Getting Started as a PRS Shooter. By Luke Laprad
I am a new shooter to PRS, this being my first full season. All matches are different but the overall attitude has been pretty much the same at every one I’ve been to. New and seasoned shooters have always been extremely helpful and willing to assist new faces and even lend gear to someone starting off at a match.
There are many pieces of gear that I just don’t have that would be helpful, but I am trying to accumulate stuff as I go. There’s a lot of gear everyone would love to have, but in my opinion, I have listed a few things that would be very helpful to someone new to shooting long range or PRS to get them started.
Here’s the basic list of gear I use at a PRS match:
A Stable Shooting Position
Having a rock-solid steady support bag is a game changer. It allows you to stabilize yourself on obstacles and steady your rifle for those awkward positions and shots that are common to PRS matches. A lot of guys use these bags. If you want to be competitive and place close to the top, you need one of these for most stages.
A Good Barrel
Many believe the barrel is the most important component of a precision rifle. I would agree whole heartedly. There are many great barrel makers out there. I’d suggest doing a little research and picking the twist rate that will work with your desired load and a contour that you’re comfortable with.
Hawk Hill Custom Barrels is who I use for my PRS match and hunting rifles. They are shooters themselves and really make a superior product. I’d recommend them for just about anything you’re looking for in a barrel. They offer pre-chambered barrels and just about any contour blank you could want on a custom rifle.
Proof Research Barrels is who I’ve used all season on my Tactical Division rifle. I’ve shot around 1,200 rounds on this barrel this year and it’s held up great and been very consistent.
A Good Bullet
The ELD Match is my preferred bullet for most rifles I use. I really like the high BC, the consistency, and that you can find them almost anywhere. You’ll find many opinions about bullets, but trying to do this stuff on an average person’s budget and schedule. I try to find the balance of what works well and what’s easily available.
A Good Gunsmith
Not all, but most people shooting PRS have had a custom rifle made for them or at least have work performed. If you want a reliable and repeatable rifle you should have a competent and reliable gunsmith. The guys at Jack Keister Customs really have the knowledge and skill to tackle any job you can throw at them! I’d recommend them for anything from coatings and general repair work, to full custom lightweight hunting or tactical rifles.
My Rifle is a blueprinted 700 short action chambered in .223, has an EGW tactical bolt knob and Sako extractor installed.
A Good Trigger
A Good Optic
I made a switch to the TORIC 4-20x50 MRAD and was a little apprehensive about changing gear right before the finale, however, I was pretty confident in the TORIC after shooting it and running it through its paces a couple weeks beforehand.
The TORIC is able to dial out to all the needed distances, with nice tactile adjustments and back with no problems. The zero-stop worked flawlessly and made sure my revs were consistent, not dialing past zero and causing problems with DOPE (Data On Previous Engagement) adjustments on stages.
The glass was very clear, even with changing weather conditions. The match started off warm and clear and changed to cool, foggy and rainy. Even in these changing conditions the scope never fogged up and my sight picture was always very crisp.
To anyone wanting to try out PRS or any type of long-range shooting, I’d say just go do it! You’ll have a blast.