Black Magic: The Ultra Accurate AR-15 Paperback – October 1, 1998
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Offers a wealth of advice on AR-15 loads, modifications and accessories for everything from highpower to benchrest and varmints. -- American Riflleman, August 1998
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Review 1: Offers a wealth of advice on AR-15 loads, modifications and accessories for everything from highpower to benchrest and varmints.
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Some Amazon user reviews indicate that this is a definitive detailed, comprehensive overview of all aspects of competition shooting with the AR-15. I am interested to learn the finer points of tweaking, configuring, and shooting the AR, but after reading the book cover to cover, I do not consider myself any better prepared for competition. This very mixed bag is broken up approximately as follows:
20%: History of the AR15 in competition shooting - sometimes interesting, but quite repetitive (author is clearly trying to sell the AR as a competition platform, which reminds the reader that this is a 10 year old book).
20%: Discussion of various components and configurations for building a suitable competition AR. May be useful to some, but mostly unnecessary for someone who may have already decided on a configuration (and the AR market as of 2007 has far more options for buying or building a match-ready AR than were available when this was written in 1998)
20%: Detailed handloading info: bullet selection, neck sizing, test methodology, etc. This is really the "meat" of the book, and should be useful to handloaders.
15%: Photos and reminiscences about various AR designers, shooters, and their contributions to the sport
15%: Reminders of why the AR15 is the best competition platform
10%: Unnecessary and annoying over-punctuation. I blame the editor more than the author. I don't expect every gun expert to be a great writer, but this book seems to have been published without the benefit of an editor.
The last point is more than just a gripe: it seriously strains the patience of even the most interested reader. No professional would leave in so many "!!!!"s and "?!?"s, not to mention entire sentences in italic or bold text, and even entire paragraphs in parenthesis. This text would not have make it through a 6th grade English class.
Note that while there ARE good tips to be found, they are scattered among the chapters without benefit of an index, often falling outside of the expected section as listed in the table of contents. When you find a worthwhile tidbit, be prepared to mark the page.