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Thread: Nortrack Precision Long Range Hunter Course, Review.

  1. #1
    Member Sh00ter's Avatar
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    Nortrack Precision Long Range Hunter Course, Review.

    I recently completed the Nortrack Precision long range hunter course. While I have been handling firearms for a long time. I am a novice at long range shooting, only having shot out to 500m in the past (at least with rifles). The course took two days and was conducted on a hill country farm south-east of Dannevirke in the Manawatu. We were lucky to have clear weather and while the wind was quite strong it had minimal value.

    The following subjects are covered and the course moves at an easy pace.
    - Pre-fire checks
    - Marksmanship Principles
    - Position Fundamentals
    - Ballistic Fundamentals
    - Ranging and target identification fundamentals
    - Synchronised shooting
    - Confirm ballistic data out to 600m and beyond
    - High angle shooting

    The instructors Neil and Dave both have extensive military backgrounds in long range shooting. Neil also has a lot of experience hunting in both Canada and NZ. Not only are they highly experienced but they have the ability to teach as well which is fundamental on a course like this.

    There were seven students including myself. Our backgrounds and experience levels were pretty varied, one student was a competitive long range shooter others were more like me and just getting into long range shooting. As you would expect there was a variety of rifles used from top end long range rigs to hunting rifles all were equipped with MRAD scopes. With an instructor/ student ratio of 2/7 everyone got as much personal attention as they needed.

    We started off a safety brief before moving onto the theory side of things and discussed the various formulas used. Everyone was using MRAD scopes so that simplified the math needed a lot. Although Neil and Dave are just as capable of working in MOA should anyone need them too.

    After going through the principles of marksmanship we worked on building a good shooting position. All shooting was done from the prone. One dry fire drill we did was the coin drill. This is a simple drill that has an assistant place a coin near the muzzle of the rifle, once the shooter is in position. The shooter then fires the rifle as though at a target. The aim is to keep the coin in place, if it falls then you are doing something wrong. I had no problems doing this but my partner's coin kept dropping. Neil was able to quickly identify that his trigger technique was the cause. Instead of pulling the trigger straight to the rear he was torqueing it slightly. At long range it would be enough to cause a miss. That experience alone would have been worth the cost of the course. These types of mistakes are incredibly hard to spot on your own or even with a friend (I never picked up on it). You could easily fire hundreds of dollars in ammo and not get any better.

    There's nothing earth shattering in shooting out to a 1km. It's all about mastering the basics. Small mistakes that go unnoticed at 100m will cause huge misses at distance if not corrected. It seems to me it's all about mastering your marksmanship principles, range estimation and wind calls. Once you have done that then you need to understand what your bullet is doing at that distance and adjust for it. Of course all that is a lot easier said than done.

    I was using a Bergara HMR in .308 with vortex diamondback tactical 6-26 MRAD scope, Warne QR rings and a cheap harris type bipod, shooting gorilla ammo 175grn sierra match kings. This combo worked well enough out to 750m but I just couldn't get hits on the 950m gong. This target was set up on grass and the spotter couldn't see where my rounds were impacting. This was where the ammo started letting me down, while classed as match grade the best I could get through my rifle at 100m was 1.5 MOA. So by the time it gets to 1000m that 1.5 inches is more than 15 inches, on a 12in gong that's significant.

    Accommodation for the duration was in shearers quarters but most people camped. A fridge, oven, freezer and shower were all available for use. Students provided their own food and there was plenty of time in the evening to head out to the shops if you forgot something. The accommodation was basic but for anyone interested in hunting more than adequate, it was a lot better than most huts I've stayed in.

    All in all I thought the course was good value. Even though I didn't learn anything new, it was a chance to apply that knowledge to a much greater distance than I had previously. I think the furthest target was at 1100m, most ranges I have been too you are lucky to get out to 200m. We used to cover the theory of high angle shooting in maritime security all the time but this was the first time I got to do it for real. I had also made a novice mistake setting up my scope and Dave was able to sort me out. Aside from the coaching the biggest advantage of a course like this is the experience of shooting out to long range. Once all the course material was covered the range was opened so that students could shoot in their own time at whichever targets they wanted using the data they had collected on the first day. This was an invaluable experience. One student who was on the course for the second time, was able to drop a hare at 1000m, which is pretty impressive to say the least.

    Nortracks NZ website is down at the moment, heres the link for their facebook page https://www.facebook.com/Nortrack-Pr...11497147396405
    Heres the link for their Canadian page https://www.nortrackcanada.com/

    Theres photos and a kit overview on my blog, as I sell some of the kit I wont post it here.
    https://bushlifenz.com/blogs/bushlif...-course-review
    Hit the hills, live the BushLife!

    https://bushlifenz.com/

  2. #2
    Member Marty Henry's Avatar
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    Good result, I did a few quick numbers knowing your mv with that ammunition. At around 800 m your ammo would have been entering the transonic zone which is always troublesome. The smk 178 needs a twist rate of 11 or faster for long range stability so that may also be a factor. Then there's the human factor which like wind is rather difficult to predict consistently.😂
    Sh00ter likes this.

  3. #3
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    Interesting read there ShOOTER,Iv fired a few round down our way out to 800yds-1000yds.A 1.2 second is a long time to wait for the target plate to ding when you get a hit.And you get pissed off quickly when you hear nothing.lols
    Sh00ter likes this.

  4. #4
    Bos
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    Wonder if this is similar to the Sparrowhawk weekend. Is there a charge for the course over and above the accommodation?
    Ive been thinking about joining one of the Sparrowhawk groups in Sth Canterbury for a while now but this might be another option. Great idea to have someone point out the shortcomings you didn't realise you had
    Trout and Sh00ter like this.

  5. #5
    Member Sh00ter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marty Henry View Post
    Good result, I did a few quick numbers knowing your mv with that ammunition. At around 800 m your ammo would have been entering the transonic zone which is always troublesome. The smk 178 needs a twist rate of 11 or faster for long range stability so that may also be a factor. Then there's the human factor which like wind is rather difficult to predict consistently.��
    The rifle has a 1 in 10 twist, I honestly have no idea where the rounds were going. At that range with a .308 you are really lobbing them in there. There were two .308s and a 7mm08 and we all suffered at that range. I have a developed a new appreciation for the 6mm calibres .

    Quote Originally Posted by Trout View Post
    Interesting read there ShOOTER,Iv fired a few round down our way out to 800yds-1000yds.A 1.2 second is a long time to wait for the target plate to ding when you get a hit.And you get pissed off quickly when you hear nothing.lols
    Cheers mate. Yes but very rewarding when you get it, its bloody addictive, lol


    Quote Originally Posted by Bos View Post
    Wonder if this is similar to the Sparrowhawk weekend. Is there a charge for the course over and above the accommodation?
    Ive been thinking about joining one of the Sparrowhawk groups in Sth Canterbury for a while now but this might be another option. Great idea to have someone point out the shortcomings you didn't realise you had
    They ask for a small donation towards accommodation, the course fee is separate.
    I cant compare it to Sparrowhawk, I would do their course but I live on the wrong Island. The best shooter there was doing it for the second time, so long as you go there with an open mind and a willingness to learn you will come away with something. Theres no point standing quietly at the back you have to get stuck in and ask questions. Neil and Dave are great guys and they will bend over backwards to help you.
    Hit the hills, live the BushLife!

    https://bushlifenz.com/

  6. #6
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    Do they have any non-Facebook way of contacting them?

  7. #7
    Member Rich007's Avatar
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    What's a 'shooting sock' ?
    If my work annoys me, I cull them

  8. #8
    Member Sh00ter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Magnetite View Post
    Do they have any non-Facebook way of contacting them?
    You can contact Neil at CBT-TRACKER@hotmail.com



    Quote Originally Posted by Rich007 View Post
    What's a 'shooting sock' ?
    Its like a shooting glove but it goes on your foot
    A cheap way to make a rear bag is from a sock.
    Rich007 and Magnetite like this.
    Hit the hills, live the BushLife!

    https://bushlifenz.com/

  9. #9
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    Neils a really good bugger! His knowledge is first rate and he has some great gear. He does a bit of hunting and shooting at my place and Ive seen him put his skills into action.
    I haven't done his course, but know it would be well worth it.
    Sh00ter and 55six like this.

  10. #10
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    My son did the Nortrack course and thoroughly enjoyed it. Neil and Dave are top blokes with a wealth of knowledge.
    Sh00ter likes this.

 

 

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