Book Review: Testing the War Weapons by Timothy Mullin

Written in 1997, Timothy Mullin’s “Testing the War Weapons” sets out to provide a practical users guide to a wide variety of military rifles and light machine guns from the late 1800s to the present day. Unfortunately, the book suffers for lack of good editing, and comes out rather dry and repetitive.

Probably half the volume of the text could have been removed without adversely impacting the author’s ability to communicate his insights on the guns being tested. While the guns cover a wide range or history and geography, there is significant repetition – in the most serious case, fully 24 of the 148 guns covered are Mauser bolt action variants, and thus very similar to each other. Had these been consolidated down to just two or three combined entries, it would have left room for more in depth analysis. For example, more information on the historical uses of the guns and how those would or would not apply today would have been interesting.

I think the core of a good and interesting book is present, but hampered by poor editing, poor technical elements (photos), and pre-Internet publication leading to a somewhat narrow understanding of many of the guns.

Mr. Mullin’s three books of this type are available on Amazon:

Testing the War Weapons
The Fighting Submachine Gun, Machine Pistol, and Shotgun
The 100 Greatest Combat Pistols