Mar 10 2023
204 – Removing Intimidation with Sidewinder Concepts
GunMag Warehouse’s Jeremy Stone is back with an interesting new podcast after a short hiatus. This month, Jeremy takes on long range precision shooting with Adrian from Sidewinder Concepts. Adrian is a former US Army sniper who wrapped up his service in June of 2022.
This month, Jeremy talks with Adrian, a former US Army sniper who now runs Sidewinder Concepts. (instagram.com/sidewinder_concepts)
Sidewinder Concepts is based near Houston, Texas and the fledgling company is already making waves, even though it’s been mostly word-of-mouth so far. Jeremy heard about Adrian and Sidewinder through Milspec Mojo, who appeared on the podcast last December. Mojo was a recently qualified police sniper, and guess who trained him? That’s right. So, Jeremy decided he needed to talk to Adrian himself.
Immediate Positive Results
Jeremy spent a day training with Adrian and, though he admits he’s “not a sniper” after that day, he did see good results. Adrian promised Jeremy that he would hit a 1,000-yard target in the first box of ammo. He was as good as his word, as Jeremy rang the steel on the 12th round. “I hit that steel at 1,000 yards, so I felt pretty good the rest of the day,” he noted. “I was like, okay, dial it back to 500…easy.”
Adrian says instilling that early confidence is part of the program. “That’s kind of the whole point about why I have guys do that. It’s to build that confidence and show that the equipment works…and essentially get those nerves out, like right out the gate. So, it’s like, ‘I hit the furthest target…then everything else should, in theory, be easy.’”
Jeremy notes that, even at 1,000 yards, the 6.5 Creedmoor bullet he was shooting was still 200 or so yards from the transonic range. In case you aren’t familiar with the term, transonic refers to the point where a bullet decelerates back through the sound barrier. This deceleration can cause destabilization beginning at about Mach 1.2. But, then again, the bullet might continue on to its target. There are many variables, but the transonic phenomenon is a real thing that can disrupt longer shots.
Adrian notes that, within the bullet’s supersonic range, that is before it decelerates, the main adjustment is for wind, once you have the drop numbers figured. In Jeremy’s case, the wind calls involved some guesswork based on the flags near the target, though Adrian expands on that and says he took “more of an educated guess, or a SWAG (Scientific Wild Ass Guess), based on the flag, surrounding vegetation, and the mirage to send the first round. After that, all they had to do was identify the miss, make the correction with the reticle, and re-engage.
Jeremy says he was worried about giving Adrian bad data, since accurate adjustments depend on it. But Sidewinder also uses a trigger cam that allows its instructors to see exactly what the shooter is doing, all but ensuring accurate feedback.
Adrian says the camera is especially useful when training new shooters who may not know what feedback to give. He says the camera also serves as an “integrity check” for students and for the instructors as they demonstrate teaching points. Finally, the camera tells the instructor whether the students understand their reticles and are using them properly.
Perceptions and Reality
Jeremy says that he “was pretty intimidated by the whole process, and most of that came from my own perception.” He was nervous because he thought he needed a $4,000 to $5,000 dollar rig to shoot long distance successfully. But he only had about $1,500 in his rifle, scope, and everything else. Even at $1,500, it’s technically a “budget rig,” even though that’s big money to many folks.
But Jeremy learned that his “budget rig” worked just fine and he didn’t have to break his bank account to go shoot. “No,” Adrian agreed. “There are solid factory options out there.