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Recommend me a book on gunsmithing

Discussion in 'Maintenance & Gunsmithing' started by Blowgunner, Oct 31, 2015.

  1. Blowgunner

    Blowgunner Tanasbourne Active Member

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    Like the title says.
    What are some good books on gunsmithing? I'm a hobby machinist with some pretty decent equipment and would like to start doing some of my own smithing.
     
  2. Joe13

    Joe13 NW of Vancouver Opinionated & Blunt Bronze Supporter 2015 Volunteer 2016 Volunteer

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    YouTube is free and has more info likely.
     
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  3. DuneHopper

    DuneHopper Douglas County. Well-Known Member

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    I'm gonna second this, there are some great detailed videos out there. I have to say I have used it as a resources maybe 100 times. If you are looking to modify, create or fix chances are others have too and many have made videos.
     
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  4. rick benjamin

    rick benjamin USA, Or, Damascus Secure the drama Silver Supporter 2016 Volunteer

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  5. MountainBear

    MountainBear Sweet Home, OR Well-Known Member

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    Start collecting every book you see relating to gunsmithing. I especially enjoy the older texts (like Roy Dunlap's book) as everything was a bit simpler and things were done more by hand. Jack Mitchell wrote a couple of decent books, the gun digest disassembly manuals are always good, Jerry Khunhaussen's shop manuals are excellent, Col. Hatcher's various texts, etc. My bookshelf overflows. On top of books, I have binders full of reference material photocopied from friend's books, cut from magazines, printed from internet forums, etc. You just really can't have enough books. I think my first gunsmithing book was Sweeny's Gunsmithing: Rifles, and I still have it. Used book stores are an excellent source, as are gunshows.

    At this point, the two reference materials I use most are my cell phone to call friends (some of whom have been gunsmithing since before I was born) and my computer. The internet is a double-edged sword, however. It can give you all the information in the world, but half or more is probably bullbubblegum...
     
  6. Blowgunner

    Blowgunner Tanasbourne Active Member

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    I appreciate all the input!
     
  7. DuneHopper

    DuneHopper Douglas County. Well-Known Member

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    Also if you have a Kindle there are allot of free books to be found I hae about 45 or so on mine they are great cause they are portable. Also try used book stores, yard sales and estate sales.
     
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  8. Velzey

    Velzey Estacada, Oregon Gunsmith Gunsmith Bronze Vendor Bronze Supporter

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    image.jpg Youtube has brought me some much business over the years! I love it!

    I Have been putting together a list of books actually for this Gunsmithing section. I will complete it ( its actually never ending)

    The Modern Gunsmith Vol 1 & 2 James Howe
    Gunsmithing Simplified by Harold MacFarland
    Twenty Two Caliber Varmint Rifles , Charles Landis ( great old info)
    Complete Guide To Handloading by Philip B Sharp ( all gun enthusiast need a copy)
    Hobby Gunsmithing Ralph Walker
    Gunsmithing Kinks 1-4 just a great set of good ideas!
    Pistolsmithing by George Nonte
    Hatchers Notebook
    Gunsmithing by Roy Dunlop
    Every Firearms assembly disassembly guide, the older Gun Digest ones!, the paper kinda turns a weird color and the pictures get darker so I would look for newer ones. I had looked for the older used ones. Which are ok but they are funky :(


    And I am getting tired here is a pic
     
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2015
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  9. MountainBear

    MountainBear Sweet Home, OR Well-Known Member

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    And then the rest of us will add to it. The list is never ending. But it should be a helpful sticky when it goes up...
     
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  10. NWCustomFirearms

    NWCustomFirearms Vancouver, WA Bronze Vendor Bronze Vendor

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    I am a gunsmith and have a shop here in Vancouver and YouTube is great for dis-assembly and reassembly videos but other then that I would be very careful and take everything with a grain of salt. YouTube has brought me a lot of business when guys see a video on there then bring it to me to fix what they did. Anytime someone says the words "YouTube and Dremel" I know I'm going to be fixing a mistake. The Jerry Khunhaussen manuals are an excellent source of information, like someone else said, start collection old gunsmith books and old gun books, I seem to see these a lot at garage sales. The assembly/dissasembly guides can be valuable information when you are trying to put back together a gun and can't find a schematic on the web, which even in this day and age still happens. A lot of the books other people have mentioned in this post are good books. If you have a reasonable background and know how, the AGI videos aren't bad either. Hope that helps.
     
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  11. MountainBear

    MountainBear Sweet Home, OR Well-Known Member

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    Another source of good information is the Numrich catalog. They charge too much for it, honestly, but it has enough schematics to be a fairly valuable resource for some fairly obscure guns that YouTube hasn't gotten to yet...
     
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  12. MountainBear

    MountainBear Sweet Home, OR Well-Known Member

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    Here you go Velzey. I ran out of room on this 4 foot long shelf the day I built it. There are a few non-gunsmithing books on there as well, but maybe you can see a few you don't have and add them to your list.
    There's also books piled on top of the safe, in drawers, in my work bag, in my back shop. Someday I will have a bookcase big enough for them all...

    image1_zpsidhltxez.jpg

    Identifying Old U.S. Muskets, Rifles, and Carbines by Gluckman
    Textbook of Pistols and Revolvers by Hatcher
    Textbook of Firearms Investigation, Identification, and Evidence by Hatcher
    Riflesmithing and Pistolsmithing by Jack Mitchell
    Military Small Arms of the 20th Century by Ian Hogg
    M1 Garand and the M1 Carbine by Canfield
    US Infantry Weapons of World War II by Canfield
    Gunsmithing: Pistols and Rifles by Sweeny
    Gunsmithing: Guns of the Old West by Chicoine
    Gunsmithing: Rifles by Sweeny
    Mauser Bolt Rifles by Ludwig Olson
    Standard Catalog of Smith and Wesson
    The book of the Springfield by Crossman
    Cartridges of the World by Barnes

    There are also several of those you already mentioned, and several that exist not as textbooks per say, but rather as references or for entertainment. I also have the gun digest disassembly guides, but as they have had several editions, I have a few repeats. They have left of some old guns in the newer additions.

    NOTE ADDED: Some of the older gunsmithing books show doing things that the ATF has decided they don't like, like striking off manufacturing names when refinishing or when shortening receivers for instance. Make sure what you are doing is legal. Just because its in a book, it might not be current.
     
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2015
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  13. Straight Shooter

    Straight Shooter North Bend OR Active Member

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    I second YouTube for a lot of work. It starts out with my husband took it apart and now can't get it back together accompanied by a big ziplock hopefully with all the parts. The really tragic ones have a dremel involved.

    Anyway since you mentioned machining I'm guessing you are interested in the part of gunsmithing that requires machine work like fitting barrels. I believe a must for every accuracy smith is to read and reread, "Rifle Accuracy Facts" by Harold Vaughn. It reinforces what is important and what is not when it comes to doing exceptional barrel and chamber work for those seeking the utmost accuracy from the bolt action platform. This book combined with about everything that you can find written or on video from Gordy Gritters will give you the nuts and bolt of why and how. Greg Tannel explains quite a bit as well as sells tooling that is pertinent to the process of barrel work. That said, it is very rewarding and great practice to actually build all your own tooling. As far as YouTube for barrel fitting knowledge; I will say 99% of the videos are interesting and entertaining but should not be followed verbatim. Just cause it looks shiny and it's on the internet doesn't make it right and even if the end product shoots well there is usually lots of room for improvement. The AGI videos are good for general gunsmithing but are lacking on the barrel fitting parts.

    Now if your looking for, "get me by" general gunsmithing barrel work can be quite easy and still get pretty good results. I can name at least a dozen "accuracy smiths" that don't even have a tenth indicator, they cut sloppy threads use taps and 1 size fits all form cutters and guys rave about their work. I see lots of guys slapping on their first barrel clamped up in a 3 or 4 jaw and still having good results. I was really disappointed by the knowledge being taught in the brick and mortar schools when it comes to barrel work. They get by but the true connoisseur can take it so much further by making everything as precise and aligned in all aspects as possible.

    I recommend reading everything you can find on the subject or specialty you are interested in. Better yet try to get some hands on training by the best you can find.
     
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  14. AndyinEverson

    AndyinEverson Everson, Wa. Well-Known Member

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    In addition to the fine books already mentioned, I suggest the GunSmith Kinks series by Brownells and the NRA Guide to Firearms assembly. ( that one is good to have around, so you don't end up with "extra" parts when done fixing a gun )
    Andy