How to Use a Sniper Data Log Book

Written by jack kaltmann
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How to Use a Sniper Data Log Book
Marksmen utilise sniper data logs to identify trends and control variables in shooting. (sniper rifle on the tripod and optical sight image by Vladimir Melnik from

Sniper data log books have been used by military marksmen and recreational hunters for more than a century as training tools and aids to improve the shooter's accuracy. Using a data book to call and plot each shot allows the shooter to slow down the rate of fire and concentrate on the firing progression and fundamentals of marksmanship for each shot. A multitude of variables can be logged, but the most common are presented below.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Rifle
  • Sniper log book
  • Pencil
  • Rangefinder

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  1. 1

    Note the current weather conditions in your log book. Log the temperature, wind speed, wind direction, weather, humidity, brightness, light direction. Also note the date, time and location.

  2. 2

    Log the type of ammunition used, including bullet weight and manufacturer.

  3. 3

    Determine the distance to your target and log the range in meters or yards.

  4. 4

    Load the rifle and shoot the target.

  5. 5

    Log the bullet's impact point as well as the windage and elevation used. Note if the shot was from a cold or warm bore.

  6. 6

    Make any necessary corrections to windage and elevation and fire another round at the target.

  7. 7

    Observe the new impact point and log the corrected windage and elevation.

Tips and warnings

  • Several manufacturers offer pre-made data books that include a variety of helpful references such as Mil to MOA conversion tables, range estimation charts as well as wind reading and elevation tips.
  • Always make sure you have an unobstructed view of your target and what is in front of and behind the target for each shot. It is easy to get engrossed in only looking at the target and your data book and not notice someone entering your field of fire.

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