Sight Alignment, Trigger Control and "The Big Lie"
By M/SGT James R. Owen, USMC (Ret.)

< 1999
By Scott Powers

I highly recommend this training guide to new and old shooters alike. While it has nothing to do with the art of sniping, it covers all the fundamentals one needs to master before ever expecting to hit consistently at long range. The author, no slouch as a skilled marksman, has won several medals and is a High Master. He has coached for many Marine corps teams. He is not an armchair shootist. The book actually consists of two separate "books." The first deals with things like sight alignment, natural point of aim, trigger control and other essential skills for the long range sharpshooter. The writing style is very enjoyable, never preachy, and filled with useful tips. Geared toward the High Power competitor, Mr. Owens answers many of the questions new shooters stumble on when entering that sport. If you have ever wondered how someone can hit a bulls eye at 600 yards using open sights, this book will answer most of your questions.

The second "book," the "Big Lie," is a refreshing look at the Minute of Angle Rule, also known as the Windage and Elevation rule. To quote his forward: "Anything repeated often enough, long enough or loud enough, becomes true; even a big lie." This section deals with the inevitable result of buying into the lie--chasing the spotter and wasting valuable ammunition. He covers shot dispersion and how it affects your cone of fire. How many times have you hit a target 3 inches left of center, moved your sight three right, only to have the next round strike three inches right of center. After reading this section, it becomes very clear why that happened. The neat thing is that, after you read his theory, you will slap yourself and say "Of course! Why didn't I think of that!"

The last portion of the book may be the most valuable as far as equipment goes. In it are listed the names and addresses of many big names in the barrel and action making business. Not surprisingly, they all seem to have worked together at one time or another. There is also a trouble shooting section that answers some basic problems one can encounter when one's zero changes or rifle loses accuracy.

In closing, if you have not yet become the marksman you want to be, this training guide will start you off on the right foot. If you are skilled with the rifle but find inconsistencies creeping into your groups, a quick review of the material will put you back on track.

You can find the book through Champions Choice, Champions Shooting Supplies or Creedmoore, or order directly from Jim: 414-796-9862. He also has a book called "Reading the Wind and Coaching Techniques" which I will be reviewing soon!

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