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Zips, Pipes and Pens: Arsenal of Improvised Weapons [Paperback]

J.David Truby
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
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Product details

  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Paladin Press,U.S. (Dec 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0873647025
  • ISBN-13: 978-0873647021
  • Product Dimensions: 21.6 x 16.1 x 1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,003,242 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


In this book, J. David Truby demonstrates why gun control simply doesn't work. Features rare photos of remarkably ingenious and very deadly improvised weapons made by guerrillas, secret agents, criminals and freedom fighters, all collected from prisons, police departments and Third World countries. For information purposes only.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
DESPITE DESERT STORM'S NINTENDO battle scenes shown via U.S. government censors' tightly controlled propaganda telecasts, war is still combat between individuals armed with their own personal weapons, usually a rifle of some sort. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very interesting and revealing! 14 May 2003
This book has plenty of images to break up the text, which also does a good job of keeping your attention. There are loads of images of confiscated and home made weapons including knives, pen guns, guns hidden into belt buckles, lighters etc.
The detail of some of the pictures and diagrams are detailed enough for the home workshop engineer, but you will be put off building anything after seeing the pic of the accidental death!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book was published in the ninties and I strongly suspect that it was dated even then, although I can understand that it wouldnt be the intent of the publishers to give anyone intent on home machining weapons for crime or terror any ideas on how to go about it.

The author surveys the improvisation of firearms or re-engineering of firearms theatres of conflict across the world, in Vietnam, Northern Ireland, Pakistan and during the second world war, there are photos throughout and lots of good pictures of the weapons in question and some currios, for instance the pelvis/buckle gun which featured in Dusk Til Dawn, pistols concealed in zippos, pens, pipes.

On the issue of gun control the book is very much a product of an American culture and context, I laughed at one point when UK gun laws where described as draconian when at the time of writing gun ownership in the UK was a lot freer than it is today.

The author in his introduction makes some nice points about how the division on the issue of gun control is not strictly liberal versus conservative, which I tend to find a lot of conservatives would like to make out.

The case is made that gun control fails, it will only disarm the law abiding and responsible gun owner while criminals or terrorists will carry on producing weapons in their underground machine shops with the only risk being that a flaw weapon or engineering process will kill its user (there is a picture of a dead man with a bullet lodged in his eye).
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4.0 out of 5 stars A good read.... 21 Mar 2013
By Matty
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I get a little worried when ordering this type of book...

It has the sort of title that may bring unwanted attention to yourself, however I went ahead and bought it, this is the type of book that I like to read and weapons and history of weapons have always interested me.

The book covers in detail the history and simplicity of homemade firearms and weapons from various regions of the world. From Ireland to Pakistan.

The book details how criminals/gangs have for many years taken advantage of the simplicity of firearms and how easy it is to produce not only primitive firearms but ammunition aswell.

The book is loaded with pictures of little contraptions that have been made in peoples sheds/in prisons etc.

This, thankfully, isn't a "how-to" guide showing you how to make your own improvised weapons, but more showing how different people from around the world make them, and that they all have very similar blueprints.

The author is very much against gun control and shows various arguements to explain his point of view. One or too opened my mind to his side of the arguement.

Overall a good read just a little dated.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 3.8 out of 5 stars  12 reviews
21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Intriguing 27 Feb 2003
By A Customer - Published on
This book has a lot of anecdotes and stories, with plenty of photos and commentaries. It makes you think about how useless gun control is. Has a picture of a guy who's pen-gun backfired, talks about prisoners making gunpowder from matchheads and urine, and diagrams of some very cool devices. It's NOT a "how-to" book, but for those who know what they're doing it's definitely got a lot of good(bad?) ideas in it.
23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not a how-to book, but very eye-opening 26 Feb 2006
By Tobin White - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book is basically an illustrated argument against the concept of gun-banning legislature being effective in keeping firearms out of the hands of criminals. There are many photos and examples of improvised single shot weapons using the .22 catridge that hardly look like conventional weapons. What they lack in stopping power and accuracy, they make up for with relative ease of construction, accessability of materials, and concealment. Many of these examples were confiscated from inmates in prisons. Which raises the question: if criminals can make guns in federal prisons, then how can gun laws prevent them from doing so when they are free in the streets?

Later in the book, there are examples of more sophisticated weapons, like reproduced AK-47's and the like by local craftsmen in third world areas.

It's interesting (and to some, perhaps unnerving) to see a shotgun made by a 15 year old from simple pipes that is capable of firing a 12 gauge round.

What could have made it better is if it featured cutaway illisrations showing the inside of some of these devices, like where the round is places, where the firing pin is located, and the mechanism that activates it.

Overall, if you are interested in improvised weapons and/or odd devices, then its worth the money. Just be advised that it is not a how-to manual.
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars interesting 14 July 2002
By rickey l. esteves sr - Published on
This is a very interesting book on homemade firearms.Many are truly ingenious.It shows a wide variety from Zippo lighters converted to guns to belt buckle guns reminiscent of the show "Wild,Wild,West".It offers many photos as well as some diagrams.It also tells you which ones didn't work as well and the hazardous results of trying to use them.If in a truly desperate situation this book could easily assist you in building a workable firearm from very basic materials.Probably very popular with Guerilla types.
7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting...different than I thought it would be, but interesting... 16 Feb 2007
By Daniel T. Bailey - Published on
I thought this book was going to be about how to improvise every day objects and use them as weapons, but it is a book about bans on guns and how people have made guns themselves when the government will not. This book is a very good overview of why people have created their own weapons, and it helps me to appreciate the First Ammendment more and more.

If you are looking for a book on weapon-making, I would recommend the Improvised Munitons Blackbook.
5.0 out of 5 stars ZIPS, PIPES AND PENS 29 Jun 2014
By Hogan_62 - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
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