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If you want an excellent study of the gun, then Tales of the Gun: The Complete Collection will exceed your expectations.

DVD Review: Tales Of The Gun – The Complete Collection

Tales Of The Gun: The Complete Collection is a 32-disk collection of the History Channel TV series that focuses on the history of guns. Each disk is about 50 minutes in length for a total running time of 26 hours and 40 minutes.

From the early days to modern times, all aspects of the gun are discussed. This series has something for everyone. Weapons from the earliest guns of the middle ages through the Revolutionary War, Civil War, and World War II are examined. Topics ranging from German guns, Israeli guns, million dollar guns, and infamous guns are explored in detail. Because of the wide range of topics that are contained in this set, I have focused on my favorites of the 32 disks.

"The Early Guns" is a chronicle of the drive to prefect the handheld weapon. This video covers over eight centuries of gun technology from the very first hand cannons to the 19th century musket.

"Early Machine Guns" details the development of this weapon from innovators like Richard Gatling and Hiram Maxim to the bloodiest battles of World War I where it was responsible for the death of almost 60,000 men.

"Guns of World War II" shows the origin, evolution, and deployment of the guns that shaped WWII. Experts detail the refinements that made the American weapons the most dependable ever built.

"Million Dollar Guns" examines the most valuable guns ever made. These are the ones that are in the collections of the rich and famous and include pistols created for Catherine the Great.

"Guns of Winchester" tells how Oliver Winchester went from shirt maker to gun maker and shows the details of how his product became so popular.

"Guns of the Civil War" saw the introduction of guns that were far more deadly than any ones before. The Civil War was a proving ground for many a new weapon.

"Guns of Smith and Wesson" examines how Horace Smith and Daniel Baird Wesson pushed the limits of firearms by using technology that rewrote history with their self-contained cartridge and the development of the .38 special.

"Rapid Firepower" exposes the development that revolutionized warfare overnight. Using rare footage of long ago battlefields where the machine gun first proved its worth, to the AK-47, this video examines the heavy duty weapons of war.

"Guns of Remington" looks at the history of the gun maker from its start in 1816 as a small factory in upstate New York, to the company that has built over 35 million fire arms over the years.

"Shotguns" examines the most familiar weapon after the hand gun. These large and powerful guns are able to cover a wide area with the single pull of the trigger.

"The Rifle" shows that the simple development of cutting groves into the barrel of a rifle would cause the projectile to spin, which stabilized its flight. This DVD traces the development of the weapon from the days of the American Revolution to today's M-16s.

"Bullets and Ammo" follows the evolution of ammunition from the earliest hand-cast lead shots to the specialized bullets of today, like "tumblers," "dum-dums" and centerfire cartridges.

"Police Guns" examines the weapons used to preserve the law. For over 150 years, the latest and best guns have been tested by the nation's police and this video shows how some have become essential tools in the ongoing fight against crime.

"Gangster Guns of the 20s & 30s" shows how the rise of the American gangster coincided with the proliferation of new weapons that put far more power into the hands of the bad guys — and the law enforcement officers charged with stopping them — than ever before.

"The Tommy Gun" was once the most powerful, fastest-shooting weapon of its time. The military and the police resisted the new gun, preferring to stay with ones they were familiar with — until the criminals possessed them.

"Guns of Colt" are a brand of gun that even people who have never held a gun in their life know by name. Arguably the most important firearms manufacturer ever, the company founded by Samuel Colt put weapons in the hands of some of the most famous criminals and lawmen in history, changed the face of warfare, and was instrumental in the settling of the American West.

"The Gunslingers" tells of outlaws and renegades who took advantage of anything and anyone in the quest for gold and glory. Others were lawmen, striving to bring some semblance of order to the Wild West.

"Infamous Guns" is about the guns that have earned a place in history for their innovations — breakthrough weapons that advanced the science of firearms. There are others, however, that secured fame through their use — the guns that have killed presidents, started wars, and starred in legendary showdowns in frontier towns.

While some of the topics are more interesting to me than others, I tend to focus on some of the older historical aspect and therefore the DVDs that deal with the 19th century and earlier are some of my favorites. I still found the ones dealing with WWI and WWII very engaging.

I will have to admit that I had watched many of these when they were first aired on The History Channel, and so when I found out that they were coming as a complete collection, I couldn't wait to get my hands on them to see some of my favorites again and to view the ones that I had never watched. I was not disappointed. If you want an excellent study of this instrument that is known as the gun, then Tales Of The Gun: The Complete Collection will exceed your expectations.

About T. Michael Testi

Photographer, writer, software engineer, educator, and maker of fine images.

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