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Book Review: The Gun Digest Book of Guns For Personal Defense

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The Gun Digest Book of Guns For Personal Defense. Edited by Kevin Michalowski. kp Books. 2004. PB. 160 pages. $14.99. Available at Borders and Amazon.

This is another in the "Gun Digest Book Of" series. Others have included the book of the Glock, the 1911, the Sig-Sauer and Combat Handgunnery, to name a few.

This book is divided into sections, entitled "Features", "Catalog" and "Reference". The "Features" section consists of articles entitled "Repetition Builds Skill" and "Laser Sights" by the editor, followed by "Dry Practice" by Dan Donarski. This author has an irritating habit of referring to ammunition as "bullets". I don't trust any gunwriter who can't get the terminology right. Also by Donarski is "Grip, Presentation & Stance" and "Complete Training". Rounding out this section is "Buying Used Firearms" by Patrick Sweeney, and "Bring Out The Big Guns" (shotguns) and "The Trend Toward Autoloaders", both by M.D. Johnson.

The "Catalog" section has Modern Gun Values (more on this later), current handguns (conspicuous ommissions include the S&W M1911, Glock 37, Ruger P345 and the Wilson 1911s) and current shotguns (which omits the Remington 870 and the Ithica 37. How can you ignore the 870 as a self-defense shotgun?), ending with Grips, Metallic Sights and Laser Sights.

The "Reference" section contains a table of state firearms laws along with a state by state guide to right to carry reciprocity. These are stated to be current as of the date of publication of this book, and appear to be so. Lastly, there is the Gun Digest staple, the Product and Service Directory, arranged by category. The directory contains over 3000 entries, unfortunately, these are names only, no addresses. Out of curiosity, I ran a Google search on ten randomly chosen names, and came up dry on six, not enough, perhaps, to be able to positively state that the directory is only 40% accurate, but it's certainly not a promisiing result.

Forty (count 'em, 40) pages of this book are wasted space, a total waste of paper and ink. I refer to the aforementioned "Modern Gun Values", which describes, illustrates & values over 400 handguns, including such obscure guns as the Bergmann Model 1903, the Colt Model 1877 Lightning, the Liliput and the Lahti. About the only things missing are the Gyrojet, Semmerling, and Liberator. I can't imagine what the editor and publisher were thinking here. Why would the targeted buyer of this book care that the value of an Italian Galesi .25 ACP was $125.00 to $250.00? These pages could have been better used to cover any number of relevant topics, including holsters, gun and ammo comparison tests, shoot-no shoot scenarios, CCW legal issues, etc., all the things this book doesn't cover.

I can't recommend this book. There is nothing new here, nothing that would set this book apart from any of the other self-defense books on the market. Save your money and buy a box of ammunition instead. And no, I didn't buy it either. I borrowed it from my county library.
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· 1943 - 2009
10,720 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Yes, if 1 is your lowest rating. I don't know where to get your icons. Your original thread was closed so I couldn't ask.

· Registered
1,091 Posts
Capt Crunch, thanks for the heads up.

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