Successful hunting requires an accurate rifle. Pretty obvious really.
But what do you need to know to get an accurate long range hunting rifle? And how do you separate the marketing hype; the misinformation; the theoretical, this *should* work advice; and the good intentions of the misinformed from the nuts & bolts practical reality?
Whether you want to shoot across a clearing, a valley or way out long, you need an accurate rifle. Without a great rifle, you are in for a lot of frustration and a lot of disappointment. It is like having poor quality tools or simply the wrong tools for the job. You’ll be lucky to get the job done, will most likely end up with a poor result (or no result) and will probably do a lot of damage along the way.
The Practical Guide to Long Range Hunting Rifles draws on the vast experience of Nathan Foster and provides a completely fresh approach to the subject of the long range hunting rifle. It educates the reader about basic rifle engineering and the physics involved in accurate shooting - covering a range of topics right through to the final result - the ultimate long range hunting tool.
The style of writing pulls no punches and covers everything a reader needs to know before selecting a long range rifle, regardless of whether the reader is selecting a factory rifle or selecting the components for a custom rifle build - or wondering how to improve the accuracy and performance of their current rifle.
This book is suitable for people of all backgrounds regardless of their shooting experience or their understanding of rifles - catering for the both the novice and the experienced shooter alike. The book removes the head aches from the rifle accuracy game and gives you. the reader, the knowledge you need to fully understand what it takes to achieve a truly accurate and reliable long range rifle.
The Practical Guide to Long Range Rifles is one of the best investments you will ever make when entering into the field of long range hunting or precision shooting. It is filled with detailed photos and descriptions - over 500 pages packed full of helpful information. No stone is left unturned and no information is held back. Whether read cover to cover or used as reference guide to return to again and again, Nathan gives his entire body of experience to the reader in his usual caring, supportive and highly readable manner.
This book is a must-read for:
Experienced shooters, and
Tactical research organizations.
This book is essential for learning how to evaluate future rifle designs by understanding rifle engineering concepts and principles that contribute to rifle accuracy and is very effective at removing the confusion that exists as a result of the large quantities of misinformation that exist - especially online.
The book also serves as a clear buyer beware and helps both the novice and the experienced shooter to get it right!
Nathan Foster lives and breathes what he teaches. He has a long established background in the gun industry, recognized for his extensive research and for educating and supporting hunters around the world.
Nathan has taken over 7500 head of game testing the performance of a wide range of cartridges and projectiles and is a worldwide expert in the field of terminal ballistics. His ongoing research has been carefully recorded, analyzed and documented in his online cartridge knowledge base for the benefit of all hunters and shooters - as published on this website.
Rifle accurizing and long range shooting are among Nathan’s core specialities and passions. For many years, Nathan has provided both rifle accurizing services and a long range shooting school. Nathan is also the designer of the MatchGrade bedding products and has assisted many 1000's of hunters worldwide to improve their rifle accuracy, shooting technique and hunting success.
You can find out more about Nathan’s background by going here >>
You can view Nathan’s extensive research on cartridge and projectile performance by going here >>
Here is a small preview of what is in the book.
Nathan takes a close look at the rifle stock and the strengths and weakness of different stock materials. He also looks at the advantages and disadvantages of different stock designs and the different aspects of each of the different stock designs. He provides clear recommendations for stock selection when focusing on an accurate long range hunting tool.
Nathan breaks down all the key components of the action which he regards as the ‘heart’ of the accurate rifle platform. He discusses the different design principles followed in each of the common actions (and some of the not so common ones) and the strengths and weakness of each of the different designs. The bolt is covered in detail along with the trigger and various magazine considerations that you need to be aware of along with what modifications are usually required to factory actions to get them performing adequately when focusing on long range hunting.
The barrel is analyzed extensively by Nathan discussing the pros and cons of stainless versus chrome moly and the three different methods of making a barrel - cut, forged or buttoned. Barrel contour is carefully discussed outlining the key things you need to consider when selecting the appropriate barrel contour for your needs.
Twist rates and rifling designs are also carefully explained along with the essentials that you need to understand regarding the reamer and the muzzle and the impact of both these areas on rifle accuracy.
Finally the different metal finishes are discussed along with the different advantages and disadvantages of each of the finishes that need to be taken into account (along with environmental factors) when deciding on the appropriate finish to choose for your rifle.
The importance of rifle bedding in respect to accuracy is discussed along with guidelines for how to inspect your rifles bedding job and determine whether it is quality bedding job. Guidelines are also provided for planning a bedding job and ensuring you get a good outcome whether you are doing this on a DIY basis or with the help of a gunsmith.
Nathan breaks down the key components of a good rifle scope and what you cannot afford to make compromises on when selecting a rifle scope. He looks at the different aspects of the scope itself along with things you need to consider when selecting an appropriate set of rings and a base and how to best go about fitting optics.
Muzzle brakes are discussed looking at the pros and cons of various designs. Nathan highlights various considerations that are often missed when considering a muzzle brake and implores his readers to carefully consider the different design features of various muzzle brakes before selecting a brake. He also recommends that his readers carefully consider whether a brake is necessary - don’t use a brake to make up for poor shooting technique.
Nathan discusses the various types of suppressors that are available along with the advantages and limitations of the suppressor. The often neglected areas of safety and suppressed barrel maintenance and inspection are covered in detail. How game react to suppressors is also discussed.
From old to new, sling designs and materials are explored as an essential aspect of rifle accuracy. Nathan explains the pros and cons of various designs along with some of the more subtle factors that are sometimes overlooked .
The bipod is studied with a focus on identifying design flaws versus effective designs. A bipod can be a great tool or a hinderance, learn how to determine which designs work and which don’t.
The Rifle Case / Bag
Gun case design has evolved a great deal over the last decade. Each form of case has merit for different hunting situations. Here again we see a practical approach to selecting the right tool for the job. Do you need a case or a sniper drag bag? Is a drag bag suitable for general hunting?
Factory versus Custom Rifles
Nathan takes a different approach to the factory versus custom question, removing headaches and confusion. Nathan understands that many readers will have wanted these questions answered from the get go. But through the lessons in his book, the reader develops a much deeper understanding of the rifle before entering into the factory versus custom debate. With the right information, the reader is able to make clear and concise decisions about the right tool for the job. Also, with a change of perspective as to how we normally view the factory versus custom question, the reader is able to see the ‘big picture’ towards achieving both short and long term goals. As always, examples of various rifles and projects are given to provide context in a way that all readers will relate to and find extremely useful.
It may be tactical but is it practical? In this section, Nathan explores how military sniper rifle design has impacted long range hunting. Focusing on practical elements, the questions are asked; if a certain rifle design has military approval, does that really make that rifle an optimum tool? What aspects of military rifle design can we take away and utilize. Tactical knock off rifles are also studied for both weaknesses and where potential strengths can be exploited.
Rifle Round Up
Throughout The Practical Guide to Long Range Hunting Rifles, Nathan discusses many brands of rifle design in great detail. In the Rifle Round Up section, In clear pro/con list form, Nathan summarizes the strengths and limitations of each of the major rifle brands and model variations. Personal comments and notes are attached to each summary based on Nathan’s extensive experience working with each brand. This section helps the reader avoid pitfalls, highlighting such factors as magazine lengths versus cartridge suitability as well as ease of gunsmithing or DIY work. The Rifle Round Up serves as a succinct platform for long range rifle decision making.
We find that there is two main questions that buyers ask themselves before buying a book like this. Firstly, will I be able to find the time to read it?
The Practical Guide to Long Range Hunting Rifles is structured so that it can be read from cover to cover or used as a reference guide and referred back to time and time again.
Every section has a summary of the key points contained in that section so that you can get a clear understanding of the highlights of each individual section or take a deep dive and get immersed in the detail.
You can easily purchase the book and jump straight to the section that is of interest to you at this exact moment in time and then refer back to other sections at a later date. Or - you can settle into a chair and read it from cover to cover. Both approaches should deliver each individual what they are looking for.
The second key question that our readers often have is - will I understand it? Is the book too technical for me? Is it too lightweight?
The book is suitable for people of all backgrounds regardless of their shooting experience. It is simple enough for the novice but meaty enough for the experienced shooter.
Those with very little technical experience will find the book full of practical insights that get straight to the heart of the matter while the experienced shooter will find the book significantly broadens their understanding. Nathan educates his readers following his usual supportive, highly readable and unpretentious style.
Nathan has helped me in so many ways over the years. The amount I have learned from this guy is incredible. Even after feeling I had a very strong body of knowledge and experience, this book has taken my understanding of accurate rifles to an entirely different level.
Oscar Williams, NZ
I have the highest of respect for Nathan. His thirst for knowledge in this area and his commitment to sharing his knowledge and helping hunters worldwide is simply awesome.
Helmut Pleiter, NZ
After years of long range hunting, this book greatly broadened my understanding of what makes an excellent, accurate, long range hunting rifle. Nathan’s experience and knowledge is incredible and his knowledge of this area is, in my experience, is second to none!
David Kelly, NZ
Hi Nathan, What a fantastic publication!!
I have been shooting and hunting for years and I received so much useful info from this guide!
Keep up the good work mate,
Jarrod Todd, Australia
I am writing to say that have I received and read your book, cover to cover. What an eye opener. I wish I had read it prior to purchasing my current rifle. Still I will now work towards a stable, well constructed .308 platform based on your sage observations. It is amazing that now when I read manufacturer details on the web, they include almost no useful detail (.. knob detail, colour, railing etc) and I now have a long check list before buying.....
Shawn Sturland, U.S
Hello Mr. Foster
I have been really enjoying your book. I have both the hardcopy and the PDF for when I'm on the road. Three things strike a chord with me. First, your down to earth and pragmatic approach to getting the most out of our rifles and what to realistically expect from them. Second, your overriding ethics towards the animals at the other end of our guns. And third, your sensitivity to hunters/shooters of limited financial means, but who, nevertheless, will sacrifice a great deal to own the finest tools they can.
Bob Hachadoorian, U.S
You may recall I contacted you about getting a copy of long Range Hunting Rifles for possible review in one of the magazines I write for. I received my copy and have thoroughly enjoyed reading it.
One thing that pleased me considerably were your comments on H-S Precision rifles. I have a Pro series 2000 Varmint model in 243WSSM. This rifle had ammo matched to it and with no tinkering will shoot slightly sub .25 groups at 100 yards. this is more than good enough for my purposes.
As I said the book was really enjoyable and in formative, I will do what I can to promote it over here.
Kind regards to you and yours,
Mike Powell, U.S
I received my book and read it through over two days. Excellent!
So clear and informative, logical, no-nonsense. Wish I had this information many years ago... instead of wasting time reading various gun magazines (marketing hype) or trying to sort out between different opinions on internet forums.
I have been thinking, in almost every single posting you make on the forum, there is some deep wisdom gained from years of experience, and I would somehow like to keep track of all that and not lose it. I have been wanting to copy and paste your replies into a continuously updated word file, arranged according to subjects. So far been too busy to do this; best if you publish a series of books; I'm more than happy to buy all the books you can think of...
Btw, I also like your style of writing, not only the substance. And I read and write lots of stuff in my job.
Can't wait for the next book!
Jussi Vihanta, Luxembourg
The Practical guide to Long Range Hunting is completely different to many other books. It is based on hard-won, grassroots, practical field experience.
Nathan Foster lives and breathes long range hunting, accurate rifles and terminal ballistics. He accurizes rifles, continually researches the performances of cartridges and projectiles and trains students in long range hunting. This is his full-time occupation.
The Practical Guide to Long Range Hunting is not theoretical. It doesn’t contain any *shoulds* or *maybes* but is based on clear, practical, no-nonsense experience. It is filled with detailed photos and descriptions. No stone is left unturned and no information is held back. Whether read cover to cover or used as reference guide you will find yourself returning to it again and again.
After reading this book you will find yourself equipped with the information necessary to obtain an accurate rifle suitable for long range hunting. If your current rifle isn’t performing to an adequate standard then you will have a clear understanding about what needs to be done to either replace it or improve it
This book covers what you need to be aware of when considering purchasing a factory rifle for long range hunting and the key things you need to bear in mind and that should influence your purchasing decisions if you decide to build a custom rifle.
The book clearly identifies marketing gimmicks that you need to be aware of and components that may look crucial but are not practical when utilized in common hunting environments.
Using the information contained in this book you will be able to arm yourself with an accurate long range hunting rifle that combined with good ammunition, a good hunting process and good shooting technique will see you substantially lift your hunting and shooting success.
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