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4.2 out of 5 stars12
4.2 out of 5 stars
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on 14 March 2010
We live in an age of general editorial negligence, it seems, and of course most buyers of a book like this will be chiefly interested in the pictures, but still, when a publisher promises "authoritative text by leading firearms experts", someone really should look the whole thing over attentively before it goes into print.
Just flipping through, I notice that the authors seem to think that Costa Rica is a Caribbean island (page 356). A bit further on (page 361), it is claimed that "since 1870, Paraguay has been at peace with her neighbours." Oh really? What about the Gran Chaco war with Bolivia (1932-1935), in which 36.000 Paraguayan soldiers died?
Regarding firearms history specifically, there clearly are important gaps in the authors' collective knowledge. For instance, it is repeatedly (pages 380, 455) stated that in modern times, the Netherlands never manufactured their own military small arms (apart from a short run of AR-10 rifles in 1959-1962 for export). In reality, in the period up to WW II, the Dutch Artillerie Inrichtingen produced, among many other things, roughly half a million Mannlicher rifles and carbines, and many thousands of machine guns of various models.
What I find really disturbing is that four British experts together are apparently unable to correctly identify a Webley Mark VI revolver (page 59 - in fact, it's a picture of a much earlier model). Switched captions are of course the bane of firearms books, and this one is no exception: S&W Models 36 and 19 (pages 119-120) for example. And Bulgarian AKs are allegedly made by FÉG in Budapest.
Finally, while the other directories are limited to military arms, in the handgun section there are many guns which have never seen military service and never will, at least not as standard issue handguns; I have no real objection to that, but why on earth is so much space devoted to Para-Ordnance? No less than twenty-six variants of the same basic model are shown, while many handgun manufacturers who have been around much longer and have produced a much larger variety of guns get much less attention. The authors are certainly laying themselves open to suspicions of commercial interest here.
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on 22 May 2012
This book clearly states in the title that it is an 'encyclopedia' of firearms, antique to the present day. Yet I was disappointed to find so little space devoted to earlier weapons, limited to a few pages in the introduction, with the exhaustive directories reserved for modern weapons only. The main reason I bought this book was for information on the older types of weapons, flintlock guns e.t.c, but this is definitely the wrong book for this. By far the best book in this field is 'weapon' by DK, much better buy than this so called 'encyclopedia'!
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on 8 June 2012
A very good and informative book and a very good reason for making a wish list, as this was a gift from a friend after I'd sent him my wish list, I'e also sent my wish list to my sons, so no more socks for christmas or birthdays, unless there on my wish list. The book is very well illustrated with colour pictures and detailed descriptions and even background history.
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on 13 February 2012
Does what it says - a very comprehensive run down on just about every fire arm produced up to its publication date. Goes into ample detail about each gun. Not as nice as 'Weapon', but a good reference book.
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on 5 December 2010
Think that that last review was a little harsh - yes there are some issues with the detail, however, overall as a reference this book is very good.
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on 4 November 2011
This item was bought for my son-in-law who thinks this book is excellent. Extremely well illustrated and informative and cannot 'put it down'
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on 13 November 2015
Perfect just all I need to know.
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on 9 November 2012
I ordered this book as a Christmas gift but I am annoyed that the front cover is ripped slightly especially how much I have paid for the book I would expect it to arrive in mint condition so not happy ......................!!
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on 9 June 2012
Ordered this as a Christmas present in December. It got here within two days, really fast service at any time of the year, but especially at Christmas. Nice book with lots of pictures and detailed descriptions.
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on 11 April 2013
This was purchased as a Christmas present and was a great success with the recipient who has a layman's interest in the history of guns.
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