DSC1 course with no previous rifle experience.

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scubadog

Well-Known Member
My backround is with shotguns. I have owned a SGC for 15 years now.
I have recently been out deer stalking with a very experienced friend.

I have decided that it is something that I would love to do.

With that in mind I have looked into DCS1 courses that I would be keen to do as I am sure I will
learne a lot.
The problem that I have is that I have VERY limited experience with rifle shooting.
Is this likely to be a problem when completing a DSC1 course?

Thanks
 

.243Ady

Well-Known Member
Seen some of the tights groups shot by people with limited rifle experience on DSC 1. Just put cross hair on centre of target and pull the trigger, and demonstrate gun safety all the time. The deer target just aim at heart and you be will be fine. Your course instructor will point you in the right direction if you need it.
 

User00001

Well-Known Member
Seen some of the tights groups shot by people with limited rifle experience on DSC 1. Just put cross hair on centre of target and pull the trigger, and demonstrate gun safety all the time. The deer target just aim at heart and you be will be fine. Your course instructor will point you in the right direction if you need it.

I agree with this, the only people who struggle with the DSC1 shooting test invariably fall into one of three catergories: Firstly, those with loads of experience and a load of chips on their shoulders, they resent being there and build themselves up for a fall; Secondly, those who overcomplicate everything and start taking bipods on and off, adjusting scopes between ranges, cluttering themselves up with guchi kit etc and, finally; those who insist on using junk rifles and scopes that can't hold zero between the gun cabinet and the car.
 

Moray Outfitting

Well-Known Member
ScubaD

In short - unlikely it will be any problem for you at all.

We have had a significant number of new shooters attend courses and this issue has been a worry for all of them. Whilst it sounds trite, from a teaching perspective it is generally far easier to sort someone out from a complete fresh start than to try to correct entrenched bad habits.

The Shooting test does attempt to address a range of shooting skills - but is necessarily limited in scope. Passing it provides a useful benchmark and place from which to build.

The key - as is often the case - is to talk with whichever course ( or Assessment ) provider you are looking at and be happy with their proposals for how you needs will be addressed on a particular course. Each course provider provides something a little bit different - that's a strength - but also makes it essential to select what suits you best.

​Good luck - let us know how you get on.
 

Toxster

Well-Known Member
If you can get any practice with a .22 scoped rifle (ten shots only) you'll be in a better place. Then get 5 shots off from a full bore to make the transition and you'll be in clover.

The shooting isn't hard and if you do fail it you can re-take it separately for £25, so there's no pressure.

One exercise that is helpful to all is to practice shooting prone, sitting and standing. You don't need to loose any rounds, just make sure you can get a repeatable, comfy position for each shot. Consider using sticks or evan a rucksack. Sticks seem to be the preferred option. Talk to your training provider and they'll guide you.

Good luck.
 
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stratts

Well-Known Member
I did my shooting test on Friday and 3 chaps failed the test, with one of them not even getting past the 4" circle. 2 were mates who did a lot of shooting and had the impression they would pass easily. 1 of them completely missed the deer twice let alone keeping it in the target and the other had his own rifle, roe sack, sticks etc, with him and failed with his own rifle and the estate one!!

The 2 young lads who had never shot a full bore rifle before passed 1st go and one of them shot a nice tidy group with the estate rifle!! The guy doing the course was great on the range and talked them through everything.

You'll be ok I'm sure as the safety side of things is the same whichever gun you use and the rifles kick less the shotties normally!!

Stratts
 

Toxster

Well-Known Member
I think you're spot on here. It's easy but don't take it for granted, you do need to concentrate and make sure your rifle is clean and zeroed.

I think the more experienced stalkers can suffer as the target area is not the actual normal area. You need to aim at a point directly up the centre of the front leg and halfway up the deer; on a live deer you would expect to be drawing a line up the rear of the front leg.
 

Moray Outfitting

Well-Known Member
Its been mentioned above and I touched upon it ( unfortunately edited to the extent that the context was lost ) on the piece to camera I did at the DSC1 on Harris/ Shooting Show. Good ( not necessarily expensive ) kit alleviates a lot of worry - most common hardware failures on the test centre on the scope.

There's a whole tribe of special gremlins that inhabit DSC1 range paperwork - it the only explanation I can think off for their sudden appearance on the Assessment day! :D

If in any doubt, dont hesitate to discuss it with the range staff. Many courses have a practise range session the day before the test and the opportunity to use a course rifle. You have enough spinning around your head at these times, and a strange issue for you will likely be something experience staff have seen many times.

But by far and away the biggest hurdle sit inside your head. We are all different, similar perhaps, but different. Taking the test does create nerves and those affect people in different ways. Be aware not ashamed of it - honestly.

I suffered nerves when I took my DSC1 - actually NSCC; and I had to cope with keeping my black powder dry and frizzen tight :D. Some candidates show no nerves at all - but its a fraction of a percent and I suspect that of those it really is a case of not showing as opposed to not feeling nerves.

Stress can do strange things - most of which are unhelpful in terms of holding a rifle steady and true. I have had very professional shooters - close protection police/ military personnel amongst others. A number admitted the DSC1 test was the most stressful shooting they had done in a long while. But their experience and acceptance of that stress helped them through. There's no ego/ machismo element to any of this - none.

If you are aware of it and open with the range staff then you are a long way to a solution. This is why its important to make full use of any practise sessions. Some courses have to make use of range set ups where a number of shooters proceed simultaneously, others take things one at a time. Its worth checking when booking and weight this up in your choice of provider. For some a 'group effort' actually helps, for others 'one on one' makes a world of difference.

You have three attempts for each section. But in truth if it is stress/ nerves that are the problem it is rare they'll improve on the second attempt and the third( and last ) attempt is really going to turn up the heat.

Be selfish. Nowhere in the Assessment rules is there a requirement to do any assessment against the clock. There obviously has to be a bit of pragmatism employed, but try not to feel rushed. It is only once you press the trigger that the die is cast. If it doesnt feel right or you believe the shot will not fly true, dont shoot.

Everyone is different as said, but I'd propose that the most frequent problem is that people over think things. That may help some, but for the most part it just ramps up the pressure. You know you better than anyone else, think about what will work best for you.

It generally is helpful to spend some time visualising the test. Just like top atheletes - programme yourself. Visualise the whole process - but make sure every thought is positive. See and feel a perfect hold and release, see a nice tight group centred in each target. Just a few minutes each day for a couple of weeks beforehand will make a difference.

Under stress you will most likely do what you have been properly trained to do. The kicker is 'properly trained'. It is spookily easy to train yourself to do one thing when you believe you are training to do something else! Toxster raised the issue of the aiming mark on the deer target - the centre is a bit away from where many traditionally aim. You can be told/ tell yourself a dozen times where that point is - and under pressure revert to what you may have already programmed in.

SD is a great resource, but I always recommend including the centre where you will be going in any query of concern you have. 1. they are the ones there on the day. 2. it helps you get to know them in advance and 3. it makes them aware of your specific concerns - I dont think there are any providers who wouldn't then go out of their way to help.

​Good luck.
 

Robbo617

Active Member
That's hardly an excuse! Everyone gets the chance to see the target and the area that the shot needs to fall within before shooting, although you can't physically see it at 100 yds. Centre target behind front Leg at 100 yds prone should pose no significant problem to experienced stalkers. I do think its self imposed pressure for the experienced guys. I've seen it before on the isle of Arran - the basc run scheme for the reds requires a 4" group at 100yds before your allowed out stalking, so there's always a queue of 10-14 guys waiting to get on the range (which accommodates 2) and the amount of experienced guys that struggle under "test conditions" is amazing! They get more nervous pointing at a piece of paper than they would if they had a royal in the sights, and some come away physically shaking!! Always good for a bit of **** taking!! Lol
 

.243Ady

Well-Known Member
That's hardly an excuse! Everyone gets the chance to see the target and the area that the shot needs to fall within before shooting, although you can't physically see it at 100 yds. Centre target behind front Leg at 100 yds prone should pose no significant problem to experienced stalkers. I do think its self imposed pressure for the experienced guys. I've seen it before on the isle of Arran - the basc run scheme for the reds requires a 4" group at 100yds before your allowed out stalking, so there's always a queue of 10-14 guys waiting to get on the range (which accommodates 2) and the amount of experienced guys that struggle under "test conditions" is amazing! They get more nervous pointing at a piece of paper than they would if they had a royal in the sights, and some come away physically shaking!! Always good for a bit of **** taking!! Lol
+1 Too much pressure to be better than the next man :) Check the zero of your rifle on your own ground before the test day don't wait till the practice session on the course like some do and then find they have a problem. If your using the courses own rifle and your struggling, ask the instructor to check the zero for you and if its ok (which it should be) let him watch you shoot a couple of rounds.
 
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Erik Hamburger

Well-Known Member
No problem, I have seen people turn up for their DSC1 marksmanship assessment who had never fired a rifle in their life.
The instructors/assessors are there to help and the want to see everybody pass.
You'll get the opportunity to use the rifle of one of the instructors, they'll coach you through the zeroing, and off you go. And pass, as most people do.
 

Tackleberry270

Well-Known Member
Mention your concerns to whoever is conducting the range on the day and they should give you the direction you need. We do the DSC1 type marksmanship test twice a year as part of the condition of culling deer on ground I manage and I am often on ranges helping as an RCO. I agree with many of the comments and half of any potential problems you might have are eliminated as the rifle should be ready to go and you are used to the kick of a shotgun.

I would recommend practicing using sticks as this is something you can do with an air rifle. This is what people seem to struggle with the most. If you get set up with some sticks (bean poles from the garden centre are more than good enough) and practice with them then you can take them with you and you will already be familiar with them. Practice shooting a target both sitting/kneeling and standing at 30 meters.

If you want any help p.m me as I'm happy to give you some practice with a rimfire if I can escape from work.
 

Erik Hamburger

Well-Known Member
My backround is with shotguns. I have owned a SGC for 15 years now.
I have recently been out deer stalking with a very experienced friend.

I have decided that it is something that I would love to do.

With that in mind I have looked into DCS1 courses that I would be keen to do as I am sure I will
learne a lot.
The problem that I have is that I have VERY limited experience with rifle shooting.
Is this likely to be a problem when completing a DSC1 course?

Thanks

I have seen people PASS the DSC1 marksman module who had never fired a rifle in heir life, using a borrowed rifle from one of the instructors/assessors, so yes it is posible.
However you will enter the assesment with a lot more confidence if you book yourself in for a 1-hour session on a range and get instruction and ask your instructor to take you through a mock-assessment.
 
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AlasdairM

Well-Known Member
I went to do my DSC with no rifle experience except an air rifle. I did it with The Stalking School (Murray outfitting) who have commented above. Before attending I let them know I had zero experience and they put my mind at ease basically by saying what they (Andy?) says above.
We were going to do the shooting test on the second day and have bit of range time on the first to get used to the rifle, but due to bad forecast on the test was moved forward to the first day so straight into the test. My first shot (first ever with 'proper' rifle went high and right, Andy said probably because I tensed up as I did not know what to expect from the rifle. Next shot good, I then went straight through the test no problem at all. If I can do it, anyone can!
 

Jezholmes

Well-Known Member
I had my first range day yesterday, including passing the same shooting test as DSC1. Everyone was very helpful and full of advice - it's definitely taken away the worry about DSC1 next weekend. Perhaps get to a range day first if you can - pitching up with a bit of confidence in a zero'd rifle must be worth it.
 
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