Like a kid unwrapping that first package under the Christmas tree, when the manila envelope arrived last week and I opened it up, I couldn’t wait to go hide away from phone and computer and start reading. No, I hadn’t won the lottery. Instead, it was my copy of Gun Digest 2017, 71st Edition. For 71 years Gun Digest has been a go-to resource for information on the latest guns and related gear. This edition does not disappoint. In it I found a collection of fascinating articles by some of the biggest names in gun writing covering all categories of rifles, handguns and shotguns. It’s the ultimate collection of firearms information in print today.

Gun Digest 2017, 71st Edition editor Jerry Lee is one of the most knowledgeable gun writers around today. A friend for decades, Lee has been editor of several major firearms publications including Guns Magazine, Handguns, Rifle Shooter and many Guns & Ammo special issues. He has also contributed to the online edition of American Rifleman and is the administrator of the Guns & Ammo online forum. In addition to Gun Digest, he is editor of Standard Catalog of Firearms, author of Standard Catalog of Ruger Firearms and past contributing editor of Modern Gun Values. This is his fifth edition as editor of Gun Digest. Saying Jerry knows his stuff is like saying the sun rises in the east — a classic understatement.

In addition to a seemingly never-ending catalog of firearms and ammunition, there are several feature articles inside on topics ranging from the latest gun news, insights on historical arms, reports on advanced ammunition components, and more. There are also new ballistics tables and a catalog of new firearms. This year’s “Testfire” department covers the Ruger American Pistol, Smith & Wesson MP-10 .308 Rifle, Ruger Redhawk .45 Colt/.45 ACP Revolver, Sharps .25-45 AR and Charter Arms Pitbull .45 ACP.

If you’re a “gun guy” — or even if you’re just someone who wants to learn more about firearms, ammunition, and the history of — Gun Digest 2017, 71st Edition is a tremendous resource. The MSRP is $35.99, but I saw it recently on www.amazon.com for $15.08. It’s also available in at select retailers and book stores and www.barnesandnoble.com.