What books do you recommend?


September 26, 2003, 10:10 PM
I recently came into $45 of spare cash, and decided to invest in some quality firearms related literature. I ordered the "Patriots" and "Boston's Gun Bible" combo from http://www.fredsm14stocks.com/ . Hey, if you can't afford to buy new guns or shoot the one's you have, ya might as well learn right? So I was wondering if ya'll had any recomendations for good books. I'm interested in general weaponry [guns, knives, mines, grenades etc], hunting, trapping, survival, military history [I prefer the "I was there and this happened" style over the dry strategic analysis, but both are good], and anything else you think I might like:D . And if you were wondering, my next purchase is going to be "Unintended Consequences."

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September 26, 2003, 10:19 PM
Unintended Concequences is a good choice.

September 26, 2003, 10:20 PM
"Gates of Fire" by Steven Pressfield.

The Spartans were fighting the same fight we're fighting in Iraq 2500 years ago.


Molon Labe!

September 26, 2003, 10:22 PM
Unintended Conseqeunces is around on a PDF .. I have a copy i think.

I think you might also enjoy Stephen A.Camp's latest ....... ''Defensive handguns'' ..... I think he did a good job with this.

September 26, 2003, 10:26 PM
-"The Complete Book of Rifles and Shotguns" by Jack O'Connor

-Anything by Jeff Cooper

-Anything by Stephen Hunter

September 26, 2003, 10:30 PM
Enemies Foreign and Domestic is a very good read. I've heard the author is a pretty decent fellow also. :D

You can read a few sample chapters at:

September 26, 2003, 10:44 PM
SixGuns by Keith.

September 26, 2003, 10:53 PM
Unintended Conseqeunces is around on a PDF .. I have a copy i think.

P95Carry, where might one find this PDF?

EDIT: Nevermind ... I found it :D

Ala Dan
September 26, 2003, 11:02 PM
Stolen Valor by B.G. Burkett and Glenna Whitley

"How The Viet-Nam Generation Was Robbed Of It's Hero's
and History"


Honor Bound: American Prisoners Of War In Southeast Asia 1961-1973 by Stuart Rochester and Frederick Kiley

Both are very good read's, packed with factual information!

Best Wishes,
Ala Dan, N.R.A. Life Member

lee n. field
September 26, 2003, 11:27 PM
P95Carry, where might one find this PDF?

EDIT: Nevermind ... I found it

Is this kosher? This is a copyrighted work.

September 27, 2003, 02:26 AM
Thanks for the suggestions. I was wondering if anyone has read Jeff Head's "Dragon Fury" series. It's supposed to be good, but I've only heard that third hand.

Brian Dale
September 27, 2003, 04:00 AM
Unintended Conseqeunces is around on a PDF .. Is this kosher? This is a copyrighted work. John? What's your call on this?

I'd second those of the above that I've read; also:


Peter Hathaway Capstick tells a story very well. He was a NY stockbroker that quit (about 1969?) and went to Africa to work as a Professional Hunter for a few decades. Death in the Long Grass, many others.

Shotguns and Shooting by Michael McIntosh

Learning to Gun, written in the early '60s; don't remember the author's name. They have it at my local library. I'll go find the author's name so I can get a copy for myself! I'm sure that it's out of print, so I recommend


Marines in the South Pacific during WWII (full disclosure: I'm not a veteran): E.B. Sledge; With the Old Breed.

Shooting and LE stories: No Second Place Winner and Tales of the Rio Grande by Bill Jordan. His technique's dated; the man's character is timeless.

September 27, 2003, 06:03 AM
"Wild At Heart" - John Eldredge.

Not really something "us gunnies" would pick up for tips on shootin', etc., but can't hurt.

'Bout 1/2 way through & has some aspects that many haven't even considered regards a bit of the "warrior class."

UC for its "possibilities."

Read everything, consider every possibility & understand the probable consequeneces.

Act accordingly.

But just do it.

It will never happen without your taking an active part to make it happen.

September 27, 2003, 08:11 AM
I read the first two volumes of Dragon's Breath. Bought them from Fred. Going back for Vol III now that it's out. Very interesting ideas and probably more truth in it then any one would want to admit to.

Brian Williams
September 27, 2003, 09:56 AM
Ditto on "Wild at Heart"

Sniper about Carlos Hathcock
The Fifth Profession

Starship Troopers Anti political war (vietnam) Pro-military

Tunnel in the sky Heinlein
glory road

Foxfire books on living off the land in Applachia

September 27, 2003, 10:41 AM
I'll chime in on Unintended Consequences . Go ahead and spring for the book on www.amazon.com and it'll only cost something around $20. If your order is $25 or more, shipping's free.

Not only will you be supporting one of our own, you'll have it available for handy reference.


Mike Irwin
September 27, 2003, 11:02 AM
Cartridges of the World

Smith's Small Arms of the World

Art Eatman
September 27, 2003, 11:08 AM
I'd recommend the Sierra Reloading Handbook, even if you don't reload. The sections on exterior ballistics are the best of any I've seen, and answer many of the questions that are often asked here at THR.

You can compare performance among a wide range of pistol and rifle cartridges, and compare relative performance of difference shapes and weights of bullets in the various calibers.

Excellent treatment of such things as uphill/downhill shooting and windage.


September 27, 2003, 11:34 AM
Heinlein - Red Planet (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0345340396/102-1068819-9076951?v=glance)

The unedited version has a few paragraphs about RKBA that were cut by his editor in the original version.

Ed Straker
September 27, 2003, 01:49 PM
Recommended authors (just a start):
Jeff Cooper, Stephen Hunter, Theodore Roosevelt, Robert Leckie.

4v50 Gary
September 27, 2003, 03:16 PM
Another vote for W. H. B. Smith's Small Arms of the World. It is the "must-have" manual for gunowners or enthusiasts of small arms.

As for the fiction, try the library. Save your $ for books that aren't found at the library.

September 27, 2003, 03:20 PM
The Spartans were fighting the same fight we're fighting in Iraq 2500 years ago.

Just out of curiousity, how do you figure this? I really can't see how the two compare at all.

September 27, 2003, 03:38 PM
I'm reading Cold Zero by Chris Whitcomb...so far it's very, very good.

September 27, 2003, 04:16 PM
"The Spartans were fighting the same fight we're fighting in Iraq 2500 years ago." Just out of curiousity, how do you figure this? I really can't see how the two compare at all.


From the "Gates of Fire":

"In 480 BC the forces of the Persian Empire (note map where the Persian Empire existed) under King Xerxes, numbering according to Herodotus two million men, bridged the Hellespoint and marched in their myrids to invade and enslave Greece...

...The Spartans and their Thespian allies died to the last man, but the standard of valor they set by their sacrifice inspired the Greeks to rally and, in that fall and spring, defeat the Persians at Salamis and Plataea and preserve the beginnings of Western democracy and freedom from perishing in the cradle..."

Before the battle of Thermopyle, Ptammitechus (an Egyptian Marine) shows a map similar to the one above to a group of Spartans at Rhodes. Pointing out how large the Persian empire is and how small Greece is in comparison. "...Listen to me brothers. The race of Egyptians is an ancient one...We have ruled and been ruled. Even now we are technically a conquered people, we serve the Persians. Yet regard my station friends. Do I look poor? Is my demeanor dishonored? Peer here within my purse. WIth all respect, brothers, I could buy and sell you and all you own with only that which I bear upon my person....His Majesty will honor you Spartans no less than us Egyptians, or any other great warrior people, should you see wisdom and enlist yourselves voluntarily beneath his banner. In the East we have learned that which you Greeks have not. The wheel turns, and man must turn with it. To resist is not mere folly, but madness."

"You have never tasted freedom, friend," Dienekes (a Spartan) spoke, "or you would know it is purchased not with gold, but steel...And as for the wheel you speak of, like every other, it turns both ways."

It seems to me that we're still fighting that fight against those who don't accept or understand liberty and who want to destroy Western culture.

September 27, 2003, 05:16 PM
Principle's of personal defense...Jeff Cooper AND Any other book by Col Cooper!!!!
The Complete Book Of Combat Handgunnery...Chuck Taylor or Massad Ayood edition(or both, each has a different flavor but the info is good!)
Another vote for Small Arms of the World.
If you are into 1911's, Sweeney's book The Gun Digest Book of the 1911 is excellant.
ANY books by Robert Heinlein! A scifi grandmaster!!
Leroy Thompson puts out some excellant books of Executive Protection and guns of elite forces.
A very simple classic on bayonet, stick, knife and hand to hand is Steyrs Cold Steel, a USMC manual through paladin press.
Death In The Long Grass, by Peter Hathaway Capstick is informative and HILARIOUS in some places!! He was a great writer!! So any of his books are good.
Elmer Keith, Bill Jordan, Rex Applegate, Jack O' Conner, etc ARE classic's!!
And you'll find many other's!!
Good reading!

September 27, 2003, 05:19 PM
Survival Guns by Mel Tappen is a great read. Its the book that I read at 13 that warped my mind. It really turned me on to guns and having a well rounded gun selection for any situation. He's alittle "kooky" but his firearms information is spot on. It has been out of print for awhile, but recently it has been brought out in a new publishing run.

September 27, 2003, 05:29 PM
Maybe a little off tangent, however if you want a book about military operations, I would suggest: Bravo Two Zero by Andy McNab. Excellent read about the British SAS in The Gulf War.

September 27, 2003, 07:50 PM
Great stuff! I've been a huge fan of Peter Hathaway Capstick since I read "Death in the Long Grass" at age 12. A friend loaned me "Immediate Action" by Andy Mcnab, it's his life story up until the events recounted in "Bravo Two Zero." Quite a down to earth look at the SAS. The only Heinlen I've read is "Citizen of the Galaxy" and that was a loooooong time ago. I remember really enjoying it, tho. For all you Jeff Cooper fans, I'd point you towards http://www.dvc.org.uk/~johnny/jeff/

September 27, 2003, 09:41 PM
"Black Hawk Down" Mark Bowden
"No Second Place Winner" Bill Jordan
"Farnham Method of Defensive Handgunning" - John Farnham
"Art of the Rifle" Jeff Cooper
"In the gravest extreme" Ayoob (a little dated, but worthwhile)
"Armed and Female" Paxton Quigley (also a little dated, but great to convince the lady in your life!)
"Sniper" - Carlos Hathcock. (The dude took DAYS to sneak through a field!)

lee n. field
September 27, 2003, 10:02 PM
He's alittle "kooky" but his firearms information is spot on.

Is it? Things have changed. Things that weren't around when Mel was alive: abundant Commie milsurp (SKS, AK, Makarov, etc.), Europlastic, .40 S&W, good .45 autos that weren't 1911s. Would anyone now rave about the Mini-14 the way Mel did?

It has been out of print for awhile, but recently it has been brought out in a new publishing run.

Cool. I'll have to look for it. My copy fell to pieces long ago.

September 27, 2003, 10:45 PM
I loved "Unintended Consequences", but was not impressed by "Boston's Gun Bible".

Technically, its a well written book, but is so heavy on the "gotta get a battle rifle, ignore the shotguns, no handguns except maybe Glock, gonna rise up against the govt" type stuff that much of the admittedly good technical things are overshadowed.

I was looking for general gun knowledge and self defense applications, not instructions on what weapons to stockpile for the ncoming revolution. The man had 2 pages on shotguns and ignored handguns other than a few pages on Glocks, and went on and on about what battle rifles we need to combat the JBT.

There's a place for that, and Lord knows I am not a fan of .gov, but a book that calls itself the "Gun Bible" needs to dwell on general gun knowledge, not tactics regarding an upcoming rising of the gun culture against .gov.

"U.C." while fiction, was much more about guns themselves than about how to combat the authorities.

September 27, 2003, 11:17 PM
was not impressed by "Boston's Gun Bible".

I'm getting it mainly for guidance on buying a battlerifle. Sorta like the FAQ on this site about buying a revolver. I knew going in that it didn't have much on shotguns or handguns. I suppose if I'd bought it expecting an all-around look at firearms I'd have been less than thrilled.

September 28, 2003, 12:40 AM
Gates of fire, or Father Soldier Son, both quite memorable... Frank Herberts Dune is also a good one :D

September 28, 2003, 12:50 AM
Marine Sniper and Silent Warrior both by Charles Henderson and both about Carlos Hathcock. Read the first one twice and will probably read the second a second time.

Guns Crime and Freedom and Guns Freedom and Terrorism by Wayne LaPierre.

September 28, 2003, 04:00 AM
1. "Safeguarding Liberty - The Constitution and Citizen Militias", Larry Pratt, editor. 1995 Legacy Communications, Franklin, Tennessee. ISBN 1-880692-18-X. Has some good, well-reasoned stuff by David Hardy and David Kopel, inter alia. The Appendix has the complete text of the Militia Act of 1792, only superceded about 100 years ago. (SOME WHO WERE ALIVE THEN ARE STILL WALKING AROUND!) One of the articles most conclusively proves (speeches in Congress, quotes from the Founders, etc) that the Nat'l Guard is NOT the militia!

2. Poe, Richard, "The Seven Myths of Gun Control - Reclaiming the Truth about Guns, Crime, and the Second Amendment" 2001, FORUM, An Imprint of Prima Publishing, Roseville, California. ISBN 0-7615-2558-0. Read the Epilogue first. Its title is "The End of Manhood". Ouch!

On a lighter note: Oh, yes, I most heartily and enthusiastically recommend "Cartridges of the World". My copy of the 7th edition is falling to pieces; I often fall asleep over it, or contemplate it in the "library" while doing my duty. I WANT a rifle chambered in .219 Improved Zipper, just for the silly name!

September 28, 2003, 05:05 AM
All the books in the Peguin Classics series.

September 28, 2003, 06:12 AM
Penguin printed lots and lots of books; I think they were mostly classics, some written ~ 1000 years ago. All good stuff, but not very many of them having much to do with RKBA, as far as I know.

September 28, 2003, 08:20 AM
Cartridges of the World is a must have.
I really enjoyed the books by, and about Skeeter Skelton: these arn't so much books that will give you general gun knowlege but are stories that all involve guns and shooting.
A Rifleman Went to War by McBride
Combative Fundamentals by Jeff Gonzales
Tactical Reality by Louis Awerbuck

Lots of good stuff already mentioned, I have read a lot of them; probably most of them.

September 28, 2003, 04:10 PM
Unintended Conseqeunces is around on a PDF .. I have a copy i think.

Even if John Ross says that its OK to share this file, I'm so sure I could read an 800 page book as .pdf file. :what:

One question though, is the kind of book that I should be worried about buying on line now that we live in a near police state (see Patriot Act)? I noticed that when I look it up at Amazon, they also recomend The Tuner Diaries and I have seen this used as "concrete" evidence that that MacVey (sp?) etal were "un-American".

I'm not normally the Sn-Foil hat type, but I'd like to hear some opinions :)

Travis McGee
September 28, 2003, 05:47 PM
Boston T. Party is about to publish his 2nd amendment novel "MOLON LABE," and John Ross is supposed to almost be finished a sequel to Unintended Consequences.

And then there is my RKBA novel, which is already available.


Recon By Fire
September 28, 2003, 10:24 PM
1984 is a great book, for gun owners and non gun owners alike.

Although not exactly related to Gun ownership, the ideas presented by Geroge Orwell are relevant in today's world.

September 28, 2003, 10:40 PM
I may be a bit slanted on this cuz he answers some questions I had

But the best book I have read in a couple of years is this
Eye witness accounts of Desert One, Beirut, Cent Am, attempted Bright Light missions (in the 80`s and in Laos) a real page turner from the 'selection' to "what do I do next"

Bravo two Zero is also a must read

I`m reading Clancy`s latest at the moment................good start but it`s bogging down in the middle.

But Red Storm Rising is a must read, fiction of a NATO/ Warsaw Pact exchange. I`m ashamed to say how many times I`ve read that.

They Were Soldiers once and Young is captivating

September 28, 2003, 11:22 PM
A-square rifles and rifle cartridges by Art Alphin
Make it accurate by Craig Boddington
Hunting Trips of a Ranchman and The Wilderness Hunter(abridged) by T Roosevelt
Use enough Gunby Robert Ruark
God, Guns, & Rock'n'Roll by Ted Nugent

September 29, 2003, 12:32 AM
I wouldn't worry about buying UC. Lots of people have bought copies. It has 300 reviews on amazon.com, which is quite a lot. The government would be more likely to go after FFLs if it wants to hurt the community. Going after people who buy a book will just make everyone furious, including the ACLU, and would prove to Mr. Shotgunner that bad things can happen to him.

Ala Dan
September 29, 2003, 07:30 PM
The Tactical Pistol by Gabe Suraez

Chained Eagle by Everett Alvarez, Jr.

Best Wishes,
Ala Dan, N.R.A. Life Member

September 30, 2003, 09:40 AM
Anyone read "Concealed Carry" by Wiley Clapp? My wife is going to be getting her CCW as soon as we can afford it, and I'm trying to talk my in-laws into getting 'em. It seemed like it might have some fairly timely and useful info, if the description of it is accurate. Of course that can be a rather large if :rolleyes:

Brian Dale
October 1, 2003, 02:38 PM
I wasn't able to edit my earlier post to include this info in it. No big deal, but I said I'd get this info. One of the books I recommended is Learning to Gun: plain facts and techniques of shotguns, gun dogs, and gunning by John Stuart Martin, (c) 1963 Doubleday & Co. - abebooks has it listed, at present. It's an interesting window into the way things were 40 years ago and longer.

Related comment: the author lost his left arm to an ND when he was young. He spends little time in the book on this, focusing on teaching basic technique and principles. He does describe himself as a "unibrach" but treats that as no big deal. There's no "victim consciousness." Writes that the ND heightened his respect for firearms :what: - no kidding. And Gee, they never sued anybody.

Mostly Harmless
October 1, 2003, 02:48 PM
Even if John Ross says that its OK to share this file, I'm so sure I could read an 800 page book as .pdf file.

It's only 3.8Mb :D

I have it, but only because I already own the hardcover. This means I can sneak a quick read at work... I can't get away w/ reading a book, but reading what's on screen is OK......

Gotta love my Dilbertian PHB!


October 1, 2003, 03:37 PM
Don't forget Ayoob's books.

Understanding Firearms Ballistics, by Forker (I think) is good; has a couple errors.

Hatcher's Notebook

Optics for the Hunter, by Barsness

Anything by Stephen Halbrook

John Lott's books

the list goes on...

Black Snowman
October 1, 2003, 03:41 PM
I'll put in another vote for any reloading manual. When shopping for new calibers I'll frequently refer to mine to compare information. Not to mention if you reload, or are thinking about reloading, you just can't have too many of them ;)

Daniel T
October 1, 2003, 03:44 PM
A Hymn for Battle by John Ringo. The first book in a great military sci-fi series by a vet who knows what he's talking about.

October 3, 2003, 03:13 AM
That's "A Hymn BEFORE Battle"

December 14, 2003, 07:07 PM
I started reading "Red Storm Rising" a little while back. I'd always heard that Clancy knew his stuff when it came to guns, but.....

The book opens with Islamic radicals blowing up a Soviet oil refinery. One of the terrorists grabs a guard's "belt-fed AK" which he then proceeds to "reload" quickly and easily. It seemed pretty clear that he was talking about the AK-47, not one of the belt-fed variants. Not a big thing, but it kinda turned me off.

December 14, 2003, 07:37 PM
Didnt read all 3 pages so sorry if I regurgitate;) :
God,Guns, and R&R ...the Nuge
In the gravest Extreme...Ayoob
Hell I was there...Kieth
Death in the Long Grass...Capstick
Hoglegs,Hipshots,& Jalapenos...Skelton
Hunting Alaska...Batin

Im strictly a non-fiction guy.

Dave Markowitz
December 14, 2003, 07:47 PM
I didn't notice these mentioned:

A Rifleman Went to War and The Emma Gees, both by H.W. McBride.

With British Snipers to the Reich , by Captain C. Shore.

Brown on Resolution, by C.S. Forester (good luck finding a copy :( ).

Anything by H. Beam Piper (very pro-RKBA sci-fi).

December 14, 2003, 09:53 PM
McClellan, Sherman & Grant, by Thomas Harry Williams

Pretty much anything by P. J. O'Rourke. Most of his books can be had used on Amazon for under $5 shipped.

If you want to loose all faith in humanity, read
Ordinary Men: Reserve Police Battalion 101 and the Final Solution in Poland
by Christopher R. Browning

In short, it's a posthole book about some voluntary participants in a particular series of mass killings during WWII.

I Cannot Forgive by Rudolf Vrba - also a Holocaust book. Details being rounded up, shipped off, camp life, escape, telling the world.

Turning Points of the Civil War
by James A. Rawley

The Last of the Fathers : James Madison and the Republican Legacy
by Drew R. McCoy - particularly well done. I'm somewhat biased, though, having studied under him.

The Gulag Archipelago by Aleksandr I. Solzhenitsyn - how Stalin's USSR worked to isolate every person

La Place De LA Concorde Suisse
by John McPhee - sort of a fluff book about the Swiss military. Author participates in some exercises. Unabashed adoration. Still, it's an entertaining read.

Founding Brothers: The Revolutionary Generation
by Joseph J. Ellis

The Future of Freedom: Illiberal Democracy at Home and Abroad
by Fareed Zakaria
-- On why a rush to elections in newly free countries is often a Bad Thing. Tremendously readable political work with good insight into the world situation.

December 14, 2003, 10:27 PM
StressFire and In the Gravest Extreme by Massad Ayoob

Looking for Alaska by Peter Jenkins (makes ya want to go right now)

The Contrary Farmer and other books by Gene Logsdon

I'll think of more once I hit the submit button

December 15, 2003, 10:25 AM
i highly rcommend 1. "The Desert Column" and 2. "The Guerilla Series"

by ion l. idriess - aussie WW1 sniper in the palestine area

do a search on ebay or www.ozbook.com has some titles of his

if you do a search here on him aand thos titles you may come up with a few of the other times i got into a little more depth on him and his books

sorry,,,no time now for anything long,,,p/m me for more if you want

happy reading


ps,,,the prices at ozbook and some of the prices on ebay are in australian dollars and not as high in US $

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