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Recent Additions To The Surplus Locker Library

One of the most enjoyable sidelines to collecting and shooting milsurps is delving into the rich literature on their development, deployment and performance. The quality of the scholarship, data, photographs and increasing access to heretofore classified information have proved remarkable in terms of the final printed product. The only downside to this out flowing of new arms literature has occasionally been the cost of the book. Unfortunately, our local libraries don’t seem to stock them. Here’s my pick of some of the best to hit the bookshelves in the last few years.

The Gun by C.J. Chivers

Chivers, a former Marine Captain and Pulitzer Prize winning senior writer and past Moscow bureau chief for the New York Times, has written an incredibly riveting story about the Kalashnikov assault rifle and its role in modern foreign policy and warfare. The central theme of the book is the geo-political role the Kalashnikov has played in post-war Soviet foreign policy and how the establishment of Kalashnikov manufacturing facilities throughout the Soviet’s sphere of influence tied that sphere to Moscow. The result was not only the division of the world into two competing power blocs, but the uncontrolled, overproduction of millions-and-millions of AK/AKMs which, in the author’s view, have destabilized the world.

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