Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Book Review - Percussion Pistols and Revolvers

Title: Percussion Pistols and Revolvers
Author(s): Mike Cumpston and Johnny Bates
ISBN: 0595357962

To be frank I thought I'd read just about every sort of muzzleloading "how to" book there is. Then I subscribed to the Sixgunner Forums nominally the home of one John Taffin and frequented by Mike Cumpston.

Mike was posting a lot about his acquisitions and shooting of various cap'n'ball revolvers and his accompanying photos were absolutely excellent. So, when I discovered he'd just been writing a synopsis of the chapters he was writing for this book I had to have a copy.

It was well worth the money. 26 chapters in 195 pages may seem a little thin to some, but the information is concisely presented and the illustrations are anything but gratuitous. Mike and Johnny cover every major reproduction cap lock pistol or revolver. They also have appendices on the following:
  • Italian Proof Marks by Year of Manufacture
  • Colts Recommended Loads
  • 19th Century Combustible Cartridges
  • Petition for Frontier Protection
  • The Irish Code
  • 44 Cap & Ball Revolver
If there is anything bad to say about the book it is all on the publisher. The print is a bit small for some and the photos fail to demonstrate Mike's excellent photographic skills being too small and in black & white. This is one peeve I have and something I simply can't understand. They seem to insist on softbound, B&W photos, in short as cheap a production as possible. Why are most publishers convinced that shooters want cheap books? I don't, I want a quality book, even hardbound, and good clear photographs.

That said, this book is worth the $16.95 retail (and would be worth the difference for larger, color photos). Messers Cumpston and Bates are to be congratulated on good work well done.

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