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The Art of the Rifle is a concise book explaining the use and techniques of rifles. It was authored by Lt. Col. (R) Jeff Cooper (–) and published in
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Requiring all hits as a prerequisite to receive a score on a drill brought me to a place where I think I know how to run my shots at an appropriate speed without letting myself be carried away by the ipsick rush.

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I believe this is the heart of all those catchy sayings about not being able to miss fast enough to win and accuracy being final and all that. A guarantee versus a maybe.

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One is for real and one is for fun. One is an end and one is a means. You can figure it out. One thing I just got done that I had been working on for a while is getting a new barrel on my Noveske. I also have to concede the possibility that I could just suck as far as precision shooting goes. Although I kept meticulous records of my round count for the first rounds or so of the Noveske barrel, I have to guesstimate that I probably have a total of rounds through it.

I figure the barrel still has a significant amount of life in it, so I will probably put it on a close range blaster at a later time. Again, it may not be as reliable, so the experimental designation is going to stick on this rifle for the time being. Also, I opted to get a bolt matched to the barrel. It may not have been necessary, but the only thing it can hurt is my wallet. I think when Frank matches the barrel to the bolt he says a secret incantation to get some extra mojo in it. The smudge came from me. I apologize for not having my good camera on hand to properly document this for you.

It took several months before I got enough time to think about installing the barrel. The installation itself was pretty uneventful. Never having done one before, I got some assistance from a meticulous friend who has done a few barrel installs. I can say with the utmost confidence that the handguard is as perfectly indexed to the upper receiver as is possible.

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As I received the upper from Noveske I could see some mis-alignment. The receiver extension will never, ever be this clean again. I have a couple thousand Sierra 69 grain SMKs that I got from pulling them from a bad batch of Gold Medal Match several years back a 69 grain bullet at feet per second is not a good thing. I really want these bullets to work in this AR so I can actually use them up.


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The Noveske barrel never shot them well. I have a few pounds of N, a pound of Varget, and about two thirds a keg of pulldown to play with. Varget and N both sound about right for a 69 grain bullet, and since I have enough of the to play around with a bit, I started there.

I learned somewhere that between 24 and 25 grains should do the trick, so I loaded a few test loads in between there to play with. At the range, I loaded all my test loads in a single magazine so I could test them round robin style. That means that each subsequent round I fire is a different load on a different target. I load mine in the magazine such that I shoot the lightest charged round first, each subsequent round being a heavier charge until I cycle back to the light round on the light target again.

I do this so that the conditions of each group will be as similar as I can make them to each other group in the test. I started at 25 yards, figuring on 1. I started with two rounds, figuring that for what the barrel is, and the distance, that it would be enough to make further gross adjustments. I moved to and fired the remainder of the 10 rounds I had allocated for zeroing. I found out that my reticle covered that small bull on that target, so I had to replace the load testing targets with my standard target with the 4 MOA circle at I tested five rounds of That could be construed as less than the bare minimum, but I just wanted an idea of what seemed to work.

So far the Must mean that I did my part.


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  • I did my best to ensure that the photo is as close to actual size as possible on my screen. Why they use a 0. If the point is to get a good zero, which incidentally will be the basis for all further holds to compensate for trajectory and wind, why not enable the user to get a better zero? So my current feeling is that the rifle is probably capable of shooting how I want it to.

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    The Art of the Rifle - Wikipedia

    A mean radius of 0. The Noveske barrel never shot that well. How well that small initial sample predicts the future performance is unclear. There have been no malfunctions of any kind so far. Predicting the future performance of the nut behind the trigger may be well nigh impossible. We all have to deal with finite amounts of time and resources to allocate to those things that we deem worthy. It would make sense then that it should be a priority to invest those limited commodities as wisely as possible.

    We want the most bang for the buck. I have wasted plenty myself. The basic problem is a failure to consider return on investment. How much are you getting for what you put in? I have been willing to invest a lot of time and effort into improving my shooting. Think of the Soviet Union and their military budget. That has been me. I rarely considered the cost of my input. If I thought it might be possible that I could squeeze anything more out of my performance I was willing to make the sacrifice.

    That approach could make sense for a certain segment of shooters, namely those who represent the top shooters. By definition, for there to be top shooters, the rest of us have to be worse than them to a greater or lesser degree. I have always had the problem of wanting everything to be right, all at once. Some of the things we fuss over may not make a difference at all, except in terms of the preferences of different internet forums or communities. Take rifles, for instance. Think about it this way- if you still have room to improve your follow through and trigger control, is weighing cases and neck turning a wise investment of time?

    Check with your spouse on that one. I think the most bang for the buck areas of practice are standing, trigger control up to the command break, getting control of balance in all positions, and shot timing. I wrote it a week or two ago and just kept pushing back the scheduled publish date, and it finally just went out. I think of this spectrum of rifle shooting as a generally to yard distance, although that can be adjusted shorter or longer depending on target, perhaps terrain, and maybe some other circumstances. Time is typically a concern at this distance, the range not being so distant that the shooter is undetectable by sight, sound, or smell, but hopefully we can rule out touch and taste.

    We can leave out considerations of movement, cover, concealment, and use of what is available externally for support.

    In my mind this also means that we leave out what cannot be carried, accessed, and employed in a practical manner by a shooter in the field. This spectrum of rifle shooting is, in my opinion, nearly adequately addressed by the Appleseed AQT, but with a few caveats. Before I discuss which caveats and why, I feel like I should discuss my qualifications to make this discussion.

    At my last shoot my scores on all the AQTs I shot were day 1: It is somewhat steady. The hunter can use shooting sticks or a bi-pod to support the front of the gun while in the position. A rest can also be used in the sitting position. The sitting position is more accurate than the kneeling position; however it is not as quickly assumed. Shooters in the prone position are usually on a somewhat flat surface. Prone is the most comfortable of all the shooting positions, but it takes the longest to assume.

    The rest positions used in the field can be almost anywhere. The different shooting positions can be used to take advantage of the rest opportunities. The fork in a tree, a rock, a log, a stump; any of these can be used to steady the gun and show a clearer sight picture. The shooter's right hand should be such that the index finger is above the trigger, but can be adjusted quickly to fire the weapon. The shooter's left hand is usually steadying the firearm in front of the trigger system.

    This is the eye that the shooter is the most comfortable with. Switching eyes is not recommended. Breathing techniques vary, however most prefer to exhale before the shot. The rifle will move the slightest bit when you breathe, so practice is great to determine the breathing patterns while shooting. The shooting sling can be used to carry a gun when it is more efficient to do so. The gun can be slung muzzle up over the shoulder, or muzzle down.

    Keeping the firearm pointed in a safe direction is extremely important when using a shooting sling. The shooting sling can also be used to steady the firearm in the sitting, kneeling, or standing positions. Some shooting competitions are designed to test the ability of the shooter in several positions.

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    Two of these events, both called 50 m Rifle , are shot in the Olympics, one for men, the other for women. The two Olympic events are shot with a rimfire rifle at 50m. The two three position events not in the Olympics, m Rifle and m Standard Rifle , are shot with a centerfire rifle at a distance of m. Cooper insists that practice is the only way to prepare for a situation that requires a quick shot.

    When that situation arises, the gun is usually not ready. Quickly raising the gun, loading, aiming, and firing take time. If time allows, sighting in the firearm is important. The scope needs to be adjusted for different ranges, so knowing the expected range beforehand is helpful. Knowing the direction and force of the wind is also important. For a moving target, keeping as steady a sight picture as possible is paramount. Dana Dahlke rated it it was amazing Oct 03, Nerud rated it it was amazing Jul 05, William Deines rated it liked it Jun 20, Michael rated it it was amazing May 06, Christian rated it liked it Apr 08, Erik Young rated it it was amazing Jan 03, B rated it it was amazing Dec 20, Derek rated it really liked it Jan 03, Nicholas Hansen rated it it was amazing Jan 31, John Williams rated it really liked it Aug 01, Jeff rated it really liked it Feb 15, LeighAnne15 rated it really liked it Jun 12, Lance rated it liked it Mar 18, Daniel Chu rated it it was amazing Nov 28, There are no discussion topics on this book yet.

    John Dean "Jeff" Cooper was recognized as the father of what is commonly known as the Modern Technique of handgun shooting, and one of the 20th century's foremost international experts on the use and history of small arms. During World War II he served in the Pacific on the USS Pennsylvania BB , and John Dean "Jeff" Cooper was recognized as the father of what is commonly known as the Modern Technique of handgun shooting, and one of the 20th century's foremost international experts on the use and history of small arms.

    He received a bachelor's degree in political science from Stanford University and, in the mids, a master's degree in history from the University of California, Riverside. Cooper began teaching shotgun and rifle classes to law enforcement and military personnel as well as civilians and did on-site training for individuals and groups from around the world.

    The Art of the Rifle

    Cooper died at his home on the afternoon of Monday, September 25, at the age of Books by Jeff Cooper. See All Goodreads Deals…. Trivia About Art of the Rifle. No trivia or quizzes yet. Quotes from Art of the Rifle. Naturally, it may be used by evil men for evil purposes, but there are more good men than evil, and while the latter cannot be persuaded to the path of righteousness by propaganda, they can certainly be corrected by good men with rifles. Just a moment while we sign you in to your Goodreads account.