Sitting around the Press Room at the SHOT Show, you always have the opportunity to talk to several authors, videographers, and other folks who have interesting products.  I always come away with a couple of things to review, and this past show was no different.

One such product was a DVD from Impressum Media, Inc., called The Firearms Multimedia Guide.  On the disc is a searchable database of over 41,ooo models of firearms and ammo.  They bill the Guide as “the most extensive firearms reference guide in the world,” and I don’t doubt it.  I know I’ve never seen anything quite like it… at least not in this format.

The search feature is really pretty well-designed, allowing the user to put in up to 14 search criteria.  You can search as detailed or as high-level as you want, depending on what you are trying to find.  The data set includes almost anything you’d want to know about a specific gun, right down to the current MSRP.  Also, for every gun you select, you can also find a list of available ammunition, complete with ballistics charts. 

At first, I gave a lot of thought to what use something like this would serve.  I mean, it’s really cool and everything, but what would I do with it?  I suppose if I were shopping for something fairly obscure or really high-end, it would be handy for that.  They do have some pretty cool stuff listed in there, including a bunch of bespoke guns that you won’t find listed in most of the gun books. 

The real value of this DVD and database would be for the writer who needs access to detailed info about various guns and ammunition.  Whether you’re writing a hunting article or a spy novel, you can get accurate and detailed information about all sorts of guns.  I have seen way too many novels, movies, and TV shows that could absolutely benefit from this kind of info as well. 

Overall, it’s a pretty neat tool.  If I had any concerns, it’s that as far as I can tell, the only way to update the database is to buy the new version every year or two.  With an MSRP of $29.99, that’s not a terribly big imposition, but it’s something to keep in mind, considering the never-ending evolution of the firearms industry.

In short, if you’re a hunting or shooting writer, or if you (or someone you know) plans to include guns and ammo in stories, novels, or scripts, this could be the perfect reference tool.  It’s simple to use, relatively inexpensive, and loaded with a huge array of guns and ammo.