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Thread: Phil Sharpe

  1. #21

    Pressman's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008
    In the Gopher State of Minnesota
    I have a signed first edition, a 1942 edition, 1949 edition and 1953 edition. Each has the same primary text differing in the new stuff addendum. For good research having all four is necessary as they have information the others don't have.
    Antique Reloading Tool Collector, Historian and Writer
    Newsletter editor: Antique Reloading Tool Collectors Association
    Archive manager, Antique Reloading Tool Collectors Association
    email: herters@netins.net

  2. #22
    Boolit Buddy
    Join Date
    Dec 2018
    Upstate NY
    I have read many of the old tomes, and yes it seems that a lot of folks were professing authority and stature; go big or go home l guess. Otherwise, Who would even listen let alone publish?

  3. #23
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    May 2012
    South Texas
    I have 2 1st editions of this classic. He was a raging alcoholic and Elmer Keith used to call him "little" Phil!

  4. #24
    Boolit Master

    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Alturas, California...where the west still lives!
    Quote Originally Posted by pwc View Post
    Sounds kinda' like "Second Hand Lion"....I like it.
    I actually laughed out loud at that...........because you're right! It's also one of my favorite movies. Never thought about the connection to old Igor though. Thanks for the thought!

  5. #25
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Kaneohe, HI
    I think I have two of them.
    Not sure how it happened, or if I still have both.
    Way to much stuff to keep track of.
    I wish I were better organ-nized.

  6. #26
    Boolit Buddy Jim22's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2020
    Eastern Washington
    I have two reprints of Sharpe's books: 'Complete Guide To Reloading', and 'The Rifle In America'. Both were reprinted in the '80's by Wolfe Publishing. They offered a 'Book of the month' or some thing. I signed up and have all they reprinted. Sharpe's books are the largest of the group and the ones I never read. Others by writers like Selous, Whelan, and Elmer Keith have turned out to be very interesting. Selous wrote about hunting in the copper mine region of Alaska. Seems to me he favored the .280 Ross rifle.

  7. #27
    Boolit Buddy
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    "Elmer Keith, George Leonard Herter, Ken Howell and COL Jeff Cooper all come off as pretty self-centered in their writing, too, and even Jack O’Connor gets that way sometimes."

    Just got thru reading some of O'connor's stuff. He said if he were in charge he would outlaw the use of the 30-30 for elk as it usually just wounded rather than killed the animals. Later in the book he teaches how to shoot running game at 300 yards.

  8. #28
    Boolit Mold
    Join Date
    Mar 2020
    I met Mr. Sharpe, he lived outside of Emmitsburg, Md. I was 12 or 13. I tried to sight in a 98 Mauser in military trim. Shot all my ammo and it was Sun, stores were closed back then. Deer season started the next day. I had read an article about him in the local paper. My mother drove me up to his place. I knocked on the door, Mr. Sharpe answered. I ask if I could buy some 8mm ammo, he looked at me and said "I'm not a damn store" and slammed the door shut. I always remember him whenever I pick up his book.

  9. #29
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Quote Originally Posted by ascast View Post
    3006guns - I meant to mention you in my post - got sidetracked. and while I'm kicking a dead dog, what does the 7x61 Sharpe do that a dozen or more others commonly available won't do? Every body else was going to a smaller case with same performance.
    I recall (frequently) some mention of a bullet being "patched" by having copper wire wrapped around the bullet. to make a 22cal a 45 cal. or some such. He seemed very impressed by this idea and commented he expected it to be come common place. Maybe he was being sarcastic.

    I still think it's a good read, with salt handy.
    The 7x61 Sharpe & Hart is ballistically so close to the 7mm Remington Magnum that any differences are more of a textbook nature than real. The 7x61 has slightly less case capacity than the 7mm Rem. Magnum and is a bit more efficient - pretty much another academic point. However, the 7x61 was introduced eight or ten years before the Remington cartridge, so it had a good bit to offer at the time for a commercial round. A number of custom gunsmiths were offering the S&H chambering as well, so it did enjoy at least modest success for a short time.

    The 7mm Weatherby Magnum had been around since the '40s and it did provide a little better performance than Sharpe's cartridge. Today, there may be a "dozen or more" commonly available cartridges that will do what the 7x61 does, but when it was introduced that wasn't close to being true.

  10. #30
    Boolit Grand Master
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    South Jersey
    Have 2 editions and they have been found invaluable for reloading data for the old single shots in the safe

  11. #31
    Boolit Master Shawlerbrook's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2015
    Central NY
    Many leaders in different fields are self centered egomaniacs. Itís like the chicken and egg....are they egotistical because they are sages or did the ego help make them leaders. PO Ackley was known as an extreme self promoter. Thomas Edison was the same way. I think we should admire these peopleís work, not the people themselves. As an aside, one should always take historical reloading data with caution.

  12. #32
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Quote Originally Posted by 3006guns View Post
    I'm probably going to get flamed for this, but I'll go ahead anyway........

    Back in the early eighties, I had the finest mentor on firearms any man could wish for. He had a fascinating personal history, ranging from his parents.....father in the Czarist army, mother a pianist and teacher....to his escapades with the O.S.S. in WWII and later the CIA in the early fifties. I was in my early forties when I met him and thought I knew a lot about firearms and shooting. As I found out, I didn't know squat. I learned to keep my big mouth shut and listen, thus picking up more technical and historical information than I knew existed. Why was I so fascinated? Because this man was THERE. For example in his closet was a Nazi pith helmet, complete with swastika....a little souvenir of his march "up the boot" during the Italian campaign. Other items included a sheik's head piece, German stick grenade and on and on. He passed away just as the Soviet Union collapsed and, on his death bed, smiled. He hated Communists due to the murder of his entire family in 1917, including his aged grandmother. His name was Igor, and I have always been grateful to know him and refer to him as my "mentor".

    I have the same book. I mentioned it to my mentor many years ago and his reaction was NOT what I expected. He told me that he met Phil Sharpe on one occasion and that Sharpe's entire personality was wrapped around "me, me, me". He said "As I walked into Sharpe's office he leaned back in his office chair, placed his finger tips together and with chin elevated and a rather haughty attitude asked '..and just how may I help YOU?' If I knew then what I know now, I would have told that arrogant **** off right then and there."

    Okay, so we have some kind of personality dispute from long ago. What's the big deal? Well, when you have someone that knows "everything" they are bound to give out incorrect information, and dare you to challenge their massive wisdom. After all, they know it ALL.

    Look through the book at sections written by "guest" authors, i.e. authors that Sharpe invited to contribute to the book. In almost EVERY case, you will find a bracketed section in the middle by Sharpe saying something like "This author agrees completely. I have tested many rounds and come to the same conclusion!" Really Phil? So, why did you bother to ask for a contribution from someone else, only to insert your own comments? Rather arrogant don't you think old boy?

    Take a look at the section on "foreign rifles". The evaluation of the Japanese Arisakas was written by another author and, again, Phil sticks his two bits worth in though with a statement (paraphrased) like this "This author agrees. These foreign rifles are mostly junk and better hung on the wall!" The words "mostly junk" leave me cold since every bolt action military rifle I've examined are of good quality, designed to best engineering of the day and designed to defend against enemies....and as we all know, the type 38 and 99 Japanese rifles are about the toughest guns ever built.

    I'll continue to treasure my copy of Sharpe's book, along with all the others I have. But he sure wouldn't be my "go to" expert on anything.

    Now, Sharpe's book is full of interesting information on pre and post war reloading equipment, load data (all obsolete) and was obviously put together by someone who's done a lot with firearms. But his rather snotty writing style I can do without.
    When you were describing your mentor, Igor, I was sure you were going to say Mitch Werbell. Werbell's life nearly matched Igor's. His father was a Cossack in the Czar's army, he was in World War Two and in the OSS. Was an advisor to militaries and was in Vietnam before hardly any Americans had ever even heard of it. Needless to say he also hated communists and would travel anywhere in the world to fight against them.

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Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check