Here, in a vastly expanded treatment of the subject, Wieland provides a completely updated guide to the guns and gunmakers of the Basque Country, reliving history, going inside manufacturing facilities, discussing design and assembly, touring the region, and sampling its food, wine, and warmth. This time, there are more than 150 color photographs to accompany the text and show precisely how the guns and workrooms look. There are three new maps, as well, including one that will allow visitors to navigate Eibar like a seasoned veteran.
It's the experience . . . fine guns and the Basque people!
By Mckinley Lawson on May 05, 2005
One can little criticize the author for including information about Spanish history, the Basque people, and the Eibar region. Many among us are drawn to fine guns out of appreciation for things inherently beautiful and also from a sense of subtle but ever-present wanderlust--thoughts of carrying a Spanish best afield in some special corner of the earth where the only sounds to be heard are the chime of bellota barrels and the whistling of wings. And it is savoring the moment and relishing in the tradition that makes it all worthwhile. Yet tradition embraces not just the details of the tool but also the history of its creator.Spanish Best captures the essence of it all with handsome, gloss, color pictures and sufficient detail to do the Spanish doublegun justice. Perhaps in future editions, the author will include more great images of the guns and the region, but hopefully not at the price of omitting historical details that make one's quest for a fine side-by-side so memorable.
By Walter T. Duryea on Nov 28, 2012
This book, although used, was as the sellers described, in excellent condition, it arrived promptly and I devoured it in a few days. For anyone interested in the history of fine gun making in the Basque area of Spain, this is a superb primer.
Indeed the best.
By T. Warren on Sep 17, 2009
Spanish shotguns are very hard to track. Mr. Weiland has certainly done his homework. This book is not only about the guns, but the Spanish culture in this region as well. I highly recommend it.
More than a book about great guns
A Customer on Apr 26, 1998
Terry Wieland's book is a thoughtful and thorough analysis of the Spanish gunmaking trade. Spanish guns enjoy a spotty reputation in North America and this book helps consumers determine between the quality Spanish guns and the rest. It is also reviews the history of the Basque people and is an invaluable reference should one entertain the idea of going to Spain to order a shotgun. I have visited Eibar and toured the gunmakers and having a copy of this book made the trip much more enjoyable. In some respects, Spanish Best is also a good travel book because Wieland describes the local customs and notes interesting places to visit (San Sebastian and Guernika). Having been to Eibar, I can attest that his descriptions of the gun makers, local people, the Hotel Arrate and the restaurant Chalcha are impressively accurate. I understand that a second edition is in the works and I look forward to it with great anticipation.
Best Source for Eibar Shotguns
By Samuel B. Stephens on Jul 20, 2007
This single volume contains a wealth of information about the history, development and current status of all the famed gunmakers of Eibar and the surrounding region. First hand interviews with key personnel in each company add in house credibility to his analysis. I:t ius a must have for the serious collector.
Dining On Spanish Best Thru A Full Palette of Tapas
By Thomas Edwards on Apr 26, 2009
...there are few books that are able to transport one to another time, to another place...terry wieland's "Spanish Best, The Fine Shotguns of Spain" (2nd ed.) is one such book... ...like the traditional tapas appetizers that are served to whet the appetite for an anticipated evening meal, but that, ultimately, serve as the meal itself, terry's book touches on all facets which, ultimately, conspire to produce the foundations for a 'spanish best': historical, geographical, cultural and political...and, of course, the gleaming basque edifices themselves, the houses of the master gunmakers: sarasqueta (the late), aya, arrieta, arrizabalaga, garbi, grulla, kemen and ugartecha... ...spanish best guns, as memorialized visually and literarily, in a spanish best book...and, especially, for those who need not travel to liege, suhl, brescia - or eibar - to celebrate in the sport of kings...5 stars...
By Tuck Rion on Jul 31, 2007
If you like learning about "best guns" this book is a must! It is the authority on the finest shotguns made in Spain. Very informative and lots of pictures. A+++++ reading for the informed shotgunner!
A worthwhile purchase.
By Kerryman on Jun 22, 2007
"Spanish Best" - The Fine Shotguns of Spain. Second edition. Despite some minor faults, this is a very worthwhile book, both an enjoyable read and an informative source of reference. It details the recent history of Spanish gunmaking in its capital - Eibar, and its surrounding area. It also contains a tourist guide for a first-time visitor there. Illustrated with a large number of colour plates, most beautiful and many showing the quality of the fine gunsmithing available in Spain. It is competently written by a writer who has a deep knowledge of the Spanish gun trade and who clearly loves his topic. All the key aspects of current Spanish shotgun manufacture are detailed, in addition to history, materials and general information. The editing leaves a little to be desired and the title choice is unfortunate, as the writer covers far more than "Spanish Best" shotguns, including among other topics a brief chapter on Spanish express rifles. The book appears aimed primarily at the American aficionado and, while it takes for granted that the nuances of a Kersten fastener or the Bessemer process are understood, it assumes that the reader has no knowledge of Spain or the Basque region, no Spanish language skills and no knowledge of Spanish history or culture. It gives a potted history of Spain's Basque Region, its food, politics and the Spanish Civil War, which, while succinct and as accurate as broad brush-strokes can be, intrudes somewhat on the flow of the book and contributes little to the narrative. Indeed, any future edition would be better off with this information moved to an appendix. Any intending traveller would be better off buying appropriate travel guides for the region (e.g. Michelin Green Guide), though it is best not to expect too much by way of information on Eibar, a minor town with nothing to interest the casual tourist. All the main manufacturers are covered, in a very egalitarian fashion, with about 15 pages devoted to each, be they Arrizabalaga, Arrieta, Grulla or AyA. An owner, like this reviewer, of an Arrizabalaga, judged by many to be the "Spanish Best," will not be disappointed but may wonder why they do not warrant more space. Kemen merits only five pages, but then its products and history are more recent. For some readers the book will lack definitive opinion such as why some artisans follow specific designs, or why a Purdey or Holland patent is preferred to a Boss (or the contrary.) Throughout, the book is sprinkled with many interesting details, contrasting, for example, the English and Spanish approach to machinery, the manufacturing process and its timespan. Generally, books on guns can be divided into those for the educated shooter and those for the gun freak. Educated shooters have the "eye" to recognise beauty and are sufficiently technically proficient to understand and appreciate quality workmanship. The gun freak is an obsessive type, prepared to argue forcefully and at length about such matters as the correct number of pins for a sidelock, the procedure for an oil-rubbed stock finish, or discourse on the best type of bone to provide case-colours. Although this book falls into the category for the former, both will find sufficient to interest them. However, there are no secret recipes or processes divulged, nor are the technicana of engraving nor stock checkering discussed in any significant detail. The forty or so pages of appendices include a bibliography and a useful dictionary of the various gun parts with diagrams, both English/Spanish and Spanish/English, all of which will facilitate and educate the speaker of basic Spanish. Serial numbers, dates of manufacture and proof marks are also covered. Also, there are essays on buying a gun and gun fit. Despite its few shortcomings, this book is an informative and enjoyable read and in my view definitely merits a place in the library of any keen shot. It certainly would make a very welcome present for the owner of any Spanish gun, particularly a Spanish Best.
Well worth the price to upgrade to the 2nd Edition
By Steve F on May 14, 2008
The generally rave reviews are accurate, this is a first class book. I just wanted to add that the 2nd Edition is a notable upgrade over the 1st Edition. The newer edition contains more information with more photos than the 1st Edition. Even the quality of the paper used is better. I bought the 1st Edition early on, and was hesitant to spring for the 2nd Edition, but it's well worth the price. Of course, if you haven't bought the book at all, what are you waiting for? A classic among gun books.
By Pascal Vanelderen on Jul 24, 2005
The author obviously is an affi