The Hunter’s Guide to Accurate Shooting
How to Hit what You’re Aiming At in Any Situation

by Wayne Van Zwoll

Review by John M. Buol Jr.
This glass is 1/4 full.

“Books about guns abound. Books about shooting do not. … This book is mainly for hunters who want to shoot better.”

So opens Mr. Van Zwoll’s 2002 attempt to rectify this situation.

Though few seem to realize it, the gun and hunting world desperately needs decent material on marksmanship. Competition shooters have it wired but these active and talented represent less than one percent of the gun industry.

This book addresses a good part of that unattended 99 percent and makes me optimistic, thus I see this glass as full. However, it’s only a quarter, not half, full.

Wayne Van Zwoll has the credentials with solid shooting experience and a track record respectable enough to be considered for an Olympic team many years ago. He’s also a good writer and active in the gun industry as a regular contributor to the gun press.

This guy should know better.

After railing against “gun books” and their lack of shooting material in the preface, Van Zwoll spends the majority of the first 200 pages of this 322 page tome discussing exactly the same thing as every other gun book, starting with a condensed history of gun development (A Shooter’s Slice of History) and continuing with an overview of what equipment you should buy (Equipped for the Shot, Aiming.)

This is all interesting, but not on topic. The title promised to help teach us how to hit what we’re aiming at, remember? There are a handful of interesting morsels.

Examples:

Page 135 discusses that the shooting standard for Civil War era Berdan’s Sharpshooters was a 10 shot group at 200 yards with a radius from the bullseye no more than 5 inches.

Page 142-143 discusses why over-magnification is unnecessary and that iron sights can be shot just as accurately as optics:
“In prone competition, iron sight scores commonly come close to matching those shot with scopes. It’s no trick to shoot groups under half an inch at 50 meters, and in favorable weather the better shooters punch quarter-inch one-holers. So it seems odd to me that hunters insist on setting variables at 8x to 10x to shoot animals the size of a Honda Gold Wing.”

The chapter on zeroing was useful, but this is rather elementary. Van Zwoll also betrays his air of experience somewhat by showing how long he’s been out of the game

p. 144, “If National Match shooters can lob .30-06 bullets into the V-ring at 600 yards …”

High Power switched to the decimal target decades ago and High Power shooters are mostly using .223 (Service Rifle) and 6mm or 6.5mm (Match Rifle) cartridges. A few folks still shoot .308 but the only people shooting .30-06 are those shooting the John C. Garand match and that is done at 200 yards.

In discussing slings, he’s aware of the useful CW sling (p. 227), but not it’s improvement, the Ching. Eric Ching improved the CW while on the Gunsite staff and made it a production item and managed several reviews internationally by 1991, a full 11 years before this book went to print.

Is this information too hard to find? Entering “scout rifle” into Google seven of the first ten pages of the search, including the very first four sites listed, include detailed “5 W’s” information on the design, including manufacturers. Eric Ching built a web site describing his invention before 1996. And gun writers criticize the media for sloppy reporting . . .

Still, Mr. Van Zwoll is one of the gun writers truly skillful enough to write such a book. And the shooting advice given was good.

Advertisements