The first Nosler Reloading Manual appeared in 1976 and contained 234 pages, about the size of the French novels we read in college to impress girls with our intellectual powers. It has now morphed into a veritable tome of 864 pages, a work of such godless and massive thoroughness that one shudders at the thought of lifting it.

Picking it up, however, is well worth the trouble. There are 117 cartridges in here. I did not see the .22 Velo Dog or the .498 Thunderfu**er, but they’ve got just about everything else, including a fair number of rounds of which I’ve never heard.

For an experienced handloader, Old Number 7 is valuable, for only witless savages don’t use Nosler bullets. If you’re new to handloading, it is invaluable. The odds are you’ll never use 90 percent of the loading data because there’s so much here, but the explanations of the mechanics of handloading and what you need and how you go about it are worth their weight in all-copper bullets. I’m also very glad to see that Nosler has included several pages listing all the hundreds of powders available by burning rate, going from fastest to slowest.

There are the usual semi-ecstatic introductions to each cartridge (I did the .338 Win Mag.) which are useful to varying degrees, but what are really valuable are the short comments added by the Nosler folks about how to get the most out of each round.

The price is $21.95, and for that modest amount of money you get a ton of information. What you will not get is the inscription that Bob Nosler personally wrote to me:

“What, are you still here?”

I will treasure that always.