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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
    Forgotten Weapons



    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
     

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