First PRS Match

TheDude8102

Private
Minuteman
Sep 15, 2018
13
5
6
Indiana
Any good resources for training for first PRS match? I ordered a DFAT and plan on building a barricade for some indoor dry fire training.

Unsure about my ability to read wind properly, I feel that may be my biggest flaw.
 

Jerry V

Sergeant of the Hide
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Apr 18, 2020
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Just competed in my first PRS style match this weekend. My advise FWIW
1. Forget the clock concentrate on hits not shots within the time limit
2. Have good chrono on ammo u plan to use
3. Watch the people in your squad and listen to what they are talking about. Hope they work with you as it is 1st match
4. Have low expectations and go in with a learning attitude.
5. Have fun!!!!!!!!!!
 

thestoicmarcusaurelius

The Real Tiger King
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Jun 15, 2020
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You need to get used to doing things on the clock. Don't rush yourself too much for the first match but practice doing dry fire runs on these stages on makeshift stages/props you set up in your house, basement, backyard, etc whatever until you have some sort of idea of how long it takes you to get in and out of position. Practice these stages https://www.precisionrifleseries.com/static/media/uploads/2017_prs_club_guidelines.pdf

Also, you need to practice "getting behind the scope" in a way where around on 12x magnification the reticle is already on the target or very close without hunting around for the target or fiddle dicking around too much.

ETA: Don't be one of the guys that shows up with out solid dope. At least get all the points you can in the prone stages with solid hits if your dope is solid.

Also, pay attention to what other people are doing for wind. A lot of guys just hold "left edge" or "right edge" for the first shot then adjust based off that if you're confident enough in a good trigger press and what you see through the scope as far as where the bullet hits so practice that also.
 
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TheDude8102

Private
Minuteman
Sep 15, 2018
13
5
6
Indiana
You need to get used to doing things on the clock. Don't rush yourself too much for the first match but practice doing dry fire runs on these stages on makeshift stages/props you set up in your house, basement, backyard, etc whatever until you have some sort of idea of how long it takes you to get in and out of position. Practice these stages https://www.precisionrifleseries.com/static/media/uploads/2017_prs_club_guidelines.pdf

Also, you need to practice "getting behind the scope" in a way where around on 12x magnification the reticle is already on the target or very close without hunting around for the target or fiddle dicking around too much.

ETA: Don't be one of the guys that shows up with out solid dope. At least get all the points you can in the prone stages with solid hits if your dope is solid.

Also, pay attention to what other people are doing for wind. A lot of guys just hold "left edge" or "right edge" for the first shot then adjust based off that if you're confident enough in a good trigger press and what you see through the scope as far as where the bullet hits so practice that also.
Thanks for this. This give some things I didnt think of like getting behind the scope reliably. Ill definitely need to use the timer on my phone.

Im going to the a longer range to get true up my kestrel out to 750yrds. That should be sufficient I would think.
 

ScottDWallace

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Oct 3, 2018
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Austin, TX
The only thing I can add is to be prepared to make the longest hit of your life, repeatedly, and to have a ton of fun! Welcome to your new addiction!
 

longgunJR

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Minuteman
Apr 8, 2019
253
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Central Texas
Just competed in my first PRS style match this weekend. My advise FWIW
1. Forget the clock concentrate on hits not shots within the time limit
2. Have good chrono on ammo u plan to use
3. Watch the people in your squad and listen to what they are talking about. Hope they work with you as it is 1st match
4. Have low expectations and go in with a learning attitude.
5. Have fun!!!!!!!!!!

This is good advice right here.
I would not go with 'low expectations' go with 'reasonable expectations', you're not likely to win the match, you're likely to have more misses than impacts. With that out of the way pay attention to the better shooters in your squad, transitions and work space management. Get a time management baseline, as a new shooter you're likely to take up to 12-16 seconds to your 1st shot and 5-8 to your follow ups, use this to establish a shooting rhythm and remember 5 slow impacts are way better than 8 fast misses.
Don't dwell on past mistakes, focus on the task ahead.


Have fun.
 

Supergyro

Here To Learn
Belligerents
Feb 28, 2012
241
14
22
24
West Fargo, ND
This is good advice right here.
I would not go with 'low expectations' go with 'reasonable expectations', you're not likely to win the match, you're likely to have more misses than impacts. With that out of the way pay attention to the better shooters in your squad, transitions and work space management. Get a time management baseline, as a new shooter you're likely to take up to 12-16 seconds to your 1st shot and 5-8 to your follow ups, use this to establish a shooting rhythm and remember 5 slow impacts are way better than 8 fast misses.
Don't dwell on past mistakes, focus on the task ahead.


Have fun.
On the subject of time management, practice good time management when you're not shooting as well. The most valuable time you can spend while you're not on the clock is visualizing your stage plan, so you can execute it well while on the clock. Second most valuable is maybe time behind glass, spotting shooters' hits and/or misses so you can hopefully learn what's working and what's not.

But to spend time doing either of those valuable things, you have to get a host of other things squared away, such as:
1. Loading your magazine for the stage
2. Preparing your dope
3. Setting your scope to the condition you want it to be in when the clock starts (e.g. first drop dialed on, magnification and parallax set)
4. Setting your bipod height if it's a prone stage, having your shooting bag(s) ready if it's positional

If you get all the above taken care of quickly, you will have plenty of time to spot several shooters in front of you, visualize your stage plan, and most importantly, feel much more calm and ready to execute when that clock starts ticking.
 

mbeavers1

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Nov 27, 2019
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Don't go out and buy a bunch of gear before your first match. Work with the guys in your squad to see what works and you like, especially bags. You will need something like a Weibad Fortune Cookie or a Armageddon Gear Gamechanger. Everyone will have them and let you use them.

Use your best guess for wind and dial it, then use your reticle for corrections. Honestly, it the wind is cooking at 15-20mph at 3oclock, do you really want to be remembering to hold 1.5mil at 900yds then try to adjust another 0.3? You will shoot best looking at the crosshairs.

Know your MV and dope then all you have to worry about is wind.

Just relax...you won't win and no one will laugh at you....unless you do something really silly. Even then, they will be laughing with you not AT you.

Don't be afraid to ask more experienced people. You will find almost everyone is super nice and willing to help.
 
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lash

Swamp Rat
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Sep 28, 2012
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Reading your OP, I can’t tell how close you are to attending a match. There is a lot of good advice above, but if you still have time, I highly recommend that you attend a class put on by one of the high quality training sources out there. Here in the East, there are great places like K&M in Tennessee and a host of others that offer courses specifically geared to PRS style matches. There are others throughout the country doing the same, like Rifles Only in Texas.

These courses are worth traveling to and can decrease your learning curve considerably.
 

TheDude8102

Private
Minuteman
Sep 15, 2018
13
5
6
Indiana
Reading your OP, I can’t tell how close you are to attending a match. There is a lot of good advice above, but if you still have time, I highly recommend that you attend a class put on by one of the high quality training sources out there. Here in the East, there are great places like K&M in Tennessee and a host of others that offer courses specifically geared to PRS style matches. There are others throughout the country doing the same, like Rifles Only in Texas.

These courses are worth traveling to and can decrease your learning curve considerably.
It is about a month and a half away. I am planning to take a class at some point. K&M is very close to me. I also looked at going down to Altus shooting for their class. I would also like to go to the Applied Ballistics seminar at some point.
 
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TheDude8102

Private
Minuteman
Sep 15, 2018
13
5
6
Indiana
Thanks everyone! This is a ton of good info that I was looking for. Especially, stuff between stages on watching what others are doing seems valuable for learning. I am trying to focus on honing skills rather than buying gear. I am at the bare minimum but looking to have fun with it. The match im shooting only goes out to 600m so I feel it should be a good intro match.
 

lts1ow

Sergeant of the Hide
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Minuteman
Mar 21, 2018
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Why not dial your initial guess instead of trying to remember the initial hold over?
Wind changes, you lose track, etc etc. Especially in a range run where you start at 400 and work out to 1100, wind changes a lot in between there.

Easier to watch for impact and adjust if you were off on your first shot. Be it center, left edge, or what not.
 

Dthomas3523

Hall Monitor
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Jan 31, 2018
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Nothing wrong with dialing wind depending on the situation. Single target and/or steady minimum wind. Switchy winds or uncomfortable remembering/realizing that you dialed and something is different complicates things.

Though I wouldn’t recommend it until you’re much more comfortable at matches and wind.
 

Forward543

Sergeant
Belligerents
Feb 14, 2017
584
158
49
This is EVERY new shooter's biggest flaw.

You can't learn that any way but by doing it.
While I would agree that wind is the biggest reason people miss, after they have made their position. I think locating targets costs more people shots, when starting out. Really seems like the initial failures are Target location, fort building, then wind/ dope. Once everyone is comfortable with the fort/ target location, then fuck if the wind does not sand bag everything you do.
 

Billiam1211

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Feb 19, 2018
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IL
Just show up, have fun, ask questions, and be a sponge. People will usually let you try out their bags and support gear so don't be afraid to politely ask. Just make sure to follow safety rules when moving around. Bolt back when you're moving with the rifle. Make sure your target is visible in your scope prior to closing the bolt and engaging the trigger.

First thing I do when I look at a stage is try and figure out whether I can get 2 points of contact on the rifle. Having both front and rear support makes your wobble drastically go down. Second thing I do is figure out whether the position is either: prone, sitting, kneeling, or standing. Third, check your scope and make sure you didn't forget to go back to zero from the last stage and that everything is ready to rock for the current stage.
 

SourGrapes

Sergeant of the Hide
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May 28, 2019
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Being safe for sure. Don’t let yourself get flustered by the clock. I knew I would 100% time out every time and I was ok with that. I had low expectations of myself and just wanted to get some hits. A big thing for me was locating targets once I got on the rifle looking through the scope. I was looking through binos watching everyone else and knew where the targets were. Then my turn came up and it was like I hadn’t even seen the targets prior. Probably too much magnification and not squaring myself up before getting behind the rifle. I lost a ton of time just locating my targets. Just relax and take it in all in with a positive attitude (y)
 

DownhillFromHere

Aim > Impact > Take a Nap
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Nov 30, 2017
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A few lessons I learned along the way...
  • Tell the ROs and your squad mates you are a new shooter. People will generally be very helpful.
  • Reset your elevation turret to zero after every stage, then, as was noted above, dial the setting for your next stage (most matches provide the Course of Fire, or CoF, with yardages).
  • Have your scope caps off/open and your magnification and parallax set.
  • Get yourself a wrist coach or some other means of writing down your settings for a stage and putting it where you can see it while on the gun.
  • DO NOT go into a stage with high magnification set on your scope. 12-15x is the general range. No one told me that before my first match (which was paired with a 1-day class), so I shot the first stage at 20x. It was like looking through a soda straw; I couldn't find targets and when I did find one and shoot it, it was the wrong one...
  • KNOW YOUR DOPE. Get really familiar with whatever ballistic calculator you're using, and be able to trust what it tells you.
  • Squadding: in the matches I've attended, you're assigned to or select a squad when you sign up. Then, whatever squad you're in starts on the corresponding stage. For example, if you're in squad 3, your squad will start on stage 3 and progress to 4, 5, etc. and loop back around, finishing on stage 2. There are variations of this; one match location I shoot has lower-numbered stages widely separated physically from the upper-numbered stages so the rotation is different. Just be sure to verify next stage with squad mates or RO if there are any questions.
  • Bring food, water, sunscreen, bug repellant. Since I've had multiple sunburn-related skin cancers, I wear a wide-brimmed hat. Many people also use knee pads and elbow pads, although cheap ones can be slippery on wooden decking (ask me how I know).
  • Be ready to shoot when it's your turn. When you're on deck, you need to have all your crap together ready to step up when the previous shooter steps off. As a new shooter, you should never be expected to shoot first on a stage. Again, be sure to let ROs know you're new.
  • It's very helpful to practice on the clock. A shot timer is a good thing to have but the timer on your phone will at least beep at end of par time. Shot-timer phone apps are pretty much useless.
You're gonna make mistakes. Accept it. And you'll make mistakes after you have a dozen or a hundred matches under your belt. As has been said - concentrate on getting hits, not getting all your shots off.

Have fun.
 
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Jefe's Dope

Red Forman
Belligerents
Dec 20, 2017
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Don't forget to check your dope. It's really easy to leave your dials from the previous stage and "forget" and then you're missing and you can't figure out why you're missing by a mile. Then you'll remember this post. :geek:

Most guys are more than happy to show you the ropes and help you out. Even without asking. Then when you're more experienced, you pay it forward doing the same thing.
 

TheDude8102

Private
Minuteman
Sep 15, 2018
13
5
6
Indiana
A few lessons I learned along the way...
  • Tell the ROs and your squad mates you are a new shooter. People will generally be very helpful.
  • Reset your elevation turret to zero after every stage, then, as was noted above, dial the setting for your next stage (most matches provide the Course of Fire, or CoF, with yardages).
  • Have your scope caps off/open and your magnification and parallax set.
  • Get yourself a wrist coach or some other means of writing down your settings for a stage and putting it where you can see it while on the gun.
  • DO NOT go into a stage with high magnification set on your scope. 12-15x is the general range. No one told me that before my first match (which was paired with a 1-day class), so I shot the first stage at 20x. It was like looking through a soda straw; I couldn't find targets and when I did find one and shoot it, it was the wrong one...
  • KNOW YOUR DOPE. Get really familiar with whatever ballistic calculator you're using, and be able to trust what it tells you.
  • Squadding: in the matches I've attended, you're assigned to or select a squad when you sign up. Then, whatever squad you're in starts on the corresponding stage. For example, if you're in squad 3, your squad will start on stage 3 and progress to 4, 5, etc. and loop back around, finishing on stage 2. There are variations of this; one match location I shoot has lower-numbered stages widely separated physically from the upper-numbered stages so the rotation is different. Just be sure to verify next stage with squad mates or RO if there are any questions.
  • Bring food, water, sunscreen, bug repellant. Since I've had multiple sunburn-related skin cancers, I wear a wide-brimmed hat. Many people also use knee pads and elbow pads, although cheap ones can be slippery on wooden decking (ask me how I know).
  • Be ready to shoot when it's your turn. When you're on deck, you need to have all your crap together ready to step up when the previous shooter steps off. As a new shooter, you should never be expected to shoot first on a stage. Again, be sure to let ROs know you're new.
  • It's very helpful to practice on the clock. A shot timer is a good thing to have but the timer on your phone will at least beep at end of par time. Shot-timer phone apps are pretty much useless.
You're gonna make mistakes. Accept it. And you'll make mistakes after you have a dozen or a hundred matches under your belt. As has been said - concentrate on getting hits, not getting all your shots off.

Have fun.
This was extremely helpful!
 

Rob01

Super Mod
Staff member
Jul 9, 2001
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Yup that is all good advice and I have been giving most of it for years but expect to go first after your first match or two. "I'm a new guy" only lasts a couple matches. ;)
 

TheDude8102

Private
Minuteman
Sep 15, 2018
13
5
6
Indiana
Yup that is all good advice and I have been giving most of it for years but expect to go first after your first match or two. "I'm a new guy" only lasts a couple matches. ;)
Hah, I don't plan to milk that excuse too much! Im fine with being thrown in the flames a bit and forced to learn.
 
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Kartman

Low Speed. High Drag.
Hessian
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Feb 6, 2020
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Arizona
Read this. I attempted to answer all the questions I had before my first match to help others.

 

fyaman43

Sergeant of the Hide
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Jul 28, 2020
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SLC, UT
Read this. I attempted to answer all the questions I had before my first match to help others.

Great article! Thanks for the share.
 
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sleeplz

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May 12, 2017
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Yup that is all good advice and I have been giving most of it for years but expect to go first after your first match or two. "I'm a new guy" only lasts a couple matches. ;)
I love shooting first, fresh paint.