I managed to get an original copy of this timeless text, but the re-released paper back is just as good. It’s about the info inside that counts.


Most gun people know about Melvin Johnson from the M1941 Johnson rifle he designed with his company, Johnson Automatics, as a competitor to John Garand’s more successful design. Few realized that he was also a serious marksman involved in formal competition shooting.


As the name implies, Practical Marksmanship is an overview of real world field and military shooting with rifles and machine guns. While not directed specifically at competition shooting, it derives influence from the competition world, as does all high level marksmanship. Noted in the chapter, “Target Practice and the Combat Training of the Soldier”:


“Target practice, properly conduced over a sufficient period of time and with correct psychological approach, is the most efficient, the most practical, and the most valuable means of creating military character, or ‘Fighting Heart.’ “


Johnson goes from there and give guidance for making elevation and windage corrections at unknown ranges, engaging with snap shots, against moving targets, and gunnery with machine guns. Overall, this is a fairly complete, yet concise, book on field shooting I’ve read to date.