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Book & Game Reviews By Forgotten Weapons

Discussion in 'Firearms' started by searcher, Sep 10, 2016.



  1. searcher

    searcher Mother Lode Found Site Supporter ++ Mother Lode

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    Book Review: "Star Firearms" and "Astra Firearms" by Leonardo Antaris
    Forgotten Weapons



    Published on Sep 10, 2016
    Star Firearms: http://amzn.to/2c29MyS
    Astra Firearms: http://amzn.to/2c29OXw

    Leonardo Antaris has written massive and excellent volumes on two of the major companies in the Spanish firearms industry, Star and Astra. Both of these companies made a wide range of military and commercial handguns, and Antaris' book cover everything. They include historical context for the guns, details on many competitors to Star and Astra products, detailed production records, and excellent explanations of the differences between variants.

    The books are not cheap, but are absolutely worth the price for anyone interested in Spanish handguns. Once they sell out (and only a few hundred of each were printed), they will be gone forever - so get your copies now.
     
  2. GOLDBRIX

    GOLDBRIX God,Donald Trump,most in GIM2 I Trust. OTHERS-meh Site Supporter Platinum Bling

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    The Dam_ Books costs more than most of the guns they write about. Definitely for the collector crowd.

    My STAR B.Echeverra Model BM in 9mm didn't cost that much in the '90s (of course it was a F2F purchase-used).

    An interesting note : In movie such as Saving Private Ryan most of the movies .45cal pistols were actually 9mm such as STAR Model B & BMs.

    Dang magazines are a booger to find also. The New Manufactured magazines designed for STAR B.E. B&BM don't fit correctly and had to send them back.

    Anybody with access to actual STAR E.B Model BM magazines drop me a line. I've got two would like some more. gb
     
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  3. searcher

    searcher Mother Lode Found Site Supporter ++ Mother Lode

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    Book Review: "The Makarov Pistol" by Henry Brown and Cameron White
    Forgotten Weapons



    Published on Oct 25, 2016
    Paperback and Kindle Versions: http://amzn.to/2eoWAFW

    This new book is a very good collectors' guide to the Makarov, although it definitely leaves a place open for someone to write a more comprehensive reference work on the subject. It comes to a total of 122 pages, split primarily into a section on the Soviet Makarov (written by Brown) and a section on the East German Makarov (written by White). Both sections appear to have their research based on observation of known examples of the guns, with a nice large sample size allowing for accurate inferences to be made regarding production numbers, timelines, and changes in characteristics. Eventually, someone will print a book in English based on original arsenal and military documents - but this is not that book.

    It also suffers aesthetically from being clearly a self-published book. Some photos retaining background shadows and cropping, and the layout is very simplistic. None of this negatively impacts the information conveyed, however, and reducing the layout and printing costs did presumably help make the project feasible in the first place. Someone looking for a Leonardo Antaris or Collector Grade work will be disappointed, as this is more akin to Robert Adair's book on Unique Pistols.

    That said, the content is good and contains plenty of useful elements. The changes from the initial prototypes to the early production pistols and thence to the mass production and late production guns includes a number of minor part variations that are not documented elsewhere in print, and the explanation of Makarov serial number and dating schemes (to the extend they are deciphered so far) is excellent for the collector. Some of the less-standard variants are also discussed, including the Soviet PMM (double-stack modernized Makarov), Baikal export guns, and the Makarovs sold in the 90s by Suhl. Import marks are examined in some detail, especially in the East German section, which will be very helpful for tracing where different examples have been. Both sections also include looks at accessories, including ammunition, holsters, and lanyards.

    Overall, the book is worth the $30 asking price for those who are interested in the topic. It has a bunch of information not found in Datig's book, and is a great guide for the beginning collector. It is also nice to see that it is available electronically on the Kindle for $10, for those folks who prefer their media in that format.
     
  4. searcher

    searcher Mother Lode Found Site Supporter ++ Mother Lode

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    Forgotten Weapons Reviews Battlefield 1
    Forgotten Weapons



    Published on Nov 2, 2016
    http://www.patreon.com/ForgottenWeapons

    I am not much of a computer gamer these days, but since it was first announced I have known that I would need to try out Battlefield One. It has the distinction of being pretty much the only game produced by a major high-budget studio set in World War One. Fair disclosure; I did have a chance to meet a bunch of the developers at DICE LA, and they are great folks. If you watch the game credits, you will see my name there.

    So, what is the game? On the surface it looks like World War One, but at its heart it is a reincarnation of the Battlefield series of games, and continues all of their core mechanics and premises. This is not a combat simulation, it is an arcade game. Whether you think that is fantastic of terrible depends entirely on what you are looking for.

    If you want a game where you get to mow down waves of the enemy with WWI-looking guns, you will enjoy BF1. If you enjoy a frenetically-paced multiplayer free-for-all, you will enjoy BF1. If you want a game that tries to recreate the experience of World War One, you will find BF1 to be a terrible disappointment.

    Want to see the real future of combat sims? Check out our video about Onward: https://www.full30.com/video/5cece055...
     
  5. searcher

    searcher Mother Lode Found Site Supporter ++ Mother Lode

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    Book Review: "FN Mauser Rifles" by Anthony Vanderlinden
    Forgotten Weapons



    Published on Jan 2, 2017
    Buy the book here: http://www.fnbrowning.com/fn-mauser-r...

    When I was waiting for my copy of Anthony Vanderlinden's new book "FN Mauser Rifles" to arrive, I was expecting a typical sort of dry reference work. You know, the sort of thing that is essential for looking up details like the serial number range for a specific contract, or the sling swivel location on some specific nation's version of a rifle. When the book arrived and I cracked it open, I found something quite different.

    What I found was an authentically engrossing history of Belgium, the Fabrique Nationale company, and the rifles it produced. It would have been a savvy move to deliberately expound on the context of FN's Mausers to make them more interesting (let's be honest; Mauser contract variations are not the most riveting subject in arms history), but I think the book took this path because of the author's genuine passion for the subject and a desire to share that passion with others. Good grief, the man owns a 1926 FN car! If that's not devotion to a subject, I don't know what is (and it's really cool!).

    Anyway, the first half of the book is a tale of Belgian history and arms production. The trials that led to the adoption of the 1891 Mauser and the subsequent formation of the FN conglomerate by the preeminent armsmakers of Liege in order to secure a contract to make those 1891s. The production leading up to WWI, and the Belgian response to that war, including production in the United States and England. The company's recovery after the war, including its efforts in the automotive industry. The buildup to WWII, and the response to yet another German occupation. Sabotage of German production. Recovery after that war as well, and FN's role in post-war Europe as Mauser production came to an end. And throughout this tale, the simultaneous story of the Congo Free Sate as it became the Belgian Congo and took part in Belgium's trials and tribulations.

    In the more technical sections of the book, Vanderlinder presents information that has heretofore been pretty hazy, like the actual differences between FN Mauser model designations, and exactly who ordered what and when. He also provides excellent detail on the manufacture, repair, and later conversions of the Model 1891 rifles for the Belgian military as well as the Congolese armed forces.

    As you have probably realized by this point, I found the book an excellent and compelling read...not the sort of thing one would normally expect from this subject matter. You don't need to be an avid enthusiast of FN or Belgian history to appreciate it. Quite the opposite, in fact - if you (like most people) have only the most cursory knowledge of the subject, it is an excellent way for you to really find an appreciation for the company and country. Just be warned that the cover price doesn't include the rifles you will want to buy once you've started reading!

    "FN Mauser Rifles" is available directly from the publisher (who is also the author, but this is not a self-published work) at www.FNBrowning.com. Ordering there instead of from other dealers will get you an autographed copy, which is a nice bonus.

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  6. searcher

    searcher Mother Lode Found Site Supporter ++ Mother Lode

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    Book Review: Vickers Guide AR15
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    Published on Jan 11, 2017
    https://www.vickersguide.com

    I don't normally have much interest in coffee-table books, and the Vickers Guide: AR-15 would definitely be considered a coffee-table book. That said, it is substantially different than most such books, and much more worthy of a place in a firearms reference library.

    A coffee-table book, as I see it, is one which is based more on photographs than on text, and which is really suited for opening to a random page and browsing for a few seconds or a few minutes, without needing to be read in sequence - or really "read" at all. The problem with most of these is that they are thrown together by editors with no real understanding of firearms or history, and at least half populated by uninteresting pictures (usually accompanied by some bits of text originally written by Ian Hogg but washed through so many editors as to be meaningless). The Vickers Guide here is different because it was done with a very thorough knowledge of the history and a clear purpose.

    The book begins with Eugene Stoner's first prototype rifles, through the Hollywood AR10s to the different AI contract AR10s (Cuba, Guatemala, Sudan, Portugal), then to the prototype Armalite AR-15s, a variety of Colt prototypes (grenade launchers, belt fed guns, SMGs, LMGs, different sights, fire control groups, etc), and through the modern variants used by the US military. The progression makes sense, and the photographs do an excellent job showing the details of each different rifle. This book provides an excellent photographic companion to a technical reference history of AR pattern rifle development, as well as fulfilling the coffee-table role of being a pleasure to just page through.

    It is only available directly from the publisher (www.VickersGuide.com), and many people will find the price a bit steep at $95 for the basic book (more for an autographed copy or special edition). While some of that price comes from the Vickers brand being on it, it also comes from being an excellent-looking large-format book of glossy photographs. If you've been looking for a way to enjoy the process of memorizing the differences between the different AR10 contracts or the Colt 605, 606, 607, and 608, this is the book for you.

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  7. searcher

    searcher Mother Lode Found Site Supporter ++ Mother Lode

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    Book Review: The Schmeisser Myth by Martin Helebrant
    Forgotten Weapons



    Published on Feb 17, 2017
    "The Schmeisser Myth" is available through Collector Grade directly, or Amazon:
    http://www.collectorgrade.com/bookshe...
    http://amzn.to/2lkGw8j

    "The Schmeisser Myth: German Submachine Guns Through Two World Wars" is a newly published history of SMG development from the Villar Perosa and MP18 through the MP38 and MP40, written by Martin Helebrant. Given that it is published by Collector Grade, it should be no surprise that it is an excellent volume, which includes both historical and developmental context as well as detailed collectors' information on markings, variations, and production numbers.

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  8. searcher

    searcher Mother Lode Found Site Supporter ++ Mother Lode

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    Book Review: Firearms Developed and Manufactured in Southern Africa 1949-2000
    Forgotten Weapons



    Published on May 7, 2017
    https://www.warbooks.co.za/products/f...

    Until recently, there has been very little published information on South African and Rhodesian firearms outside of a few sporadic magazine articles - but that is no longer the case! The Pretoria Arms and Ammunition Association has recently published the epic results of a 17-person, 8.5 year long research project documenting the development and manufacture of guns in South Africa and Rhodesia from 1949 until 2000 (or just after, in a few cases). This 530+ page tome covers both the major and minor manufacturers; basically everything short of underground hand-made criminal guns. The major chapters include Musgrave, Lyttelton (now Denel), Republic Arms, Truvelo, and Milkor (and their respective brand names).

    Unlike many firearms reference books, this one covers everything made in the area, from civilian hunting rifles to compact pistols to military arms to crude half-baked submachine guns and the assortment of unorthodox shotguns that thrived in South Africa. There are many well-recognized but little-understood guns for which this book finally sheds a light on the development of, including the Vektor CP1 and CR21, the Neostead and Striker-12/Protecta shotguns, and the details of South African and Rhodesia FAL rifles.

    Basically, the book is a treasure trove for anyone interested in safari rifles, the South African brush wars, or the dynamics of an isolated country developing a modern arms industry. The Pretoria Arms and Ammunition Association has really outdone themselves on this work!

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  9. searcher

    searcher Mother Lode Found Site Supporter ++ Mother Lode

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    Book Review - The Last Enfield: SA80 The Reluctant Rifle
    Forgotten Weapons



    Published on May 14, 2017
    Available from Amazon: http://amzn.to/2qaDJEi
    Available from Collector Grade Publications: http://www.collectorgrade.com/bookshe...

    Since we are in the midst of an ongoing video series looking at the development of the SA80 weapons family, I figured this would be a good time to mention the single best source of written information on that program: Steve Raw's book "The Last Enfield: SA80 The Reluctant Rifle". Published in 2003 by Collector Grade Publications, this roughly 300 page work covers the SA80 program from its very earliest beginnings through the Enfield Weapons System days (in 4.85mm), the transition to the 5.56mm SA80, troop trials, adoption, the Gulf War revelations of its problems, and the HK A2 redesign.

    As one would expect of a Collector Grade book, this work is extremely thorough, showing in detail the design changes that were made and explaining their circumstances. Its covers not just the standard L85 Individual Weapon and L86 Light Support Weapon, but also the various special models that were prototyped (carbines, grenade launchers, etc) as well as accessories like blank firing adapters and bayonets (and much more).

    Until you read through The Last Enfield, you will not fully realize the catastrophe that was SA80. It is truly mind boggling just how badly wrong this weapon's development path went. Each chapter is a new litany of disasters, as the gun in many ways became (unbelievable as this may be) worse as it progressed through development and trials. For anyone interested in weapons design and military procurement, this is an essential story to know, and The Last Enfield is without any doubt the one comprehensive explanation of that story.

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  10. searcher

    searcher Mother Lode Found Site Supporter ++ Mother Lode

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    Book Review - The Lee Enfield, by Ian Skennerton
    Forgotten Weapons



    Published on May 21, 2017
    Available from Amazon: http://amzn.to/2qBntgB

    Ian Skennerton is a leading authority on British rifles, having written extensively on Sniders, Martinis, Enfields, and more. This specific book, "The Lee Enfield" is the most recent iteration of his compendium of Lee-Enfield information, printed in 2007 (previous versions were "The Lee Enfield Story" of the 1980s and "The British Service Lee" of the 90s). It is an absolute wealth of information, including a large amount of original British military documents. Skennerton covers a huge array of developmental and experimental versions of the Enfield as well as the standard production models (including American, Canadian, Australian, and Indian production).

    Strange WW1 modifications and accessories, grenade launchers, snipers, lightweight guns, carbines, long rifles, semiautomatic conversions, you name it - it's all here. Unfortunately, the organization and editing leaves a lot to be desired, in my opinion. It is a book that looks magnificent when idly flipped through, but can be frustrating to use to understand the history of a gun or guns. The text often jumps from one subject to another, forcing the reader to piece together elements from different sections to figure out a coherent story.

    That said, it remains an indispensable book for the Enfield enthusiast, as it has a ton of information not found elsewhere. I hope that if a new revision or edition is ever produced, Mr. Skennerton will employ the services of a ruthless editor to help him form the raw information into a more navigable history.

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  11. searcher

    searcher Mother Lode Found Site Supporter ++ Mother Lode

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    Book Review: Deadly Beauties - Rare German Handguns
    Forgotten Weapons



    Published on Jun 25, 2017
    Volume I, pre-WWI: http://www.schifferbooks.com/deadly-b...

    Volume II, 1914-1945: http://www.schifferbooks.com/deadly-b...

    Available also through Amazon: http://amzn.to/2rokzYx

    Deadly Beauties is a photographic collection of rare and collectible German pistols from 1871 through 1945, split into two volumes. The written sections are quite brief, and the photography is beautiful. More importantly, the photography was well directed by the authors, focusing on the details of the guns which are of the most interest to students of firearms history and development.

    It is hard to ay much else about the book, since its content is so thoroughly photographic, so I will let a partial list of the guns speak for itself:

    Volume I

    - Mauser C77
    - Presentation 1879 Reichsrevolver
    - Experimental C96 Carbine in 7.63x41mm
    - Borchardt-Luger #5
    - Chilean GL-marked Luger
    - 1892 Prototype Bergmann
    - Mauser C06/08
    - Presentation Engraved 6-Shot C96

    Volume II

    - Artillery Luger with Night Sights
    - Nickl "Reihenfeuer" C96 Machine Pistol
    - Mauser Nickl .45 Caliber Prototype
    - Walther Toggle-Locked Prototype
    - DWM Baby Luger
    - Stocked Walther Armee Pistole
    - Walther Stamped Prototype Volkspistole
    - BSW Prototype Double Stack
    - Mauser HSv
    - Mauser Prototype Sheet Metal HSc
     
  12. searcher

    searcher Mother Lode Found Site Supporter ++ Mother Lode

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    Book Review: Paul Mauser - His Life, Company, and Handgun Development 1838 - 1914
    Forgotten Weapons



    Published on Jul 2, 2017
    From the Publisher: http://www.simpsonltd.com/product_inf...
    From the Authors: http://www.lugerlp08.com
    From Amazon: http://amzn.to/2te3O3F

    The new book on Paul Mauser from Mauro Baudino and Gerben van Vlimmeren is an excellent exploration through the labyrinthine corners of the Mauser Archives. Written with an assumption that the audience will already have a reasonable working knowledge of the main Mauser firearms from Paul Mauser's lifetime, this 586-page volume is a look behind the curtain of Mauser's private life.

    The Mauser Archives are not a formal archive, so much as simply a massive collection of personal and company documents that have been saved from destruction my a number of interested parties. They include diaries, notes on scrap papers, technical drawings, and corporate ledgers books of various types (and more). The information within this archive is often difficult to discern, as it small notes can be meaningless when seen alone, but quite significant when placed in proper context. This book is the distilled results of years of study of the Archives, and as such it includes a great deal of interesting and previously unknown information. The subjects covered include:

    - Paul and Wilhelm's relationship with each other
    - Bergmann's claims of betrayal
    - The cancelled Mexican C96 contract
    - C96 safety issues with the German military during WWI
    - Mauser's avoidance of Versailles regulations in the 1920s
    - Mauser's relationship with Luger, Schwarzlose, Borchardt, and others

    And much more. The C96 handgun is the single greatest focus of the book, although all of Mauser's other work is discussed, including the C77, 1878 revolver, all bolt action rifle iterations, the C06/08, the 1909 family of handguns, and a few of the self-loading rifle prototypes. It is the self-loading rifles that are least discussed, as the authors are (by their own explanation) much more knowledgable on the handguns that Mauser produced than the rifles.

    The layout of the book does leave something to be desired, as it is quite simplistic. More effort by the editor or publisher to give some style and variety to the pages would have made it a more attractive book, although the text itself I found to be engaging and well written. For those who are interested in learning about Mauser in depth, this is an indispensable work.
     
  13. searcher

    searcher Mother Lode Found Site Supporter ++ Mother Lode

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    Book Review - Weapon of Choice by Dr. Matthew Ford
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    Published on Jul 9, 2017
    It may look like an airport bookshop thriller, but don't let the cover fool you - Dr. Matthew Ford's "Weapon of Choice: Small Arms and the Culture of Military Innovation" is a seriously rigorous academic study of the military small arms adoption process. The process is examined through the lens of the series of new rifles adopted by the UK through the 20th century - the SMLE, No4 Enfield, SLR, SA80, and FN Minimi.

    Where most book on a subject like this focus on the weapons themselves, Ford instead examines the political and sociological factors that drove the decision making process. In doing so, he is promoting a particular sociological theory about group interaction - I think. Some of the language requires too many letter after one's name for me to understand, but that does not obstruct the fantastic history at the heart of the book.

    Was the SMLE a tool for the cavalry to remain relevant in a military environment becoming more suitable for ousted infantry?

    Could the .280 British cartridge have been adopted by NATO if the British had challenged the US standard for terminal effectiveness instead of attempting to meet it?

    Do soldiers actually have the perspective necessary to make effective weaponry choices or are they vulnerable to appearance and advertising like any normal commercial product?

    How did the major NATO members differ in their vision of infantry combat and how did that lead to different small arms preferences among them?

    What made FN so sneaky and effective?

    Okay, Ford doesn't really ask that last one, but one will probably close Weapon of Choice with a new respect for FN's marketing prowess. The rest of these are major topics of the book, and Ford presents his theses with a substantial level of detail and insight that I have not found elsewhere. If any of these question pique your interest, then you should definitely pick up a copy of Weapon of Choice.

    Available from Amazon here: http://amzn.to/2tWAMdw
     
  14. searcher

    searcher Mother Lode Found Site Supporter ++ Mother Lode

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    Book Review: Ott-Helmuth von Lossnitzer, Technical Director of the Mauser Company 1933-1945
    Forgotten Weapons



    Published on Jul 16, 2017
    Available from Mowbray: http://gunandswordcollector.com/produ...

    Ott-Helmuth (Otto, after he emigrated to the US) von Lossnitzer was a remarkable firearms engineer. He served through World War One as a machine gunner, gaining extensive experience with a variety of different machine guns that were rebuilt in 8x57mm for German military use, and was called back into service with German ordnance during the 1920s. He became a recognized authority on small arms design and use, and in 1933 was approached by Mauser to head up their new R&D department. This job he held until 1945, when the war ended.

    In 1947, von Lossnitzer emigrated to the US under Operation Paperclip, and went to work for Springfield Arsenal. In 1957 he was promoted to Supervisor Engineer of small arms R&D for Springfield, and he remained in that role until the Arsenal closed - being responsible for the 20mm Vulcan cannon among many other projects. He then spent 3 years working for Army Material Command, until the mandatory retirement age of 70. He followed this with a private job working on cartridge development, and in the 1970s dictated this memoir of his time at Mauser. The work was organized by Leslie Field, edited and fact-checked by Bas Martens, and ultimately published by Henk Visser.

    Available from Mowbray, this memoir is a must-have reference for serious students of small arms development. Mauser was a hotbed of excellent engineering work during and before WW2, and Lossnitzer had an excellent memory of what the company did. From large scale projects like taped-bore antitank weapons to rotary aircraft cannon to small but essential work on spring testing machines and high speed cameras, the book is chuck full of fascinating data.

    In total, its 380 pages are roughly one third memoir and two thirds supplemental documents, including a complete copy of the CIOS report on Mauser and translations of Mauser's monthly research institute reports from October 1943 to February 1945. It is a detailed book with a pretty limited target audience, and once it is sold out I would be very surprised to see a second printing - publication was financed by Visser because of its historical importance, and not because it would be a profitable enterprise.
     
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    searcher Mother Lode Found Site Supporter ++ Mother Lode

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    Literature Review: English-Language Books on French Firearms
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    Published on Jul 23, 2017
    Get the shirt here: https://shop.bbtv.com/collections/for...

    http://www.patreon.com/ForgottenWeapons

    Since we are in the middle of a series on French rifles, I figured it would be an appropriate time to take a look at what printed reference books are out there in English on the subject of French military arms. Unfortunately, the selection is very limited, and only two of these are still in print.

    There is no book covering bolt action rifles like the Lebel and Berthier, so I am working on writing one myself (which I plan to have cover rifles from the Chassepot to the the FAMAS). However, here is what can be found now:

    French Military Arms by Major James Hicks. This is a reprint of a types pamphlet written in 1938, which covers rifles, pistols, machine guns, artillery, grenades, and bladed arms from 1717 to 1938. While wide-ranging, it includes very little detail beyond the names of the various items, and is not entirely accurate.
    http://amzn.to/2ujX5qP

    Proud Promise by Jean Huon. An outstanding reference on French semiautomatic rifles, from the earliest developments before WWI to the retirement of the MAS 49/56. Most of France's self-loading rifle development was done in secret by military institutions without use of patents, which makes research on them very difficult (many of these records are still classified as state secrets, thanks to French bureaucracy). M. Huon has done an excellent job finding and presenting this information.
    http://amzn.to/2vt3Maf

    Honour Bound by Gerard Demaison and Yves Buffetaut. Another excellent work from Collector Grade Publications, this is specifically on the M1915 Chauchat machine rifle. It covers the weapon's development, accessories, context in the French military, and wartime field usage. It is a must-have for anyone interested in World Wa rOne or French arms, and is still available from the publisher for the cover price of $40....at least at the time this video was filmed.
    http://amzn.to/2uiWKGf

    The Last Bolt Gun by Steve Jackson. A self-published ebook covering specifically the MAS-36. It is not a reference book with the depth of the previous two, but it is a good overview of the MAS-36 for the typical owner. Do not expect too much, and you will not be disappointed. Available in both print and electronic forms.
    http://amzn.to/2uIwkip

    The French 1935 Pistols by Eugene Medlin and Colin Doane. Approximately 140 pages on the development, production, use, and accessories for the 1935A and 1935S automatic pistols, adopted by the French military to replace the half-dozen different handguns used through World War One. Quite good, and unfortunately out of print.
    http://amzn.to/2gRsgqu

    Military Handguns of France by Eugene Medlin and Jean Huon. Similar in size and composition to the previous book, but larger in scope, covering French military handguns form 1858 to 1958 (the Lefaucheaux pinfire to the MAC PA 1950). Also a very good reference, essential for anyone interested in French handguns. Unfortunately also out of print.
    http://amzn.to/2ujXg5t


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    Book Review: Vickers Guide AR15 Volume II
    Forgotten Weapons



    Published on Jul 30, 2017
    Get your copy here: https://www.vickersguide.com

    Larry Vickers and James Rupley have followed their first volume of AR-15s with a second one - as we should have expected when the first one was title "Volume I". Where the first volume covered the early development of the AR by Armalite and Colt, this second volume looks at more modern iterations of the AR platform, including a variety of foreign made types (Diemaco, Norinco, HK, etc).

    The book also includes an interesting look at the development of piston-driven AR models from the early Colt experimental model to the Taiwanese T65 to the current HK 416 and 417 (which Vickers has a particularly authoritative inside perspective on). And, of course, the series of modern 7.62mm NATO AR10 type rifles mike the American M110, British L129A1, and others.

    I had been expecting a lot of commercial or competition type rifles to be in this volume, and was quite happily surprised to be wrong. Just because they are modern rifles doesn't mean they are boring - the different iterations of models and accessories used by various military forces in the recent past make for some pretty interesting comparison.

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    Book Review: The Uzi Submachine Gun Examined, by David Gaboury
    Forgotten Weapons



    Published on Aug 13, 2017
    Get a copy from the publisher: https://gunandswordcollector.com/prod...

    Or from Amazon: http://amzn.to/2fibSyV

    "The UZI Submachine Gun: Examined" is a newly published book this year by David Gaboury - long time owner and operator of the uzitalk.com forum. Until now there has not really been any substantive written reference material on the Uzi, but Gaboury has certainly changed that!

    The Uzi has not really seen many major variations in its design beyond the Uzi/Mini Uzi/Micro Uzi scaling (and the semiauto and full auto variations of each), but it has lived two rather distinct lives. One is the Uzi as a global military arm, and the other is the Uzi as an American commercial product - and this book covers both is excellent detail.

    On the military side, the book begins with a substantial chapter on the initial development of the Uzi and Israeli submachine gun trials. A remarkably wide variety of guns were considered by the Israeli armed forces, and the trial ultimately came down to two domestic designs. The influence of the Czech ZK-476 and SA vz 23/4/5/6 designs are well explained, and much of the mythology about where the design came from is dispelled. Gaboury makes good use of both original documentary sources and firsthand conversation with those who were involved at the time the tell this story.

    With the gun accepted, in production, and becoming very popular with Israeli troops, international sales become a possibility. Gaboury covers the adoption of the gun by the Dutch armed forces, followed by the German and South African militaries - as well as the licensed production by FN. He also examines other copies and adaptations, including Croatian, Japanese, and Chinese.

    The second half of the Uzi story is that of its sale in the United States (including the use by US security organizations including the Secret Service). This is a story every bit as complex and detailed as the international military use of the gun, as US legal changes in 1968, 1986, 1989, 1994, and 2004 all play a major role in dictating changes that must be made to the guns for import and sale. In particular, Gaboury has detailed chapters on the major sellers of Uzis in the US - Action Arms, Group Industries, and Vector Arms (as well as many other smaller players).

    While there may not be many major variations of the Uzi, there are a multitude of smaller changes to individual parts in both design and production technique, and Gaboury covers these in remarkable detail. If there is a flaw to the book, it is not in lack of detail, but perhaps in a bit of dryness to the writing. The information is clearly presented, but not particularly engaging to the reader who is only mildly interested in the subject. This is a minor criticism, however, and the book is an outstanding reference for anyone who has, well, really any questions at all about the Uzi.
     
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    Book Review: Training Rifles of Third Reich Germany
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    Published on Sep 10, 2017
    Get your copy here: http://www.simpsonltd.com/product_inf...

    Robert Simpson's massive project of studying and documenting German training rifles has resulted in this much-anticipated reference tome. At 700 pages and full color, it a tremendous resource for understanding the chronology and features of the dozens if not hundreds of variations of these rifles that were brought back by American soldiers after WWII.

    The Nazi party deliberately and effectively reorganized German shooting sports into a single predominant type of competition oriented towards military training when they took power. As part of this effort, the party wanted competition rifles to mimic the handling of the military K98k Mauser, and this led to a series of progressively better .22 rimfire rifles. These rifles were manufactured by a consortium, and with dozens of companies participating, this leads to huge numbers of variations in the markings and fine details of the resulting guns. When writing a book on such a topic, organization is hugely important.

    What Simpson has done is begin the book with sections on the two major patterns of training rifles - the DSM (Deutsches Sportmodell) and the KKW (Kleinkaliber Wehrsportgewehr). Each of those sections is subdivided into chapters for each company that was involved, and those chapters detail the markings, variations, and other relevant details to each company's production. Each section also has a table at the end (often several pages long) listing all of the examples catalogued as part of the book, including their serial numbers, serialized parts, unique markings, and relevant notes.

    The sections on the DSM and KKW constitute about the first half of the book, and the second half is used to cover a wide range of associated material. There are chapters on the Nazi training schools, police training rifles, caliber conversion units, smaller-production training rifles (like the Walther Sportmodell and W625), full-caliber training rifles (wehrmanngewehr), 4mm rifles, air rifles, accessories, and more.

    One will immediately notice that this book is absolutely packed with images. Simpsons has done an excellent job of showing comparison photographs of markings and details which differ between models, and also of property markings (more on this in a moment). However, there are also a huge number of original factory advertisements and manuals, and period photographs of all aspects of the Nazi-era competition and military training world. Between these photos and its text, this book provides a remarkable amount of context to the use of these rifles. This sort of material is something I have not seen well-covered elsewhere.

    One last thing I want to touch on is the extensive coverage of property marks in the book. These training rifles were owned and used by a huge variety of different organizations, from the Hitler Youth to the NSKK, SA, DRP, and others. The rifles sometimes also include various retailer tags or markings, commemorations or plaques from being used as competition prizes, and other markings. These are shown in detail and explained, and this reference material will be invaluable to collectors trying to understand these markings that have such a wide range of origins and meanings.

    I should also point out that while this book is the direct result of Robert Simpson's long work, a number of other contributors made it possible. As listed at the front of the book, they are Richard Carey, Brad Simpson, Jim Whitley, Steve Whitley, Mark E. Butler, Nicole Browne, Joe Wotka, Mark Wieringa, and Nica Ponce.
     
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    Book Review: Sturmgewehr! From Firepower to Striking Power (New Expanded Edition)
    Forgotten Weapons



    Published on Sep 17, 2017
    Get your copy from Collector Grade Publications: http://www.collectorgrade.com/bookshe...

    Collector Grade is known for being a premiere publisher of technical firearms reference books, and I would be willing to argue that "Sturmgewehr!" by Hans-Dieter Handrich is the best book they have yet printed. The book was originally printed inn 2004, and by the time I started looking for a copy myself, it was out of print and the price had jumped to at least $250, when I could even find a copy. I could never quite bring myself to pay that much, and so I was very excited when I learned that an expanded second edition was in the works. Well, that second edition is available now, and it's even better than I had anticipated.

    What makes Sturmgewehr! such an excellent book in my opinion is how it tackles the story of the MP43/MP44/StG44 from several different angles in depth. It has the mechanical development of the gun from prewar experiments to the open-bolt MKb-42 trials guns to the production versions. But it also puts those guns in historical context, how they related to the other weapons being used by both Germany and other nations. It discusses how the design criteria of the Sturmgewehr were arrived at, in terms of logistics and manufacturing methodologies. It explains in detail the political disagreements and convoluted process of weapon design and adoption in Germany, including the three direct rejections of the concept by Hitler.

    In short, it gives you the fully-rounded story of how the German military conceived and implemented a whole new class of small arms. In this way, it is really much more than just a book about a single gun's history - what you learn reading Handrich's work will give you insight into virtually all arms design programs of the 20th century, form the Chauchat to the 7.62mm NATO rifle trials to the SA80.

    If you already have a copy of the original work, you will probably want this one as well, to get the addition 120 pages of information that have been added. And it should go without saying that if you don't have the original, you should absolutely get a copy of this new edition before it also falls out of print!
     
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    Book Review: The Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare by Damien Lewis
    Forgotten Weapons



    Published on Sep 24, 2017
    Get your copy on Amazon: http://amzn.to/2xwfDZ8

    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 either side.

    The exploits only became bigger and bolder after that, with Lassen and his comrades making regular raids across the English Channel and running a freewheeling campaign of both hit-and-run raids and occupation of Greek islands in the Aegean. These were the quintessential independent Special Forces fighters, operating outside regular military command structures and supply chains, fighting as they saw fit. Lassen eventually because the commanding officer of a large group, and by the end of the war had been awarded the Military Cross three times. His last operation in Italy - where his men were hit with a shattering defeat when pushed into the role of spearheading a conventional offensive - would result in him posthumously receiving the Victoria Cross for his heroism.

    I ended up reading the book almost entirely in a single sitting, and found it riveting and fascinating - far more so than the typical academic history. It offers a humbling and motivating example of what men can do when they are skilled and motivated. At the same time, it also left me a bit melancholy, as by the end we can see Lassen consumed by his combat experiences and slowly becoming removed from society. Nobody can say how Lassen would have coped had he survived the war, but one suspects he would have led a troubled life. Perhaps that is the price one must pay to become, as Churchill described, "a hand of steel which plucks the German sentries from their posts with growing efficiency."
     
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    Book Review: Pistolas y Subfusiles de la República Producción de Guerra
    Forgotten Weapons



    Published on Oct 1, 2017
    Get a copy for yourself here:
    https://www.blackrecon.com/pistolas-y...

    Or email the authors directly to order a copy: maquinasrepublica@gmail.com

    "Pistolas y Subfusiles de la República Producción de Guerra" is a new 580-page reference book about the pistols and submachine guns made in the Republican zone during the Spanish Civil War. It is written by three authors - Josep Mª Abad, Manuel Estirado, and Francisco Fuentes - and printed exclusively in Spanish. Unfortunately, my Spanish is not sufficient to read the text well enough to provide a real review, but I figure there are some folks who follow Forgotten Weapons who will be interested in it. So, I will show you what I can...

    The book is split into half pistols and half submachine guns, plus short chapters on the general context of Spanish arms manufacturing and the production of ammunition during the war. For pistols, the chapters cover the Astra 400, CNT/FAI Ascaso, RE, Astra 400 copies without safeties, the Isard, and a brief section on "artisanal" handguns. The submachine gun section includes chapters on the Olot-Fontbernat, Labora,David Schmeisser, another MP28 copy, and the Erma EMP. The book includes a great number of photographs, including excellent details shots showing differences between features, the present condition of building which once housed manufacturing facilities, and period photographs and propaganda posters.
     

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