Picking up where we left off from the factory tour at Leupold we would then spend the next three hours driving southeast to the Leupold shooting range at the Leupold Optics Academy in the town of Madras Oregon.
Leupold @ TFB:
This was my first time in the state of Oregon, so I was very intrigued by what the landscape would look like. Something I did not expect on this trip was the harsh difference between parts of Oregon. To the west of the state, in the Portland area, everything was incredibly green and lush. The highway drive up to Mt.Hood included incredible views of massive trees and also the mountain itself. Once we left the Mt, Hood National Forest, everything became very arid very quickly. In the pictures from this trip, you will notice it looks like we are in the high desert and that’s because we were.
After our long journey to Madras, we rested up in a hotel and then the next morning made our way to the Leupold shooting range at the Leupold Optics Academy. I don’t believe Leupold actually owns the land on the range, but they rent it out from whoever does. To me, this is one of the most impressive long-distance shooting ranges I’ve ever been on. They were targets out well past a mile. The variety of targets was great from man-size silhouettes to large steel targets to even a steel Sasquatch silhouette.
The first day at the Leupold Optics Academy consisted of a lot of classroom sessions. The first class was on the proper way to mount your scope using the Leupold scope rings. This is a thing that a lot of people will definitely go the extra mile to make sure it’s done correctly. The staff at the optics academy showed us a very quick and simple way to mount one of their Mark 5HD scopes.
Next up, we had a quick class on basic long-range ballistics, and this was actually taught by some of the representatives from Hornady who were at this event. Personally, I’ve never done a whole lot of real long-range shooting and I definitely don’t know a lot about terminal ballistics, so I found this to be a very helpful class during the rest of my time in the range. The guys from Hornady did a great job explaining everything in the most simple terms possible but if you had a more intricate question, they would certainly dive into the weeds and explain it as best they could. Personally, I was left scratching my head at a couple of the concepts but again, I’m very new to this.
The next class we had was on the components of a scope and a diagnostic overview of some of the scopes from Leupold. Honestly, I went into this one thinking how interesting will this be but I was very surprised at some of the components, and how the scope actually works. I had no idea about the erector tube inside of the scope, and how it affected your magnification (give me your best erector tube joke in the comments).
Our next class was taught by the Hornady guys and it was all about their 4DOF app. Prior to this class, I had never even heard of the Hornady 4DOF so I was intrigued to hear more about it. 4DOF (4 Degrees of Freedom) is a ballistic calculator that provides trajectory solutions based on projectile drag coefficient (not ballistic coefficient) along with exact physical modeling of the projectile, its mass and aerodynamic properties.
I wouldn’t truly understand how powerful this app was until we got onto the range, which, thankfully is exactly what we did next.
Next, we moved down to do a rifle zero on the Seekins Precision Havak HIT Pro rifles. These rifles had a Leupold Mark 5HD rifle scope on them and were chambered in 6.5 Creedmoore.
Once everyone zeroed their rifles, it was time to really start shooting!
During the course of fires, we would run through, typically the primary spotter would call out a target and we would all have to engage it down the line. I was shooter number six so whenever the instructor called on number six to engage the target, that’s what I was supposed to do.
We would start out shooting targets around 300 meters and then end up actually engaging with targets out to 1600 meters. I had never shot this far before in my life, so I had a big smile on my face when I could hear that impact on steel past 1000 meters. Now I could sit here and stroke my own ego and tell everyone that I’m such a great shooter, but in reality, I don’t consider myself a good shooter at all.
I think the reason I was able to connect at such distances was due to five separate factors.
The first factor is the Seekins Precision Havak HIT Pro rifle.
The second factor is the Leupold Mark 5HD Rifle Scope
The third factor was the Hornady match 6.5 Creedmoor ammunition we were using.
The fourth factor was the excellent spotters we had helping us from Leupold.
And the fifth factor is the Hornady 4DOF App
I’ll do a separate article on the app itself but what you need to know is that this is an incredibly powerful tool for long-range shooting and it’s free. That would do it for day one at the Leopold Optics Academy. I will write another article on the remainder of the days at the Academy. If you enjoyed this, be sure to look out for the follow-up article.
Source link: https://www.thefirearmblog.com/blog/2023/09/08/leupold-optics-academy-day-1/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=rss by Patrik O at www.thefirearmblog.com