A Reading List For Gun Nuts

A number of my fellow bloggers have been whining at me for a list of books by the gun writers … Continued

A number of my fellow bloggers have been whining at me for a list of books by the gun writers we’ve been discussing, so here’s a short one. The reason there’s nothing deader than a dead gun writer is that we write mostly about machinery, and machinery changes very quickly these days, so most of what we have to say is useless in 10 years, if it ever had any use to begin with.

For Jack O’Connor fans, the two to get are The Art of Hunting Big Game in North America, and Big Game Animals of North America. The former is a how-to book, filled with advice that is still quite valid, while the latter is a treasure. Fascinating stuff about the whole Boone and Crockett list, with wonderful illustrations by Douglas Allen. And, if you can find a copy, Horse and Buggy West is great reading and a reminder that the best way to write about guns is to be able to write, period.

Warren Page left us only one real book, and that is The Accurate Rifle. Lefty was at the forefront of benchrest shooting after World War II, and in his time probably knew more about what made rifles tick than anyone. It’s aged a little, but only a little.

Charles Askins’ Confessions of an Unrepentant Sinner will not teach you much, but it is sure enough entertaining. Charlie liked to shoot people, and did it a lot. Come to think of it, he liked to shoot everything, and did it a lot.

Robert Ruark’s The Horn of the Hunter: The time he wrote about is long gone, but Horn remains the supreme book on African hunting.

Jim Carmichel’s Book of the Rifle is the definitive modern work on the subject, told with all the wit and wisdom that one acquires in Tennessee. I suspect that Carmichel may know more than any of us, and this book is proof.