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Effective Handgun Defense, A Comprehensive Guide To Concealed Carry, by Frank W. James. Krause Publications. 2004. 256 pages. PB. $20.00. Available from Amazon.com, Borders, & Midway USA. Autographed copies available from the author at 2915 N 600 W, Wolcott, IN 47995, cost $25.00.

A summary of the book's ten chapters:

Ch 1, "The History of the Fightin' Handgun" is entertaining but is not relevant to the topic of concealed carry.

Ch 2, "Why The Handgun?" includes the oft-quoted 20 rules of gunfighting, rimfire handguns, and the so-called "exotics" like machine pistols and race guns. The author incorrectly states here that full-auto pistols can't be owned by the average citizen. "Race guns" is basically a capsule history of IPSC/IPDA.

Ch 3, "Wound Ballistics" is a rambling chapter that is hard to summarize. Topics covered include the 1986 FBI shoot-out in Miami, the Bureau's 10mm Auto experience, and shooting domestic and feral livestock with a 7mm Magnum rifle. We're also treated to two photos of the author with game animals taken with a S&W .41 Magnum revolver.

C4, "Effective Calibers" discusses all of the common and a few uncommon handgun cartridges available currently.

Ch 5, "Service Revolvers", Ch 6, "The 9mm Pistols", Ch 7, "The 1911 Pistol" and Ch 8, "The Small Guns" discusses each of these handgun types in detail.

Ch 9, "Carry and Concealment" covers holsters and accessories.

Ch 10, "Attitude Is Everything" consists of the author's random thoughts on a variety of topics.

This book makes good use of photographs, with nearly every page containing at least one photo. Most are sharp and clear, a few are rather dark, but not objectionally so, and two are excessively cropped. In addition, there is a 16 page center-spread of superb color photographs. Alas, most of these are unnecessarily repeated in B&W elsewhere in the book.

There is no particular reason to recommend or not recommend this book. For a new concealed carry permit holder, Chris Bird's Concealed Handgun Manual would be a better choice. Overall, this book is just average.
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