Book Review: Accuracy and Precision for Long-Range Shooting, A Practical Guide for Rifleman

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posted on November 4, 2016
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Author Bryan Litz is an aerospace engineer who worked for the US Air Force on air-to-air missile design, modeling, and simulation, who became Chief Ballistician for Berger Bullets, and who is an active and successful long-range shooter.

Litz starts with a very simple premise: in order to get better at hitting targets, we must understand what causes us to miss targets. The stated intent of this book is to explore the uncertainties and inaccuracies of real world shooting so that riflemen can make well informed decisions about how to improve their hit percentage.

The book is divided into three parts: Precision, Accuracy, and Weapon Employment Zone Analysis. Precision is about small groups. Accuracy is about centering that small group on the intended target. Weapon Employment Zone (WEZ) analysis is used to calculate hit percentage against various targets and to analyze which factors impact hit percentage.

To help the shooter improve hit percentage at long-range, Litz uses an evidence-based analysis that relies on four key factors (he also looks at a number of factors that must be considered): wind estimation, range estimation, rifle precision, and velocity consistency. Throughout Part I Precision, Litz visually demonstrates, how wind uncertainty, range uncertainty, inherent precision, and muzzle velocity effects will alter hit percentage at different ranges.

In Part II Accuracy, he looks at the basics of accurate shooting, leveling your sights, trajectory modeling, secondary trajectory effects, calibrating ballistic solutions, and live fire verification. Part III Weapon Employment Zone Analysis tackles such subjects as 300 Winchester Magnum, 300 Win Mag vs. 338 Lapua Mag, score shooting, wind sensor array, varmint hunting, medium and big game hunting, and military and tactical shooting.

Accuracy and Precision for Long Range Shooting, A Practical Guide for Rifleman is a highly technical book filled with math, charts and tables. The reader should not expect to sit down, zip through this volume, and “get it.” Not at all. This book requires careful study and reflection on what is being said.

One of the key statements in the book is this: “long range targets are missed more often due to a lack of accuracy, than for a lack of precision.” Rifles that can deliver a 10-inch group at 1000 yards, Litz says, aren’t particularly rare, but shooters who can hit a 10-inch target at 1000 yards on the first shot are. Skillful shooting at long range requires a change in thinking, the courage to face the difficulties presented by long-range high-accuracy shooting, and studious application of the principles in this book. Bottom line: highly recommended for the technically minded.

Accuracy and Precision for Long-Range Shooting, A Practical Guide for Rifleman
By Bryan Litz
296 pages, copyright 2012, Hardcover

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