Wednesday Weapons Website of the Week: Art of the Rifle

art of the rifle analysisArt of the Rifle was sent to us by a friend who, like so many of us, constantly strives to improve. He noted that our recent W4, Precision Rifle Blog, was great. “Data-driven just the way we like it. And if you like that, you must like Art of the Rifle, right?”

“Sure, the book by Jeff Cooper. It’s a little dated now…”

“No, knucklehead. The blog.” So we hunted up the blog he was referring to. He liked the pseudonymous owner’s near-obsessive data collection and organization. We’ll show some examples of that momentarily.

What does the author say about his blog?

In May of 2011 I decided to begin documenting my progress in rifle shooting via a blog. Being extremely curious as to the finer points of using a rifle, and not being able to find information about that kind of stuff online, I decided to learn it and fill the information gap myself. I hope that what I do here will provide useful information or a source of some interest to you.

via About | Art of the Rifle.

To us, and perhaps to the friend who tipped us off, the most interesting part of the blog was his recent one-year attempt to hit a remarkably practically-opriented goal:

Develop the ability to hit an uncooperative moving target, no greater than 4” in diameter, inside of 200 yards at known or unknown distance, on demand, regardless of terrain, conditions, stress, tiredness, fatigue, or time constraints.

He analyzed ten different shooting positions, documenting things that are “common knowledge” (such as, a supported position is superior to unsupoported) but providing a quantitative measure of exactly how superior it is.

art of the rifle chartAt the end of his year, he posted comprehensive data (see the chart on the right for an example) and a rather bleak, but refreshingly honest, conclusion:

My actual performance in hitting the 4″ target is nowhere near my goal. It was humbling to see the results on a stationary target. It is much better to be informed than to be ignorant and to believe in capabilities that one does not actually possess.

Anybody trying that hard to get better at shooting is going to get better. Not without difficulties, plateaus, and reversals, but he’s going to get better, and if your personality is suited for his style of analytic approach, you can learn things at his blog that will help you get better.

Other parts of the blog we found very valuable are

  • the “Reading,” or sources/enrichment page, with both blogs and books referenced (indeed, Cooper’s classic Art of the Rifle makes an appearance here, suggesting that the blog’s name is inspired).
  • The Reference Section, which gathers key information and posts from the Art of the Rifle blog into a single page.

Enjoy this week’s Wednesday Weapons Website of the Week, then, Art of the Rifle Blog.

7 thoughts on “Wednesday Weapons Website of the Week: Art of the Rifle

  1. TRX

    I dunno… I’ve hit that blog before on recommendations from others, but it looks more like a link farm than a place to get useful information. What gunsmiths to patronize, what rifles to buy, what doodads to put on them, links to everything eventually going to “give us some money.”

    Not worth the trouble digging through the marketing, IMHO.

    1. Hognose Post author

      Huh. I didn’t take that away from it… he’s aggregating what the top guys in competition are using for gear; his recent recommendation on gunsmiths was, “Have your work done by a nationally-recognized guy, not a local Smith, and be prepared to wait a long time for your rifle.” I didn’t see that as marketing, especially not for anybody in particular.

      And I didn’t see him himself monetizing the blog.

  2. robroysimmons

    I think his “country music” life caused him to take a break from posting a couple years ago so I stopped reading it, but it was fascinating. I’m not sure what compulsive behavior is exactly like but he might fit the bill. Also that he likes bolt actions, semis are useful and perhaps a necessary tool , but bolts are art.

    1. robroysimmons

      FTR I would trust the local smith I have patronized over a national one. FTR in Shabbona, IL the only one in town BTW. He did some great work on a Chilean 1912 rifle, and I pulled it out of its place in the safe, and that trigger OMG. as they say.

  3. Oberndorfer

    Somewhat pedestrian.
    The ‘Olympic Prone’ turned me off.
    Still like the Appleseed idea, though.
    Over here we read this:
    We start our young shooters on the air rifle, at home.
    Ballistics, sight offstet, discipline of muzzle, triggering a shot and the magic of the followthrough are better teached at home, short learning intervals with a steep learning curve and instant gratification.
    Any decent break barrel air rifle will do,
    Crosman 1077 is a bonus and an opportunity to teach gunsmithing basics:
    how to add a scope, mount it and use it or
    tune a trigger or the muzzle
    and then go Field Target
    Don’t read thisücher/olympisches-gewehrschiessen/ücher/sport-psychology-and-competition/ücher/olympisches-pistolenschiessen/ücher/die-psyche-des-schusse/ücher/pistol-shooting/
    To the Arfcommers: get a fkning air rifle for training.
    Crosman 1077, as mentiontioned above.

  4. Oberndorfer

    And for air/CO2 pistols/revolvers check
    Browning Buck Mark URX
    Weihrauch HW40
    Umarex/Walther S&W 686

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