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Another "Edition" or just another printing?
on July 5, 2004
Rinker's book is well organized and documented, but a difficult read because of sentence and paragraph structure, run-on sentences, poor use of commas, nonparallel construction, illogical and vague antecedents, wordiness, and contradictory statements. It also contains several, significant mathematical errors and incomplete descriptions, and it is occasionally condescending. In addition, the intended audience seems in flux. Such a definitive work in its 4th edition deserves better focus, editing and proofing.
Structurally, the book seems to attempt to provide sufficient information for the scientifically educated while remaining understandable for the reader with less than a high school education. It fails on both fronts; the technical information is lacking, and the narrative is often poorly written. "Clear only if known" was a frequent reaction while reading. MInor sections, such as self defense, could have been better presented, redundancies and cross references could be improved, and the savings of space could be used to improve both layout and presentation.
Regarding the dual audience, the narrative could be written for the less sophisticated with complete scientific formulae and explanations set off for the more astute reader. In addition, these sections could even be labeled as to the level of mathematics required for mastery.
Mr. Rinker needs an editor. My experience in engineering and in academia leads me to believe that Mr. Rinker, for whatever reasons, resists, or is denied, collaboration with a competent editor; the book, the author, and the audience deserve better.
Notes from my reading indicated over fifty errors, including at least 9 errors in logic, 7 mathematical errors, and 37 grammatical errors. I assume that these are only representative of what a closer reading would reveal.
I doubt that the book has ever been competently edited; it has simply been reprinted. With current printing technology, this is inexcuseable.
Even so, it is the best source I have found for a comprehensive treatment of firearm ballistics. It is unfortunate that the publisher is unwilling to do better.