“Ammo & Ballistics 5” is the fifth revise of a book that has become invaluable, and it contains so much data that just picking it up causes my cerebral cortex to swell from info-bloat. Compiled by Bob Forker, it contains general information on exterior ballistics, plus 2,400 tables with ballistic data for over 169 cartridges ranging from the .17 Mach 2 to the .700 Nitro Express. These tables include the dope on velocity, energy, wind drift, bullet drop, and ballistic coefficients up to 1,000 yards. The manufacturers covered run from A-Square to Winchester, with all stops in between. If it ain’t in here, it probably hasn’t been designed yet. Softcover, illustrated, 518 pps., $26.95.

When I was starting out in handloading I was lucky to know half a dozen gun writers who were experts at it and whom I could call and ask “WTF do I do about this?” Not everyone is so fortunate. Reloading manuals are a big help with the basics, but as you sink deeper and deeper into the beguiling bog that is metallic reloading, more and more questions arise, and you may not have anyone to call, or anyone who knows what they’re talking about.


So, let us give thanks for “Metallic Cartridge Handloading” by Mic McPherson who, when he is not writing books, is a consultant to Barnes Bullets. This is not a loading manual or a guide to the basics; it is the whole enchilada, everything, the complete package, on assembling your own rifle and handgun ammo. It’s profusely illustrated with photos and drawings, and if you have a question that it can’t answer, that’s because you ask too many questions. For beginners and intermediates, this book is absolutely required reading, and the odds are than even veteran handloaders will learn something from it. Hardcover, $65; softcover, $39.95. 425 pps.