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Gunsmithing: Rifles Paperback – October 1, 1999
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About the Author
Patrick Sweeney is a certified master gunsmith, film consultant, certified armorer instructor for police departments nationwide, author of many of Gun Digest Books' best-selling titles, and Handguns Editor for America's largest general-circulation shooting magazine, Guns & Ammo.
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But it's not perfect. There are two issues with this book, neither the fault of the author. First, the Kindle edition, and presumably any electronic version, is scanned from the original printed text. While it has been spell checked, it has not been edited. There are numerous conversion errors throughout this book that distract from reading any electronic edition. Obvious errors, such as the letter 't' frequently appearing as the letter 'l' (time/lime, safety/safely) and the letters 'th' appearing as the letter 'm' (them/mem, this/mis) make the reader question whether more important, yet subtler, errors exist.
The second issue is that the content is dated. The firearms world has changed dramatically in the fifteen years since it was originally published. Information is provided on companies that no longer exist, techniques that were experimental or odd at the time are now common place (sonic cleaners) and labor-saving tools that are now readily available go unmentioned. An updated version of this book is warranted, though Sweeney has written extensively and other tomes exist which are more current. For example, if you're interested in working on the AR platform, choose one of his newer books covering that platform. Same with the Ruger 10/22. If you're into Mausers and other military surplus, this book is right up your alley.
There are a few downsides to this book, but overall I believe it's still a worthwhile purchase. Firstly, the photographs are all black and white. Most of the time this isn't an issue, but some of the photos do not have enough contrast to really see what the caption is describing. All you see is a black blob in a gray background. Secondly, there are some things the author states that do not jive with my own experiences. Ruger rifle triggers (Mk. II) can't/shouldn't be adjusted but instead replaced, you can't determine the accuracy of a firearm with reloads, a barrel must be broken in to work correctly, among others. Perhaps a matter of difference of opinion, but I still feel his advice was slightly off the mark in some cases.
Overall, this book helped me gain a greater understanding of various gunsmithing tasks and I feel it was worth the money.
This is more a book for the beginner - intermediate gun owner, seeking exposure to gunsmithing. Not detailed enough to take someone with no skills through a custom rifle construction. The author does walk through good examples of adding after market mods and assembling barrels/stocks that require limited machining.
There are virtually no chapters that would not be of value to the average firearms enthusiast, so I didn't feel I purchased the book only for the contents of one or two good chapters. There is a section on refreshing hunting rifles. The coverage includes correcting poor accuracy, refinishing wood and metal parts, drilling and taping scope mounts and metallic sights. But the information continues on into action/bolt lapping, rechambering, changing a bolt handle, installing a new safety....
I would have purchased the book just for the coverage of trigger work. Finally, a current, inexpensive book that provides detailed coverage of trigger replacement and tuning, by rifle manufacturer, including do's and don'ts for each model. I followed the book to clean up the trigger on a Winchester M70 that's been waiting to get dropped off at the gunsmith for the past 8 months, and had excellent results.