Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Books read in 2011: No. 6 - Firearms Curiosa

Firearms Curiosaby Lewis Winant

Started: January 24
Finished: February 2

Notes: I've read my share of non-fiction books about firearms over the years, but this one slipped past me somehow. It first came to my attention a couple of years ago when famed author Neil Gamain mentioned online this was a book he had recently (as of then) been reading. His description of it told me I needed to check this book out. I've seen the hardback version, which is what I own, going for as much as a hundred bucks on eBay, but I got lucky a while back and found a copy in a used book store and it only cost me $15. My particular copy is from 1955. As to exactly what this book is about, I'll over some of the blurb from inside the jacket cover: "The many strange and freakish gun fabrications that are show in this book are a tribute to man's inventive energy as applied to the development of arms. From days just past and from days long gone, Lewis Winant has selected over 300 pieces as representative of the oddities that have been constructed to utilize the propelling force of gunpowder." From what I've seen of the cover and some of the inside images, several of these unusual and rare firearms are ones with which I am already casually familiar, but I also noticed several things which were new to me. If anyone is interested, Winant also wrote several other books on firearms, to my knowledge all of them having to do with historic arms.

Mini review: I did not enjoy this one as much as I had hoped. Frankly, the writing was pretty boring, and there really wasn't much information here. There were lots of photos, but the book's text was just basic descriptions of what where in the photos. I was hoping for more in-depth historical information about these unusual firearms, but that wasn't present here. Still, though I was already familiar with about half the odd firearms in this book, the other half was new to me and that was nice information to have.

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