Book Review – Cartridges of the World, 11th Edition

There are many great books about guns out there. Some are more useful to a smaller number of collectors. While it is one of the most thorough books I’ve seen, Parker Gun Identification & Serialization by S. P. Fjestad isn’t of much use to an Ithaca or Smith & Wesson collector.

Cartridges of the World by Frank C. Barnes is a great reference. I’m reviewing the 11th edition because that’s what I have. The 12th edition came out a few months ago. I use it at work constantly with some of the weird guns I’ve seen. Need to know what the difference between a .44 Russian and a .44-40 is? How about if you can shoot standard .30-06 in your Ackley Improved chamber? What’s the smallest commercially produced round ever (actually, I’d like to write an article about that soon)? It does have something for every shooter and collector.

One of the highlights of this book over just flipping through ammo makers’ catalogs is the info available on wildcat, proprietary, and obsolete calibers. The author also includes a little bit of history in addition to the ballistics information given for each round.

I believe the 12th edition has a cover price of $32.99 but is available cheaper from major bookstores and online retailers. Check it out, it’s definitely worth the look.


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