Book Review: 101 Classic Firearms

posted on March 15, 2016

compilation of 101 articles written by author John Marshall over the years, 101 Classic Firearms moves forward in time through the course of its pages to provide readers with detailed histories and fascinating trivia concerning some of the most seminal and interesting firearms of the past 150 years. Focusing on what he calls the “Golden Years” of firearm development—the middle of the 19th century through the end of the 20th—Marshall takes his audience from the 1857 manufacture of the first U.S. Model 1855 Rifle Musket all the way to Heckler & Koch’s 1991 development of the Mk 23 Mod 0.

Along the way, Marshall covers all the heavy hitters of the gun world from this time period, while still saving more than a little space to shine some light on a few of history’s relatively obscure offerings. While a good portion of the book’s entries understandably center around the military arms that shaped the course of human events during the time period covered, no shortage of influential sporting guns are profiled within its pages, as well.

Each entry contains a detailed history of the development of the gun in question, how they work, and in many cases, how much a gun enthusiast can expect them to fetch on today’s market.

As the author himself points out, his inclusion of every gun that he might have wanted in this work would have “required a library rather than a book,” but Marshall effectively covers a lot of ground in 221 pages. And with entries possessing detailed, yet entertaining, information likely beyond the capacity of the average firearms lover to retain, 101 Classic Firearms is the kind of book that gun enthusiasts of all stripes will be interested in coming back to time and again. Price: $30. Contact Dillon Precision Products, Inc.; (800) 223-4570.


Burnside Carbine Ihtog 1
Burnside Carbine Ihtog 1

I Have This Old Gun: Burnside Carbine

In the American Civil War, there was an incredible variety of small arms used, particularly within cavalry units. One of the most popular cavalry carbines used throughout the war was the Burnside carbine.

New For 2024: Mossberg Patriot 400 Legend

Mossberg expanded its Patriot bolt-action rifle line to encompass one of the newest straight-wall hunting cartridges on the market: 400 Legend.

I Have This Old Gun: Norinco 84S

The Norinco 84S presents the same general appearance as the Chinese-made 56S because it has the same overall length, is built around a stamped sheet-steel receiver and uses the same hooded front sight base, the same 45-degree gas block, the same fire-control components, the same wood furniture and the same high-polish blued finish.

Rifleman Q&A: Boattail Bullets And Barrel Erosion

In the recent spate of “long-range” boattail bullets presented to the market, I’ve observed the boattail’s degree of departure from the bullet’s cylindrical axis varies substantially from one design to another.

Quick Hits On 10 6.5 mm Cartridges

With so many 6.5 mm cartridges from which to choose, deciding on the one that’s right for you can be a challenge—so here’s a quick guide to help sort them out.

The Armed Citizen® Feb. 19, 2024

Read today's "The Armed Citizen" entry for real stories of law-abiding citizens, past and present, who used their firearms to save lives.


Get the best of American Rifleman delivered to your inbox.