File Size: 21417 KB
Print Length: 696 pages
Publisher: Krause Publications; 4 Sub edition (October 15, 2003)
Publication Date: October 15, 2003
Sold by: Digital Services LLC
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Best Sellers Rank: #277,632 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store) #61 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Crafts, Hobbies & Home > Antiques & Collectibles > Firearms & Weapons #142 in Books > Crafts, Hobbies & Home > Antiques & Collectibles > Firearms & Weapons > Firearms #87008 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Nonfiction
I have the older 2nd edition of this book, and it is one of the most dog-eared volumes in my library.Sometimes the author is not quite as technical as I might like. For example, he frequently asserts that this or that old military action "must have been" made out of high-grade steel without having done any actual analysis or even hardness testing of the material in question. But, his descriptions do convey at least as much information about the many designs covered as I would have gotten if I had the chance to disassemble and study them all myself. I don't have a hardness tester either.The book is generally well written and fun to read.If you're thinking about buying a modern sporting rifle, you might want to read this and compare the various designs before you lay down your money. If you enjoy sporterizing old military junkers, collecting old military classics, or just lurking around gun shows, you need this book.
This is one of the frequently-quoted "classics" in the field of firearms literature (first edition was in 1971). But even a classic deserves a critical review, such as to determine its (remaining) usefulness, and its strengthes and weaknesses.This book is not a true encyclopedia of rifles; for such a purpose, a work like John Walter's "Rifles of the World" (or, formerly, W.H.B. Smith's now outdated "Book of Rifles") would be more comprehensive. It is mainly a thorough (528 pp.) technical treatise on most of the major military (17) and civilian (56) rifle actions. Its strength lies in the very good and very thorough technical descriptions, instructions for disassembly, hints for reworking and sporterizing. Nevertheless, the book also contains a remarkable amount of historical and general information; it is therefore suitable not only for the professional and amateur gunsmith, but also for any hunter or collector who wishes to gain a more thorough understanding of his gun, and who contemplates acquiring a new one.De Haas' language is clear and simple, not without an occasional touch of humour. The author's modesty and willingness to acknowledge some limits of knowledge in such a vast field are remarkable and greatly underline his general credibility and experience.Small drawbacks of the book are the generally mediocre quality of illustrations (while often okay, they are sometimes dark, sometimes downright blotchy). The bibliography is limited to articles in the "American Rifleman" and "Gun Digest", and an expanded edition would be appreciated. And some commercial German rifle actions might be added.
If you already own one rifle and will never buy another, don't bother. Reading this would be like reading Road&Track after buying your only new car for the next ten years. If you're only going to buy one rifle and know it well, or if you collect, or especially if you are considering a conversion of an old ex-military bolt action into a sporter, you need this book. It provides an in-depth analysis of not just how rifle actions are designed, but their suitability for customization, what cartridges they can and cannot be converted to, etc. The author restocked, scoped, honed, rebarreled, or otherwise upgraded all of the common actions in the book (and many of the less common ones too). Since these upgrades are what most hunters are interested in, the book in invaluable before dropping money on changes. It is not a gunsmithing how-to, but gives the detail you will need to speak intelligently to your gunsmith and understand his/her suggestions and objections. If you are looking for a good read, you can read the history of each action, skip the assembly/disassembly and design analysis, and then read the conclusions on conversion or upgrades. Later when a greasy old war trophy follows you home from a gun show, you can eagerly lap up every detail from receiver ring to tang.
Let me say that i have had the 3rd edition of this book for 10 years or so and that it is one of my most treasured reference books. When i ordered this one, i was expecting an expanded edition in its true sense: Reviews and detailed analysis of bolt actions that had in the meanwhile come to the market, NAMELY the ones on the front cover,the Blaser R93 and the Sauer 200-202 ! Also updates on the CZ-Brno section including the 550 series.The core content is basically the same, the excellent work done by the late Frank de Haas, already present in past editions.But the title is loosing its place as a major reference work due to the lack of new entries.Its like when you buy the latest edition of "cartridges of the world" when you had an older edition. you expect most of the newcomer cartridges to be featured. The short magnums, the .17HMR, and so on.
De Haas has compiled an extensive array of bolt action rifles ranging from the early military Enfields and Mausers actions to the modern commercial bolt actions of Sako, Ruger and Remington to name a few. Not only are there detailed assembly drawings of the rifles but there are individual reviews of the action, safety, and firing mechanism. Frank also passes on his comments as to pros and cons of the overall shooting system and his views on customisation and calibre combination. The book has become an invaluble reference piece in my library if only to build a wish list of bolt actions I might one day be able to afford.
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