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The Practical Guide to Man-powered Weapons and Ammunition: Experiments with Catapults, Musketballs, Stonebows, Blowpipes, Big Airguns, and Bulletbows (Practical Guide) [Paperback]

Richard Middleton
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

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Book Description

1 Nov 2007 Practical Guide
David slew Goliath with his slingshot: for millennia that was the norm, as men used a variety of non-explosive weapons to fire small stones and carefully rounded bullets of clay, glass, and even steel and lead. This unusual study explores in practical detail the many ways, old and new, in which man shot projectiles without recourse to gunpowder. They include the bow and arrow - a favourite for the last 10,000 years, pump-up air guns, blowpipes, catapults and homemade lead musketballs. There's information on ammunition and velocity, as well as a lively personal narrative filled with humour and the spirit of experimentation.

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The Practical Guide to Man-powered Weapons and Ammunition: Experiments with Catapults, Musketballs, Stonebows, Blowpipes, Big Airguns, and Bulletbows (Practical Guide) + The Crossbow: Its Military and Sporting History, Construction and Use
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Product details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Skyhorse Publishing (1 Nov 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1602391475
  • ISBN-13: 978-1602391475
  • Product Dimensions: 23.1 x 17.5 x 1.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 655,971 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Impro Projection 28 Jan 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
A great series of accounts of unconventional contrivances from catapults to home-made air weapons. Rich with warnings about experimentation, crossbows and Compressed Air, but with a marvellously accessible account, almost as asides, that explain projectile mechanics and even how a English Longbow, in wood, Yew, works! A unique work.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting Read 14 May 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Have given this 4 stars as there is not much else around on this subject and it is very interesting. The author obviously has a great deal of experience with practically all the weapons considered and has experimented widely, although his lack of scientific training is as he admits a bit of a handicap in this area. Its not very PC to say it but practically all males have a fascination with projectiles ( as an example my grandchildren have been brought up very correctly and range from age 4 to 10 ,both sexes. Despite a lot of expensive Christmas presents last year , the biggest hit was an assortment of safe, cheap projectile launchers bought by some less PC relative-- not me ).
So. a very informative and fascinating read,highly recommended.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A must-have guide 25 Jun 2013
By Royston
Format:Paperback
An excellent and practical guide to basic man powered weapons and ammunition, providing many examples with lots of interesting asides and notes. Suitable for persons with an interest in weapons history and usage.
The author's knowledge and enthusiasm for the subject is evident.
There are numerous tables and illustrations to clarify and enhance the text.
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4.0 out of 5 stars brilliant 15 May 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
a fantastic book well worth its costs, get it you wont be disapointed, great stuff full of great information and ideas, loved it
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.3 out of 5 stars  22 reviews
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating book in both editions 26 Dec 2007
By Nathan Wolber - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This book was actually written by Richard Middleton and was first published in England. Stackpole published the first American edition in 2006 under the title "The Practical Guide to Man-Powered Bullets". The book was recently reissued by Skyhorse Publishing. It's a very good book. The first review appears to have been written by the publisher, as all of his other reviews are of Skyhorse books. Despite this, it's really a great book, but the emphasis is on tension and gas weapons, not "musketballs". Great treatment of stone and pellet bows, slingshots, and homemade airguns.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A really FUN read. 12 Dec 2008
By Raymond Madden - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I don't remember having so much fun reading a book as this one. While the author is much better at math than I ever hope to be, his line of thought is so similar to that of any boy who has played with these toys ( so loved by every male child from the cradle to the grave), that you are drawn into a conspiracy with him to make it " shoot harder', "shoot farther", just better than the last one you made! The underlying humor, is obvious to anyone who's done such experiments.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best slingshot design book around 21 Aug 2010
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The book comprehensively studies every aspect of slingshot design, with particular emphasis on bands, which is where the performance is to be found. It is as scientifically rigorous as any book on the subject while being easy to understand, including many practical examples. The author's writing style is quirky and quaint, eminently readable and filled with humour and anecdotes that had me laughing aloud every few minutes. It's the kind of book that you'd want to keep going back to for reference data, new ideas and an emotional pick-me-up, rather than the kind you'd check out of a library in a big stack of similar books, only to be returned unread a fortnight later.

Although I bought the book to learn about slingshots, it also covers bullet bows, bullet crossbows, and airguns in the same level of detail.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thoroughly enjoyable reading plus great practical how-to book 2 May 2011
By Charles F Fellows - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
For the inveterate tinkerer or those who who like to understand how things work on a practical level, this book is one of the best. It's thoroughly enjoyable reading and presents the the subject matter in a down-to-earth, understandable level. Although it's salted with humor, it is also full of appropriate cautions and warnings about the dangers of various types of man made weapons. I highly recommend this book for anyone contemplating making a bow, cross bow, airgun, or similar type of weapon.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Whys And Wherefores Of An Arcane Subject 9 Sep 2012
By Tom Phoghat Sobieski - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I own and shoot.firearms of many different kinds and calibers. I also enjoy archery, bow and crossbow, blowguns, catapults (many of which I design and build myself) . I like to shoot different kinds of things.
This book is EXACTLY for people like me, who find the shooting sports to be enjoyable and fun. The auther isvery knowledgeable, and it is quite evident that he finds the sport to be fun also.
If you are a survivalist looking for an instructional, go elsewhere. If you are an enthusiast who wants more information presented in a somewhat jovial way, buy this book, you won't regret the purchase, believe me.

An enjoyable, entertaining, and informative read.
Posted from my Fire.
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