In 1997, Colonel Jeff Cooper, the founder of Gunsite Academy, wrote “The Art of the Rifle.” This book remains one of the best resources on rifle shooting for hunting, competition and even self-defense. Though Cooper passed in 2006, Gunsite’s rifle shooting doctrine is still largely influenced by what Cooper wrote 20 years ago.

Gunsite Academy instructor Il Ling New teaches many of the rifle courses at Gunsite and is an accomplished hunter. Here are a dozen sound lessons covered in the Gunsite 270 Rifle class. New considers these important if you want to perfect the art of the rifle. These tips apply to all types of rifle shooting, whether it’s a bolt action or AR-15.

Don’t assume that because you grew up in a hunting family or were in the military that you truly know how to shoot and manage a rifle. I did both, and I did not know what I did not know. My rifle shooting improved measurably after taking the 270 Rifle course at Gunsite. These 12 tips might not seem that important, but they are. They work together to help you concentrate on the most important aspects of rifle shooting:

  • Safety
  • Sight alignment
  • Trigger control

Fast, accurate and precise rifle shooting is an art. Learn it or miss.

This article was originally published in “Ballistic” Fall 2017. To order a copy, visit

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