Best Books on pure shooting


January 7, 2006, 12:21 AM
What and why.

What are the best books you've ever read on the development of pure shooting skills - rifle or pistol?

Why do you feel the book/s were among the best you've read?

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January 7, 2006, 12:28 AM
Shooting from Within: A Guide to Maximum Performance by J. Michael Plaxco. ISBN: 0-9626925-1-4 / 0962692514.
Personal note - Plaxco is a great guy. He has the abilty to listen and observe. He is uncanny on being able to suggest and improve one's shooting. So naturally I had to get the book when he finished it.

Shotgunning: The Art and The Science Bob Brister

Brister answers most questions posted in Shotgun Forum. One cannot be a better shooter if they do not understand some software , and software requirements about their hardware.

Score Better at Skeet - Fred Misseldine
Score Better at Trap - Fred Misseldine

Misseldine also not only addresses some of Brister's ideas- alsoshares how to hit the stations - he also shares why you missed. Applicable to shotgunning other than skeet and trap.

I have met and shot with Plaxco, handgun and shotguns.
I met Brister, had the honor of shooting with the man, he signed some books.
Misseldine, spoke with him on the phone, never met in person.

Just a few to start us off....


Wllm. Legrand
January 7, 2006, 12:38 AM
The Art of the Rifle -- Jeff Cooper

A superb book on shooting, NOT rifles. Virtually all shooters I see at the range could benefit from commiting it to study..including myself.

I would also suggest the USMC Sniping manual. Much to learn there.

January 7, 2006, 12:40 AM
Now before one says something about my shotgun choices...

Yes, I see that someone likes shotguns... and is trying to make coverts! :p :D The original poster mentioned rifle and pistol!:neener:

Actually, I'm going to keep an eye on this thread. I'll see how much I can read of what's mentioned. I minus well get a head start on learning about shooting skills for when I actually get a rifle and shotgun. :)

January 7, 2006, 01:03 AM
I have edited ...
Yes I did mention shotguns in a rifle and handgun question.


The original post asked development of pure shooting skills

90% of shooting is Mental, the other 10% is Physical.

Physical includes guns, ammo, accessories, etc. Take care of the 10% , get a gun that fits you for task, get equipment that works for tasks...etc.

Once this Physical is taken care of let it be. Quit messing with it.

Now, work really hard on that Mental - this afterall is 90% of shooting.

The above sounds really good does it not? Seems applicable to all sorts of Shooting disciplines.

Oh that was not some rifle shooter, nor was it a handgunner I paraphrased in italics, that was Fred Misseldine. A shotgunner that used pump shotguns in all 4 gauges to win at skeet and continued to outshoot when he lost use of one eye.

Brister detached a Retina.
Plaxco had a hand injury...

I'm old school. Many of the old school believed and shared how Mental was 90% and Physical was only 10%.

Pure shooting skill come learning the correct basic fundamentals, and never quit re-learning them and practicing them. [Plaxco]

As I watched Plaxco just grab any old handgun and shoot well with it. Then he grabbed any shotgun handed to him and never missed a clay...even shooting from the hip.

The Mental Game comes from within. One cannot buy this in the form of a gun, ammo, gidget or gadget.

One cannot buy skill and targets.

It is good to be the Rebel, Relic, and Old School. :)

January 7, 2006, 01:16 AM
The Modern Technique of the Pistol by Greg Morrison

The Book of Two Guns by Tiger McKee

January 7, 2006, 01:21 AM
Hey sm, even as a newbie I can see that your last post was a good post. Thanks for the advice; I'll take it to heart. Hope you weren't offended by my last post.

Edit: Just realized that I can't spell.

January 7, 2006, 01:26 AM
Another HUGE vote for Jeff Cooper's "The Art Of The Rifle". One of the half-dozen or so absolutely indispensable books for any serious shooter.

January 7, 2006, 01:48 AM
No. :D

I just named my favorites. I knew some other classics would be shared.

I admit and am not ashamed to admit, there are ladies on this forum that know more about aspects of firearms and shooting than I ever will.

Clergy, like my friend Preacherman has knowledge that I will never learn.

Gary for instance, Blackpowder and History.

THR / TFL are THE Foremost Internet Knowlege base for Responsible Firearm Owners.

They just keep me around to empy the trash and clean toliets. Oh...I get to sometimes go get stuff for the breakroom.

Pure shooting? I learned a lot from Ruark as well.

I just think out of the box. I read Gary Post about Civil War events...and you know...some of that stuff still applies today. Even though the guns and ammo have changed, the abilty to shoot, basics - still work.

Read Gary's Bedtime Stories, you will read pure shooting lessons, strategy and tactics, and mental prepardness. :)

Yeah Yeah I know, the ladies room needs more toliet paper...dang women, using that stuff to clean guns or something I guess...;)

January 7, 2006, 01:55 AM
Deleted. Got mixed up, clicked the wrong forum function. Sorry for any inconvenience.

Mods, feel free to delete this post if you can/want.

January 7, 2006, 02:01 AM
Brian Enos' Practical Shooting: Beyond Fundamentals

available at his site:

Helped my shooting (competition and non-comp) greatly.

January 7, 2006, 02:39 AM
Since I originated the thread please allow me to amend my references to rifle and pistol to include shotgun. While my personal focus is primarily with rifle and pistol at this time - I did not mean to exclude shotgun - and I am all too humbly aware that the most important aspect of shooting is mental - as I believe that many of the mental skills necessary to become fast and accurate are generally transferable between all firearms - especially if one's focus is on development of pure shooting skills and not on the development of other skills or tactics.

I also do not mean to imply that tactical skill development or development of skills related to self-defense, hunting, sport, safety, etc.... - are not as important if not more important.

I brought this topic because from my own limited life experiences I have found a number of things to be generally true:

1. I can shoot all I want - and I may even accidently learn a few things as I expend thousands of rounds of ammo - but some of those things that I hap-hazardly learn will be good and some will be bad - and over all any progress I make from simply shooting round after round will be slow and mostly not productive.

2. While plinking is fun - I find that I learn a lot more when I shoot for a specific purpose.

3. Even if I shoot for a specific purpose I learn little unless I work hard to remain aware of what I am doing each time I pull the trigger

4. Given number 2 and 3 - I then find that repetition is helpful

5. Reading a book and attempting to incorporate what I have learned into my shooting makes me a better shooter

6. Shooting with an instructor or an experienced shooter is usually the quickest way for me to improve my shooting

7. Books, instruction, practice, ect... amount to nothing unless I have an open midn, i.e. - the willingness to humbly listen and the desire to learn.

8. Sometimes instructing a beginner can help me to get back needed focus in my own shooting because it forces me to focus on the basics that I can sometimes forget or take for granted.

9. I need to be able to honestly evaluate my weaknesses and limitations before I can begin to move past them - in over words I need to be self-aware

One of my weaknesses is my ability to stay focused - as an example - one day I was recording my shooting as I shot some rifle loads - this slow practice gave me time between shots to consider my mental state and focus as I shot. One thing I noticed was that the average of my first shot in any group I shot hit much closer to the point of aim than the average of any subsequent shots in any group. I remembered that when plinking I could often hit what I was aiming at with the first shot and that I often would miss follow up shots on the same target or on a similar target at a similar distance. What I eventually began to recognize was that on the first shot I am usually able to focus on just shooting the target -aligning the sight focusing on the target - bang - but on subsequent shots I found myself trying to not miss, trying to shoot a small group - etc... I was losing focus and instead of staying in the moment and living in the shot - some of my energy and focus began to stray to - don't miss - try and do it like last time - just one more shot - ect....

10. Discussing shooting and reading about shooting with good shooters only helps me to improve.

sorry I'm so long winded sometimes.

Mad Bodhi
January 7, 2006, 02:42 AM
ALL of the Jim Owens books.

January 7, 2006, 02:46 AM
and another vote for cooper's "the art of the rifle"

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