American Gun : A History of the U.S. in Ten Firearms, Hardback Book

American Gun : A History of the U.S. in Ten Firearms Hardback

4 out of 5 (2 ratings)


In "American Gun", the deadliest sniper in U.S. history tracks down and shoots the most important American firearms, from a flintlock rifle to a Colt revolver to the latest high-tech weapon he used as a SEAL.

Chris Kyle uses these guns as a window on United States history, making the sweeping argument that the American story has been tied to and shaped by the gun.

In each chapter he offers engaging stories associated with a particular gun, form wars to duels to shoot outs. "American Gun" is part history, part first-hand journey as Chris locates and shoots these legendary guns. The 10 Guns that shaped America - The American long Rifle (aka the Kentucky Rifle): used to open the American frontier and by soldiers in the American Revolution; The Spencer Repeater: designed during the Civil War, this first repeating rifle cut reload time by 80%; The Colt Single Action Army (aka Colt .45): the handgun that defined the Old West, used by Buffalo Bill, Billy the Kid, Wyatt Earp, Wild Bill Hickok, Doc Holliday, and other iconic gunslingers; The Winchester 1873 Rifle: the Gun that Won the West was a staple in the late nineteenth-century Indian Wars and a favorite a prop in countless Westerns; The 1903 Springfield: designed at the request of Teddy Roosevelt, this superior rifle gave U.S. forces an edge during WWI; The M1911 Army Pistol: the official U.S.

Army sidearm from 1911 to 1985, the King of Combat Pistols is still used by today's elite Special Forces units.

The American Machine Gun: including the Browning Automatic Rifle and the Thompson Sub-machine Gun, the Gun that Made the '20s Roar, was the weapon of choice for lawmen and gangsters during the Prohibition era, including Machine-Gun Kelly, Elliot Ness, Bonnie and Clyde, Pretty Boy Floyd, John Dillinger, and others; The M1 Garand Semi-Automatic Rifle: the Gun that Saved the World, used by U.S. forces again Nazis and the Japanese during WW II; The American Police Handgun: from the .38 Special revolver to the Glock pistol, this chapter is a tour through police firearms history; The M16 Assault Rifle: made famous during Vietnam, this platform is still the standard used by U.S. military weapons including the H&K M4, the firearm that killed Osama bin Laden.


  • Format: Hardback
  • Pages: 320 pages, illustrations
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers Inc
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: History of the Americas
  • ISBN: 9780062242716

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Showing 1 - 2 of 2 reviews.

Review by

As a person who believes there is no such thing as a law-abiding citizen having too many guns, I once again surprised myself by absolutely loving this book. Chris's love and respect for firearms is evident on every page, as is his sense of humor. I was prepared for a dry boring book about guns, but what I found instead is an engaging book about people. And not "people" as in some vague group of "American people", but the back-stories of individuals who were a part of America's history. Who knew Lincoln was a hands-on guy who used a field near the White House as his personal gun-testing range, personally testing guns to be used by the military, and tinkering with helping to improve their design? I didn't. Even if you are not a gun enthusiast, I'd still recommend reading this book for the personal (yeah, I know--I'm probably over-using that word) approach to "America in 10 easy chapters". From the Revolutionary War to the Civil War, to the taming of the Wild West, to the Gangster Era, to the attempted assassination of President Truman, to 23-year-old Silver Star recipient Leigh Ann Hester and everything in-between, this book puts real faces on our American history. Thank you, Chris and Taya Kyle--well done!

Review by

Good book if you like US history and guns. Great to see the links between the conflicts of the US and the development of new weapons. Does anyone own all 10 of these guns?

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