Stoic Ventures: AAR of ‘Intro to Precision Rifle’
Among the tenets of Stoicism is the philosophy that “…destructive emotions cause errors in judgment.” It is upon this ethos that the name and methodology of the training organization Stoic Ventures are predicated.
I was invited to Southington, Ohio on October 14th and 15th to attend a Stoic Ventures Introduction to Precision Rifle class. It was one of a bank of Stoic Ventures classes hosted by Raven Concealment Systems. I also took one of their Shotgun class – more to follow on that later). It was a great training opportunity.
Stoic Ventures is owned and operated by Mike Lamb, a solid guy with the resume built with years of operational experience as a US Marine (so we get along well). He was a “Mustang” – serving first as an enlisted Marine and later becoming an officer. He served with Force Reconnaissance and with some government entities as a Marine. After serving thirteen years he sustained injuries while in theater and was retired; he was also one of the first Magpul Dynamics instructors during its inception and served as the Director of Military Operations for Magpul Industries.
In addition to everything described above, Mike is aa top notch instructor and one hell of a dude. His knowledge of precision long guns is held in very high regard; I cleared everything on the calendar when asked to come join the class.
There were a wide range of students and gear in attendance. AR platform 5.56 gas guns, .308 bolt guns, a 300WIN MAG; I ran my FN SCAR17S. The weather was mid to upper 60s and rose into the 70s during the afternoon. The range itself was awesome. It is an old rock quarry that has five (5) 100-yard ranges in final stages of development. There are also the initial 300 yard range we worked on TD 1, and a 700 yard KD/UKD as well. The impact area is a 90 foot rock face located 50 yards behind the target line and the terrain is flat pea gravel type consistency that drained water like a strainer.
We started out in the classroom discussing everything, but not to mind numbing length. This was an introductory class and there were some in the class who had very little (if any) experience at all behind a precision rifle. Gear, marksmanship, ballistics, scope theory, weather, targets and distance, we covered it all. Mike has s great syllabus that gets you the info you need to get it done. Among a few points Mike beats into you; we can only control a few things: Yourself and your Equipment. It is because of this that you need to train with the actual gear you need, so you know how it will perform (and how you should perform). He also will tell you several times, “Good guys don’t get to pick the time or place, so train and be prepared.”
We spent the rest of TD1 getting a good zero, polishing fundamentals and working positions. We shot groups for a few drills and Mike had the whole class go target to target when checking / pasting to use them as teaching points. These provided some good hip pocket classes that came from that method of critiquing and checking targets.
We spent a large portion of TD2 working different shooting positions and barricades, then subsequently moved back to 200 yard line. We continued to work positions and barricades as well as working with a Hog Saddle. (The Hog Saddle is a great piece of kit for shooting from a tripod by the way, advise in the comments if you’d like further information on that.) Mike then ran everyone through the chronograph for data since most did not already have it. We used that data as we moved to the unknown distance range. There we worked some different ranges. Mike gave out the correct data and “come ups” for each specific shooter once the student had filled out a range card and ranged the targets using their optics. There was some difficulty in ranging for some, but Mike was there with the remedial training and assistance for any and all who needed it.
We spent the last 2 hours of TD2 on the UKD range working targets from 250 to 700 yards. Guys were applying what they were taught over those two days and were banging steel on command. Mike ran the line calling shooter by shooter and keeping track of the hits, of which there were MANY.
Bottom line: Mike Lamb is a SOLID cat with years of operational experience and years of instruction under his belt as well. You want to get your feet wet in the arena of Precision Rifle work, sign up for a Stoic Ventures class. I have it on good authority that this class will be offered again in May 2014.