DVD Review: Long Range Made Easy
By Travis Bertrand, Rokslide Moderator
If you are like me and are always looking at improving your shooting, you need to check out this four DVD set by Accuracy First. Todd Hodnett is the man behind the DVD's, but he's better known for his involvement in the training of countless military snipers. Needless to say, he knows a few things about shooting long range (and sports a wicked goatee most men can only dream of growing).
I had a chance to catch up with Todd at the 2016 SHOT show. He's a very down-to-earth guy who loves teaching and spreading his passion for long-range shooting. A simple question turned into a lit-up face followed by a 10-minute answer which only solidified his love for the sport.
The set is broken down into Volume 1 and 2 each containing two disks. You can purchase them separately, however I suggest picking them up at the same time as Volume 2 is a wealth of information.
In Volume 1, disk 1, Todd goes over all of the equipment to prepare you for a long-range shot. He points out his favorites and what works best for him but shows you other products you can use as well. At the end of the disk, He goes over zeroing your weapon system.
Disk 2 gets a little more exciting as Todd gets into proper form behind the gun and talks about optimal gun setup. I would suggest having your unloaded rifle on a bipod in front of the television so you could follow along with him, hitting the pause button as needed. This really helped me drive home the points he was trying to get across. He later goes into wind effects in this disk and teaches you the wind formula. This is where that rewind button comes in handy. Todd does a great job explaining it, but its necessary to have a pen and paper handy to follow along. He also teaches how to accurately judge not only wind speed, but also direction, too, using simple techniques. He pulls it all together at the end by finishing off the disk with calling the wind for one of his hunting partners, Will, in a few long range shots.
Volume 2 starts off with Todd and Bryan Litz talking about the Applied Ballistics Kestrel. For those of you who don't know, Bryan Litz owns Applied Ballistics and is probably the most knowledgeable guy out there when it comes to bullet flight. They go into detail on drag models ranging from the G1-G7 models to custom. Bryan goes into detail on crosswind jump and the physics behind it.
During the application phase of the first disk in volume 2, Bryan and Todd go into drag scale factoring and WEZ (weapon employment zone) analysis, which puts a number behind the probability of hitting a target at a given distance through uncertain parameters.
The final disk puts it all together. Here, they explain how different terrain features effect wind, explain focal planes, and explain how to use ANY reticle to your advantage to extend the range of your weapon system. There are a lot of neat tricks here that you can use even with a simple duplex reticle.
Todd hits the range with another one of his hunting partners, Alice, and they show you how to use the "Whiz Wheel" which is a product by Accuracy first that is rifle specific. It is a card that has your ballistic data and you rotate it to your selected criteria. It gives you your dope for the shot and is easy to use.
I have watched a few long-range videos, but this one is the best I have seen. The video quality along with videography is better than expected. You can tell Todd has a lot of experience behind a rifle and he knows how to relay that information to folks like us. Every shot they show, they have a scope overlay with a Christmas tree style reticle showing you the hold as he is calling it out.
The video is made in real-life wind conditions that we would encounter in normal hunting situations that are less than desirable. If you are new to the sport or a guy looking to up your game and extend your range, this DVD set, Long Range Made Easy, is money well invested.
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