Why do out-of-print books have to be so expensive?

I finally found the title and author of a book about the development and adoption of the M16 rifle that I’d read in high school (thanks to the helpful staff at the Anadarko Public Library, who tracked down the book that was still on their shelves).

It’s The Great Rifle Controversy: Search for the Ultimate Infantry Weapon from World War II Through Vietnam and Beyond by Edward Clinton Ezell.

Unfortunately, I can’t find a used copy for any less than $120 (looking on Amazon and Abebooks). It will just have to go on my “pick it up one of these days” list, and I’ll continue to look for a cheaper copy.

Update: I did manage to pick up a copy of The Black Rifle: M16 Retrospective last week, written by Ezell and Stevens. If you haven’t figured it out yet, I’m building an AR-15.

4 thoughts on “Why do out-of-print books have to be so expensive?

  1. Have you read “AK-47: The weapon that changed the face of war”? It has a long chapter about the development of the M-16 which I read online a while ago. Obviously, the author is deeply contemptuous of the M-16 and more than a little bit biased, but my co-worker who ditched his M-16 in Viet Nam and carried an AK-47 thought it was a pretty good summary.

  2. To answer the question…

    Because. They can be. Bend over, take it, etc. You know the drill. This is America, man. 😉

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