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Cartridges of the World: 10th Edition, Revised and Expanded Paperback – September, 2003
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About the Author
Stan Skinner's interest in guns began in his preteen years. Following military service, Skinner joined the NRA editorial staff. Today, he is managing editor of SAFARI magazine and technical editor of Guns & Ammo, with several African and North American species in the record books.
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I started reading this type of book in the early 1960's. I read a lot of them...every year. This book is definitely one that should be on your list of books to own...especially IF you don't already have a prior issue. If you have an earlier one, then maybe you should wait...I purchase this 'encyclopedia' about every third issue. I find that is frequent enough for my use.
Before I started writing this review, I went back and reviewed a couple of my earlier issues of COTW. I was hoping to find out where specific errors originated. What I found is a mish-mash of errors and editing boondoggles existed in the earlier volumes as well. So,...Is this one worse than previous issues?? I think the problems are slowly getting worse (or at least more visible..). The main reason for this, the more often something is read and written, and re-written, and re-edited, the more chances for additional errors to creep into the work. So, as some others have noted, things that in past issues were not notable have devolved into problems...largely editing errors. Some of these things do not really bother me that much. Misplaced photos, spelling errors, grammatical inconsistencies, and "lost" pages, all fall into this category. Sure, they detract from the overall experience, but in the larger context these are usually not fatal errors. The way I look at it is this: Imagine the time and effort required to get a book this large ready to go to press----and since it is largely fact based, not an opinion piece, the error checking protocols must be tremendous......To even imagine a complete re-write of this book boggles the mind.
What is needed here is an effort to re-write the parts that need it and edit carefully....the whole book. This would require the efforts of proof-readers for text and readability, and others familiar with the content for fact checking and inclusion. This would be a BIG, BIG effort!! Would it be worthwhile doing?? I don't know. But it IS needed.
Having said all of that, this book remains one of the authoritative works on firearms cartridges. This is largely because most of the work was done earlier and only "updates" have happened since then. This is also why this work needs to be renewed. I like this book. I always have. I enjoy reading it (even if it does give me a headache sometimes..). AND, there is a tremendous amount of useful information inside this binding. It is just getting a little harder to sort through it all.
So, if you don't already own one of these books, you should probably get one. If you already own the 10th or 11th edition maybe you should skip this one. If all you have is an early edition, then this new edition will definitely add some value to what you already have. As a point of general interest, I have recently taken to reading a new publication Ammo Encyclopedia, 3rd edition. I have found it to be a rather nice counterview to COTW and well worth reading. I notice now that there is a newer version available as well.. 4th Edition The Ammo Encyclopedia. If you own one of these in addition to COTW, you will probably have everything you will ever need.
So, 3 stars for the book COTW. With proper editing and more attention to detail would be 5 stars.
It's an encylopedia, basically. It has info on old, rare Japanese cartridges and other cool stuff. By that measure, it succeeds. If you fancy yourself a ballistic scientist or 1000+ yard shooter, try something else.
I noted a few of the cartridge illustrations were wrong. Most astonishing was the .378 Weatherby Magnum photo heading up the .38-40 info.
It seems to me that some cartridges that were in my older edition are missing now... the Finnish 6.3mm rimmed sporting cartridge being one. I want MORE information, not LESS.
I think the time has come to honor Frank Barnes for his past service, fire Layne Simpson as editor, and totally re-write this entire book with a new author.
Most recent customer reviews
sit's on my Reloading table. very well written. and easy to follow.