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Going to School: Leupold Optics Academy

If gunmakers can have their own shooting schools, why not optics makers? Leupold has been around for more than a century, and along the way, the company has learned a thing or two about how its optics work in conjunction with firearms. And its optics are used by top professionals in both the law enforcement and military worlds, as well as by professional hunters. Why not tap into that knowledge? Thanks to the new Leupold Optics Academy, students can learn a thing or two from the Beaverton, Ore., firm’s experts about the application of optically equipped handguns, carbines, and rifles, be they shooters, hunters, law enforcement officers or military personnel (Leupold, by the way makes the riflescopes for the U.S. Army’s M24 SWS). 

The Leupold Optics Academy range facility is located in Madras, Ore., which is about a 2½ hour drive southeast of Portland. There are five initial courses being offered. For hunters and long range shooters Leupold is offering General Scoped Rifle with emphasis on equipment selection backed up with range work from 15 to 400 yards in order to become proficient and confident at those distances, plus there is instruction on alternate shooting positions and offset drills. In Precision Scoped Rifle, students set up their equipment then learn to not only the fundamentals of marksmanship, but also the basic skills needed to calculate long-range ballistics and how to build data for each shooter’s scope and rifle combination.


The Patrol Designated Marksman course was developed at the request of law enforcement and focuses on the carbine, whether at close range, medium distances or a precision capable arm at ranges from 50 to 100 yards. As more and more defensive handguns are capable of accepting an optic, Leupold created the Basic Optical-Sighted Defensive Pistol, which is intended to build and solidify the fundamentals of handgun marksmanship using a reflex sight as the gun’s primary aiming tool. 

The Dangerous Game Scoped Rifle course is intended for hunters who pursue dangerous game with emphasis on shooting from various positions, and students participate in increasingly challenging and stressful situations.

Whether the shooter is novice and looking for foundational support or an expert craving to maximize his effectiveness, the assorted programs range from two to four days and start out at $450—assuredly money well spent with some of the industry’s top professionals. 

For more, watch the Leupold Optics Academy video above or here.

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