Book Review: FN Browning Pistols by Anthony Vanderlinden
Video / August 24, 2020

Get your copy here: Or through Amazon: Anthony Vanderlinden is a noted FN collector and author of a book on FN Mauser rifle as well as this volume on FN’s Browning pistols. Both are excellent reference works, with a remarkable amount of contextual information in addition to the very specific detail that appeal to the collector. This work begins with about 70 pages on the history of the FN company, detailing its work in firearms, automobiles, and other products through the Great War, the Great Depression, World War Two, and other events. It then spends a period discussing unique and interesting FN pistols, like the presentation guns made for FN’s celebration of producing a million Browning pistols and the guns used by Gavrilo Princip and his cohorts in the assassination of the Archduke Franz Ferdinand. There are then sections on FN’s association with John Browning and on Browning himself, and on the markings and proofs used by FN throughout its history. The remaining bulk of the book is broken up into chapters covering the development, production, and use of each model of Browning pistol produced by FN (namely the 1899/1900, 1903, 1905, 1910, 1922, Baby Browning, and High…

Book Review: Textbook of Pistol Technology and Design
Video / August 13, 2020

*** I released this review early to my Patreon audience, who proceeded to buy up all the remaining copies. The printer is running another edition which should be available before the end of August. Sorry for the inconvenience! *** Peter Dallhammer is a mechanical engineer who works for the Walther company, and has written an excellent book on firearms manufacture. If you were going to design a university program around the design and production of small arms, his “Textbook of Pistol Technology and Design: Production, Principles, Progress” could be a foundation of the program. Dallhammer focuses his scope on the 9mm semiautomatic handgun, and takes the reader through the whole scope of design and production. The book is divided into four main sections: – Production Technologies. This describes the applications and pros and cons of all the major methods of making parts. Machining, molding, MIM, stamping, and so on, plus several types of surface treatments. – Pistol Principles. This covers all the different options for mechanical design of a pistol. Function and design options for the major components, how different safeties work, how to choose spring types, and some legally-relevant issues like micro stamping and electronic “smart” gun systems….

Book Review: The Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare by Damien Lewis
Video / July 22, 2020

Get your copy on Amazon: I ordered a copy of Damien Lewis’ book on the exploits of British SOE in WWII expecting to find an overview of, well, what SOE had done during the war. That’s not quite what this book is. Instead, Lewis has given us essentially a first-person view of SOE’s work through the eyes of Danish commando Anders Lassen (VC, MC with two bars). Don’t be fooled by the cover image; the North African LRDG is never mentioned. However, what Lassen was involved in was equally impressive and probably less well known. Lassen was part of the crew for the first real SOE operation, the theft of a pair of German and Italian supply ships from the neutral Spanish port at Fernando Po. In an exploit that could be straight out of Hollywood, a band of commandoes sailed a pair of tugboats into the harbor at night while the ships’ officers were ashore at a raucous party. They blew the anchor chains with explosive charges, locked the crews below deck, and sailed the ships out to sea where they could be legally captured by a British destroyer. And they did it without a single death on…

The Scout Rifle Study: A Book Review and Critique of the Scout Rifle Concept
Video / May 18, 2020

Available on Amazon: Let me preface this by saying that I remain a big fan of the Scout Rifle concept and the Steyr Scout in particular. When I ordered a copy of Richard Mann’s “The Scout Rifle Study”, I was hoping to find a critical assessment of the concept. I was hoping to see pros and cons of the forward-mounted optic in particular, and the inclusion of an AR-10 on the cover made me think that there might be serious discussion of the modern lightweight self loading rifle in the context of the Scout Rifle concept. Basically, I was hoping for a book that would independently critique Cooper’s concept, and bring fact-based conclusions about where it was suitable or unsuitable. Instead, the book is much more a compilation of the primary source material of the Scout Rifle, as a one-stop-shop for those who are already happily convinced that it is a universal general-purpose rifle needing no defense. If the Scout Rifle is considered a cult, this book would be its Nicene Creed, not its Ninety-Five Theses. Of course, for the person who is a devotee of the concept, this is a great book, compiling all of Cooper’s original definitions…

BotR book review “Chassepot to FAMAS”.
Video / May 10, 2020

The Chap takes a look at Ian McCollum’s first book on his favourite subject. There is of course much praise for Ian’s efforts not only to bring more understanding of French firearms to the average collector but also to dispel some of the more negative stereotypes associated with them. There are nonetheless a few minor niggles, because you can’t please everyone 😉 Patreon: Teespring: Facebook:

Ian Reviews the Greatest Book Ever: Chassepot to FAMAS
Video / March 12, 2020

Available only direct from Headstamp Publishing: I am very excited to finally be able to formally present to you Chassepot to FAMAS: French Military Rifles 1866-2016! After about 3 years of work, it’s finally here and shipping. My goal with this book was to create a reference guide that would allow someone to identify any French military rifle they would encounter, be it in museums, gun shows, auction, and collections.It covers military rifle designed and built in France, and has 10 chapters comprising more than 530 pages: Chassepot, Gras, Kropatschek, Lebel, Berthier, RSC, MAS 36, MAS semiauto, FR, and FAMAS. within each chapter is a history of the design, variations, markings, production dates and totals, combat use, bayonets, mechanics, and more. The photography is outstanding, and it really shows. James Rupley’s efforts in that area have made it the best-looking firearms reference book ever published, if I may be so bold as to make that claim. This is not a typical book full of dark black-and-white photos. While there are a few other books in English on French rifles, none is even remotely close to the scope of mine. This is a must-have resource for anyone interested in French…

Book Review: The Wipers Times
Video / January 30, 2020

Get your copy here: Or here: The Wipers Times was a satirical trench newspaper printed from February 1916 until December 1918 by British Captain F.J. Roberts and a crew of assistants. Such papers were not particularly uncommon, but the Wipers Times was particularly successful, well written, and long-lived, and it has survived in reprints today to a greater extent than any other similar work. A total of 23 issues were printed, and they consist of poetry, commentary, mock advertisements, advice columns, and short stories. While much of the humor is still quite accessible to us today, much of it also includes references, abbreviations, and inside jokes that are inscrutable to those who are not quite knowledgeable about life in the trenches. Roberts and his cohorts were legitimate front-line soldiers, not writing as visiting journalists or from the safety of the rear echelons. Beyond its basic entertainment value, their writings also provide a rare and interesting view into the minds of men who were truly living the Great War. Not that a book about the newspaper has also been printed, titled “The Wipers Times”, and with a very similar cover. If you want to buy a copy of the…

Book Review: Browning Auto-5 Shotguns
Video / January 14, 2020

Get your copy direct from the publisher: Or on Amazon: I am normally more interested in military small arms than sporting ones, but the Browning Auto-5 is such an important firearm that it deserves the recognition of and proper small arms enthusiast. It was not only the first long recoil firearm, but also the first viable semiautomatic shotgun – and it remained very popular for many decades. H.M. Shirley, Jr and Anthony Vanderlinden teamed up to write the definitive reference work on the gun, covering everything from prototypes and Browning’s patents as he designed it to the Japanese production almost a century later. The book begins with an excellent extended overview of the history of FN, John Browning, and their collaborations – a section which will be excellent reading for anyone not familiar with that history (and with lots of detail that many folks probably don’t know). It then explains really every aspect of the gun’s production and variation – proofing, barrel marks, different grades and options, mechanics, serial numbers and date codes, special models, engraving, and more. This really is a one-stop-shop for anyone interested in the FN production of the Auto-5! Cool Forgotten Weapons merch!…

Book Review: Weapons Mounts for Secondary Armament
Video / December 30, 2019

Get a copy here via Amazon: “Weapon Mounts for Secondary Armament” is a nearly 1200-page reference on all manner of machine gun mounting systems for tanks, aircraft,t light vehicles, and ground mounts. The book was commissioned in 1957 by the Detroit Arsenal as a reference for engineers tasked with designing the secondary weapon mounts for new vehicles, and only a few dozen copies were printed. The original manuscript film was located by Dan Shea of Long Mountain Outfitters (now Phoenix Defense) and reprinted in 2007, because it is a massively valuable source of information on a subject that is not normally given close attention. For any machine gun researcher or collector, this book is clearly a must-have. It focuses on American equipment, but covers everything that was available to the US military form World War One until 1957, which includes a lot of foreign material. Not just standard material, but lots of experimental guns, tanks, vehicles, and mounts as well. I expect it is fully worth the cover price just as a pictorial reference to inter-war experimental US tanks, entirely aside form the machine guns. As of this filming, copies of the 2007 reprint are still available, for a…

Book Review: Vickers Guide, Kalashnikov Volume 1
Video / December 21, 2019

Available direct: I am proud to announce the newest book in the Vickers Guide series: Kalashnikov (Volume 1)! Cowritten by Larry Vickers, Rob Stott, and myself, this is a beautiful exhibition of 7.62x39mm AK rifles (smallbore AKs and other types will be covered by future volumes). If you have seen any of the previous Vickers Guide books, you know what you have to look forward to in this one – if not, prepare for the most gorgeous firearms photography you’ll see in any print book. This is intended as a coffee table display type book, but also includes a remarkable amount of relevant information about AK development and production. The first chapter on Russian guns starts with the prototype actual “AK47”, goes through the patterns of milled AKs to the stamped AKM, and on to the modern AK203 and AK15. The book then progresses to 7.62x39mm variants made by Albania, Bulgaria, China, East Germany, Egypt, Hungary, Iraq, North Korea, the Khyber Pass, Poland, Romania, Vietnam, and Yugoslavia. These include not just standard rifles, but also short barreled and LMG variations, plus grenade launchers and more. I am quite proud to have been a part of the team that created…

Book Review: Walther Pistols – Models 1 to PPX
Video / December 16, 2019 Cool Forgotten Weapons merch! Dieter Marschall originally published his book on Walther Pistols in German, but it was translated into English to meet demand form the collector market here in the US. This is the third English edition, expanded form previous ones. Unlike most books on Walther, this one covers all of Walther’s post-war production, including both current guns like the PPQ and PPX, but also the decades of production by Manurhin as well as other unlicensed copies. This makes it quite comprehensive in scope, which is great.  The book is formatted as basically a catalog of models and variations – ideal for a collector, but a bit lacking as a book that tells the story of the pistols. Whether that is a pro or a con depends on what the reader is looking for, of course. What there can be no doubt of, however, is that it is the best value for the dollar in Walther reference material right now, with a price of $44 as of this writing. One can argue where is is better or lesser than works by Rankin and others, but it is available right now and for a very reasonable price. In…

Book Review: Desert Sniper, by Ed Nash
Video / December 13, 2019

Available from Amazon: “Desert Sniper” is an autobiographical account of Ed Nash’s time fighting as a volunteer with Kurdish forces against ISIS in Syria in 2015 and 2016. Nash had been working as a volunteer with the Free Burma Rangers when he decided in 2015 that the growing list of ISIS atrocities demanded action. With his background in journalism and experience as a liaison for the FBR, he thought he could do some good helping to fight one of the most starkly evil groups the 21st century has yet seen. So, he boarded a plane to the middle east. Kurdish organization being somewhat subpar, his skills as a journalist were not exploited, and instead he went to a sniper tabor (fighting unit) with a Dragunov, which would be his primary weapon for the rest of his time in country. His book describes the experience from start to finish, including insight into Kurdish culture and politics, training, tactics, and more. He worked with both Kurdish men and women (a substantial fraction of the Kurdish fighters and commanders were female) and with other foreign volunteers like himself and various Special Forces teams from coalition nations like France, the UK, and the…

Book Review: The Martini Henry, For Queen and Empire
Video / December 9, 2019

Get the copy direct from IMA: https://world wide Or from Amazon . com here: Don’t miss Alpinshaw’s own website: http://world wide Among the perennial challenges facing authors of firearms reference books is balancing the technical nit-pickery using the broad historic look at a gun and it is context in world occasions. The emphasis is generally tending for the technical, but Neil Alpinshaw has been doing a great job of balancing the 2, making the introduction of the Martini-Henry an interesting story simultaneously (an uncommon task within this genre!). His new book “The Martini-Henry: For Queen and Empire” mixes vivid descriptions of British troops fighting over the far-flung corners around the globe using their reliable Martinis with past the event and modernization from the rifles (and carbines). Most fascinating in my experience personally was the section around the Martini-enfield, that was is the improved form of the Martini-Henry. Chambered for any smaller sized-bore .402 caliber cartridge and fitted with sights for rapid close-in combat in addition to lengthy-range volley fire and sporting a fast-loading magazine connected to the receiver, this can be a fascinating consider the greatest evolution from the single-shot black-powder military rifle. Its development was dashed…

Book Review: Vickers Guide to the Kalashnikov, Volume II
Video / November 9, 2019

Shipping now, only accessible direct from Vickers Guide: https://world wide Fair disclaimer: I might be biased, like me a co-author of the work… Vickers Guide has returned using the second volume around the AK, particularly on 5.45mm and 5.56mm Kalashnikovs. If you want the very first volume, you’ll certainly such as this one – it had been brought by Ray Vickers with myself and Take advantage of Stott co-authoring, and addition contributions from Maxim Popenker, Miles Vining, Nic Jenzen-Johnson, Jack Dutschke, Kevin Greggory, Lyndon Schooler, Vladimir Onokoy, Zoltan Szoros, Jonathan Ferguson, and much more! This volume is 350 pages, with almost the very first half focused on Russian rifles. These includes a lot of our prime-tech interesting developments like balanced-recoil designs together with trials and prototype guns, LMGs, grenade launchers, and a multitude of standard production guns. The 2nd 1 / 2 of it covers all of those other world, including Bulgaria, Burma, China, the Czech Republic, East Germany, Finland, Hungary, Israel, Belgium, Romania, and Nigeria. As before, this really is should have been an espresso table book and never an in depth reference book, but most of us have done our very best to make sure that the…

Book Review: FN49 – The Last Elegant Old World Military Rifle (New Edition)
Video / November 2, 2019

Available direct in the writer: https://world wide Or via Amazon . com: I’ve been impatiently waiting for the expanded second edition of Wayne Johnson’s “The FN-49: The Final Elegant Old-World Military Rifle” since I heard a rumor it had become within the works. The very first edition was printed in 2004, and offered out before I began searching for any copy. There is additionally a Collector Grade book around the FN-49, but there have been facets of the storyline that it doesn’t adequately cover. Well, Johnson’s new book is finally here, and it is an enormous expansion in the first version. Actually, the page count has greater than bending, to in excess of 450 pages and most a 1000 photographs. It’s printed by Wet Dog Publications (Anthony Vanderlinden), and the knowledge about their own previous books on Mauser rifles and handguns reveals within the layout and editing of the work. It starts with some fundamental good reputation for FN as well as designer Dieudonné Saive for context, after which moves in to the developmental work made by FN on semiauto rifles within the years before World War Two. There’s a number of chapters on each one of the…

Book Review: French Tanks of the Great War
Video / October 27, 2019

On Amazon . com: Getting lately finished guiding a WW1 battlefield tour in France and Belgium, I discovered myself curious to understand more about the facts of French tank development and repair. We are utilized to seeing and listening to the British tanks, however it was really in france they Renault Foot-17 light tank that will set the way forward for modern tank development. It I discovered was Tim Gale’s “French Tanks within the Great War” past both development and combat utilisation of the three mixers saw French service (the Schneider, the St. Chamond, and also the Foot-17). The developmental story isn’t technical within this book – it’s focused rather around the logistic and business growth and development of the tank service (the “Special Artillery”). The technical development is included, although not in much detail. In which the book is packed with detail is incorporated in the combat good reputation for the tanks. In the Nivelle Offensive in 1917 with the finish from the war, Gale describes those things from the tank units deployed to every major unit. These details comes make up the original after-action reports from the French military archives, and it is packed with details, frequently…