Book Review – Practical Shooter’s Guide by Marcus Blanchard

We get this question a lot: “What’s a good book for the beginning shooter who wants to get into long range precision rifle or the intermediate shooter who wants to improve their scores?” Until recently, we would point shooters to a number of web sites and articles (our own included) as well as some of the more time tested publications. While this was useful advice, the recipient had to piece together information and try to interpret techniques that were written in the context of more traditional shooting sports. Thanks to Marcus Blanchard and his recent publication Practical Shooters Guide (A How-To Approach for Unconventional Firing Positions and Training) we know exactly where to send new and intermediate shooters to get the information they need to gain proficiency in the sport.

Marcus’ book is particularly useful because it explores firing from various positions and props that are encountered in long range precision rifle. This knowledge is completely missing from more traditional books where the shooter is usually slung up and shooting at a paper target with extremely generous time constraints. While Marcus does address traditional positions (prone, sitting, kneeling and standing) as well as the use of a sling, he goes into considerable detail about shooting from rooftops, reverse rooftops, side slopes, tank traps, barricades etc. This is the type of information that is very difficult to find and usually gets handed down by word of mouth. We consider ourselves reasonably knowledgeable shooters and this book provided us with new and useful information.

Marcus on incline

Example of the many useful pictures in the book

We’ve been big fans of dry firing and Marcus recommends a very practical training routine in that respect. He also talks about the importance of practicing under time constraints, finding a shooting partner and video recording one’s performance. He also explores the use of various accouterments including tripods, bipods and shooting sticks. Also included is a discussion of various bolt manipulation techniques and shot procedures. The book rounds things out with observations about firing through different types of brush, something that one often encounters when shooting outside of a square range.

There are certain areas that Marcus intentionally does not go in to. One example is shooting in the wind as there are many authoritative works on the topic. While he discusses the importance of rifle precision, he doesn’t delve into handloading techniques as there is plenty of information available elsewhere that is very transferable to long range precision rifle. The author clearly made a conscious effort to focus on topics that are unique to the sport and this makes for a concise book than can be read in one or two sittings.

The book can be had in both hard copy and electronic formats by going here: https://www.amazon.com/Practical-Shooters-Guide-How-Unconventional/dp/1537174789/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1476567220&sr=8-1&keywords=practical+shooters+guide

Editor: Ed Mobley (ed@65guys.com)

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