Thursday, May 19, 2011
Gunsite 270 General Rifle
Back in 2008, after I took the Gunsite 250 Defensive Pistol course, I also took the 270 General Rifle course. It is designed to give new shooters the familiarity and confidence to handle their rifles, while honing the skills of experienced shooters for shots ranging from “up close” to 300 yards. My class had students of all experience levels and we all benefitted from the thorough teaching.
Similar to the Defensive Pistol class, we were all made very familiar with our equipment and learned the most efficient ways to manipulate our rifles and their controls. I took my Christensen Arms .270WSM topped with a Swarovski riflescope. We practiced loading, unloading, feeding, mounting, carrying in multiple slung positions, and of course, many different shooting positions.
Kneeling, using concealment and a rest
The main thing I took from the class is the idea of “natural point of aim.” Every time you hold your rifle, whether supported or not, your hands and body will “naturally” point the rifle. If you try to force the sights away from this natural point of aim and onto your target, different parts of your body will be competing against one another and you will shoot less accurately. However, if you shift your body so that your “natural point of aim” is at your target, you will only need to make slight adjustments to your point of aim while pressing the trigger. It was amazing to see how our groups shrunk after making sure our natural point of aim was the same as our intended point of aim.
To find your natural point of aim, get into any shooting position (following the Four Rules of Firearms Safety, of course), and then close your eyes and relax for a few seconds or a couple deep breaths. When you open your eyes, your gun will be pointing at your natural point of aim. If you are not aimed at your target, shift your body so that you are, but do not just push the gun around with your hands. Close your eyes again and check your natural point of aim. Continue shifting and checking until your natural point of aim is the same as your intended point of aim, and then fire. With some practice, you will easily and quickly find your natural point of aim, which should make you a better shooter!
If you get a chance to take the Gunsite 270 General Rifle course, I strongly suggest it. You will fire more rounds through your rifle in a week than you probably ever have, and you will leave with the skills and confidence to make the shot, whether it’s at cape buffalo in the thick brush or a mule deer on the prairie. The teachers are excellent and the knowledge they give you is worthwhile for real-life hunting scenarios.
A timed run through the Scrambler tested our stamina and skills.
Here is the article I wrote for Western Hunter about the Gunsite 270 General Rifle class: