Long Range Shooting, Precision Rifle, Caliber Selection and more
Caylen is Speaker 1
This is a full transcript of the interview with Caylen Wojcik, founder of Modern Day Sniper, long range shooting trainer and all round awesome guy.
Speaker 1: Welcome to the Tier one podcast. Bringing you interviews with the brightest minds in the shooting industry. Get unique insights to help you shoot better, survive longer, and outperform your competition brought to you by Tier one, the world's best shooting accessories.
Speaker 2: Hey, guys, welcome back. Thank you for tuning in. This is episode six. I think we're up to episode six. On this episode, we've got Caylen Wojcik. Caylen is the founder of Modern Day Sniper. He runs website Modern Day Sniper Dotcom and a hugely successful podcast. Definitely check that out. It's also called Modern Day Sniper. It's on Apple Podcasts, I believe it's also on Pod Bean. I think that's where it's hosted. He hosted that with his co host, Phil Vallejo, and it's packed full of really, really cool stuff. So we get kind of a condensed version of that in this in this episode, Caylen is now an instructor in the art of Long Range Shooting, and his mission is to create well rounded rifleman. As you'd expect from an instructor, there's lots of tips and tricks and things you can do, things you can avoid, drills that you can run this afternoon after listening to this. Or, you know, if you're going on a range day soon, all sorts of things you can take out and actually put into practice. So a hugely actionable episode here. A couple of funny stories as well about being put on the spot and asked to snipe a sheep at 700 meters in 700 yards in windy conditions. So some cool stuff like that. I think you'll really enjoy this episode. I certainly did enjoy recording it. So without any further ado, I think I'll hand you over to Caylen Wojcik of Modern Day Sniper. Thanks for tuning in.
Speaker 1: Yeah, man, I appreciate the opportunity. First and foremost, this is this is awesome. I love I love being able to do these things and communicate and share with with other audiences. And and again, thank you for the opportunity to do that. And so.
Speaker 2: My passion.
Speaker 1: For you guys that my background is I started on this, on this path when I was a Padawan. My parents, my dad did not hunt or shoot. So I kind of taught myself how to do this. I started hunting when I was 12. I've got big guns when I was like ten, and I started to shoot birds and squirrels and stuff in the backyard. And, and that eventually led to actually. I think I bought my first. I bought a shotgun and then I bought a center fire rifle because I read a lot of books when I was a kid, voracious reader, like I was reading Tom Clancy by the time I was like 12, 13 years old.
Speaker 2: So big books. Yeah.
Speaker 1: You know, it was just like I had my my brain needed that. I needed that. And once I, like, open the book and started to turn a couple of pages, I always was super fascinated with the military. I have a lot of lineage in my family from military members. And so I was always really intrigued by it. And it was it was this glorious, you know, this glorifying thing. And so I wanted to just consume as much as I could. And then I started to read about snipers. And then I was like, Well, that's pretty much my cup of tea, because I love being in the woods. I love I love hunting. And that's really all snipers do is you are you go on hunting trips. That's pretty much what it is. And so I bought my first fire rifle when I was 14, and I lived in a rural portion of New York state. And I would take it out to apple orchards and and and like I taught myself how to shoot it at distance. Like, I would say, okay, well, if I can hit a pie plate at 300 yards, cool, then we're going to move that apple bin back another 100 yards and see if I can hit it again. And I started loading my own ammunition because, you know, at 14 years old, I didn't have much money to buy loaded 36 cases. And so, yeah, man, I joined the Marine Corps when I was a couple of months shy of 18 years old. And that's when the path started, man. And and I spent time in the Marine Corps, pretty much my first enlistment or my first half of my first enlistment. I was just I was a regular infantry guy, which was really good because it allowed me to learn how the infantry worked. And it allowed me to better support the infantry as a sniper, because it's pretty much all you do as a sniper is you are an infantry Marine, but you're there to support the main effort of the actual of the rifleman.
Speaker 2: So does that sorry to interrupt your flow set you up with good fundamentals as a rifleman in the Marines, or did you learn that later?
Speaker 1: Well, the Marine Corps teaches you the Marine Corps does teach you how to shoot very well, as a matter of fact, especially like from the standpoint of like when you're at boot camp, they have to have a system in place. And being being a firearms instructor for 20 years now in one way, shape or form, the only way that you can get students to progress is to is to give them a system. And the Marine Corps has figured out at that point in time anyways, I think it helped that I had a desire to learn. Right? I think it helped. Like I was super pumped to go to the rifle range. I was like, sweet, we could actually go to the right and shoot. And so like I poured everything that I had into listening to everything that my primary marksmanship instructor told me and knowing that I had a baseline established. But I also went into it with like, I don't know shit and I'm just here to learn and these guys are going to help me achieve my goals. And that's and I think that's part of being a good student too, is like, yeah, you know, releasing, releasing the ego aspect of it and saying, All right, well, I'm just here to learn. And so when I got into the sniper program, honestly, like, I didn't know a fraction of what we know now in terms of shooting and in terms of the science of shooting. And so we we learned a lot and we didn't just kind of really was going through the motions. A lot of institutional inertia was happening and we were like, Ah, we're just doing this because that's the way it was done before. And then when I got into when I, when I, when I became an instructor at the basic course, that's when I really started to dive deep into like, okay, I need to get these guys to pass. Like, I need to get them. I need that. Like, my job here is to make snipers, so I can't just fail people. I'm here to. I'm here to. To pass people.
Speaker 2: Yeah. And I want it to be good, right? Yeah.
Speaker 1: Yeah. Like, that's my job.
Speaker 2: Effective.
Speaker 1: Yeah. And so know we like, I, I started implementing the ballistic computer programs from like the Sierra Ballistics and X Ball in 2001, trying to figure out better ways of, of getting students to a to the end goal. You know, like if I didn't have to spend three days or four days shooting yard lines to get data and I can only do it in one. Perfect. Let's do that because I can really use those three days to work on moving targets or wind calls at at distances beyond 500 yards and things like that. So that's where my mind was. And then I did a combat deployment in 2004 and quickly realized that although the knowledge was there, the application was not even close to being sufficient.
Speaker 2: Really?
Speaker 1: Yeah, not even close in terms of like something as simple as, like, data management. Well, all right. We had our dopes memorized every hundred yards, but. Shooting a 308 at 700 to 800 yards. It's a big difference in terms of drop value from 708 hundred yards and splitting. The difference isn't always going to work. It'll get you in the ballpark. But when I need bullets to hit targets like not not hitting steal, but like I need this to I need this guy to stop doing that changes everything.
Speaker 2: And I need that first shot. You need you need first shot accuracy or you do get two shots in that scenario or what are you aiming for?
Speaker 1: It really depends. Like in, in most in most combat applications, you're going to have extremely limited exposure targets. I mean, you're only going to be shooting at a part of of a of a silhouette. You might get a muzzle flash. You might be shooting it like the part of somebody's face as they're trying to peek out around behind a corner. And so your your ability to be not only surgically precise, but fast at the same time, it was like, whoa. And like moving targets as an example to like. There's a big difference shooting a, you know, a silhouette target that's walking at three miles an hour, you know, on the rifle range to somebody that's literally running for their life across this.
Speaker 2: As.
Speaker 1: Fast as they can. And you still have to be able to hit that. Like the whole bull. It's all bullshit. The one shot, one kill stuff. It's bullshit. It doesn't. Yeah. We want to achieve. We want to get as close as we can to first round impacts. But in a in a combat scenario like. I'm looking to get you to stop doing what you're doing. I want to remove you from the fight. So if that means. If that means I hit. If that means I put a bullet into. If I miss low and hit somebody in the hip.
Speaker 2: Yes.
Speaker 1: Who cares? Right. That's just.
Speaker 2: Going to.
Speaker 1: Stop. They're going to stop and it's going to require more people to go retrieve that guy. And so it's all that's where that's where that is.
Speaker 2: And so.
Speaker 1: But when we went to combat, we realized, like, whoa, okay. So these loads that we're carrying never trained for that, didn't train for that. Things like body armor. We didn't have body armor until we went overseas. And then it was like, oh, here's another £15 of shit to carry.
Speaker 2: And the and you got to lay on it. It's like.
Speaker 1: Right.
Speaker 2: So you're up when you're prone, right?
Speaker 1: All of these things, all of these things started to contribute to, okay, we need to rethink this, we need to rework this. And that just continues to develop and drive content, drive curriculum and producing better, more efficient snipers. And that's, you know, and so like after I did that deployment, I got hurt on that deployment and those those that injury caused me to have in my career. So, yeah, so I got out of the Marine Corps in 2005 on a medical discharge and. I moved up here to Washington State and started teaching for teaching precision shooting for a bunch of security companies doing contract work. I started a couple of businesses on my own kind of small time stuff, which eventually led me to work for Mac Apple. And then from Apple started my own business, which is now modern day sniper.
Speaker 2: Right. And how long is modern day sniper been up and running now?
Speaker 1: Modern day sniper has been a brand since last November.
Speaker 2: So it's pretty new.
Speaker 1: It's very new.
Speaker 2: Yeah, but it's taken off.
Speaker 1: It's taken off. And really the only people that we have to thank for that are our followers and our listeners, really. You know, you guys are the ones that are that are helping us push this forward. And we've you know, I've got a fantastic team. It's really just myself and my wife. My wife has a lot of background in business. Her name is Cassandra and she absolutely kills it. She crushes it. And she's also got she's got a small team herself that she knows. Like she she's the project maestro, right? She's the she's bringing a lot of the stuff together and yeah. Which is allowed us to do the things like the online training stuff that we just released, which is fantastic.
Speaker 2: Right. So I was going to ask you about this later, but now's a good time as you brought it up. You I think it's called the schoolhouse.
Speaker 1: The online schoolhouse. Yeah.
Speaker 2: Yep. So tell us a bit about what you're doing there.
Speaker 1: Cool. So the online schoolhouse, what we wanted to do, I wanted to do something different with online training. And I think a lot of our marketing in this space is quite antiquated. And the reason that I realized that it was antiquated was I started to look into other areas of business or other industries that my wife was exposing me to, and she was like, Hey, look, see how these people do it over here? And I would look at I'd be like, Whoa, that's super rad. Like, what? What? We're not like.
Speaker 2: Why is the gun industry not doing this?
Speaker 1: Exactly. And it's like, it's okay. It's a progression. And it's, you know, it's and I don't even think we're there's no trade secrets here. Like, all you got to do is do some research and and start looking at things and applying them. And and she does a lot of online courses. And she's she's also she's a yoga instructor. She's a yoga teacher.
Speaker 2: So. Oh, awesome.
Speaker 1: Very, very accomplished as well. Like, she's done a lot of a lot of training. And so I started to look at how that industry was organized and structured with regard to how they presented information. And I was like, okay, all right, this is that's the inspiration right there, because I like doing things very systematically. And a lot of online training in our industry now is is pretty much like, all right, we're either going to subscribe, you're going to do a monthly subscription and you're just going to kind of have access to whatever video it is that I decide to throw up on the on the World Wide Web this week. Yeah. That's cool. But there's no structure, there's no path, or it's like, hey, pay this amount of money and you have access to these 60 something videos that don't really have any direction. There's no curriculum associated, there's no path, there's no guidance. And that's what we wanted to do differently. I want to eventually my goal is to create an online course for every in-person course that we have because there is a barrier for entry and there's a barrier for entry to training because in generally speaking, it costs far more for a student to come train than the tuition itself. Actually, like 3 to 4 times more. We start talking about ammo, we start talking about travel, we start talking about plane tickets and rentals and food and lodging, and it's like it adds up. And so for somebody to say, I'm going to commit to a four day precision rifle course, well, that's a significant portion of your of your vacation then like that could be taking away from time with your family. And so, yeah, barrier for entry and we're going to change that and we're totally like, I wish to completely disrupt the marketplace with that.
Speaker 2: Because.
Speaker 1: Like if you, if you have the ability to organize and structure your an online curriculum, obviously the best thing is to be there to get that in-person coaching that's really, really important. But you can do you can do a lot on your own with with with dedication and discipline.
Speaker 2: My feeling is, is it's, it's in that last bit. I mean, you'd know better than me, but I feel like if the student has to come prepared and they have to be pre framed in the right way for that course to be effective. Right. If they and that's the problem that you've just mentioned of how courses are normally operated online. It's like there's the portal, there's the 60 lessons have at it, you know, and maybe you do three or four or five whatever, and then you sort of lose interest and you come back a month later and then you lose interest.
Speaker 1: Right.
Speaker 2: But if you it's almost like if you make it hard for that person, maybe that's the wrong phrase. But you get that commitment before the course. Yes. And then what you're teaching really goes in. You really actually have some effect on that.
Speaker 1: Exactly. Exactly. And so, like, when we look at it from that, from that point of view, we say, okay. I like. I need to take you through a progression. And that's why we started off with, you know, we have two free courses in there. One is like on rifle safety, which I think is obviously super, super important. Yep. Then you have also rifle cleaning. All right. So, yeah, rifle cleaning. Are there a gazillion videos on YouTube? Let's talk about rifle cleaning. Absolutely. They sure.
Speaker 2: Are.
Speaker 1: Who has the time to sift through all that stuff, to find out what's what's what. And I'm not saying that modern day sniper is the end all, be all. I'm just saying that we want I wanted to put that into one place A to Z. And so that way it's not something that you have to go fish around and say, you know, whatever.
Speaker 2: Yeah.
Speaker 1: And then we started off with the circle of components. And the circle of components is probably one of the biggest things that people take for granted in this sport of of precision shooting is not understanding how your rifle is assembled and all elements that actually go into making a precision shooting system. That's something that we wanted to focus real hard on. And the circle of components course basically will allow you to build your own rifle, provided that you have all the components we take you from A to Z. This is a pile of parts. This is the stuff that you need to know about a barrel. This is the stuff you need to know about an action. This is how we put a barrel onto an action. This is how you set headspace, all those things. And so.
Speaker 2: Yeah.
Speaker 1: The end goal is, all right, now we have this rifle. I'm going to teach you how to test the ammunition, figure out what what ammo shoots best are your rifle. And we got it zeroed. Then we cut that course off. All right, now we got that stuff done. Next thing that we do is to teach you how to shoot it.
Speaker 2: Yeah.
Speaker 1: And we release fundamentals of marksmanship and so.
Speaker 2: So fit.
Speaker 1: Yeah, it's a drip. It's a progression, right? It's. It's exactly the same way we progress in our courses and our in-person courses. Yeah. I'm not restricted by time, I'm not restricted by saying, okay, well I only have four days with these guys and I can't spend 5 hours talking about how a precision rifle is built, but I can on the Internet. All right. So now you have that. Now you have that stuff for life, you know?
Speaker 2: Yeah.
Speaker 1: And that's the cool. Like the same thing with the fundamentals. Like our fundamentals course is 5 hours of content.
Speaker 2: Wow. Just the fundamentals, just fundamental.
Speaker 1: And so like, like if you want to focus on your grip, there's, there's 12 minutes, 15 minutes of me talking about the grip of the shooting hand, right? Really. Yeah. So it's so it gives you an opportunity to to have this, this evergreen content. What I mean by evergreen means is it's going to last forever. It's going to knowledge. You've purchased it. It's there forever. And we we also the pricing aspect of things is like we're learning as we go here. This is our first foray into this. And so we're trying to figure that out. And like it is what it is. There's a cost to to develop this content, right? There's a cost associated with it. So yeah, it's not a small cost either.
Speaker 2: So yeah.
Speaker 1: And I really didn't realize what I was getting myself into until we sat down and I started writing down the curriculum and I was like.
Speaker 2: Oh shit. How is your commitment to because.
Speaker 1: Yeah, you're done. Yeah.
Speaker 2: Your listeners now.
Speaker 1: Yeah, it's like stepping off. It's like stepping off an airplane. As soon as you snooze, that one foot leaves the airplane, you're like, All right, dude, this is it. We're going for it.
Speaker 2: So yeah.
Speaker 1: Yeah. But it's been a blast. It's been a lot of it's been a lot of fun to do. It's been a learning experience in terms of like video production. It's been a learning experience and like editing and it's awesome. It's been a lot of fun. Yeah. So we got some super cool stuff coming this fall. Super cool stuff.
Speaker 2: So I'm oh, very good. So I'll ask again at the end. But what's the website that people can find that at.
Speaker 1: Just modern day sniper dot com go to modern day sniper dot com and you'll see a link at the top for the online schoolhouse and click there and it'll port you over to our online training website, which is the online schoolhouse. And the reason it's not on our website is we used we used a website, a web platform that's specifically designed to administer online training. Yeah. So yeah. And it's very, very, it's, it's well done because now we have the ability to each module like we have a class of course, fundamentals, marksmanship and inside that are seven modules of learning and each module is broken down and each module has an associated student handout that you can print. Each module has an associated checklist that you can print out, right? And so there's supporting materials. And what we want to do is create the most comprehensive, all inclusive package that you could just be like, Oh, shit, it's right all here. It's all right here.
Speaker 2: Yeah, yeah, yeah. And it a great thing for you, I suppose, as well as and for the customers. You can keep adding to that like all the stuff that's there stays there, but you can add more value and they're still subscribed.
Speaker 1: Exactly. Now we are charging like we are charging in like we're charging for each course individually. Yeah, but we are working on a subscription based service at the moment. So it's just going to be one of those things where.
Speaker 2: So people can pick and choose the module they want, but in future you'll probably go full access for the monthly fee.
Speaker 1: Yeah, yeah. We'll, we'll like, we'll see how that works out. That's what I'm trying to, I'm just trying to iron it out and. Make sure that that when we do release it, that it's the best experience for our customers can have. That's what we're going to do.
Speaker 2: I like the idea of that because I think the thing with YouTube is that there's a lot of information out there, but you can never really. There's a there's a lot of different people with opinions. And how do you validate that instructor as someone who knows what they're talking about? And then the next video tells you something completely different. It's a.
Speaker 1: Tough one, and I think that's there's a valid point there. And it all depends too on like how that individual, that company structures their YouTube page, how do they organize it. And like we kind of stayed away. Like I wasn't really super big on YouTube because, you know, first and foremost, like, I don't really I don't wish to be controlled, right? I don't want my content controlled by another entity that can just be like, Yeah, you know what? We don't like that. We're going to shut that off. So I resisted the YouTube thing for a long time and we're starting to populate our YouTube page. And it's it's more along the lines of it's there for brand awareness, but we want all of that content to live in an environment where we can control it, where like, I don't have to worry about somebody saying, you know, I don't like that video, let's just not.
Speaker 2: Publish it was censor it.
Speaker 1: You know. So that's not what we want to do.
Speaker 2: So. So. I think you've already answered a question, but your mission now with school house, with modern day sniper, what is it? Is it to reach more people? Is it to improve the quality of instruction? You know, precision rifle instruction generally? Or what is it that we want?
Speaker 1: We want to.
Speaker 2: Go.
Speaker 1: We want to create the most well-rounded rifleman out there.
Speaker 2: Right.
Speaker 1: We want to create a rifleman that understands that there is a balance between art and science. Yeah, we also like one of our messages, like our main tagline is, is also putting mindfulness behind the rifle.
Speaker 2: Right.
Speaker 1: And what that means, a lot of people are super confused by that. They're like, what does that mean?
Speaker 2: Yeah, I.
Speaker 1: Understand. And it's and it's more along the lines of of understanding that. That I think, you know, a societal progression in terms of like more this, more this, the gear race here, the gear race there. We have to have this in order to be successful. You don't need that. You need you don't need any of that stuff to be successful provided that you have a solid baseline. In order for you to become a proficient shooter, you have to have a solid baseline of understanding. And in order for you to do that, you have to have mindfulness. And mindfulness is also where it's wrapped into a lot of things, right? It's wrapped into what is your intent? What is your what is your intent to learn these skills? What are you trying to do? Are you trying to learn these skills because you want to win competitions? Are you trying to learn these skills because you just want to be a better shooter? Are you trying to learn these skills because you don't want to let that buck walk again this year that you had to let walk last year, you know, things like that. And then, okay, now we've got that ironed out. We've got the y figured we got the Y figured out. Yeah. Now. Where are you at with your mindfulness and being present to learn? Because that's all associated with ego. And ego goes into this as well. And so we have I mean, I have conversations with a lot of people over things like that. And especially in the competitive space, I think the competitive space has really helped drive a lot of innovation with product and and innovation with techniques like we're constantly redefining what is capable of the rifle based upon all different kinds of things, shooters, proficiency, the equipment that they're using, the challenging stages that match directors are having to come up with now because the equipment is driving this. And so it's a constant evolution and it's all along the lines of like, okay, well if I want to learn this, like we always talk about to like being present, what does that mean? And that's associated with being mindful. Being present means that I'm not focused on anything other than what is happening right now. Like I'm engaged with you in this conversation. I couldn't be present with you if I was thinking in the peripheral about like, what do I have to do after I get off the phone with with Harry Palmer? Like, that's disrespectful to you, number one. And I'm not fully present into this conversation and and being 100% with you and 100% with the audience. And so that's part of what we teach as well, because a lot of times, like how many times have we heard shooters, as soon as they miss a target at a shooting match or even at a course, it's almost like they have to let you know that. Either I meant to do that, or.
Speaker 2: They knew that.
Speaker 1: By saying some obscenity or, you know, or like self-deprecating behavior, like I'm an idiot or whatever. And it's just like, No, you're not being present right now. You're either future trippin or you're focusing on the past, none of which none of which is contributing to helping you make the best decision possible right now to correct.
Speaker 2: Yeah.
Speaker 1: And so, you know, that thing's gone as soon as you touch. As soon as that bullet is fired, man, it's gone. And you just have to separate you've got to separate yourself from that. And and just look at it objectively and say, okay, if I missed. Let's figure out what I need to do to hit, and then we'll focus on the why afterwards.
Speaker 2: Yeah, there's a strong ego element in shooting, without a doubt, because I've heard it referred to as all sorts of different things like the Y chromosome factor, the whatever it is, if you if your bodies are watching you shoot a certain way, if you're on your own, you should shoot a different way. Yeah. If you've got Caitlin standing over my shoulder and I'm taking that first shot, I'm sweating bullets, you know, I'm panicking, and I'm shooting a different way, like a third different way. So it takes an intense mental discipline to be able to shut out all that noise, man, as they present.
Speaker 1: Really, really important. And that's like I got a great example of that a few years ago, actually, probably more than a few years ago now, the Washington State Fish and Wildlife had a sheep, a band of sheep, the local band of sheep that had been infected with pneumonia. And they needed to call that herd or that band of sheep to prevent them from infecting others other sheep before the breeding season, before the rut happened. And they had they were able to contract a bunch of a bunch of hunters to get the majority of the band eradicated. And they had three sheep that were giving them problems. And these sheep, sheep are pretty cagey critters in that they have very, very acute eyesight. They're hyper aware of everything that's going on around them. And they're if they don't want to let you get close, you're not going to get close. And so this one you had had like not allowed anybody to get within 500 yards. And the hunters that they had were like, Ah, 500 yards is kind of like my limit. Yeah. You don't want to keep shooting at this thing because it's just going to make it worse, right?
Speaker 2: Yeah, yeah, yeah.
Speaker 1: And so I got a phone call and said, Hey, are you willing to help out with this? And I said, Sure. And so they gave me a phone call one day and said, Hey, we've got this sheep bedded down and it's at this place in in town called Windy Point and it's called Windy Point for a reason. It's like this sounds ominous. It's a it is ominous, man. It's a giant slot canyon that comes right out of the mountains. So it gets all of all of those wind flows that are coming out of the mountains that are rushing the cold air that is rushing in from the mountains.
Speaker 2: Yeah, right.
Speaker 1: And it always rips through there. And so I show up and this sheep is at 760 yards and she's bedded down. And I brought along a65 Creedmoor and shooting. At that time, I shoot 140 grain burger bullets and I had like eight people there watching this thing. I was like, You have to be fucking kidding me. Like, Are you serious?
Speaker 2: Yeah. Oh, she's a sniper, though.
Speaker 1: Yeah, the stress is on, right? Like, man, this sucks. So I. I lay down, I arranged the sheep, and it was almost like she knew it was the gig was up because, like, right as I closed the bolt, she, like, looked at me through the scope and stood up and got all super tense.
Speaker 2: Right?
Speaker 1: And everybody was like, Oh, you better shoot. I shoot. I touched the first round off and I probably could have watched the hair fly off the top of her back because I missed.
Speaker 2: Just a skosh.
Speaker 1: High and she kind of bounded up the hill about ten, ten, ten bounds. And I just put it on. I just I was like, okay, well, she's another 25 yards. I'm just going to hold top of her back, send it and just crushed her second. Yeah. Boom.
Speaker 2: And like, nice.
Speaker 1: That stress is there, right? Because you don't want to screw up. You don't want to, you know, your reputation and all that stuff. But then then again, like I look back on that now, like, who cares, man? It's just it's just shooting. It's just it's just shooting.
Speaker 2: It's almost worse, though, isn't it? If you if you miss. But you're you're professional and you set up the next shot and you set up the next shot, and you do it. You do the system, but your reputation is intact because you've been a professional. If you if you miss and you go, you start messing around. Yeah, exactly. Yeah. I think that seems to be the difference. Do you think that this might be an obvious question, but do you think your military experience prepared you better to do that than the average civilian?
Speaker 1: Perhaps, perhaps. I mean, I think that has everything to do with with individuality. A lot of times a lot of times people believe that, like if this person if this human being participated as a member of this organization, they obviously have these types of traits. That is not necessarily always true. And the reason I say that is because it's all individual based. You're a volunteer and we're also not looking there's a balance there's a fine balance there between saying, okay, I need you to have the discipline to do what you're asked to do. But at the same time, I also want you to have the ability to to think independently and be able to make decisions on your own based upon what you know is the end goal.
Speaker 2: Right.
Speaker 1: And so that is a definite balance. And and when you come from the infantry, which means you're not thinking on your own, you are literally doing what is told to you. The Marine Corps focuses on decentralized command in a lot of ways, meaning that like if this fire team leader. Doesn't have a doesn't have a squad leader, doesn't have a platoon sergeant, doesn't have a platoon commander, but yet he knows what the commander's end intent is. He can he can accomplish that mission with his team. And he has the leadership abilities to to maneuver his team, taking advantage of the team's capabilities with their weapon systems and their ability to communicate and move. That's the end goal.
Speaker 2: Yeah.
Speaker 1: But being a sniper is a little bit different because you have a lot more stuff going on, right? There's a lot more stuff going on. You've got to be way more aware of what the big picture is.
Speaker 2: Right.
Speaker 1: So we do want people to think independently. And so what that means is we do have people that that have a lot of those those traits, but they're all independent human beings. So they're all going to make decisions on their own based upon what they believe to be the best scenario or the best response to a certain scenario. And so I.
Speaker 2: Go.
Speaker 1: Well, in terms of like what that situation, it's calmness. It's it's just it's just understanding that like, och yeah, if I fucking missed. So I need to put another bullet down range before that sheep bounce up over the hill. And I really look like an asshole.
Speaker 2: Yeah. So, yeah, yeah.
Speaker 1: Like I'm making a 760 yard shot under field conditions and winds that were 18 to 22 miles an hour. Yeah, like on a live animal. It's not a piece of steel. It's a live animal.
Speaker 2: And the animal's aware it's moving away.
Speaker 1: It's. Yeah, and I just missed. I mean, I made a good wing call my dope. My elevation was off by, like, a 10th. A 10th of a mil or 2/10 of a mil.
Speaker 2: Yeah. Yeah.
Speaker 1: So there's a lot of things that are going on in that scenario. And in a, in a regular hunting scenario, I would never have shot at that animal in a regular hunting scenario.
Speaker 2: Yeah. Yeah.
Speaker 1: That really pushed my limits at that point in time in my my shooting career.
Speaker 2: Okay. Do you? I've scribbled a note wildly over here that I can barely read. Because you touched on something important. I thought that you talked about the. Everyone knows the end goal. Do you think this is the problem with. I'll assume that everyone who is a shooter is a student forever. They're always learning and anybody who's on YouTube is there to learn. Do you think that there is so much information in so many different now ways to apply that knowledge? You've got press competitions, you've got bench press competitions, you've got hunting. There's all sorts of different ways. Is it the case that there's too much information? People have lost sight of what their goal is, and that's impacting their learning and their ability to progress as a shooter. Is this something you see?
Speaker 1: Good question. There is there is a lot of information out there and there are a lot of different trains of thought about how to get to the end goal. What is the end goal? The end goal is to hit targets with intention at whatever range you feel comfortable with making those shots happen at. Obviously, shooting at steel is it's like a it's the lowest risk possible. Right, in terms of what's going to happen if you miss. And so what I see, though, is that I'm a I'm firmly in the camp that in terms of like what is being taught is nothing is proprietary in terms of like the actual information itself. We're still teaching the same stuff that like if you look back at, well, Flint, like the days, like the very early days of a firearm, the Spanish conquistadors. Right. They still had to teach those dudes. Okay, well, we have to get a musket ball to hit what we want it to hit. Right. So there was they understood certain principles of marksmanship even way back then. And so we're still we're just building on that and we're building on that in in ways that we're still the foundations are still there. It's just the way that it's delivered is unique from teacher to teacher to teacher and what they believe to be their own truths. Right. With with results. Right now, there's a bazillion you know, there's a bazillion different ways that you can go about achieving the end goal. But realistically, man, it all starts to funnel very narrowly. Once you get to the end, once you're starting to get to the end, it's like, Oh yeah, like everybody's kind of doing the same thing here.
Speaker 2: Okay.
Speaker 1: The process.
Speaker 2: Itself.
Speaker 1: Like as an example, validating trajectories. We've seen that progress over the last 15 years greatly in terms of what is quote unquote standard practice to to log your information into a ballistic computer program, observe and interpret the results downrange, and then manipulate the, the, the the variables in the computer program to make everything line up. There's some do's and there's some don'ts. And right now, there are a lot of people that are still doing this the wrong way and and they don't understand why they're doing it the wrong way. And so, yeah, things like that, like and this is always going to constantly progress. It's never going to remain stagnant for sure.
Speaker 2: Yeah, I think Gary was on the podcast before last and he said a similar thing about ballistic calculators that people are doing it the wrong way around. You know, they're getting their calculate, they're playing with it, they're entering the data, and then they go into the range and then see how it plays out and why is it off? You know, it's instead of working backwards from what they're seeing downrange, what effect that rifle is actually having.
Speaker 1: And that's where we go like the circle of components aspect of it, because there's so much that we need to grab a hold of up front in terms of variables to define them before we start screwing with anything else.
Speaker 2: So I'll touch on this and then because I keep telling myself back into the same subject. So and I know we've got limited time, but I'm finding it very interesting. You've got a quote where you said so many people are trying to learn the tricks of the trade before they learn the trade. And I thought that resonates with me because that's the same everywhere with this availability of information. I don't I can go and find a pro in any field and they'll tell me all their secrets. And then I feel like I've almost cheated, like, oh, now I'm at that level. And what just to touch on this lightly, what are the biggest kind of what are the tricks that people are trying to learn that they should just forget about buying? What is that?
Speaker 1: They're buying forgiveness.
Speaker 2: With new gear. Mm hmm. Yeah, right.
Speaker 1: And I'll equate this to all. Equate this to an experience, like, because, like you said, it goes it goes everywhere, right? It's in everything that we do, whatever skill it is that we're trying to progress in and and achieve greatness or or what we perceive to be greatness.
Speaker 2: And yeah.
Speaker 1: We have to start with a with a foundation, a foundational principle, right? So as an example, there's how many people out there go to the Precision Rifle blog when they're getting ready to shoot and they're like, okay, well, I'm going to go shoot. Competitions like this is a lot of fun. Yeah. How many of those guys literally go to that blog purchase? Exactly what the pros, the quote unquote, what the pros use. Yeah. And they got okay, well, I've got this I've got all this expensive stuff and you've got these dudes that are that are just brand new into shooting and they're like, Oh, now I've got a fire form cases, and I got this amp and dealer and I got this £25 gun. And out of.
Speaker 2: That.
Speaker 1: Yeah, you don't even understand where you're at first.
Speaker 2: Yeah, yeah. Where's your base? Yeah.
Speaker 1: You don't even have a baseline established. And so case in point, like, and I know like we've mentioned this in a couple of episodes in the past and I refer to it only because it's real. So at an event the gun works Monster Lake challenge that that fill fill fill Vallejo established and.
Speaker 2: Set up a co-host.
Speaker 1: He's the co-host on the Modern Day Sniper podcast. He set up a stage where in order for the shooter to accrue points, he had to use a gun, works 30 nozzles and. Using a Reebok optic. And it was it was like these Yeti targets and they were spread out from like 580 to 620 and there were six of them. It seemed like every fifth shooter that would go through that stage would complain that the gun works rifle was not shooting.
Speaker 2: Well and really.
Speaker 1: Yeah. And so like I went over there at least a half a dozen times to shoot the stage. Yeah, no different. Right. I'm just using the mic, I'm using the scope with the range readouts, six for six every time. And the reason that they were complaining is that they are not understanding that you have to you cannot be lazy behind a 39 DSLR that weighs £10.
Speaker 2: Yeah, yeah.
Speaker 1: You can't shoot that rifle the way that you shoot a £25 six millimeter with a four point muzzle break. And if you expect to be able to do that, you are not going to understand why you're not why you're why you're missing. Right. Because so and those foundational principles that you can that you can get away with not applying with that big, giant, heavy 20 plus pound competition rifle. Not going to happen with that other platform.
Speaker 2: Yeah. Because it's bolted down and.
Speaker 1: Pretty much waits on your side.
Speaker 2: Yeah.
Speaker 1: So, so but then when you go to a 39 DSLR that weighs ten, £11, that's going to knock the snot out of you. If you don't have if you don't have a consistent if you don't have a consistent baseline for that rifle to recoil against, meaning you're not fully connected to it and you're not really, truly doing that toes to nose checklist, that shooters checklist. Like if you miss, it's going to bite.
Speaker 2: You.
Speaker 1: And it's going to bite you in the form of a miss. And you can, you can say, oh, yeah, I pressed the trigger with the radical center and the target. That's cool. But if your body position is screwed up and if you're not properly connected to that rifle, doesn't matter.
Speaker 2: Yeah. Or you're inconsistent. I think you've summed up neatly there when you said buying forgiveness. Yeah. And I think it ties in because the the companies are they know what the customer wants. Customer wants performance. They don't want hard lessons. Right. When they go out and spend that much money.
Speaker 1: I learned I learned that. And I actually learned that in the skydiving community. That's one of my hobbies outside of shooting. And when I learned how to skydive, I learned from military instructors, the guys that like that, they do it literally every day, all day, all day. And I was like, super jazzed. I was like, Yeah, I'm gonna learn how to free fly and like, like, fall through the sky on my head and on my, on my, on my feet and all that stuff. And they were like.
Speaker 2: Don't do that.
Speaker 1: We get a couple of hundred jumps under your belt, fly be a really, really, really proficient belly fly or be able to put your body anywhere you want it in the sky, then go into free flying.
Speaker 2: Okay.
Speaker 1: And I was like, okay, well that resonates. And they said, here's why. Like how many times we've gotten a bunch of military guys that are civilian skydivers on the side, they've got four or 500 skydives, but then they come to the freefall course and they can't belly fly.
Speaker 2: Really? Yeah, because it's boring.
Speaker 1: As soon as they got their license, as soon as they got their license, they're like, Oh, I want to go hang out with all the cool kids and free fly.
Speaker 2: Yeah, yeah.
Speaker 1: Well, we're not free flying here. We're belly flying. And you need to learn how to belly fly. And if you can't do that, then it's going to like now you're jumping with equipment, you're jumping on the oxygen or rucksacks and all this sort of shit. And it's like you have to have those foundational baselines to do that well, and it pays off in everything that you do. I mean, even if you're like a house framer, man, like if you don't if all you've ever done, like I've got a hilty I've got a hilty laser level here in the house and borrowing from a friend of mine. But if you don't understand the principles of how to use a spirit level and.
Speaker 2: Yeah, yeah.
Speaker 1: Yeah. And a plumb bob like, you know what I mean? Like, you got to understand those core principles first.
Speaker 2: Like you make the.
Speaker 1: Hilt is easy button, right?
Speaker 2: Yeah. You gotta know what, if the hilt is out of battery, what are you going to do? You have to stop. Yeah, yeah, I appreciate that. I can understand that. In fact, it's it's great because it's every single episode we've done so far, the guest has said fundamentals, fundamentals, fundamentals, fundamentals. You know, stop stop worrying about the esoteric point 5%. Grasp your fundamentals because almost certainly you don't have that as locked down as you think you do.
Speaker 1: Yeah, we see a lot of that, too. Like, you know, people refuse people. It's almost like they refuse. They're like, okay, well, I spent almost 15 grand on all this gear.
Speaker 2: Yeah.
Speaker 1: Why am I missing? Well, you're missing because you are. Now. Now? Now we have all these other excuses out there, right? We have all these other avenues to take. Like if a shooter if a shooter says, well, there's a possibility that your scope doesn't track. No fucking kidding me. Now we're going to blame it on that shit or a barrel that speeds up like I watched a guy miss a 500 yard full size ip6 silhouette. And I could see his Mrs. his Mrs. were literally all over the target highlighted left, right, wherever. And he comes off flying. He's like, oh, my barrel must have sped up.
Speaker 2: Right. What do you know?
Speaker 1: Let's talk about this. So then. But you have to show them. You have to say, okay, well, if your barrel sped up at 100 feet a second, even if it sped up 100 feet a second between shots, that only equates to this many miles. How tall is that target from center to the top of the head? It's this even if you still hit the target, if you were breaking center shots.
Speaker 2: Yeah.
Speaker 1: You know what I'm saying? So. And, like, it's just. It's like, no, dude, you're not shooting well. And you bought a bunch of gear that you thought was the easy button, and it's not.
Speaker 2: Yeah, yeah. It got you out of those few situations where you were. You were missing out before, but then a new situation comes along and it's like you've not covered that thing. One of the questions I had to ask you is I'll flip to it now because we're on the subject. Do you think the training with a really heavy gun, like a lot of people, are now getting into pure style that seems to be driving a lot of the innovation. People are training with very, very heavy guns, but they want to go hunting. And I know you do this as well, right? You you like hunting and you also like precision rifle competitions, matches. And the the the rifle is set up completely differently. One is very, very heavy, very forgiving in that respect. You can see very clearly where that bullet has landed. It's giving you that information directly. But you can't take that gun on a mountain hunt when you have to track because it's £25. So you take a lightweight rifle, which then performs well, not complete differently, but quite differently to that thing. That's going to be a different caliber.
Speaker 1: Yeah. So here's here's the thing I just did. I just posted a video on, on the social media feed of a shot. I was talking about developing time standards, like how do you develop your own individual time standard? And so long story short, I chose to do this. It was five positions, one target that was 2 minutes of angle at 400 yards. So an eight inch plate at 400 yards. And first run, I shot it with a308 and my 308 is a work gun with a £3 trigger, 18 inch barrel with a suppressor and it only weighs like £12.
Speaker 2: Right.
Speaker 1: It's what I use for military and law enforcement courses. I shot that run clean 66 seconds, not pushing myself at all like the time is no no factor. That's not the purpose of this. I saw every single one of my impacts and I was able to spot my own trace on maybe half of those shots. Well, then I did the same thing with a competition rifle with a gun works verdict stock. It's a gun werks built six five PRC and now it's got a44 it's got a four point muzzle brake on it. Different, different optic. I shot that exact same run completely clean at 77 seconds and I was able to spot my trace on all five of those shots in a65 PRC. So the whole thing about like, I need to have this lightweight recoil or this this super small cartridge with a big muzzle brake and a super heavy rifle. You don't need that. You don't need that. What you need is to learn how to shoot that rifle. Yeah, that's what you need to learn how to do. You need to learn how to shoot that rifle. I'm going to go shoot that PRC at at the sniper side cup this weekend. And I know where I'm going to be up at in Colville, Washington. I've shot there before. I've ran some training courses out there with with Carl Taylor of In Motion Targets. And I know what that terrain is like. And it's all mountain, it's all mountains. So your ability to read wind, there's going to be far less wind indicators out there. The winds are going to be far less predictable. And I want a bullet that is going to perform really forgiving in the wind.
Speaker 2: Yes, the.
Speaker 1: 65 PRC, I'm shooting 147 grain bullets at 3000 feet a second. And and people people are like, how would you shoot that in PR? It's not for PR's, dude. I mean, I can go take that rifle. I've taken that rifle to half a dozen press matches and I'm always in the top 15, top 20. Really, I don't care about winning. That's not my point. My point is to validate my training. And so like and I don't feel as though that if I if I didn't have that cartridge. That I'd be at a disadvantage. I don't feel well. No, not at all. Now, if I wanted to go, if I wanted to go in that and say, okay, I'm going to go compete, and I wish to place truly place in the top five or top or even like go to winning the match then. Yeah, it's a little bit scary because there are some stages that are set up. Because of the gear race that we're seeing, match directors are kind of forced to have these things and have really, really tough, tight stages because that's what all the top level competitors are shooting. And so, therefore, if you don't if you don't have some really, really hard stages put in place, you're going to have so many tiebreakers in place. It's ridiculous.
Speaker 2: Yeah.
Speaker 1: And so for that game, yes, absolutely. You really like if you wish to truly win, then you kind of got to play the game.
Speaker 2: Yeah, it's fine. The margins at that very top end, I guess. Yeah.
Speaker 1: So, so like even guys that shoot like 308 at a lot of matches like, like Jim see over in the Midwest elite accuracy. Jim's a frickin awesome shooter, man. Like, I haven't actually shot with him, but I know that he's a really, really proficient shooter and he shoots a lot of 308 and he shoots a308 and he's really, really good at it. And so he'll frickin drag the rest of the field through the mud with that thing.
Speaker 2: That's funny because speaking to the like the last, last few guests, we've had Chaz from Warhorse, we've had Nick Robertson, who is currently a marine sniper and competes. We had Frank Galli. It's almost like six. Five is the religion, you know, and anything else is heresy. Now you're saying there's this guy is shooting 308 and killing it and you think, well, there it is again. It comes back to your skill with that weapon.
Speaker 1: Exactly. Exactly. And like I have, I've already shot probably about this year alone. I've already probably shot about 4000 rounds out of my 308. That's what I train with. Yeah, that's what I trained with because that's like, that's the for me, that's like once I go from when I go from that rifle to a competition rifle that like my six millimeter Creedmoor, I don't even I don't even have a rifle. As heavy as the pros use terms like 17, £18 and like going from the 308 to that thing is like, this is ridiculous. Yeah, I can get away with all kinds of crazy shit with this thing.
Speaker 2: Yeah, it's forgiving for sure. I mean, I can see both sides, like if I was getting into it, which I'm sorely tempted to do, hard as that is at the moment in the UK, I could see I'm tempted. I want the six five because I want forgiveness. I don't want to be at a disadvantage and humiliated.
Speaker 1: And even even then like the majority of the crowd nowadays is shooting six. Mm. They're all going back. It's so funny too because you look at it and like the six Mm crowd with the bars and the bras and stuff like that, it's like y'all aren't doing anything new. Like that stuff's already been done by the bench rest guys, 35, 40 years ago.
Speaker 2: So yeah.
Speaker 1: It's all they shot and you know, and it's like you guys realize that that a typical bench press rifle back then that was shooting a six bar was £25.
Speaker 2: Right? Just naturally.
Speaker 1: Yeah. And it's like and then people would look at that and be like, oh, that's not shooting. It's like.
Speaker 2: Wow.
Speaker 1: That's kind of what you're doing now, right? Like, yeah, so I'm taking I'm taking this rifle and I'm throwing it on a bag. I'm balancing it on the bag. And aside from wind calls, I mean, that's obviously really, really important. And that's really what separates that's what separates the wheat from the chaff when it comes to stuff. Is there ability.
Speaker 2: Quality of the winkle.
Speaker 1: Yeah, that's big time because you are throwing a little six. Mm. 105 grain bullet out there. That is not really the best performer in wind rye. So you know the six five depending on how fast you push them, right? So they're actually fairly equal like a six 540 grain bullet at 2850 is going to replicate pretty closely the performance of a six millimeter bullet at about 105 grains at 3100 feet a second. They're going to have roughly. Okay.
Speaker 2: Okay.
Speaker 1: Yeah. Even though one of them has a higher beak, the other one has a has the velocity to make it or beak breakthrough. Yes.
Speaker 2: Okay.
Speaker 1: So and that's another reason why I shoot like in the hunting world, I shoot seven millimeter because nobody can argue with the ballistic effectiveness of a seven millimeter projectile. Not even there's no six five bullets. There's no 30 cal bullets. The seven millimeter is I mean, after that, you've got to jump up into like the 338 and 375 and stuff like that.
Speaker 2: Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. That's if you're, if you're hunting big game, what do you shoot sometime. Oh right. Okay.
Speaker 1: Yeah. And if I didn't already have a seven song chambered when this barrel is probably shot out of that, I'll probably build another rifle in 6:05 p.m. four for hunting. Yeah. I took the, I took the six five Creedmoor to Africa several years ago and on a coal hunt. And I was absolutely blown away by the performance that we had.
Speaker 2: With that thing. Really?
Speaker 1: Yeah. Phenomenal. There's literally nothing in North America sans a sans a grizzly bear that super pissed like a grizzly bear that that you've got some standoff on. Totally. I would have no problem killing that thing with a65. Really? No. No problem at all. It's all shot. Placement is everything to do with where you put the bullet and the bullet design.
Speaker 2: So.
Speaker 1: I mean, we're shooting zebras at 550 yards with a65 Creedmoor and crushing them with one shot.
Speaker 2: Really? Wow. And it's like, see, I wouldn't have I wouldn't have thought that, but yeah.
Speaker 1: That's and like cartridge size, cartridge case size and caliber does not Trump shot placement.
Speaker 2: This is the thing. I think I would take that into account. And if I if I know I'm shooting in a grizzly bear that's pissed off.
Speaker 1: Yeah, it's a different story.
Speaker 2: 50 cow.
Speaker 1: Yeah. So, like, if you're going to be hunting a grizzly, like, grizzly bear really up close now, disclaimer I have not had a grizzly bear. I've had grizzly bear encounters that.
Speaker 2: Like, less scary.
Speaker 1: That's not fun, man. Like, it's not for having a really pissed off grizzly bear. Charge you and stop charging it ten, 15 feet away from you like that shit's not fun.
Speaker 2: The.
Speaker 1: Moment you realize you're like, Okay, yeah. I need something that has a massive amount of kinetic energy.
Speaker 2: Yeah. Yeah.
Speaker 1: This thing stop doing what it's doing. And that's when we start jumping into, like, 4570s and shit like that.
Speaker 2: So yeah. Yeah. Yep. So looping back in a little bit on into what you do, because a big part of what you do is as an instructor. Mm hmm. And Frank Galli also instructs and he was saying, when he does the training, he is training clones, is how he put it. So he wants everyone lay in the same way. He wants everybody's body position the same way. He wants everybody's trigger discipline exactly the same. And then they work from that. Are you doing this? Are you doing that or are you adapting to different people?
Speaker 1: Styles Different? To an extent. So like different body styles also require special attention, but the foundation still remain the same. Like I want the student to be squared up behind the rifle. I want them to be able to, because what we're doing is we're eliminating variables. We're eliminating the possibility of of the rifle's recoil impulse being different from shot to shot, notwithstanding things like trigger control. So yes I do want students to be to Frank's got it. If he said if he said the word clone that's a fantastic description for it because do you want everybody to be the same so that way you can very closely analyze. So like once I like my my style is once I get everybody on a baseline and I'm like, okay, body position looks good. Rifle to rifle to body connection looks good. Now I'm now the next thing that I'm going to start focusing on is the grip. The grip is a really big the big area that a lot of people end up kind of taking for granted. And then obviously with grip is trigger control.
Speaker 2: Whereas the trigger control I so trigger discipline that trigger control.
Speaker 1: So that's a big deal. And even even myself like I notice I get to I shoot the sniper side dot drill quite a bit the 21 drill. It's super challenging.
Speaker 2: I heard you talking about this. Yeah, I've not seen it though. Go. What is that?
Speaker 1: So it's a it's a it's a paper target that's designed to be shot at 100 yards and it has 21 one inch dots. There's a top dot and then four rows of five and each dot. The first dot is two shots in a time limit of 30 seconds from the prone position. That's kind of like your dot to just make sure that your zero is good and wherever. Okay, make your adjustments as necessary. Then the next, the first row in a time limit of 30 seconds, one magazine, three one magazine and 230 seconds. Shoot one round in each dot. Reload. Clean up the last two dots to last two rounds in 30 seconds.
Speaker 2: Okay.
Speaker 1: One inch dot. So that drill is I did not design it. That's that's J. That's Jacob Bynum. And Frank Galli designed that drill. And it's really a good benchmark for your ability to shoot, not on your time, but on somebody else's time. The next road down is support side 30 seconds, one mag of five. You put your transition over to your support side that screws up everybody because nobody shoots support side. And the thing that generally suffers on the support side is the rifle to body connection because your your brain is not functioning and your brain is not following all of those checklist items because.
Speaker 2: It's.
Speaker 1: Geeking out. It's like, Oh, this is super weird. Like, I don't understand. This all feels differently. So you start and when you miss those things, you see it on the paper. Yeah. I would encourage all of you guys that are listening, figure out the last time you saw it at a competition where people were shooting on paper at 100 yards, surgically at surgical targets. It's not happening anymore. It's not happening anymore because people don't like it. And the reason they don't like it is because they suck at it and they don't practice it. And it's a lot easier to say, Oh, well, there's a two minute angle piece of steel out there at 400 yards. Yeah, I got a hit. Well, if you tried to do that, same thing at a two minute angle target on paper at 100 yards.
Speaker 2: Yeah.
Speaker 1: Or one minute of angle. Like telling me that your rifle shoots you point two all day long, provided you do what you you do your part. We've all heard that. All right. Yeah. I'm not talking about shooting. I'm not talking about shooting a pretty little three or five shot group for Instagram, man. I'm talking about actually applying fundamentals to this rifle and making it work the way that you want it to.
Speaker 2: Yeah.
Speaker 1: And so the rest of the drill is, is like it's standing to prone and then standing too prone with the rifle in your hands. So it's challenging. I like to shoot it with half inch dots because the smaller the aiming point, the actually easier it is.
Speaker 2: Okay.
Speaker 1: Like things like, all right, well, I know when I choke up on the trigger, and I know I get too aggressive on the trigger. Yeah, my shots go left every single time because I'm actually pulling the rifle to the right, which then because we're on a bipod, the muzzle goes to the left.
Speaker 2: Is that specific to your physiology or is that something that everyone will do?
Speaker 1: It's this it's your trigger.
Speaker 2: Finger, right? Right.
Speaker 1: Yeah. So like how much trigger finger you have on the trigger? Which direction are you truly pressing it? Straight to the rear, you know.
Speaker 2: Things like that. And is that the same every time.
Speaker 1: Yeah. Because that's what we're trying to achieve. That's, that's, and that's the purpose of that that drill. And it's super humbling. Super humbling.
Speaker 2: Yeah. I think it's because there's so many things to remember. You can't consciously remember it. You have to. My take on it is you have to practice so much, it's subconscious, and then you use the conscious awareness to do the checklist. You're like, Yeah, yeah, I've done all those things. Because I know I do those things all the time, and it just takes like a glance.
Speaker 1: Well, that's a good that's a great topic, man. That's a great that's a great thing to talk about because. When we're training, what we're trying to do is build those. We're trying to build those neural pathways of that checklist. And most people try to do it too fast. I don't have the patience to do it slow. You have to do it slow. You're basically what you're doing is you're rewiring your brain. You're wiring your brain to do what like what you want it to do. And that takes time. That takes a lot of time. So, like, as an example, like the first time I made a skydive, it was like that 55 seconds went by, like, literally in a heartbeat.
Speaker 2: Yeah.
Speaker 1: Now it's like now my brain has slowed down. It's a process, information environment at that speed. And still allow me to consciously think.
Speaker 2: That.
Speaker 1: The four levels, the four levels of progression, which is unconscious incompetence, meaning you don't know, like you're completely unaware of what you don't know, right?
Speaker 2: Yep.
Speaker 1: Yeah, we have conscious incompetence. All right. So conscious. I know that. I know that I'm lacking in this particular skill, and I'm conscious of it. And I understand that I am incompetent. And incompetent is not a bad word. And incompetence. Incompetent. Incompetent just means that you're uneducated in this particular topic or area. And then we have conscience, competence, which means I can be competent, but I have to think about doing it in order to in order to be competent. And then the ultimate, the state goal is to execute these tasks with unconscious competence. Yeah, we want to be able to execute those fundamentals that checklist unconsciously competent. And the only way we're going to be able to achieve that is to force ourselves to wire your brain properly to begin with.
Speaker 2: Build those back. Just time behind the rifle. Or is that.
Speaker 1: Not just time? It's pointed. Pointed time with the purpose of understanding what you're doing. You need to understand that every action that I do with this rifle will be it through dry fire or just a range session. Is is reinforcing a specific neural pathway that your brain is utilizing to transmit signals to your body. Right. You see visual stimulus, your brain processes that information, and then your brain says, oh, okay, work the bullet now. So if I don't want my brain to work the bolt until I observe the splash of the bullet, you have to pointedly focus on making sure that that's the process you use.
Speaker 2: Yeah. Then you work on that part of it's like a sequence. You work on that part of the sequence until that's ingrained and you can progress to the next part of exactly it.
Speaker 1: And that's where I think a lot of people miss the mark. All right. And that's that goes along with pressing that button. Yeah. And if you're too quick to press that easy button, you're really not focusing on what it is that you need to to become a like a good baseline shooter.
Speaker 2: It all ties in. And I can now understand what you're saying by your what's kind of a mantra, which is the mindfulness behind the rifle. It's the pressure is on. If you go to the right with your mates, with your buddies, you want to perform well. If you don't perform well, you feel like you had a shit day to go buy more gear, and then you come back and you cheated it because you don't want to look like an idiot again. So, you know, and now you do it better and you're showing off your gear and you're kind of getting by. But you're not you're not really progressing. You're cheating yourself at that progression. You're you're lying to yourself, right? And you're never going to get any better. And you have to have that mindfulness or that awareness to know that that's what you're doing. Indeed. And what you need to do is get humble and go back and practice, practice, practice.
Speaker 1: Yeah. I mean, you know, there's it's we, you know, Philip and I talk about it quite a bit and a couple of other guys that I know that are that are really, really high level in terms of their proficiency and their job and what is they do, because it also involves a lot of high stress scenarios. I'm constantly talking to my to my my skydiving buddies because they're processing information at a extremely fast rate of speed. And we talk about that. We talk about like same thing with climbing. I climb in my off time.
Speaker 2: Right?
Speaker 1: And so like that is that's another one of those things that like, dude, you are in the zone, you are focused on nothing but that next placement and that you could be in that zone for hours, you can be in that zone for hours, and that's what it means to be present. Like, I am literally not thinking about anything else other than this because I know that if I make a mistake, there's extremely high consequences involved with that mistake.
Speaker 2: Yeah.
Speaker 1: So we really have to be super laser focused and that's and that's like shooting is that like people don't realize that like shooting is that and if you're as soon as you connect yourself to that rifle and as soon as you obtain a sight picture, you should not be thinking about anything other than what is happening right now in that time. And and that's what it means to be present. And that's and that's that's it. And like a lot of people, too, like I'm going to throw it out there. Shooting is very yogic and all yoga is is a connection between your mind and your body.
Speaker 2: That's.
Speaker 1: Staying here.
Speaker 2: That's that means yoking, doesn't it? Yoga. It's like yoking the mind and the body.
Speaker 1: Exactly. It's unity. And so that's exactly what we're trying to do with a rifle. It's exactly what we're trying to do. There's no there's a parallel. And in yoga, my yoga practice has drastically helped me in that.
Speaker 2: Big time.
Speaker 1: Because in yoga practice, you're it's not necessarily about nailing a yoga pose. It's about it's about being connected to to one particular aspect of your body and saying, okay, I need you to do this in order to get it to this point. And that's exactly what shooting is like, even more so with positional shooting. And that's a whole different, whole different.
Speaker 2: Type of wax. And I'm sure it trains you to hold the the uncomfortable position as well. If you're in an awkward position to take that shot and you feel in a bit of pain because the yoga does does that, doesn't it.
Speaker 1: Well, it makes you it makes like a good yoga teacher will know exactly where you're at in that situation and they'll provide guidance to you to say, okay, well, if you're if you're feeling some stress and strain in the back of your hamstring, move your foot forward a half of an inch and you'll foot forward a half an inch and it'll go away. And you're just like, Joe. Okay, cool.
Speaker 2: Yeah. How did that.
Speaker 1: Happen? And so guess what? That's how I, that's how I teach people because I'm trying to progress my knowledge. I'm trying to progress my ability to communicate with my with my shooters. And it's like those are ways that we can have a better connection between us and the rifle. We're trying to find that moment of stillness and in a pose. That's the goal as well. I'm trying to find that moment of stillness where it's like for my particular body style and my particular. Abilities. Yeah, I've got it. I nailed it. And next time we're going to take it to a little bit different level, we'll take it a little bit higher. And that's the whole goal. And that's it.
Speaker 2: Yeah, it's that constant, steady progression with awareness. Exactly.
Speaker 1: Mindfulness behind the.
Speaker 2: Rifle. It's fantastic, man. Look, I'm very conscious that now we've eaten up a lot of your time, so it's fine.
Speaker 1: It's great. I love talking about this stuff. It's good stuff.
Speaker 2: Oh, me too. It's. It's fantastic. I could kill people's days with this. Can we wrap up on a couple of. I'll just see if I've missed anything critical here from my list. So just through throwing these things out there, I know there's sometimes a little bit trite because the answer can't really be said in bullet points. But for someone who's an experienced precision shooter, what can they work on? Maybe one thing, two things. What can they work on now to see incremental gains or to see they've already achieved a reasonable level, but to see that progression.
Speaker 1: Work on natural point of aim.
Speaker 2: Okay.
Speaker 1: Work on getting getting work on getting that rifle to point exactly where you want it to point with zero influence from yourself. And I'm not talking about free recoil either, guys. I'm talking about having a rifle connected to your body and using your body to manipulate and aim the rifle, because that's all we're doing. You're aiming the rifle with your body. And so working on natural point of aim, if it's any one thing that I tell my students when they come to to class, it is the the most, in my personal opinion, in precision shooting. The most important fundamental is to understand what natural point of aim is, how to obtain it, how to manipulate it, and what to look for.
Speaker 2: Would you say the same thing for a newbie? Absolutely.
Speaker 1: Yeah, totally. Absolutely. Because if I if you start if you start shooting by chasing a wobble, you are going to man your your ability to progress is going to be significantly longer than if you would just stop, slow down and focus on finding that moment of stillness, letting the radicals settle onto the target. I don't care if it takes you 10 minutes to fire five shots, but those five shots, remember, what we're trying to do is we're trying to program your brain. We're trying to wire your brain.
Speaker 2: Yes.
Speaker 1: And that's the key. That really is the key.
Speaker 2: Yeah. I can see that. If you are if you if you are a user. A vernacular phrase. If you're pissing around a problem rather than solving the problem, you're creating the wrong neural pathway, which then has to be undone later when that problem resurfaces.
Speaker 1: And that's super it's super hard to rewire and it's really hard to rewire big time.
Speaker 2: Okay. What is a if you don't mind sharing some of your some of your techniques or some of your instructional techniques, is there a training drill or something that people could do right now or after they get off listening to this podcast, after they get to the range, maybe get home, that would help them improve in their mindfulness behind the rifle or they're just the fundamentals or their performance downrange.
Speaker 1: Yeah. One of the drills that we focus on a lot in the course is is just a couple of warm up drills. And they're usually just fundamental, very simple, but also at the same time quite complex. The one that is that that I shoot a lot almost every day, that I either drive fire or actually on the range is what I call the consistency check drill. And so all that is, is we're not shooting groups, we're just shooting one single shot at a target. And I usually do no less than 15 reps. And the goal is to. Every single shot focus on that shooter's checklist. Go to nose to nose. Focus on everything that's going on. Get your body position dialled, sights, breathing, natural point of aim, trigger control, follow through. There's obviously there's some other things in there that are going on, but and every single time you shoot, you're going to disconnect yourself from the rifle. Then you reconnect yourself to the rifle, go through that whole process over again. That's how that's how we can wire the brain. And like shooting groups don't who I don't give a shit about how well you can shoot groups. I don't care about that. I care about is how many times how consistently can you attach yourself to the rifle, connect yourself to the rifle, and do it the same way every single time.
Speaker 2: So for that, people are they are they walking up to the rifle? Getting prone? Setting up.
Speaker 1: You can do it in the prone. Like if you're just learning and you're just starting, you can do it in the prone position at 100 yards. I actually have I actually have students shoot at really large targets with that because I also want them to focus on aiming. You throw a three minute angle target up at 100 yards. People are like, Oh, I can hit that. No problem. You'd be surprised at how many people don't because they're too busy aiming at something that they're like because there's aiming processes and things that are going on. But you can also do this drill in positions too. I teach a lot of it in position shooting as well. Like in our positional shooting clinic, we spend a lot of time at 100 yard line because that's my way of being able to identify what it is that you're doing without the influences of dope and wind. All right, so I can remove all of those variables at 100 yards and really, truly see what you're capable of as a shooter with your fundamentals. And so just do it in 100 yards. Just say, okay, well, I'm going to shoot some standing position, 15 shots, one shot at each target, and then you can go down range and you can look. And then if everything was done right, you've got a 15 round group.
Speaker 2: Right?
Speaker 1: There are 15 separate shots at 15 different pictures.
Speaker 2: Yeah. Yeah. And you can drive fire. This is.
Speaker 1: Absolutely. Yeah, absolutely. I recommend people that are dry firing to be to be shooting at a minute of angle target at.
Speaker 2: Least.
Speaker 1: An angle target if not smaller. It's it's that's just what I've found for me to to be able to identify, like things that I'm doing wrong with my sight picture or trigger press or whatever.
Speaker 2: Fantastic. That's awesome. And that's that's packed with good stuff. Thank you.
Speaker 1: You're welcome, man. You're welcome. Thank you for the opportunity to chat.
Speaker 2: Oh, it's a pleasure. I like to round out with, like, a more profound question, if that's okay with you, which is what are your words to live by? What's like a mantra to be authentic?
Speaker 1: Just be yourself.
Speaker 2: Awesome.
Speaker 1: And that like, it's not it's not as simple as it sounds. Sometimes that takes sometimes it takes a lot of work. But just be yourself. Be authentic.
Speaker 2: Yeah, because.
Speaker 1: It's going to show up in everything that you do. I guess I'll just one last thing I'll leave you with. Like, we all have to have an ego. Your ego is your person. Like, your ego is who you are. But you can change that through awareness. Right. You can change that through awareness and and and identifying what your intentions are. Because when you identify what your intentions are, that means that you do have to get in touch with your ego. And sometimes that can be a little uncomfortable.
Speaker 2: Yeah.
Speaker 1: To say the least. So.
Speaker 2: Yeah. True story. Yeah.
Speaker 1: Yeah, for sure.
Speaker 2: Fantastic. Well, I'll let you go. You've been super generous with your time. I appreciate it. I think the listeners are going to hugely appreciate this episode because it's been really cool.
Speaker 1: I appreciate the opportunity, man. Thank you.
Speaker 2: No worries. Where can people find you? Is it modern day sniper dot com?
Speaker 1: Yeah, modern day sniper dot com. That'll take you to our main website and you can kind of cruise around there, see what we got going on. Instagram stuff. Modern day sniper is our Instagram handle. My personal Instagram handle is Caylen eight five, four one. And yeah, it's pretty much where you can find us. We do have a Facebook page. You can hit us up on Facebook. That's cool, too. But the majority of the information, I would highly encourage everybody to get on our email list if you haven't already done so, because that's where we're going. We are going to start pushing out like monthly newsletters at first and then eventually if I can get my shit together, we will start doing it bi monthly. So that means twice a month, right?
Speaker 2: Yeah, I think so. Yeah. Yeah.
Speaker 1: So, yeah. And like, that's where you're going to hear a lot of news, a lot of information we're going to try to do is make the email our newsletters have like little tidbits, instructional information in there too that that way you.
Speaker 2: Can okay.
Speaker 1: With you. It's not all good and.
Speaker 2: They can sign.
Speaker 1: Up.
Speaker 2: Yeah. Yeah. I think everyone's got so much inbox spam that there's just no space for that is they sign up for your email list on the website, right?
Speaker 1: Correct. Correct.
Speaker 2: So so go to the website moderndaysniper dot com. Look for the sign up form. That's where you want to be. Bam.
Speaker 1: You've been listening to the Tier one podcast brought to you by Tier one, makers of the world's finest rifle accessories. Find out more at Tier one Dash U.S.A. and tune in for more great insights on the next episode.