Advanced Tactical Marksman
More High-Performance Techniques for Police, Military, and Practical Shooters
Dave M. Lauck
Paladin Press Publishing 2002

(Buy from

18 September 2004
By Scott (not Powers)

This book is sold as a follow-on tome to the author's first rifle oriented book, The Tactical Marksman. In addition to this book, Mr. Lauck is well known in tactical shooting circles as the founder of the International Tactical Rifleman's Championship, the president and founder of D&L Sports and the Small Arms Training Academy (SATA) and as one of the top gunsmiths in the U.S. Dave was also a top notch shooting competitor and law enforcement officer. Suffice to say that he is a seasoned shooter and has the credentials to write about advanced tactical shooting. This book has ten chapters on subjects ranging from firearms safety, rifle selection, zeroing, and maintenance procedures. It also has a small appendix with training targets and a glossary section.

The book is well written and illustrated. The illustrations are of very good quality and do an excellent job of illustrating the author's concepts and ideas throughout the book. There is a wealth of information scattered throughout the ten chapters, however experienced shooters will most likely know everything they need regarding ammunition selection, maintenance, and marksmanship. That said, my strongest complaint about the book is its almost catalog type flavor - there is an inordinate amount of text and photos devoted to what is basically a sales pitch for Dave's products. I don't fault the author for trying to make a living and I do think that Dave thinks his products are the best thing going on the market. However, I don't want to pay my hard earned cash for an advanced training manual and get a large portion of it devoted to a sales pitch.

For example, the rifle selection chapter is almost entirely devoted to briefly discussing Mr. Lauck's Two Rifle Concept and then several pages and photos regarding the development of his Professional Perimeter Carbine and MPG30 bolt gun. I am not bashing Mr. Lauck's gunsmithing work and would welcome the opportunity to own some of his excellent weapons. However, over half the pages of this chapter describing or showcasing his products is a bit much. Likewise, he does not offer many alternative suggestions to his products - use a low mounted AR15 as a carbine (preferably one built by him) or else you won't get any useful information. The Optics selection chapter is similar - the D&L modified reticle is better than mil-dots, the D&L modified turret for the NXS scope is better, etc.

I don't doubt that Mr. Lauck's gear is top notch and that his recommendations are sound, however most police and military snipers will never have the opportunity to use or be issued a D&L modified NXS scope, or one of his high dollar modified carbines or bolt guns. Most operators need information on how to get advanced level performance from the tools they have - and the book does have a lot of good information in this regard - but its surrounded by a lot of wasted space and photos devoted to the sales pitch. In my opinion, the book would have been far more enjoyable and useful if Mr. Lauck had spent more time and effort on the practical information part vice hocking his products.

Regardless of the sales pitch aspect, the book still has a lot of useful information for advanced shooting applications - angle shooting, shots through intermediate barriers, and low light/no light applications. This information is of great value, however it can be found in other sniping related texts such as John Plaster's The Ultimate Sniper and Mike Lau's The Military and Police Sniper without being buried in a sales pitch for the author's products and services.

Consequently, I cannot recommend this book to most shooters - your money is best spent elsewhere such as with books by Lau and Plaster. If you have these books and just like reading about tactical shooting in general, then this book may be of passing interest to you. If you love to drool over pics and descriptions of custom guns, then the book will be of even greater interest you. If you are looking for a true advanced shooting book that is far more user friendly and less hype then stay away from this one - Lau and Plaster (as well as Dean Michealis' .50 Hard Target Interdiction) are far better.


The views presented in this article are solely the author's and do not represent any official views or endorsements by the U.S. Government.

Scott (not Powers) is a former Federal LEO and Military Officer with extensive tactical experience. He is currently an international security advisor to the Government of Colombia

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