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5 Things You Need to Know About Your First Long-Range Course

April 7, 2022
Kevin "KJ" Jarnagin

You've committed yourself to bettering your long-range shooting skills and signed up for an intro course with Vortex Edge. What do you need to know, and how do you prepare? I've got a couple takeaways from a recent trip to Vortex Edge that I would've loved to know before my arrival.


1)    Supply Drop

Vortex provides the whole enchilada! This was a surprise for me since I am used to overpacking for trips, and this trip was no different. I threw in a generous amount of gear, including a bag rest, backpack, Kestral, scope-mounting tools, hearing protection, and eye pro. When Vortex tells you they provide everything, they mean EVERYTHING. Each item listed is supplied with the price of admission. 


Why is this important? Well, it's crucial for those traveling in to take the course. You don't need to fly with a firearm, ammo, and the rest of the accouterment. It's possible to fly into the Vortex Edge Intro courses with only the clothes on your back. 


2)    Professional Mindset

I came into the Intro to Long Range course with a firm understanding of the ins and outs of precision rifle shooting. However, with this course, you don't need in-depth knowledge of the workings of long-range shooting. 


In fact, if you know absolutely nothing about this game, it's probably a good thing. You haven't become tainted by other views and ideologies about long-range shooting. We had several students in class that had never shot long-range, and they were big balls of clay ready to be molded by the instructors. I was envious because I had numerous training scars that took some time to eliminate. By the time you depart, the intro course covers what you need to know about entering precision rifle shooting.


3)    Open Mind

If you are knowledgeable, this course is worth the investment. Learning from new instructors offers an opportunity to broaden your skillset. One of the biggest takeaways for me was the process of setting up on the rifle. It wasn't always evident that I was setting up incorrectly until I saw it in action.


My positioning felt close to straight up with the rifle, but my body was slightly canted to the left. This did not allow the rifle's recoil to travel through my body. Instead, my shoulder took the brunt of the recoil. As my instructor worked with me, he asked me to sit up and watch a new shooter down the line. I watched as the instructor positioned and set him up on the rifle. It had never dawned on me to watch others to improve my positioning on the rifle. 


This is a prime example of why I don't think you should have a closed mind when attending a course like Intro to Long Range. Go with an open mind, and you'll learn something new. If you attend and don't learn anything, that's on you. 


4)    Drinking Through a Fire Hydrant

Get ready. When you step through the doors of Vortex Edge, you'll be learning from the get-go. Even with time spent on the range, I feverishly wrote and took notes, which didn't stop throughout the course. 


The instructors at Vortex Edge compile years of military experience and inundate students with gold. They handled each student independently and spoke on a level they could understand. One of the most significant aspects of the course was seeing new students develop quickly. When they finished the course, they were shooting, and the most seasoned shooters, me included. 


5)    Funding

You don’t need additional funding for the course. The Intro to Long Range course is quite affordable. The problem lies within the walls of the Vortex edge facility. Once you enter, don't go left toward the apparel. Without purchasing a tumbler, sweatshirt, t-shirt, hat, or flannel, it is impossible to walk away. 


No matter the reason for taking the Intro to Long Range course, just make sure you check your ego at the door and bring extra cash. If you want to learn more about the many course offerings from Vortex Edge, visit ~ KJ



Kevin Jarnagin (KJ) hails from Oklahoma but quickly established Louisiana roots after joining the Gun Talk team. KJ grew up as a big game hunter and often finds himself in a different venture often. Whether it’s making his way to British Columbia for elk or training with pistols, KJ always seems to find a gun in his hands and adventure on his mind.

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