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The Vault

Book Review: Bullets by the Billion

Bullets by the Billion is a short book (77 small pages of large print) written by one Wesley Stout and published by the Chrysler Corporation on 1946. It was a company project to commemorate the feat of ammunition production performed by Chrysler during World War II. And an impressive feat it was – between June [...]

Book Review: Mauser Bolt Rifles by Olsen

Ludwig Olsen’s Mauser Bolt Rifles is one of the foundational reference books on the Mauser rifle, and deserves a place in the library of any bolt action rifle enthusiast. Olsen studies the rifle from its early single-shot, black powder beginnings through its ultimate expression as the Model 98, and the various offshoot models adopted by [...]

Book Review: The Siamese Mauser (Banzai Special Project #1)

The Banzai group of Japanese weapon collectors has been around for a long time – they began publishing their newsletter in 1982 (actually, that makes the newsletter older than I am, to some peoples’ chagrin). In 1987 they published the first of what would become many Special Projects – books on specific subjects related to [...]

Book Review: MAGNUM – The S&W .357 Magnum Phenomenon

Today we’re looking at one of the most recent additions to the Collector Grade ensemble: Tim Mullin’s MAGNUM: the S&W .357 Magnum Phenomenon. It’s a very good history of one of American’s iconic handguns:

You can pick up a copy from Collector Grade directly, or off Amazon.com:

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Book Review: The M1 Garand Rifle

I have been procrastinating the addition of a good book on the M1 Garand rifle into my own library, reading the various published material off of friends’ shelves. Now I’m glad that I have put off the purchase, because hot off the presses is a new tome by Bruce Canfield, a 900-page encyclopedia on the [...]

Book Review: The Colt 1911 – An Engineer’s Perspective

This really isn’t a book, but rather an article published for the Kindle. Malcolm Werner is a long-time skilled IPSC competitor and professional engineer, and decided to look at why the Colt 1911 was designed the way it was, and how that has allowed it to remain so popular for more than a century. The [...]

Book Review: The 100 Greatest Combat Pistols

Today we’re taking a look at the third of Tim Mullin’s hands-on firearms evaluation and testing books: The 100 Greatest Combat Pistols (the other two being on the subjects of rifles and SMGs/shotguns/machine pistols). Normally this wouldn’t be the sort of book that would grab my attention, but Mullin did an excellent job in finding [...]

Book Review: Firearm Anatomy I – Thompson M1A1 Submachine Gun

One of the questions I have gotten quite a few times is what resource I would recommend for folks who are interested in the technical engineering aspects of firearms design. It’s always been a tough question, because apart from Chinn’s multi-volume work (which is crazy expensive to buy in print now, although it is available [...]

Book Review: Winston Churchill’s Toyshop

In July of 1939 Stuart Macrae was the editor of Armchair Science magazine, and he was approached by a Major Millis Jefferis from the British War Office looking for some information on magnets. The subsequent partnership between these two men would lead over the next 6 years to a hotbed of weapons and demolition production [...]

Book Review: Allied Rifle Contracts in America

One of the characteristics that often leads me to be particularly interested in a given gun is a long and convoluted history. I really enjoy finding firearms that have found their way across the world and back. One entire category of rifles that did just that were the hundreds of thousands of rifles made in [...]