Need help finding a '80s survival book


March 12, 2004, 07:51 AM
I'm trying to track down a "survival guide" type paperback I read in the '80s. The book covered everything from what pistol and rifle to pick to how to improvise armor for your pick-up truck up to info on radiation effects of a nuclear blast.

I specifically remember the author STRONGLY reccomened the AR 180 and Colt 1911A1. He went as far as to basically say that if you picked anything else, you'd probably die in the ruins...

I don't think this is Tappan's famous "Survival Guns" because it discussed more than just guns, but I don't have a copy of SG to check.

Any thoughts on what book this might be?

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March 12, 2004, 09:02 AM
Have you checked old (or new - they don't drop very many titles) Paladin Press catalogues?

El Tejon
March 12, 2004, 09:09 AM
Sure sounds like Uncle Mel to me!:D

I know Burton Miller was referenced in "Survival Guns." Maybe you are thinking of him.

I'll look it up when I get back to Alcazar del Tejon.

March 12, 2004, 09:33 AM
I've looked at catalogs, but I don't think I'd recognize the title if I saw it again. I do know that I'd recognize the book if I read it again. The chapter where the author reccomended the AR 180 and 1911 really stuck with me for some reason.

March 12, 2004, 09:52 AM
I am going to guess that it was J Allan Souths The Sense of Survival from Timpanogos Publishers. I have a copy of that and its from the right era. But honestly, just from your basic description, it could be one of any number of books from that time period.
Edited to add: I just dug out my copy and reviewed it. No mention of the 180 at all that I can see, so that can't be it.I recall there was one guy who used to write a few articles about the 180 and what a great little rifle it was in magazines like ASG and Guns Magazine..maybe it was that guy. I'll dig back through my old copies and see if I can find a sample article that might give us a clue.

Ala Dan
March 12, 2004, 12:04 PM
Hey-Hey-Hey Rob

You may want to try Ray Riling Arms in Philly,
as they have a lot of old titles in their inventory. If
you recall, he was the dude that blew up a Glock
just recently at an indoor range.

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

Dollar Bill
March 12, 2004, 02:47 PM
You might do a search for a book titled "Bad Times Primer". I don't remember the author but could dig it out once I get home. He covered a lot of common sense stuff in that book such as vehicles, shelter, food and weapons. His weapons choices closely mirrored the choices of Mel Tappan. The book is probably somewhat dated in some material, obviously, as is over 20 years old now but it was a good read. I know the author favored the 1911 as a sidearm and I'm pretty sure he liked the AR-180 in the .223 class of weapons but he seemed to favor heavier center fires (.30-06, .308, etc) and not necessarily semi-autos either. Not much of a lead but might give you something to look for.

son of a gun
March 12, 2004, 03:49 PM
Here's a survival guide type book, it's probably not what you want, I've been told much of the info is wrong but I thought I would throw it out just in case.
You've been Warned !

El Tejon
March 12, 2004, 09:13 PM
Trebor, I believe it's Unlce Mel's "Survival Guns." I'm flipping through now. He zealously recommends the 1911 and has positive things to say about the AR18.

March 13, 2004, 10:30 AM
"Life After Doomsday" published in 1980, written by Bruce Clayton, subtitled 'A Survivalist Guide to Nuclear War and Other Major Disasters'.

Interesting book. He recommends getting your shotgun first, a Remington 870 pump 12 gauge. This one is the most versatile. Then get your semiautomatic rifles, a H&K91 in 308Winchester, and an Armalite 180 in .223 caliber with a 30 round magazine. Finally, your handgun, a Colt 1911 in .45ACP. This is covered in the chapter called, 'To Have and to Hold'.

The dustjacket blurb says he became interested in survival skills while working on his doctoral degree in ecology near missile silos in Montana. He's a writer, educator, scientific consultant and lecturer with interests in zoology, botany, biochemistry, physics, meteorology and geology.

Later, in a newspaper, I read that he admitted he had perhaps been a little optimistic about long-term survival of a Carl Sagan-type nuclear winter.

March 13, 2004, 07:48 PM
Hmmnn, sounds like it's either Tappen's "Survival Guns" after all or Clayton's "Life after Doomsday."

Does either book have a section where the author discusses how to armor your truck against bullets?

El Tejon
March 13, 2004, 08:11 PM
Uncle Mel's does not.

El Cid
March 13, 2004, 08:47 PM
I believe you are talking about 'Life after Doomsday". I have it and I used to have Mel Tapan's Survival Guns.
Life after Doomsday is a hardback,

Survival Guns is paperback and is so outdated it is pitiful. It was put together with a poor quality glue and the book fell apart after a few years.

March 13, 2004, 09:04 PM
I've got the Clayton book, but I don't remember the truck armor. I thought it was a fine compendium. I picked up a copy of his more detailed radiological defense book (disremember the title), and it was not as interesting. Plenty of nomographs and BASIC code for Radio Shack computers, tho!:cool: Heck his wife wrote one called Urban Alert, and it probably has more useful stuff in it than most other survival guides I've ever seen.

Chuck Dye
March 13, 2004, 11:30 PM
Anyone hunting books should try

a metasearcher of dozens of bookstore sites.

March 14, 2004, 08:42 AM
Life After Doomsday says nothing about armoring your truck against bullets as far as I can see.
In Appendix C, plans are given for using a car over a trench bermed with sandbags and earth as an expedient radiation fallout shelter.
On page 120, Table 15 gives "Safe Thicknesses for Bulletproof Barriers", but 12inches of Brick rubble between 1inch boards, or 36inches of earth, or 24inches of loose sand (only 20inches if packed into sandbags) would severely restrict a vehicle's mobility and fuel-economy. In Defense of Moving Vehicles, he recommends a scout vehicle up front to concentrate on avoiding any possibility of trouble. A heavily armed team in the second vehicle have the duty of counter ambushing anyone who attacks the first vehicle, hopefully giving the scout an opportunity to escape.
The copy I have of Life After Doomsday is softback.

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