Firearm Reference Books, DVD's

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In this digital age there is a volume of information on the internet to address just about any firearm or shooting related question you may have, and thats good. However I often find there is always something missing, something incorrect or I just want more details than is generally available. Fortunately there are still many good books and DVD's being produced to fill in the voids. As always if you have something to add to the list drop me a message.

AR-15 Books

The Competitive AR-15. Glen D. Zediker

This book is very interesting and unique. The author delves into the world of Benchrest Shooting AR-15's. A lot of information you wont find anywhere else. There are two versions of this book. The latest is pictured below.

I have only seen this title directly from the author and Brownells

The Competitive AR-15


Brownells "How To Build an AR-15"

I was expecting this DVD to be like an infomercial. I was correct but it is done tastefully. It's nice to see how to use many of the specialty tools Brownells offers for the AR-15. A nice bonus included in the DVD is the printable instructions that correspond to the dvd content.

Heres what Brownells says about the DVD.

Produced by Brownells, this easy-to-follow, step-by-step video guide is your ticket to the custom AR-15 you've always wanted. Tim Dillon, Brownells Military/Law Enforcement Manager and a former U.S. Army small arms repair specialist, shows you how to build your own AR with features and accessories that'll help you shoot your best. You don't need to be an expert riflesmith or armorer because Tim walks you through each step in plain English and crystal-clear video. He explains AR-15 models and variations, laws and regulation, specifications, operation, deciding what rifle to build, selecting and ordering parts, tools, step-by-step assembly, function testing, safety checking, cleaning, and maintenance. The presentation is divided into a series of short segments, each devoted to a specific subassembly or variation of one. Watch only the segments that apply to the rifle you want to build. If you decide to modify your rifle later, go back and just watch the segments that cover your planned changes. A big help taking apart subassemblies like the bolt and gas system for cleaning or trouble-shooting, too. Printable PDF instructions are included with the DVD, and are accessible with your computers DVD drive.

How to build an AR-15 DVD


This DVD looks like an old VHS transfer but it gets the job done. This DVD is pretty dry but it's still pretty good and worth owning. My favorite reason for owning this title is they actually explain and show you how to headspace an AR-15. I have not seen this in any other video or book.

Brownells appears to stock this reliably.

Robert Dunlap demonstrates building a complete AR-15. Covers assembling the upper and lower receivers, bolt, bolt carrier and head spacing the barrel, trigger and safety function, fitting and installing all parts and final tuning.


Colt 1911 Books

If you are going to work on 1911 based handguns. The two Jerry KuhnHausen entries listed below are must owns. There are no other books on the 1911 that compare. There is a companion DVD that I have never actually seen available.

The Colt .45 Automatic. A Shop Manual, Volume 1. Jerry KuhnHausen

A detailed book which is extremely practical for every level of gunsmithing knowledge. This manual covers the 1911 from the lanyard loop to the barrel bushing. Contains useful information on inspection, part selection, part installation, trouble-shooting and function testing. Also shows tricks the pros use to turn stock 1911s into full-blown carry and race guns. Contains instructions and illustrations on assembly and disassembly, pitfalls to avoid and areas to check for the best performance.

This books availabilty comes and goes at Brownells

Colt 1911 Shop Manual Volume 1

The U.S. M1911/M1911A1 Pistols & Commercial type Pistols. A Shop Manual, Volume 2. Jerry KuhnHausen

A great follow-up to Volume 1. This is not a revision of Volume 1 and not a rehash of old military manuals! This book is absolutely loaded with new and updated material, parts dimensions and hardness specifications, and the nuts and bolts tech data required to dimensionally inspect, restore, repair and build super accurate, super reliable, "blueprint" quality carry and competition grade M1911s.

This volume is more readily available at Brownells.

1911 Shop Manual Volume 2

Colt 1911 DVD


Ok it's nearly 3 hours and very nicely done. I didn't nod off once. Video is high quality not like those damn AGI VHS transfers.

 The start is a bit slow as the narrator discusses 1911 history. He is obviously reading. Once the tech gets underway it flows much smoother. This DVD is NOT about building and gunsmithing a 1911. It truly is an armorers approach to safety, maintenance, reliability and the fitting of drop in parts.

They go through great detail of explaining and displaying part interaction, fits and safety function tests and common mistakes. A ton of practical information for folks not well versed in 1911 function. They also include discussion and use of the proper tools albeit from the  DVD sponsors. Not an infomercial though like many DVD's

The last few chapters of the DVD covers the installation of drop in parts like ambi safeties, grip safeties, triggers.

All in all a very refreshing approach. Ill put this as a must have in your 1911 media collection along with the JERRY KUHNHAUSEN Heritage Gun books.

From the Panteo Website
The M1911 Pistol Armorer’s Course will give you a detailed understanding of the model 1911 pistol. The course covers design, model variations, disassembly, assembly, lubrication, parts fitting, trigger pull adjustments, maintenance, and troubleshooting. After-market parts and modifications are reviewed. Dean Caputo, a law enforcement officer and factory armorer instructor for the 1911 platform, will teach you how to keep your 1911 running properly and how to do limited custom work on your pistol.




Sat through a second video today, this time it was "AGI BUILDING THE TACTICAL OR VARMINT RIFLE". This was looked like a pretty old transfer but the quality wasnt bad. For the most part I found the video very interesting. The author Darell Holland takes you through the process of building a custom rifle based on a V block bedded Remington 700 action and a McMillan stock. For the most part he does a good job taking you through the process in detail with much explanation as to "Why". I really enjoyed the simplicity of his shop. A milling machine, small lathe and a bead blaster was all he used. No special jigs and fixtures. This video is great for anyone who would like to know how to do the process from start to finish. I think this is one of the better AGI video's. If you have access to these metalworking machines an indicator, chamber reamer and a few basic tools this videi will instill the confidence to build a rifle.



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