Dvoryaninov Vladislav - Live ammunition of small arms
Available from - patronschik.ru/books.html
(There is also a slight biography of the author, and his professional work in the small arms munitions field, available at the site).
These books were mentioned a few months ago here, and at that time I contacted the publisher about shipping outside of Russia, and to North America in particular, but at that time it was not available. They recently began selling and shipping outside of Russia though, so I seized the opportunity to buy the full 4 volume set.
In total the 4 volumes are more than 2000 pages, and represent a huge work on ammunition. The cost reflects a good value on that basis, with the 4 volumes shipped to me at around 300$US all in (including some extra fees in Canada).
The four volumes cover a variety of subjects related to small arms ammuniton, and loosely break down thusly from what I can make of them, bearing in mind I have zero comprehension of Russian ( I will point out there is a breakdown provided on the publishers site, but what follows is the highlights that I suspect most western members would be looking for ):
V1 is a general history; it starts with flint tools, through early small arms munitions, to the present era. This is a broad history, from a Russian perspective if you will, but NOT a history of Russian ammunition per se. The early growth of military cartridges is covered in this volume. The bulk of 7,62X54R material seems to be in this volume.
V2 Tends to focus on military ammunition (international, not just Russian), primarily WW2 to date. Its focus is again, wide, from a Russian perspective it seems, and it would be pure supposition for me to ‘conclude’ more than that, not reading Russian. Though Russian small arms ammunition does seem to take up the majority of this volume. The bulk of 7,62X39 development seems to be in this volume.
V3 Seems to contain a large amount on Russian pistol ammunition, and a variety of experimental/limited use cartridges, including piston/captured piston ammunition etc. Rounds such as the 5,45X19 and 9mm Makarov tend to be featured in this volume
V4 Features more modern developments, and experimental/limited use, such as salvo style/multi ball loads, flechettes, darts etc.
As mentioned each volume averages out to 600 or more pages. There is a lot of reference to competing rounds if you will, such as American and NATO rounds, their comparative performance etc.
There is also a large amount of performance data, such as accuracy, dispersion rates etc.
In all there are probably a few hundred (I didn’t count them, but they are abundant) dimensional drawings of bullets (projectiles, not rounds). The number of them spread across the 4 volumes are quite impressive.
The Pros of the set: A lot of data, which if you are willing to wade through would unquestionably be interesting.
A lot of drawings of bullets
A lot of material on rare-ish Russian rounds
A reasonable (IMHO) price for over 2000 pages of good quality books, with good quality paper, bindings etc.
The Cons: Well, the seller states it is in Russian, and it is. There is no English anywhere, which is so very, very frustrating. For a diehard fan of a specific round, Google translate, or a Russian (Cyrillic) / English dictionary may be worth the effort. I for one can only hope we see a translation at some point, because without it I see 2000 pages of enticement, that I am dying to be able to read, but cannot. To be reiterate, zero English text, no English chapter summaries, no English image labels, none. What you see in the photos is what you get.
Very few actual photos, none in colour, and for the most part, small. The images I attached are fairly representative of the contents.
No standard Westernised collector content that is discernible; by which I mean, NO headstamps or headstamp guide, no discernible lot/production information (other than in the text).
Overall, if you are interested in Russian ammunition of any era, it is likely worth the cost, but for me the Cyrillic type, and lack of English makes this a hugely frustrating work, like being locked out of a building you can only look into, and wanting to be inside. Frankly if they were to do even a condensed version in English I would buy another set, but as it is, 2000 pages of predominantly text is more agonizingly luring than I would have thought.
If you collect Russian ammunition, it is a must, but buy a Russian/English dictionary as well.