Customer Reviews: The Total Gun Manual (Field & Stream): 335 Essential Shooting Skills
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on October 7, 2012
Being a non-gun person myself, but with a growing interest in firearms and the sport of hunting, I can't believe how much this book opened my eyes, and welcomed me in, to the world of guns and ammunition.

The book was written by a couple crusty gun experts who've been messing with firearms for, well, forever. They shoot from the hip, so to speak, in a PC-free, BS-free manner. After laying down a brief history of firearms, they proceed in a logical progression to cover such topics as gun safety and basic gun etiquette. They break down how firearms actually work, describe the different types of rifles and shotguns and outline the best uses for each. They also describe the different types of ammunition, and how each load is best-used. There are sections on how to shoot, from body position to how to use gun sights, as well as tips on how to buy used guns--what to watch for as well as what to avoid--and then once you've got one, they tell you how to take care of it.

Reading this book was like sitting in the backyard under a shade tree with a couple uncles taking turns schooling me on guns and shooting, while throwing in a few jokes and some good-natured ribbing. The book is broken down into short easy-to-read chunks supported by photos and really cool color illustrations. Because each section builds on the section that came before it, a neophyte can begin to build a knowledge base, and because the info is presented in such a down-to-earth writing style, the book is really fun to read.

My only gripe with the book is that, while it covers all the bases for rifles and shotguns, it's really light on info for handguns. I hope these two guys plan on writing the same kind of manual for handguns. If they do, put me down for a copy.
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on March 14, 2013
Let me start by saying I have been out of shooting sports for several decades and just recently decided to give it another go, so I thought a good general book was a place to start. I enjoyed reading this book and it is nicely illustrated. The authors are knowledgeable of their field and have a nice conversational tone. So why did I give it only two stars? First, it's really mistitled. It really deals almost exclusively with rifles and shotguns for hunting and shooting clays. There are six (6) pages dealing with handguns, two of which are taken up with a pretty pictorial of "iconic handguns", two deal with hunting with handguns, one with general handgun handling, and one (well really only one half) on handguns for personal defense. There is a longer discussion than this on the subject of picking your hunting buddy. The coverage of modern "tactical" guns is very limited. There's very little on marksmanship, other than that you need to practice and be able to shoot well to be a successful hunter. There's very little on ballistics, nor on optics. There's no coverage of the entire field of competitive shooting, and nothing at all on Cowboy Action Shooting. Reloading is given scant coverage beyond "you can save money doing it". Nothing on what you might need or what would be involved. I would also add what another reviewer said, even in what it does cover it's pretty light weight in it's coverage. I found the coverage of shooting clays most interesting to me since I know absolutely nothing of this field. This will be a "read once and give away" book for me, it has no permanent place on my bookshelf.
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on October 29, 2012
Well, no not really. But I gotta tell ya, as I'm reading the book, it's almost as if I can hear Dave's voice telling me about the rifles, and Phil's voice, likewise, telling me about shotguns.

It's a great book. For the most part, they have a way of explaining things so I can understand, without getting too deep into the really technical aspects of the subject.

If you're a "Gun Nut" like me, then I'm sure you'll like this book. If you think you might become a "Gun Nut", then, for sure, you need this book!
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on March 19, 2013
This is OK for a beginner or maybe an intermediate shooter.
The biggest problem I have is that it is basically anywhere from a paragraph to maybe a half-page on each topic. They touch on all kinds of things, but nothing is in depth.
This book gives you a "direction" to look, but not much "meat" on any particular subject.
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on October 23, 2012
Fantastic Book

I highly recommend this book to any level of gun enthusiast. It covers everything from the basics of gun ownership to advanced marksmanship shooting for all styles of firearms.

Additionally the book layout is incredible. The authors did a great job of breaking down the content into easily digestible nuggets - almost like reading a website or gun blog. All the info you need is easy to find, quick informative reads and great images and graphics. A perfect gift for any gun enthusiast beginner to advanced!
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on June 19, 2013
I received the book with much anticipation. It is attractive and appears well organized. My plan was to start at page one and go through the whole book in order. I was patient at first with the lack of real information but after a few chapters started to sift through it looking for useful information. In whole, it does give some useful tips but I think the title "335 Essential Shooting Skills" is a bit exaggerated. It is not exactly what I was looking for! It was inexpensive and I am glad to have read it but I will continue looking for a more definitive "essential" shooters manual. Any suggestions for the "Holy Grail" on shooting an hunting advice?
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on October 27, 2012
Really great book for any level of gun enthusiast-well organized and literally packed with great, accessible information. Illustrations and photos keep the pages unique and interesting and I found myself dwelling on things I never thought I might find interesting (what to take when hunting a lion!). As a novice gun user/owner, I found plenty of great tips to keep me going in the right direction as well as great tidbits of knowledge that just generally increased my knowledge of firearms. Highly reccomend!
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on October 5, 2012
This book is chalk full of wonderful information and tips presented in a fun, clever, compartmentalized, and easily understood way. It's a book one can open up to any page and start learning some great new facts and helpful hints. It would be good for all skills levels and and would make a great gift. Even though it's not a hardback book, the covers are thick and sturdy and the metal trim on the top and bottom right corners are a perfect companion to the context. Great book!
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on October 20, 2012
Very comelpte book with lots of helpful information. Would recommend to the beginner or long term gun owner. Very well researched information, had to take years to complile. No other book in my collection is this complete.
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VINE VOICEon February 6, 2013
After reading the other reviews of this book, I was a bit disappointed. There are certainly a number of sections that are quite useful, overviewing the basics of gun construction, bullet construction, and so forth, but it lacked the depth that I was hoping for -- more detailed information about how guns work, more detailed information on cleaning and so forth. Instead, it is very much a high level survey, and a number of sections, such as on big game hunting, seemed to me out of place. It is a quick read, has lots of illustrations, and is informative and at times funny, but it lacked the depth that I was hoping for.
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