Top critical review
17 people found this helpful
good but could have been great
on June 19, 2012
This is a decent but somewhat superficial introductory book on the fundamentals of rifle ballistics, with good rule-of thumb tips for the average hunter. 3 starts for content, 4 for scope. As a hunter, firearms instructor, professional scientist and preferentially-visual learner I found that the book often lacks in clarity or misses opportunities to drive its point home more effectively. An additional formula here and there or a diagram instead of the tons of uninformative color pictures of dead game or Dr. Van Zwoll and his rifles would have worked better for me.
One good picture is worth 1000 words they say. Here the pictures abound, but they are mainly fillers of -sometime- dubious importance. One example for all is chapter 24: the author spends way too many words describing a bullet trajectory, pointing out how usually published diagrams get it wrong etc, and then he misses the opportunity for showing a good one, therefore closing the issue forever... Also the part on the various accelerations applied to a spinning flying bullet could have been summarized quite effectively with a decent diagram and a set of vectors. The same can be said when he talks about MOI, canting, leading, wind correction etc. Too much talk, too little physics. I don't know. It's probably my fault, but it reads like any random article on the topics straight from Field & Stream, while I was expecting something else. After all Dr. Van Zwoll used to teach creative writing, not classical mechanics.