Basic Sniper Course

Basic Sniper Course

This is a discussion on Basic Sniper Course within the Defensive Carry & Tactical Training forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Commonwealth Criminal Justice Academy Director: Tom Perroni, DCJS Instructor Basic Sniper Course 11/22/08 - 11/23/08 Fredericksburg, VA site Course Instructors: Taylor White and Christopher Sharon ...

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  1. #1
    Senior Member Array Scot Van's Avatar
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    Basic Sniper Course

    Commonwealth Criminal Justice Academy
    Director: Tom Perroni, DCJS Instructor
    Basic Sniper Course 11/22/08 - 11/23/08
    Fredericksburg, VA site
    Course Instructors: Taylor White and Christopher Sharon of Adaptive Conuslting & Training Services (ACTS)
    Weapons supplied by Don Sheridan of Special Projects Unlimited

    It would be neglectful to begin this AAR in any other way than to introduce our instructors for the course. Taylor White and Chris Sharon are the foundation of ACTS. Their collective accomplishments are many, superceded only by their ability to convey this material in a concise manner that is extremely effective in teaching the fundamentals of marksmanship and the basic sniper curriculum. Though both gentlemen are experts (the lead chief instructors for the Scout Sniper Marine Corps division), they do not carry themselves with any ego or air of pretentiousness. They generate a healthy learning environment where no question should go unasked, no matter how seemingly trite. I was absolutely impressed with the communicative abilities of both men, and felt that I learned as much as I did because of their teaching styles. Anyone considering attending a Basic Sniper course would do well to attend their classes at the CCJA in Virginia, directed by Tom Perroni, who we all know and respect from this website.

    This course covered the Fundamentals of Marksmanship with a basic introduction to
    -the precision rifle,
    -weapon operation and maintenance
    -optics theory, operation and maintenance
    -an introduction to interior, exterior and terminal ballistics
    -Fundamentals of Marksmanship
    and known distance marksmanship

    Day One was specifically classroom. We began with the fundamentals of marksmanship. The basics were conveyed (body alignment, weapon position, shooting support adjustment) with physical demonstrations from Taylor and Chris. They stressed that the basic gist of all the preparatory work was towards acheiving a repeatable natural point of aim. During the first hours, we learned about sight alignment and sight picture, breathing control, the role of physical fitness in the job of the sniper and the mechanics of bolt manipulation, grip control, trigger control and follow through. Learning from mistakes was underscored as the only way to progress as a sniper.

    We moved on from there to cover scope theory and adjustment. After covering the basic anatomy of the scope, we studied Minute of Angle adjustments. This part of the class was intimidaing, to say the least. If you're not Stephen Hawking, the math can be most daunting. That is specifically why I don't believe I'll ever take the time to become an MOA expert when milradian scopes are just as prolific and much easier to use. Believe my, friends, a basic understanding of the Metric system will be a great boon to those wanting to progress as a sniper. Milradian increments are defined as 1/1000th of any measured distance...1/10th of a mil equals 1cm at 100 meters. This is basic and easy to make adjustments for. I loved the milradian method. Then again, one will never be able to predict what might happen in the field, and if your milradian scope craps out, you probably should know how to pick up the scope off a fallen enemy and use it on your rifle.

    Included in this section were lessons on focusing the reticle, parralax adjustment, zeroing procedures, elevation and windage adjustment and some mathematical acrobatics that Taylor and Chris have managed to refine to a muscle memory in their brains...most impressive.

    Next, we covered range estimation. Though fancy, techy range finders are great and should be used, it was stressed that we cannot rely on technology when we need it most, and we should be comfortable estimating ranges using the scopes. The range estimation formulas are a bit complicated, but my head didn't explode and with practice, they could be quite easy to remember and use effectively.

    Ballistics were extensively covered, but for the purpose of this AAR, I'll spare you the details. It seems that there are quite a few site members here who have a thorough understanding of such, so much of that will be review. There were some nuggets, however, and I'm very glad the instructors covered this. Exterior, Internal and Terminal ballistics were covered in a way that every student had a firm grasp on them. We covered trajectory math and the effects of wind, temperature and altitude as well.

    As Day One of the Basic Sniper Course ended, we had an opportunity to ask questions and learn a bit more about the history of sniping. There were a few stories from the instructors and some BTDT-type classmates (some of whom were taking the course for a refresher). We were told to bundle up for the next day, as we would be shooting in the cold for hours.

    Day Two was ALL shooting. We zeroed our rifles at 100 yards, and progressed in increments of 100 until we ended the day at 500 yards. What struck me was how completely scientific this process is...basically, if you do the math correctly, make the proper adjustment for windage and follow shooting fundamentals, you're going to hit. This was my first extensive experience behind a bolt-action precision rifle, and I am very proud to say my rounds found their target with great consistency.

    Once we returned to the classroom, Taylor and Chris critiqued our shooting a bit, warning us of bad-habit pitfalls. I know for a fact that I need to practive dry-firing at least 20 minutes a day until I can manipulate the bolt and make adjustments to the stock without looking up from the line of sight. I also need to practice addressing the rifle for proper seating. There are many ways to train incorrectly!

    In conclusion, I can state that I feel that this course was extremely valuable. I can confirm that I will endeavor to practice the skillsets taught and will definitely attend the subsequent Intermediate and Advanced Sniper courses. The caliber of instruction is second-to-none (pun INTENDED). Interested parties should educate themselves on the school, the weapons manufacturer and the instructors at the following websites...

    Commonwealth Criminal Justice Academy
    Adaptive Consulting & Training Services, LLC - Home
    Special Projects Unlimited - Custom Precision Rifles Custom Rifles by Special Projects Unlimited

    This concludes my After Action Report for the Basic Sniper Course I just returned from in Virginia...one heck of a learning experience and a great time.

    Special thanks to DCJS Instructor for letting me use his rifle and also to Don Sheridan for providing high-end custom firearms and first-rate gunsmithing. I will definitely be purchasing a rifle from Special Projects Unlimited, as they are refined, surgical tools that must be the foundation of any good sniper's toolbox.

    Questions are welcomed.

    S
    Last edited by Scot Van; November 25th, 2008 at 09:47 AM.
    A man in the hands of his enemies is flesh, and shudderingly vulnerable. - author unknown


  2. #2
    VIP Member Array Cupcake's Avatar
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    Great report. How $$$ and how often do they offer the class? What rifle and what ammo were you firing? Do they routinely supply a rifle/ammo or was that an isolated favor?
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  3. #3
    Senior Member Array Scot Van's Avatar
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    Cupcake,

    This class is offered through the CCJA, check the website for course listings and prices. I will say that the courses are very reasonable.

    Though I cannot speak to routine, weapons were made available through the fine efforts of Don Sheridan and his company, Special Projects Unlimited, also listed on the links. He builds the finest rifles available.

    All are based on the Remington 700 platform in .308, but you're welcome to bring your own rifle. Some were using their own weapons.

    S
    A man in the hands of his enemies is flesh, and shudderingly vulnerable. - author unknown

  4. #4
    Sponsor Array DCJS Instructor's Avatar
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    Sniper Course Info

    Cupcake,

    Sniper Rifles and Match Grade Ammo will always be made available to students.

    Rifles that are FREE to use are:

    Remington 700
    Winchester 70
    M40A1
    M40A3

    Most Remington 700 and Winchester Model 70 based rifles shoot well under ” MOA with experienced shooters and match grade ammunition to 1000 yds and beyond

    Match grade 175 grain ammo will be sold for $1.00 per round.

    Scott was using my USMC M40A3 rifle with milradian scope.

    The cost for a (2) day course is $300.00

    We have (KD) Known Distance to 1,800 yards.

    I am a (DDM) Sniper Instructor but Chris & Taylor are the best!
    they were both Chief Scout Sniper Instructors for the Marine Corps
    Chris taught the School House in Quantico and Taylor in Hawaii.

    Hope this helps!

    P.S. Just a Quick note Scot Van only missed (3) shot's all day long
    not bad. I would not hesitate to have him cover my (6) as a Sniper he is GTG!

    This course will be taught every few months as well as Intermediate & Advanced Sniper Courses.

    Tom Perroni

  5. #5
    Sponsor Array DCJS Instructor's Avatar
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    Scot,

    Post some pics !!!!!!

  6. #6
    VIP Member Array semperfi.45's Avatar
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    LEO only, right???
    Training means learning the rules. Experience means learning the exceptions.

  7. #7
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    Not something I would be interested in, but sounds very interesting. It could make a deadly deer hunter outta' ya'...
    The last Blood Moon Tetrad for this millennium starts in April 2014 and ends in September 2015...according to NASA.

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  8. #8
    Senior Member Array Scot Van's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by retsupt99 View Post
    Not something I would be interested in, but sounds very interesting. It could make a deadly deer hunter outta' ya'...
    I've been a competent deer hunter since I was 14. This course makes all the shooting I've ever done pale in comparison. Deer will now do well to simply butcher themselves after setting a nice fire.

    Since you're not interested, I'll not try and talk you into investigating further. But because it is interesting to you (?!), I'll warm to any questions you might come up with regarding the class, ret. There seeems to be a bit of a disconnect between what interests you and what you find interesting...and I find that quite amusing.

    I'm kidding...I just thought your choice of words was funny...and interesting...but I'm not interested.

    A man in the hands of his enemies is flesh, and shudderingly vulnerable. - author unknown

  9. #9
    Sponsor Array DCJS Instructor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by semperfi.45 View Post
    LEO only, right???
    No!

    Open to all however you must prove you are not a criminal (CCW/CHP/CHL).

    Tom

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    I take it your scopes are Mildots?
    I would rather stand against the cannons of the wicked than against the prayers of the righteous.


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  11. #11
    Sponsor Array DCJS Instructor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HotGuns View Post
    I take it your scopes are Mildots?
    Some are Mildots and some are Milradian.


    Tom Perroni

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scot Van View Post
    I've been a competent deer hunter since I was 14. This course makes all the shooting I've ever done pale in comparison. Deer will now do well to simply butcher themselves after setting a nice fire.

    Since you're not interested, I'll not try and talk you into investigating further. But because it is interesting to you (?!), I'll warm to any questions you might come up with regarding the class, ret. There seeems to be a bit of a disconnect between what interests you and what you find interesting...and I find that quite amusing.

    I'm kidding...I just thought your choice of words was funny...and interesting...but I'm not interested.


    Scot Van...

    Perhaps because of my age and physical ability, I view the 'sniper activity' a hobby or training that would no longer be a viable option or something that I might find myself capable of persuing...yet an interesting topic. I have friend who was a marine sniper with some interesting stories. But it couldn't hurt the deer hunting skills.
    Glad I could provide some amusement for you...
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  13. #13
    Senior Member Array Juggernaut's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DCJS Instructor View Post
    No!

    Open to all however you must prove you are not a criminal (CCW/CHP/CHL).

    Tom
    OK, I just might have to take some time out for this course!
    Vis consili expers mole ruit sua.
    -Horace

  14. #14
    Senior Member Array Scot Van's Avatar
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    This is a picture of us taking instruction on making certain we've got crystal clear reticles in our view, the first step in fitting the gear to the shooter.
    Attached Images
    A man in the hands of his enemies is flesh, and shudderingly vulnerable. - author unknown

  15. #15
    Senior Member Array Scot Van's Avatar
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    Here's The Kid and all his baldness. Also, one of all shooters on the line. Our instructors were key in evaluating our accuracy and technique, gently making corrections as we fired our weapons. Angela, the lone female in the group, shot admirably.

    Props to DCJS Instructor for the photos.
    Attached Images
    A man in the hands of his enemies is flesh, and shudderingly vulnerable. - author unknown

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