Designated Marksman Rifle



Course description:

Have an AR15 or a battle rifle with a magnified optic?  Want to push the limits of that setup at the outer edges of its capability?  Want to identify your limits as a shooter with that setup?  If you answered yes to any of those questions, then the Designated Marksman course is what you’re looking for.  This course will show you how to extract all the potential you can, or what you never thought you had, out of your semiautomatic rifle.  Here you’ll learn the fundamentals of precision shooting to include how to adjust and manipulate your optic, understand basic external ballistic theory, estimate ranges to targets, and read the wind.  We’ll break the course down into two main components; offensive and defensive techniques, and use realistic shooting drills to drive home the fundamentals.

Pre Requisites:

None, but you’ll be expected to possess a basic understanding of firearms safety and be familiar with your rifle and it’s controls.  (It may be a good idea to have a carbine/battle rifle level one course completed, but it’s not a requirement for attendance.)  And as always, an open mind and willingness to learn.

What you'll learn:

  • Rifle manipulation and maintenance.Optic manipulation. (Focus/Parallax adjustment, Zeroing).
  • The fundamentals of marksmanship.
  • Basic Internal Ballistics.
  • External Ballistics and Ballistic software.
  • How to estimate and read wind.
  • Range acquisition, estimation, and angular units of measure.
  • Multiple target engagements.
  • Known distance and unknown distance shooting.
  • Introduction to unconventional shooting positions.
  • Introduction to stress shooting.

The gear

Almost every one of our past students tell us that this course is a gear shake-down, meaning that what they once thought was a viable solution turned out to not be the answer.  With that being said we have a section of required equipment, and another section of equipment that is nice to have, but not required to attend and have a good time shooting the course.  Expect to learn a lot about your equipment and how it’s set up.  Please take a look at our question and answer page about gear.

Must haves

  • A rifle that is capable of printing a 2-3 Minute of Angle (2”-3”) group or better at 100 meters/yards.
  • 600 Rounds of Match Ammunition  (See the ammunition and reloading policy page for details.) 
  • A magnified optic that has a rangefinding reticle, and is mounted to the rifle with quality equipment.
  • Instructions on the optics’ reticle and mechanics are beneficial, as well as the proper tools associated with adjusting your optic.
  • Bipod (Preferably with the ability to adjust and lock the left/right cant of the rifle.)
  • Rear shooting support, also known as a “rear bag”.
  • A rifle sling with the ability to mount the sling to the rifle.
  • Backpack, or bag to carry your range equipment.
  • Note taking material, to include fine-point colored Sharpie permanent markers.
  • Appropriate clothing for the weather.  We will shoot in any and all weather conditions.
  • 3x total magazines, and a method of carrying at least 1x spare magazine on your person.
  • Hydrating device along with plenty of water.
  • Lunch for all training days.

Nice-to-have, but not necessary

  • Spotting Scope
  • Tripod with adjustable head.  
  • Shooting mat.
  • Ballistic computer.  (We recommend Applied Ballistics Mobile)
  • Kestrel Wind Meter.
  • Laser range finder.

Additional notes on the course:

You should expect a moderate activity level at this course.  During the offensive portion of the training you’ll be using your rifle in the same manner of a battle rifle or carbine, but at medium (50 meters-350 meters) engagement distances.  Expect to use various shooting positions, to include barricades and simulated cover.