Firearms reference books and literature - what do you have.

Bit of a tangent here, but I feel this is an under appreciated side of the hobby… I am not sure why we haven’t started a thread on that (unless we have?).

Looking beyond specific reloading manuals, what books do you have/want/find useful on topic of firearms, reloading, hunting, etc.

I went on a little bit of a literature shop and finally decided to buy some gunsies books, not the only firearms related books, but these two landed recently.

I got tired of leeching of @bentaz and parted with some money for one of this:

…and my obscure tastes got complimented by this one:

What do you guys have/love/want?

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This is the only book I can find without spending an entire day digging through a bazillion boxes in storage. Contains enough to get someone started on reloading and has a fair amount of load data too. Anyhoo its the best I can offer atm. :roll_eyes:


I don’t even know where to start; I have an extensive reference library - everything from a range of Ian Skennerton’s books on old British Rifles to Cartridges of the World 12th Edition and The Standard Catalogue of Smith & Wesson 3rd Edition, as well as the most recent Nick Harvey reloading book. The latter really hasn’t been as useful as I’d hoped, to be honest.

Well… You could start by posting them here lol

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Haven’t looked at the newer editions of Nicks books. Sheesh he must be getting on a bit these days.

Wow, I will need to take a few pics, …Mausers of the World…Wildcat Cartridges …Lyman BP, and Cast Bullet manuals,… um…um…um…

Any of the older books by Elmer Keith are a good read, they are still reproducing them as well.

Book Depository in the UK is a good source for books at reasonable prices.

For the wildcat lovers amongst us.


Even if your not a revolver fan, you have to appreciate Hamilton Bowen’s skills.


I have been really disappointed, tbh. Full of cartridges I’ve never heard of, missing cartridges which are still in use, has load data for powders you can’t get in Australia. Not worth the money IMO.

He does extrapolate a lot! And a legit pest when it comes to being useful to the Australian shooting sports. The book however, I actually think it’s really good. Maybe not full coverage, but his loads are on the hotter side, which is good, when comparing and trying to work things out based on cross referencing. And he tends to use weight, rather than brand which is a big plus. Not sure which edition he’s up to now, I am not buying any more of his manuals. But what I have, I find myself looking things up in there often enough. For obscure or old things, that’s why I bought Cartridges of the World. It’s nice to be able to quickly see original velocity and spec and work around that.

…but I am actually keen to see what’s out there, beyond reloading manuals. Stuff people don’t think about, but good to know about.

It really depends what you’re interested in - there’s books on pretty much everything! I’ve even got one listing European proof marks from the 1800s-1980s.

I am interested in people sharing the literature they have/own/read or read :slight_smile:

This has been surprisingly helpful for identifying and dating old firearms, especially because it covers all of Europe including the UK and even the major ComBloc countries.


I also have the manual of cartridge conversions @juststarting posted above and the directory of proof marks @Martini posted and can concur that they are both great.
I have some others but they are the main ones,I had the Lyman BP book but I gave it to @Nomis.


Just some…not all.

“Modern” rifles, shotguns and pistols…
Pic of a sporterized Lee Enfield, lol.
I know (from the shape of the mag) it’s in .308 and whatever but it’s still just an old Smelly at heart.

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Yeah agree! The 308 mag is probably worth more than the gun. It was just one of the books a guy I worked with gave me.
The wildcat cartridges is a ripper tho!

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These are beautifully written. My favorite is by Theodore Roosevelt: Outdoor Pastimes of An American Hunter. He wrote stacks of great books!!! I love him.

Roy Dunlap takes you back in time to what perhaps your gun loving Dad or Grandad did.

Several in my little collection have the authors in discussion with Parker Ackley (Ackley Improved dude) and there are some laughs and lucky near death recollections.

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I can visualise you with a pipe and a smoking jacket, in a corner, reading a book, smoking, drinking cognac, wearing jacket and nothing else.