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If you were putting together a small library of essential books on gun related things, what books and authors would you include? I'm thinking hard bound library grade volumes, not softback. Areas like gunsmithing, riflery, handloading, hunting, ballistics, etc. I'll start it off with the following:

1. Phil Sharpe's The Rifle in America
2. P.O. Ackley's Handbook for Shooters and Reloaders, Vol I & II
3. Ken Waters' Pet Loads with Supplements
 
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Elk Whisperer (Super Moderator)
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Any Lyman manual printed before 1975.

A History of the Colt Revolver

Any book by Teddy

No books by Elmer

Firearms of the World

Ghosts in the Darkness

Out of the Yukon

There's more, but I'd hafta go look.

RJ
 
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Hatcher's Notebook, Guide to Cartridge Conversions by Nonte, All of Andy Russell's books, all Gene Hill books and the whole collection of Pat McManus. Any old loading books or pamphlets.
 

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The Founders' Second Amendment by Stephen P. Halbrook
U.S. Constitution
Pet Loads ken Waters 2 volumes
Handbook for Shooters and Reloaders vol 1 &2 p.o. Ackley
Cartridges of the World
Hatcher's Notebook
Guide to Cartridge Conversions
Basic Rifle Shooting-NRA



Those are just for rifle shooting. Reloading would be different.

If a pistol dude others would be more important. Pistol guy would want at least 20 books as there is a lot to learn and an equal amount to unlearn.
 

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The Shadow (Super Mod)
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Hatcher's notebook
Modern ballistics by McCoy
Lee manuals
Lyman manuals
Speer manuals
Hornady manuals
A-Squared manual
Lutz's manuals are helpful


No charlatanism allowed, so no Ackley or Elmer
 
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Hmmm.
Cartridges of the world.
Lyman manuals
All powder and bullet manufacturer manuals.
George Nonte’s book on Cartridge conversions
Ken Howells booK on Cartridge Conversions.
Donnelly’s “The Handloaders Manual of Cartridge Conversions”
George Hoyem’s “History and development of Small Arms Ammunition” 4 Volumes.
Fred Datig’s “Cartridges for Collectors” 4 Volumes.
Any book by Michael McIntosh
Any book by Paul Matthews
WW Greener’s “The Gun”
Hatcher’s Notebook
Any thing by PO Ackley
African Game Trails by T. Roosevelt
Horn of the Hunter and Use Enough Gun by Robert Ruark
“The British Bulldog: the gun that really won the west”
Gil Hebards “Pistol Shooters Treasury”
A subscription to “The Double Gun and Single Shot Journal” (quarterly)
Wm. Brophy’s “The Springfield 1903 Rifle”
Nancy Tompkins’ “Prone and Long Range Rifle Shooting”
Walter Bell’s “Wanderings of an Elephant Hunter” and “Bell of Africa”
Pete
 

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PeteD-- You listed a book I didn't know anybody knew about-- Ken Howell's book of cartridge conversions. Mine is lost and I'm sick about it. (Still places to search, though.).
The Donnally book of the same subject is near useless IMO. Too many basic errors to trust anything (22K-Hornet, good example).
 

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Elk Whisperer (Super Moderator)
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"A History of the Colt Revolver"

Anything by J. A. Hunter

"Americans and Their Guns"

Going through my library and found some more.

RJ
 

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I see a great list of books by previous posts, but I would like to add just one more:
"Dangerous-Game Rifles - Second Edition" (2009) by Terry Wieland. A Shooting Sportsman Book. Forward by African PH Robin Hurt.
This volume is an amazing collection of information, including historical development of "big-bore" rifles (from the blackpowder era through Nitro-Express, Mauser history and why the Mauser98 -and its derivatives - are the finest actions ever), bullet evolution, manufacturers (rifles, cartridges, and bullets), custom rifle gunmaking, real-world tips on what makes a "dangerous-game rifle" (hint: ultra-reliability is more important than accuracy - especially when you are charged by a Cape Buffalo at 10 yards!), and more. Outstanding book!
 

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Some good suggestions.
Cartridges for collectors and Cartridges of the World are good starts to help you understand cartridges and the guns they were chambered for.
There are many old books which have value but a few are solid basics for the shooters library.
Hatcher's, Textbook of Piztols and Revolvers will give you a good foundation in handguns.
Phil Sharpe The Rifle in America for the basics on long guns.
Shape Complete Guide to Handloading will give you All of the basics. You will never regret this purchase.
Townsend Whelen, The American Rifle and/or The Hunting Rifle will give you sound basics on actions, barrels and sights.

The above books are old but the basics still hold true.


Some of the newer book have the New Basics.
BODDINGTON'S books starting with The American Hunting Rifle will discuss the newer thoughts.
You need a basic book on the AR or Modern Sporting Rifle. I will leave it to others to suggest the best one.

For older books that are just good reads and which will become treasured members of your library.
Someone has already mentioned Sawyers Our Rifles.
Kenneth Fuller Lee Big Game Hunting and Markmanship needs to be on your want list.
John Taylor's Big Game and Big Game Rifles will be a treasure.
Someone said no Elmer Keith but the facts are you need three.
Keith's Rifles for Large Game, Big Game Rifles, and the Sixgun Cartridges and Loads.

If you are pretty new to this the the four books by Dr. Henry Stebbins are a must. They are dated but good.

Many more but this will get you started. Make a want list an put Ken Waters Pet Loads as No. 1. Pet Loads will give you lots of reading and dreaming while you hunt for other books. You can start anywhere and read along.

If you want a Great read, Our Forgotton Heratige is the book. Each chapter a stand alone.
 

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Another set of suggestions would be anything by R. L. Wilson. His book "Winchester: An American Legend" is an excellent pictorial history of Winchester firearms. In fact, it should be considered a "coffee table book" for its wonderful photography. R. L. Wilson also wrote "Colt: An American Legend," and several others. Money spent on R. L. Wilson books is never wasted. (Just go to amazon.com and do a search on R. L. Wilson - or Dennis Adler, he has created similar coffee table books.)
 

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Hmmm.
Cartridges of the world.
Lyman manuals
All powder and bullet manufacturer manuals.
George Nonte’s book on Cartridge conversions
Ken Howells booK on Cartridge Conversions.
Donnelly’s “The Handloaders Manual of Cartridge Conversions”
George Hoyem’s “History and development of Small Arms Ammunition” 4 Volumes.
Fred Datig’s “Cartridges for Collectors” 4 Volumes.
Any book by Michael McIntosh
Any book by Paul Matthews
WW Greener’s “The Gun”
Hatcher’s Notebook
Any thing by PO Ackley
African Game Trails by T. Roosevelt
Horn of the Hunter and Use Enough Gun by Robert Ruark
“The British Bulldog: the gun that really won the west”
Gil Hebards “Pistol Shooters Treasury”
A subscription to “The Double Gun and Single Shot Journal” (quarterly)
Wm. Brophy’s “The Springfield 1903 Rifle”
Nancy Tompkins’ “Prone and Long Range Rifle Shooting”
Walter Bell’s “Wanderings of an Elephant Hunter” and “Bell of Africa”
Pete
JBelk: Agreed about Donnelly. I noticed differences in data shortly after buying it (differences between it and other references. Those differences drive me to purchase Howell’s book. I have not picked up the Donnelly book since.

in general...another book that I have enjoyed as a general reference is the “NRA Firearms Fact Book”. It is a useful compendium of info about firearms and shooting.
 

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--Hatcher's Notebook, by Hatcher
--Rifle Accuracy Facts, by Vaughn
--Modern Exterior Ballistics, by Miller
--Firearms Pressure Factors, by Brownell (of U of Michigan, not the catalog guy)
--Handloading manuals from Lyman, Speer, and Hornady
--Complete cartridge and pressure specifications from SAAMI and CIP (electronic documents only these days)
--Handloading, by Davis (an old NRA publication)
--The A-Square manual is also very interesting
 

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Really good picture books of fine firearms are not well known or dispersed. A few to keep a look-out for. I should charge spiders rent. Just one corner of a dozen book shelves....
 

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--Hatcher's Notebook, by Hatcher
--Rifle Accuracy Facts, by Vaughn
--Modern Exterior Ballistics, by Miller
--Firearms Pressure Factors, by Brownell (of U of Michigan, not the catalog guy)
--Handloading manuals from Lyman, Speer, and Hornady
--Complete cartridge and pressure specifications from SAAMI and CIP (electronic documents only these days)
--Handloading, by Davis (an old NRA publication)
--The A-Square manual is also very interesting
Hatcher's book of the Garand and The great rifle controversy
 
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