The Technical Rifleman

The Technical Rifleman

The official Gun Digest blog of Wayne van Zwoll, covering all things rifles, optics, ammunition and ballistics.

Target shooting improves marksmanship

The Evolution of Marksmanship

  One shot does not a marksman make. Neither does it demonstrate accuracy. A single hole, in an animal or a paper target, shows only that you fired the rifle. It takes more to achieve true marksmanship. During the iron-sight stage of a smallbore match years ago, I settled into prone and accidentally brushed...

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...

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”...