When it comes to my shooting hobbies, sometimes I feel like a bit of a black sheep. I am neither a race gun driver, nor a benchrest shooter. I don’t blast IDPA targets and Texas stars with an STI DVC Open, or break 200 rounds per minute cyclic smoking brown cardboard with my braked JP Enterprises AR-15. I don’t compete in F-Class, and I don’t even do Cowboy Action (cue a complete lack of surprise from our readers).
What really appeals to me as a shooter is developing what I’ll call “riflecraft”, which to me means shooting from traditional marksmanship positions at targets at short and medium ranges in different weather and light conditions. LuckyGunner’s Chris Baker has begun covering use of bolt action rifles as practical weapons, and his second video on the subject – embedded below – is well worth watching:
Something Chris alludes to in the video is that this sort of practical riflecraft isn’t a major part of the training scene today in the United States, although it once was. Unlike defensive pistol shooting, where you can find hundreds of classes in the United States alone, and many times more basic pistol courses, for traditional/practical riflecraft, there are really only a handful of options in the entire country. Chris identifies Project Appleseed as being one of the most accessible basic traditional marksmanship courses, and I can vouch for it (Appleseed was my first formal firearms course as an adult). He also names just two other advanced courses, Gunsite’s “270” course, and Randy Cain’s Practical Rifle class.