A comprehensive introduction to the art of precision shooting.
Sajnog (How to Shoot Like a Navy SEAL, 2013, etc.) is a retired Navy SEAL who spent the bulk of his adult life as an elite firearms instructor; he helped develop the program currently used for training Navy SEAL snipers. The author covers everything one could imagine as relevant, including training methods, tactics, and equipment with helpful images explaining proper form. The rigor and comprehensiveness of these sections is commendable, though to be expected given Sajnog’s background. What the reader might not expect is an extended discussion of a shooter’s proper “mindset,” which demands focus, commitment, even a sense of principled purpose. A key concept is “virtuosity,” or the disciplined mastery of a particular skill through constant practice. While obviously an instructional manual, the book also gives a welcome aperture into the military mindset. While the counsel regarding “How To Live Like a Warrior” can be maddeningly macho—“Grow a set of NUTs (nonnegotiable, unalterable terms) and live by them”)—a life devoted to honor, courage, and sacrifice is richly articulated nonetheless. Also, amidst the sometimes–heavy-handed bravado, are reminders that soldiers live in perilously close contact with their mortality: “You need to be able to shoot effectively first or that cool new light is only going to help your teammates find your corpse.” The book’s range is surprising and includes a fascinating discussion of the neuroscience behind muscle memory, furnishing insight into the way the human brain learns through repetition. Sajnog strays beyond his field of expertise, dispensing nutritional advice—carbs are the enemy—that is both tangential and dubious. Also, we see far too many close-up photographs of the author donning sunglasses and holding a big gun. This book is primarily useful to people who use guns for a living and obsessive gun aficionados. Very few people need to use weapons as proficiently as a Navy SEAL, and this book won’t magically transform anyone into a top soldier. However, it still offers a gripping illustration of military life from someone who has lived in the rarified air of its upper ranks.
A worthy read for the gun lover or for someone looking to better understand military life.