with the BDC turret, understand and experience parallax error, learn to use solid bench rest fundamentals and gain awareness of the wind. We also got a primer on proper cleaning and how to be an effective spotter.

Since there were ten shooters and five stations, we shot in two heats. If you weren’t shooting, you were manning a spotting scope and calling shots. That is unless you are a fancy gun blogger…then you just run around taking pictures and staying the hell out of the way.

The course of fire was pretty straightforward. There were targets at 400, 700, and 950 yards. There were at least three instructors working with the five shooters which resulted in nearly one on one attention. Once they felt comfortable with your body position and scope settings, you were cleared to let loose the ballistic dogs of war.

Using the BDC turret is maybe the easiest thing in the world. Screw it all the way in until it stops and then back it out to the range specified by the G7 BR2 rangefinder. The BR2 also gives you wind holds based on known ballistic data. So once you read the wind, or your experienced instructor does it for you, make the hold and squeeze the trigger.

I established my zero at 400 with ease, stepped out to 700 and finessed out some issues. Like when I had my scope set at somewhere less than the maximum 22X magnification and let one rip about six feet to the left of my target. Then I stepped out to 950 and cleared up a few more issues. Like when I forgot to adjust my parallax at 950 and made a less than 1 MOA grouping. Just small things that can make a huge difference downrange.

The wind was a fairly steady five to seven mph but would suddenly die or pick back up. As such, I had some serious horizontal spread. Day two is supposed to iron out a bunch of those issues. Either way, I sat down behind a gun I’d never fired and put three on steel at a bit over half a mile. That’s enough to make your brain hurt.

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About Tyler Kee

Tyler Kee is a small town kid trying to make it in the big city of Austin, TX. A salesman by day, he is an avid motorcyclist and aspiring chef out of the office.

21 Responses to Gunwerks Long Range University: Range Day 1

  1. avatarMark says:

    Never had a chance to shoot at those distances, but it’s got to be satisfying to have done so.

  2. avatarRoll says:

    600yds with a mosin nagnt’s ironsights, I’ve done it, But not very consistantly. Hopefully no ones life will ever depend on my mosin.

  3. avatarCurtis says:

    Jealousy…

  4. avatarready,fire,aim says:

    sound like fun this is going on my bucket list for sure…

  5. avatarMotoJB says:

    Awesome – we only have the very occasional 200 yard range here in NorCal. Usually just punching paper at 100 yards. BOOOORING.

  6. avatarKWAL says:

    Very cool! i want to do that. Did you have to walk out and respray the steel after each group? :-)

    • avatarTyler Kee says:

      Not so much walk as drive. And the Gunwerks crew takes care of that while the students clean their guns.

  7. avatarRalph says:

    A 950-yard shot would be a felony in New England for shooting across state lines.

    • avatarJim Barrett says:

      Unless you are taking a course at the Sig Sauer Academy in NH which has a 1,000 yard range available.

  8. avatarfrankgon4 says:

    I would love to attend one of those classes.

  9. avatarSkyler says:

    Good shooting. The hardest part is just finding a place to shoot those distances.

    I know it’s not right to think this way, but a part of me still thinks it’s cheating to use a bench vise clamp.

    • avatarTotenglocke says:

      Oh, I think it’s cheating too. Realistically if you were in a combat zone, you’re not going to have a vise to keep your gun from moving.

  10. avatarJim Barrett says:

    It’s funny how the technology makes things more accessible to the novice. If you can pony up the $1,500, the BDC rangefinder sounds like an awesome thing to have, but I have to believe that getting familiar with one of the ballistic calculators available for iPhones and Android devices can do a lot of the same sort of work for you (with a bit more effort on your part for a hell of a lot less cash.

  11. avatarJim Barrett says:

    The real question that I want Tyler to answer after he gets back is whether he can still consistently hit out to 900 yards with his equipment after the course. It’s one thing to do it under semi-controlled conditions with a $6,000+ rifle and a $1,500 rangefinder. Its entirely something else to do it with your own equipment (assuming of course that you don’t have a $6000 rifle and $1,500 rangefinder). If Tyler can do that, then the course is definitely worth the cost and travel hassle. If not, then it’s merely a cool experience.

    I’ll be taking a course at the Sig Sauer Academy in the fall using my own equipment (okay, I admit that rifle and scope will be in the range of $5,500). I’ll be interested to see how I do with my own stuff.

    • avatarTyler Kee says:

      I’ll go ahead and answer it. A very simple no. Mostly because my go to rifle is a Ruger M77 Mark II in .243 WIN.

      Am I more confident past my typical hunting distances (200 yards)? You bet your ass. So yeah, its worth the hassle and also a cool experience.

    • avatarDyspeptic Gunsmith says:

      There’s two types of shot at long distances:

      1. Known distance.

      2. Unknown distance.

      If you know the distance, you can hit a target at 800 yards with an unscoped Springfield 1903 or Garand. I’ve done it and thousands upon thousands of people have in decades gone by as well.

      Range estimation without a rangefinder and then putting rounds on target… now that’s what impresses people.

      Especially those downrange.

  12. avatarbrigo50 says:

    I really think this would be neat to go and do. The one on one with instructors sounds like it would be a very positive and knowledgeable experience.

  13. avatarbontai Joe says:

    Sounds like you are havinf fun AND learning stuff, a wonderful combination! I have never had a chance to shoot longer than 100 yards at a range, so I am envious also.

  14. avatarDave J says:

    “Like when I had my scope set at somewhere less than the maximum 22X magnification and let one rip about six feet to the left of my target.”
    Scope magnification affects windage?

    • avatarTyler Kee says:

      Second focal plane scope. Each has represents 1 MOA at 22X, 2 MOA at 11X. So when I held 2 minutes for wind, I was probably actually holding 4 minutes.

  15. avatarbob says:

    Sounds like you were lucky with the wind, I was in cody 4 days ago and the wind was 20-30 mph with 45 gusts.

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