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Posted: 3/23/2002 5:46:45 PM EDT
I am going to Thunder Ranch in April to take the following classes: Defensive Shotgun General Purpose Rifle If you have taken these same classes,I would appreciate it if you could please provide me with your specific insights and advice. If you have taken any other classes at Thunder Ranch, I’d appreciate any general insights and advice. I need to know everything from the vital to the trivial. For me this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Please help me to get the most out of it by sharing your knowledge and experience. Thank you, Regards, FRIZ
Link Posted: 3/23/2002 6:23:11 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/23/2002 7:24:29 PM EDT by John_Feamster]
I attended Gen. Purpose Rifle, Urban Rifle 1 & 2, & Precision Rifle 1. It's a great school & I believe you'll be very happy w/your training. General notes: Bring sunscreen, knee/elbow pads, & a hat w/a brim, plus a small range bag for ammo etc., & a 20-oz or larger water bottle. Cold water is provided but breaks are relatively infrequent, so you'll bring water to the line. The training is physical; lots of getting up & down behind cover, so if you live a sedentary life like some of us (a-hem! [:D]) you might want to do some walking, stretching, etc. If not staying at TR, I recommend the Motel 6 in Kerrville. I stayed at a non-chain type hotel briefly on my first trip, but fled due to bugs on every surface of my room. Motel 6 was built in '98, cheaper, clean, modern & comfortable. Have a good 100-yd zero before you go, if poss., & bring a bipod if you use one. (I shoot Highpower competition, so I used a sling for GPR, which worked great.) Don't bring garbage rifle ammo (e.g., cheapo .308 147 gr. FMJ.) You'll be shooting for precision out to 300 yds, although much of GPR practice is at 100 yds or less. If economy on ammo is critical, you can use less-accurate ammo for the short-range portion. However, know your zeros for both types ammo, if you do bring two types!! Short, light rifles work well at TR. Shooters w/long, heavy rifles tend to re-evaluate their choice after Thunderville. Many vow to sell the big rifle when they get home & get something like a Rem. Light Tactical Rifle. Students deploy & carry the rifle a lot, including crawling & maneuvering through tight quarters in Thunderville. In GPR I used a Win. 70 XTR Featherweight in 7x57mm (similar to 7mm-08) w/a 12.5" length of pull for easier bolt reach, Pachmayr Decelerator pad, bedded & free floated, trigger job, Leupold 2.5-8X VX III scope, & a 3-point sling. It weighed ~8 lbs, & was great. A good, standard light hunting rifle works fine. When I got home, I cut the barrel to 18.5" to make it that much handier, but 20" is a good overall length. DON'T USE CHEAP OPTICS. You need a good scope; my personal preference is Leupolds w/click, not friction, adjustments. (This can be Vari-X III, low-profile "coin click" knobs; target knobs are unnecessary.) Good, tough scope mounts/rings are important; flimsy see-through aluminum rings can cause trouble. Expensive "Tactical" models are not needed but they do need to be durable. I wrote highly detailed articles (9-12 pages each) on these courses; they're available as reprints at modest cost from Precision Shooting Magazine (1-860-645-8776). They appeared in "Tactical Shooter" (now replaced by "The Accurate Rifle"): 1. "Down & Dirty: Urban Rifle at TR." (part 1 of 2; detailed info on TR staff, facilities, classes, etc.) 3/99 Tactical Shooter 2. "Down & Dirty Part 2" Detailed description of UR1, tells re: low-light training, simulators, etc. 4/99 issue. 3. "TR's Gen. Purpose Rifle" Detailed account of the course, w/info on equipment, drills, etc. 9/99 issue. 4. "Fun in the Sun With Guns -- Prec. Rifle 1 at TR" Covers PR1 but has some useful info for the scoped-rifle shooter. 5/2000 5. "Runnin' & Gunnin': Urban Rifle 2 at TR" Covers UR2 including self-defense from vehicles, etc. 10/2000 Hope this helps! John Feamster
Link Posted: 3/23/2002 7:03:34 PM EDT
Hi John: Thank you for all your advice. I am much obliged. Regards, FRIZ
Link Posted: 3/26/2002 9:06:50 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/26/2002 9:07:23 AM EDT by Merlin]
I'd be careful about taking advice from John Feamster. In 1999, I bought John's book, The Black Rifle. Here's what his advice in that book cost me since then: - BM lower for Coyote Rifle: $209 - Compass Lake Engr. Upper: $1200 - Another AR-15 Carbine (BM lower/Armalite upper): $750 - Armalite AR-10A4: $1200 - CLE triggers for AR-10 and Colt AR-15: $350 - Floating barrel for Colt AR-15: $150 As you can see, reading John's book can be very expensive. By the same token, if I hadn't read his book, I would have been a lot more unhappier without my favorite AR's nor would I have had as much fun over the last 3 1/2 years putting together and shooting them. Not to mention the fact that my 12 year old daughter dang gum near shoots my CLE Coyote Rifle better than I do!!! In other words, Thank You, John Feamster! OK, now back to the original discussion thread. Merlin
Link Posted: 3/26/2002 9:42:37 PM EDT
[:D] BWAAAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!! Obviously, my evil plan for world AR15 domination continues to succeed!! Yesssss, splendid!! [:)] [beer] Glad you enjoyed "Black Magic," and that it was helpful! John Feamster
Link Posted: 3/29/2002 5:53:59 PM EDT
Thank you for all your advice. Regards, FRIZ
Link Posted: 3/29/2002 8:52:23 PM EDT
Fritz, Never taken the classes you mentioned, but have taken a few classes at TR. John's advice is on point... I would add that you will need/want advil. I would suggest you stay at the YO Ranch and Resort in Kerrvile. [url]http://www.yoresort.com/[/url] If you stay in Kerrvile, leave 1 and a half hours before class starts on the first day, then adjust your time accordingly. Don't show up late and gawd, whatever you do... Don't park on the grass...a student in one of my classes made this mistake. Clint and Heidi are two of the greatest people I have ever met. The staff is top notch. You will love it ! There are no places to eat in Kerrville that are worth a sh!t. The Cowboy steakhouse is supposed to be good, but I was unimpressed. I just stick to Chilies. You have to bring you own lunch to TR (they have a fridge) so plan accordingly... If you want I can ask my shooting buddy and get you the name of a diner that will make you sandwiches in the morning while your eating breakfast, I don't remember the name of the places, she does. The YO will, supposedly, prepare lunch for you. They do have a free "finger food" deal at night in the bar, I have been so tired, I've eaten that and gone to sleep. I would try to get a cabin at TR, but they are always booked up when I sign up. We hit a deer at UR-1, what a bummer... Drive slow at night.
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