Customer Reviews: Assault Rifle
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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
Format: Hardcover|Change
Price:$34.95+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime
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on February 20, 2006
This is a very informative book hitting all the necessary systems of an assault rifle, Ie: the bullet and cartridge choosen, accuation, placement of controls, and layout. It also has a wonderful history of the assault rifle and individual listings of the most important. It would easily get 5 stars if it had nice color pictures and approached the currency and breadth of the website (which obviously is easier to update). Overall great job though.
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on June 16, 2006
The part one of this book is completely awesome. We can learn about the assault rifle history which very good in describing. Still in the part one, we also can learn the technical background of assault rifle from the weapon itself as well as the ammuniation design and ballistic. The last section of the part one is my favourite as the develompment of the assault rifle cartridge is very up to date and i believe I can find this kind of information from another resources.

The part two of this book is more like brief list of all assault rifle in the world from Argentina to USA (alphabetically).

Don't expect we could get a complete description for each assault rifle from one to another, but yet the story was well written and well observed.

All pictures are black and white with very nice colour pictures on the cover. Thanks to Maxim Popenker and Anthony G. Williams for writing this book.
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on May 13, 2012
I'm not especially familiar with guns in general so I read this from the perspective of someone aiming to build up some basic encyclopedia knowledge of how rifles work and the motivations behind their designs. Altogether it's difficult to say the book met those hopes.

The book begins with an enlightening history of the major milestones in the design of assault rifles and their ammunition as well as the ideas that fell to the wayside along the way. The introduction also contains descriptions of the different actions employed by various rifles which establishes a fairly unwelcome precedent that continues throughout the book: Long, dry, impossible-to-visualize descriptions of the mechanical functioning of rifles. Never has the axiom that "a picture's worth a thousand words" rung so true to me as in this book, as the amount of ink spilled in the authors' vain struggle to narrate engineering qualities would probably be curtailed a great deal with the addition of a few more simple diagrams.

Probably the most frustrating aspect of the text however is the authors' reticence when it comes to actually explaining any reasoning behind any particular weapon's working. There's no shortage of discourse on the actual workings of rifles but the writing tiptoes on broken glass when it comes to explaining why most of these models came into existence and what they improved upon. Most people know about infamous use cases of early M16s and the British L85A1 and there's no hesitation in the book to use these in explaining departing or corrected designs, but the writers steadfastly refuse to commentate on the design motivations and real-world performance of most weapons. The Czech SA Vz.58 is an obvious example: the authors immediately note its outside resemblance to a Kalishnakov but then proceed into yet another plodding description of its mechanical features without elaborating on the motivations behind them or how they were intended to differentiate the Vz.58. Apparently under the assumption the overall merits of any gun are far too subjective and debatable to even touch from afar, it's never touched upon at all.

This is endemic throughout the book and it seems clear the authors were seeking to position this as an impartial encyclopedia and free of their own biases. While it's understandable, it's hard not to shake a feeling that it could have both maintained objectivity and become more informative by more directly expanding upon the reasoning and advantages behind the designs of rifles and their practical field performance. Instead, this is a book of pictures and very literal descriptions of rifles, and barely anything beyond.
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on February 8, 2012
This book is very detailed and has a lot of pictures(If you like pictures) accompanied by lots of text(if you don't like pictures), Maxim knows his stuff and due to his service in the Russian military has a lot of insight in the eastern weapons that many western authors do not, I did not know how out-of-date both Europe's and the U.S. military small arms actually are until I read this book and his book about Handguns.
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on January 25, 2011
Popenker has once again written a well based book on the world of firearms of the modern age post WW2. Going from the development of the major nations on various firearms. Basically, broken into two parts, the designs of various firearms and including development of the various ammunitions, experimental ammo is also covered and appreciated. Explaining the failures as well as the successes. Some of the experimental rounds you got to wonder, what were they thinking?

Whats nice is showing the various firearms and their variations and development. Showing the options offered per weapon is appreciated and well laid out.

If it wasn't for Popenker's website, [...] , I never would have discovered this fine book and eagerly look forward to owning the other books he's put out.
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on February 10, 2010
The first part of the book covers the evolution of the assault rifle and it's ammunition. The second part covers current and past assault rifles. A well balanced and well written book. There is a lot of detail given in a format which is easy to read and understand. This is one of the best books on firearms that I have read.
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on December 25, 2006
Exactly what I hoped for, something that will be a handy reference companion for many many years. Not only a very informative story and enjoyable to read, but a high-quality reference material that would not be out of place on the most important term papers.
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on August 7, 2006
It is the book that all the Assault rifle fans shouldn't miss.
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