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AAR – Caylen’s Precision Rifle Course (Magpul Dynamics)

Recently Caylen Wojcik, the Magpul Dynamics Director of Training for Precision Rifle Operations taught a Special Purpose Rifle/Designated Marksman class in Alliance, OH. I was fortunate enough to be there.

A little background – I speak to Jake Sebens of Ares Gear a lot. I’ve worn an Aegis belt since it was in prototype and helped in the design process. We’re also friends. When he called to ask if I’d be interested in attending one of Caylen’s long gun classes I barely had to look at a calendar to accept.

This was a very unique class. Jake basically advised, “Ares Gear is contracting Caylen through Magpul. It will be a private class for guys in the industry, friends and acquaintances to get together for the weekend. I want you there.

So essentially all I had to do was miracle myself, my kit and 600 rounds to Alliance, where I’d be listening to Caylen dispense knowledge for 3 days – and Ares Gear was buying.

What’s not to like?

AAR   Caylens Precision Rifle Course (Magpul Dynamics) photo

Thursday 24 OCT, the night before the class started, we rallied with Joe from Weyer Tactical. WT had arranged for a bunkhouse for all the students’ billeting, barracks style. We just brought snivel gear and woobies, no need for a hotel, and Sebens had made provision for burgers, hot dogs and other dead animals to eat so there’d be no need to leave the site. Needless to say, this sort of hospitality is very uncommon for a class that size, with an instructor of Caylen’s caliber. Students included LEOs, some from the medical field, active duty military and some from the firearms industry. Jake had invited quite a cross section of guys.  That first night included burgers, cigars and tapped kegs, during which Caylen outlined the class and went over the syllabus and schedule.

Training Day 1

TD 1 was a little cool, and we were set to eat chow @ 0800, on the range by 0900 to go hot. The range was about 15 minutes from the lodging site; it was an unused grass runway, freshly cut and nearly 800 yards in length. We set up on the 50 yard line and Caylen started the first POI.

If you have never before had the opportunity to take a class from Caylen, I strongly encourage you to do so. He is a former Marine Corps Scout Sniper with plenty of time behind the rifle. While there are plenty of guys who have combat experience, street experience, training and personal experience to draw on, not too many can articulate that information in an easily understood, well-spoken manner.

Caylen Wojcik can.

We ran some zeroing drills, worked out some kinks and shot a few “competition” drills for prizes provided by those industry folks in attendance.

We continued a balance of accuracy and speed drills, from 50 to 200 yards, working on the fundamentals and simply getting more time on the guns. Caylen was constantly walking the line, checking progress and handing out nuggets of information to shooters as the drills were conducted. Once the drill was completed, we would unload, walk to the target line and there discuss the targets from every shooter. We’d discuss what the shooter noticed and what he felt he did wrong. Then Caylen would provide his interpretation. We’d paste or replace, walk back to the line and before we moved on to the next block of instruction Caylen would summarize and check for questions. Before we secured for the day, Caylen had us all gather muzzle velocities with his MagnetoSpeed Ballistic Chronograph to prepare us for the class later. If you have never used a MagnetoSpeed Chrono, and for any reason need to collect muzzle velocity, you need to look into them. I have used them before, but now one is on my need list.

AAR   Caylens Precision Rifle Course (Magpul Dynamics) photoThe evening of TD1 we all went back to the bunkhouse. After weapons and ammo were secured, the grill flames had died down and we’d begun the passing of solo cups, Caylen gave us the scoop on the ballistics software. He recommended the Shooter App. Not only did he recommend it, he walked each and every student through the process of setting up the software to the rifle and ammunition being used during the class. It was about an hour to an hour and a half of very useful information. We all benefited from his tricks to getting the most out of the software.  I had not really used ballistic software like Shooter before, but I am sold on its capabilities now.

The class came to an end, and with rifles and ammo locked away, the post training day hot wash began.  Much like the night before, the industry discussions proved to be useful to all in attendance.

We never did make any of the actual “hot” times in the morning. Breakfast, much like lunch and the evening hours, was filled with unofficial “State of the Industry” type talks. It was very much like a holiday party where everyone was completely comfortable discussing everything from guns, ammo and kit,  to cigars, guns, ancillary gear, guns, ballistics, optics and of course guns. We also did a lot of talking about lights. Scott Wilson from Surefire was in attendance, which is why there was so much time spent outside in 30 degree weather around the keg talking about light use. Scott had the newest 1000 lumen Fury. We used that and all the light from every student’s pocket to cut the night, discussing and comparing them all.

Somewhere in there I received a superior education from Hugh Rickenbaker from Uber Group on the Salomon footwear line. Though I have never owned a pair, I now have a pair on the way for a future review. There will also be future reviews on various Suunto watches, if the readers here are interested. On at least 3 separate occasions I watched Hugh deliver hip pocket classes to shooters, helping them understand their own personal watches – compass calibration, GPS, even date/time setting.

Training Day 2-3

TD 2 and TD3 were spent continuing with drills and moving back to the 600 yard line, including the use of all sorts of supported and unsupported shooting positions. Caylen went over different methods of using objects for support and what he does to maximize the accuracy in those different positions. We continued shooting paper and steel from 50 out to 600 yards (many thanks to Rob Tackett from Tac Strike for driving in all those targets). We shot shorter distances on small targets and rapid fire at larger targets. The drill card he worked from was very well put together and built great skill and confidence.

We closed out TD 3 with some competition at 600 yards on Tac Strike ¼ scales. In the end, it was a two man shoot-off. Standing, support side, supported barricade 2 shots on a ¼ scale…with a bunch of luck and a horseshoe in my cargo pocket, I managed to walk away with an Arc’teryx KHARD pack – Hugh didn’t need that stuff anyway, he has all the latest Arc’teryx stuff…he may have let me win.

While in my former life as a SWAT sniper I had received training in a number of classes, my active long gun days ended back in 2005. Caylen was able to pass along his military and combat experience. It was recent material. That sort of up to date, most current knowledge is invaluable. Many thanks to Caylen for putting on a great class, remaining flexible and providing such personal attention. He may be new to the industry now, but he will definitely be a much sought-after instructor as word spreads. He gave a phenomenal class.

AAR   Caylens Precision Rifle Course (Magpul Dynamics) photo

Thanks also to Jake and the folks from Ares Gear for organizing a gathering like none other I have ever been a part of. There was a lot of great information and ideas spawned during those 3 day in Ohio, and not just what we learned from Caylen. A training event like that, with such a cross section of shooters tucked away from the mainstream chaos of trade shows, allows ideas, partnerships and innovation to grow. The future looks bright!

I was out a few tanks of gas, a little more than one case of Black Hills 168s and some cigars. What I gained was an outstanding education from Caylen and the sort of time with great professionals that just can’t be bought. That said, let me assure you – if you are considering a precision rifle class with Caylen and Magpul Dynamics, you will not regret the investment. I can and will gladly spend the standard tuition for future courses. Assuming my schedule allows, I will be enrolling in an advanced precision rifle course. It will be well worth the time and money.

AAR   Caylens Precision Rifle Course (Magpul Dynamics) photoAAR   Caylens Precision Rifle Course (Magpul Dynamics) photo