View Full Version : Shotgunner's Library....

Dave McC
October 20, 2000, 07:38 AM
Maybe it's time we started talking about books on this subject. There's a world of info out there about shotgunning, possibly more literature has been written with shotguns in it than all other guns combined. Kinda like a minority of anglers fly fish, but the books about fly fishing outnumber the others 2/1.

And, since this is an omnibus BB with people that hunt birds of all kinds,hunt deer and hogs,do clay games,3 gun,"Serious" shotgunning, and the WIHTF folks all contributing, maybe we should start several lists of good books.

Here's some general info and good input about hunting shotguns and upland game guns.

Shotguns, by Keith. Dated, but Elmer's views on stocks, quality and form are still first rate.

The Shotgunner's Notebook, by Gene Hill. A good overview of shotguns for sporting purposes. And, the man's a writer.

Upland Guns and Game, by Steve Smith. Or anything else by this writer. Good writing, and a patient, careful coverage of what shotgun does what best. Anyone here know why a grouse/woodcock gun might need more drop than a quail gun? Steve will tell you. And his paean of praise for the 16 ga is a tour de force.

Other writers I've enjoyed in this area, but more about the game than the guns would include Joel Vance, Havilah Babcock, Nash Buckingham,Russell Annabel, Harrison O'Connor,et al.

Pheasants of the Mind, by O'Connor, is required reading in a few philosophy classes, I'm told. Don't let that throw you.

Moving on to the show and tell stuff about "Serious" shotgunning, defense and police uses,I'll let someone with more class time and high quality schools chime in here, if they will.Erick, Randy,Gabe, any input?

Some of the stuff I was instructed with and by may not be available to civilians. And, I've been out of the loop.

One huge lack in the shotgun literature is the lack of a definitive book on slug shooting. Anyone out there know of one?

Now, please add any and all shotgun books you regard as informative, educational or just plain fun.


Eric of IN
October 20, 2000, 08:07 AM
Shotgunning, The Art and the Science Bob Brister

Very little about social shotgunning, but pretty good for the hunter/shotgun gamer.

[This message has been edited by Eric of IN (edited October 20, 2000).]

October 20, 2000, 09:35 AM
"The Defensive Shotgun: Techniques & Tactics" by Louis Awerbuck.

A good primer for the beginner.

Regards! DaMan

October 20, 2000, 09:37 AM
My favorite three are:

"The Shotgun Book" by Jack O'Connor: Even though O'Connor is better known for rifles this book has a wealth of technical information. It's a little dated but still solid and I refer to it often. (I like it better than the Keith book but let's not allow this to get into a Keith versus O'Connor debate.)

"Best Guns (Revised)" by Michael MacIntosh: The first edition was good but the revised edition that came out late in 1999 is even better if you are an fan of side by sides and classic shotgun designs whether they are from Browning or Parker or Purdey. Lot's of good info.

Another vote for "Shotgunner's Notebook" by Gene Hill. I like what this books says and the way Hill says it. This book makes me feel good about my sport, even when I miss.

Honorable mention:

"The Clay Target Handbook" by Jerry Meyer: I loan this book to anyone interested in learning to shoot clays. It describes all of the various games and how to shoot them in an easy to understand format.

"Spanish Best" by Terry Wieland: This is part gun book, part travelog. It will change your thinking about high grade Spanish guns. It is indispensable if you are thinking about a buying a Spanish gun or visiting the Basque country in Spain to order a custom gun.

"The Gun Review Book" by Michael MacIntosh: This is a compilation of MacIntosh's gun review columns that he wrote for Shooting Sportsman. Well written and worth having if you are contemplating a sxs or over/under.

Volume Emiritus:

"The Gun and Its Development" by William Wellington Greener: A massive historical work on English guns and their actions. Who would have thought there was so much detail on guns and their history? Remarkable because a book that is 100 years old is still relevant, interesting and informational. Warning: It is a somewhat difficult and technical read. I've never actually read it cover to cover but those chapters I have read are fascinating.

[This message has been edited by PJR (edited October 20, 2000).]

October 20, 2000, 09:54 AM
I can vouch for two books:

The Tactical Shotgun, Gabriel Suarez.

The Farnam Method of Defensive Shotgun and Rifle Shooting, John A. Farnam.

Two books which have been recommended to me, which I cannot find (as they may be out of print):

Police Shotguns and Carbines, Brian Felter.
The Defensive Shotgun, Louis Awerbuck.

Justin T. Huang, Esq.
late of Kennett Square, Pennsylvania

October 20, 2000, 11:17 AM
A search using "Awerbuck Louis shotgun" will bring up the site where the "Defensive Shotgun" is available. I tried posting URL, but had problems getting it to come up correctly!

Regards! DaMan

[This message has been edited by DaMan (edited October 20, 2000).]

October 20, 2000, 12:40 PM
Great post Dave, I'll add a few of my favorites.
1. Don Zutz Shotguns Trends and Transitions
2. Don Zutz Shotgun Stuff
3. Don Zutz The Double Shotgun
4. all other Zutz shotgun books
5. New England Grouse Shooting
by William Harden Foster

Cause he liked the quiet clean country livin
and 20 more years slipped away.-JB.

October 21, 2000, 07:45 AM
Some good books here:

Shotguns and Shooting by McIntosh. I think it is his best book on shotguns, and he has several books on the subject.

Game Shooting by Robert Churchill, an oldie but still the best book on the instinctive method of shooting. True it deals solely with S X S guns but the basic information is priceless.

Taking More Birds by Dan Carlisle. A seminal book by probably the best instructor in the business. Several shooters in my circle of shotgunners have taken lessons from him and they are kicking my butt at Sporting Clays.

Already mentioned:

Shotgunners Notebook by Gene Hill
The Clay Target Handbook by Jerry Meyer
Shotgunning the Art and the Science by bob Brister.
The Double Shotgun by Don Zutz

Add these books to your library and you may not shoot better but you will sure impress your shooting buddies. Of course if you loan them out expect never to see any of them again ;)

Geoff Ross

October 21, 2000, 06:50 PM
Its been years so I'm not quite sure of the name or title, but:

The World Fighting Shotguns. By Thomas Swerergen.

Its either fighting or combat, and I'm not sure about how to spell the mans last name. Its kind of dated, but filled with excellent info about the history of the social shotgun. The chapter about specialty ammo research is priceless.

October 21, 2000, 11:51 PM
Greetings from Texas. Great choices all, and many are must-reads for the student of the smoothbore. What about "Game Gun" by Ed Muderlak, anybody seen this? If you can read this book and still be able to shoot an 870....
Recommended reading for new converts to the double barrel game gun- The Orvis Wing-Shooting Handbook. Thanks, OL

This year will go down in history. For the first time, a civilized nation has full gun registration! Our streets will be safer, our police more efficient, and the world will follow our lead into the future! - Adolf Hitler, 1935

[This message has been edited by Oldlightning (edited October 22, 2000).]

Dave McC
October 22, 2000, 11:27 AM
Great input, folks, thanks.

Zutz and McIntosh are good sources for info, both are fecally cognizant and good writers.

Still don't see a slug book, maybe it's time for my Magnum Opus(G)....

Dave McC
October 22, 2000, 04:48 PM
OL, after owning some decent doubles, shooting others extensively and having my pick of shotguns, I still LOVE shooting my 870s. Maybe it's my blue collar roots. Maybe it's 40 years plus of using them to the point where they feel like a body part more than a tool that detaches.

And I don't shoot the 870s better, the last double I had was a little French Game gun pretty as you can imagine, weighing 6 lbs, 5 oz and patterning 7 1/2 AA trap loads beautifully. The only gun I ever went 3 straight with woodcock,the gun that made me look like a GOOD quail hunter,etc.

But I don't shoot the 870s badly,and every now and then amaze and delight myself with a loud bit of ledgedemain that has clays smoked in long succession or a dove limit and still in the second box of shells.I guess I'd achieve local legend status if I stuck to one game and grooved in, but I have so much fun being a generalist.

And I spent as much on that double as I did on any two 870s,even throwing in all the bells and whistles.Now, it's making someone's heart glad that doesn't have both Wife and Daughter in college.

Agreed on the Orvis book, a good primer to the world of ruffed grouse,hunting in tweeds,
shotguns that are the equivalent of a Ferrari and the British style of wingshooting.

And I've Greener's tome, and the man's ego is nearly the equal of his expertise. Still, lots of interesting stuff, even if he were alive today, he'd be claiming to have invented the Internet.

October 22, 2000, 06:58 PM
Dave McC:

I agree. There is something about an 870 that you can't duplicate. I like my o/u and sxs but will always have an 870. I keep mine for those very,very serious moments. The other guns are primarily for fun.

As for Greener's book, he does have an 4 gauge ego but I've found the same thing in Churchill or Boothroyd or most any of the other English gun authors. Humility is not their strong suit.

Dave McC
October 23, 2000, 04:42 AM
Yup, an 870 in trained hands is comfort and blessing at some stressful times.

A few months ago I ran across a CO I had trained as a rookie, around 81. We took a few minutes to catch up on old times, and then he stated that he could remember clearly the demonstration I gave his class with the 870, 00 and multiple targets. After 20 years, he must have been impressed.

As for Greener, some arrogance comes with being the best. He was, and maybe that arrogance comes through. Wilt Chamberlain wasn't very humble either...