June 02, 2011
By J. Scott Rupp
When you open a book on rifle accuracy and are greeted with a quote from the author, "The wind is my friend," you know you've come to the right place.
Benchrest Hall of Famer Tony Boyer has just come out with a book, The Book of Rifle Accuracy, that will appeal to any rifle shooter seeking the utmost in accuracy. Now, it is benchrest-centric, which is great if you're currently a benchrest shooter or are thinking about taking it up. If that's the case, this book is a must-have.
However, I think it's also a must have for any rifle enthusiast — NRA highpower, metallic silhouette, F Class shooters and more — for whom accuracy is the Holy Grail. And that goes for hunters like me who want to get the most out of ourselves and our rifles.
The section on scope mounting alone is a valuable reference. Boyer passes along techniques such as "bedding" scope bases for a better fit — a simple method that still allows the bases to be removed. Or filing the screw tabs on scope rings so they don't "collapse."
As you might expect, Boyer spends a lot of time discussing the finer details of reloading, and if you're a beginner to intermediate-level reloader, you'll learn all kinds of new things — from adjusting dies with shims to an in-depth explanation of neck turning.
As someone who actually enjoys cleaning rifles and is always looking for ways to improve my methods, I really like Boyer's approach. Plus he gives some great advice on how to tackle problems such as carbon rings that can affect how well a rifle shoots.
And even though it's written for benchresters, anyone who spends time at a bench with any kind of rifle can learn a ton about proper bench technique. I know I've watched enough people at the public range where I shoot who have horrible form or a poor bench setup and who can't understand why their "rifle" won't group worth a damn. Boyer's chapters on bench equipment and posture would do wonders for those guys.
Real rifle cranks will love the chapter on rifle tuning, starting with barrel harmonics and progressing through an detailed example of how Boyer tweaks his loads (and he includes a nice methodology for tuning hunting rifles as well).
And if you check out this book for no other reason, the chapter on reading conditions is one of the most valuable resources I've seen on this topic. Yes, it's all based on reading range flags, but a lot of the information translates to the field.
The Book of Rifle Accuracy is available from the publisher, Turk's Head (206-782-4164 ext. 0). The hardcover costs $43; softcover is $35.