Small Arms of China – Update

Several years ago I had the opportunity to interview Bin Shih, who had just published a book in both English and Chinese on Chinese small arms – China’s Small Arms of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War (1937-1945). It was basically self-published, and sold out very quickly. Well, I have been informed by Bin that a second printing is now available – so if you missed it before you have another chance. 

I should do a standalone review of the book, but it will take me a week or two before I can. I the meantime, folks who are interested should be aware that the English and Chinese versions are not the same. The Chinese version ($30) has good color photos, while the English translation’s pictures are all in black and white, and not as crisp. Getting just the English copy ($40) will give you the written information, but getting both the information and the good photos will require both copies ($60 for the set). It’s not information that is available elsewhere, but $60 seems to me a bit steep for the size of the book – I wish he had been able to use color photos in both language versions.


  1. Printing costs (read labour) Ian. I have identical English textbooks printed in China with Chinese forward, table of contents and map illustrations – $6.5
    Identical text in full English with no maps printed in Singapore – $45.

  2. Too bad. I would be interested in the book, but only if it is all under one cover. A poor marketing decision by the author. He just lost one sale.

    • I think the other 1.1 billion buyers would reward his losses… English is a foreign language to MOST mankind, mind you.

      • Yes, and it really is one of the very few good sources on Chinese arms of that period. A lot of information that is hard to find elsewhere.

        • and now someone has to tell the story of the Communist China arms. It would be a long and fascinating read. I skimmed the subject in several articles, but my research is very limited, as i do not know a word in Chinese…

  3. Now Im a little disappointed. I already ordered the English only edition under the impression the 2 were the same besides language. I cant find anywhere on the website either were it states the English one doesn’t have the color photos. That’s a bit misleading if you ask me.

  4. I bought English-language copy from Bin when he was selling his 1st print, which I can highly recommend. then accidentally I found a Chinese-language book at some Chinese online trade site (Taobao or what, can’t remember) for about 5 bucks or so.

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