A Shooting Facility Like No Other
Story by Lindsay Allison. Photography by Blue August.
In the world of clandestine operations, private contractors and elite military units, who would envision that one of the most premier training facilities in the country is tucked away in a location that is right on the edge of Good Ol’Rocky Top?
Located off interstate 65 in Ardmore, TN, White Feather Precision Shooting was established to train individuals in field craft and marksmanship to honor the legacy of United States Marine Corps Gunnery Sergeant Carlos Hathcock II. During his decorated USMC career, Gunnery Sergeant Hathcock was an inspiration to the fighting men and women of this country due to the character and determination he displayed in all things from the battlefield to the range. Not only did he distinguish himself in combat as a Scout Sniper, but also as a competitive shooter and trainer. His contributions as a trainer significantly influenced the sniper programs of the other military services and law enforcement sniper programs nationwide.
Offering everything from standard pistol ranges to simulated watercraft firearms-training, White Feather Precision Shooting caters to some of the most elite training units in the country. Sniper units come to White Feather Precision Shooting from all over the world to compete in head-to-head competition because it provides the perfect course with ranges reaching out to 1,000 yards.
Typically only offered to the public in the form of businesses interested in hosting private events and company outings, I had the privilege of experiencing this elite shooting and training facility first-hand. Below is an account of my memories and experience morphed into what you may experience.
Veering off the highway through the fields of lush head-high corn stalks farmers only dream about, past the pre-Civil War stone-encompassed cemeteries, and over the bubbling brooks of emerald green water that have flowed too far south and missed their chance to become Tennessee sipping whiskey lies a plot of land managed and manicured to far exceed the expectations of any outdoor gentlemen. A flush of quail is around any corner. Two sharecropper homes dating back to the early 1900s stand untouched sharing the same soil as gun powder and memories from today. An amazing adventure lies just around the next curve.
Weaving through the country roads that likely have been asphalt for only a decade or so, one may think what have I traveled all this way to experience? Turn into the gates of the White Feather Precision Shooting Facility, also known as King B Farm in Ardmore, Tennessee and the owner’s personal interest and interest for you is immediately apparent: safe, educated, and fun long-range shooting. Throw your bag in the lodge, assemble and rack your rifle, pour a post-travel beverage, and prepare for a shooting and training experience like no other.
These acres of southern middle Tennessee property have been modified to ranges for shots up to 1000+ yards along with challenge ranges offering training for on-the-move shots and even shooting out of a moving boat. Seasoned marksmen know the value of shots from different positions and terrains, but you may be thinking, “Why would I want to learn to shoot at these ranges and from these positions?” The short answer is why not? Also, most serious shooters travel each fall to different properties outside of town to make sure that their rifle of choice is adequately tuned when that 200- to 300-yard shot presents itself. After years and years of this ritual, your long-range shooting ability has become just another part of the preparatory task for your upcoming season. Imagine if that long-range shot became a victory, a task overcome through understanding your firearm and its mechanics, the science and ballistics behind your round, and how your physicality and frame of mind affect your ability to make your mark. Now that sounds like fun! Doesn’t this seem like something designed for the military or for law enforcement? It is, but it’s also very useful in sport shooting and hunting adventures.
Look out the windows and see the beautiful country sunrise over the pond, cornfields, and most importantly, the extended shooting range just outside your door. Wait! Do you feel like you need to clear your head in order to focus on the shooting education before you? Grab your driver out of the trunk and hit a few balls on the driving range adjacent to the shooting range. Watch and listen to the resident geese trade from lake to pond and back again. There’s no traffic before you, horns honking, children screaming, or problems to deal with. Your mind is clear. You are rested, well fed, limber, and ready for an enriching day.
About the time that this peace sets in, a seasoned shooter with a military or law enforcement background with a passion for shooting and education walks in and introduces himself. Before long, you find yourself prone on a new shooting mat, discussing shots that you once thought impossible for anyone much less yourself. Breathe in, breathe out. And again. Delightfully, there is no fog at your crosshairs because you have purchased the latest scope for your new adventure. Is that not the case? Did your scope fog up and seemingly never clear? That’s okay. White Feather has an arsenal of custom built rifles to bring you into another class of marksman equipment. Did your gun not fire? Are you concerned that the ammunition that you are shooting is not up to snuff for the challenges that you have invited? That’s okay too. White Feather is also a vendor for ammunition that may or may not pair up with your gun but will certainly work in the custom-built rifles in their arsenal of the type of guns that you should be shooting anyway. You hear your instructor’s voice over your shoulder describing the wind, when you should breathe again, how you should squeeze the trigger, and many other factors that can and will affect your shot. All of a sudden, BOOM! It’s gone. What was in your hand and under discussion at one moment is now hurling toward a target hundreds of yards away. You pull your bolt and before you can utter your first word, your instructor has assessed the shot using the best available spotting scope on the market. HIT! What a boost of confidence you have knowing that you can make the shot.
Whether it be for training or sport, an adventure at White Feather Precision Shooting will teach you all that you need to know in order to take and make your best shots and what goes into them.
So, at this point you are probably asking yourself, “How did I not know about this?” and “How can I go there myself and throw some lead down range?” Better yet, “How can I learn from the best in the business?” White Feather Precision Shooting, is not a shooting range where anyone can just show up, sign a paper, pick a target and blast away. If you do that you will be turned away. It is a premier training facility that offers courses and classes to those who want to further expand their knowledge, education and experience with firearms, long range shooting and elite training.