Level Up Your Skill Set
There has been a great deal of conversation on our FB pages about what gear everyone is using. Production Division builds and Custom Open Division builds right now are a hot topic. I get it, we all love the “show and tell” aspect of our very gear-centric sport. It’s easy to get wrapped up in all the minutia of what platform to build off of, what scope to use, and what everyone’s favorite shooting bag is.
But here’s a little secret. The gear part of the shooting equation is actually a small part of the big picture. It’s the shooter that makes the difference. It is the shooter with solid fundamentals that will consistently perform regardless of the equipment they are using.
The problem in Canada is that there are not a great deal of courses available for new shooters to learn the basics. Most courses require prior experience or some other prerequisite. Also, most of these courses can be out of most people’s price range or are confined to a geographic location.
Enter Project Mapleseed
Project Mapleseed is a non-profit, volunteer run civilian marksmanship training program that spans coast-to-coast. Unlike other courses, this series of instruction does not require any prior experience or knowledge. If you don’t have a rifle of your own, they can even lend you one.
The course is a good balance of both theory and practical. Throughout the 1 day course you will discuss theory, then right away do a related shooting drill (“break-out session” as they call it) to reinforce what you just learned. This two-pronged approach helps put theory into practice. As you switch from classroom to range, a new layer is added. By the end of the day you will have learned a great deal. It is often referred to as “trying to drink from a fire hose”. Regardless of where you are in your shooting journey, you will find some gold nuggets of knowledge that you can apply to your current shooting discipline. They also have the highly coveted “Rifleman” Patch. If you shoot a score of 210 out of a possible 250, your earn your patch. It is not something that is easily accomplish and that’s what makes it so fun.
Lay the Foundation For PRS-Style Shooting
While Project Mapleseed is not specifically geared towards PRS-style shooting, meaning they won’t teach you how to shoot from a 45 degree rooftop barricade or tell you how to best use “hold overs” on your Christmas tree reticle. They will teach you the fundamental skills that can be applied to shoot with good success at a PRS style event. Skills like developing your “steady hold factors” when you setup on your barricade can make a huge difference. They also “NPOA” (Natural Point Of Aim) which will create faster follow-up shots on stages that require multiple hits on the same target. The most important thing they will teach you is the “6 steps to firing a shot”. This mental checklist will make sure you can be as accurate a shot as you and your rifle can possibly be.
After you have a solid understanding of the basics of marksmanship, you can then build upon your knowledge base by adding more discipline specific training. Things like books, YouTube videos or evn live seminars are all ideal for followup training.
Coming to a town Near you
With the explosion in demand for this type of instruction, Project Mapleseed has seen huge growth in the last two years. Events are constantly being added to be able to hit all the provinces of our great country. If this seems interesting to you and you would like to “level up” your shooting skills set I highly recommend you check them out. Be sure to check out their Facebook page and their website.