Training Review: Art of the Rifle, by Bug Out Canada
Art of the Rifle, by Bug-Out Canada ( http://bugout-canada.ca/index.html )
I recently had the privilege of attending Bug-Out Canada’s “Art of the Rifle” training course in the Dorset area of Central Ontario.
As a course that starts on a Friday evening till Sunday afternoon, the Art of the Rifle (AotR) class was comprehensive, refreshing and enjoyable. I approach all training classes in the same way, whether new material or well-worn refresher – I learn like it’s for the first time. I believe this helps to stave-off bad habits and sharpen skills, not to mention reduce ego and arrogance.
Instructors Allen and Dan began Friday’s in-class session with the Principles of Marksmanship, shooting positions, safety and handling. They were very attentive to all in attendance and were thorough in covering all of the relevant basics. The instructors were very hands-on in their approach. After various initial safety briefings, students were walked through the theoretical and philosophical aspects of marksmanship. Ranging, holding, posture, positioning, use of a sling, weapon mechanics and ballistics, targeting, physical and physiological affects on marksmanship as well as additional safety considerations. Both Dan and Allen walked the talk with supportive demonstrations of techniques. As promised, we were taught using the “crawl, walk, run” method of instruction.
The atmosphere was very fun, yet professional and safe at all times. Dan and Alan kept things light with several well-timed jokes and a few instructional videos of “what not to do”.
Saturday morning, after a nice breakfast we headed out to the range. It was pouring rain. Once we arrived and set up, practical instruction began. Safety briefings, range familiarization and more safety briefings were covered before shooting began. The weapon of the day was a .22 cal. Most had Ruger 10/22s but I did see a Marlin Papoose and a Mossberg as well. We did a review of the previous night’s theories and then got into it. BANG BANG BANG!
Now, I have been a member of the Canadian Army since 1998 and consider myself a pretty good shot, but I myself saw improvement to my shooting and certainly saw others in the class improve by leaps and bounds.
Both instructors were vigilant in maintaining safety while hawkishly pointing out flaws in technique and making adjustments as appropriate. By lunch (enormous home-made, roast beef sandwiches courtesy of Allen – YUM!), we were all “on paper”.
As the sun broke in the afternoon, the students were becoming more comfortable with the mechanics and even those without any shooting experience were improving. Even through the weather, the mood was light yet professional.
The training culminated in a shoot-off for a prize (t-shirt) to see who had the best groupings and finally, who could hit a toonie coin (for you Americans, a “toonie” is a $2 Canadian coin) at 25 yards. I am happy to report that I am the proud owner of the t-shirt…and a toonie with a .22 cal round in it. The weather was nice and we kept shooting until all the ammo was gone. Better to shoot it than carry it back home.
Ultimately, I found “Art of the Rifle” to be a very positive and enriching course. The training was solid, taught by professional instructors fully invested in bringing out the best in their students. I firmly believe that using the principles and techniques taught in this course you can easily achieve a high level of shooting proficiency in a short time with practice. I also feel that the course is worth much more than they are charging versus similar training – and the quality of knowledge and training is almost impossible to come by unless you travel out of the country. I would highly recommend it to anyone.
For more information about Bugout Canada, Allen and Dan, you can find them at their website: http://bugout-canada.ca/index.html . The Art of the Rifle is listed under their Tactical Kinetics training offerings. Do check them out.
Till next time, prepare, practice and be positive. Be free from fear and survive.
****UPDATE: I will be attending the “Fight To Freedom” course (from their Tactical Kinetics catalogue) with Bug Out Canada in October 2014. It is an unarmed combat/self-defence course. Check out their website for course description and register! Review to follow.****