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Firmo and Francesca Fracassi - Master Engravers

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Wing shooting


The Orvis Wingshooting Handbook, Fully Revised and Updated: Proven Techniques for Better Shotgunning by Bruce Bowlen

From the leading wingshooting outfitter, this book is a concise and clearly written guide to the fundamentals and intricacies of wing shooting. Chapters include an analysis of field shooting versus skeet and trap; a discussion of basic techniques; how to choose the right gun; how to aim properly; safety and etiquette; tools you'll need; and more. Black-and-white illustrations throughout help the reader gain a more thorough understanding of Bowlen's tips and techniques.

“It isn't easy to define or teach the art of wing shooting, but Bruce Bowlen has done an excellent job in that direction. The Orvis Wing-Shooting Handbook is clean and concise and will help your shooting.” Grits Gresham, Shooting Editor, Sports Afield

The Complete Guide to Wing Shooting: The Ultimate Handbook to a Specialized Sport by Alex Brant

This book is the consummate guide to wingshooting. It’s an encyclopedia of essential information, including how to find a great-fitting shotgun, which chokes are best for your game, the best type of gun to use and realizing your potential to become a great wingshooter. Brant knows the game. He is the founder, editor, and publisher of The Hunting Report, and columnist for the UK's Shooting Gazette magazine. He's also a steady contributor to several magazines, including Sports Afield, Shooting Sportsman, Outdoor Life, and the NRA's American Hunter and American Rifleman. He ran the driven shoots at Ireland's Humewood Castle and Shillelagh. A true globtrotter, Brant follows the action and lets you benefit directly from his experience.

“Any hunter narrowing his focus to wing shooting simply must have THE COMPLETE GUIDE TO WING SHOOTING: THE ULTIMATE HANDBOOK TO A SPECIALIZED SPORT in hand: it provides hunters with a primer beginning with the fundamentals and moving to safety, etiquette, choosing autoloaders and considering barrels, and much more. Discussions with experts cover any pros and cons of equipment choice or methodology, while chapters pack in detail and even some color photos.” D. Donovan, Editor/Sr. Reviewer (California, USA)

Hunting Ducks and Geese: Hard Facts, Good Bets, and Serious Advice from a Duck Hunter You Can Trust by Steve Smith

A meditation on duck hunting in the modern world. By comparing duck and goose hunting today with the America of yesteryear, Smith provides a fresh view on vital information such as land leases and hunting camps. Smith’s humanistic approach also delves into the nature of ducks and geese -- their behavior and habitats

Smith notes the differences between duck hunting in the days of G.B. Grinnell and now. Certainly there have been a lot a regulatory changes. But cultural changes as well. Later in the book there is a discussion on land leases and hunting camps - what to look for and pitfalls to avoid. This is the sort of practical advice contained throughout the book. This book is humorous, comforting and downright comforting for hunters who pine for days gone by.

A Ducks Unlimited Guide to Hunting Dabblers by Wade Bourne

This comprehensive guide to hunting mallards, wood ducks, wigeon, teal, pintails, and other dabbling ducks is a useful resource for novice and veteran hunters. This helpful book provides details on dabbler hunting tactics, strategies for pass-shooting, tactics for hunting early and late in the season and first-hand tips from the country's best guides.

“I bought Wade Bourne's Decoy book two years ago and it changed the way I hunt ducks...and geese. I've been able to lure more birds within shooting range, and have been able to pull out a few new tricks when conditions change, or when my favorite methods fail. This new book is just as good as his first...and even a veteran duck hunter like myself will learn newer and better ways to hunt puddle ducks. If you're just getting into the sport, or if you'd like to improve your hunting, buy this book!” Dan Delamato

A Ducks Unlimited Guide to Hunting Diving & Sea Ducks by Gary Kramer

When you brave rough waters and freezing weather, you want to do everything within your power to bag a bird. That’s the story with diving ducks and sea ducks. These fast-flying birds are elusive -- making them a challenge that a cadre of avid hunters simply can’t resist. So before you head out, make sure you pack A Ducks Unlimited Guide to Hunting Diving & Sea Ducks. It provides veteran and novice hunters with in-depth information about pass-shooting, layout boats and shore blinds. It will also inform you about the best tactics for hunting early and late in the season, finding the best spots and decoy methods that these wily ducks can’t resist.

“I've never hunted diving ducks or sea ducks, per se, except for the incidental ones I shot while targeting puddle ducks. I just didn't know enough about where to go and how to target bluebills, canvasbacks, redheads, eiders, you name it. So this book was a godsend to me. I bought another book that touched on the subject last year. But this book has all the details you need to get out there and do it. I can't to start hunting these big-water ducks next season.” John Peterson (Michigan)

Misery Loves Company: Waterfowling and the Relentless Pursuit of Self-Abuse by Bill Buckley

If know one understands why get up at 3:00 AM and stumbling into a freezing marsh to wait for birds that may never come this book is for you. One of your own comes clean on why you hunt waterfowl -- and he does it with a belly-laugh sense of humor and “been there, done that” photos that will bring you back into the blind.

"After giving Buckley's little gem the once-over, I'm convinced that every duck camp should have a copy of Misery Loves Company on the coffee table.” Glynn Harris, The News Star

"If Buckley's images of duck and goose hunters suffering grievously for their sport don't trigger a laugh-out-loud attack of self-recognition¿Well, you've never broken through a frozen marsh in leaky waders, used your gunstock as a paddle, mired your pickup to the axles, or turned around from fiddling with a cranky outboard to witness the truly horrific sight of your dog scarfing the last of what, just a few minutes ago, was a full box of Krispy Kremes.” Tom Davis, Sporting Classics

“The laughter will bring tears to your eyes. If you have'nt been in 50% or more of these situations you haven't been duck hunting.” Timothy Somers (Northville, Michigan United States)

Field Dressing and Butchering Upland Birds, Waterfowl, and Wild Turkeys by Monte Burch

Learn step-by-step instructions for bringing wild birds from field to table. In this book, you’ll learn the best approach for field dressing upland birds and waterfowl. The book takes you into the next step of freezing or cooking the bird as well.

“The first thing this book has going for it, is the size, since this is a book that you can carry with you on hunting trips as a step by step guide, or how to. Not only are the instructions absolutely complete but they are easy to follow, and the equipment required is inexpensive and in some cases free. Every legally hunted bird is covered from field dressing, preserving to cooking and recipes. The step by step instructions include either exact illustrations and/or black and white clear photographs. It is a book that the novice should own.” MotherLodeBeth (Sierras of California)

The Duck Hunter's Book: Classic Waterfowl Stories by Lamar Underwood

Packing your gear is simply the beginning of an adventure waiting to reveal itself. The weather, the place, the birds all work together to make the stuff of duck-hunting tales. Lamar Underwood captures the possibilities and flops that every duck hunter has encountered in his wonderful and insightful musings. People who live for ducking hunting (and those who are curious about the sport) owe it to themselves to own a copy of The Duck Hunter's Book: Classic Waterfowl Stories.

"If you can't hunt, you might as well read about it during the off season." I enjoyed this book very much. It contains a multitude of short stories from a bygone era. This book brings together writings that are not any longer available in any other format.” The Russian (Ozark, Missouri)

Practical Turkey Hunting Strategies: How to Hunt Effectively Under Any Conditions by Ray Eye

Thirty-year turkey hunter Ray Eye shares his experiences to help you bag the elusive Tom. And as a champion turkey caller, no turkey stands a chance of eluding you after you read this book. Mr. Eye leaves nothing to chance and neither should you.

“Ray Eye has written a great comprehensive book on turkey hunting. This book will appeal especially to beginning turkey hunters, but advanced hunters will enjoy it as well. It covers all the essentials to becoming a good turkey hunter; filled with tips,techniques, and strategies you need before venturing into the woods. You'll also enjoy his personal stories and it's filled with photos. Recommend!” Craig Kerwood (Everett, WA United States)

“Informatively written by master outdoorsman Ray Eye (an expert on the tactics, ethics, and safety of hunting who has conducted more than 2,000 seminars across North America), Practical Turkey Hunting Strategies: How To Hunt Effectively Under Any Conditions is a straightforward, "hunter friendly" specialty guide to all aspects of hunting turkeys. Individual chapters address such issues as calling turkeys, scouting year round, tactics for various times of day and season, tips for making the shot or even accepting the challenge of bowhunting, and much, much more. Simply put, Practical Turkey Hunting Strategies is "must-read" for anyone with an interested in the challenging sport of turkey hunting.” Midwest Book Review (Oregon, WI USA)

Hunting the Quails of North America by Ben O. Williams

Williams delves into every amazing detail about North American quails as a fundamental belief that it will make you a better hunter. For Williams, information is power, and the more information you have setting out to hunt quails the more successful you’re bound to be. He muses about nature -- the very habitat you enter when you’re in quail country -- and is awe-struck by the beauty. For you’re serious about your quail hunting, this book is really for you.

“This book covers the entire gamet of quail hunting. Inclusive are species biological and ecological requirements, photographs and generalized locality maps. A must for the serious grand slam quail hunter.” Michael Pate (Jerome, Idaho United States)

Successful Shotgunning: How to Build Skill in the Field and Take More Birds in Competition by Peter F. Blakeley

Successful Shotgunning focuses on vital techniques for clays and wingshooting. Reading this book will give you a fully integrated, holistic approach to shooting. You’ll learn how to evaluate moving targets in wing-shooting situations in the field, in a competitive environment, on a sporting clays course, or on a skeet field. It also covers the basics such as determining if your gun fits you perfectly, how to manage recoil and how to recognize common eye alignment problems.

“A well written book on the subject of shotgunning. I would recommend it to anyone.” J. Rohrbaugh (Idaho Falls, ID)

“This is an awesome book for inexperienced shooters that want to learn a few things about shotgunning. It is probably the most useful out of a handful of shotgun books I have bought.” Andrew G. Spenny (North Aurora, IL)

Pheasants of the Mind: A Hunter's Search for a Mythic Bird by Datus C. Proper

No single title sums up the life of the solitary pheasant hunter like this masterful work. “Pheasants of the Mind” is an introspective, sensitive book of timeless flavor in which pheasant hunting dominates the author's thoughts and actions throughout the year. It is a celebration of the time-honored art of pheasant hunting.

“This is the best and most original book on bird hunting in years.” Steve Bodio,book reviewer for Shooting Sportsman

“In addition to the other reviews, I can't emphasize enough that this book not only has great tactical, historical, and cullinary perspecitive, but is actually LITERATURE. I've read the book perhaps 5 or 6 times through now, and it's just a classic--easy to read and food for the mind. Although Datus Proper has passed on now, his story will live on. My style and thought on pheasant changed after I read this book. Critical to your hunting library!” L. Smith (Nebraska)

The Art Of American Game Calls: Duck, Goose, Turkey & More: Identification & Values by Russell E. Lewis

If you are hunting for the best book on American game calls, this is it. More than 275 game calls, made by traditional and company call makers, are featured in close to 400 color photos. Each call is identified as to maker, approximate age, area of manufacture, and current collector value. Examples of famous call makers such as Perdew, Allen, and many others are included, as well as a wide sampling of calls from lesser known makers. In addition, the book profiles the major American call companies like Faulk, Herter's, Lohman, Mallardtone, and Olt. Most of the calls have never before been seen in print.

“When I purchased this book, I had in mind to use it as a coffee table book, but when I recieved it I had not been able to let it down long enough to let it gather that coffee table dust....It is the most revealing history of duck calls collected over the years of a highly acclaimed call maker, Joe Jaroski, whom I have had the priveledge to meet with during a Callers Show in Tennessee this year. Not to mention calls made from some of the country's best the calls made by these same people as novices...evaluating a call for its monetary worth is tricky, but this book will help you learn when it comes to purchasing calls, and what to look for when collecting calls. It is a great book to have and to share with friend.” Jack L. Lewis (Lilbourne, MO)

The Great Gallery of Ducks and Other Waterfowl by Richard Lemaster

The habits, behavior, and appearance of 27 species of ducks and waterfowl are illustrated in LeMaster's classic reference.

“This book is one to have! This book is what I call the greatest beginners book to waterfowl. It takes you step by step, thru different breeds (Canvasback & Green-winged teal), types (Dabblers & divers), and the anatomy of the birds. It is a great book for any waterfowl painter or Waterfowl carving beginning artist to invest in. It has helped me a lot and it has helped my other fellow artist out also. (Like 2000 Federal Duck Stamp artist Adam Grimm) Take my word: get this book. You'll thank me.” Zipper “Woof” (Hollyhound, OH)

Clays Shooting

Clays Shooting

Breaking Clays by Chris Batha

Chris Batha has worked with some of the top competitors and shooting coaches in the world today, and now you can learn his effective tips in Breaking Clays. This essential book presents in-depth advice and instruction for shooters of all disciplines. Beginning with the basics and advancing to proven tournament techniques, the book is packed with invaluable tips on how to break more clays in your favorite sport. Breaking Clays is clear, concise and to-the-point. It’s a great shortcut to improving your scores.

“Chris Batha is a master gun-fitter and experienced competition shotgunner. This book is intended as an introduction to all the major shooting sports -- trap, skeet, and sporting clays -- and covers everything from selecting a gun to pulling the trigger. I found it a useful book for several reasons: it's logical and linear, ie. you get from A to B easily; it has great easy to read illustrations; it's evenly paced and doesn't get bogged down in any particular part of shooting clays.” Andrew Campbell (Bar Harbor, ME)

“I shot a bit of trap and clay pigeons as a kid and wasn't very good at it. I really liked it though. Now that I have a son that is old enough, I wanted to be able to enjoy "Breaking Clays" with him. I didn't want him to go through the frustrations I did, and I wanted to get better myself. This book provides practical advice for doing just that. I found the concepts and examples extremely well explained and easy to follow. I'm not an expert, but I think this book certainly made me feel like I had an extremely sound foundation for practicing and skill-building. A fine book!” Donald C. Gray II (Pittsburgh, PA)

Break 'em All - The Complete Guide to Fixing Clay Target Shooting Problems by BJ McDaniel

Break 'em All - The Complete Guide to Fixing Clay Target Shooting Problems takes a 'how-to' approach to breaking targets. The book focuses on correcting and eliminating common problems which prevent shooters from hitting every clay target they shoot at. This book breaks down the fundamentals of shotgun shooting into five basic components (position, mount, vision, movement, and psychology) then associates common errors back to these components for better and consistent scores. As a world-class championship shooter, McDaniel knows what he’s talking about.

“Very impressive book. As a new shotgunner, I have bought a lot of shotgunning books that go over and over the same ground. This one is different! I needed to find POSITIVE methods to practice to IMPROVE, rather than a billion small ‘don't do this’ recommendations, and I got some very interesting recommendations here. There are a few pages in this book which to me by themselves completely repaid its cost. See "NPA" and "follow the chip" for two examples.” tobywan (Berwyn Heights, Maryland)

“I'm mainly a bird hunter and shoot clays to improve my chukar odds. This book covers each topic of interest to shotgun shooting in a concise, direct, and insightful style. It helped me in my first reading, but will be most useful as a reference to brush up on fundamentals and to diagnose shooting problems. I'd recommend it as a text for new shooters and as a reference for those who do not regularly break 98 out of 100 clays - that 1% don't need any help!!” J. R. Pease (Bend, Oregon)

The Sporting Clays Handbook by Jerry Meyer

A superb introduction by Jerry Meyer. Sporting clays can easily confound shooters because it’s a hybrid of skeet, trap, wingshooting and five-stand. Designed as a practice sport for off-season wingshooters, sporting clays has rapidly become a favorite of shotgun shooters worldwide. After a brief history of the sport, Meyer provides clear and helpful description of sporting clays. And then he offers expert advice on the best shotguns, accessories and much more. The glossary is invaluable, especially for shooters new to the sport. Plenty of photos help make things crystal clear. This book is wonderful primer for an overall introduction.

Trap Shooting Secrets by James Russell

Improve your trap-shooting game quickly with the master, James Russell. More than
132 practice tips help you become consistent in set-up, foot position and split-second timing. The book also shows you how to block out the distractions that can lower your score. You’ll learn how to see the perfect sight picture, spot shooting and the all-important zone shooting. This incredible book is as much about the mechanics of shooting as it is about the mental dynamics to stay 100% focused. It’s like having your own personal coach at a fraction of the price.

“I like Trap Shooting Secrets! It is a powerful book.” Luca Scribani Rossi, Olympic Medallist

“Trapshooting Secrets by James Russell covers every aspect of the game. If you are looking for superiour advice, and are tired of the same worn pro telling you what you are doing wrong this book is all you need to enter into serious competition. If you are just starting out, this book presents the fundamentals in a way that will help you remember them everytime you shoot. Young or old, pro or not this book will help you identify what area of your game needs work.” Richard Gentry (Olympic Trapshooter))

"I have been trained by top notch instructors from Remington and Federal and an Olympic trainer and have never received the information that I did from you. I learned one heck of a lot. P.S.: I am NOT going to tell my friends about this!" Joy (Trapshooter from Rhode Island)

Precision Shooting -- The Trapshooting Bible by James Russell

Trap Shooting Secrets book as Precision Shooting is an advanced-level shooting book for accomplished trap shooters. It follows Trap Shooting Secrets as part of a two-part course to shooting the perfect trap score. More than 130 illustrations present you sight pictures, eye focus, hold points and other foolproof techniquest that have helped create championship shooters. Learn how to see targets in “slow motion,” how to coordinate your eye and shotgun hold points and which target angles make the difference between a hit and miss.

“There is a lot of constructive information in Trap Shooting Secrets and Precision Shooting - The Trapshooter's Bible. The concepts in these two books are strongly presented, understandable and easily applied...” Daro Handy / Hall of Fame Professional Trap Shooter

“I've been reading both your books Trap Shooting Secrets and Precision Shooting and think they have helped already. The books are a lot of good info, and well worth the price of admission. Thanks a bunch!” Dave (Trapshooter from Reno, NV)

“I have reviewed both of James Russell's new trapshooting books--I found them to be full of useful trapshooting tips. These books will be an excellent addition to every trapshooter's library.” Phil Kiner / All-American Trap Shooter

Mastering Skeet by King Heipe and Todd Nelson

If you want to shoot 100 straight, this manual can help you achieve that milestone. Heiple, a National Skeet Shooting Association Master Instructor, emphasizes fundamental techniques that will greatly improve your precision and consistency: stance, posture, balance, gun mount, foot position, pivoting, and follow-through. The book also discusses individual stations and examines common errors for each shot. Whether you're an experienced shooter looking for an extra edge or a beginner who wants to learn the basics of good technique, Mastering Skeet covers the full range of material necessary for success.

“King Heiple's new book on skeet is a very innovative and helpful way to learn the game of skeet. I have a large collection of skeet books from the 40's onwards and King's book is unique in that it stresses the WHY you do things, in addition to the HOW. An excellent book for new students, old skeet shooters that want to understand WHY (so they can fix it when it is broken) and a must have book for Instructors or wanna be Instructors. For many of us students it is much easier to do something that feels uncomfortable if we know WHY we are doing it ... King Heiple and the book; Mastering Skeet provides this and a whole lot more. Get it, Use It and I will see ya at the Stadium during the World (well maybe :)” R. K. Marsh (Michigan, USA)

“Book is good - reads a little dry - but, covers all of the basic points i wanted to find out about.” V Kotlar (Atlanta, GA, USA)

The Gun Digest Book Of Trap & Skeet Shooting by Larry Sterett

With this must-have guide, trap and skeet shooters of all skill levels will hit more targets and have more fun! This highly anticipated fourth edition covers every facet of trap and skeet shooting, and provides readers with valuable insight on how to improve and win at clay busting sports.

“I found this book to be an excellent introduction to trap, skeet and sporting clays. The book is well laid out with clear illustrations. The writing style is friendly and easy to digest. The book includes descriptions on many types of guns from the mundane to the exotic. While the attributes of the exotic are extolled, the author encourages his readers to get out there and give it a go with what you have.” Randle T. Baine (Waller, Texas)

Successful Shotgunning: How to Build Skill in the Field and Take More Birds in Competition by Peter F. Blakeley

Successful Shotgunning focuses on vital techniques for clays and wingshooting. Reading this book will give you a fully integrated, holistic approach to shooting. You’ll learn how to evaluate moving targets in wing-shooting situations in the field, in a competitive environment, on a sporting clays course, or on a skeet field. It also covers the basics such as determining if your gun fits you perfectly, how to manage recoil and how to recognize common eye alignment problems.

“A well written book on the subject of shotgunning. I would recommend it to anyone.” J. Rohrbaugh (Idaho Falls, ID)

“This is an awesome book for inexperienced shooters that want to learn a few things about shotgunning. It is probably the most useful out of a handful of shotgun books I have bought.” Andrew G. Spenny (North Aurora, IL)



Shotguns for Wingshooting by John Barsness

An in-depth look at every style of shotgun and the correct combination of ammunition for various hunting situations. From the pump gun to the double-barrel, learn about America's most popular sporting arms. If you’re passionate about shotguns, this book is for you.

“Barsness has written the best current overview of shotguns for hunting: not sporting clays, trap, etc. He is not aligned nor does he show a marked prejudice for a particular type of shotgun like the side by side which is so prevalent today. He explains the advantages and downsides of various guns and does a particularly good job on the very important, if not vital, subject of stock design and fit. Although I think you can find much of this information elsewhere, Barsness brings it together in a very concise format and cuts through the ‘poppycock.’ Plus, the photos are great!” Mitchell Rogers (Bend, OR)



Hunter's Guide to Shotguns for Upland Game by Terry Boyer


The book takes a pragmatic approach for the average hunter looking to get the most bang for his buck and shows that hunters don't have to break the bank to buy a versatile shotgun. It discusses the best guns for various species of upland game and examines the all-important criteria for choosing a shotgun: the hunter's physique, preferred action type and gauge, gun features, price range, whether or not he's hunting with dogs, and other possible uses for the gun such as deer hunting or clay target games. Profiles of major manufacturers and models showcase a wide variety of shotguns to give readers a good idea of the relative strengths and weaknesses of available products. Once a hunter has selected a shotgun, he will discover how to use custom loads and make modifications to personalize his gun and improve its performance.

“A wise man once told me that when his skill set started to suffer, he got back to basics; a return to the fundamentals that form the foundation of so much of what we do. While this is a book of basics, the breadth and depth of the author's experience base facilitates its appeal and utility far beyond that of the beginner. Actions, chokes, loads, anecdotes, wit and witticisms- all this and more to instruct the beginner, and remind the know-it-all, of that which is important to the upland hunter: a good dog, enough gun, and days afield to reflect upon that which is truly seminal to this sojourn we call life.” Mike McDaniel (Flower Mound, TX)



Shotguns & Shotgunning by Layne Simpson


This is the most comprehensive and valuable guide on the market devoted exclusively to shotguns. Part buyer’s guide, part technical manual, and part loving tribute, shooters and hunters of all skill levels will enjoy this comprehensive reference tool.
Author Layne Simpson guides readers through the evolution of the shotgun with high-quality color photography and detailed reviews of hunting with shotguns, including chapters devoted to pheasants, grouse, turkeys, and big game. Shooters, gun hunters, and firearms collectors will explore technical aspects of shotgunning--barrels, chokes, and stocks--and the utility of various gauges. As an added bonus, he introduces the reader to several popular shooting games. Excellent resource for shooters, gun hunters, and firearms collectors. Comprehensive guide covers the technical aspects of shotguns, hunting with shotguns, the evolution of shotguns, and popular shooting games High-quality color photography

Layne Simpson has been field editor for Shooting Times Magazine for the past 20 years and has developed a large and devoted following. In addition, he has written articles for several major outdoor publications, including Gun Digest, Guns Illustrated, Field & Stream, Gun World, American Hunter, Outdoor Life, and American Rifleman. He is presently on the writing staff of Peterson’s Hunting, Wing & Shot, Wild Fowl, and Gun Dog magazines and is author of a number of books. He resides in Simpsonville, South Carolina.

“After almost 40 years, I am just returning to the world of shotgun bird hunting. As a kid, my uncle taught me everything he wanted me to know - and nothing else. This is exactly the comprehensive guide I needed to find!

“This book is about shotguns and how to use them for hunting (primarily, birds). Mr. Simpson provides a complete survey course on shotgun types and their makers, including which is good for what and how to choose. He provides the same range of information for ammunition and chokes, correlated to the shotgun type and use. He describes shotgun activities, covering all types of hunting (wild and preserve) and the various target sports. He provides not only safe practices, but how to conduct yourself politely in the field and at the range. He even dicusses clothing and accessories (e.g., glasses and ear protection).

“Mr. Simpson's writing style is very enjoyable and easy to understand. Even better, he freely shares wonderful stories of a long life with shotgunning. Oh, and by the way, its a beautiful book just chockful of stunning photographs.

“This is a great book, and the best of the dozen or so shotgunning books I've recently read!” J.D. Maher (Joliet, IL)



Shotgun Technicana by Michael McIntosh and David Trevallion


Michael McIntosh and David Trevallion, two of the nation’s foremost experts on shotguns, have gathered, sorted, and refined five years of their acclaimed columns from Shooting Sportsman magazine. They have included additional photographs, some new text, and updated diagrams.

Starting with a section on locks and actions and moving down to such crucial minutiae as spring fabrication and selection, the authors explain with extraordinary clarity and in great detail just how a side-by-side works, how today’s designs evolved, and how both modifications and repairs should be handled.

“Michael McIntosh has built arguably the most substantial body of work ever compiled on classic shotguns. "Shotgun Technicana" continues this building process for his avocation, and, in the process, McIntosh demonstrates the dedication and focus of his vocation as a literary scholar--delving into the minutia across the full breadth of his topic and using that thorough foundation to present broader conclusions about the topic at hand. With each book he publishes, he explores a new aspect of shotgunning--and we, his readers, are the richer for being able to accompany him.

“That McIntosh loves English double guns is indisputable; that he can share that affection by writing so thoroughly, eloquently, and engagingly about his topic places him in a unique category of gun writers. In this book, McIntosh teamed with David Trevallion, the noted Purdey gunsmith, to ensure that his facts and their presentation were thoroughly vetted.

"Shotgun Technicana" belongs on the bookshelf of anyone who appreciates fine side-by-side shotguns. While his primary focus is on pre-war English double guns, the insight and observation offered certainly apply to the many imitators of Purdey, Boss, and Holland & Holland models produced here by the likes of Parker, L. C. Smith, A. H. Fox, and Ithaca during the same time period.

"Shotgun Technicana" explores every facet of fine gunbuilding, from buttplate to muzzle, with comprehensive comparison and contrast--supported by detailed diagrams and photographs--of sidelock and boxlock firing mechanisms; Anson and Deeley forearm attachment hardware (you'll learn the differences between the two!); English versus French or Turkish walnut; barrel construction, regulation, and boring; extraction and ejection systems; and mechanical versus inertia firing systems. In short, McIntosh provides an exhaustive overview of the parts--and in doing so demonstrates a comprehensive appreciation for the whole--of classic English shotguns.” Steve M. (Western, New York)



Best Guns by Michael McIntosh


This is McIntosh''s classic book on shotguns in a fully revised and expanded form. Here, he covers all the finest gun makers and continues his ongoing exploration of the nature of the shotgun and the people who make them. This is an encyclopedic collection of knowledge, the best-ever guide to the world of fine shotguns.

“More McIntosh. I don't know who has the definitive work on shotguns, but this one must be close. Especially loved the section on spagetti shotguns. I can tell you up front that, for American guns, he prefers Foxes, but if you have read his works, you already know that.

“This is just more McIntosh. And that is good, even though he has ruined my life. For years I've just considered guns to be tools like drills and saws .... tools to be used but not pampered. Then I discovered McIntosh, and Italian shotguns, and life has not been the same since.

“I've been shooting Japanese. Totally reliable. Never had a problem. But it's like driving a Toyota. I want a Ferrari.

“Michael is to blame.” Mouse Hunter (Greensboro, NC)

“The book has a lot of history, and is very informative on the history of double guns, and especially detailed in that of American heritage, I read a substatial amount about auto ejectors which I understand, twisted bore and smooth bore, pretty much self explainable, but exactly what is a sidelock, what is a boxlock? How do they differ? Old or new which way is the way to go? I look forward to buying a few doubles and using them. Obviously I do not need a $10,000, or even a $15,000 plus double, but I would like one I could use in the field and have something of value down the road in the next 20 or 30 plus years. I think a few informative drawings and discriptions a little more of the understanding of the workings and parts in detail would be benefical. I am not new to firearms for I have a found respect of them and their uses in more than a few areas but doubles are fairly new to me, and with that, new terminology and parts are hard to understand without knowing what to look for.” Zoic Cimo (Pollackpines)



The Best of Holland & Holland, England's Premier Gunmaker by Michael McIntosh


Acknowledged English gun expert Michael McIntosh and former Holland & Holland director Jan Roosenburg show us the finest products ever produced by Holland & Holland. Many photos shown are firearms from private collections, which cannot be seen publicly anywhere except in this book.

“The quality of McIntosh's book is as good as the guns about which he writes. I've come to expect nothing less from him.” James Garrett (Birmingham AL)



Gunfitting: The Quest for Perfection for Shotguns And Rifles by Michael Yardley


Widely regarded as the definitive work on the design and fitting of gun stocks, the first edition covered the subject practically and theoretically, in terms of shooting vision and eye dominance, stocks for game and clay shooting, and pattern plates and the try-gun. Historical material explores how the modern gun stock evolved from the poles and planks of the first handheld firearms to the highly sophisticated designs of the modern era. The second edition includes fitting rifles, recoil, and making and finishing a gun stock.

Michael Yardley is one of the best known shooting instructors and shooting writers in England. He has been an active game shot for more than thirty years and has written and broadcast extensively on all aspects of firearms. He has hunted birds and larger game on four continents and has held height averages in various clay shooting disciplines.

“As a certified shotgun instructor, I found this book provided understandable and useful information to help me respond better to my students.” Edward Pratter


The Orvis Guide to Gunfitting: Techniques to Improve Your Wingshooting, and the Fundamentals of Gunfit by Tom Deck


An easy-to-follow manual by one of the most trusted names in wingshooter instruction and gunfitting.

“This is the finest shooting resource I've seen since Bruce Bowlen's book:The Orvis Wing-Shooting Handbook (Orvis). My other favorite is the classic: Robert Churchill's Game Shooting as a guide to the instinctive style shooting which I believe works best for walk up style wingshooting. Tom Deck's book is done so well that a person could use it as their exclusive resource for gunfit and shooting technique. It is a nice summary of all of the techniques necessary to successfully employ the "Modified Churchill Method," including the all important gunfit. For a deeper study of that subject, I would suggest: Gunfitting: The Quest for Perfection for Shotguns And Rifles. Tom Deck's book is, however, a wonderful resource for the novice as well as the experienced shotgunner.” W. McCann (Michigan)



Heyday of the Shotgun: The Art of the Gunmaker at the Turn of the Last
Century by David Baker


As the 19th century drew to a close, the skills of British gunmakers were reaching their pinnacle. Manufacturing expertise had been honed to perfection. This text examines the guns in common use during those few years and looks at the shooting scene in general. It looks at other aspects of country life, from poacher to gamekeeper, and the type of gun available to them. Cartridges and other equipment are discussed and extracts from magazines, advertising and a complete catalogue of the era give the reader a "feel" for the time. Nowhere in the world was the shotgun a more important indicator of style, class, and social standing than in Great Britain at the turn of the twentieth century. David Baker looks at all the finest guns ever made.

“It breaks down the manufacture of the Gun into it proposed purpose with sections on the Nobleman, Gentleman, Officer, Gamekeeper, Poacher, Trap shooter, Conservative, and best of all the Wildfowler. Just what I was looking for. An Excellent introduction into a the subject of Best British Guns, with excellent photos and Plates.” Mr. T. Wylie



Vintage Guns: Collecting, Restoring, & Shooting Classic Firearms by Diggory Hadoke


At the back of many a gun cabinet lurks a neglected old shotgun. This book will encourage its owner to bring it back into service. A beautiful, fully-illustrated volume, Vintage Guns offers expert advice on collecting guns and restoring them to firing condition—on a reasonable budget. It provides practical tips on buying the right gun for restoration, and gives an honest description of the steps—and potential pitfalls—on the path to renovation. Written for the shooter rather than the historian or engineer, it covers the subject in a lively, informative manner, always with an eye toward heading to the field. Topics covered include safety, servicing and maintenance, ribs and chokes, sidelocks and boxlocks, proofing, ejectors, ammunition, and much more.

“As a dealer who specializes in upper end shotguns, I think I know more than the average sportsman about shotguns... BUT... I was amazed at the ammount of great info in this book. VERY READABLE. If you have any interest in quality side by side shotguns - get it!!!” E. Shipman (New Hampshire)



Double Guns and Custom Gunsmithing by Steven Dodd Hughes


The burgeoning popularity of double guns (both over/unders and side-by-sides) in the United States is no secret, and few gunmakers know more about them than Steven Dodd Hughes, who has been building, repairing, and customizing these firearms for three decades.

“If you are interested in fine guns and especially if you are thinking about ordering a custom shotgun this is required reading. A ‘must have’”. Mike Bailey (Huelva, Spain)



Spanish Best, 2nd Ed by Terry Wieland


In a vastly expanded treatment of the subject, Wieland provides a completely updated guide to the guns and gunmakers of the Basque Country, reliving history, going inside manufacturing facilities, discussing design and assembly, touring the region, and sampling its food, wine, and warmth. This time, there are more than 150 color photographs to accompany the text and show precisely how the guns and workrooms look. There are three new maps, as well, including one that will allow visitors to navigate Eibar like a seasoned veteran.

“Despite some minor faults, this is a very worthwhile book, both an enjoyable read and an informative source of reference. It details the recent history of Spanish gunmaking in its capital - Eibar, and its surrounding area. It also contains a tourist guide for a first-time visitor there. Illustrated with a large number of colour plates, most beautiful and many showing the quality of the fine gunsmithing available in Spain. It is competently written by a writer who has a deep knowledge of the Spanish gun trade and who clearly loves his topic. All the key aspects of current Spanish shotgun manufacture are detailed, in addition to history, materials and general information. The editing leaves a little to be desired and the title choice is unfortunate, as the writer covers far more than "Spanish Best" shotguns, including among other topics a brief chapter on Spanish express rifles.

“The book appears aimed primarily at the American aficionado and, while it takes for granted that the nuances of a Kersten fastener or the Bessemer process are understood, it assumes that the reader has no knowledge of Spain or the Basque region, no Spanish language skills and no knowledge of Spanish history or culture. It gives a potted history of Spain's Basque Region, its food, politics and the Spanish Civil War, which, while succinct and as accurate as broad brush-strokes can be, intrudes somewhat on the flow of the book and contributes little to the narrative. Indeed, any future edition would be better off with this information moved to an appendix. Any intending traveller would be better off buying appropriate travel guides for the region (e.g. Michelin Green Guide), though it is best not to expect too much by way of information on Eibar, a minor town with nothing to interest the casual tourist.

“All the main manufacturers are covered, in a very egalitarian fashion, with about 15 pages devoted to each, be they Arrizabalaga, Arrieta, Grulla or AyA. An owner, like this reviewer, of an Arrizabalaga, judged by many to be the "Spanish Best," will not be disappointed but may wonder why they do not warrant more space. Kemen merits only five pages, but then its products and history are more recent. For some readers the book will lack definitive opinion such as why some artisans follow specific designs, or why a Purdey or Holland patent is preferred to a Boss (or the contrary.) Throughout, the book is sprinkled with many interesting details, contrasting, for example, the English and Spanish approach to machinery, the manufacturing process and its timespan.

“Generally, books on guns can be divided into those for the educated shooter and those for the gun freak. Educated shooters have the "eye" to recognise beauty and are sufficiently technically proficient to understand and appreciate quality workmanship. The gun freak is an obsessive type, prepared to argue forcefully and at length about such matters as the correct number of pins for a sidelock, the procedure for an oil-rubbed stock finish, or discourse on the best type of bone to provide case-colours. Although this book falls into the category for the former, both will find sufficient to interest them. However, there are no secret recipes or processes divulged, nor are the technicana of engraving nor stock checkering discussed in any significant detail.

“The forty or so pages of appendices include a bibliography and a useful dictionary of the various gun parts with diagrams, both English/Spanish and Spanish/English, all of which will facilitate and educate the speaker of basic Spanish. Serial numbers, dates of manufacture and proof marks are also covered. Also, there are essays on buying a gun and gun fit.

“Despite its few shortcomings, this book is an informative and enjoyable read and in my view definitely merits a place in the library of any keen shot. It certainly would make a very welcome present for the owner of any Spanish gun, particularly a Spanish Best.” Kerryman (Ireland)



Winchester Shotguns by Dennis Adler


Illustrated throughout in stunning detail in full color, this book features shotguns from The Dave Riffle, Gary Reynolds, and U.S. Repealing Arms Company Collections.

“I particularly enjoyed the parts on the early shotguns, especially the works of John Moses Browning and the reference to Spencer's Pump Action shotgun. Nicely written. Wonderful pictures. Very well put together. No library on firearms should be without this book.” Michael N. Ryan (Belaire, MD)



Winchester Model Twelve by George Madis


Over 250 photographs and 20,000 words telling you everything you need to know about the Model Twelve. Included is a special chapter illustrating and explaining how to repair the Model 12 and much more. A valuable and permanent reference book, which has already become the standard reference on the subject. Complete coverage of: Serial numbers, engraving, markings, grades, stocks special orders, barrels, advertising, dates of manufacture, 1912 to 1980.

As an avid outdoorsman, but inexperienced in the many nuances of firearms, I found Madis' book to be very helpful in understanding and appreciating the Model 12 that I own. Madis describes the history, features and configurations of the Model 12 in a documentary-like style. I would liken it to looking at a factory catalog, but one written with great knowledge, detail, care and skill.

“Upon showing the book to my father-in-law and brother-in-law (both avid hunters; one of which owns a Model 12 and a Model 97), they thought the book to be the most detailed and authoritative they had ever seen. They frankly thought that such a book did not exist and were mesmorized at Madis' work. "Look at this!," they exclaimed at several pages.

“For the Winchester enthusiast, this book will be a valuable resource and worth the investment.” C. Brown (Ohio)


Gunfitting: The Quest for Perfection for Shotguns And Rifles by Michael Yardley

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