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AAR: Follow Through Consulting – Scoped Carbine (Part One: Introduction)

Follow Through Consulting
Scoped Carbine Class
Teasdale, UT  March 18 – 20, 2016
By: Seth Young

Introduction

One of my favorite weekend activities is hiking up into the mountains and target shooting. In order to continue developing this hobby I’ve taken several DMR/SPR style classes by now. A few have been small local get-togethers down at the fabulous high-desert North Spring range in Price, UT. Another was the Magpul Dynamics DMR/SPR class at Sniper Country in Tremonton, UT. Off the top of my head I can think of several individuals I know that do much more hiking, shooting, and hunting in mountain / high-desert regions than I do, but here are my observations and experiences as an outdoors enthusiast at the Follow Through Consulting Scoped Carbine class in Teasdale, Utah.

Instructor
Buck Doyle is the owner and instructor of Follow Through Consulting. From his website:

“Buck Doyle served over 21 years in the US Marine Corps, including 17 years and multiple combat tours with Special Operations units. As a Reconnaissance Marine attached to 1st Force Recon, 1st Recon BN, and MARSOC units, Doyle served as Team Leader, Platoon Sergeant, and Chief Instructor at Special Missions Training Branch. He has current, extensive experience in hostile fire/combat zones in the Middle East, Africa, and Asia. Doyle retired from the Marine Corps a Master Sergeant with multiple awards, including the Bronze Star (with Valor).”

All through of the class it was readily apparent that the experience Buck gained during his time in the military serving overseas drove the unique methods of employing scoped carbines that he was teaching us.

The Venue: Teasdale, Utah
The course took place down in Capitol Reef national park, which is in central Utah, about a 3 hour drive south of Salt Lake City. Early spring in Utah can be unpredictable due to the frequent rogue snow storms that roll through the otherwise warm and sunny days. We got lucky for this class with sunny weather in the mid 50’s and light to medium wind during the day, and crisp 30’s at night.

12999578_10209588434727381_1755047846_oTeasdale is a 3 hour drive south of Salt Lake City. An incredible amount of shootable land is available for Buck to tailor each class to his students.

The steel ranges that Buck set up were the real shining point. The majority of the shooting areas were backed by the beautiful red sandstone cliffs Capitol Reef is famous for. Another area we used later in the class was set against a scrub covered hillside to make target discovery and identification realistic and difficult.

The steel targets themselves were a combination of 12″ circles, “Todd Targets” or “Man Gongs” (12″ circles with a separate 16″ square plate below), E silhouettes, and LaRue reactive targets.

The following is a brief description of the training areas. The names I gave them are arbitrary and what I used in my notes to keep the locations separate and fresh in my mind.

Flat Range #1 – Prone shooting area for 12″ drill, truing, and 1060 meter target. Targets were 12″ steel circles from 300-400 meters, Todd targets and E silhouettes from 400-600 meters, and silhouette targets at 760 and 1060 meters.

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Scenario Ranges #1 and #2 – These areas were set against the red cliffs. They were a mix of LaRue and Todd/silhouette targets. A dozen or so barricades made from wood or hay bales with trails running between them set 275 – 400 meters back from the cliffs and targets. Some silhouette targets were set closer to the barricades for use with offset RDS or iron sights. The range to a particular target could really open up depending on the angle you were shooting at in relation to the cliff face. This was the area we used for barricade practice, offset sight usage, and the night time scenarios with night vision.

Flat Range #2 – prone shooting for 12″ drill. This range was on the south side of the valley and offered a flat area overlooking a ravine and hillside. The targets were 12″ steel circles hidden among the rocks and trees on the hillside to make target location difficult. They were spread from 300 – 400 meters.

Gear
In previous SPR/DMR classes I have used an 18″ AR15 or a SCAR17. For this class I brought a Knight’s Armament SR-25 ECC: a 16″ .308 rifle with a 1/10 twist chrome lined barrel.  It shoots a bit less than 1 MOA with good ammo, and for this class I was using 175gr Federal Gold Medal Match. On top there’s a Nightforce 2.5-10×32 scope with the NP-R2 reticle (2-moa subtends on the vertical axis, 5-moa subtends on the horizontal axis) and MOA turrets. There is an offset T-1 on the side. I was pretty familiar with the scope and reticle, but hadn’t done any serious measuring / range estimation with it. Also, since there is no gridded reticle measurement on the NP-R2 (like the Horus), I found it more effective to dial elevation instead of using holds.

A full list of the rest of the recommended gear for the class is under the course description on the Follow Through website. Aside from my rifle I had the normal range gear along with some colder weather clothing for the night shooting portion. It should be noted though that Buck’s classes don’t really cater to the full chest-rig or battle-belt setup. There is a greater emphasis on mobility and using cover with just you, your rifle, and a mag or two in your pockets. Cargo pockets that can hold a full mag without it slapping around during a run are a big plus.

 

Continued on Part Two: Day One.

 

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