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).
I thought this was an interesting point to make, on the other hand almost all of the pictures in the book are supplied by law enforcement agencies who have been sucessfully recovered prohibited firearms, the others are from pretty lawless regions and frontiers of the planet, something the author himself indicates, so it appears like he's defeating his own argument.
I would recommend it to anyone interested in the topic, there isnt anything in this book which I believe would be useful to anyone wanting to home engineer a firearm but the picture of the guy killed by his own zip gun hopefully would make anyone with plans of that kind think twice about it.
on 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!
on 21 March 2013
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.