View Full Version : Early Handloading Books such as Handloading Ammunition by Mattern (1926)

12-02-2020, 10:24 PM
I enjoy reading these for the historical aspect of this. Such as "Handloading Ammunition" by J R Mattern, published in 1926. I would certainly never load using the data in them but the prose part is of interest. Any other early recommended titles perhaps going back as far as the 19th Century?

I should mention I stumbled across this at a flea market many years ago.

I also already have Phil Sharpe's book.

12-02-2020, 10:38 PM
Sharpe has 3 or 4 editions. I would look for Nonte and the P.O. Ackerly set and there are many others. Search AbeBooks for "reloading" and there will be several interesting titles that pop up.

12-03-2020, 12:20 AM
I see no problem using data from old books as long as it’s a powder that was available then and still available now. Text something like unique. It’s been virtually the same powder for 100 years or more. If my memory serves me correctly( if being the real question lol). I believe it actually has its origins back to the late 1800s early 1900s.

12-03-2020, 07:51 AM
The old Belding&Mull and Ideal handbooks are good reading

12-04-2020, 08:54 PM
Wolfe Publishing of Prescott, AZ, Handloader, Rifle magazines, reprinted a whole lot of those books in the '80's. They oifferd a limited printing of a certain number of books. I bought them all. You might check that for a source.

12-05-2020, 04:47 PM
Cornell Publications is an excellent source for long out-of-print shooting and reloading books and manuals. They're all scans and reprints, and not exactly "museum quality" reproductions, but they provide an affordable alternative to scarce, fragile, and sometimes pricey originals.


Bent Ramrod
12-06-2020, 03:42 PM
As far as I can find, Mattern’s was the first book on handloading that covered all the tools, techniques, commercial offerings, caliber peculiarities and general issues involved in the process. The Handbooks were specific to the offerings of the companies that made the tools.

For any earlier material, you’d need to go to the periodicals of the time. Gould, Harwood, Mattern, Whelen, Landis and others reviewed tools, techniques and loads in the magazines of the era. Shooting and Fishing covered a lot of nineteenth-century cartridge development and loadings, and the whole file has been reprinted. There are many issues of Arms and the Man on-Line, and some of the bigger libraries might have Outdoor Life, National Sportsman or Outer’s Book. The persistent searcher can gather a file of the articles, although it’s rather fatiguing; especially Arms and the Man, which is pretty much WWI-era military shooting and developments. A few nuggets in a lot of dross and ephemera, although CAPT Crossman’s reports of the matches and scores he participated in are always pretty good. He was the Bob Hope of the shooting sports.

American Rifleman of the 20s-30s has a lot of such material as well, but that was after Mattern’s book came out.

12-06-2020, 04:40 PM
I'm sure I still have it somewhere,,
the Hornady reloading manual from the 1970's,, every few pages there was some gun related anecdote story??

I just looked, it was "Volume II",, and it had a little story for each cartridge,,
You might not reload it, but, it was fun to read something about each cartridge,,

12-10-2020, 08:49 AM
Check your PMs with offer....dale

12-15-2020, 05:20 PM
Check your PMs with offer....dale

Thank you! Went to respond but lost message. In any event, thank you for the offer, but Nonte (1972) was much later than the time frame I am researching.

John Boy
12-31-2020, 04:26 PM
Two Masters, Metford and Halford 1800’s ... have both of their books http://www.researchpress.co.uk/index.php/firearms/ammunition/metford-bullet-alloys?fbclid=IwAR3tFz5NOVrlEvdsuTB2FKadzYbY3oXT9-_BS1pT_2_W5K_yK6j9cTM7eGw