There is a small but growing genre out there that exists in the intersection between history, mechanical engineering, and the intrigue that often surrounds the world of small arms weapons manufacturing. Let’s be honest with ourselves for a moment, as current and former Soldiers and Law Enforcement Officers, there is a tremendous amount of misinformation, exaggerated claims, and just plain BS all around the skill sets that are part and parcel to our line of work. Three of the big ones that I hear the most nonsense about are hand to hand combat, physical fitness, and yes, firearms of every type. It doesn’t help matters that many periodicals and publishers put out material that does a disservice to the men and women involved in this issues and who need accurate information.
Yeah, I’m looking at you, British journalists who have a childishly superficial view towards modern firearms.
If you want to read a book written by a couple professionals who have the experience and technical background to write about weapons, combined with solid research, pick up “The Mac Man” written by Frank Iannamico and Don Thomas.
I just finished reading this 500 page book and it is comprehensive to say the least!
Much like Kalashnikov, Gordon Ingram was largely inspired by his World War Two service to start designing his own weapons. Gordon crossed paths with many colorful characters in and out of the military as it turns out, such as Sergeant Rudolph Bolter, who fought for the Kaiser during the First World War, and later immigrated to the US and was one of Gordon’s machine gun instructors at Ft. Benning. Bolter also fought in the Congo with the Belgian Army, Spain with the Republicans, and later with the IRA in Northern Ireland.
The Mac Man follows Gordon’s entire career as a weapons designer and engineer while including hundreds of photographs and technical details about the submachine guns he developed, mostly the Ingram MAC-10 and MAC-11.
While Gordon seems like a straight shooter, he unfortunately made some very poor business decisions, particularly in choosing who to take on as business partners. Time and time again, Gordon got cheated out of the profits that were derived from his hard work and innovation. Despite jet-setting all over the world, pitching and selling his weapons, he experienced few successes during his lifetime. More often than not, it was some fat cat on the board of directors that walked away with a six-figure salary.
But there is so much more in The Mac Man. MAC representatives nearly shoot none other than The Duke during a weapons demonstration. Former OSS man and CIA asset Mitch Werbell demonstrates the MAC-10 suppressor by firing into a stack of phone books with room service waiting just outside the door. The MAC operational briefcase, The MAC M10 grenade launcher, CIA power plays, ATF interference, and much more is detailed in this encyclopedia of the MAC-10 and the cast of characters that surrounded this weapon. There is just to much to summarize in one review.
My only complaint is that I wish the authors had gone a little farther in a few select portions of the book. At one point they mention that MAC got a new CEO who was seriously connected with the CIA, but who? Some shadowy Wall Street investors from The Quantum Corporation provided financial backing for MAC and Sionics, but who were these people really? Perhaps these questions are beyond the purview of this book, but I sure wanted to know!
At any rate, I can’t recommend The Mac Man enough. With a dust jacket that was designed by none other than Gordon Ingram’s daughter, this is one of the most well done books I’ve seen in a few years. Frank and Don did their homework and really delivered a great product that gun enthusiasts and researchers will be referencing for years to come.
The Mac Man can be purchased at www.smallarmsoftheworld.com