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My friend Stan Skinner, fellow southpaw and far-gone gun nut, does such a good job of defining this guide that I’ll let him explain it:

“The premise of this book is that most of us will never own, have the opportunity to shoot, or even handle the guns you’ll find in these pages. Some are outrageously expensive, some are so rare that it’s unlikely that we’d ever physically see one or hold it in our hands. Others are so heavily regulated that that few of us would subject ourselves to the tedious and onerous process of [legally] acquiring one. Most such guns would fall into more than one of these categories, which makes the problem even worse.”

Stan, not to be deterred, has traveled widely, gone to specialized shoots, looked up people who own the guns, attended trade shows, and generally done whatever was necessary to make the acquaintance of, and shoot:

– Express Rifles
– Hand Cannons
– Submachine Guns
– Tricked-Out .22s
– ARs, AKs, et al.
– Suppressed and Night Vision Firearms
– Ultra-Big-Bore-Snipers
– Machine Guns to Miniguns
– Field Artillery
– There is even a glossary on the perils and pitfalls—there are many—of Class III transfers.

In addition to describing all these forbidden delights, Stan takes pleasure in exploding myths about them and painting an accurate picture of what their capabilities are, and aren’t. There are all sorts of wonderful factoids, such as: If you’d like a minigun, there are only about three dozen available for civilian ownership; some of them are selling for $250,000; it costs $1,900 to $2,000 to fire it for a minute (4,000 rounds of 7.62mm). Some of them break a lot, at odd moments, and can be fixed only by a qualified gunsmith who has access to the spare parts.

There is an additional service this book provides. If you’re an old shooter like me, you can remember when the world was a much simpler place and much of this machinery didn’t exist. It’s easy to feel now, that the world is getting away from you, and that the technology of shooting, like all the other technology around you, is more than you can keep track of. This book will go a long way toward curing that. Stan is an old shooter himself, and writes in English, not techno-babble. Remember English?

Extreme Iron is printed on wonderful paper and is loaded with color photos. It’s 147 pages, costs $19.95, and can be found at

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