The virtual class will cover the fundamentals of adjusting iron sights and zeroing scopes; safely loading, unloading, and the cycle of operation. The program will also examine the rifle’s parts and controls, along with routine care and cleaning.

Modern sporting and AR-15 style rifles have become very popular with firearm enthusiasts. While capable tools in knowledgeable hands, these new rifles also present a few unique challenges that responsible shooters want to master.

The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) is offering a free online class, Introduction to Modern Sporting Rifles, Tuesday, Sept. 22 from 6-7 p.m.

“These firearms have exploded in popularity and many people are starting to hunt with them,” said Ted Coburn, Assistant Outdoor Education Center Manager at MDC’s August A. Busch Shooting Range in Defiance. “AR-15 type rifles can be a little more complicated in how they function than some shooters might be used to from using more traditional firearms.”

This virtual class will be presented by Busch Shooting Range staff and introduce the basics of modern sporting rifles. It will cover the fundamentals of adjusting iron sights and zeroing scopes; safely loading, unloading, and the cycle of operation. The program will also examine the rifle’s parts and controls, along with routine care and cleaning. “We will also discuss the various calibers this firearm can come chambered in,” Coburn added.

Participants will then learn how they can make use of the modern sporting rifle for hunting. There are some special considerations which the class will cover that will enable users to leverage an AR-15 style rifle as a safe and effective hunting tool.

Introduction to Modern Sporting Rifles is a free virtual program open to all ages, but advanced online registration is required at https://short.mdc.mo.gov/Z2c. Attendees will receive an invitation by email from the MDC Event Management System with a WebEx program link the day before the program. Participants should check their spam folders if they do not see the invitation.

MDC offers many free educational programs in the St. Louis region to help people discover nature, fishing, hunting, and the outdoors. Stay informed by going to the MDC St. Louis reginal events page at https://short.mdc.mo.gov/ZP6.