The Writer's Guide to Weapons: A Practical Reference for Using Firearms and Knives in Fiction

The Writer's Guide to Weapons: A Practical Reference for Using Firearms and Knives in Fiction

The Writer's Guide to Weapons: A Practical Reference for Using Firearms and Knives in Fiction

The Writer's Guide to Weapons: A Practical Reference for Using Firearms and Knives in Fiction


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When it comes to writing weapons, most authors shoot from the hip—and miss. The Writer's Guide to Weapons will help you hit your target every time.

Firearms and knives have starring roles in a wide range of genres—crime, thriller, war, mystery, Western, and more. Unfortunately, many depictions of weapons in novels and film are pure fiction. Knowing the difference between a shotshell and a slug, a pistol and a revolver, or a switchblade and a butterfly knife is essential for imbuing your story with authenticity—and gaining popularity with discerning readers.

Inside you'll find:

 • An in-depth look at the basics of firearms and knives: how they work, why they work, what they look like, and how to depict them accurately in your stories.
 • The biggest weapons myths in fiction, TV, and film.
 • A surefire guide for choosing the correct weapon for your characters, no matter their skill level, strength, or background.
 • A review of major gun and knife laws, weapons safety tips,and common police tactics.
 • "The Hit List," showcasing the most popular weapons for spies, detectives, gunslingers, gangsters, military characters, and more.
 • Examples highlighting inaccurate vs. accurate weapons depictions.
 • An insightful foreword by David Morrell, the award-winning creator of Rambo.
Equal parts accessible, humorous, and practical, The Writer's Guide to Weapons is the one resource you need to incorporate firearms and knives into your fiction like a seasoned professional.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781599638157
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 07/09/2015
Pages: 288
Sales rank: 508,730
Product dimensions: 6.90(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

Benjamin Sobieck is an online editor and product manager for a number of weapons and outdoors magazines, such as Gun Digest, BLADE, Living Ready, and Modern Shooter. A crime and thriller author, he has appeared in such anthologies and journals as Burning Bridges: A Renegade Fiction Anthology, Exiles: An Outsider Anthology, Black Heart Magazine presents Noir, and Out of the Gutter. He has also worked as a newspaper crime reporter. For more about Sobieck and his crime-fighting creation, detective Maynard Soloman, visit

Table of Contents

Foreword David Morrell 1

Introduction Why Getting It Right Matters 5

Part 1 Firearms 9

Firearm Safety 10

Shotguns 101 12

Shotgun Ammunition 23

Rifles 101 29

Handguns 101 41

Rifle and Handgun Ammunition 51

Holsters and Concealed Carry 57

Suppressors, Silencers, Scopes, and Sights 63

Ballistics 71

Other Common Firearm Accessories and Their Uncommon Uses 76

Improvised and Custom Firearms 82

Must-Know Firearm Laws 85

Matching a Firearm to a Character 93

How to Kill a Character with a Firearm 98

Part 2 Kniues 102

Knife Safety 103

Knives 101 104

Knife Sharpening and Sheaths 140

Improvised and Custom Knives 144

Must-Know Knife Laws 148

Matching a Knife to a Character 155

How to Kill a Character with a Knife 161

Part 3 Must-Know Weapons Info 171

Top Weapons Myths 172

The Hit List 186

True Crime Stories from Real Crime Writers 257

Tactics Used by Law Enforcement and the Military 262

Glossary 266

Bibliography 276

Have a Question? Ask the Author 279

Get More Maynaro 279

Index 280

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