KILL-ZONE CLASS

Take your skills to the field! Gunsite is the premier…

Take your skills to the field! Gunsite is the premier civilian shooting school in the world. They also provide a great deal of specialized training to military and police organizations. Denver Bryan photo

By the time I scrunched into shooting position, my heart rate was accelerated and my knees were begging for forgiveness. I snuggled into the sling and found the antelope in the scope. He was quartering away at 215 yards. I checked my natural point of aim, took two breaths, placed the reticle slightly behind the shoulder and pressed the trigger.

My guide was watching through binoculars. After the roar of the rifle she said, “That’s a hit, but a tad too far back. Shoot again.” I’d already worked the bolt on the custom rifle chambered for the .30 Remington AR cartridge and reacquired the buck in the scope. Holding about 4 inches forward of where I aimed for the first shot, I fired again. The pronghorn just stood there. Calmly, my guide pronounced, “Perfect shot! Good shooting Richard. Top off your rifle and let’s move along.” I followed her instructions and we moved down the trail. My rapid breathing returned at an even faster pace.

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The squatting position is a stable shooting platform that may be necessary to use when hunting in medium-height cover.

This was the last day of a four-day rifle class at Gunsite Academy. We were on what might be considered our final exam, which is called the “North American Walk.” It’s a shooting range of sorts, but more akin to a 3D archery course. Actually, all the targets were life-like 3D archery targets that had been reengineered by the range personal at Gunsite. They had a steel plate behind the kill zone and a flag that popped up when you made a hit.

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One neat aspect of Gunsite that was repeatedly demonstrated by instructor Il Ling New is the personal attention each student gets. This not just a “get on a line and shoot” school. It’s the individual attention from the instructors that makes a difference.

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