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October 16th, 2022

Long Range Shooting Handbook by Ryan Cleckner

Ryan Cleckner book Long Range Shooting

You have probably watched one of the excellent shooting sports videos Ryan Cleckner has done for the NSSF. Ryan’s Understanding Minute of Angle (MOA) video (see below) has been viewed over 3.4 million times! Ryan is noted for his ability to explain complex topics in an easy-to-comprehend manner.

Cleckner has also authored a hugely popular book, the Long Range Shooting Handbook, which expands on the topics covered in his popular video series. This book is the #1 Best Seller on Amazon in its category. You can view Sample Chapters from Ryan’s book — just click “Look Inside” on the Amazon product page.

Ryan Cleckner long range shooting handbook

As a long-range shooting expert, Ryan Cleckner has impressive credentials. Cleckner was a special operations sniper (1/75 Rgr) with multiple combat deployments, and he has served a U.S. Army sniper instructor. Currently he works as a firearms industry executive and attorney.

The Long Range Shooting Handbook is divided into three main categories: What It Is/How It Works, Fundamentals, and How to Use It. “What It Is/How It Works” covers equipment, terminology, and basic principles. “Fundamentals” covers the theory of long range shooting. “How to Use It” gives practical advice on implementing what you’ve learned, so you can progress as a skilled, long range shooter.

Ryan Cleckner’s best-selling Long Range Shooting Handbook is designed as an introduction to important fundamental concepts such as MOA vs. MILs, External Ballistics, and Environmental Effects. Included are personal tips and advice based on Cleckner’s years of experience as a sniper instructor and special operations sniper.

Iain Harrison, editor of Recoil Magazine, said: “Whether you’re looking to dip a toe into the complex world of long range shooting, or you’re a seasoned shooter with years of trigger time, Ryan Cleckner’s book will prove to be excellent reference material. Well written and easy to understand, it covers all the essential topics that a well-rounded shooter needs to master.”


In this video, Ryan Cleckner reviews proper technique for rifle shooters. A stable platform, sight alignment, sight picture, and trigger control are key fundamentals to shooting properly.

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May 22nd, 2022

What, Exactly is Minute of Angle? Videos Explain MOA

one minute of angle

This popular video, viewed nearly 1.9 million times on YouTube, provides a clear explanation of Minute of Angle (MOA) and how that angular measurement is used. Among novice shooters, there is much confusion over this term. In this NSSF Video, Ryan Cleckner, a former Sniper Instructor for the 1st Ranger Battalion, defines the term, “Minute of Angle” (MOA) and explains how you can adjust for windage and elevation using 1/4 or 1/8 MOA clicks on your scope. This allows you to sight-in precisely and compensate for bullet drop at various distances.

For starters, Ryan explains that, when talking about angular degrees, a “minute” is simply 1/60th. So a “Minute of Angle” is simply 1/60th of one degree of a central angle, measured either up and down (for elevation) or side to side (for windage). At 100 yards, 1 MOA equals 1.047″ on the target. This is often rounded to one inch for simplicity. Say, for example, you click up 1 MOA. That is roughly 1 inch at 100 yards, or roughly 4 inches at 400 yards, since the target area measured by 1 MOA increases in linear fashion with the distance.

More Minute of Angle (MOA) Explanatory Videos

This Gunwerks video explains that Minute of Angle subtends approximately 1″ for each 100 yards (well, 1.047″ to be exact). That means a Minute of Angle increases in actual measured size the greater the distance of the target from the shooter.

This lengthy (24-minute) video defines Minute of Angle, and uses multiple diagrams to illustrate how MOA angular measurements works. The video also how MOA-based click values translate to point-of-impact changes at various distances.

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April 12th, 2022

Tactical Titles — Four Good Resources for PRS/NRL Shooters

PRS NRL precision rifle training book print resource manual gun handling instruction

Are you looking to get started in PRS and NRL practical precision rifle competition? Or perhaps you’d like to advance your skill set so you can place higher in big matches (and get your hands on those prize table items)? Of course there is no substitute for trigger time in the field, but there ARE some great print resources. These four books can help you select the right equipment, improve your shooting skills, make better wind calls, increase your fitness, and develop a more efficient between-match training program.

Tactical Practical PRS Precision Rifle Series NRL NRL22 good books

1. Precision Rifle Marksmanship: The Fundamentals

Frank Galli, $23.71 Paperback, $15.99 Kindle

Frank Galli rifle marksmanship PRS NRL precision rifle training book print resource manual gun handling instruction

Frank Galli (aka “LowLight”) is the founder/head honcho of SnipersHide.com, the most active tactical community on the internet. Galli is also a retired USMC scout-sniper. Practical Precision Rifle shooting is one of the hottest trends in competitive shooting today. PRS and NRL matches draw big turn-outs and boast impressive prize tables. Galli’s Precision Rifle Marksmanship book covers the fundamentals of precision marksmanship with easy-to-understand methodology. The book uses the same instruction process that Galli uses in his live marksmanship classes.

As Sniper’s Hide guru Frank Galli explains, there is no voodoo when it comes to precision rifle marksmanship, but there are techniques that, when practiced, make the difference between good marksmanship and great marksmanship. Understanding the reasons that a bullet hits or doesn’t hit its intended target at ultra-long distances is a crucial element to learning. Galli’s explanations of how to understand and compensate for wind speed and direction are excellent — Galli offers great wind-reading advice.

Published in 2020, this 272-page well-illustrated book covers the latest equipment (scopes, LRFs, chassis systems, mags, bags, bipods, tripods) favored by tactical competitors in PRS/NRL type matches.

2. Long Range Shooting Handbook

Ryan Cleckner, $24.82 Paperback, $9.99 Kindle

Ryan Cleckner’s Long Range Shooting Handbook is the best-selling modern book on practical rifle skills. A former U.S. Army sniper instructor, Cleckner is knowledgeable, and his text is well-organized and chock full of good information. You can view Sample Chapters on Amazon.com.

Ryan Cleckner’s highly-regarded Long Range Shooting Handbook is designed as an intro to important fundamental concepts such as MOA vs. Mils, External Ballistics, and Environmental Effects. Included are personal tips and advice based on Cleckner’s years of experience as a sniper instructor and special operations sniper.

The Long Range Shooting Handbook is divided into three main categories: What It Is/How It Works, Fundamentals, and How to Use It. “What It Is/How It Works” covers equipment, terminology, and basic principles. “Fundamentals” covers the theory of long range shooting. “How to Use It” gives practical advice on implementing what you’ve learned, so you can progress as a skilled, long range shooter. This book will benefit any long-range shooter, not just PRS/NRL competitors.

3. IMPACT! — Training and Preparing for Precision Rifle Matches

Rodney Maze, $14.99 Paperback, $4.99 Kindle

PRS NRL precision rifle training book print resource manual gun handling instruction

Impact!, by PRS competitor Rodney Maze, is an entry/intermediate level guide to preparing yourself and your equipment to compete in precision rifle type matches. It will also benefit anyone looking to learn about practical-style long range and precision shooting. We recommend you check it out for yourself — there are 20 Pages of free sample content on Amazon. Topics covered include:

— Rifle, optic, and equipment selection
— Setting up your rifle, bags, tripods for PRS/NRL matches
— Understanding ballistics and how to record and use ballistic data
— Techniques for using holdovers for multi-target stages
— Gun skills, rapid fire techniques, clearing malfunctions
— Shooting off of barricades, and specialty stages
— Effects of wind and how to improve your wind calls
— Tips for live fire and dry fire practice
— Preparing yourself and your equipment for a match
— Mental strategies and techniques

Impact! is illustrated with plenty of photographs. Topics are divided logically, and concepts are explained in clear language. Also included is an extensive glossary of terms used in precision shooting and a list of additional resources you can use to further pursue your precision shooting knowledge. This book also includes a handy Appendix with formatted pages for recording data about your rifle, scope, and ammunition. There is also a Wind table for recording your rifle “dope” and wind hold-offs. Lastly, Impact! has a useful table of unit conversions.

4. Practical Shooter’s Guide

Marcus Blanchard, $19.99 Paperback, $9.99 Kindle

Marcus Blanchard Practical Shooter's Guide

Thinking of getting started in the Practical/Tactical shooting game? Looking for ways to be more stable when shooting from unconventional positions? Then you may want to read Marcus Blanchard’s Practical Shooter’s Guide (A How-To Approach for Unconventional Firing Positions and Training). Unlike almost every “how to shoot” book on the market, Blanchard’s work focuses on the shooting skills and positions you need to succeed in PRS matches and similar tactical competitions. Blanchard provides clear advice on shooting from barricades, from roof-tops, from steep angles. Blanchard says you need to train for these types of challenges: “I believe the largest factor in the improvement of the average shooter isn’t necessarily the gear; it’s the way the shooter approaches obstacles and how they properly train for them.”

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February 25th, 2022

Tactical Guru Ryan Cleckner on Gun Talk Radio this Sunday

Ryan Cleckner long rage tactical Tom Gresham Gun Talk

There’s a good episode of Gun Talk Radio this Sunday, 2/27/2022. This week’s lead guest is respected author and former U.S. Army sniper instructor Ryan Cleckner. Host Tom Gresham and Cleckner discuss hunting, long range shooting, and tactical training. Ryan Cleckner is the author of the best-selling Long Range Shooting Handbook.

This broadcast airs Sunday, February 27, 2022 from 2:00 PM to 5:00 PM Eastern time on 270+ radio stations nationwide. Listen on a radio station near you or via LIVE Streaming. This week you can also enter Gun Talk’s Good Guy Giveaway Contest.

Effective Rifle Training with Ryan Cleckner
Along with his written work, Ryan Cleckner has created many good shooting videos for the NSSF, such as his excellent Understanding MOA Video. He also produces content for GunUniversity.com. Ryan is noted for his ability to explain complex topics in an easy-to-comprehend manner. This video below, covering the fundamentals of shooting, has been viewed over 2.9 million times. It’s worth watching, particularly for guys getting started in PRS/practical competitions.

In this video, Ryan Cleckner reviews proper technique for rifle shooters. A stable platform, sight alignment, sight picture, and trigger control are key fundamentals to shooting properly.

Tip on Viewing Your Reticle:
Cleckner: “Sometimes it can be difficult to focus between the target and the reticle, even with the parallax adjusted properly. I recommend you focus only on the reticle. Just like the front sight on a rifle or a handgun, that reticle is what you can control, and it’s what matters. Focus on a crisp, clear reticle, in a stable platform, and all that’s left is trigger control.”

Tip on Trigger Control:
Cleckner: “Trigger control is pretty straightforward, as long as you think about it as a continuous process, and not just one thing that happens. I like to think about it as drawing a line in the dirt. I like to think about this constant pressure that I’m adding as I draw this line straight back, and then… continuing to draw that line even as the rifle goes off. That’s the good follow-through you’ll need.”

Long Range Shooting Handbook — A Good Resource

Ryan Cleckner’s Long Range Shooting Handbook is designed as an introduction to important fundamental concepts such as MOA vs. Mils, External Ballistics, and Environmental Effects. It also include advice on shooting positions, and gun handling. Included are personal tips and advice based on Cleckner’s years of experience as a sniper instructor and special operations sniper.

The Long Range Shooting Handbook is divided into three main categories: What It Is/How It Works, Fundamentals, and How to Use It. “What It Is/How It Works” covers equipment, terminology, and basic principles. “Fundamentals” covers the theory of long range shooting. “How to Use It” gives practical advice on implementing what you’ve learned, so you can progress as a skilled, long range shooter. You can view Sample Chapters from Ryan’s Book on Amazon.com.

Gun Talk Radio — Podcast Archive

If you miss the live show broadcast on Sunday, past broadcasts can be heard online via the GUNTALK PODCAST Site and Apple iTunes. The Gun Talk Podcast Archive has hundreds of past shows you can access via the internet. Here’s an informative, recent podcast relating to optics purchasing and scope installation.

Gun Talk Podcast from 2/20/2022 — How Much to Pay for Optics

All Gun Talk shows are also archived as podcasts for download or online listening. Gun Talk is also available on YouTube, Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, and GunTalk.com.

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December 22nd, 2021

Optimal Head and Scope Positioning for Prone Shooting

Scope head position prone shooting Ryan Cleckner long range shooting handbook

In this video, former Army Ranger sniper team leader Ryan Cleckner explains how proper head and scope position is a critical component to accurate shooting. Ryan finds that some shooters place the scope too far forward or too far rearward. If the scope is too far back you may have issues with eye relief and stock reach to shoulder. If it is too far forward, you may have cheek-weld problems or get neck strain. Cleckner cautions: “When you are in a good prone position, you don’t want any strain in your neck muscles or back.”

In the video, Cleckner offers a simple method to check your scope position:

“To see if your scope is set up properly … close your eyes, lay your head on your gun, get completely comfortable, and only when you are set-up, then open your eyes. If you can’t see clearly through your scope, CHANGE something [such as comb height or scope position]”.

“When you open your eyes, if you see some scope shadow [i.e. the black ring around the edge of the scope picture], figure out which way you need to move your head to get rid of that shadow, and then make adjustments to either your position, the rifle, or the scope.”

Scope head position prone shooting Ryan Cleckner long range shooting handbook

“Very often you’ll open your eyes and realize you need to move further back or further forward. Instead of moving your position [or head], move the scope and get it set up properly.”

Tip on Viewing Your Reticle:
Cleckner: “Sometimes it can be difficult to focus between the target and the reticle, even with the parallax adjusted properly. I recommend you focus only on the reticle. Just like the front sight on a rifle or a handgun, that reticle is what you can control, and it’s what matters. Focus on a crisp, clear reticle, in a stable platform, and all that’s left is trigger control.”

Long Range Shooting Handbook — A Good Resource
Cleckner’s Long Range Shooting Handbook covers a wide range of topics important for precision marksmanship — both shooting skills and technical matters. You can view Sample Chapters from Ryan’s Book on Amazon.com. Cleckner’s book is designed as an intro to key concepts such as MOA vs. Mils, External Ballistics, and Environmental Effects. Included are personal tips and advice based on Cleckner’s years of experience as a sniper instructor and special operations sniper.

The Long Range Shooting Handbook is divided into three main categories: What It Is/How It Works, Fundamentals, and How to Use It. “What It Is/How It Works” covers equipment, terminology, and basic principles. “Fundamentals” covers the theory of long range shooting. “How to Use It” gives practical advice on implementing what you’ve learned, so you can progress as a skilled, long range shooter.

Ryan Cleckner was a special operations sniper (1/75 RGR) and he served as a U.S. Army sniper instructor. Currently he works as a firearms industry executive and practicing firearms attorney.

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October 3rd, 2021

Optics INFO: Mounting a Scope on Your Hunting Rifle

scope alignment tactical rifle scope level

Hunting season is underway now in many states. That means it’s time to inspect all your hunting gear, including your scope set-up. If you have a new optic, you’ll want to get it mounted correctly on your current rig. And if you have a new hunting rifle, you’ll need to mount the properly rings and install the riflescope so that you have the correct eye relief.

A proper scope installation involves more than just tensioning a set of rings — you need to consider the proper eye relief and head position, and it should be leveled correctly. This video shows a simple, quick method to mount a scope. The method assumes that the reticle (cross-hairs) are square without the turret. You’ll want to confirm that with a plumb line hanging straight down, a procedure you can do indoors.

scope alignment tactical rifle scope levelIn this NSSF video, Ryan Cleckner shows how to set up a scope on a hunting or tactical rifle. Ryan, a former U.S. Army Sniper Instructor, notes that many hunters spend a small fortune on equipment, but fail to set up their rifle to use the optics optimally. Cleckner likens this to someone who owns an expensive sports car, but never adjusts the seat or the mirrors.

Ryan notes that you want your head and neck to be able to rest naturally on the stock, without straining. You head should rest comfortably on the stock. If you have to consciously lift your head off the stock to see through the scope, then your set-up isn’t correct. Likewise, You shouldn’t have to push your head forward or pull it back to see a clear image through the scope. If you need to strain forward or pull back to get correct eye relief, then the scope’s fore/aft position in the rings needs to be altered. Watch the full video for more tips.

Tips on Mounting Your Scope and Adjusting Your Comb Height:
1. Normally, you want your scope mounted as low as possible, while allowing sufficient clearance for the front objective. (NOTE: Benchrest shooters may prefer a high mount for a variety of reasons.)

2. Once the scope height is set, you need to get your head to the correct level. This may require adding an accessory cheekpad, or raising the comb height if your rifle has an adjustable cheekpiece.

3. Start with the rifle in the position you use most often (standing, kneeling, or prone). If you shoot mostly prone, you need to get down on the ground. Close your eyes, and let you head rest naturally on the stock. Then open your eyes, and see if you are too low or too high. You may need to use a cheekpad to get your head higher on the stock.

4. If your scope has a flat on the bottom of the turret housing, this will help you level your scope. Just find a flat piece of metal that slides easily between the bottom of the scope and the rail. Slide that metal piece under the scope and then tilt it up so the flat on the bottom of the scope aligns parallel with the flats on the rail. Watch the video at 8:40 to see how this is done.

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April 30th, 2021

Tactical Titles — Five Books for PRS/NRL Competitors

PRS NRL precision rifle training book print resource manual gun handling instruction

Are you looking to get started in PRS and NRL practical precision rifle competition? Or perhaps you’d like to advance your skill set so you can place higher in big matches (and get your hands on those prize table items)? Of course there is no substitute for trigger time in the field, but there ARE some great print resources. These five books can help you select the right equipment, improve your shooting skills, make better wind calls, increase your fitness level, and develop a more efficient between-match training program.

Tactical Practical PRS Precision Rifle Series NRL NRL22 good books

1. Precision Rifle Marksmanship: The Fundamentals

Frank Galli, $21.57 Paperback, $15.99 Kindle

Frank Galli rifle marksmanship PRS NRL precision rifle training book print resource manual gun handling instruction

Frank Galli (aka “LowLight”) is the founder/head honcho of SnipersHide.com, the most active tactical community on the internet. Galli is also a retired USMC scout-sniper. Practical Precision Rifle shooting is one of the hottest trends in competitive shooting today. PRS and NRL matches draw big turn-outs and boast impressive prize tables. Galli’s Precision Rifle Marksmanship book covers the fundamentals of precision marksmanship with easy-to-understand methodology. The book uses the same instruction process that Galli uses in his live marksmanship classes.

As Sniper’s Hide guru Frank Galli explains, there is no voodoo when it comes to precision rifle marksmanship, but there are techniques that, when practiced, make the difference between good marksmanship and great marksmanship. Understanding the reasons that a bullet hits or doesn’t hit its intended target at ultra-long distances is a crucial element to learning. Galli’s explanations of how to understand and compensate for wind speed and direction are excellent — Galli offers great wind-reading advice.

Published in 2020, this 272-page well-illustrated book covers the latest equipment (scopes, LRFs, chassis systems, mags, bags, bipods, tripods) favored by tactical competitors in PRS/NRL type matches.

2. Long Range Shooting Handbook

Ryan Cleckner, $19.85 Paperback, $9.99 Kindle

Ryan Cleckner’s Long Range Shooting Handbook is the best-selling modern book on practical rifle skills. A former U.S. Army sniper instructor, Cleckner is knowledgeable, and his text is well-organized and chock full of good information. You can view Sample Chapters on Amazon.com.

Ryan Cleckner’s highly-regarded Long Range Shooting Handbook is designed as an intro to important fundamental concepts such as MOA vs. Mils, External Ballistics, and Environmental Effects. Included are personal tips and advice based on Cleckner’s years of experience as a sniper instructor and special operations sniper.

The Long Range Shooting Handbook is divided into three main categories: What It Is/How It Works, Fundamentals, and How to Use It. “What It Is/How It Works” covers equipment, terminology, and basic principles. “Fundamentals” covers the theory of long range shooting. “How to Use It” gives practical advice on implementing what you’ve learned, so you can progress as a skilled, long range shooter. This book will benefit any long-range shooter, not just PRS/NRL competitors.

3. IMPACT! — Training and Preparing for Precision Rifle Matches

Rodney Maze, $14.99 Paperback, $4.99 Kindle

PRS NRL precision rifle training book print resource manual gun handling instruction

Impact!, by PRS competitor Rodney Maze, is an entry/intermediate level guide to preparing yourself and your equipment to compete in precision rifle type matches. It will also benefit anyone looking to learn about practical-style long range and precision shooting. We recommend you check it out for yourself — there are 20 Pages of free sample content on Amazon. Topics covered include:

— Rifle, optic, and equipment selection
— Setting up your rifle, bags, tripods for PRS/NRL matches
— Understanding ballistics and how to record and use ballistic data
— Techniques for using holdovers for multi-target stages
— Gun skills, rapid fire techniques, clearing malfunctions
— Shooting off of barricades, and specialty stages
— Effects of wind and how to improve your wind calls
— Tips for live fire and dry fire practice
— Preparing yourself and your equipment for a match
— Mental strategies and techniques

Impact! is illustrated with plenty of photographs. Topics are divided logically, and concepts are explained in clear language. Also included is an extensive glossary of terms used in precision shooting and a list of additional resources you can use to further pursue your precision shooting knowledge. This book also includes a handy Appendix with formatted pages for recording data about your rifle, scope, and ammunition. There is also a Wind table for recording your rifle “dope” and wind hold-offs. Lastly, Impact! has a useful table of unit conversions.

4. Practical Shooter’s Guide

Marcus Blanchard, $19.99 Paperback, $9.99 Kindle

Marcus Blanchard Practical Shooter's Guide

Thinking of getting started in the Practical/Tactical shooting game? Looking for ways to be more stable when shooting from unconventional positions? Then you may want to read Marcus Blanchard’s Practical Shooter’s Guide (A How-To Approach for Unconventional Firing Positions and Training). Unlike almost every “how to shoot” book on the market, Blanchard’s work focuses on the shooting skills and positions you need to succeed in PRS matches and similar tactical competitions. Blanchard provides clear advice on shooting from barricades, from roof-tops, from steep angles. Blanchard says you need to train for these types of challenges: “I believe the largest factor in the improvement of the average shooter isn’t necessarily the gear; it’s the way the shooter approaches obstacles and how they properly train for them.”

5. Official U.S. Army Sniper Training and Operations Manual

From U.S. Army Sources, $17.59 paperback.

PRS NRL precision rifle training book print resource manual gun handling instruction

This U.S. Army Sniper Training Manual is a very comprehensive resource, with over 450 pages of information in a large 8.5″x11″ format. NOTE: Unlike other editions on Amazon, this is NOT the basic, outdated FM 23-10. This is the completely-overhauled 450+ page edition (FM 3-22.10). Heavily illustrated, this is a very useful resource for tactical/practical precision shooter. Employed as the “textbook” for the U.S. Army Sniper School at Fort Benning, GA, this big manual explains ranging methods, rifle handling, optics selection and operation, and rifle maintenance.

There is also extensive discussion of ballistics, wind reading, and weather effects. Practical competitors will appreciate the discussions of moving targets, range estimation, and range safety procedures. One reviewer explains: “This book contains the distilled wisdom of the Sniper School’s instructors and expert marksmen, giving you over 450 pages of unique insight into the long range combat shooter’s art.”

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February 23rd, 2021

Practical Tactical — Training Video Series with Ryan Cleckner

practical PRS NRL shooting tactical rifle videos ryan cleckner

Former Army Ranger sniper instructor Ryan Cleckner is the author of the best-selling Long Range Shooting Handbook. Cleckner hosts a series of videos that cover shooting techniques appropriate for tactical and PRS-type disciplines. Here are five short videos that cover various aspects of shooting techniques and rifle set-up. We think PRS/NRL competitors (and long-range hunters) can benefit from these videos.

“Consistency is the key to accuracy.

You need to think about a system of how you’re going to shoot that is not only comfortable, but [is] repeatable when you’re shooting.” — Ryan Cleckner

In this first video, Cleckner explains proper scope position. Ryan finds that some shooters place the scope too far forward or too far rearward. If the scope is too far back you may have issues with eye relief and stock reach to shoulder. If it is too far forward, you may have cheek-weld problems or get neck strain.

Cleckner offers a simple method to check your scope position: “To see if your scope is set up properly … close your eyes, lay your head on your gun, get completely comfortable, and only when you are set-up, then open your eyes. If you can’t see clearly through your scope, CHANGE something [such as comb height or scope position]”. “When you open your eyes, if you see some scope shadow [i.e. the black ring around the edge of the scope picture], figure out which way you need to move your head to get rid of that shadow, and then make adjustments to either your position, the rifle, or the scope.”

Cleckner prefers shooting off a bag when in the prone position, when that is practical. The bag provides a more stable support than a small Harris-type bipod, doesn’t require pre-loading the rifle, and there is less bounce or hop on recoil.

Former Army Ranger sniper team leader Ryan Cleckner explains how important it is to keep your rifle straight up and down when long-range precision shooting. Cleckner demonstrates with an AR-10 modern sporting rifle how slight cant to your rifle can cause a miss over long distances.

Here Cleckner covers some of the basic points of trigger control on tactical-style rifles. These basic principles apply to both single-stage and two-stage triggers. NOTE: For benchrest rigs, with ultra-light pull weights, more refined techniques may be appropriate.

In tactical events, when you’re shooting on the clock and loading from a detachable magazine, you should manipulate the bolt smoothly but strongly. Here Cleckner demonstrates how to cycle a tactical-type rifle. He says, “You should be running the bolt on your rifle with authority. Run it like you mean it!” NOTE: Completely different techniques are appropriate for custom benchrest rifles that manually feed.

Long Range Shooting Handbook — A Good Resource
Cleckner’s Long Range Shooting Handbook covers a wide range of topics important for precision marksmanship — both shooting skills and technical matters. You can view Sample Chapters from Ryan’s Book on Amazon.com. Cleckner’s book is designed as an intro to key concepts such as MOA vs. Mils, External Ballistics, and Environmental Effects. Included are personal tips and advice based on Cleckner’s years of experience as a sniper instructor and special operations sniper.

The Long Range Shooting Handbook is divided into three main categories: What It Is/How It Works, Fundamentals, and How to Use It. “What It Is/How It Works” covers equipment, terminology, and basic principles. “Fundamentals” covers the theory of long range shooting. “How to Use It” gives practical advice on implementing what you’ve learned, so you can progress as a skilled, long range shooter.

Permalink - Articles, - Videos, Competition, Shooting Skills, Tactical No Comments »
December 22nd, 2020

Tactical Tip: Head and Scope Position for Prone Shooting

Scope head position prone shooting Ryan Cleckner long range shooting handbook

In this video, former Army Ranger sniper team leader Ryan Cleckner explains how proper head and scope position is a critical component to accurate shooting. Ryan finds that some shooters place the scope too far forward or too far rearward. If the scope is too far back you may have issues with eye relief and stock reach to shoulder. If it is too far forward, you may have cheek-weld problems or get neck strain. Cleckner cautions: “When you are in a good prone position, you don’t want any strain in your neck muscles or back.”

In the video, Cleckner offers a simple method to check your scope position:

“To see if your scope is set up properly … close your eyes, lay your head on your gun, get completely comfortable, and only when you are set-up, then open your eyes. If you can’t see clearly through your scope, CHANGE something [such as comb height or scope position]”.

“When you open your eyes, if you see some scope shadow [i.e. the black ring around the edge of the scope picture], figure out which way you need to move your head to get rid of that shadow, and then make adjustments to either your position, the rifle, or the scope.”

Scope head position prone shooting Ryan Cleckner long range shooting handbook

“Very often you’ll open your eyes and realize you need to move further back or further forward. Instead of moving your position [or head], move the scope and get it set up properly.”

Tip on Viewing Your Reticle:
Cleckner: “Sometimes it can be difficult to focus between the target and the reticle, even with the parallax adjusted properly. I recommend you focus only on the reticle. Just like the front sight on a rifle or a handgun, that reticle is what you can control, and it’s what matters. Focus on a crisp, clear reticle, in a stable platform, and all that’s left is trigger control.”

Long Range Shooting Handbook — A Good Resource
Cleckner’s Long Range Shooting Handbook covers a wide range of topics important for precision marksmanship — both shooting skills and technical matters. You can view Sample Chapters from Ryan’s Book on Amazon.com. Cleckner’s book is designed as an intro to key concepts such as MOA vs. Mils, External Ballistics, and Environmental Effects. Included are personal tips and advice based on Cleckner’s years of experience as a sniper instructor and special operations sniper.

The Long Range Shooting Handbook is divided into three main categories: What It Is/How It Works, Fundamentals, and How to Use It. “What It Is/How It Works” covers equipment, terminology, and basic principles. “Fundamentals” covers the theory of long range shooting. “How to Use It” gives practical advice on implementing what you’ve learned, so you can progress as a skilled, long range shooter.

Ryan Cleckner was a special operations sniper (1/75 RGR) and he served as a U.S. Army sniper instructor. Currently he works as a firearms industry executive and practicing firearms attorney.

Permalink - Videos, Optics, Shooting Skills 2 Comments »
November 18th, 2020

Understanding Milliradians (Mils) and Mil-Dot Scopes

mildot ranging milliradian Milrad

We first ran this article in 2012, and it was very well received. Since then, many Forum members have requested an explanation of MILS and mildots, so we decided to run this feature again…

Mildot scope reticleIn this NSSF Video, Ryan Cleckner, a former Sniper Instructor for the 1st Ranger Battalion, defines the term “MilliRadian” (Milrad) and explains how you can use a mildot-type scope to range the distance to your target. It’s pretty simple, once you understand the angular subtension for the reticle stadia dots/lines. Cleckner also explains how you can use the milrad-based reticle markings in your scope for elevation hold-overs and windage hold-offs.

Even if you normally shoot at known distances, the hold-off capability of milrad-reticle scopes can help you shoot more accurately in rapidly-changing wind conditions. And, when you must engage multiple targets quickly, you can use the reticle’s mil markings to move quickly from one target distance to another without having to spin your elevation turrets up and down.

WEB RESOURCES: If you want to learn more about using Milliradians and Mildot scopes, we suggest the excellent Mil-dot.com User Guide. This covers the basics you need to know, with clear illustrations. Also informative is The Truth about Mil Dots by Michael Haugen. Mr. Haugen begins with basic definitions: 1 radian = 2 PI; 1 Milliradian (Milrad or ‘Mil’) = 1/1000th of a radian; 1 Milliradian = .0573 degrees.

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August 22nd, 2020

Sniper’s Hide Precision Rifle Fundamentals Class — Video Report

Sniper's Hide Precision Rifle network

Sniper’s Hide offers a training class for novice shooters getting started in the PRS/NRL precision rifle game. This Precision Rifle Fundamentals course covers equipment selection, using shooting supports, rifle handling, SFP scope basics, and much more. The Precision Rifle Network video below covers a Sniper’s Hide class offered at the Sure Shot Range, near Vinton, Iowa. This video covers the class both in the field and in the classroom, and has interviews with participants.

One participant praised the course: “As a novice shooter, this [Sniper’s Hide Class] was probably the best money I have spent. It helped me learn all my equipment, how to use rear bags, how to figure out dope… and for the dollar, it’s the best money I’ve spent so far.”

Another student concurred: “I’ve been through all kinds of training, including the military and law enforcement, and I have to say the is one of the best, if not THE best class I’ve ever been in.”

Sniper's Hide Precision Rifle network

Joel from the Precision Rifle Network stated: “At the end of four days, from two back-to-back precision rifle courses, we sent approximately 4500 rounds down-range. All in all, I would say this is some of the finest precision rifle training you can find ANYwhere.”

Sniper's Hide Precision Rifle network

Another Video from Frank Galli of Sniper’s Hide
Frank Galli, aka “Lowlight”, is the head honcho of Sniper’s Hide. In the video below, Galli offers a series of shooting tips he calls the “Long Range Shooting W.T.F”. No that’s not what you think it is — no cuss words are involved. “W.T.F.” stands for Wind, Trajectory, and Fundamentals of Marksmanship. To shoot well, Frank says, you first must gauge the wind correctly. Second, you must know the trajectory of your load in your rifle — i.e. know your ballistics. If you want to hit a target at long range, you must start with a rock-solid zero, determine an accurate muzzle velocity, and know the Ballistic Coefficient of the bullet. Plug all that into a good ballistic program (along with elevation, temp, and air pressure) and you should have your point of impact (within a click or two) out to 1000 yards.

Watch Video for Tips about Wind-Reading, Ballistics, and Shooting Fundamentals:

The third element of “W.T.F” is “F” for “Fundamentals of Marksmanship”. This actually involves multiple factors — body position (relative to the rifle), finding your natural point of aim, proper head alignment behind the scope, pre-loading the bipod, breathing modulation, trigger control, follow through, recoil management and more. Frank addresses all these “fundamentals” in the second half of the video, starting at the 3:40 time-mark.

Books for Precision Rifle Training

Along with the Videos above, here are two recommended print publications. These both offer a wealth of useful information for PRS competitors and those interested in tactical/practical style shooting. In addition these books will also benefit hunters. They provide good tips on shooting positions, ranging, supports (bipod, tripod, bags) and more.

Practical Shooter’s Guide

Marcus Blanchard Practical Shooter's Guide

Thinking of getting started in the Practical/Tactical shooting game? Looking for ways to be more stable when shooting from unconventional positions? Then you may want to read Marcus Blanchard’s Practical Shooter’s Guide (A How-To Approach for Unconventional Firing Positions and Training). Unlike almost every “how to shoot” book on the market, Blanchard’s work focuses on the shooting skills and positions you need to succeed in PRS matches and similar tactical competitions. Blanchard provides clear advice on shooting from barricades, from roof-tops, from steep angles. Blanchard says you need to train for these types of challenges: “I believe the largest factor in the improvement of the average shooter isn’t necessarily the gear; it’s the way the shooter approaches obstacles and how they properly train for them.”

Long Range Shooting Handbook

Ryan Cleckner’s Long Range Shooting Handbook is the best-selling modern book on practical rifle skills. A former U.S. Army sniper instructor, Cleckner is knowledgeable, and his text is well-organized and chock full of good information. You can view Sample Chapters on Amazon.com.

Ryan Cleckner’s highly-regarded Long Range Shooting Handbook is designed as an intro to important fundamental concepts such as MOA vs. Mils, External Ballistics, and Environmental Effects. Included are personal tips and advice based on Cleckner’s years of experience as a sniper instructor and special operations sniper.

The Long Range Shooting Handbook is divided into three main categories: What It Is/How It Works, Fundamentals, and How to Use It. “What It Is/How It Works” covers equipment, terminology, and basic principles. “Fundamentals” covers the theory of long range shooting. “How to Use It” gives practical advice on implementing what you’ve learned, so you can progress as a skilled, long range shooter. This book will benefit any long-range shooter, not just PRS/NRL competitors.

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June 28th, 2020

Tactical Treatises — Four Good Books for PRS/NRL Competitors

PRS NRL precision rifle training book print resource manual gun handling instruction

Are you looking to get started in PRS and NRL practical precision rifle competition? Or perhaps you’d like to advance your skill set so you can place higher in big matches (and get your hands on some of those prize table items)? Of course there is no substitute for trigger time in the field, but there ARE some great print resources. These four books can help you select the right equipment, improve your shooting skills, make better wind calls, increase your fitness level, and develop a more efficient between-match training program.

Tactical Practical PRS Precision Rifle Series NRL NRL22 good books

1. IMPACT! — Training and Preparing for Precision Rifle Matches

Rodney Maze, $19.99 Paperback, $4.99 Kindle

PRS NRL precision rifle training book print resource manual gun handling instruction

Impact!, by PRS competitor Rodney Maze, is an entry/intermediate level guide to preparing yourself and your equipment to compete in precision rifle type matches. It will also benefit anyone looking to learn about practical-style long range and precision shooting. We recommend you check it out for yourself — there are 20 Pages of free sample content on Amazon. Topics covered include:

— Rifle, optic, and equipment selection
— Setting up your rifle, bags, tripods for PRS/NRL matches
— Understanding ballistics and how to record and use ballistic data
— Techniques for using holdovers for multi-target stages
— Gun skills, rapid fire techniques, clearing malfunctions
— Shooting off of barricades, and specialty stages
— Effects of wind and how to improve your wind calls
— Tips for live fire and dry fire practice
— Preparing yourself and your equipment for a match
— Mental strategies and techniques

Impact! is illustrated with plenty of photographs. Topics are divided logically, and concepts are explained in clear language. Also included is an extensive glossary of terms used in precision shooting and a list of additional resources you can use to further pursue your precision shooting knowledge. This book also includes a handy Appendix with formatted pages for recording data about your rifle, scope, and ammunition. There is also a Wind table for recording your rifle “dope” and wind hold-offs. Lastly, Impact! has a useful table of unit conversions.

2. Practical Shooter’s Guide

Marcus Blanchard, $19.99 Paperback, $9.99 Kindle

Marcus Blanchard Practical Shooter's Guide

Thinking of getting started in the Practical/Tactical shooting game? Looking for ways to be more stable when shooting from unconventional positions? Then you may want to read Marcus Blanchard’s Practical Shooter’s Guide (A How-To Approach for Unconventional Firing Positions and Training). Unlike almost every “how to shoot” book on the market, Blanchard’s work focuses on the shooting skills and positions you need to succeed in PRS matches and similar tactical competitions. Blanchard provides clear advice on shooting from barricades, from roof-tops, from steep angles. Blanchard says you need to train for these types of challenges: “I believe the largest factor in the improvement of the average shooter isn’t necessarily the gear; it’s the way the shooter approaches obstacles and how they properly train for them.”

3. Long Range Shooting Handbook

Ryan Cleckner, $19.85 Paperback, $9.99 Kindle

Ryan Cleckner’s Long Range Shooting Handbook is the best-selling modern book on practical rifle skills. A former U.S. Army sniper instructor, Cleckner is knowledgeable, and his text is well-organized and chock full of good information. You can view Sample Chapters on Amazon.com.

Ryan Cleckner’s highly-regarded Long Range Shooting Handbook is designed as an intro to important fundamental concepts such as MOA vs. Mils, External Ballistics, and Environmental Effects. Included are personal tips and advice based on Cleckner’s years of experience as a sniper instructor and special operations sniper.

The Long Range Shooting Handbook is divided into three main categories: What It Is/How It Works, Fundamentals, and How to Use It. “What It Is/How It Works” covers equipment, terminology, and basic principles. “Fundamentals” covers the theory of long range shooting. “How to Use It” gives practical advice on implementing what you’ve learned, so you can progress as a skilled, long range shooter. This book will benefit any long-range shooter, not just PRS/NRL competitors.

4. Official U.S. Army Sniper Training and Operations Manual

From U.S. Army Sources, $17.59 paperback.

PRS NRL precision rifle training book print resource manual gun handling instruction

This U.S. Army Sniper Training Manual is a very comprehensive resource, with over 450 pages of information in a large 8.5″x11″ format. NOTE: Unlike other editions on Amazon, this is NOT the basic, outdated FM 23-10. This is the completely-overhauled 450+ page edition (FM 3-22.10). Heavily illustrated, this is a very useful resource for tactical/practical precision shooter. Employed as the “textbook” for the U.S. Army Sniper School at Fort Benning, GA, this big manual explains ranging methods, rifle handling, optics selection and operation, and rifle maintenance.

There is also extensive discussion of ballistics, wind reading, and weather effects. Practical competitors will appreciate the discussions of moving targets, range estimation, and range safety procedures. One reviewer explains: “This book contains the distilled wisdom of the Sniper School’s instructors and expert marksmen, giving you over 450 pages of unique insight into the long range combat shooter’s art.”

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March 15th, 2020

Review Shooting Fundamentals with Ryan Cleckner Video

Still Tac30 action tactical rifle Ryan Cleckner book
Photo by Forum member GAT. Chambered in 6-6.5×47 Lapua, this rifle features a Stiller TAC30 action, Krieger barrel, Harrells brake, Konohawk Stock, and Sightron SIII 6-24x50mm scope.

Ryan Cleckner has created many good shooting videos for the NSSF, such as his excellent Understanding MOA Video. Ryan is noted for his ability to explain complex topics in an easy-to-comprehend manner. This video, covering the fundamentals of shooting, has been viewed over 1.6 million times. It’s worth watching, particularly for guys getting started in PRS/practical competitions.

In this video, Ryan Cleckner reviews proper technique for rifle shooters. A stable platform, sight alignment, sight picture, and trigger control are key fundamentals to shooting properly. This is basic stuff, but Cleckner presents it in a clear, logical fashion. This is a good video for novice shooters.

Tip on Viewing Your Reticle:
Cleckner: “Sometimes it can be difficult to focus between the target and the reticle, even with the parallax adjusted properly. I recommend you focus only on the reticle. Just like the front sight on a rifle or a handgun, that reticle is what you can control, and it’s what matters. Focus on a crisp, clear reticle, in a stable platform, and all that’s left is trigger control.”

Tip on Trigger Control:
Cleckner: “Trigger control is pretty straightforward, as long as you think about it as a continuous process, and not just one thing that happens. I like to think about it as drawing a line in the dirt. I like to think about this constant pressure that I’m adding as I draw this line straight back, and then… continuing to draw that line even as the rifle goes off. That’s the good follow-through you’ll need.”

Long Range Shooting Handbook — A Good Resource
Cleckner has authored a book, the Long Range Shooting Handbook, which expands on the topics covered in the above video. You can view Sample Chapters from Ryan’s Book on Amazon.com.

Ryan Cleckner’s new book is designed as an intro to important fundamental concepts such as MOA vs. Mils, External Ballistics, and Environmental Effects. Included are personal tips and advice based on Cleckner’s years of experience as a sniper instructor and special operations sniper.

The Long Range Shooting Handbook is divided into three main categories: What It Is/How It Works, Fundamentals, and How to Use It. “What It Is/How It Works” covers equipment, terminology, and basic principles. “Fundamentals” covers the theory of long range shooting. “How to Use It” gives practical advice on implementing what you’ve learned, so you can progress as a skilled, long range shooter.

As a long-range shooting expert, Ryan Cleckner has impressive credentials. Cleckner was a special operations sniper (1/75 RGR) with multiple combat deployments, and he has served a U.S. Army sniper instructor. Currently he works as a firearms industry executive and attorney.

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March 12th, 2020

Minute of Angle (MOA) Explained by Informative Video

one minute of angle

This popular video, viewed over 3.3 million times on YouTube, provides a clear explanation of Minute of Angle (MOA) and how that angular measurement is used. Among novice shooters, there is much confusion over this term. In this NSSF Video, Ryan Cleckner, a former Sniper Instructor for the 1st Ranger Battalion, defines the term, “Minute of Angle” (MOA) and explains how you can adjust for windage and elevation using 1/4 or 1/8 MOA clicks on your scope. This allows you to sight-in precisely and compensate for bullet drop at various distances.

For starters, Ryan explains that, when talking about angular degrees, a “minute” is simply 1/60th. So a “Minute of Angle” is simply 1/60th of one degree of a central angle, measured either up and down (for elevation) or side to side (for windage). At 100 yards, 1 MOA equals 1.047″ on the target. This is often rounded to one inch for simplicity. Say, for example, you click up 1 MOA. That is roughly 1 inch at 100 yards, or roughly 4 inches at 400 yards, since the target area measured by 1 MOA increases in linear fashion with the distance.

Story sourced by Edlongrange.
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January 31st, 2020

SHOT Show 2020 Video Showcase — Notable New Products

Shot Show 2020 Alien pistol rimfire action Jerry Miculek

With miles of aisles and thousands of new products, the annual SHOT Show in Las Vegas is a near-overwhelming circus. There is so much to see, with scores of new products from around the globe. For this story, we start off with the official SHOT Show 2020 Day 4 Highlights video, a revealing look at the SHOT Show experience. Following that you’ll find six videos covering notable new products. Check out new Berger bullets, a new custom rimfire action, plus the radical new $5000 Laugo Alien pistol.

New RimX Rimfire Action with Rem 700 Footprint

We are always interested in new custom rimfire actions. With the growth of the NRL22 rimfire series, and potent rimfire varmint cartridges such as the .17 HMR and .17 WSM, we think the interest in rimfire custom rifles is growing. This video features the new RimX rimfire action. This features a Remington 700 footprint so it can fit a wide variety of stocks made for Rem 700s and Rem clones. That allows PRS guys to cross-train with a rimfire rifle that duplicates the ergonomics and feel of their centerfire match rifle.

Shot Show 2020 rimX rimfire action .22 LR 17 hmr .17 WSM

This RimX action has some very cool features, such as interchangeable bolt heads so it can shoot .22 LR, .17 HMR, and (soon) .17 WSM. RimX action MSRP is $1150.00. Each bolt face features a non-protruding extraction system that allows for a flat breach face barrel to be installed without the need for timed extractor relief. This will make barrel interchangeability and installation easier than ever

Berger Bullets — New LR Hybrid Target and Hunting Bullets

At SHOT Show 2020, the big news from Berger Bullets was the arrival of new Berger Long Range Hybrid Target (LRHT) bullets and hunting bullets. Berger now offers some seriously big LRHT Bullet. Before the show, Berger announced the 7mm 190gr LRHT. At SHOT on Tuesday Berger showcased two new High-BC .30-Caliber LRHTs — the new 208gr and 220gr projectiles. All these LRHTs feature formed meplats for ultra-consistent BCs. In addition Berger unveiled two new heavy-for-caliber hunting bullets: The 6.5mm 156gr EOL Elite hunter and the .30 Cal 245gr EOL Elite hunter. In this video, Emil Praslick III explains the features of the new LRHT projectiles.

Laugo Arms Alien — Radical Low Bore Axis Pistol Priced at $5000

Laugo Arms states that its Alien pistol has the lowest bore axis of current semi-auto handguns. The barrel is fixed — it does not tilt-up like most semi-autos. Having shot the Alien at Industry Day on 1/20/20, we can confirm that the low bore axis does reduce muzzle flip, allowing very fast follow-up shots. With a fixed center rib, only the sides of the slide move back and forth. Initially only 500 Alien Special Editions will be offered, at the insane price of $5000.00 per pistol. You read that right — $5000 USD. Of course, in a year or two standard models should be available for a fraction of that cost.

This Alien pistol has been hailed as revolutionary. However, the Heckler & Koch P7 series of pistols had most of the Alien’s notable features way back in 1976 — 44 years ago. Like the Alien, the P7m8 and PSP featured a fixed barrel, low bore axis, and gas-delayed blowback operated slide. The HK P7s also had a unique squeeze cocker grip that eliminated the need for a manual safety.

H&K unveiled fixed barrel, low bore axis P7 pistol in 1976, 44 years ago. Production began in 1979.
HK P7m8 PSP

Nightforce Wedge Prism — Gain Elevation for ELR Shooting

The Nightforce Wedge Prism is offered in two variants, 50 MOA or 100 MOA, that install forward of the riflescope to increase the effective elevation travel. The Wedge Prism optically shifts the incoming image to the riflescope by a precise elevation value, which directly adds to the available elevation travel within the riflescope. The Wedge Prism is designed to work optimally with 56mm front objectives. Nightforce says you can position two Wedge Prisms in parallel for maximum effect — up to 200 MOA total. These NF Wedge Prisms are pricey — MSRP is $990.00 for either the 50 MOA or 100 MOA version.

Nightforce Wedge Prism optic ELR Elevation device

Annealing Made Perfect — AMP Mark 2 and New Automated Press

Gavin Gear of UltimateReloader.com checked out the latest offerings from Annealing Made Perfect (AMP), the state-of-the-art microprocessor-controlled induction case annealer. AMP is a New Zealand company run by father and son team Alex and Matt Findlay. Alex has extensive experience in the firearms industry while Matt is a talented engineer and product designer. Along with the AMP Mark 2 and accessories, Alex and Matt showed an advanced, servo-motor bullet seating machine with pressure sensors.

Jerry Miculek with New Mossberg JM 940 Pro Shotgun

GunsAmerica.com Editor True Pierce met with legendary shooter Jerry Miculek at SHOT Show 2020. Jerry showed the notable features of his new scattergun, the JM 940 Pro. This shotgun features a clean-running gas system, nickel boron-coated internal parts, and a competition-level loading port, elevator, and follower. For more info, check out the full article on GunsAmerica.com.

mossberg jm 940 miculek shotgun

Bonus — Ryan Cleckner Chats about Gun University

The Gun University Website is a new resource for firearms news and technical information. We recently highlighted Gun University’s report on important ITAR rule changes that will affect firearms manufacturers, parts makers, and gunsmiths. One of the key contributors to Gun University is Ryan Cleckner, a former Army Ranger sniper instructor, attorney, and author of the Long-range Shooting Handbook. In this video Ryan talks about Gun University, his NSSF video series, and his ideas for growing the shooting sports.

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