Forget 500 yards or even 1,000. How about hitting a 3-foot-by-3-foot target at two miles? Impossible, you say. Nope. Spend some time in the NRA Whittington Center booth at NRA Annual Meetings & Exhibits talking with Jon Weiler, lead instructor for the New Mexico facility's Whittington U, and you'll learn it can be done. In fact, one of Weiler's students just did it last week with a .375 CheyTac, and he has video playing in the booth to prove it.
But extreme long-range shooting is just one aspect of Whittington U. Under Weiler's lead, the NRA Whittington Center now offers a wealth of training opportunities.
"We have a Defensive Academy that includes practical pistol and carbine courses, and a Precision Academy that focuses on long-range shooting," said Weiler (on the right in the photo above), a former U.S. Army sniper and CEO of Professional Marksmen Inc. "And we're adding more."
A glance at the Whittington U website reveals more than a dozen courses that are either currently running or planned for the future. Weiler noted the instruction is categorized by levels of proficiency, and any shooter, from the beginner to the expert, will find something worthwhile in the offerings.
"We present an open environment and want everyone to feel comfortable," he said. "We focus on the intent of the firearm, and your goals with that firearm."
For example, the introductory-level Practical Pistol I course stresses the fundamentals of "everyday implementation of the firearm tool," while the School of Extreme Long Range Engagements Masters Course sees precision-rifle shooters engaging targets at ranges beyond two miles--with success. Weiler also pointed out the family atmosphere of many of the Whittington U courses.
"It's the perfect way to bond with your family," he said, "while improving skills that one day your family may need to defend one another."