If you get into the nitty-gritty of ballistics and gun lore, the Shooter’s Bible Guide to Cartridges might be a book that would interest you. This is one of the many reference books I have on my shelves that I rely on to bring you accurate information about firearms and cartridges.
While it is not the only ammunition-related tome I reference, I will explain everything I like and find useful about it in this Shooter’s Bible Guide to Cartridges review.
Guide to Cartridges
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 bookshelves might look a bit like mine: filled with books – new and old – 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. It’s not the only book I own on cartridges and ammunition, but it does a credible job of setting itself apart from the competition. I feel it brings something different to the reader and may be your preferred gun book on the topic.
The Guide to Cartridges is a larger book, roughly 8″x10″, that is 223 pages in length. It is a full-color book with heavy bond, semi-gloss pages. There are many photos, diagrams and tables – all in color.
Frankly, this book is laid out well and looks good.
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.
Cartridges in Detail
The book does not spend a lot of space discussing arcane, obsolete or fringe cartridges. Rather, the majority of the book details cartridges in common use. Rimfire to centerfire, pistol and rifle – there are a lot of cartridges covered.
Each chapter focuses on a type or general caliber of cartridge. This presents the information in a more story-oriented format rather than an encyclopedia-style recitation of facts.
For example, one chapter is called “Historic 9mms.” In this chapter, the book covers several cartridges: .380 ACP, 9×18 Makarov, 9×23 Winchester and the ubiquitous 9mm Luger. It does a very good job of explaining the similarities and differences between the cartridges as well as talking about the alternate names in use such as 9mm Browning Short and 9mm Parabellum.
Using this style, the author creates a narrative in each chapter that is both informative and enjoyable to read.
Guide to Cartridges vs. Cartridges of the World
The Shooters’ Bible Guide to Cartridges is not the only ammo book in print. It’s not even the only one on my reference shelf. Actually, it is only one of about six.
Its closest competitor is another book called Cartridges of the World. Both of these books overlap in the information they provide, but I find them to be complementary more than competitors.
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…
Cartridges of the World is a thick reference book. I encourage you to read my review of it here.
Unlike the Guide to Cartridges, the pages of Cartridges of the World 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 very 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 book I’m reviewing today: Shooter’s Bible Guide to Cartridges.
I am pleased that I purchased the Shooter’s Bible Guide to Cartridges. It compliments my other ammo books, giving me a better rounded look at the cartridges it covers.
If you enjoy reading about firearms and ammunition, I imagine you will also enjoy this book.
Last Update: July 15, 2021
Every ethical reviewer should provide a disclosure of the potential influences that may affect his review. Unfortunately, it seems that I am one of the only ones to do so.
There are a lot of so-called reviews on the internet that are really just paid advertising. This happens in even the gun industry. I choose to be different.
The Shooter’s Bible Guide to Cartridges was purchased by me with money out of my own pocket. Skyhorse Publishing is not an advertiser, nor am I engaged in any conversations with them to be one. My receipt for purchasing this book is shown below:
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