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Thread: P.O.Ackly Pocket manual

  1. #1
    Boolit Master
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    P.O.Ackly Pocket manual

    Texas by God posted a booklet entitled "Pocket Manual for Shooters and Reloaders" in the pay-it forward section which I claimed. I got it in the mail today and the first chapter deals with actions suitable for the basis of a custom-built rifle. The first action he mentioned (at length) was the Mauser. This really woke me up, as I am a fan of the Mauser, both as a mil-surplus, and as a foundation for a custom- built rifle.

    As I read more into the book, I am liking this book more and more. It has a wealth of information starting with the introduction.

    You may wonder why I posted this in this section of the forum, but this book has a wealth of information about reloading.

    I believe that a good reloading manual is the FIRST TOOL that any reloader should obtain. Second is probably to join this forum. There is so much information here that a person could literally learn reloading from what people have shared here.

    This particular booklet was first published in 1964, but so far as I have read, it has a lot of information still pertinent to today.

    I wish to give "Texas" a big thank-you as this is going to be a really handy reference. I've been reloading for many years and in this book, I have already learned (maybe re-learned) some very important procedures that are not covered in the standard manuals.

    This is appearing to be a really good tool on my bench.

  2. #2
    Have the book along with his Volume 1 and Volume 2 reloading guides. Ackley was a genius and visionary. All he wrote is worth reading.
    For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions

  3. #3
    Boolit Buddy WarEagleEd's Avatar
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    That was a nice PIF. I saw it but not until after you claimed it (you snooze you lose). Cornell Publications offers a reprint of the book at a reasonable price (though you can't beat free).

  4. #4
    Boolit Grand Master Char-Gar's Avatar
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    I was and still am a fan of P.O. Ackley. That said use caution with his load data. He printed stuff people sent him and some of it is way, way over the red line. Check it against some data that has been tested by labs.
    Disclaimer: The above is not holy writ. It is just my opinion based on my experience and knowledge. Your mileage may vary.

  5. #5
    Boolit Master
    TNsailorman's Avatar
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    I knew P. O. but that did not mean I would load his data on his higher recommended loads without starting low and working my way up to the higher listed loads. It does not matter the source (Hodgdon, Lyman, etc. manuals) or some other source, I always do this. Parker was a better gunsmith than ballistician but he understood ballistics, he just did not have access to modern equipment that is readily available in today’s world. Also, what is safe in one rifle may not be in another. James

  6. #6
    Boolit Buddy

    Prodigal Son's Avatar
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    He blew up guns for his research, seems to me he had plenty of data for his reloading. I've used his data for years never blew up a gun! Sound development to me practical experience seems relevant to true reloading data. I shoot 338/06 AI, 257 Bob AI and 8mm/06 AI. Never had a problem.
    Semper Fidelis, to God, Country and Corps!

  7. #7
    Boolit Buddy
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    P.O.'s book was my first loading manual. It is still on my shelf. I learned early that PO would push the envelope and always started low. Some of his loads were scary!

  8. #8
    Boolit Master



    skeettx's Avatar
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    My Martini Cadet in 17 Ackley Bee was made by P.O. himself
    NRA Benefactor 2004 USAF RET 1971-95

  9. #9
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by skeettx View Post
    My Martini Cadet in 17 Ackley Bee was made by P.O. himself
    I am absolutely green with envy, both for the delightful little rifle and its maker.

  10. #10
    Boolit Grand Master


    Larry Gibson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Char-Gar View Post
    I was and still am a fan of P.O. Ackley. That said use caution with his load data. He printed stuff people sent him and some of it is way, way over the red line. Check it against some data that has been tested by labs.
    I have had the two volume set plus the pocket manual since '69. Indeed use caution with a lot of the load data. Compare it with other manuals of the same '60s and '70s. If the loads in the Ackley books seem high it probably is because they are.
    Larry Gibson

    “Deficient observation is merely a form of ignorance and responsible for the many morbid notions and foolish ideas prevailing.”
    ― Nikola Tesla

  11. #11
    Boolit Buddy
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    As I stated, P.O. is the reason I did what I did. I could not find anything about him stressing small ring Mausers or Carcanos.

  12. #12
    Boolit Master Shawlerbrook's Avatar
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    Ackley was definitely a sage and an important part of the history of our hobby, but like said above, be weary of any and all old loading data. Check and then re-check against the great data we have today.

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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