WAR BABY! The US Caliber .30 Carbine
by Larry L Ruth
Deluxe First Edition, 1992
512 pages, 398 illustrations
A year-long contest amongst America's military and civilian gun designers led to the adoption of a last-minute Winchester entry as "US Carbine, Caliber .30, M1" in October, 1941. From the first trickle of 'Inlands' in June,1942 through to a combined production peak of over 500,000 units per month in December,1943, over six million carbines were manufactured by a total of ten prime contractors, until program termination in 1945.
WAR BABY! is an in-depth account of the carbine's production history, component variations, production methods, subcontractors, and markings. Perhaps most importantly, the INTEGRATION of components among the prime contractors, a process often resorted to during wartime to keep production moving, is addressed in detail; so don't trade off that "incorrect" carbine until you read what Larry Ruth has to say in this book!
The Mauser Archive
by Jon Speed
Deluxe First Edition, 2007
576 pages, 870 illustrations
All the previously available information on Mauser sporting arms has already appeared in the author's two previous Collector Grade titles: Mauser: Original Oberndorf Sporting Rifles (1997) and Mauser Smallbores: Sporting, Target & Training Rifles (1998). After their publication the author felt that no more significant discoveries remained to be made in this field, as any further factory documentation had presumably been lost or destroyed.
However, recently there have been two miraculous discoveries. First, hundreds of previously unpublished company documents have been located, which give us unprecedented insight into the workings of the Mauser firm almost from its inception right through both World Wars and the French occupation period. These include actual production and sales data, inventory lists, and cost and sale price calculations for all types of Mauser products - black powder arms, pistols, military arms (the Standard Modell, the K98k, the MG81 and MG151 and the Flak 38), centrefire hunting, sporting and target rifles, .22 sporting, target and training rifles, pressure test units, and more.
Secondly, some 300 fragile glass plate negatives have miraculously survived, which depict a variety of hitherto unknown Mauser sporting models in their original configurations. Many embody features not often encountered, and include rare prototypes and in-the-white or low-serial-numbered examples of most early and later Mauser .22 rifle models, Schützen-style, Wehrmanns and Einheits target rifles, and some never-before-seen factory-engraved and custom rifles. The book ends with a selection of full-colour views of high-grade Mauser sporters, many with special features, from the world's finest collections.
Colt's New Service Revolver
by Timothy J Mullin
Deluxe First Edition, 2009
296 pages, 394 illustrations, 258 in color
The Colt New Service revolver was manufactured from 1898 through 1943 in a number of commercial and military models, with standard and Target versions offered in the civilian models. Over 356,000 were made, in a total of eleven standard chamberings. Experimental models were also made up in .22 rimfire, .22 Hornet, and .41 Special. Examples of all these models and chamberings are depicted and discussed.
In addition to the standard versions of each model, which were available in blue or nickel finish with 4-1/2", 5-1/2" or 7-1/2" barrels (7-1/2" standard on the Target Models), a variety of special-order features were available. These included special finishes (gold and/or silver plating); various grades of factory engraving; and grips of ivory, mother-of-pearl or stag, either plain, checkered, or carved, usually with steer head or eagle motifs.
The 165 distinct model/versions depicted include some really rare and interesting New Services, beginning with serial nos. 0 and 1, plus the very first Target Old Model and numerous other factory special orders with custom features, including specially-marked versions as used by the U.S. Border Patrol and various police agencies.
In addition to a brief historical introduction and individual chapters on each of the models, including the top-of-the-line Shooting Master and the radically bobbed "Fitz Specials", plus chapters on Famous Users and Aftermarket Modifications, the author presents expert commentaries and reasoned analyses throughout on the value and usefulness of the New Service in the field and as a personal defense weapon, plus frank critiques and comparisons with contemporary Smith & Wesson products.
The Colt New Service is one of today's hottest collectibles, with auction sales consistently realizing the high catalog estimates or better. Here is a well-reasoned, entertaining and profusely-illustrated guide to these popular revolvers - the most complete study of the New Service ever published.
- The Last-Ditch Weapons of the Nazi Volkssturm
by W. Darrin Weaver
Deluxe First Edition, 2005
424 pages, 558 illustrations
This is the first in-depth study of the amazing series of events which took place during the last chaotic months of Adolf Hitler's "Thousand Year Reich".
The war was already lost for Germany before the idea of a "People's Army" gained any sanction. The six million old men and boys of the Volkssturm were initially equipped with shotguns, drillings, hunting rifles, military training rifles and handguns scrounged from the German populace. These few arms were bolstered by foreign rifles and carbines captured during Germany's early wartime advances, and many collectors and historians may be surprised to learn that the rifle issued in the greatest numbers-the "true Volksgewehr"-was the Italian Carcano, some numbers of which were converted to fire the powerful German 7.92x57mm rifle cartridge!
In addition, seven types of Volksgewehre were specifically designed for manufacture by German industry during the last months of the war. All are covered in detail, and the book includes many previously unpublished photographs of original Volkssturm weapons, including prototypes and rare presentation examples.
Other Volkssturm weapons included the anti-tank Panzerfaust ("tank fist"), a single-shot, rocket-propelled shaped-charge device capable of defeating any Allied tank then in existence, and numerous "clones" of the British Sten machine carbine, which were hastily manufactured by a considerable number of German firms (a memorandum speaks of "30 subcontractors and 14 assembly points"). Programs were also begun to develop special Volkspistolen, made largely from stamped sheet metal.
In summing up, the author notes that even if the Volkssturm had been fully trained, well equipped and armed with the best weapons in the world-which they decidedly were not-they could have done no more than delay the inevitable, which in many cases, documented here, they actually did.
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