Book Reviews: April 2000

By Robert M. Hausman

Real-World Survival!: What Has Worked For Me
By Walt Rauch
Published by Rauch & Co., Ltd.
P.O. Box 510,
Lafayette Hill, PA 19444
Price $15.95 plus $4 s&h
Reviewed by Robert Hausman

Drawing upon a lifetime of experiences in U.S. Army Intelligence, the U.S. Secret Service and as an investigator with the Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Fugitive Squad (where he made over 2,000 felony arrests), the author presents an overview of the serious business of surviving lethal encounters that is well worth reading. Beginning with developing the proper state-of-mind necessary if one chooses to respond pro-actively to lethal threats, Rauch properly defines combat mindset as overcoming one’s natural instincts and reaching the point where one no longer fears death or injury. This is essential in order to respond simultaneously to an attack. It is not necessary to dispel one’s emotions entirely (an impossible feat except in the most pathologic of minds), but rather to control the natural feelings of fear long enough to respond to a threat effectively. A good analogy offered by the author is the act of eating dinner. “You don’t consciously think about putting the fork to your mouth or swallowing the food. You let your mind do what you have trained it to do without interference. This is how you fight when ‘fight’ is the only option. This is how your weapons must be used...”. A later chapter tells where to get such training in a review of some of the top self-defense training schools in the country. Not being a proponent of the, “When in doubt, shoot it out,” crowd, the author includes chapters on methods of lethal encounter avoidance to prevent becoming involved in a dangerous situation. Staying alert to what is happening in one’s environment, and recognizing the tell-tale danger signs that a mugging may be eminent are presented through the recounting of real-life occurrences. The concept of “hidden weapons,” those everyday objects such as screwdrivers, golf clubs, hockey sticks, and sharp-pointed pencils, that can be used to stop an attack when employed as an improvised weapon, or to perpetrate one. Since firearms represent the most effective means of repelling an attack, several chapters are devoted to firearms choices to enable novice gun users to determine what might be the best choices for their particular situations and lifestyles. A chapter focusing on the “aftermath,” details the legal, emotional and financial nightmare the person who used lethal force in defense of life can expect to be subjected to - even if the killing was later ruled justified. Overall, Rauch provides a fairly comprehensive basic primer for those considering the employment of lethal force as part of their security plan.

AKS & MAK 90 Type Armorer’s Course and Technical Manual
by American Gunsmithing Institute
1325 Imola Ave. West #504
Napa, CA 94559
(707) 253-0462
Video 1 hr 34 min
Course #105
$29.95 plus $4 S&H
Reviewed by David M. Fortier

The American Gunsmithing Institute is well known for their excellent instructional videos. Featuring a master gunsmith who takes the viewer step by step through the history of the weapon, its design, how it operates, disassembly, troubleshooting, and reassembly, they are a great learning aid. There is nothing quite like actually watching someone take something apart to learn from. This is enhanced by being able to hit the pause and rewind buttons to see them do it again. Covering the semi-automatic versions of the AK family this video would be handy for someone being introduced to this family of weapons. While not as comprehensive as I would have liked, it would be a great video for someone who had no experience with AK’s or for teaching your kids. How the Kalashnikov rifle operates is explained and shown step by step in a clear and easily understandable manner. Field stripping, routine maintenance, and reassembly are taught in a clear and concise manner. Modifying your AK is covered and this is one strength of this video. While it does not cover barreling or headspacing, it does cover in detail modifying the trigger pull. The viewer is shown step by step how to adjust the trigger pull, what to look out for, and how to do it correctly. I have seen several Yugoslavian and Romanian AK’s and RPK’s that were surprisingly accurate, but that had gritty triggers. This would cure that problem nicely, all in the comfort of your own home. I have seen a few of AGI’s videos and have found them all to be quite handy. They are quite a bit more useful then a simple tech manual. You’ll want to skip this video if your looking for deep in-depth information on the fully automatic versions of the Kalashnikov family, or barrel/headspace information though. Other than that you will find this video a useful addition to your reference library.

Military Rifles Of Japan
By Fred L. Honeycutt, Jr.
and F. Patt Anthony
Published by Julian Books
5282 Ridan Way
Palm Beach Gardens, Florida 33418
ISBN 0-9623208-5-4
Price $ 42.00 plus $ 4.50 s&h
Reviewed by Stephen Stuart

Japan is an island nation in the Pacific, first discovered by the Portuguese during the colonization period of Europe. As with all colonization and trade expeditions in the 17th century, the Portuguese brought firearms to the island nation. Since their invention, firearms have become more and more common in combat. It was the musket that helped end the days of the sword wielding samurai in warfare. Fred Honeycutt, Jr. is no stranger to the field of Japanese military firearms. In his book, Military Rifles Of Japan, the author begins by introducing the reader to the Meiji period (around 1880) rifles, namely the Type 13 rifle in 11mm. From this humble start, the modern rifles of Japan were born. The next series of rifles produced were the Type 18 and Type 18 Cavalry rifle, also in 11mm. The first rifle produced in 6.5mm was the Type 30. It was from this rifle that the evolution of the World War II Type 38 and Type 99 can be readily seen. The really nice thing about this book is that it not only covers the usual rifles of Japan (Type 30, 38, 99, and the cavalry versions of these rifles) it also includes all the variations of these and the other not so common Japanese rifles. These rifles include the Type 44 Carbine, Type 100 Paratroop rifles, Type 1, Type 2, and the Type “I” rifle. Foreign rifles used by Japan are also listed is the Czechoslovakia VZ-24 and Manchurian Mauser. The other really important feature of this book is that it includes pictures and descriptions of the different accessories of Japanese rifles such as; grenade launchers, muzzle covers, monopods, rifle slings, dust covers, cleaning rods, and cleaning kits. As a collector of Japanese military equipment and firearms, I consider this one of the ‘best’ books in the field today. If you collect Japanese equipment, this book should be on your bookshelf, the pictures of the accessories alone are worth their weight in gold to a collector. I recommend this text without in reservations of any kind.

This article first appeared in Small Arms Review V3N7 (April 2000)
and was posted online on June 12, 2015


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