The Technical Rifleman

The Technical Rifleman

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

Custom rifle scope for O’Connor Tribute Rifle

Tips for Custom Rifle Scopes

  Custom rifles have served American shooters since flintlocks were fashioned on home forges. Then each rifle differed from the next. For the most part, rifle-scopes have been mass-produced. While scopes appeared on rifles more than 150 years ago and were even used by Civil War snipers, they didn’t take the hunting field by...

Walnut stock

Read More on Fine Rifle Stocks

When I was a lad, you could buy a fancy American walnut stock blank for $25. I paid $7.50 for the plain but semi-inletted blank that went on my first deer rifle. Now even American walnut has become costly. Black polymer is taking over. The problem with walnut is that you can’t manufacture it....

1/4-minute clicks on scope

Wayne van Zwoll Explains: Minute of Angle and Milliradian (Mil)

Though shooters carry the terms as common coin, not everyone can define “minute of angle” and “mil” (milliradian). Minute of Angle A minute of angle, usually used as a measure of group size or shot dispersion, spans 1.047 inch at 100 yards. Call it an inch. But as it is an angular measurement, its...

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”...