Mel Tappan...Survival Guns

Mel Tappan...Survival Guns

This is a discussion on Mel Tappan...Survival Guns within the Defensive Books, Video & References forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; You're kidding right...a great handgun/CC forum WITH a special section for books? Thank you to the makers of this forum for the privilege! Has anyone ...

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Thread: Mel Tappan...Survival Guns

  1. #1
    New Member Array bear71's Avatar
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    Mel Tappan...Survival Guns

    You're kidding right...a great handgun/CC forum WITH a special section for books? Thank you to the makers of this forum for the privilege!

    Has anyone read Mel Tappan's Survival Guns? I enjoyed it but went broke trying to keep up with his recommendations for a serious battery!

    Can anyone confirm whether or not Mel Tappan was a paraplegic and wheel chair bound while writing this book?


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    Welcome to the forum....I remember his book; never read it...but I also remember and loved his Guns & Ammo monthly articles.
    USAF: Loving Our Obscene Amenities Since 1947

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    Member Array Optimistic Paranoid's Avatar
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    I have - and have read - SURVIVAL GUNS. A good read, if a bit dated these days.

    SURVIVAL GUNSMITHING, by the noted gunsmith/writer J. B. Woods (probably now out of print) was based on it. He took Mel Tappan's suggested list of guns, provided an exploded diagram of it, discussed each gun' strength and weaknesses from a gunsmithing point of view, and suggested a spare parts list for each gun that a survivalist should acquire and keep on hand to keep the gun functioning after the SHTF.

    Tappan died of health issues - heart attack, I think. Don't know where the paraplegic question comes from, but I remember one of his columns where he talked about the virtues of big bore revolvers as a WORKING gun - as opposed to a fighting gun - and he mentioned casually that he usually wore one while working about his ranch/farm/survival retreat on fences and such.
    Regards
    John


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    Senior Member Array sheepdog's Avatar
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    I still have the copy I bought...in the 70's, I think.

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    Thanks for the welcome, srfl, nice forum you have here.

    I read a couple sources on other internet forums that Tappan was wheelchair bound (para) while writing the book which seemed odd because he speaks of shooting them in the book.

    Obviously you can't believe only two sources by people you don't know so I was looking for additional confirmation. Some have said his book is not credible because of his condition which I find nonsense because the book is an awesome read.

    It is currently in print and is highly recommend by me, I enjoyed it thoroughly.

    I've also heard many add the disclaimer that his book is dated, and while these statements are true, it's kinda like saying the Browning HP and 1911-A1 are dated pistols. It's a good solid foundation and must read in my opinion.

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    New Member Array bear71's Avatar
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    Additionally, I'd like to recommend the title "The Survival Armory" by Duncan Long which follows Tappan's work and provides some nice updating.

    Good recommendations of Survival Gunsmithing as well as his work for Guns and Ammo magazine, thanks fellas.

    Many of Tappan's articles for G&A were put together posthumously by his wife for a second book, "Tappan on Survival" which is availalbe in it's entirity to be read on the internet. I copied it and bound it spirally as original copies of the book are very expensive.

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    VIP Member Array Redneck Repairs's Avatar
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    Ragnor Benson ( pen name paladan press , Boulder , CO) wrote many missives also , some way out there , but survival poaching by him isnt bad at all , Worth more than poaching on a shtf situation imho .
    Make sure you get full value out of today , Do something worthwhile, because what you do today will cost you one day off the rest of your life .
    We only begin to understand folks after we stop and think .

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    Member Array Gary Brommeland's Avatar
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    Howdy!
    Yeah, I read it maybe 20 years ago. Definately a good read. The one point in which I did disagree is that he would have multiple guns in the same caliber, ostensibly for the same purpose. That doesn't make much sense to me - having multiples of the same firearm would seem a significantly superior approach from a parts supply/repair/maintenance standpoint.
    Tappan otherwise struck me as a brilliant man. I loved his articles in Guns & Ammo.
    BTW, Welcome aboard!!!

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    New Member Array bear71's Avatar
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    Thanks Gary,

    You're right, Tappan recommended so many firearms and redundancy that, while I never felt it affected his credibility, I think it did illustrate that he was a paranoid man to a degree.

    Survival Guns features an "ideal" battery for several different types of people ranging from the well to do married couple down to the economically challenged student. His battery for the well off married couple totalled something like $50-60,000 in today's dollars! Enough firearms to start a small gun shop certainly.

    Tappan was married to Nancy (pretty sure on first name) Mack who was the heiress to the Mack Truck fortune! This may explain his deep pocketed ideas regarding weaponry.

    His ideal battery lists are a great start if you pair them down substantially to single examples and some spare parts.

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    Member Array Optimistic Paranoid's Avatar
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    Well, if you liked Tappan's work, you should probably also read BOSTON'S GUN BIBLE by Boston T. Party.
    Regards
    John


    Life Member - American Society of Armed Political Malcontents

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    Member Array lee n. field's Avatar
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    A good read, if a bit dated these days.
    The actual hardware advice is fairly dated. Let's see...

    Handguns: no Glocks. No other plastic wonder pistols. No Kydex anything. No .40. 1911 was king of the hill for defensive handguns, but only if you spent boucoup bucks gunsmithing a plain jane GI model (which was almost the only model you could get).

    Rifles: No ex-commie milsurp. 180 series Mini-14 got a two thumbs up from Mel.

    And a whole raft load of tidbits you can't get anymore.

    I still have the copy I bought...in the 70's, I think.
    Ditto. The binding on mine is completely shot -- it's a pile of pages. I wouldn't mind getting a good copy.

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    Can anyone confirm whether or not Mel Tappan was a paraplegic and wheel chair bound while writing this book?
    IIRC, Mel was a diabetic paraplegic.
    "The pistol, learn it well, carry it always ..." ~ Jeff Cooper

    "Terrorists: They hated you yesterday, they hate you today, and they will hate you tomorrow. End the cycle of hatred, donít give them a tomorrow."

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    VIP Member Array ExSoldier's Avatar
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    I have a copy of Survival Guns. I think it's out of print now. But one of the BEST Survival books I ever read was Ragnar Benson's How to Live off the Land in the City or the Country. Also his book on Survival Poaching and his two books on MANTRAPPING. Those reinforced the stuff I learned in the Infantry schools I went to and taught me a few new tricks.

    Another great series of books is produced by Pathfinder Publishing and it's by a Green Beanie named Don Paul. They are:
    The Green Beret's Guide to Outdoor Survival
    Great Livin' in Grubby Times (Vol I & II)
    Green Beret's Compass Course
    Field Guide to Hammock Use
    Former Army Infantry Captain; 25 yrs as an NRA Certified Instructor; Avid practitioner of the martial art: KLIK-PAO.

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