I'm looking for a couple books i can read on just general firearms knowledge. I listen to all the old timers around my hometown talk and discuss firearms and they have a wealth of knowledge about their history. Most of them say they gained most of it from reading, others say its just years experience. And since i don't really want to wait on the years experience part to learn anything and everything i can about the history of firearms and just general firearms topics I was wondering if you knew any good books that would send me in that direction.
Subscribe to Shotgun News. Lots of knowledge there. There are a few writer who go into extreme detail. There are also articles on historic firearms that go into detail, or on particular countries and their firearms. Articles on cartridges that are very in depth, gunsmithing as well. Very entertaining articles with what I consider to be a perfect balance of facts, detailed technical information, historical stories, anecdotes, are written by our very own Gunwritr. Of all the articles his flowed better for me, and I retained the information better. He is in Guns & Ammo as well, but Shotgun News is a better source of information in my opinion.
Staying involved with firearms and reading this site, especially the tech forums is a very good way to learn. There are many here who have written books on different aspects of firearms knowledge. One of the best ways as well is to get an old beater of a military firearm that needs work. Get one that you like, and go about learning how to work on it and restore it. Get the books for it. Read the history about it. It's country of origin, conflicts it was used in, variants made etc. That is one of the best ways to go about certain ones. Continue doing projects like that.
As for just general knowledge, I really can't give you a recommendation for a book. Life experience seems to be the most well rounded teacher.