The Ultimate Thompson Book$150.00
by Tracie L. Hill
Deluxe First Edition, 2009
872 pages, 1,201 illustrations, over 200 in color
Virtually every chapter and topic covered in Tracie Hill's critically acclaimed 1996 Collector Grade title Thompson: The American Legend has been expanded, and some new ones have been added in order to incorporate a vast amount of important new information augmenting every aspect of the history of the Auto Ordnance Corporation, the Thompson family, and the design and production of the hardware that bears the Thompson name. Much of this priceless new material, including personal memoirs, dimensioned blueprints and other rare memorabilia, has been bequeathed by key people who were intimately involved in the day to day operations of the company.
The post WWII history of the Thompson begins with more new documentation concerning the Kilgore Manufacturing Company, historically a manufacturer of cap pistols and pyrotechnics. Kilgore's plans to re-launch the M1A1 Thompson came to naught, and the next incarnation of Auto Ordnance was as part of the Numrich Arms Corporation in West Hurley, New York. Then the story shifts yet again, with up to date coverage of the products of the current proprietors, Kahr Arms.
Chapters on Thompson drum and box magazines are expanded to include original manufacturing drawings and operation detail sheets. Chapters on Web Gear, Other Ancillaries, and Models and Miniatures; then over 100 pages of updated listings of serial numbers of all 15,000 Colt Model 1921 Thompsons, with shipping dates and dispositions where known. Then an impressive display of rare, colorful original paper-handbooks, brochures, price lists, catalogs, and military manuals, both U.S. and foreign.
All this and much, much more-plus ten times more color than The American Legend. Every copy of The Ultimate Thompson Book comes individually shrink wrapped in protective plastic.
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.
MAGNUM - The S&W .357 Magnum Phenomenon
Deluxe First Edition, 2012
Today, the most sought-after versions of the Smith & Wesson .357 Magnum revolver are the pre-war Registered and non-registered models, and these are given pride of place in the first 16 of this book's 24 chapters, plus a detailed, 28-page serial number Database.
The .357 Magnum was the result of the two-pronged development of a new revolver and a new cartridge. The .38 S&W Special cartridge was developed to counter the shorter, weaker .38 Colt round, which was the government issue handgun cartridge at the turn of the 20th century.
Then in 1929 the Colt .38 Super automatic threatened the long-established popularity of the .38 Special M&P revolver as an arm of choice for law enforcement. This led to the introduction of a pair of new .38 caliber S&W revolvers called the Heavy Duty and the Outdoorsman's, both built on the massive N frame used for the .44 Hand Ejector series, and firing a more powerful cartridge called the “.38/44 S&W Special”.
The next step was a cartridge with even more pressure, velocity and power, which could well have been hazardous to fire in ordinary revolvers. The solution was to lengthen the .38 Special case by 1/10", resulting in a new round which was christened the .357 Magnum. The N-frame 357 Magnum revolver was announced, with deliveries beginning on April 8, 1935.
Coverage of the modern S&W .357 Magnums begins with the rare post-war long-action “transition” model. The new short-action Magnum was introduced in 1950, and numbers replaced names in 1957, the Magnum becoming the Model 27. K-frame Model 19 “Combat Magnums” were introduced in 1956; the first stainless steel Magnums in 1970; the new stronger L-frame Magnums in 1981; and finally, Magnums with cylinders made of titanium and frames made of exotic scandium-aluminum alloy. Today, tiny lightweight J-frame Magnums are available, weighing well under a pound.
Custom Magnums from the S&W Performance Center, and some interesting Magnums of other makes, both domestic and foreign, are also discussed and depicted.
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