Book Review by David R. Chicoine 11/21/02
Sam Fadala and Dale Storey 1994, DBI Books. Softcover, 8½ x 11, 256 pages, 440 b&w photos, Krause Publications. Dept. BNP, P.O. Box 5009, Iola, WI 54945-5009. (800) 258-0929. $18.95 plus $4. P&H. (Please tell them Bullet 'N Press sent you!)
Black Powder Hobby Gunsmithing is written by two fellows who know their subject well. Sam Fadala is a well known writer whose niche is muzzle loading hunting and shooting, while Dale Storey is a working gunsmith in Wyoming who has considerable experience with black powder firearms. This book is written like a textbook, with the amateur/hobby gunsmith in mind and includes quite a few interesting gunsmithing projects, each laid out in step-by-step tutorial form.
The authors start off by teaching with a short but effective history lesson about the frontier gunsmiths who operated in America's early days, building and repairing firearms for the hunting public. They continue the reader's education throughout the book, explaining in pictorial detail how every component functioned and why, you will even get an idea of how early gunsmiths rifled barrels.
A surprising large number of gunsmithing topics are covered in the short span of just over 250 pages. These range from how to repair the wood of a damaged stock and how a stock can be decorated, to building a kit rifle and from bluing and browning to tuning a percussion revolver. There is a chapter on how to properly clean the weapon after shooting black powder that is one of the most complete this reviewer has ever read and one that I would recommend to everyone who shoots a black powder firearm.
This book was written in a style that is entertaining and held my interest, at the same time it is presented in a way that, I believe, will be easy for even the novice to understand. As a working gunsmith myself, I found the book to be full of very useful, practical information, the kind that you may refer to as you are working.
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