During the mid-19th century, the U.S. military finally phased out the long dominant smoothbore flintlock musket in favor of rifled weapons. Arms scholar John Willyard has written an insightful treatise on the various firearms and edged weapons adopted that year, titled U.S. Model 1855 Series of Small Arms (Mowbray Publishing, $53.95). Accompanying the detailed descriptions of the features and markings on the M-1855 Rifle Carbine, Pistol Carbine, Rifle Musket and Cadet Rifle Musket, along with sword and socket bayonets, accessories and more, are 580 color photographs. This 224-page, 8½ by 11-inch hardcover work offers never-before-seen detailed studies of these arms and is invaluable to firearms collectors, historians and students.
—Phil Spangenberger, True West’s Firearms Editor