There are people who say you can’t learn things like shooting from a book. That’s true, in a sense; there’s a physical component that can only be learned through repetition. There is the interaction between the shooter and the environment that has to be experienced to be understood. But to learn a discipline like precision rifle shooting, there’s a lot of technical data to ingest, and as far as we’re concerned, there’s no way to deal with the extensive detail involved that approaches an ink-and-trees book.
At Calibre, where print media is an obsession, we’ve seen it all: countless books on reloading, on collecting, on restoration, on hunting, even on ballistics. But we have never seen a book that so thoroughly addresses the use of optics as Reg Wales’ Ultimate Optics Guide. Wales, a retired Canadian army corporal with a whole lot of heavy dirt time, now serves as a technical field advisor for the seemingly unstoppable Vortex Optics, drawing heavily on his experiences not only as a soldier, but as a committed hunter and trophy-winning competition shooter to take the reader through everything from the basics of scope selection and reticle design to the mathematics of range-finding. You can so clearly see his experience when you read this book which goes over instructions and guides so much better than others on the market – you can tell he has really focussed on learning how to format a book in a way that makes what he’s saying clear to the reader.
In this straightforward, plain-english textbook, the author answers question after question about the minutiae of rifle optics, their use and design. The book is filled with practical tips and exercises to sharpen the reader’s skill set and should be on the bookshelf, if not in the range bag, of any serious student of the rifle.
And while Vortex Optics may have put this project on Reg’s doorstep, don’t mistake this for a marketing trojan horse. Yes, the photos may come from the Vortex Optics catalog, but this is unadulterated nuts-and-bolts information and will apply to any optic from any quality manufacturer. The Ultimate Optics Guide is no sales pitch for Vortex.
But this is a sales pitch for the Ultimate Optics Guide: go buy one! This should be required reading for anyone who would benefit from a thorough knowledge of rifle sighting systems.