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Posted: 9/10/2009 8:00:13 AM EST
[Last Edit: 9/10/2009 9:23:12 AM EST by Essayons]
I've compiled a pretty decent library over the years. I'll update this post with a list when I get home. In the meantime, which books are "must haves" for a serious student of military small arms and their history?

ETA My interests are machanical and historical, and relate specifically to military automatic and semi-automatic small arms. I've got:

* Small Arms of the World, which has been a favorite since the '80s,
* a shitload of titles from Collector's Grade Publishing (Black Rifle books, EM2, SPIW, M14, FAL, Kalashnikov, Rock in a Hard Place, Sturmgewehr!, Proud Promise, Full Circle, WAR BABY!, The Great Remington 8, the Great Rifle Controversy and a few more )
* The Machine Gun by Chinn
* Hatcher's Notebook
* The Book of the Garand by Hatcher
* Jane's Infantry Weapons 2005-2006
* Principles of Firearms
* Assault Rifle by Popenker and Williams
* John Browning's biography

And others . . .
Link Posted: 9/10/2009 8:22:14 AM EST
"Let us Try"

Are your interest mechanical, historical, or social

some are common, the catalogs of the Colt, S&W, Winchester, and Springfield arms company are readily avaliable

The Social History of the Machine Gun

Giving up the Gun––this is ahistory of Japanese firearm repression

Hitler's Grands

John Brownings biography

Elmer Kieth's six guns, african rifles, ect
Link Posted: 9/10/2009 8:29:46 AM EST
Link Posted: 9/10/2009 8:42:27 AM EST
Anything by Dolf Goldsmith.
Link Posted: 9/10/2009 9:27:07 AM EST
Thanks for the replies. I added some of the books I have to my OP.

I'm particularly interested in learning more about the very early self-loaders like the Mondragón. Collectors Grade Publications' Proud Promise and The Great Remington 8 and Model 81 Autoloading Rifles contain a lot of good info on the early self-loaders, but I'd like to learn more.
Link Posted: 9/10/2009 9:41:58 AM EST
John Henwood is an excellent writer whose reference books are a pleasure to read.

In addition to the Remington 8 and 81 book, consider 'The Forgotton Winchesters, a study of the 05, 07, and 10 semi automatic rifles' and 'America's Right Arm, The Smith and Wesson Model 10 revolver.'

Anything by the late Dr. Edward Clinton Ezell makes for excellent reading also.
Link Posted: 9/10/2009 9:47:40 AM EST
Military Small Arms of the 20th Century is good. A lot of good info, and only a few mistakes.
Link Posted: 9/10/2009 10:55:36 AM EST
Originally Posted By Milo5:
consider 'The Forgotton Winchesters, a study of the 05, 07, and 10 semi automatic rifles'


That looks good. A quick Google search located a copy . . . at $375 I'll shop some more.

Anything by the late Dr. Edward Clinton Ezell makes for excellent reading also.


+1 An irreplaceable resource.

Link Posted: 9/10/2009 12:01:17 PM EST
A great classic that was reprinted a few years ago, but again seems to be somewhat rare is the two volume "International Armament" by Johnson and Lockhoven.
This was written with the support of the famous (infamous??) Sam Cummings of Interarmco or Interarms.

Volume One covers pistols, revolvers, single shot rifles, and bolt rifles.
Volume Two covers semi and full auto rifles, submachine guns, light machine guns, and heavy machine guns.
This is primarily a history of the arms with only short disassembly instructions. It covers when they were made, who made them, typical markings, and a short history of where they were used.
At one time, this was considered to be the "standard reference" for military small arms.

Originals and reprints show up on Ebay and at book sellers from time to time.
Link Posted: 9/10/2009 12:03:32 PM EST
my first thought when I saw the title of the thread was "Ezell, Small Arms of th World". Outstanding reference and cheap to boot.

I also go to Bolt Action Rifles by Frank de Haas quite a bit.
Link Posted: 9/10/2009 2:04:00 PM EST
Originally Posted By bluebayou:
my first thought when I saw the title of the thread was "Ezell, Small Arms of th World". Outstanding reference and cheap to boot.


+1 - I got my first copy while I was in the Army. I lent it to someone and never got it back. I have the same edition now, and Ezell signed it for the previous owner.
Link Posted: 9/10/2009 2:08:12 PM EST
Mauser Military Rifles of the World, 4th Edition, by Robert Ball - Covers just about every country that ever used a Mauser and there were a lot of them.
Link Posted: 9/10/2009 2:19:30 PM EST
Originally Posted By TimJ:
Anything from Collector Grade Publications.


+1

Link Posted: 9/10/2009 3:14:32 PM EST
[Last Edit: 9/10/2009 3:15:25 PM EST by Milo5]
Originally Posted By Essayons:
Originally Posted By Milo5:
consider 'The Forgotton Winchesters, a study of the 05, 07, and 10 semi automatic rifles'


That looks good. A quick Google search located a copy . . . at $375 I'll shop some more.

Anything by the late Dr. Edward Clinton Ezell makes for excellent reading also.


+1 An irreplaceable resource.



Scary isn't it !
I have books that have appreciated more than Gold and the Stock Market combined.
I think I paid $24.95 shipped free back in 1996 or 97.

Ezell has another excellent little book out called Small Arms Today, good information on what was going on in the mid 80s militaries.

Just remember that current copies of Jane's Infantry Small Arms are up to about $800 U.S. retail now.
Link Posted: 9/11/2009 8:43:07 AM EST
[Last Edit: 9/11/2009 8:44:24 AM EST by Essayons]
Originally Posted By Milo5:
Scary isn't it !
I have books that have appreciated more than Gold and the Stock Market combined.


LOL, me too. My best performing investments over the last couple years have been gun books and ammo

Still looking for a decent deal on Brassey's Essential Guide to Military Small Arms: Design Principles and Operating Methods
Link Posted: 9/11/2009 10:25:00 AM EST
Link Posted: 9/11/2009 10:35:01 AM EST
There's a book or two about the Johnson rifles and MGs that are definitely on my wish list.
Link Posted: 9/12/2009 4:32:03 AM EST
The Worlds submachine guns Vol 1 and 2a
The Worlds assault rifles Vol 2 by Thomas B. Nelson and Daniel D. Musgrave
The Worlds fighting shotguns Vol 4 by Thomas F. Swearengen

New World Of Russian Small Arms And Ammo by Charlie Cutshaw
Link Posted: 9/18/2009 3:58:41 PM EST
Any of Clawson's references on the M1911s (both military and commercial)...
Link Posted: 9/18/2009 7:18:58 PM EST
Originally Posted By SLM:
Any of Clawson's references on the M1911s (both military and commercial)...


Talk about expensive books now!
And the goofy bastard absolutely refuses to allow another edition to be printed!

Edward Scott Meadows had two really excellent books out on 1911/1911A1 pistols and these have gotten nearly as insane in price as the Clawson books.

Did anybody mention Jerry Kuhnhausens gunsmith service manuals?
A dry read for those disinterested in the gunsmith aspect but a goldmine for those who are.
Link Posted: 9/18/2009 9:00:30 PM EST
Why the hell are these books so insanely expensive? When you can go out and buy some of those weapons for the cost of inked-on dead tree, there's a problem with the marketplace.
Link Posted: 9/18/2009 10:37:22 PM EST
The books are insanely expensive because the knowledge imparted in them is invaluable.
Even the Gun Digest is getting expensive.
Link Posted: 9/19/2009 5:49:22 AM EST
I have always heard that LTC George Chinn's The Machine gun is a excellent book. It seems that print versions are very rare and expensive, any thoughts on the electronic versions floating around?
Link Posted: 9/19/2009 9:09:54 AM EST
Originally Posted By Mrf2:
I have always heard that LTC George Chinn's The Machine gun is a excellent book. It seems that print versions are very rare and expensive, any thoughts on the electronic versions floating around?


Yea, that's one where I settled for an electronic version. I picked up it and a couple other gun books on CD. On the bright side, the illistrations look good on a big flat screen.

Link Posted: 9/19/2009 10:03:23 AM EST
My favorite is A Rifleman Went to War by H.W. McBride. Great book about the firearms in WW1
Link Posted: 9/19/2009 2:13:57 PM EST
Get Chinn's book here. This is a link given on a gun forum, it is not a torrent.

GL
Link Posted: 9/19/2009 4:45:04 PM EST
Originally Posted By Milo5:
The books are insanely expensive because the knowledge imparted in them is invaluable.
Even the Gun Digest is getting expensive.


The cost to print information onto paper is quite cheap. The cost to scan that same information and make it available online in a digital format is even less.

In this day and age, there is absolutely no reason why information that is, as you say, invaluable, shouldn't be more readily priced and available.
Link Posted: 9/19/2009 7:33:19 PM EST
Originally Posted By WesJanson:
Originally Posted By Milo5:
The books are insanely expensive because the knowledge imparted in them is invaluable.
Even the Gun Digest is getting expensive.


The cost to print information onto paper is quite cheap. The cost to scan that same information and make it available online in a digital format is even less.

In this day and age, there is absolutely no reason why information that is, as you say, invaluable, shouldn't be more readily priced and available.


Why are you directing this rant at me?
I don't make the rules.
Link Posted: 9/19/2009 7:37:57 PM EST
There's a book I own called The Lore of Arms.
I can't recall the author's name off the top of my head, but it's an EXCELLENT read. It's a little yellow paperback, if that helps.
Link Posted: 9/19/2009 8:18:44 PM EST
I was out earlier at a Half Price Books store and found in their clearance section a hardcover copy of Clayton Cramer's "Armed America: The Story of How and Why Guns Became as American as Apple Pie" (2006) for $2. This chain gets remaindered books (publishers dump books after a while, or when a softcover edition comes out: they get "remaindered") so if you've got one near you, go shopping soon. This store had two copies. I bought one.

Or you could just go to amazon and pay $19.99 ($14.99 for the paperback).

GL
Link Posted: 9/19/2009 9:59:33 PM EST
Originally Posted By WesJanson:
Why the hell are these books so insanely expensive? When you can go out and buy some of those weapons for the cost of inked-on dead tree, there's a problem with the marketplace.


Because some are collectors items, and some people [like me] will pay through the nose to have them. Want pricey in weapons books?, look at a 2009-2010 Jane's Infantry Weapons.

http://www.amazon.com/Janes-Infantry-Weapons-2009-2010/dp/0710628692/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1253429977&sr=1-1






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