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Book Review: The Book of Rifles by W.H.B and Joseph E. Smith

This is an excellent book to start a firearms library with. It has a lot of great information for a very affordable cost – I found my copy for $3 at a gun show, but it can be bought on Amazon for not much more.


5 comments to Book Review: The Book of Rifles by W.H.B and Joseph E. Smith

  • Andy

    I have a copy of this book and the sister book “The Book of Pistols and Revolvers” by the same author. I too really enjoyed seeing protoype / rare guns, especially the WWII-era German guns. I highly recommend hunting down the companion book. Apparently there was a third book in the series covering other small arms like shotguns, SMGs and man-portable machineguns, but I have not found that yet, and I do not recall the title.

    I really dig these book reviews and look forward to the next one. It’s too bad you didn’t show a page with a good cutaway to give people an idea of how valuable this book can be to somebody looking to fix up an old or obscure gun.

  • Kathleen Smith Riley

    My father was Joseph E. Smith. He revised the Book of Rifles, The Book of Pisols and Revolvers” and “Small Arms of the World.” He died in 1976, with the last edition of Small Arms being completed in 1973. As you can guess – I’m so very proud of my father. Not only did he work on these books, when he died he was Chief of the Weapons Systems Division of the Foreign Science and Technology Center, Dept. of the Army.

    • Paul

      I have a copy of that book which was edited by your father and it’s very insightful. Things are described clearly and in detail. I recommend it every chance I get.

      • Kathleen Smith Riley

        Thank you so much for the compliment about my Dad’s book! It’s so cool to me that after all these year people are still finding them so useful.

  • Kathleen Smith Riley

    I forgot to mention that Joseph E. Smith, my Dad, and W.H.B. Smith were not related at all. My Dad starting revising the book when W.H.B. died, in 1959.

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