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Book series reviews

Small Arms:

NB: this is a newly released book, more reviews to come. If you wish to provide (email) an anonymous review, we will be happy to withhold your personal details.

Hello To All, I wanted to recommend a reference book that I came across recently, published September 2019, in New Zealand by Nathan Foster. I believe this book will be a useful reference, and Nathan a helpful resource, to those of you working forensic investigations or anti-poaching where determining rifle caliber may be important.

The book is titled, “Small Arms Wound Ballistics: A Graphic Guide for Military, Police, and Medical Personnel”. It documents, utilizing wound pictures, 20+ common calibers, including rifle and handgun cartridges. The book also includes information on the mechanisms by which wound channels are generated by projectiles, cartridge design, bullet types, and a host of other useful, field practical information.

Nathan has a straight forward, no BS writing style. He is excellent in his observation skills, and meticulous in his documentation. The book is available on the website: “" Click on ”Store”. I received my book within 10 days of ordering.

Best regards, Dr. Keith Amass. USA.
Hi Nathan, just writing to say that I have really enjoyed Small Arms. It has a great deal of very helpful information and I will be recommending it to peers and also referencing it within my lectures. I will keep you updated as to where and when I reference it.

Professor (withheld),  CBE QHS PhD RAMC

The Practical Guide Series:

Hi Nathan, I finished your book on cartridges and am starting the next on accurizing and maintenance. What a read that was! Absolutely fascinating. For years I’ve read about long range shooting in various books and magazine articles without any comprehensive knowledge underpinning the subject. As, I believe, many people, including many of the writers themselves did not have as well. The problem is to convince people that the time spent reading your material saves a great deal of the time, energy and money expended to acquire that knowledge. For $150 you get the benefit of a well researched, proven, essentially, doctoral thesis. So well done and thank you!


Dear Nathan, I am a 69 year old hunter, sportsman, grandfather, and retired Boeing aerospace engineer in the Seattle Washington area.

I wish to heartily congratulate you on your remarkable book, The Practical Guide to Long Range Hunting Cartridges, 2nd Ed, the electronic version of which I recently purchased, and which is so much more than a mere guide, practical or not. Few things have inspired me recently to such direct thought and action as your book.

I especially appreciate what you may not realize is a very compelling demonstration of disciplined scientific thinking and research on your part. You have climbed the intellectual heights and touched the rarified realm of science.

B. Dike, USA.


Mr. Nathan  Foster, 

My name is ..., and I’m writing from ..., ... in the USA. I recently bought your book on long range shooting, and I’d like to drop you a note and congratulate you on your work. I finished the book quickly and have started it again, this time with a highlighter.

I’d like to offer my bona fides. I’m a retired US Army sniper with combat tours, prior to that I was a sniper on two different police swat teams, and prior to that I was a competitor on the US Marine Corps shooting team. I have completed five sniper schools and have written books on the subject. I will be the first to say that I don’t have all the experience, but I do have some.

And... I have struggled for years with some things that you cleared up in less than 500 pages. For years I wondered if what I was being taught was bullshit, or if I should just work harder and concentrate more. The fact is, you can concentrate harder until you actually shit yourself, and some of this stuff will never get any better because its bullshit and we’re doing it wrong just and as exactly as you said.

I have grown tired of arguing about wind formulas and other things that I know are wrong. It was SO refreshing to read your work that validated things I learned through discovery, along the way.

Thanks again for your willingness to share your knowledge.

SGM (Retired), USA.

Hello Nathan, 
First off I want to say how impressed I am with you work!  Who did you study under? 
I am a US Army Active Duty Small Arms Repairman currently deployed to Afghanistan. I found you through Sonoran Desert Institute, as they have your work in their curriculum. I just finished reading your book, looking forwards to reading the rest of the series. Thanks for the invaluable resource.

Respectfully (Name withheld - NF).
Hi Nathan, I am writing to offer credit to your books.

Some time ago I obtained a Remington 5R rifle, chambered in 6.5 Creedmoor.  During my inspection of the rifle as per your accurizing book, I found that the action was very poorly fitted to the aluminum bedding block within the stock, appalling for a ‘Precision’ rifle. Other issues also became apparent.

But after following all of the steps in the book, I shot the following groups at 100 yards with two brands of cheap Factory ammo.  Following this, I consistently plugged 4” gongs out to 500 yards. If the range went further I’m sure I’d have hit those as well. I might add that the weather was well below freezing, so much so that it was blurring my vision.

Wishing you and your family all the best, PJ Day, USA.
Creedmoor groups
After a lot of thinking I finally decided to order the full collection of Nathan’s books. I write from Italy, and expected to receive the paper copies after months. I received the E version after completing my order and the paper copies in less than one week. Fantastic service. I am still reading, and after more than 30 years in firearms (from hunting to magazine writing to court cases in terminal ballistics), I want to testify it is GREAT stuff. Thanks Nathan.

(Name withheld - NF)

Hi Nathan, I received the whole set of your books. Wow. My brain is spinning. Going to take a bit to settle down the old gray matter. Thinking of giving away EVERY other book I own. They no longer serve any purpose, so why not?

Thank you.


Hi Nathan, I purchased your books last week and have stayed up til 2 AM most nights after work absorbing them. The knowledge and approach that you share with these books is truly invaluable. I appreciate your no BS approach and your willingness to openly share your opinions about various manufacturers and products. I feel like I have advanced my knowledge regarding all facets of shooting a hunting rifle by 1000X and I cannot wait to begin to implement your teaching. I would recommend these books to anyone who shares the goal of hunting and harvesting game with clean accurate kill shots. While your focus is on the long range hunter, I am only looking to about 400 yards as my max shooting distance, and these books are still invaluable. THANKS and feel free to use my words in any testimonial.



Hi Nathan, I just wanted to let you know that thanks to you, my reloading techniques and equipment are now top notch, my rifles are in the best shooting condition they have ever been in and I have four rifles shooting under .5 inch @ 100 yds. Even my hack 270 with a 22 in barrel is shooting .33” consistently. Your books are outstanding and you have changed my shooting perspective. I am 62 years old and shooting the best in my life.


Hey Nathan,

A friend of mine has on old Sako Forester which he bought second hand 25 years ago.The caliber is .243 and has been grouping around 2" for a while which of course is no good for any longer shots. He was about to replace the barrel but I said I'd give it a DIY birthday as per your Accurizing book to see if it made any difference.

The result was unbelievable! Attached is the group that I shot after with factory Winchester 100gr soft points. Top one was the fouler followed by 3 shot group.

I didn't even put a huge amount of concentration into the shots either!

Once again your books have made the difference.

Many thanks,

Jake, NZ

243 group


Good morning Nathan,
I just wanted to drop you a line regarding your books.  I have finished two, am half way through the third, and find them fascinating.  I showed them to my uncle, and during a visit over this past weekend, he can't seem to put them down.  Every time there is a gap in conversation he's picking up one of your books!
Thanks, Brian, USA.

I just wanted to thank you for sharing your knowledge with the public. Your website has been a fantastic tool for me. I sell firearms for a living and I’m an SDI student here in the U.S (The Practical book series is a part of the course). Watching, hearing, and reading about your research in the hunting\shooting game has helped push me to be both better and, more knowledgeable in the pursuit of my passion. The more I learn, the more that I want to learn. Thank you for your work!
Nik, USA.

This is an outstanding book for all shooters and hunters. I shared my copy with 3 friends and they bought their own copies. Going back to basics has improved my shooting skills. I was so impressed I bought all Nathan's books except the cartridge book. If I had such a comprehensive library 44 years ago I would have had more enjoyment in hunting and shooting. These books are a must have for hunters, reloaders, and precision shooting enthusiasts.  Thank you Nathan. I'm getting consistant half inch 100 yard groups after studying and applying your techniques.
Mark, USA.

Your books are great!  They arrived last week and I’ve already finished Long Range Hunting Rifles – couldn’t put it down.  The maintenance section in your book on rifle accurizing and maintenance is excellent – God knows how many youtube videos and web articles I have been through on how to clean a gun properly but your approach based on the core principles of the task at hand is pure genius – I finally get it.  I started the Reloading book last night.
So I just wanted to say thanks and awesome effort.
Cheers, David, NZ.

Nathan, a couple of months back I purchased your book Practical Guide to Long Range Shooting.

I must congratulate you on your efforts.

Being a hunter with over 20 years’ experience and wanting to expand my boundaries I have often found myself carrying out techniques that I thought felt right but continually questioned myself over those techniques when watching those on Youtube that are apparent experts and seeing different. This lead to me having a mish mash of technique.
What was refreshing was that my thoughts and reasoning on some components of my technique were not that far off what you recommend.

So a month ago when I went to test a new load for my 30-06 I went in open minded adopting your method wholly and soley of two hand on the rifle and shooting across bags and I was amazed at the results.

The first three shots of load one cut one ragged whole, the next three shot group did the same. I then got a little keen and didn’t slow down as you suggest and put down a 5 shot group of 20mm, but the two shots that went wide , #2 and #4 I called pulled to my mate before I had looked at the shot fall on the target. And low and behold I was right; something that I have never been able to at all, let alone with any degree of confidence.

 From there I suggested to my mate & spotter to brew up and we had a break.

Over the next 40 minute I put down three more three shot groups two of, being once again one ragged hole and the third a 14mm group. All the shooting was done at 100 yards testing 168 grain Berger Classic Hunters in my Sauer 30-06. I have now settled on a load and I am in the process of completing a Drop Chart and looking forward to getting back into the bush to verify the drops.

Thanks once again Nathan, you have nailed the book.  It is the right mix of encouragement but no fluffy bullshit and great explanations to those that do not have the best technical mind.

Dave, Australia.

I bought Nathan Fosters books and they have made a huge difference in my shooting and reloading technique and field accuracy in a very short time, though I was not just getting started.  I highly recommend you buy the books, read carefully, apply yourself  rigorously and learn your personal limits experimentally.  The books are a wealth of information that you will not find so condensed anywhere else to my knowledge.  You will save more in time, ammo and useful gun life and avoid bad investments, so you really can't afford not to buy the books considering. You will note that all the books are titled starting with "The Practical Guide", and they are precisely practical.
Mark, USA.

The book arrived. And I just want to tell you it's a friggin good read!
Can't stop reading while on vacation! I haven't read the other book from the series,
but you have written the things that have been on my mind for some time. 
One of the best books for long range shooting in years. My opinion. 
Especially for beginners, not much new to me but it helps a lot. 
And who knows what's coming within the next pages ;-)
Cheers, Jan, USA.

(On holiday...)

Jan shooting book WS

Hi a mate of mine who previously a bow hunter, last year had never fired a firearm bought these books. I have grown up around hunting and firearms but now I turn to him for advice!  So I had to buy the books. The books are fantastic and a perfect "straight up and down" guide to rifles and long range shooting. Thank you for producing such great books with all you need to know and nothing you don’t need to know.

Regards, Ryan, NZ

Hi Nathan.
Just a quick note to say I can’t count all my students who are profoundly grateful for my cutting through all the BS in my sport and improving their game - as in right now! Visible, repeatable progress in minutes, not hours or days. Your Knowledge Base is no less invaluable to those of us who want to skip all the BS and computer generated opinions. Thank you Nathan and very well done. You’ve saved all of us out here many thousands of wasted hours and dollars experimenting with your sage and experienced advice. Much appreciated Nathan.
Dan, USA

Dear Nathan,

I just want to Thank You! I read all five of your books. You made complex subjects simple and practical. I learned a lot. And, you have definitely helped me to improve my skills.
Best wishes to you and your family.
Franklin, USA.

Results speak for themselves.
I followed Nathan's book as close to the letter as I could with a 338-06 that I had built on a Remington 700 action.  The patterns I saw were all one inch or less, and one in the group was closer to 0.5" which I have never shot before.  VIHT N-150 Powder loaded to about 97% of max with 225 grain SST's were the combination.  There were definitely better groups as I got closer to the lands but any of them would have worked for regular hunting.  One of them would work for longer range shooting if I chose to go that route with softer bullets.
This book is simple, and based upon real experience.  My success as a novice reloader in following this book step by step speaks volumes.  It works.
Lane, USA.

I have been hunting and shooting for a good 25 years but until I read Nathan's books (particularly "Long range shooting"), I had not been able to shoot groups under 0.5" at 100 m. During this summer (Sweden) I have shot several groups under 0.35" with my 223 barrel (Blaser rifle), under 0.5" with my 8x57 barrel and today I went under 0.5" for the first time with my new 338 WM barrel (285 gr ELD-M). Happy like a kid on Christmas  If anyone reading this is thinking of buying the books I can assure you - they are worth every penny! I know others have commented on this note but can't help echoing them after seeing for myself how well it works. Hands down (hats off or whatever you say in English) for Nathan. There is a lot left for me to do to be consistent around or under 0.5" with the 338 but now I know that it is possible. Looking forward to moving further out in due time to see how far I can take it. Thank you Nathan!
Patrik, Sweden.

Hi Nathan,
I recently got a copy of your book 'The Practical  Guide to Longe Range Shooting' and am about half way through. I am writing this to say thanks for the wake up call. I  have been hunting and shooting most of my 40 odd years of life. I was taught by my father and he by his father. I distinctly remember him telling me how to shoot. A few years ago I decided to try my hand at long range.  Not sure how or when or even why, but somewhere along the line I adopted the modern poor technique you speak of. It has worked  for me with my maximum ranged kill on a Tahr out to 720m, however beyond that on steel I have not had much success with first round hits.
So coming back to your book, after reading the first few chapters I became aware of all the things you say not to do... I  was doing.  I  was now eager to put it to the test as any keen shooter would.
I  am currently  instructing on a hunter training course so I took an opportunity  to shoot a couple of groups at 200m between the serials. The first using current doctrine, the second using your recommendations.  Results?.. what a difference!!  The currently fashionable method produced a 38mm group at 200m and your techniques a 16mm group at 200m. Now I am not a refined and skilled target shooter but thats the best I have ever got out of this particular rifle.
200m groups
I  realize that this is only one group on one day and also on a range, but I am now sold! And am keen to practice further and at longer ranges.
On another note, I started getting the students to make adjustments to their positions and holds on their rifles based on your recommendations, and  BOOM...What a difference in their groups at 100m. Some who had never fired a rifle  before were producing 1-1.5  inch groups.  Still room for improvement but a good start. The transition to confidence and smiling faces made it well worthwhile.
So, again thanks for the wake up call.
Tristan, NZ.

Just wanted to thank you Nathan for providing solid practical advice in your latest book "Practical guide to long range shooting".
Reading through the early chapters about shooting form and position was sobering. I'm used to shooting at longer distances (out to 1000m) but knew my form wasn't conducive to consistency. Yes, I was one of those plonkers as per the book.
After receiving your latest book as a birthday pressie, it spurred me into following your advice, adopting your recommended techniques and getting my body into a better position. This really helped to smooth out the effects of breathing - I could definitely control the crosshairs on the target much better.
It's funny that in your book, you state there will be people at the range who try to poo poo these methods. I had one such insistence recently when shooting on a 600m military range. One chap, big beard, looks like he's been round the block a bit, comes over after seeming me head shot those military man size restive targets 10 for 10 using my 6.5x47 in a 20mph right to left wind, and says "your form is all wrong. We taught the army snipers to forget about the forend and double grip the rifle. That's the key." He then proceeded to demonstrate a grip that resembled those 1970's cops holding their Smith & Wesson revolvers.
I approached it with an open mind. I let another 10 rounds down and I had some misses. I definitely felt way less stable, especially as I felt the rifle cant in my hands (bipod wasn't loose at all).
Needless to say, I went back to your techniques, and even though I didn't have a sling and was off a bipod, I went back to almost boring accuracy.
Many thanks Nathan for pushing me to do better!
Konrad, UK.

Long Range Shooting Cover web

IMG 9794 septread WS

cover page Reloading

Prone work WS

Cover page

Dave and I WL

Book 3 Cover mil dot

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Hunting cartridges book cover contrast



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We are a small, family run business, based out of Taranaki, New Zealand, who specialize in cartridge research and testing, and rifle accurizing.