Paperback: 450 pages
Publisher: Amber Books (April 19, 2013)
Product Dimensions: 8.7 x 1 x 11.1 inches
Shipping Weight: 3.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
Best Sellers Rank: #893,186 in Books (See Top 100 in Books) #157 in Books > Crafts, Hobbies & Home > Antiques & Collectibles > Military #170 in Books > Reference > Encyclopedias & Subject Guides > Military #600 in Books > Reference > Encyclopedias & Subject Guides > Sports
Unfortunately I purchased this book without taking a few minutes to flip through the pages. It is filled with errors both historic and technical in nature. Many very common firearms don't have a photograph and instead have low detail artwork. Starting off on pg 36 portions of the information on the Colt Paterson are wrong then on pg 39 the listing for M1861 Navy Colt has the illustration for a 1851 Navy Colt. Next on pg 63 the wrong photograph is used for the 1886 Winchester and the historic information is questionable. I list these because Colt and Winchester are probably the most researched firearm brands in history with easy to find reference sources. It show just how little effort was made to produce a reliable reference volume. While I haven't read the entire book, I have yet to find a section without some factual error.
This book, THE VISUAL ENCYCLOPEDIA OF SMALL ARMS, is one of THE best compilations of ALL firearms I've found in quite some time (and I have more than a few OTHER books on the subject to back that up). ALL of THOSE books COMBINED don't even come close to THIS one in overall coverage, presentation, and history. What I found most striking were all the cutaway views, of which there are plenty.Another interesting aspect to this book are not just the PISTOLS...or the RIFLES, or even the SUB-MACHINE GUNS.It's also got the grenades, anti-tank & personnel weaponry, as well as light, medium and heavy machine guns, shotguns, carbines, assault rifles as well as LOTS of modern civilian small arms from ALL nations. It was very pleasing to see EVERY side of the small arms genre WELL-represented.When I first came across this book, it was in the DISCOUNT aisle of Barnes & Noble (of all places) and cost UNDER $8!!!I thought that MUST be a misprint, but no...it wasn't.(not bad for a book worth a LOT more than that, imho) Even my friend on the police force found this a REAL BARGAIN!The only thing mildly "wrong" with the book, and this is purely a PERSONAL preference, is that the font size used for the descriptions/specification is a bit on the small side, but like I said...it's a very tiny minus in an otherwise hugely "PLUS" book. With a 2011 publication date, you just KNOW that all the "current crop" of goodies are in there, and both the author AND editors made sure they were.A nicely done book, all the way around.If you are a firearms buff, a shootist, or just someone that enjoys the history of small arms, THIS is THE book to get...You won't be disappointed one bit.To me, THIS is how you make a good book...a GREAT book.Happy Reading.
This books covers small arms from the 1500's right up to the present day. The book is broken down into segments covering the evolution of firearms development. The book is lavishly illustrated with dozens of color plates and photographs. It also gives concise information on all of the firearms in the book. The only thing that kept me from giving this book 5 stars instead of 4 is that there are chapters on infantry support weapons-specifically flamethrowers, less lethal, and infantry anti-tank weapons. Some people would not consider this a flaw. The chapters were interesting, but IMO they don't really belong in a book on small arms. All in all, I enjoyed this book, as I believe anyone interested in firearms would. I am hoping that the author wuill produce a companion volume on artillery & infantry support weapons
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