Kindle E-Books by McPherson

Besides the following listed books, I also have about 70 articles available through Kindle, as e-books.

These are easily accessible as downloads to a smart phone, tablet, or computer.

The necessary software is free to download a readable versions from Kindle.

This is easy, fast, and safe to do.

Those who do not want to learn how to download the software can probably find a teenager to do that for them!

Those who prefer a printed copy can send me the precise article name, a check for the kindle e-book price, and an e-mail address.  I will reply with an attached, printable document file — I ask only that the customer not share this file or any printed version of the document with others.

General Notes

The deluxe-color versions are more expensive, due to the cost of added printing time required to allow the ink on the brighter and more opaque paper to cure. These, have the advantage of showing more detail in the slightly brighter pictures. The standard-color versions use less expensive paper that absorbs the ink faster and so does not require added time for the ink to cure during printing. The black-and-white editions are more affordable and contain the same written information and pictures.

Many of these books are available electronically, from Kindle.

Zigzag Canyon*, these books all include a plethora of excellent photographs, carefully chosen to clarify the text. Most readers will likely find the color versions to be worth the extra cost because the pictures show details better. In any case, many of the pictures are eye candy to those interested in the subject.
* Zigzag Canyon includes 38 pictures showing places related to the story and details of the author’s lives during the period they were writing this book. Maps of the period locate places central to the story.

Brief descriptions of books available from McPherson



Including 26 articles, a humorous story, a poem, and an important essay on freedom, this book covers many subjects that serious marksmen, hunters, and gunsmiths will find interesting and useful.  While this collection is geared toward the general reader, some novices might find some of the subjects challenging, but equally educational.  From humor to the most serious issues of gun-handling safety, this compilation has something for every serious shooter.


This tome covers every aspect of the sporting arms primer, from manufacture to use.  It includes enough detail to give the interested reader a good working knowledge of sporting arms primers, in the following areas:

  • How primes are manufactured
  • How primers function
  • Variations among primer types
  • How primers interact with specific types of guns
  • How primers interact with specific types of propellant
  • Variations in how primers function, depending upon case design
  • Variations in how primes function, depending upon loading techniques

It covers safe primer handling and use.  It explains why primer substitutions result in a functionally new load.  It explains some of the reasons any such substitution can result in a more accurate, safe load, but sometimes a load that generates dangerous pressure, or that is otherwise unsafe for use.  Every handloader who cares about safety should own and study this book. Every handloader interested in getting the best accuracy out of his handloading efforts needs the information provided in this book.


The purpose of Down Range Data is to provide information and guidance toward getting on target at extremely long range when using a Sharps-style rifle with traditional iron sights.  Included are tables and calculation guidelines covering corrections for: spindrift, wind-deflection, and bullet drop.  Included trajectory tables cover loads launching typical buffalo-era bullets at typical black-powder velocities.  Significant chapters cover the history of long-range rifles, beginning with the Whitworth muzzle-loading rifle; a discussion of how effective that rifle was during the Civil War; how that rifle led to the 45-70 Springfield cambering; and other valuable tidbits serious shooters, marksmen, and historians will find interesting.  This book revolves around the events that occurred during the Second Battle of Adobe Walls, in June of 1874, and how Medal of Honor recipient, Billy Dixon, made a battle-ending shot at 7/8-mile.  It explains how Falin and friends have duplicated that shot.  And, it covers how they established a shooting range to honor Dixon, with the Official Billy Dixon Target at 1538 yards from the Billy Dixon Shooting Line.


In this compilation, McPherson covers every aspect of getting the most out of traditional lever-action guns, through modification, improvement, handloading, and shooting techniques. He chronicles his custom modifications of Marlin 1894 and 336-based guns, while building everything from a 17-caliber, quarter-MOA varmint rifle, based on the 1894 Marlin action, to the mighty 510 Kodiak express, which can generate more than 5100 foot-pounds of muzzle energy. He specialized in carbines as light as 4½-pounds, known by friends and customers alike as, Peggy rifles, in honor of the custom rifle he built for his late wife.
These collected works span three decades of gunsmithing, and document his perfection of the Marlin lever-action rifle.  This book includes his dissertation on personal freedom and understanding why that now exists in some places, if tenuously.
For completeness, it includes articles on: a custom 35 Whelen Ackley-Improved, Remington Pump; a custom 221 Fireball, 788 Remington; and, a photographic journal of the rifle he and a friend built to launch bullets faster than one-mile per second, with useful varminting accuracy, limited barrel heating, and long barrel life — case design matters!


This book includes a chapter describing how we went about packing into, camping in, and prospecting for The Lost Dustman Gold Mine in The Superstition Mountain Wilderness.  This is a fascinating account of something that is now lost to history.  Those interested in knowing what it was like to search for the legendary Lost Dutchman Gold Mine in what was, at that time, the most dangerous place in the United States, and a place where the Old West was still alive will find these accounts intriguing and thought provoking.


In this collection of articles, I have specialized in what, John Anderson, my late friend and former Editor of Varmint Hunter Magazine called, “The Minimalist Approach.”  John introduced me to the concept.  And, he gave me my first such gun, a Contender carbine barrel chambered for the 17 Ackley Hornet, a cartridge I have known about since my childhood.  In bygone days, such cartridges were best viewed as interesting curiosities.  Problems with barrel quality, bullet quality, and propellant fouling rendered the use of such a chambering so problematic that most folks just gave up and went back to their trusty 22-caliber chambered rifles, from 22 Long Rifle to 220 Swift.  The sub-caliber rounds just could not compete.  Well folks, starting about 1990, that all changed.  Barrel makers stepped up and began to offer premium-quality barrels that monumentally reduced the fouling problem and that shot good enough for any application — the late Benchrest guru and bullet maker, Walt Berber, competed effectively against 22-caliber and 6mm guns using a 17!  Then bullet makers got involved in a serious way, and we soon had efficient 17-caliber bullets that doubled the ranging potential of the 17-caliber — BC is King!  In the same era, several new propellants came on the market that are cleaner-burning and are far less sensitive to ambient temperature changes than the propellants we had formerly been limited to using.  The 17s had a reputation for being too sensitive to work with; tiny changes resulted in destroyed cases and inaccuracy.  That is simply no longer true.  Today, using the best barrels, components, and loading tools, we can create 17-caliber handloads that rival the accuracy and usefulness of any 22-caliber chambering.  Hornady’s factory 17 Hornet load is generally capable of close to half-MOA accuracy; I once shot 700 round of that ammo in one day without cleaning the gun, or needing to!  I ain’t your Granddad’s 17!  The advantages minimalist chamberings offer are so significant that many of us have completely retired all our other varminting rifles, and never looked back.


We’ve all experienced odd occurrences from time to time.  Did you ever lose your keys, only to find them lying in plain sight exactly where you’d looked only minutes before.  What causes such phenomena?  If the Car Key Gnomes are not responsible, who or what is?  And why are they doing such things?  We’ve all seen things we cannot easily explain.  Sometimes while talking with friends, someone might have a ghost story to tell or a discussion of strange lights in the sky might ensue.  Could all these things be related?  It seems that such discussions are generally concluded and shrugged off with words such as, “Anyway, it was really weird!”  Mic and I have shared dozens of such incidents.  In this book, we’ve included many of those weird experiences.  Fred Meyer, 2021The stories in this book are 100 percent true.  I know this because I was there for some of it.  I’ve heard these accounts, from Fred, Mic, and others.  The stories they told me over the years had not been embellished.  Matter of fact, they weren’t changed hardly at all from one man telling the story to another man telling the same story.  These Men, who continued to brave the Spirits and elements and danger in The Superstition Mountains, should have your utmost respect.  I knew many brave and strong men who decided not to go back after they experienced some of these things just one time!  I’ve known Fred and Mic since childhood.  Never have I known them to be dishonest, or to lie or cheat, nor even steal.  They’re both above average intellectually, the very definition of Intelligence.  You can trust what they say.  Therefore, you can be certain the things told about in this book were experienced and survived by the authors and the men they chose to take into The Superstition Mountains with them, to do battle with that unholy place.  Some of the stories I have heard from these men are unlike anything we experience on a daily basis.  Reading these accounts makes me long for my youth, so I could experience those phenomenal days in The Superstition Mountains just one more time.  Terry Brewer, 2021


This collection centers on shooting and hunting experiences of the author, his family, and his friends.  The theme revolves around the famous long shot made by Medal of Honor recipient, Billy Dixon, at The Battle of Adobe Walls, in 1874.  In 1995, the author and a friend began discussing how to go about proving just how likely it was that Dixon had some hope of making a shot at 7/8 mile.  In 2020, the author and another friend made six hits out of eleven shots on the Official Friends of Billy Dixon Target.  For that, they used a borrowed 1874 Sharps rifle, which is reminiscent of Dixon using a borrowed 1874 Sharps rifle to make his famous shot.  Between these stories, McPherson chronicles interesting shooting experiences he has been involved with, while working to learn the accuracy limits of both antique and modern guns and ammunition.  And, he shares some poignant family history, interspersed with the accounts of interesting hunts.  Serious shooters, handloaders, gun tinkers, and hunters will likely agree that these stories offer more to ponder than the typical, me and Joe went hunting, accounts do.


Honored as its Book of the Year by The Zane Gray Western Society, this book tells the compelling story about the interactions between Apaches of eastern Arizona, Mexican settlers, Mountain Men, and Anglo prospectors. It tells about a fabulously rich placer mine, the prospectors who discovered it, those who died there, and others who spent their lives trying to rediscover all that gold.  Fair warning, once you start reading, this book is hard to put down.  It is also offered in a Large Font version, in honor of the Co-Author’s late wife, Peggy.


The bible on the Art of handloading, the sub-title, Pursuit of the Perfect Cartridge, well explains the purpose and content of this book.  Covering every aspect of handloading in precise detail, the author dispels many misconceptions that have been widely parroted among gun writers, and offers correct information on those subjects.  This is not a loading data manual, such information is widely available elsewhere and there is literally no point in rehashing that data.  Rather, the purpose of this book is to offer details that will help serious handloaders safely enjoy loading ammunition that will fill their shooting needs better than any factory load can.  While the theme concentrates on improving ammunition accuracy, the discussions also cover the creation of ammunition that better fills the handloader’s needs, in terms of bullet performance and other important aspects.

Available through standard book dealers and directly from the author.


Now a sought-after collector’s item among serious gun folks who are also bibliophiles, this book started as a discussion of how to improve rifles, other than the ubiquitous bolt-action.  It morphed into something akin to the home tinkers guide to improving any factory rifle.  And, while it was still in print (sadly, the plates were destroyed in a fire!), it became the introductory book for practically every gunsmithing school worldwide, where the students spoke English, which included schools all over Europe.  If you are interested in improving the accuracy and usefulness of your rifle, or if you are interested in understanding what your custom gunsmith might be doing to improve your rifle, this book is the recognized source for such information.  Used copies have sold for far more than the price listed here!

The few remaining copies available through the author, and as collectables.