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The Greenhill Dictionary of Guns and Gunmakers.

by John Walter. Published by Greenhill Books, London and Stackpole Books, Pennsylvania, 2001. ISBN 1-85367-392-7. hard cover with dust jacket, 20 x 25 cm, 576 pp, hundreds of b & w photos and drawings. Price 35 [pounds sterling] plus post & pack.

The scope of this remarkable book is outlined in the subtitle: "From Colt's First Patent to the Present Day, 1836-2001 Military Small-Arms, Sporting Guns and Rifles, Air and Gas Guns, Designers, Manufacturers Inventors, Patentees, Trademarks, Brandnames and Monograms." An epic task indeed to cover such a broad subject area, but this publication does it.

The author's introduction provides some idea of the depth and time span (over 30 years) of research plus time in writing (five years). Although, by the author's own admission, not fully comprehensive (How could any such book ever be?), and biased towards Britain and the US, this is the reference work that collectors and gun lovers have been waiting for forever as there is, and never has been, anything as comprehensive.

The 10,000 or so entries cover, inter alia, inventors (Lee, Browning, Colt, Mauser brothers, Patchett, Mike Walker, etc), gunmakers (Hollis, Egg, Mantnn, Brazier, Rigby, etc), manufacturers (Astra, Daisy, Erma, Unique, etc), ammunition makers, individual weapons, abbreviations and innumerable interesting articles stumbled onto by chance (such as Beutegewehr, ie captured enemy weapons used by Germany in WW1). Such information makes this book a delightful and satisfying treasure trove.

Like all John Walter's other books this one is "unputdownable" but even more so. Even the briefest browsing gives this title a `must have' status.
COPYRIGHT 2002 Military Historical Society of Australia
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2002, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Author:Wigzell, Syd
Article Type:Book Review
Date:Jun 1, 2002
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