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Survival guns: A guide to the selection, modification, and use of firearms and related devices for defense, food gathering, predator and pest control, under conditions of long term survival Paperback – 1977

4.7 out of 5 stars 12 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 458 pages
  • Publisher: Janus Press; 1st edition (1977)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0916172007
  • ISBN-13: 978-0916172008
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.3 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,586,063 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on February 3, 1999
Format: Paperback
This is one of the best books on the subject you will ever read. The author had a philosophy background and his topnotch writing and reasoning skills elevate the book. Various types of weaponry are analyzed and several suggested home or "retreat" batteries (somewhat a 70's concept but gaining ground today) are outlined. Some of Elmer Keith's influence shows in the author's handgun caliber recommendations. Comprehensive, solid, right to the point.
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By A Customer on August 13, 2000
Format: Paperback
The specifics in the book are dated. However, the philosophy and methodology behind the specifics are timeless, and still worth reading 20 years later. Very Highly recommended; I need another copy to replace the one I have worn out.
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Format: Paperback
Survival Guns is an excellent primer (no pun intended) devloted to selecting firearms for survival use. While it was written to cater to the survivalist movement of the late 1970s, much of the information is still relevant in the '90s. He provides fundamental information for selecting and using handguns, rifles, shotguns for hunting and self-defense, and provides pointers to additional references for more information.
If you are a novice interested in getting started in shooting, or an expert shooter interested in broadening your knowledge of different types of firearms, it is well recommended and an entertaining book to read
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Format: Paperback
I found out about this book from the Whole Earth Catalog. Their review said that this book was the equivalent of several books. It is well written. The information is a little dated at this time, since Tappan is deceased. Also, the emphasis is on survivalism, and the philosophies of Jeff Cooper and Elmer Keith are represented.
But it's still a place to start to learn about firearms and ammunition. It has a good bibliography section.
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Format: Paperback
I picked up a copy of "Survival Guns" shortly after it came out, and have always been glad I did. It remains one of my most underlined and scribbled in books.

As others have mentioned, much of the specific information is now, three decades later, dated. Even at the time, there was much opinion with which thoughtful people could disagree, but far and away the book's greatest strength was it's ability to push the reader to think through various issues. That remains today.

It doesn't matter if one comes to conclusions different from Tappan's: the thinking involved in differing with him is invaluable.

The book also needs to be read with an eye on the context of the time in which it was written: the late 1970s was a period of severely disruptive inflation, rising unemployment, an aggresive Soviet Union, Islamist revolution in Iran, and a federal government which appeared to many to be making things far worse rather than better.

People like Tappan extrapolated those trends and foresaw the possibility of calamitous social and economic breakdown. They set out to be prepared for the worst case. This book was one of the results, getting people thinking about the possible personal consequences of the sort of economic collapse we have been seeing in Zimbabwe under Robert Mugabe, but in the US.

If "Survival Guns" provokes the reader to define in general just what scenarios are possible- and which are likely- and then to think about what sort of response would likely be the most productive, it will have served much of it's purpose. Not all scenarios require armed response, but some do. This is for the latter.
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Format: Paperback
Thoroughly professional content, style and experience are evident throughout this excellent firearm reference book. Mel Tappan makes a very complex subject understandable and enjoyable. My 1987 version is thrashed and dogeared from repeated use. I am sorry to find I cannot locate a version online to purchase.
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