Hey, guys! I’ve been continuing to invest a significant amount of effort designing and building my new 100 yard underground range, which is still under construction. I’m probably 3-4 months out from completion, and I’ll provide a comprehensive update once it’s finished out and 100% complete.
In the meantime, I’ve got several ideas for posts on topics and tips I’m excited to share. I feel like one of the biggest ones is related to podcasts, so that’s where I’ll start! In fact, some ideas for other topics came from these podcasts, so it is only fitting to start by sharing these resources.
Have you ever been at a match, and you saw a shooter there you respect – and you wished you could see what was going on in his head? What does he think about before a stage? What does he think as he takes each shot? More than just the shooting part, why is he running the gear he does? Why did he pick that bag? How does he practice? What helped him make the leap from a mid-pack shooter to one who consistently goes home with trophies?
Over the past couple of years, a few of the top rifle shooters have started publishing podcasts. To be clear, I’m not saying guys that are “good shooters,” I mean the elite guys who are literally among the top 10 precision rifle competitors in the world! If any of these guys show up at a match, you expect them to win – and if they all show up to the same match, it’s probably the season finale or AG Cup – and it will be a battle of the heavyweights!
It would be extremely rare in any sport for the guys at the very top of the leaderboards to take the time to host a podcast and openly share their knowledge, approach, and mindset with the rest of their community – but, we are fortunate in the precision rifle world for that to be true.
Each of these podcasts has a little different focus and personality, but they all provide a behind-the-scenes view of how each competitor thinks about shooting, rifles, matches, and gear. It’s basically like you are riding home from a big 2-day match with the guy who just won it. I’ve honestly got a pile of notes from these podcasts! This type of format allows them to go deep into topics, with the average episode length over an hour.
Perhaps the best part: All 4 of these podcasts from the top shooters are free! The sport of precision rifles can be expensive, but this is a way you can learn and potentially get more rounds on target without having to spend a dime! 😉
A big thank you to each of the guys who are part of these podcasts! I realize you are busy people, but I’m so grateful that you’ve invested the time and shared your thoughts with the rest of us in the shooting community. It is immensely helpful!!!
Podcasts From The Top 10 Precision Rifle Shooters
Morgun King’s Mythology of Marksmanship
Morgun King was a long-time rodeo competitor who recently shifted his focus to precision rifles – and he’s quickly become one of the most dominant shooters in the country. Morgun is back-to-back National Rifle League (NRL) Season Champion for 2020 and 2021. He’s also been an AG Cup finalist, which is the match with the biggest payout of the year where all of the best shooters compete head-to-head. While Morgun hasn’t won the golden bullet yet (the trophy awarded to the Precision Rifle Series overall season champ), he has the 2nd highest combined PRS points total for 2020 and 2021. I’ve heard it said that Morgun has won more matches in the past two years than anyone, and I wouldn’t doubt it!
Just this summer, Morgun started a podcast that he calls the “Mythology of Marksmanship” – and it is really good! Morgun is often joined by Brady Allinson and Paul Higley, who are also accomplished competitors. While the podcast feels like you’re listening in on a conversation between shooting buddies, Morgun has a very organized and disciplined approach to shooting, and he’s able to articulate that very well. They also do a great job of staying on topic (which is harder than it sounds), and any twists or turns they take in a story have been very engaging and interesting to me.
What I love about this podcast is you can tell that Morgun isn’t holding anything back. He seems like a very straightforward guy and openly shares his approach and mindset to shooting. It never feels like he is holding back a tip or secret. If you think about how competitive this sport is, that is a very selfless thing to do.
Here is are some examples of topics Morgun has covered so far in the first 13 episodes, to give you an idea of what you can expect:
- His process and mental checklist that he runs through before a stage and before each shot
- How he makes shot corrections on the clock (Does he measure where the impact hit on each shot? If he missed a target and wasn’t able to spot his shot, what does he do next?)
- How he reads the wind and writes down his wind holds before a stage
- Tips for building a solid position
- Benefits of different weights and fills for shooting bags
- How to optimize your Kestrel settings (Did you know you could enter all the stages and targets for an entire match beforehand?! See Episode 3)
- How to train effectively
- Common mental mistakes people make on the clock
- What makes a good shooting goal?
On this podcast, I’d suggest starting with Episode 1 and listening to all of them. There are only 13 episodes published so far – but all of those have come out in the past 60 days! Morgun is putting a ton of energy into producing content out regularly. While I’ve learned a lot from all the podcasts I’ll mention, I have more notes from Morgun’s than any other. They are each packed with great tips and ideas that I simply hadn’t heard anywhere else.
If you forced me to narrow it down to a couple of episodes that you should try to see if you’re interested in it, here are the ones that I had the most notes from:
- Episode 3 – What is in your pack? How to get the most out of your Kestrel?
- Episode 4 – The Fundamentals of Marksmanship
- Episode 9 – Lessons learned from Parma, trigger control, goals, strategies, etc. with Brady
- Episode 11 – K&M, wind, getting into the game, and more with Paul Higley
- Episode 12 – Two-day vs. one-day matches, training, and pre-stage processes, with Paul Higley and Brady Allinson
VP Precision Podcast
Jake Vibbert and Jon Pynch are some of the biggest names in the precision rifle world, and they’re the hosts of VP Precision Podcast (V = Vibbert, P = Pynch). They have produced over 50 episodes of high-quality content!
- Jake Vibbert has won more two-day matches than any other shooter in history and was the winner of $20,000 at the inaugural AG Cup in 2019. If I tried to list all of his accomplishments, this would be a long post! Suffice to say that Jake is a west coast guy who has been around for a long time and is one of the most consistent shooters on the circuit. Jake is also the owner of JC Steel Targets.
- Jon Pynch is a top competitor in his own right. He was the 2018 NRL Season Champion, and he’s also finished as high as 4th in the PRS overall season standings. Jon is also a very accomplished hunter, which adds something extra to these podcasts.
I’ve been fortunate enough to be squadded with both Jake and Jon at different 2-day matches, and I can say from experience they are two of the nicest guys in the precision rifle game – and they put on a clinic! Both times I thought, “I would have happily paid my $250 registration fee to simply watch these guys shoot!”
Of all the elite shooters who have started podcasts, Jake and Jon were the first, with Episode 1 launching in April 2019. I’ll be honest, I wasn’t aware of this until a few months ago when my shooting buddy, OB, told me I should listen to it – and after I listened to a couple of them, I worked my way through all 50+ episodes in just a few weeks!
One of the things I like about VP Precision Podcasts is the variety of guests and topics. They have episodes with guests like Austin Orgain, Dave Preston, Morgun King, Clay Blackketter, Tate Streater, Joe Walls, Brian Pence, Keith Baker, Dan Bertocchini, and others. If you don’t recognize some of those names, they are also shooters you’ll see at the top of the leaderboards. They basically talk to all of the leading minds in the precision rifle world.
There are now over 50 episodes of VP Precision podcast over 3 years, so they’ve covered a TON of topics – but here is a sample of some of the topics you can find on their podcasts:
- How they watch bullet trace and make shot corrections
- They share all their match load information
- They talk through barrel break-in and how they each clean their barrels (very interesting!)
- What gear they run (as detailed as what spacer kits and basepad adapters they run in their AI magazines)
- How to true your ballistics so your impacts in the field align with your ballistic engine
- Reloading processes and equipment, and tips (and some products that can help you double the amount you can load in the same time – without sacrificing precision)
- Their pre-stage checklist and the process they run through in their mind before, during, and after each shot
- Hear about their hunting rifle builds and some of their big game hunts
- They discuss their experience at a few NRL Hunter matches and team matches
It’s common for an episode to be Jake and Jon catching up on the past 2-3 matches they’ve shot, and talking through specific stages or lessons they learned. In those conversations, you can always find many practical tips for competitions.
At one time, VP Precision was publishing a show every couple of weeks, but more recently they’re on a pace of a new episode about every 60 days. So they aren’t as active as they had been in the past. I get it! 😉 Jon and Jake both have full-time jobs, families, and are trying to shoot a few rifle matches, too. But, the beauty of podcasts is you can go back and listen to the 70+ hours of content they’ve already published, and I certainly learned a lot and enjoyed catching up on those.
Here are a few of the VP Precision podcast episodes that I took a lot of notes from:
- Episode 16 – Jake & Jon catch up with Austin Orgain at the AG Cup and talk about competitions, training, reloading, and more.
- Episode 26 – We talk with Joe Walls, the owner/gunsmith behind Exodus Rifles and owner of OTM Tactical, about all things rifles: reamers, cleaning barrels, reloading, how to get lower SDs, and more.
- Episode 28 – Jon talks with 2019 PRS Champion Clay Blackketter about comps, Clay’s new reloading business, how he got into the sport, and different cartridges and loads they’ve run.
- Episode 30 – Jon & Jake catch up on matches, share their match load data, talk about the best bags and fill for competition, and other stuff.
- Episode 33 – Jon talks shop with Dave Preston, winner of two PRS golden bullets and owner of Gray Ops CNC.
- Episode 38 – Jon catches up with Morgun King, and they talk competitions, reloading, barrel life, etc.
JTAC Precision Rifle Podcast
The JTAC Precision Rifle Podcast is hosted by 4 of the very best precision rifle shooters from Oklahoma, including the reigning, back-to-back PRS Champion, Austin Orgain.
JTAC is an abbreviation that contains the first initial of each shooter: JTAC = Justin, Tate, Austin, and Clay. The group teamed up to teach precision rifle training courses together, and they’ve also published 8 podcasts.
- Justin Watts is a long-time PRS competitor that comes from a military background. Justin has a few 1st Place finishes at some of the biggest 2-day PRS competitions over the past 3 years. He finishes in the top 10 at virtually any match he shoots. Justin runs Fouled Bore Precision, a long-range shooting complex about an hour southwest of Oklahoma City that hosts a few big precision rifle matches each year.
- Tate Streater is one of the OG shooters in this sport and one of the highest PRS points leaders of all time. Tate has adapted along with the sport and remains highly competitive. He has the 6th highest PRS points total over the past 3 years, he got 3rd in the 2020 AG Cup, and he’s won the Steel Safari competition multiple years. Tate is also co-owner of Impact Precision, which makes the actions that many (if not most) of the top competitors use to win.
- Austin Orgain has definitively been THE best precision rifle competitor in the world for the past few years. He’s back-to-back the PRS Champion (2020 & 2021), plus he won the AG Cup in 2020 and finished 5th in 2021. Austin has the highest PRS points total over the past 3 years. He also competed in the NRL for a few years and was the overall NRL Champion in 2017 and got 2nd in 2020. Austin is one of those guys that when he is on, it looks effortless – and it’s virtually impossible for anyone to beat him. It’s fun to watch!
- Clay Blackketter is one of the premier competitors in the sport who also has a golden bullet, which he won as the 2019 PRS Season Champion. Clay has the 2nd highest PRS points total over the past 3 years – only 2 points behind Austin (1469 vs. 1471). Clay also had a top 10 finish at the 2021 AG Cup. Clay owns Clay’s Cartridge Company where he sells handloaded ammo that the rest of the JTAC guys shoot, and he’s also been awarded some military contracts for ammo. He clearly knows what it takes to load some of the best precision rifle ammo.
If anyone knows what it takes to win a national championship, it has to be these guys! They collectively represent the PRS Champions from the past 3 years (2019, 2020, and 2021) – so they are at the absolute pinnacle of the sport. Listening in on their conversations about rifles, shooting, and competing is very interesting.
While JTAC hasn’t put out as many episodes as VP Precision or Morgun King, they do seem to offer a different perspective. They discuss topics like free recoil and how that helps them put shots on target off wobbly props, how they write down their wind calls before stages, etc. They also seem to talk a lot about coyote hunting, which is actually the reason I originally got interested in extending my range with a rifle a decade ago. So while it may not be related to competitive shooting, I find it interesting.
Update: Miles To Matches Podcast
I hadn’t come across this podcast before, but almost immediately after I published this a reader left a comment to let me know about one more podcast that started 3 months ago and is hosted by another one of the top 10 competitors, Chad Heckler. Chad finished 10th overall in the 2021 PRS season standings, and he also won $30,000 by taking 1st at the 2021 AG Cup. Chad’s co-host is Francis Colon, who is another outstanding competitor that I had already talked about in this article in the section about the Applied Ballistics podcast below. While I haven’t listened to any of the episodes yet, I certainly plan to! How cool is it that we have so many of the top guys in the shooting community willing to share with the rest of us?! (Thanks for mentioning it, Jason!)
Other Precision Rifle Podcasts
All the podcasts I mentioned above are hosted by one or more of the top 10 precision rifle competitors, which adds a level of credibility and experience to the content. It’s as if you are a fly on the wall and can listen in on conversations between the leading shooters in the precision rifle game.
But, there are other podcasts that may not be hosted by one of the top 10 competitors but are still noteworthy. Clearly, you don’t have to place in the top 10 season standings to have something valuable or helpful to share. So here are a few other podcasts related to precision rifles that I’ve learned from:
Applied Ballistics – The Science of Accuracy Academy Podcast
Only Available Through AB’s Website (Members Only)
The guys from Applied Ballistics, who have published the definitive books on the subject of long-range shootings and ballistics, launched a new online platform this year that they call The Science of Accuracy Academy. They still plan to publish books, but this new online academy continues the conversations about their ongoing research projects through podcasts, videos, and online discussions.
We all know that Bryan Litz and the Applied Ballistics team are industry leaders when it comes to research and teaching technical topics, but these podcasts also touch more on precision rifle and ELR competitions than any of their content has before. Francis Colon joined the Applied Ballistics team in 2021 as a Lab Technician – and he is a serious PRS competitor. A few weeks ago, Francis won the 2022 K&M Precision Rifle Competition, which is the largest individual PRS rifle match of the year with 270+ competitors. Francis’s highest PRS season standings was #41 in 2020, and he also finished 4th overall at the 2021 AG Cup. So while Francis hasn’t landed in the top 10 season standings yet, he certainly seems headed in that direction! The AB team also included Chad Heckler, the 2021 AG Cup Champion, on a few podcasts. Bryan Litz is a long-range rifle competitor in his own right, having recently won the 2021 Nightforce ELR Steel Challenge, and he’s also won national and international Palma rifle competitions and holds multiple national records. Plus, Mitch Fitzpatrick from AB is also a serious ELR competitor who has been crowned the King of 2 Miles in past years, and Mitch is also very knowledgable on the gunsmithing side of things.
Unlike all the other podcasts here, there is a $9.95/month subscription required to access these podcasts. Here is what that monthly subscription gets you access to:
- Members Only Podcasts – Already have 45 episodes published in the first 6 months of 2022, which include interviews with top shooters, highly technical topics like gyroscopic stability and ballistics programs, and more informal discussions among the AB team that they call “Fireside Chats.”
- Exclusive Q&A – Each podcast episode has a members-only comment section where you can ask questions and get answers to ballistic-related questions.
- Exclusive Video Content – Members can enjoy video content from Bryan Litz and team. They are adding new videos every month as they build the academy video library.
- Bullet Data – Digital access to all the data pages for the extension list of bullets they’ve measured and tested.
Like everything that Applied Ballistics does, these podcasts are very professional. So, while we typically expect podcasts to be free, these seem worth the expense to me. For what it’s worth, I personally signed up and am paying $9.95/month out-of-pocket for access to this content.
Modern Day Sniper
This list would be incomplete without Modern Day Sniper, which is hosted by Caylen Wojcik and Phillip Velayo. Both guys have a background as Marine Scout Snipers and taught as sniper instructors before retiring from the military. Because of their backgrounds, Caylen and Phil focus more on the military application of long-range shooting than other podcasts – and they use some explicit language. Both guys actively compete in precision rifle competitions, and Phil is a respected competitor who finished 31st in the 2021 PRS season standings.
One thing that differentiates Caylen and Phil is that they are not only passionate about long-range shooting, but they also are passionate about teaching – which isn’t true for all of these podcasts. You can tell from their content that they see teaching as a craft that they both have experience in and continue to hone.
Modern Day Sniper publishes new podcasts regularly, with 72 episodes and counting since they started in January 2020. Their podcasts include discussions about their rifle matches, interviews with industry leaders, and conversations on shooting technique, competition mindset, reloading, training, and more. For example, Episode 69 is a recent episode where they discuss tripod technique and wind calls – if that isn’t relevant for a precision rifle competitor, I don’t know what is!
Modern Day Sniper does more than podcasts, including in-person training clinics, plus more in-depth, subscription-based, online courses and masterclass videos. But, while you have to pay for their videos and online curriculum, their podcast is 100% free and available through Apple, Spotify, or other platforms.
Precision Rifle Media
Precision Rifle Media has more podcasts about shooting precision rifles than anyone, with 220 episodes published! Unfortunately, they haven’t posted any new episodes since October 2021. I’m not sure what happened, but they appear to no longer be around. But, there is still a lot of good content out there that you’d probably find interesting.
The Shooter’s Mindset
The Shooter’s Mindset is a weekly live interview show with members of the competitive shooting community. They have guests from all disciplines of the shooting sports, including precision rifle, pistol, 3-Gun, etc., which includes interviews with many of the top precision rifle shooters. This is a well-established podcast that has published 380 episodes – with that many episodes, it seems like they’ve hit on a little bit of everything. Episodes are mostly conversational and less technical than some of these other podcasts – but then again, those conversations are with top-level shooters, leading companies, and key contributors to the industry – so there is still a lot to learn from them.
The Hornady Podcast
Okay, I’m hesitant to listen to a podcast put out by a manufacturer because it might simply be one long advertisement – but this one is pretty good. It’s a weekly podcast focused on shooting, hunting, and reloading. The Hornady Podcast started around the first of 2022 and has published 25 episodes so far.
I recently listened to Episode 24, which is a short history of ballistics and Doppler Radar, and I found it very interesting! They have other episodes where they interview Austin Orgain, George Gardner (founder of GA Precision), Tate Streater, the legend Jerry Miculek, and others. They have podcasts that focus on specific cartridges like the 300 PRC, 6.5 PRC, 22 Creedmoor, and 6mm ARC. There are also several episodes about hunts, from African safaris to exotic Ibex or being charged by Grizzly.
Other Podcasts or Online Resources?
This isn’t intended to be an exclusive list of podcasts or online resources – they’re simply the ones I’m aware of and have got value from. If you know of another good one, please share it with the rest of us in the comments!