10 Books for Gun People

April 27, 2022
Gun Talk Staff

In this day and age of instant gratification and technological feedback, society has grown accustomed to not having to search for answers. The firearms community can be no different. However, we can all recognize that some of the most important information can only be absorbed by the written, (or spoken), word. Whether you're looking for a good book to accompany your morning coffee, a way to shorten a long middle-seat plane flight, or something to refresh your skills/mindset, we've assembled a collection of books that every shooter will enjoy. Many of them are available in multiple formats, and you'll recognize several authors. In no particular order or ranking process, these are 10 essential books for gun people:

Your Most Powerful Weapon
How to Use Your Mind to Stay Safe

By Steve Tarani

In a world where terrorist attacks, active shootings, and physical violence are the new normal, how can you keep you and your family safe without a firearm or knowing martial arts? What if you already carried an effective weapon with you, every day, and only needed to learn how to use it? Your most powerful weapon – your mind – is at your disposal 24/7. It doesn’t need a permit or batteries, and never runs out of bullets. Carried with you everywhere, it can be deployed quick as thought – if you know how. Your Most Powerful Weapon teaches you how to: build mental toughness, control your environment, avoid a threat, defeat an attack, and control fear.

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

By Chris Kyle

At the time of his tragic death in February 2013, former Navy SEAL Chris Kyle, the most accomplished sniper in U.S. military history, was finishing a remarkable book that retold American history through the lens of a hand-selected list of firearms. Kyle masterfully argues that guns have played a fascinating, indispensable, and often under-appreciated role in our national story.

Kyle carefully chose ten guns to help tell his story, including the American long rifle, Colt .45 revolver, Winchester rifle, .38 police handgun, and M-16 rifle platform Kyle himself used as a SEAL. This is also the story of how American innovation, creativity, and industrial genius has constantly pushed technology - and U.S. power - forward.

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On Killing
They Psychological Cost of Learning to Kill in War and Society

By Lt. Col. Dave Grossman

The revised and updated edition of Lt. Col. Dave Grossman's modern classic about the psychology of combat, hailed by the Washington Post as "an illuminating account of how soldiers learn to kill and how they live with the experiences of having killed." In World War II, only 15 to 20 percent of combat infantry were willing to fire their rifles. In Korea, about 50 percent. In Vietnam, the figure rose to more than 90 percent. The good news is that most soldiers are loath to kill. But armies have developed sophisticated ways sophisticated ways of overcoming that instinctive aversion. The psychological cost for soldiers, as evidenced by the increase in post-traumatic stress, is devastating. This landmark study brilliantly illuminates the techniques the military uses to help soldiers kill and raises vital questions about the implications of escalating violence in our society.

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PreFense: The 90% Advantage
Preventing Bad Things from Happening to Good People

By Steve Tarani

Let's face it; you don't expect your home to be invaded when you're asleep. You don't expect your kids to be bullied or kidnapped when you send them off to school. You don't expect to be shot while sitting at a movie theater with your family. However, bad things happen to good people every day. In response most people believe they would dial 911 while others might use a gun or a karate chop to solve the problem. This learning program introduces a third option, one that up until now has been available only to the privileged few. Instead of being blindsided and forced to react to these incidents, what if you could see them coming and prevent them from happening? Akin to preventative medicine - a holistic approach to healthcare in preventing disease, Preventative Defense or PreFense is a holistic approach to your personal security. Education and awareness are vital for a thriving person in our society.

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Sheep No More
The Art of Awareness and Attack Survival

By Jonathan T. Gilliam

Former US Navy SEAL and FBI Special Agent Jonathan T. Gilliam brings his unique professional perspective to teach you the art of awareness and attack avoidance by sharing unconventional warfare techniques and how to think like an attacker.Fight back, because we are sheep no more! This personal safety and security book comes armed to the teeth with empowering techniques so you can be your own expert at protecting your life. Weekly, there are major threats, mass killings, terrorist attacks and even weather-related disasters—the list goes on. And this increasingly dangerous world includes more violent and deadly threats that are specifically targeting everyday civilians. You. This is the definitive “safety bible” that links the leading expert on personal safety with civilians. For the first time, you can make educated predictions using the new key questions of “Who, Why, Where, When, and How” from the attacker’s point of view.

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Principles of Personal Defense
Foreword by Louis Awerbuck

By Jeff Cooper

Jeff Cooper is perhaps the nation's foremost authority on defensive weaponcraft. He is renowned not only for his practical instruction on firearms marksmanship, mechanics, and safety but also for his groundbreaking ideas on proper defensive mental conditioning. This new edition of Cooper's classic Principles of Personal Defense presents his timeless theory of individual defensive behavior clearly, concisely, and practically. All free people who aspire to stay that way should read study, and share the wisdom found within these pages. Considered by many to be one of the greatest books on combat mind-set ever written, it deserves a place of honor in every library.

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The Modern Technique of the Pistol
Jeff Cooper, Editorial Adviser

By Gregory Boyce Morrison

Description from Gunsite Academy Pro Shop: "This book's original release in 1991 came at what some would characterize as the zenith of the Modern Technique’s development, a time when Jeff Cooper both owned and directed the American Pistol Institute. That circumstance likely will guarantee this books “classic status”, and you will find the text unaltered."

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Handgun Training for Personal Protection
How to Choose & Use the Best Sights, Lights, Lasers & Ammunition

By Richard A. Mann

Handgun Training for Personal Protection is the definitive guide for selecting and training with lights, sights, lasers and ammunition for the modern defensive handgun.Author Richard Mann helps you understand how to properly outfit a handgun to optimize its defensive potential. Perhaps even more importantly, he describes how to train with this optimized handgun in order to have the best chance of survival in a lethal encounter. This volume is the essential laser, light and ammunition defensive handgun training manual for anyone who owns a handgun.

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Stay in the Fight!!
Warriors Guide to the Combat Pistol

By SGM (Ret) Kyle E. Lamb

Combat Proven: Drawing on Combat experience from Mogadishu, Somalia, to Mosul, Iraq, I want to pass lessons learned to fellow Warriors. Common sense and combat proven, these are the criteria for my techniques. This book is intended to enhance your shooting skills and refine the tactical employment of your Combat Pistol. Military, Law Enforcement, and Civilian alike will find a wealth of information, and numbers tools for their Tactical Toolbox. We also discuss the Training Mentality and Mindset that will help you not only survive your next gunfight, but thrive. So learn, enjoy and most importantly... Stay in the Fight!!

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Green Eyes & Black Rifles
Warriors Guide to the Combat Carbine

By SGM (Ret) Kyle E. Lamb

Drawing on combat experience from Mogadishu, Somalia to Mosul, Iraq, retired SGM Kyle E. Lamb passes on lessons learned to fellow Warriors. Green eyes and black rifles: the Warriors guide to the combat Carbine is intended to enhance your shooting skills, and refine the tactical employment of your combat Carbine. New shooters and veterans alike will find a wealth of information and numerous tools for their tactical toolbox. You will also see references to combat mindset, and its value in training and actual encounters. So learn, enjoy, and most of all, stay in the fight.

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