In 2020, I wrote a series of articles that attempt to explain a few really important statistics concepts in a way that was practical and applicable for shooters that aren’t math nerds. I literally spent several months crafting those articles, because I’ve recognized that most shooters are making decisions based on a very limited understanding and sometimes on invalid data. Venturing beyond “average” and “extreme spread” will lead to better decisions.
I had read books related to this topic (because I am a math nerd), but I also read a thick stack of white papers and other sources on the subject as part of my research. My over-arching goal was to make the topic approachable by non-engineers or even those who have an uncomfortable relationship with math. So while I found a lot of good information in these articles, I had to transform or reword some of it to attempt to provide a cohesive perspective that didn’t go over most people’s heads. Making it approachable while not abandoning technical accuracy proved to be an extremely difficult challenge – one I might not attempt again if I would have known how many hours I eventually spent on that endeavor. 😉
In most of my writings, I prefer to quote several experts on a matter, rather than explain everything from my first-hand perspective. This series was no different. My goal is to provide my readers with a balanced perspective by citing expertise from disparate sources. I put a lot of effort into trying to ensure I always cite my references appropriately. As an author, I know first-hand how frustrating it can be for someone to pass on something you wrote without giving you the appropriate credit – so I am very sensitive to that. While I tried to carefully cite any direct quotes directly in the articles, I wanted to also provide a comprehensive bibliography of the various sources I studied when crafting the content for that series of articles on “Statistics for Shooters.”
If you’re interested in learning more on this topic, I’d encourage you to check these out. I put a couple of the sources in bold that it seemed like I referenced the most.
Bookstaber, D., McMillan, C., & Wollschlaeger, D. (n.d.). Multiple Articles: What is Precision, Precision Models, Describing Precision, & Fliers. Retrieved from Ballistipedia.com: http://ballistipedia.com/
Bramwell, D. (n.d.). The Perverse Nature of Standard Deviation. Retrieved from https://docplayer.net/20891776-The-perverse-nature-of-standard-deviation-denton-bramwell.html
Engleman. (n.d.). Statistics for Rifle Shooters. Retrieved from http://www.arcanamavens.com/LBSFiles/Shooting/Downloads/EnglemanChronographStatistics.pdf
Gilovich, Dr. T. (1991). How We Know What Isn’t So: The Fallibility of Human Reason in Everyday Life. New York, NY: Free Press.
Grace-Martin, K. (2012, July). Outliers: To Drop or Not to Drop. Retrieved from The Analysis Factor: https://www.theanalysisfactor.com/outliers-to-drop-or-not-to-drop/
Gun & Ammo Editors. (2018, September 5). Long Range Shooting: Understanding Extreme Spread and Standard Deviation. Retrieved from Guns & Ammo Magazine: https://www.gunsandammo.com/editorial/long-range-shooting-understanding-extreme-spread-and-standard-deviation/247510
Hunnicutt, R. (1992, November). Ammo Good As Gold. American Rifleman.
Litz, B. (2016). Modern Advancements In Long Range Shooting: Volume 2. Cedar Springs, MI: Applied Ballistics, LLC.
Long, C. (n.d.). Group Size Statistical Analysis. Retrieved from The-Long-Family.com: http://www.the-long-family.com/Group%20size%20statistical%20analysis.pdf
MacDonald, A. (2017, June 30). Practical Statistics For Shooters. Retrieved from AutoTrickler.com Blog: https://www.autotrickler.com/blog/practical-statistics-for-shooters
MacDonald, A. (2017, May 31). Thinking Statistically. Retrieved from AutoTrickler.com Blog: https://www.autotrickler.com/blog/thinking-statistically
Molon. (2006, April 24). The Trouble with 3-Shot Groups. Retrieved from AR15.com: https://www.ar15.com/forums/ar-15/-/118-279218/?
Murphy, S. (2019, August 15). Chasing Muzzle Velocity Standard Deviation and Extreme Spread for Precision Rifle Shooting. Retrieved from RECOIL Magazine: https://www.recoilweb.com/chasing-muzzle-velocity-standard-deviation-and-extreme-spread-for-precision-rifle-shooting-152257.html
Quinlan, J. (2020, September 28). 2020 Modern Day Rifleman Summit Interview – Bonus Session. (C. Wojcik, Interviewer)
RocketmanOU. (n.d.). Statistics, Shooting and the Myth of the Three Shot Group. Retrieved from http://www.bealeinnovations.com/stats-3shotgroup.pdf
Shermer, Dr. M. (December 2008). Patternicity. Scientific American.
Wheelan, C. (2014). Naked Statistics: Stripping the Dread from the Data. New York, NY: W. W. Norton & Company.
Winker, B. (2016, January 15). A User’s Guide To Dispersion Analysis. Retrieved from LongRangeOnly.com: https://www.longrangeonly.com/a-users-guide-to-dispersion-analysis/