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.


Beretta logo blue circle three arrows pointing skyward
Beretta logo blue circle three arrows pointing skyward

Beretta: Nearly 500 Years Strong

It all began in 1526, when Mastro Bartolomeo Beretta of Gardone Val Trompia, Brescia, Italy, received 296 ducats as payment for 185 arquebus barrels.

The AK-74: From Soviet Small Arm To Resistance Symbol

Watch this video and read this story by American Rifleman Field Editor Martin K. A. Morgan regarding the function and history of the AK-74 select-fire rifle, chambered in 5.45x39 mm.

Editor’s Choice: Taurus USA Model 327

Taurus Firearms is drawing attention to an often-overlooked revolver cartridge with a new series of double-action/single-action defensive wheelguns simply called the Taurus 327.

NRA Gun Of The Week: Taurus USA 327

Watch this Gun of the Week to learn about the Taurus 327, a compact yet potent revolver chambered for one of today’s underappreciated defensive cartridges.

The Armed Citizen® May 20, 2022

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

Rifleman Q&A: A Parkerifled Single-Shot Pistol

Q: I have an old gun that I cannot identify. It’s a .22-cal., single-shot, target-style pistol. I believe the barrel is a Parkerfield, but the stamping is spelled “PARKERIFLED.”


Get the best of American Rifleman delivered to your inbox.