View Full Version : In the Beginning...

Bent Ramrod
10-18-2017, 05:10 PM
I had a Literature professor in College who constantly told us that as a student he was headed for a career in Physics when he came across a copy of Moby Dick. He read it, he said, and it "changed my Life." He changed his Major from Physics to Literature, and never looked back.

"I decided that instead of building better H-Bombs, I'd work toward a world that might be able to do without H-Bombs," he would say, solemnly.

(I don't mean to cast any aspersions on my old Lit Prof that I didn't come in line for myself, back then. It was a new University in the Sixties, and many of our teachers were only a few years older than us students. We were all plenty brainless and Idealistic and we all took ourselves way, WAY too seriously. But I would venture to say in hindsight, that the current world doesn't seem to have any fewer or less efficient H-Bombs than it did back then, for all the extra literary appreciation in the meantime.)

But I was bemused by the first sentence especially. We, of course, had to read Moby Dick, with comprehension, and I decided I liked the Movie better, though of course, I didn't voice this opinion in our Discussions. But, I did read it, every word, and for the life of me could not imagine how the stilted, overblown, convoluted nineteenth-century narration that obfuscated what I thought was otherwise a pretty decent adventure yarn could "change somebody's Life."

A few years later, as a starving Graduate Student on the scout for cheap thrills, I went into the University of Arizona Library, which had a great collection of basic Americana, and found this tome:


And I read it and I suddenly knew exactly what my old Prof meant. In the parlance of the times (or slightly earlier), I was Sent, man! I've never been the same since.

I think if Sharpe's book had merely been a compendium of loading recipes, it might not have had the effect it did on me. Would have been more like a cookbook; only as interesting as the most interesting recipe. But Sharpe went into the mechanics of everything handloading related: manufacture of powders, primers, bullets, making and use of tools, history, personalities, and so forth. That was it for me; the start of a path that led to shelves full of books, a safe full of guns, benches, shelves and drawers full of loading tools, components and stuff and never for a moment being jaded or bored with any of it. "It Changed my Life!!"

10-18-2017, 05:24 PM
Dave, that is great, I could use a two page review for the December Journal, you in for it?


10-18-2017, 05:53 PM
GONRA purchased Sharp's book "back in the day" and learned a lot. If you ever find a copy - get it.

Bent Ramrod
10-18-2017, 10:32 PM

You want a review of Sharpe's Complete Guide to Handloading? I could try it; may take some doing to pooch it out to two pages. It has been done, after all.

10-19-2017, 10:01 AM

You want a review of Sharpe's Complete Guide to Handloading? I could try it; may take some doing to pooch it out to two pages. It has been done, after all.

If you can get it started I can flesh it out. I have all four editions to work from.

Bent Ramrod
10-19-2017, 12:15 PM
OK, Iíll give it a shot.

Iíll put the elements of my first post into it.

10-20-2017, 06:32 AM
Thank you!

John Boy
10-23-2017, 12:06 PM
Sitting on my reference shelves are the 1937 and1949 versions of Phil's books. As a reference source, there are none better except the parent cartridge conversion table and the SAMMI files. As for it being a cookbook, the reloading data is my go to for the calibers of the 1800's and early 1900's that cannot be found in nearly any current references, especially bullet weight specific

11-03-2017, 11:08 PM
There are 2 books Every handloader should have
Phill Sharps Book
P.O. Ackley 2 vol Set.
I have heard all The Pro&cons, Out dated, Old powder Old equipment.
Sit down and read the books