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Armed and Dangerous: A Writer's Guide to Weapons
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Armed and Dangerous: A Writer's Guide to Weapons (Howdunit Series)

3.61  ·  Rating Details ·  114 Ratings  ·  11 Reviews
Describes weapons used by criminals, police, soldiers, terrorists, and hunters, and briefly traces the development of firearms and explosives.
Paperback, 126 pages
Published August 1st 1990 by Writer's Digest Books (first published July 8th 1990)
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Mar 22, 2008 James rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Any writer, especially of crime, war, or action fiction
Nothing can blow an author's credibility in the reader's eyes like anachronistic or inaccurate information in a story, and a lot of readers of crime fiction know their guns - I remember reading a novel and being jolted right out of the story and back into my living room when the author had a character load a "clip" into a revolver. I almost put the book down without finishing the story.
If you write fiction involving the use of weapons, it's important to know how to describe them and their workin
Jay Williams
Mar 27, 2012 Jay Williams rated it it was amazing
This is a "must buy" for any writer who includes any weapons in their stories. It gives you enough info to sound like you know what you are writing. Only problem with it was that I carried and read it on an airplane and got a number of wary stares. Worth it though.
Lindsey Duncan
Oct 21, 2016 Lindsey Duncan rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
What I expected from this book was a solid guide to how various guns work, enabling the novice to describe their use in fiction. What I got from this book might have been what I expected, but it was buried under historical data and numbers. The bulk of the text is a historical accounting of each gun as it develops, with weight, caliber, firing power, etc. This made it almost impossible to follow the essence of the information: when was this innovation developed? How did it change combat? The ...more
E. Kahn
Mar 20, 2015 E. Kahn rated it it was ok
For a guy who makes such a big deal about technical accuracy when writing about firearms in fiction, the author sure makes a lot of blunders writing about firearms in nonfiction.

Taking just the WW1 section, he completely neglects notable arms like the infamous Canadian Ross rifle, the P14 and M1917 Enfields, the French Ruby pistol, etc. in favor of oddities like the Webley Automatic Revolver. Moreover, the info he does present is prejudiced and outdated; a curious writer wo wanted to inform them
Aug 19, 2015 Andrew rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
Mike Newton offers a thorough guide to weapons from time periods and geographic places like the American Old West, World War II, and modern-day US cities. He also offers insightful information on basic firearms forensics and other useful tips for writers dealing with genres ranging from espionage thrillers to police procedurals.

Though a tad dry in some places, Newton manages to maintain a sense of wit throughout most of the book. A helpful guide for any fiction writer.
Sep 23, 2008 Doug rated it liked it
This was also good, if a tad breezy in its survey of personal firearms in America since the 19th Century, with some inaccuracies pointed out in the marginalia of my library copy. Nonetheless, Newton hammers home, pun intended, why any crime writer worth his or her salt needs to do the research first before embarking on descriptions of these deadly tools. Plus, this book is a great introduction to the history of firearms in this country.
Jennifer Worrell
Oct 07, 2016 Jennifer Worrell rated it liked it
Shelves: craft
Looks like a pretty extensive guide, only the title is misleading. It's all about firearms, so if you're looking for other weaponry you're out of luck. However, it's interesting to know that according to this, the "silencer" is BS; should be "suppressor", and the sound is not dulled all that much.
Laura Baugh
Feb 08, 2012 Laura Baugh rated it liked it
Serious misnomer -- this book is actually about firearms, not the broad category of "weapons." If the title had been more specific, I would have rated it higher; it's a good resource for those who aren't that familiar with firearms as a subject.
Fredrick Danysh
Dec 28, 2012 Fredrick Danysh rated it liked it
Shelves: writing
Many writers are not familiar with or have firsthand experience with the various types of weapons they refer to in the stories. This is a good basic guide.
Apr 30, 2008 Kristen rated it really liked it
This is a great book for all aspiring writers to learn about weapons, mainly guns, to use for their characters. A great reference book.
Ryan Henry
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From Wikipedia:
"Michael Newton (born 1951) is an American author best known for his work on Don Pendleton's Mack Bolan series. Newton first began work on the Executioner series by co-writing "The Executioner's War Book" with Don Pendleton in 1977. Since then he has been a steady writer for the series with almost 90 entries to his credit, which triples the amount written by creator Don Pendleton. H
More about Michael Newton...

Other Books in the Series

Howdunit Series (1 - 10 of 15 books)
  • Howdunit: How Crimes Are Committed and Solved
  • Scene of the Crime: A Writer 's Guide to Crime Scene Investigation
  • Deadly Doses: A Writer's Guide to Poisons
  • Cause of Death: A Writer's Guide to Death, Murder, and Forensic Medicine
  • Just the Facts, Ma'am: A Writer's Guide to Investigator's and Investigation Techniques
  • Missing Persons: A Writer's Guide to Finding the Lost, the Abducted and the Escaped
  • Rip-Off: A Writer's Guide to Crimes of Deception
  • Private Eyes: A Writer's Guide to Private Investigating
  • Malicious Intent : A Writer's Guide to How Murderers, Robbers, Rapists and Other Criminals Think (The Howdunit)
  • Modus Operandi: A Writer's Guide to How Criminals Work

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