Don’t take our word for it. Here’s what our students have to say about us.
I have taken numerous shooting classes at big, medium and small firearms schools, and OTS is at the top of that list. Doug is one of the most patient, thoughtful and caring instructors I’ve ever had the pleasure of learning from. In addition, the atmosphere while focused on improvement, is also relaxed and provides a fun learning atmosphere — no drill instrucor wanna bes here. I don’t hesitate at all to recommend OTS to friends, including female friends.
“Also, I am very impressed with the caliber of assistant instructors who support OTS. As a group they are careful, patient instructors who are truly interested in helping the shooters progress to the next level. All in all, OTS classes are conducted with sincerity and I heartily recommend them.
The Intro class was a transformative experience for me. I learned more than I would have believed possible in just two days. I’ve lacked confidence on the long range stages in competition, but now I’m looking forward to them. After taking it I now see how the class is designed to build confidence and skill: we started from “short” distances of a few hundred yards, and then worked our way out to 1000 yards and beyond.
Doug and Garrett are excellent instructors. They gave candid feedback and criticism, but at the same time were supportive and encouraging. The students were at varied skill levels and from different backgrounds. Doug is a master at making the course accessible to beginning long range shooters, while also challenging those with more experience. I liked his straight-talk approach. If you’re doing something wrong, you will hear about it (kindly). I had a lot of fun and can’t wait for the Intermediate class.
TWO DAYS OF SHOOTING IN THE SNOW
The weather was challenging to say the least. Some of the students chose to stay in the comfort of a hotel room in Madras, only 10 minutes from the range. I and another student camped at the range. I’m glad I did too, because we had a full moon both nights, and it is a beautiful spot in the high desert. We had snow, rain, and snow again on Saturday. We zeroed for the current atmosphere at 100 yards, and then set to work on the 400-800 yard targets–against strong and apparently random winds. It was humbling to say the least. We learned about reading the wind, but I can’t say that I feel confident about it yet. This is clearly a skill I’ll be working on for a long while to come. Just to give a taste of what the Intermediate class will focus on, we worked on range estimation using our reticles. This was not easy with my mildot scope, and I’ll be replacing it soon. By the end of the day, most of the students had hit the 800 yard targets, and spirits were high.
Sunday was calm, but foggy. We got in position, but couldn’t see any targets for about an hour. It was pretty intimidating to see the 600 yd target appear, then the 700, 800, 900, and then the little specks of the 1k, 1100, and 1200 targets way out there, barely visible by naked eye. But the challenges of Day 1 built some skills, and everyone in the class hit the 1k target. My two 1100 yd. shots with no misses was among the most memorable achievements I’ve had. I won’t be forgetting that–ever.
Shooting instruction from Doug is unique compared to any other program I’ve participated in. His calm demeanor, along with his patient determination to see you succeed helps build confidence in everyone of the shooters regardless of skill level. Previous to Doug’s course I had only shot out to 300 yards, so I was hardly an experienced long range shooter. By the end of the course I was able to not only shoot past 700 and 800 yards, but I hit both the 1000 and 1200 yard targets on the first shot! Due to Doug’s expert instruction combined with his personal experience and examples, I was able to realize and achieve one of my most proud shooting moments. To say Doug’s course was money well spent is an understatement. I left the weekend feeling not only more confident in my weapon but also in my abilities and in myself.
The following text is a range report from a new student after attending the “Introduction To Long Range Precision Shooting” class from OTS.
I spent last weekend in Madras, Oregon, laying on my chest in the dirt in 90 degree dessert sun peeking through one eye off in the distance. Welcome to long range precision shooting! I took the OTS “Introduction To Long Range Precision Shooting” class that takes a “beginner” and teaches you all of the basics such as how to hold and position yourself on the rifle, natural point of aim, ranging, spotting, reading wind from vegetation and mirage, even how to properly pull a trigger. Accompanied by my recently purchased Remington 700 I now lay on mat on a ridge staring down at steel plates, the largest of these 24 inches, attempting to put two consecutive hits on each. The first target was placed at 400 yards and eight more were positioned downrange at 100 yard intervals all the way out to 1200 yards. Now if that sounds like a long way off…it is. I couldn’t even see most of the targets without a scope! Prior to this class I had shot my 700 out to 135 yards with ease, and had taken a few shots at 200 and 300 just to know what to set my scope at as required for the class. Well we started at 400 yards and went all the way out to 1200 yards!
We started the day by getting comfortable on our rifles and having the instructors critique our positions in relation to the rifle and the scope. It turned out that I was holding the rifle too far out to the right (I’m a right handed shooter) and my eye was too far down from the scope. This explained a lot about my problem with the rifle jumping uncontrollably up and landing way off to the left preventing me from seeing where the shot went and taking a quick follow up shot. The inconsistent cheek weld was another thing that kept me from putting shots in the exact same place. Three layers of cardboard and copious amounts of duct tape later my eye was in the correct position which did wonders for my shooting as well as greatly reduced fatigue from straining to keep my head in the proper alignment.
Next we zeroed our scopes at 100 yards and started for the 400 yard “tombstone” target which is a 24 inch high by 12 inch wide that hung about 3 feet off of the ground. Doug, my spotter, relayed the settings for my scope to me and I rang it with a couple of hits. Then I moved to the 500 yard target which was the same “tombstone” as the 400 and I started having some issues with the windage adjustment but finally hit it. After much frustration I’d later discover that the reticle in my scope wasn’t moving properly with the windage knob. We worked our way out to the 900 by way of the 500, 600, 700, and 800 yard plates. I was having a hell of a time with the 800 and 900 and at first chalked it up to being a beginner, which was partially to blame, but when we started back up the next morning things would change.
We broke for dinner and after a little social time we headed back to the line for a lesson in twilight/night shooting. I instantly hit the 400 and moved to the 500. By that time it was damn near dark and I wasn’t connecting with the 500 and it was too dark to see where it was going. I held off right and left and didn’t ring it so I quit wasting ammo let my barrel cool, vowing to kick the steel’s ass in the morning. After a cleaning best practices clinic I scrubbed my barrel clean, chewed the fat for a bit and called it an evening.
The next morning we started back up where we left off, which for me was struggling to hit the 900. I kept adding dope for windage and it wasn’t making any difference. Doug quickly ascertained that my optic had failed and generously loaned me his GAP and ammo without hesitation. Hell of a guy to hand a stranger his rifle! Things changed from me struggling to me nailing the steel. With Jake’s assistance I quickly put my first shot on the 900 which knocked it off the hanger, stopping the line while Doug took the quad out to rehang it. Once repaired I easily rang it twice and moved to the 1000 yard target. 2 shots, 2 hits. Next I moved to the 1100 and after a windage correction put two shots within four inches of each other, which for a neophyte shooter was really cool and earned me a nice round of high fives from a couple of the other shooters. I doped up for the 1200 and did manage to hit it once before missing it a couple of times. The GAP’s barrel was really cooking so I gave it a break.
We moved on to a primer on ranging with a mildot (or whatever people were using) optic and we all practiced with the 900 yard target. With Terry’s help I got the theory and the math but my perception of the target’s dimensions in the reticle was always off. Oh well, something to work on next class. Realizing the hard part was actually spotting, I also noted that I needed to spend some time on the spotting scope learning to read the vegetation and the mirage to read the wind. Put that on the list for next time as well.
Now confident that I could shoot the far off steel and knowing that my optic had failed I was determined to hit the 1000 yard with my rifle so I put it back on the line and an assistant instructor manned the spotting scope and helped me do it. Jake had me holdover 3 mildots after putting 20 MOA on my scope did nothing. There is nothing as satisfying like the sound of hitting steel that is 1000 yards downrange with your rifle and the ensuing call of “HIT!” from the spotter. Being the first shot on steel it was actually “HIT! Now reengage!” So a second round was put on target. Not too bad with a busted scope. I figured that 1000 yards was good and didn’t bother trying to hit the 1100 and 1200 with a crippled rifle. I know I’ll be back for the next class with better glass and a better load to make short work out of these targets.
All in all I put 92 Lapua’s down my 700 and 25 SMK’s down Doug’s GAP and have a horrifically bruised shoulder to show for it, that and the knowledge of shooting things at the end of where a .308 can go! What an experience! I can’t wait to take another class from them once I get my gear squared away and a little more time behind the trigger and spotting scope.