TRAINING BULLETIN – New Policy on Muzzle Devices for HGTG Courses

7 June 2024


Subject:  Muzzle Brakes/Compensators

 Information continues to emerge supporting the damage caused by concussive blast from firearms.  For the past several years we have seen increasing evidence regarding hearing loss and possible TBI caused by the use of muzzle devices that direct blast pressure at angles to the rear.   While the shooter with a brake-equipped weapon is not in the direct line of this concussive blast wave, shooters to either side of the muzzle brake as well as instructors behind the line absorb the full blast wave of these devices.

Those of us in the firearms training industry recognize that hearing loss and tinnitus are more than likely after prolonged exposure, even with the use of hearing protection. Many of us have first-hand experience in this regard.  Consequently, it is our responsibility to mitigate hazards faced by our staff and our course participants as much as possible.  With increasing substantiation of brain injury from blast overpressure, it is imperative to take action.

Effective 1 July 2024 — Rifles equipped with muzzle brakes/compensators will be restricted from all SPS/HGTG courses.  Rifles equipped with compensators must have either a suppressor or blast shield diverter that redirects vented gasses down range. There will be no exception to this policy.

 This decision is in keeping with current trends in the training and shooting industries.   In 2022, the NRA banned the use of muzzle brakes on certain rifle matches and increasing numbers of training facilities and companies have restricted the use of muzzle brakes.  We anticipate this to become a best practice in the industry.

We further recommend that agencies consider equipping all rifles in their arsenals with suppressors.  While suppressors do not alleviate all sound, and ear protection remains necessary, they do provide a reduction in harmful blast and pressure exposures for armed professionals.

Please direct any questions to SPS HQ at

Denny R. Elliott, CEO/Instructor

Changes Coming for 2025 Enrollment Process

We will be updating the course application and enrollment process for some of our courses for 2025.  All Sniper Series courses will require application by the participants/agencies for courses.   The simplified application will allow agencies to reserve positions in courses both scheduled and to be scheduled.  Once a course has been scheduled, applicants/agencies will be notified to finalize enrollment.  Course dates will be set no less than 120 days prior to the start date of the course.  Applicants will be notified and provided with registration packets for their requested course.   Applicants must be enrolled no less than 60 days prior to the start date of the course.

We will only be accepting full-time law enforcement personnel assigned to a SWAT Team as a sniper into the sniper series courses.

SPS / HGTG Course Materials Ownership, Copyright and Trademark Statement

16 October 2023

Message to Alumni and Client Agencies  

In recent weeks, I was made aware of a new organization that was forming under the pretext of networking and providing training to potential dues paying members in the Tennessee tactical community, asking a select group to participate in the provision of materials for course design for Sniper and Designated Marksman courses.   The supposed goal of this organization is to provide free training to dues paying members through a series of courses ostensibly developed by the organization and taught by its members.

At this time, SPS/HGTG has not been contacted by anyone associated with this organization.   It has no apparent internet footprint, website or social media presence that is open and obvious, and at this point we do not know who its principles are.  A filing was made under the presumed organization name with the Tennessee Secretary of State in October 2023 registering it as a non-profit with an office address listed as a Middle Tennessee U.S. Post Office with a P.O. Box mailing address.  What causes our concern is that there is an apparent connection between this organization and other individuals, organizations and/or agencies which have previous history of attempting to obtain and assume SPS/HGTG copyrighted materials as their own work product.

Tennessee’s law enforcement community has been without a representative professional organization for far too long and while we applaud the initiative to form such an organization, the approach of attempting to gather training materials before a membership is even established seems dubious.  Also, the fact that many of our alumni have been contacted for information makes it professionally necessary to provide the following statement of ownership, trademark and copyright.

Statement of Ownership, Trademark and Copyright

Sniper Pro Shop is a GSA federally certified business licensed in Tennessee.  The principal business of SPS is the provision of law enforcement training in the tactical firearms genre.  Training is provided by SPS through its subsidiary division, High Ground Training Group.  HGTG is staffed by SPS management personnel and utilizes contractors who assist SPS in providing field training.  HGTG Contractors are selected from alumni course participants and receive appointment by invitation only.

I.  Training Courses and Programs

Sniper Pro Shop is the official owner of all SPS/HGTG taught curricula which includes the following:

  • Level I Sniper 2002-present
  • Level II Sniper 2004-present
  • Level III Sniper – Leadership, Training and Utilization of SWAT Snipers 2008-present
  • Level IV Sniper – Mixed Terrain Target Interdiction 2010-present
  • Sniper Night Vision Operator 2023
  • S.W.A.T. Operator I   2019-present
  • Close Team Support   2019-present
  • Fugitive Apprehension Specialist Training 2021-present
  • Special Operations Sustainment Training 2018-present
  • Law Enforcement Designated Marksman 2016-present
  • Law Enforcement Designated Marksman Train-the-Trainer 2016-present
  • Law Enforcement Firearms Instructor 2017-present
  • Law Enforcement Rifle Instructor 2002- present
  • Law Enforcement Rangemaster 2019-present
  • Law Enforcement Shotgun Instructor 2023
  • Handgun Optic Transition Instructor 2023

All the above listed courses as well as custom specialized training courses developed through the Special Operations Sustainment Training program, their supporting materials, lesson plans, associated manuals, range plans, and scenario-based training plans as well as logos and graphics are the property of Sniper Pro Shop.  Curricula license is provided to members of the High Ground Training Group to provide training at SPS sanctioned and sponsored training events.


Participants of instructor level courses receive special curriculum license to utilize materials as provided in those courses for the purpose of agency level training for their employing agency.  This includes:

  • Law Enforcement Designated Marksman Train-the-Trainer
  • Law Enforcement Firearms Instructor
  • Law Enforcement Rifle Instructor
  • Law Enforcement Rangemaster
  • Law Enforcement Shotgun Instructor
  • Handgun Optics Transition Instructor

Sharing of any SPS/HGTG training materials, lesson plans or range plans by any participant of an SPS course of instruction to any person or organization is expressly forbidden and will be considered a violation of Copyright Laws of the United States (Title 17).  Any individual or organization who obtains and utilizes SPS/HGTG training materials, lesson plans or range plans without express permission of SPS will be liable for copyright infringement and SPS reserves the right to pursue appropriate legal action.

II.   Training Standards

In 2015, SPS / HGTG released the Sniper Pro Shop / High Ground Training Group Sniper Training Standards.  This living document provides a broad guideline based on the current best practices in law enforcement and experience of the members of SPS/HGTG for the conducting of SWAT sniper training.  The document addresses the makeup of a SWAT Sniper Section, assignments within the Sniper Section and training including criteria for Basic and Advanced SWAT Sniper Courses.  Additionally, it provides a topic list of necessary and mandatory areas of training to be addressed in an annual rotation by the SWAT sniper section.  The Sniper Training Standards program is available free of charge from Sniper Pro Shop to assigned SWAT snipers or SWAT leaders through a formal requested subscription program.  This subscription specifies that the standards document is law enforcement sensitive and is not to be shared outside the requesting agency and limited to those with a need to know.  As with all SPS/HGTG training materials referenced in Section I., this document is the property of SPS and any unauthorized sharing, publication or use of its contents outside the subscription is considered inappropriate and a potential violation of Copyright Laws of the United States (Title 17).

III.  White Papers and Articles

SPS provides opinions, articles and white papers to client officers and agencies on a requested basis.  Some are published and some available by request or download.  These documents are the property of SPS, the source of publication and should only be used in accordance with Copyright Laws of the United States (Title 17).


Questions regarding any of the above materials or programs should be addressed directly to Sniper Pro Shop Headquarters.




Denny R. Elliott, CEO / Instructor

Sniper Pro Shop / High Ground Training Group

DUNS 080032788

HQ: 615-952-9560



Level III Sniper Courses for 2024 will Feature a 2 for 1 Enrollment for Client Agencies

SPS/HGTG will offer client agencies special pricing for tuition for the Level III Sniper  – Leadership, Training and Utilization of SWAT Snipers Courses in 2024.  The Level III course is designed as a joint training course for senior snipers, sniper section leaders, SWAT Team Commanders and SWAT Team Leaders.  The goal of the course is to provide foundational information for snipers and their teams on the capabilities and needs of the sniper section.  This promotion will allow the enrolling sniper to bring a team leader or commander to the 3-day course for free.   We currently have 2 courses scheduled for Tennessee in 2024 and are planning additional courses around the country.  The first course is scheduled for Memphis 5-7 March 2024 and the enrollment packet can be downloaded at 

Sniper Weapon System Bulletin

If your agency is using Tikka Rifles for Sniper Weapon Systems, contact us by email for the full bulletin.  We will only provide this information to agencies or LE Snipers who are deploying Tikka rifles as Sniper Weapons Systems.

Note:  SPS/HGTG provides no endorsements, paid or otherwise for weapons or products.  Our experience with Tikka Rifles during sniper training courses has been positive.  We rely on feedback from the operators in the field for issues and problems and seek to find answers through the network of our clients and associates.

UPDATE 10 August 2023

As of now, we have had no more notices of this anomaly in the Tikka weapon system.  As indicated earlier, we have several clients using this weapon system and we regularly see them in Sniper Courses.   We have not directly experienced any new failures with them.  Please advise us if you experience any issues with the weapons so we can update the community.


Sometime ago, we deleted the SPS/HGTG Facebook account due to it being trolled by bots.  This week my personal Facebook account was hacked through a DM that appeared to come from a FB Friend that messages me regularly.  This apparently then messaged everyone in my account.  I have begun the deletion of the FB account.  We will be maintaining our Instagram Page and Linked In page.  WE DO NOT ROUTINELY USE DM FOR COMMS.  DO NOT OPEN DM OR LINKS IF THEY APPEAR TO COME FROM ME.  CONTACT US DIRECTLY VIA EMAIL OR PHONE IF YOU HAVE A QUESTION.

Sniper Pro Shop / High Ground Training Group

Why choose SPS/HGTG for Sniper Training?

 2022 is our 21st year of providing training to professional SWAT Snipers.  Sniper Pro Shop brings over two decades experience in developing & presenting sniper training programs for law enforcement special operations.  SPS/HGTG courses are constantly monitored and updated to ensure that we are providing contemporary training and best practices for Law Enforcement Special Operations. SPS is a GSA schedule vendor for firearms and homeland security training and has provided training for federal law enforcement and the U.S. Military.

In addition to our sniper training programs, SPS/HGTG provides the LE Firearms Instructor, LE Rifle Instructor and LE Rangemaster Trilogy program as well as one of the few LE Designated Marksman Training Programs in the U.S.  Besides this catalog of standard courses of training, we offer custom training programs for agencies through our Special Operations Sustainment Training program where we work with client agencies and teams to develop custom training to fill the needs of the agency.

High Ground Training Group staff are experienced professionals with thousands of hours of law enforcement and military training and operational experience.  The members of HGTG are uniquely qualified to provide a contemporary approach to training and developing the SWAT Sniper.  Their experience comes from law enforcement tactical operations from agencies serving Urban, Rural, City, County, State Task Force, and Federal Law Enforcement service, as well as Military and Corrections.

SPS/HGTG stands ready to provide service to students and client agencies after the training course for Training Planning, Policy, Post-Shooting Support and Litigation Support.

Copyright and Security Reminder

This is a reminder to SPS/HGTG Alumni 

Do not release or share any photos that you receive from SPS/HGTG on social media or with any one outside of your class.  This is a copyright violation and more importantly, as related below, could compromise the safety and security of LE or Military personnel.

I recently ran across a photo in a tactical publication that had been taken by me in one of our classes several years ago.  This photo had not been published by us at any time.  This particular photo was taken as a training record picture and provided to members of the class only.  This release of this photo  possibly compromised the identities of the operators who both ultimately have served in extremely sensitive assignments since that time.


FLASHBACK 1 See our new video on our Vimeo Channel

The first in a series of Flashbacks to our training history. This was our first course specifically for a Military client and helped launch us into a more prominent training profile as GSA training provider. This Customized Level I Sniper course was done for the TN ArNG 1/278th Sniper Section as a prep course for the NG Sniper School in 2012. These soldiers went on to excel in their sniper training. We are glad to have a had a small part of that, but it was their dedication and leadership that got the job done.


SPS Sniper Logbook Template is Now Available

After our friends at Bear Aid dropped their sniper template from production, we began looking for a substitute and we found that there was none.  Last year we started working on a design and came up with a pocket-sized  4″x 2.5″ template design that contains the most used/needed items that a logbook template should have.   After several months of working with designers and manufacturers, we are proud to release the SPS Sniper Logbook Template .  With 9 tools and several unique features, this sniper logbook template will be the new standard for logbook data collection.  Our template is designed as the perfect companion for our logbook, but will also work with other logbooks that require the sniper to diagram targets.  It is available in the SPS Gear Store page at


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