Thunder Ranch Countersniper With Fieldcraft AAR

Posted on November 22nd, by Michael in AAR, Precision Rifle, Tactical. No Comments


Ask almost any supposedly reputable source for training on the obscure body of knowledge that includes fieldcraft, stalking, hides, camouflage, in short: “sniper skills,” and the answer is almost always the same: “…but we don’t teach that stuff to civilians.”   It’s probably best if I reserve further comment on that, other than to say that, like most rarified disciplines there is obviously more talk than authentic knowledge and finding a legitimate source willing to share that knowledge with the garden-variety armed citizen can be difficult, believe me – I’ve looked.

There are, of course, good reasons to be cautious with the dissemination of this information.  Let’s face it, under current societal conditions in the United States there is no definitive defensive application for long range, shoot from cover, rifle skills, and these skills in the wrong hands can be very hazardous … Read More »

Range Estimation Brain Teaser – Part II

Posted on June 17th, by Michael in AAR, Advice, Gear, Precision Rifle, Tactical. No Comments

Well, a few months ago when I wrote the last article, I had a few tests I decided to run at our spring Precision Optics Workshop and the great folks who attended were all willing guinea pigs.
In the previous article, I postulated that the ability to accurately estimate the range to a target using a graduated scope reticle would be limited by the capabilities of the human eye, and that capability would be somewhere between 1 and 5 arc-minutes, but I didn’t exactly know where to set the bar.  My best guess, given glass quality and atmospheric effects was about 2 arc minutes.

To test this, we played a little game with 10 participants.  5 “shooters” with optics greater than 20X and 5 “shooters” using optics less than 20X.   The scopes used were a fairly representative sample of the common glass out … Read More »

AAR – Thunder Ranch Urban Precision Rifle

Posted on August 29th, by Michael in AAR, Precision Rifle. No Comments

August 2016: back on the long road from Northwest Ohio to Southern Oregon for another pilgrimage to Thunder Ranch, this time for their Urban Precision Rifle class. This is my 8th time training with Clint and Co. It has been almost 3 years since my last visit, and it occurred to me while crossing the bridge on to the property that it has been far too long.

If you have spent almost any time training with firearms, you have heard of Thunder Ranch and you probably know that Clint has a well-deserved reputation as a living legend in firearms training. The facility is in a beautiful setting, meticulously maintained, and equipped with a plethora of challenging obstacles and targets. In short, it is a shooter’s Heaven.
I first trained at Thunder Ranch in March of 2007 when I made the fortunate decision … Read More »

AAR for ADC’s Defensive Carbine Elements Course

Posted on August 31st, by Michael in AAR. No Comments

By Defensive Carbine Elements Student Robert K.

July 25-26, 2015
Training Location: Sandusky County Sportsman’s Club
Training day 1: Bright and sunny, high of 86°
Training day 2. Cloudy, high of 90°

Equipment used:
Carbine: AR-15 style (direct impingement) Stag Arms lower, Rock River upper,
Adco firearms 16” mid-length 1/7 5.56NATO 4150 CMV CL barrel
ALG Defense 13” rail,
Mil spec bolt carrier group,
Aimpoint PRO / Troy folding BUIS
White Oak Armament lower parts kit, Geissele SSA trigger,
Magpul ACS mil spec stock, Moe grip and H buffer
Blue Force Gear Vickers two-point sling
Wilderness instructor belt
UW Gear split front chest rig
Maxpedition roly-poly dump pouch
Glock 17, OWB holster
OWB kydex carbine mag pouch
OWB kydex pistol mag pouch
Pmags and GI aluminum 30 round mags
Oakley M-frame sunglasses
MSA Sordin electronic ear protection with Surefire EP3 sonic defenders
PMC 223 55 gr FMJ-BT ammo 1000 rounds

Reasons for taking this course:

In January of 2005, I qualified Expert with … Read More »

AAR: Sigma 3 Survival School Basic Standard Class

Posted on March 21st, by Michael in AAR, Survival. No Comments

In early March, 2014, I attended the 5-day “basic standard” survival class put on my Sigma 3 Survival School near Fort Smith, Arkansas.   Sigma 3 seems to be a relatively new player in this industry, yet they have apparently managed to attract a very strong talent base, including former military elites and participants on survival-related reality shows.


I arrived at the facility on a Sunday evening to spend the night at the camp.  It was an overcast, gloomy evening and to be honest, when I arrived at the school I was taken with the depressing, almost post-apocalyptic atmosphere.  If you go to this school,  follow Dorothy Allen Way all the way back, don’t be creeped out by some of the dilapidated houses in the vicinity.   When you see the concrete lions and “Hidden Valley” sign, you know you are in the right place,  just keep going,  You … Read More »

AAR: Thunder Ranch High Angle Rifle II

Posted on December 3rd, by Michael in AAR. 4 comments

This post is meant to be a review of the High Angle Rifle 2 class I attended at Thunder Ranch in November of 2013, but the journey itself, as travel often does, offered a few life perspectives worth sharing, so you’ll have to pardon my indulgence in a few philosophical wanderings along the way.

For those of you who are unfamiliar, Thunder Ranch is a world-class training facility nestled in over 800 acres of Oregon’s “Outback” near Lakeview.   The topography and location make it a perfect spot for testing your gear and skill against long distances and changes in altitude.   Thunder Ranch is owned and operated by Clint and Heidi Smith, who are some of the finest people you’d ever want to meet.

This trip marks the 7th time I’ve trained at Thunder Ranch, which might give you some indication of what I think … Read More »

AAR: Tactical Response Fighting Pistol and Fighting Rifle

Posted on August 12th, by Carlito in AAR. No Comments

This AAR is probably more tailored towards an audience that is already somewhat more “experienced” in defensive use of firearms or at least in some “advanced” firearms training.   If I use terminology here that you are not familiar with, don’t be a goof… ask me what I mean and I will be happy to give you some more detail in one-on-one conversation.

Thunder Ranch is a world-class training facility in southern Oregon owned and operated by Clint and Heidi Smith.  I’ve attended a number of their classes over the past five years and the training there is always fundamentally solid, no-nonsense and LOGICal.  I recommend it most highly to anyone serious about firearms training.  That said,  I have to admit, that when Heidi invited me to attend four days of training under the tutelage of James Yeager,  self-admittedly “the most controversial” firearms instructor in the … Read More »

Fresh ADC Articles:

Our instructors have a wide breadth of knowledge. Tap into some great info in blog and articles section.

A Spare Parts Story

If you tinker with firearms long enough, you will accumulate spare guns and spare parts, so here’s a spare parts story:  A few years...

Thunder Ranch Countersniper With Fieldcraft AAR


Ask almost any supposedly reputable source for training on the obscure body of knowledge that includes fieldcraft, stalking, hides, camouflage, in short: “sniper skills,”...

Range Estimation Brain Teaser – Part II

Well, a few months ago when I wrote the last article, I had a few tests I decided to run at our spring Precision...