Good reference books on milsurp rifles


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Rob McCormack
January 18, 2003, 02:30 PM
With recent purchases including an M1903A3 and Swiss K31, I feel the symptoms of a serious case of "milsurp collector-itis" taking hold.

I would like to learn more about the various types and their copies. I have a passing familiarity with Garand, Mauser, Enfield, Mosin-Nagant, AK, SKS and would like to study the more familiar names before moving to the more esoteric items.

I want "shooters" even if they are a handloader's proposition over wallhangers (more bang for the buck...). I prefer authentic, original conditions as I'm in it for historical reasons not gunsmithing.

My questions are:

1. What makes/models do you consider the baseline for starters?

2. What books/websites provide comprehensive information on specific models?

3. Is a C&R license worth the effort for 2-3 purchases per year?

Thanks to all for any information. And special thanks to Oleg for carrying on in the spirit of TFL!

P.S. I bought the K31 on impulse after reading the article by Garry James in Feb G&A. Sale price at Big 5 was $150 plus tax. I'm impressed with the quality and care that went into production of this rifle. I just can't wait for the surplus ammo to show up in the catalogs!

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Hkmp5sd
January 18, 2003, 03:00 PM
3. Is a C&R license worth the effort for 2-3 purchases per year?

It's worth it if you buy one gun every 2-3 years.:)

You can get a Garand through the DCM program. There are plenty of the others you listed in the market today, so you could probably get one of each fairly inexpensively.

The Enfields, Mosin-Nagants and SKS are a must for the collection.

4v50 Gary
January 19, 2003, 01:35 PM
As a general all around guide to firearms, how to use them, how they work, their models and how to disassemble & reassemble, the best book for the money is W. H. B. Smith's "Small Arms of the World," now in its 12th edition and edited by Dr. Clinton Ezell (dec.). Now, if you want to specialize in particular guns, that's another story and you can spend hundreds on gun books. Ask Harley. I'm sure he has and so has many others around here too.

TexasVet
January 20, 2003, 02:03 AM
I highly recommend "Collecting Classic Bolt Action Military Rifles" by Paul S. Scarlata. And I HAVE to second the suggestion of "Small Arms of the World, 12th Edition" as that is my name under Ed's on the title page.:D One of the most enjoyable years of my life was spent working nights and weekends with Ed on that book. Even if the printers DID drop the bit I wrote on the Leader T5...:cuss:

4v50 Gary
January 20, 2003, 01:21 PM
Mr. Thomas Pegg aka Texas Vet: git off yer butt and rite the dirteen edison - will ya? :D It's a great book (still my bible of guns) but it can use updating and this would be an opportunity to include the deleted info on the Leader5.:D

TexasVet
January 21, 2003, 12:33 AM
Can't. The heirs to Mr. Smith, who first wrote the book, still own the rights to it. Ed was hired by them to update it. I assume they will someday hire another gun writer, or historian like Ed (who at the time was the historian for the Johnson Space Center, only later to be the Curator of Military History, Smithsonian), to do another update.:(

4v50 Gary
January 21, 2003, 11:54 AM
If you got the Smith clan's addy, why not write them and offer your services? With the fall of the Iron Curtain, there's a whole line of new guns that could be featured from there. They even developed an entire line of underwater guns. We don't even have to look to the East. Look at Germany's UMP or HK-36. The Belgians have the FN-P90 or Five-Seven pistol. The U.S. has that new 20 mm/223 thingy. Small arms development has not remained stagnant since Ezell passed away.

I think you're the logical person to do this job since you've got the knowledge and your name is already listed.

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