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Thread: Early Handloading Books such as Handloading Ammunition by Mattern (1926)

  1. #1
    Boolit Man
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    Early Handloading Books such as Handloading Ammunition by Mattern (1926)

    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.

  2. #2
    Boolit Master maxreloader's Avatar
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    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.
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    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.
    Long, Wide, Deep, and Without Hesitation!

  4. #4
    Boolit Master
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    The old Belding&Mull and Ideal handbooks are good reading

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    Boolit Master Jim22's Avatar
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    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.

  6. #6
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    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.

    Jim


  7. #7
    Boolit Master
    Bent Ramrod's Avatar
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    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.

  8. #8
    Boolit Buddy
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    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,,

  9. #9
    Boolit Master

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    Check your PMs with offer....dale

  10. #10
    Boolit Man
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    Quote Originally Posted by dale2242 View Post
    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.

  11. #11
    Boolit Grand Master
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    Two Masters, Metford and Halford 1800’s ... have both of their books http://www.researchpress.co.uk/index...K_yK6j9cTM7eGw
    Regards
    John

  12. #12
    Boolit Man
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    Quote Originally Posted by poppy42 View Post
    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.
    Not the best idea when applied universally. Naramore laid it out. Modern, non corrosive primers give much higher pressures and in hot cartridges can be the difference between safe loads and catastrophe. Naramore stressed that neglecting to appreciate this was inviting possible catastrophic destruction of the firearm. He made it clear that previously safe data was suspect and downright dangerous in more than a few cases.
    Last edited by JDHasty; 03-18-2022 at 01:14 PM.

  13. #13
    Boolit Man
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    If you have a supply of chlorite primers to complement those powders you are probably on solid ground, but I remember that data in some of the old loading manuals had STARTING loads well above max loads in our manuals published in the 1070s. Being normal red blooded American boys, my buddy and I wanted every FPS we felt we were entitled to and tried to work our way up into the loads found in my buddy’s dad’s old manuals for our 22-250s and decided it was best to quit before even getting to the starting loads in the old manuals.

    Now, given that a lot of Varminter cases were made from 30-06 and were of far heavier construction than our modern cases, we wondered if these old manuals were a sick joke put out by a bunch of malicious, maladjusted malcontents hell bent on murder.

    It was only when I read what Naramore had written that it became clear what was going on.
    Last edited by JDHasty; 03-18-2022 at 12:50 PM.

  14. #14
    Boolit Master



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    Sharpe is a GREAT read
    NRA Benefactor 2004 USAF RET 1971-95

  15. #15
    Boolit Master
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    My manual for early factory loads and their reloaded equivalents is Hatcher's Textbook of Pistols and Revolvers published in 1935. Some of the powders he mentioned are long gone, but others - specifically Bullseye are still certainly available. I have worked up 32S&W Long loads based upon his data, with an eye of course on more modern manuals. Back then the loads appear to have all been with lead bullets, which is helpful.

    BTW it is available in Kindle format and paperback on Amazon.
    Last edited by JoeJames; 05-07-2022 at 03:03 PM.
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  16. #16
    I have the double set by ACKLEY, but nothing by Nonte. Although I do have his book on pistolsmithing

  17. #17
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    +1 on Nonte and the P.O. Ackerly.
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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