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Percussion Pistols And Revolvers: History, Performance And Practical Use

In the early transition from the long-lived flintlock system, handgun development closely paralleled that of the long arms. With the advent of the revolving pistols, however; came patents that created monopolies in revolver production and the through-bored cylinder necessary for self-contained metallic cartridges. The caplock revolvers took on a separate evolution and remained state of the art long after the widespread appearance of cartridge firing rifles and shotguns. They rode in the holsters of explorers and adventures across the world and granted safe conduct in the back alleys of industrial slums right up until the last quarter of the 19th Century.Handguns possess a mystique distinctly different from that of other firearms. They are tools of personal empowerment-chosen by their owners to provide independence and freedom of movement. In the ambitious, optimistic early years of western industrial civilization they were the emblem of liberty and equality and the bane of repressive governments and social movements. Largely because of the traditions that emerged in the time of the caplock pistols and revolvers, they remain so in the early years of the 21st Century.

Paperback: 208 pages

Publisher: iUniverse, Inc. (July 20, 2005)

Language: English

ISBN-10: 0595357962

ISBN-13: 978-0595357963

Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.5 x 9 inches

Shipping Weight: 13.3 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)

Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)

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I count this as one of my better acquisitions in the field of 19th Century firearms books. There is an awful lot of good, hard to find information packed within, including details on maintenance (including assembly/disassembly procedures), general use and loading instructions, specific load results with different powders, and observations on the quality of various reproductions. As the authors state early on in the book, they pull no punches when giving their honest assessment of the quality of the various reproductions out there.One also finds valuable suggestions on improving the reliability of various reproductions, such as gunsmithing tips for the pocket percussion revolvers to prevent cap fragments from binding up the cylinder. Very useful stuff.I also love the colour graphic on the cover - it immediately attracted my notice when I was skimming through the myriad "recommendations" on .I do have some suggestions for improvement for a 2nd edition, in the highly unlikely event the authors ever read this droll review and actually want to go for a 2nd edition...:1. There are a number of minor, but noticeable typographical and administrative type errors in the book, such as using "heals" instead of "heels." Basically needs a sharp-eyed editor to go through and insure proper word usage.2. While the black and white illustrations are generally adequate, they are a bit grainy (owing to the resolution and also, I think, the paper used) and are often too small. Indeed, some are actually quite tiny. This is usually not a serious problem, but in some cases when they are used to illustrate an important detail (such as the LeMat pictures on pp 144-145 and some detailed mechanism shots on pp 92-94) it is hard to make out what is being shown.

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