Book Review of ‘The Total Gun Manual’ by Davie E. Petzal and Phil Bourjaily (Fondly Referred to as “The Gun Nuts”)
I will be the first to admit that my knowledge of firearms or - guns as they compares to say … shoes (which I consider myself to be expert on) is next to nil. Yes, I have a firearm; a handgun, I’ve been trained to shoot and wouldn’t hesitate to use it if in harms way. But that’s pretty much it – well with the exception of cleaning and caring for it.
I confess, and I'll bet there are more out there like this, in the past when looking at a firearm, big or small … I always kinda thought they looked the same. There were little ones you held in your hand and big ones you rested up next to your shoulder, but for the most part the majority were black and looked pretty much alike. I have since learned after my review of The Total Gun Manual, that this couldn’t be further from the truth.
Now let me start by sharing a little secret … firearms and weapons are not the same thing. A firearm is a gun that fires ammunition, like a handgun, rifle or shotgun. A weapon can be anything - a lamp, a knife, a pencil - anything that can inflict harm to something, or someone. This is not a weapons book – it is a book on guns – firearms. And what the authors in this book do are educated you on firearms, or as the cover states: Rifles, Shotguns and More.
I began my review by skimmed over the “history of firearms *yawn* sorry … but to me that’s was like learning the origin of pizza. I don’t have to know the history to like it. Just saying.
Delving into the book, I appreciated the authors stressing safety. This can never be emphasized enough when dealing with firearms. The saying “accidents happened” hits closer to home then we’d all like to think when dealing with firearms. Even the best and most experienced users will agree - with no exception - no matter how familiar you think you are to firearms – always assume every one is loaded (the gun not the people). I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen someone handle a firearm as everyone around them is ducking as the person twists and turns it in their hand … right?
As I skimmed the pages I came to a glossy picture of a firearm and all the cleaning and lubricating paraphernalia. As I gazed at it, I couldn’t help but wonder if guys think the same thing when they peer inside a lady’s make-up case …“what the heck is all that stuff and what do you do with it all?” But I digress.
Another confession, I also skipped over the skills about hunting (sheepish-grin) as my eyes instead took me to the “protection and defense skills” section to read about what I thought would be handguns - the real home security, and something I knew a little about. The author, however, explains that although handguns are the most popular home defense firearm, they are also the most difficult to hit with. *Gulp* Sure, shooting at a stationary target …most of us can get pretty good at hitting the target. But have you ever heard of a bad-guy being asked to stand still so you can shoot him? Uh - nope. Most threats will be moving. And for that you might want to consider a shotgun. Why? Well your chances of hitting something are better at close range. Say 5 to 7 yards away. And, in fact, both Remington and Winchester have developed home-defense loads specifically for inside home use. Interesting huh?
It has been suggested by many that the best preparedness arsenical should consist of a handgun (pistol/revolver), a shotgun and a rifle. If you are like me and what I mean by this is, if you know next to nil about firearms, would perhaps like to know more information before making your first purchase, or what the best fit for your situation is, The Total Gun Manual is a perfect resource book for your preparedness library to help you understand terms, techniques and skills on just about anything dealing with firearms, in easy …okay … to me maybe not so easy but the graphics, illustrations, pictures and the “just the meat” topics sure made it easier. Like this for example, I used to wonder how you know which eye to shoot with (well not that you shoot with your eye …grin), I learned that most of us have a dominate eye just as we do a dominate hand. With women (we’re so special!) cross-dominance is common, which is to say, some women have a stronger eye opposite their stronger hand. There’s actually a test you can do to see which eye is stronger. The book is full of these great tips and suggestions.
Whether its rifles, shotguns, ammunition, shooting techniques, hunting techniques, what to look for in buying a firearm, or the appropriate place on a gaming animal to shoot, it’s all here, 335 essential shooting skills in “The Total Gun Manual”.
And no I am not going to share with you how to know which your dominant eye is - you’ll have to get the book and find out yourself.
Get your copy of "The Total Gun Manual" here:The Total Gun Manual (Field & Stream): 335 Essential Shooting Skills
- Survivor Jane
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