Saturday, January 17, 2009

Cartridges of the World

I picked up a book recently entitled Cartridges of the World – it’s in its 11th Edition, and at first blush seems to be an invaluable reference for anyone into hand loading, obscure firearms, obsolete cartridges, wildcat cartridges, or military surplus rifles. The book is part reloading guide and part comprehensive look at the various existing and obsolete smokeless powder and black powder metallic cartridges which have been used over the years.

I picked up the book largely because I’m working to duplicate military loads for my World War II vintage firearm collection. For bolt actions like the Mosin Nagant or even early Arisakas with their high quality workmanship, I’m generally not worried about damaging the firearm, but for more fragile weapons like the Soviet semi-automatic SVT – damage to the gun is a concern. Another concern for me is that the sights on these weapons are set for the standard military load used at the time. The more accurately I can reproduce that load, the more accurate I can be with the rifle.

According to the cover the volume covers over 1500 cartridges, and after flipping through it, I believe it. For many cartridges some reloading data is provided, although the reloading data is not comprehensive. Generally only one powder level will be given for each bullet weight, so it won’t take the place of a more comprehensive reloading guide. For other cartridges, only the performance data is given. However, some of the cartridges provided are so obscure (including both Japanese Murata cartridges and a host of obsolete blackpowder loads), I can easily forgive the lack of reloading data. Over all it’s a great reference that I can heartily recommend to any serious reloader. The ISBN-10 is 0-89689-297-2, and the ISBN-13 is 978-0-89689-297-2.

Until next time!!!

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