Author Archives: Wayne van Zwoll

Wayne van Zwoll

About Wayne van Zwoll

Wayne van Zwoll is a regular contributor to the Gun Digest annual, and author of the Gun Digest Book of Sporting optics. He is a nationally-recognized expert on rifles, optics and western hunting.

The author killed this gemsbok with a rifle during a

Big Game Rifles: What Happens Between Shot and Down

Big game that drops instantly to a shot is cause for concern. Bullets don’t hurl animals to earth; an immediate collapse usually mean you’ve struck the spine. A severed spinal cord anchors the beast. If your bullet has also sent fragments through the chest or so shattered the forward spine as to deliver fatal...

The 2 3/4x Redfield on this M70 is Wayne’s idea of a fine all-around big game sight. Note low mount.

Wayne van Zwoll: Get the Right Scope for the Right Rifle

A lever-action carbine is as lithe under a scope as a sports car under a roof rack. On a double rifle, optics make no sense at all. While my aging eyes need glass for sharp aim, not all rifles need glass to be useful. Many animals are shot very close to the muzzle. In...

Among svelte .22 rimfire rifles is Browning’s T-Bolt, here in .22 WMR. A 40-grain bullet at 2,000 fps.

Wayne van Zwoll: What You Didn’t Know About the .22

Far from the most powerful, the .22 Long Rifle is arguably the most useful cartridge of all time. It dates to 1857, when Horace Smith and Daniel Wesson came up with a rimfire round while working on a lever-action rifle. That primitive Volcanic rifle would evolve into the Henry, the foundation of Winchester’s 19th...

Bullet trajectory

Wayne van Zwoll: Why Bullet Trajectory Doesn’t Go Straight

Bullets travel in arcs. You knew that. Actually, they’re parabolic arcs. A bullet drops faster as it goes farther. Well, not really. Gravity determines how fast a bullet drops, and its force doesn’t change over the course of a bullet’s flight. But the arc does get steeper at distance. Why? Gravity’s Effect on Bullet...

Sidelock by Holland & Holland

Wayne van Zwoll: Thinking Inside The Boxlock

About the time George Armstrong Custer made ready to round up wayward Sioux on the flanks of the Little Bighorn, a couple of gunmakers working at Westley Richards of Birmingham, England fashioned a new rifle mechanism. Like the dropping-block rifle John Moses Browning would build just a few years later (marketed by Winchester as...

The Science of Recoil

Wayne van Zwoll: The Science of Recoil

Launching a bullet sends a surge of energy in the opposite direction. We feel it as recoil. Boost bullet speed or weight, and recoil increases. Adding weight to a rifle reduces felt recoil because the mass absorbs the thrust. But shooting position also affects what you feel. If your body is free to “give”...

Report from the Field: Optics

An upbeat SHOT Show can trigger irrational exuberance and the marketing of products with no real utility. Alas, such items appear even in somber times. In this report Wayne Van Zwoll winnows that chaff and separates the worthy from the merely recent in the world of optics.

Optics Options Abound

Better hunting optics deliver more detail, brighter images, clearer aim and less eye-strain during long glassing sessions. Here's a look at some of the best scopes and binoculars.