People own guns for different reasons: self-defense, hunting, competition, or just as an exercise in freedom. But if firearms are a hobby for you, I suspect your book shelves might look a bit like mine: filled with tomes covering the history of various guns and other shooting arcana. One of the books I acquired recently is the Shooter’s Bible Guide to Cartridges.
Before going farther, I have to admit my bias. When I bought the Guide to Cartridges, I already owned the Cartridges of the World book and have used it as a reference for many years. So, the Shooter’s Bible book on ammunition had a pretty big stick that I was measuring it against. Did it equal Cartridges of the World? No. However, in some ways it may be better. Let me explain…
The Guide to Cartridges is a large book, roughly 8″x10″, that is 223 pages in length. This Shooter’s Bible book is a full color book with heavy bond, semi-gloss pages. There are many photos, diagrams and tables – all in color.
The book covers hundreds of cartridges in 29 chapters, and the reading is easy and informative. Instead of getting bogged down in a lot of specifications, the author chose to spend more time on the stories of how a cartridge was developed and how it was used. If you like reading about your favorite cartridges, you will probably really like Guide to Cartridges. I know I did.
This is where I think the Guide to Cartridges differentiates itself from Cartridges of the World. Cartridges of the World is a thick reference book. The pages are thin and the photos are in black & white. There seem to be far more cartridges listed in Cartridges of the World, which appeals to me as a reference work. However, the Shooter’s Bible Guide to Cartridges is a far more enjoyable read.
Guide to Cartridges focuses on the popular cartridges, the ones that most people will be interested in, and not obscure or long-obsolete rounds of which few people have any care. The book looks good, feels good and reads well. But, it is not the nearly inexhaustible source of cartridge information that the Cartridges of the World is.
If you geek out on details and specs, you probably will like Cartridges of the World and Guide to Cartridges. If you enjoy reading about guns and ammunition, but don’t care much about ammo that is no longer used, you will likely be very happy with the Shooter’s Bible Guide to Cartridges.