The question of I am a new shooter and what do I need in a data book and or log book comes up on a regular basis.. So I would like to take the time to answer some of the questions and reasons why you should have a data book as well as what options you may want to look for when putting a book together.
The data book has been in use for well over 50 years. The use of a paper data book is still one of the most effective training tools and training aids in teaching new shooters in today's military or shooting schools. If the data book was not an effective tool in teaching and honing of a shooters skills and understanding of the fundamentals of marksmanship, then it would have been thrown out of use long ago for newer more advanced training methods.
Guess what it hasn't and is still in use from day one in boot camp in the U.S. Military. Data books are not only in use by military and law enforcement but by the basic rifleman and competitive shooters, and hunters across the globe. Not only can you learn from your book, but in the end it will help save you money and it will definitely help you become a better shooter.
Many shooters believe just because you are out at the range sending rounds down range you are practicing and getting better. This couldn't be further from the truth.
Using a data book to call and plot each shot of your shooting session allows you the shooter to slow down the rate of fire, letting you build a position from scratch and work thru the firing progression of each and every shot from start to finish. This effective approach will let you work thru the shooters checklist and making sure that you do everything the same from shot to shot while apply the fundamentals of marksmanship consistently. This will lead to a more productive range training session.
By slowing your range session down, this will not only allow you to make more effective quality hits but it will allow you to go back and look at your hits and see where you may need to adjust your shot group in order to hit the center of your target. Or even allow you to come up with a true center zero for that given distance and condition. Once you start keeping data it is easy for you to see trends in your shooting and it will allow you to learn more about yourself, your ammunition and your weapon.
The only problem with data books is the fact that most shooters don't understand the proper use of a data book, and how to analyze the information they put into the book to not only make them a better shooter, but to give a higher probability of a first round hit.
I recommend that if you want to get the most out of your data book you should seek training at one of the top notch shooting schools out there and also look for my upcoming article I have written on using a data book. You will also find more information coming to the Team Blaster site and the Impact Data Books site as well.
Weakness in data books on the market today:
Back in the early 90's the data books on the market were poorly done. They were full of copied, regurgitated crap that was shuffled or taken from outdated military sources. Many times the information was not only crude but had errors and wrong information from being copied and mixed together to give a slightly different look.
Almost all of these data books were made from the same acquired copied information with a few new images a different cover type and coil bound and put on the market due to the popularity of the designer's friends that like their friend's book. The limiting factor of these books were that they were coil bound strapping the shooter into a preconceived book layout to which they were stuck to what the author thought that you should have in your data book. I was sick and tired of throwing away over 50% of every data book that I had ever tried due to the fact that the book was full of worthless pages that I couldn't use or even modify close enough for me to do my job. These books have lacked new material, layouts, reference material, tables and charts that are relevant to what is going on in the shooting world today.
Over the last 15 years there has been less than 4 new data books offered to shooters and they have missed the mark like all the ones before them due to lack of originality, content and flexibility.
Build your own book options:
With the weakness in books on the market where was a sniper or serious competitive shooter going to get what they needed. So being self motivated, and a go getter, as well as cheap, I decided that I was going to build my own books in order to get what I needed in my book. Back then it was the only way to go. The books of that time only offered circles, squares, and silhouette targets. I did this for the rest of my military career and still did it as a competitive shooter afterwards. It helped fill the void but still wasn't perfect.
I have been down this road, spending lots of time and effort to design, print, cut, punch, and organize my own books. Looking back on it the cost of going to a copy store and printing each page and doing all that work, or printing at home on my own paper and using my ink and doing all that work in the end I only saved a few dollars if any. Include into the pricing you need a good quality 3 ring binder of the correct size and may need RNR paper your savings has just went out the window.
In the end yes you can build a pretty good self made book but the quality of the print, paper and durability and total package will not be as good and it will cost you either the same or more money than just buying a book that is currently offered.
Do I need a data book?
That's the common first question. Simply ask yourself these questions. If you say yes to any of them, then yes you probably need a data book of some sort.
- Are you new to shooting?
- Do you write down or take any type of notes on your shooting session or sight settings and place them in a notebook, piece of paper or a journal?
- Do you shoot multiple weapons?
- Do you have the need to recall sight settings for given distances, locations, temperatures and different bullets?
- Do you shoot in multiple locations?
- Do you have all the information memorized to be able to shoot moving targets, make wind calls for your ammunition and gun in multiple wind speeds?
- Do you know what your slope dope is for angle fire?
- Can you recall your barrel round count?
- Do you find yourself writing notes on your hand and arm during a match?
- Do you need to have a backup to a hand held electronic device if the batteries should fail?
- Do you want to become a better shooter and place higher in match standings?
- Do you want to save money on ammunition?
These are just a handful of questions to why you should want to get and us a data book.
Getting what you need:
When deciding what you need in a data book you should look at and consider a few things:
- Do you shoot in inclement weather? If so then you may want to consider Rite N Rain paper for your book.
- Do you shoot paper or steel targets?
- Do you track cold bore shots?
- Shoot moving targets?
- Shoot at angles?
- Shoot course specific matches?
- Shoot human like targets or heads?
- Do you hunt?
- Do you shoot at commercially available targets from your local shooting supply store?
- Do you reload and do load development.
The list goes on and why not setup your data book to be able to cover multiple areas and give you exactly what you need.
Impact Data Books
Taking all this information into consideration, as I was building my own books for guys in my sniper platoons and for myself while serving as an active duty Marine Scout Sniper I decided something needed to be made to fix the above deficiencies.
I was in a transition period of jobs moving into the law enforcement side of the federal government which slowed the process down a few years but I continued to work on this issue in my free time. I luckily ran into my current business partner Tom Challey who is a very skilled designer, avid shooter and hunter as well.
Together we took the information from my eight years of laying out the foundation and needs for shooters of every shooting discipline imaginable and turned it into a rapidly growing data book that is leading the way in which data books are made. This book is designed with over 20 years worth of military, law enforcement and competitive shooting experience.
I knew that every shooter's needs and desires in a data book would be different. I wanted to make sure that shooters didn't have to waste time searching and digging for information that should be readily available to them to allow them to focus on the shooting aspect of what they were doing.
Our books from the beginning have given shooters exactly what they needed. The Impact Data Book offers options, choices, versatility, flexibility, and the ability to allow the book to grow to your shooting needs.
A data books index pages are the heart and soul on which a data book is built around. These reference pages, charts, tables and formulas are crucial for anyone in need of a serious data book. Our book gives you multiple options and covers everything you may need for anyone working as a military or law enforcement sniper as well as any tactical shooter, hunter or competitor.
The modular data book concept was pioneered by Impact Data Books there is no one out there that offers what we offer when it comes to creating a data book, we offer over 320 different data collection pages available for you to build your book around. Not to mention we have many more new and innovative page types, designs and layouts that are being made weekly so keep your eyes open for them.
We offer pages in the following page series types:
Our premade books are designed with the beginner shooter in mind. We offer you more common pages that a new shooter would need with the ability to allow you to expand that book as your shooting needs grow. We avoided stacking it full of range cards, field sketch and moving target pages when most shooters don't have a use for those page types. If you need them then you can order them.
Custom designed books and page layouts:
Once again we are the leaders in this area and we continue to press on getting the guys what they need. We have been doing tons of custom designed work for many big names companies providing them quality three ring binders with their company logo's permanently affixed to the binders and designing custom page layouts that work with their training needs and qualification courses. We are building books for gun manufacturers, gunsmiths and agencies.
Our books are being carried by multiple big name retailers such as Midway USA, Creedmoor Sports and numerous vendors around the country, while being used by multiple state, federal and local law enforcement agencies, as well as being used by our military forces fighting the global war on terrorism.
Our books and products have been reviewed and written about by numerous gun magazines and writers. You can find those articles in our article section of the website.
Impact Data Books is proud to be aligned with and work with the North American Tactical Officers Association and a proud supporter of American Snipers Organization and the Wounded Warrior Project.
If you are serious about you're shooting, and want the most popular, best quality data book that offers the most flexibility ever seen before then you have came to the right place. Impact Data Books is what the pro's are using why settle for anything less.