Book Review: A Gun For All Nations

I ran across a mention of this book while trying to find some information on this 37mm Hotchkiss machine gun – and this book was the only reference I could find any mention of it in. Robert Mellichamp has taken on a pretty daunting task; documenting the history of the 37mm gun and ammunition from 1870 (when Hotchkiss started developing it) until the present day. This encyclopedia will be in 4 volumes, and we got a copy of volume I to review (volume II has just been released, and III and IV are still works in progress).

As I say in the video, the informational content of this work is excellent, although it focuses on historical rather than mechanical detail. The spattering of typographical errors, while they may be irritating to some people, don’t reduce the reference value of the book at all (though we would recommend that Mr. Mellichamp find a better editor for the next volumes). It is a self-published work, and the only distributor we are aware of is – you can find it in their Heavy Ordnance catalog here:

Definitely a must-have reference for anyone interested in light cannon, so get your copy now before they sell out!


  1. Typographical errors? I thought that it had become compulsory to refer to the 0.5mm Browning M2 in ‘general reader’ marketed books. Though once I saw a 50 mm Browning mentioned. I suppose that proof readers are expensive, so publishers just let the spell checker take care of it and hope for the best.

    • This isn’t a “general readership” book by any stretch – it’s not even a book that will appeal to most gun owners or even avid shooters. The typos aren’t technical errors like that, but simple misspellings. Or in one case, referring to Chile as Chili. As I said, it doesn’t interfere with the data, but it does suggest the need for a better editor.

      • I don’t know what spell checkers automatically replace the word “borehole” with these days, but in the past you didn’t want it appearing in any document that was going out of the door, and you certainly didn’t open a file containing that word on a machine that had auto correct left switched on…

        I dread to think what microsoft’s paperclip has done to the poor gentleman’s work.

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