Obsessions of a RIFLE LOONY

“…today, accurate rifles are as easy to acquire as a tattoo and less interesting.”

“…rifles, religion and pickup trucks are normally chosen because of family tradition more than anything else.”

John Barsness and his charging buffalo research project.

It’s the insightful and dry comedic lines like these that have made John Barsness‘ writing on guns the most entertaining in print. Not only is Barsness’ writing entertaining, its educational. Partly because John does not just repeat stuff he has read or heard, he actually tests and investigates various theories and claims to learn the truth for himself. And, partly because he has the ability to take what he has discovered and present it to readers in a easy to absorb fashion that relates to the real world application of rifles, hunting or the proper technique for bragging about both.

I’ve read almost every book Barsness has written and can tell you that Life of the Hunt is the best collection of hunting stories that I have ever read. Some say this book makes you feel like you were there, I say it makes you deeply wish you had been.

Barsness’ Optics for the Hunter book is considered by many to be the bible of information on riflescopes and binoculars. You cannot read this book without learning something on optics…I don’t care how many times you read it.

His new book, Obsessions of a Rifle Loony, is a collection of essays on rifle related topics ranging from the serious chapter on Efficient Cartridges to the somewhat comical, My Cartridge is Better than Yours. I’m sort of a nostalgic kind of guy and my favorite chapter was the last; Tools for the Badlands.

Barsness on the range.

But there is more than just moody narratives and comical satire. There are chapters on cartridges by caliber from .224 to .30 and even a complete chapter on the .416 Rigby; all based on Barsness’ experiences in the field and from the bench with each. The book also contains chapters on bedding a stock, mounting a scope, recoil proof scopes and even shooting in open country.

Barsness' latest book comes in any color you want as long as its black.

Obsessions of a Rifle Loony is 328 pages of education and entertainment. You can spend hundreds of dollars trying to learn every thing in this book on your own or have it shipped to your door for $ 23.50. You can enjoy the read, impress all your shooting buddies with your rifle knowledge and let the dog-eared copy occupy a place on your bookshelf right beside Life of the Hunt and Optics for the Hunter. Oh, you don’t have those books either?  Shame on you, because you’re not a REAL rifle RIFLE LOONY.

John Barsness (right) helped me find my first black bear and mule deer. Both in Montana. He also convinced me that I was indeed a RIFLE LOONY.


About gunwriter

Born and raised in the West Virginia hills, Richard literally grew up in the woods. He has chased coon hounds until daylight, waited out whitetails perched high in an oak, canoed the New River and hunted from the Montana Mountains to the Green Hills of Africa. During service in the Army and later as a municipal police officer and Special Agent with the railroad police, Richard obtained numerous certifications in small arms instruction. He has trained military personnel, law enforcement officers and civilians in the application of firearms for defensive, competitive and recreational use. Richard won the West Virginia Governor’s Twenty Award for law enforcement, the West Virginia National Guard State Pistol Competition and earned his Distinguished Medal with pistol. Badge turned in, Richard is now a contributing editor for several magazines. He was the compiling author of the book, Rifle Bullets for the Hunter and conceptualized and contributed to Selecting and Ordering a Custom Hunting Rifle. Richard also contributed a chapter to the John Velke book, The True Story of the Baldwin-Felts Detective Agency. Richard has patents on a riflescope reticle and a revolutionary bullet testing media. A hillbilly at heart, Richard lives on Shadowland - his shooting range in West Virginia - with the most understanding wife in the world, their three kids and a very protective ridgeback hound.
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4 Responses to Obsessions of a RIFLE LOONY

  1. RG says:

    I second everthing you have written above, everything. I too have all his books (and his wife’s recent excellent cook book) and try to stay up with his monthly columns where ever they may be. A guy that doesn’t B.S is hard to find and can’t be beat.


  3. Pingback: Mule Deer Too | EMPTY CASES

  4. Pingback: Real Targets – Train Like You Will Hunt | EMPTY CASES

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