Tag Archives: Mason

Book Review – Throwing Lead: A Writer's Guide to Firearms (and the People Who Use Them)

I don’t know a whole lot about guns when it comes to practical experience. I’ve fired a few rounds through various shotgun gauges at turkey shoots. I plinked at some cans with a .38. I’ve read a lot about them and felt like I knew my share. That was, until I read this book. It turns out that while I do know a fair amount of the basics there are all kinds of things I wasn’t aware of. Such as:

  • Why you shouldn’t call the thing that holds bullets, a clip.
  • What “bullet proof” means and why you’re using it wrong.
  • Ways of determining what gun a bullet comes out of and how a smart criminal can avoid that.

All of that is really just the tip of the FMJ bullet. Details on caliber, shotguns, silencers vs. suppressors, and how bullets are made fill this book. As interesting as all of that was, there’s more. Mason and Sawyer give you as a writer insight into the minds of people that use guns on a daily basis. They’ve talked to police officers, soldiers, hunters and have pulled anecdotes from their own experiences as shooters.

If you’re a writer and you want to know about the history of guns, or you want to make sure that your protagonist is using the appropriate gun then this book is for you. If you want to avoid some of the mistakes common to fiction give it a read. They also go into some theory on energy weapons and other sci-fi standards and why it would be likely that slug throwers will still be around for some time to come.

Personally I would also recommend this book to readers as well. There are some great stories here and they’re told with Dan’s typical biting sense of humor. I also know there are people out there who love to nitpick help the writers in their lives and kvetch trade opinions on the fiction they love to read. Throwing Lead can give you plenty of… ammunition. (I couldn’t resist.)

I know that there are plans for a follow up book that sounds awesome. So you need to go buy this one and let them know that a second book would be appreciated sooner rather than later. I give this one 5 shotgun shells out of 5.