Bite the bullet and read this book! From primitive polearms to futuristic machine guns, small arms pack big power. An American symbol of freedom, it is nearly impossible to resist the allure of these feats of mechanical genius. Almost as amazing as their power is their variety: slings and maces, pistols from wheel locks to flintlocks to today's semiautomatics, Colt revolvers, Remington and Winchester rifles, weapons of espionage, and many more. The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Small Arms details more than 1,000 weapons, complete with full-color photographs. Featuring arms from around the world and across history, this stunning guide highlights the intricacies that make each variety unique, tying in historical anecdotes as well as the history of certain brands. Whether reading about the inspiration for Samuel L. Colt's revolvers, or the lozenge-case gun used by Italian spies during World War II, arms enthusiasts will delight in the details. Even better are the photographs, many of which are published here for the first time. A companion to the best-selling Illustrated Encyclopedia of Weaponry, The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Small Arms is an excellent resource for gun collectors and admirers alike.