Friday, November 13, 2009

The Complete Book of the 22--A Review

Yosemite Sam and I took a vacation back in May of this year. On the way back home from the NRA Convention in sunny Phoenix, we stopped at the Whittington Center. We poked around a bit in the gift shop where I found an autographed copy of The Complete Book of the .22: The Guide to the World's Most Popular Guns (link below) by Wayne van Zwoll. With a title that long, it had to go home with me.

Due to the press of work, other books, fun, traveling, and stuff, I never got around to reading it until recently. As is my usual pattern, I'm posting a review here of books my fellow gun nuts may want to read.

Van Zwoll's name shouldn't be new to most of you. He's written many articles, a number of books, and appeared in cable TV shows. He's shooter and a scholar having recently received a doctorate.

His Complete Book pretty much lives up to its name. Van Zwoll first walks us through memory lane recounting his adventures with .22s while growing up. He tells about woodchuck shooting and even tosses in a few recipes--Pasture Poodle Stew might just hit the spot.

He then turns his spotlight on rimfire guns and includes the .17 HMR. I guess his book should be renamed and include .17 in the title. His next section is about the history of various gun makers and the .22s they produced. I got to admit that I've read a lot about gun makers and there was little new in these synopses. It was slow going for me here, but the brief histories are useful to someone who hasn't read much about these companies and their products.

The most important section is about shooting the .22. Van Zwoll doesn't include much discussion of handguns. He's a rifleman while I'm more of a pistolera. But, each to their own. The book has some very good pointers on marksmanship, ballistics, zeroing, and mindset.

The Complete of the .22 is a good entree into the world of the .22. It's not the final word on .22s and for that matter isn't really complete when the subject is that big. American's shoot more .22 caliber than any other round and logically own more .22 guns than any other. That's a mighty big topic. Still, van Zwoll does credit to his subject. It definitely found a place in my firearms library.

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