HogBlog Gear Review – Firearms Guide 3rd Edition
July 27, 2012
In 2010, I met a couple at the SHOT Show who were talking to various gun and outdoors writers about their new CD-ROM based Firearms Multimedia Guide. When they came to my table, I happily sat and chatted with them. They told me about their project, a plan to create a huge, comprehensive database of firearms from around the world. The CD would serve as a resource for gun writers, gunsmiths, and anyone who had a detailed interest in firearms from around the world. I can’t remember how many guns were included in that first edition (my review is still out there on my old site), but it was fairly impressive. I was also impressed with their plans to continue compiling the database, so that the Guide would be sort of a living research tool. At the end of the conversation, not only did I have a copy of the CD to review, but I’d made a couple of new friends.
I saw them again in 2011 with their new edition, so of course I took a copy and did a write-up. Their database had grown significantly (to around 50,000 firearms), and they were now incorporating printable schematics for all sorts of guns, as well as online listings for gun stores around the country. As an added bonus, they added in some fun stuff, like printable targets.
For 2012, they have released the 3rd edition. The new Guide is bulked up with 55,000 firearms, including military firearms, as well as air guns and ammunition listings. The schematics database is up to 3000 guns from 268 different manufacturers. In short, this thing has become pretty danged robust. Despite the extent of the data, though, the DVD offers a really solid search functionality. You can narrow down a search to fairly minute detail. For example, suppose you wanted to find an American made, 9mm with accessory rails for under $750. You can enter all of those criteria into the search fields and see all of the options available to you. Try that in Google or Bing!
Who could use the Firearms Guide?
As I mentioned earlier, gunsmiths could definitely benefit from the ready access to schematics for many firearms. It’s also a great way to look up specs and details about some less common guns and ammunition. As a “sort-of amateur wannabe” gunsmith, I can see where I will be able to use the Guide for working on some of my own guns.
Collectors, of course, will appreciate the extensive listings, photographs, specs, and even retail prices that they will find in the guide. You could use it to identify an unusual gun, or to search for something you want to add to the collection. Crazy about drillings? The guide has a whole listing from various manufacturers and in different caliber/gauge configurations. There are even several bespoke rifles in the database, should that be something of interest.
For the hunter or target shooter looking for a new gun, the Guide offers the ability to do your shopping from your desktop. You can sort guns based on the criteria you like, the price range you want to pay, and even locate a nearby dealer when you’re ready to make your purchase. Of course, it may not be the most efficient purchase for someone looking to buy just one gun, but say you’ve got a group of friends planning that big elk hunt or African safari. Split the $39.95 price three or four ways, and it’s totally worth it… especially if you’re the lucky one who gets to keep the DVD after the shopping is done. If you’re like me, sometimes it’s fun just to surf around the various listings to daydream about guns you’d like to own (my fantasies tend to revolve around the fine, express rifles).
The Guide should be an excellent resource to writers and journalists, as well as others who need solid information and data about firearms. As I’ve mentioned before, it should be a required tool in any newsroom. There’s no excuse for some of the misinformation and erroneous reporting on guns with resources like this available. For the fiction writer, there’s a wealth of cool information about guns that your characters could use (for good or ill).
All in all, the Firearms Guide 3rd Edition is a solid upgrade to an already excellent product. It is quickly becoming a definitive source for gun information, and it’s getting more extensive with every release.
For more information, or to order the Firearms Guide 3rd Edition, you can go to their website at: http://www.firearmsguide.com.