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50BMG
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Shooting coaching idea
Jul 22nd, 2018 at 3:51am
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Hello all

I have been away for some time due to work. Having recently been forced to look at my physical ability and realised (somewhat reluctantly) that I have reached the stage that my mind is trying to write cheques my body does not have the reserves to cash, I have retired from contracting.

For those do not remember me on this board I was in the NZ and Uk armies and then spent almost 30 years as a contractor in Africa and the Middle East. I badged as a sniper in the Army and have spent most of my life either using those skills or training others in them.

Having returned to NZ permanently and now living in the Wellington region I will be back on this board. Several friends and shooting acquaintances have suggested I should set up a training school. I am uncertain as to how this might look yet but would like some idea from members who might be interested and what I should concentrate on.

Anything from selecting and setting up a weapon, scope mounting, shooting technique, ammunition development, equipment, etc are possible.

I am not considering this as a business because I am now retired and do not need the money. I would need to ensure any costs are covered.

Anyone who wishes to reply with suggestions, ideas or whatever to help me decide what might work please do so here.  I look forward to reading your responses

  

"The brave few are Freedoms rampart for the many"  "Otherwise protect your freedoms or you will surely lose them"
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Re: Shooting coaching idea
Reply #1 - Jul 22nd, 2018 at 7:33am
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With that background... you need to write a book... no doubt you'll have some stories!  Cool
  

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Re: Shooting coaching idea
Reply #2 - Jul 22nd, 2018 at 7:47am
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That has been suggested. Trouble is I like the idea of one finger movement = job done. A book is thousands of finger movements Shocked Shocked Shocked Shocked Undecided
  

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Re: Shooting coaching idea
Reply #3 - Jul 22nd, 2018 at 7:50am
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I could tell plenty of stories but no one would believe them Cool and I would only end up looking pretty stupid in most of them.
  

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Re: Shooting coaching idea
Reply #4 - Jul 22nd, 2018 at 2:05pm
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Take my money. I absolutely remember your posts.
  

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Re: Shooting coaching idea
Reply #5 - Jul 23rd, 2018 at 9:43pm
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Great idea.

I assume you have suitable ground for long range shooting? Perhaps try a two day training course, with day one being theory on LR shooting, MOA, MRAD, scope, rifle, picatinny rail, chambering, projectile considerations etc, followed by tuning students’ own rifles. Day two being range work, hold, position, releasing the shot, follow through, identifying faults using coaching and identifying faults based on groups. Probably worth discussing terminal performance of different projectiles at lower velocities for hunting, rather than gong killing too.

To cover costs ask for a fixed donation prior to the course and see how many are willing to challenge themselves and improve their shooting.

I’d be well up for it, but logistics are not on my side.

Good luck.
  
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Re: Shooting coaching idea
Reply #6 - Jul 23rd, 2018 at 11:35pm
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Training or Coaching?
Do you have access to a suitable place to shoot out to the distance you intend?

What application are you looking towards? General hunting, medium range hunting, long range hunting? Or are you talking competitive medium to long range “practical” events?

There are a few people doing long range shooting training in NZ at the moment (Crosshairs Long Range, Tactical Classroom, Sparrowhawk, Precision Shooter, etc.). I suggest if you are going to offer a training course you publish your background and what the course will cover to give perspective attendees a good idea what they are paying for and what background you have to offer such training. In my opinion a course should have a curriculum – ideally with a set of lessons and exercises that take the student through concepts and then demonstrates their application such that the learning is solidified and remembered.

An introductory long range course I would expect to cover: rifle set up and mechanics, zeroing and chronographing, shooting fundamentals, ballistic software and validation, atmospherics, basic wind techniques, shooter/equipment limitations, etc. An advanced course would go past these to cover alternative shooting positions, angle shooting, advanced wind techniques, multiple targets, spotting techniques, etc. In my opinion the trainer needs to be intimately familiar with modern ballistic solvers, with the use of various scopes, MILS and MOA, range finders, spotters, use of FFP and SFP reticles, techniques for assessing wind, and shooting in various terrains. The trainer should have a passion for long range shooting and be a continual student themselves by reasonably keeping up with modern equipment and techniques such that they can pass this on to students.

Coaching, I see as a bit different and is a one on one activity as compared to a training course. For example as a coach for a competitive shooter I would expect you to attend a competition with the shooter to coach them or go along on the long range hunt with them.

I haven’t seen too many courses for stuff like simple gunsmithing (scope mounting, bedding, stock adjustments, etc.) or reloading for long range (die and press selection, annealing, neck turning, seating depth adjustments, load development, chronographing, etc.). There might be a cool opening there for a course?

Informal “coaching” or mentoring is much less intrusive and is more offering advice to someone learning their way through the whole process. I dunno if I would be will to pay much for this.

I’ll apologise in advance as I have made a whole heap of assumptions in writing this and I suspect you won’t get much (if anything) from this but I am afraid I do not know you or the details of your experience.
  
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Re: Shooting coaching idea
Reply #7 - Jul 24th, 2018 at 7:42am
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Be good if such a course could be based at Waiouru where there  are plenty of range facilities and probably lecture rooms / gunsmithing workshop space to rent from time to time, plus barrack space. A week long course at reasonable cost would be pretty neat and a lot of Gillies suggestions could be put into practice.
  

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Re: Shooting coaching idea
Reply #8 - Jul 24th, 2018 at 9:53am
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Thanks for the ideas and Pms so far.

I am open to pretty much anything in Gillies list.

To clarify. Military terminology "shooting coaching" is not the same as a coach on the range (not in the early 80s) it referred to comprehensive training in all things related to shooting form personal prep to kit to technique etc.

It appears that my original post did not make one important fact clear. My background includes both being deployed as a sniper in every kind of terrain on the planet and training snipers for over 30 years. There is not a conflict in the last 30 years I have not had some kind of involvement in, either deployed operationally or as a trainer.

I am not going to be more specific and there are few on this board who will know exactly why.

I am currently getting a project underway with an armourer in NZ who I consider to be absolutely outstanding. It involves building an entirely new platform for engaging human targets to 5000m.

I am also negotiating a property purchase which will afford shooting at this distance. It will also offer an opportunity to construct a variety of ranges and training facilities.

I like one on one mentoring starting with getting the weapon set up and fit right and building from there.

Group work is also cool.

One of my pet gripes is weapon and particularly scope set up. This area accounts for the majority of issues and confidence loss. Shooting is 90 % confidence and buggering your confidence buggers you shooting.

I can also offer target analysis and video-based assistance to those who may find travel an issue.

I have ordered a laser/ballistic analysis system which tracks weapon oscillation and movements /position while dry firing. A great tool for indisputable troubleshooting of firer technique.

I use what is available, speak my mind and draw on 50 years of real-world shooting experience to resolve whatever issue is at hand.

I do not give a rats where I do this and I do not care what kit is used. I do care about technique, weapon fit and setup as well as skills.

Getting a firer to using what they have to maximum effect every time is the goal. Back it up with knowledge and you build confidence. You quickly get to a point where distance stops being an issue. Especially when the target does not shoot back.

A bit more on me -

Before the Army, I grew up hunting hares and magpies with an air file (BSA Meteor) from age 6. When my Poppa was happy with my performance I got a Pape 410 and 10/22 and was told it was my job to control the pests around the homestead and main buildings yards etc.
I would be given a box of ammo and had to parade with the tails ears etc when I needed more. I was not expected to go one for one but I was expected to explain what caused each miss.

I was paid 25 cents per tail/ ear/ claw depending on species. I had to pay for the ammo. I was one of the richest kids at school. Animals that counted - rodents, mustelids, rabbits, hares, goats, opossums and magpies with pigs, feral sheep and cattle, deer etc later (got a 243 when I turned 10). I learnt how to stalk, read wind, est range and most importantly - read nature.

I was introduced to reloading at about 12. I got the bug baaddd!

I went on my first Tahr hunt at 13 and Wapiti at 15. My Poppa took me to Africa every year from age 12 to 18 when he died on ANZAC day. We visited his good mate from WW2 in North Africa with whom he shared a vehicle.

I joined the army (Infantry) wanted more and got more specialised. life in the NZ Army was too quiet so I went tot he UK. I became a sniper instructor, deployed as a sniper and or sniper instructor all over the world from 94 until 2014. There is not shithole I haven't worked in nor a country I have not hunted in. In most cases, the target tended to shoot back if I f**ked up.

There were some close calls and one or two too close calls.

So give me your thoughts.

PM me if you like.




  

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Re: Shooting coaching idea
Reply #9 - Jul 24th, 2018 at 8:03pm
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Sounds awesome 50BMG.

Personally I am a competitive shooter mainly in the "practical" rifle shooting events currently on around the country - including 22LR, short range, medium range and longer range events. I do a fair amount of shooting but feel I could benefit from some critical "coaching" in the finer details of shooting technique.

Personally what I would be interested in is a 1 on 1 type coaching session that would cover a series of exercises designed to test or confirm the following:
Fundamentals (NPOA, breathing, trigger control, etc.)
Wind (natural indicators, flags, terrain effects, kestrel, basically I could do with a simples systematic approach to assessing wind effect)
Ballistic calculator validation (what I use is close... but doesn't seem to be perfect. between inconsistency in scope adjustments, atmospheric variables, wind effects I feel my ballistic solution could be refined)
Finally my unconventional shooting positions or positional shooting could always use more practice and input from a more experienced shooter.


As I see it my biggest inconsistency in my shooting is me and I would rather spend time / money / effort in improving my shooting ability rather than spend that time / money / effort on flasher reloading gear and shooting small groups from a bench.

Offer something along these lines and I'll be interested.
  
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Re: Shooting coaching idea
Reply #10 - Jul 24th, 2018 at 10:54pm
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Me too.
  

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Re: Shooting coaching idea
Reply #11 - Jul 25th, 2018 at 9:36am
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It is looking like one on one is the way to go. That said if a group gets together I can deal with that no problems.

Just to cover a few points raised -

1. The particular discipline of shooting is not that important until the basics are correctly executed. The basics do not change regardless of the type of weapon, style of shooting or position.

2. No one can shoot to their potential if the weapon does not fit them properly, the sights are not mounted correctly, the kit is in crap condition or not appropriate for the task, or they are not applying the essential marksmanship rules fully and consistently.

3. While price is no guarantee of quality and does mean an item is best for a particular individual, buying the best kit you can afford definitely will make shooting well more often easier.

4. Without well-planned, regular practise, that is observed by a knowledgeable person able to recognise and articulate any incorrection actions of the firer it is almost impossible to detect and correct errors in any of the above.

5. A programme of carefully designed practises relevant to the type of shooting required will continue to build confidence, ability and achieve steady measurable improvement.



My preference is to learn what a person wants to achieve and then just watch them shoot for a start. I usually video this and then video fall of shot on target.

Once this is complete a combination of target analysis, video review and observation notes are used to identify what areas of work is needed on.

At the same time the entire set up of the rifle, scope, ammo, rangefinder, ballistic calculator, chrono, radar, Kestral etc gets examined and dissected to ensure all are as they should be, calibrated correctly, correctly used and appropriate to the intended task. This can take some time as the idea is to have the firer completely understand this in fine detail and to be comfortable making it all work.

Once these steps are completed and there is no further chance of error, assumption or misunderstanding and a comprehensive programme is put in place. The primary focus is on 1 and 2 above.

Once any firer errors are clearly resolved a tuning phase commences where the rifle sight and ammo are explored to get them to the optimum configuration for the firers needs.

When everybody is happy everything is as it should be the focus turns to the finer technical details such as reading wind and mirage, the effects of wind, light, heat, incline, temperature, humidity, topography etc are worked into the programme.

The final stage is to learn advanced ballistics application development, Coriolis and Eötvös effects, Spindrift, Gyroscopic stability factors, transonic bridging, projectile behaviours and dynamics, and if required, engaging high speed targets at long range (target speeds above 50kph beyond 500metres) or shooting moving targets from helicopters and moving vehicles.

In other words, it is comprehensive and gets a firer to a point they know their limits but can perform to them at any time.

As I said in my opening post, I am not looking at this a business but do not want to be out of pocket either so aslong a sany costs are covered I will be happy. This is my chance to "give back".

  

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Re: Shooting coaching idea
Reply #12 - Jul 25th, 2018 at 8:32pm
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Sounds bloody excellent. When can I start?

Got most of the gear, but I can’t provide a heli 😀
  
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Re: Shooting coaching idea
Reply #13 - Jul 27th, 2018 at 3:58am
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Sounds like a fantastic idea  Cool

Everyone has something to learn  Smiley

Just a wee niggle though here on civvie street its a firearm not a weapon  Wink
  

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Re: Shooting coaching idea
Reply #14 - Jul 27th, 2018 at 6:31am
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Just a wee niggle though here on civvie street its a firearm not a weapon  Wink [/quote]


Hmmm... I have over thirty years of speech muscle memory to retrain then?? Given I may have retired but remain in a consultative role this is some task as I remain immersed in the speech.

One might argue that the term weapon helps to retain the correct focus. It is a headspace thing.

In any case, I will endeavour to sanitise terminology for this forum. as I can see the potential image issues that may arise.
  

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