February 06, 2007
Two Books You Gotta Have
By David E. Petzal and Phil Bourjaily
A couple of years ago we stopped reviewing books in Field & Stream the magazine because readers did not respond, at least in the numbers we would have liked. However, since it’s obvious that our bloggers are people of taste and culture, here are my literary suggestions.
The first is a must-have, and is the 11th Edition of Cartridges of the World, edited by Stan Skinner and published by Gun Digest Books. Volume number one was written by Frank C. Barnes, came out in 1965, and set a benchmark for general usefulness. Its latest incarnation is 552 pages long and costs $30. If you don’t have a copy you live in Outer Darkness. 888-457-2873; gunlistsonline.com
Number two is optional, but a dandy nonetheless. It’s called Dangerous Game Rifles, is published by Countrysport Press, and is the work of Terry Wieland, who is a writer of the first order. It’s an elegant book of 344 pages, and contains 160 black and white and 23 color illustrations. The attraction of this book is twofold—it’s about how these highly specialized guns and cartridges work (and why some of them don’t work) and it loaded with information you just don’t see anywhere else. I can’t remember when I last read a book about guns and most of it was brand-new to me.
This is a far different book than Craig Boddington’s excellent Safari Rifles, which is the other definitive work on the subject. Craig writes about hunting and which guns are best for what. Wieland’s book is about the guns themselves. One compliments the other.
You don’t have to have a copy, but if you do it’s safe to say that you have less taste than the beasts of the field. It’s $40 from 800-685-7962; countrysportpress.com