Book Reviews: V21N5

By Dean Roxby

The Chamberlain Development: Black Rifle Cartridge Comparison Guide
Copyright 2013
The Chamberlain Development: Cartridge Comparison Guide 2
Copyright 2015
By Andrew Chamberlain

Both of these reference books contain a huge amount of data on cartridge ballistics. So much so that I find myself questioning if it would be better presented as a DVD, rather than in a paper book.

For each given cartridge, there are many different factory loadings listed. Then the entire works are listed in six distinctly separate tables, broken down by various criteria such as bullet weight within a caliber, velocity within a specific cartridge, overall muzzle energy and estimated felt recoil, etc.

The result is that it is possible to look up a specific cartridge, or a particular level of muzzle energy for all cartridges, or even the loads that do not exceed a set recoil point. This makes for a useful, if somewhat bulky, reference resource.

However, if this information was entered into a searchable computer program, it could be much more easily accessed and in a far smaller package. The downside, from the author’s point of view, is that a digital book is far easier to illegally copy. Rampant piracy is a very real concern, so perhaps this explains the decision to stay with a paper edition.

In any event, the guides do present a good deal of information on many popular cartridges, arranged in a logical fashion. The cartridges listed range from 17 Mach2 rimfire up to the mighty 50 BMG. Both guides are almost entirely based around hunting considerations. Starting with the “Who, What, Where and Why” questions, it asks the reader to describe who will be using the chosen cartridge, for what purpose, where (forests or open plains, etc) and why this particular round. By answering these self-evaluation questions, the reader is hopefully directed to a suitable choice for a successful hunt. This is found within the first section, along with a detailed look at ballistic terminology and a thoughtful discussion of hunting issues such as rifle weight, felt recoil, bullet construction and so on.

The second part makes up the bulk of the book, that being the various data tables. These are broken into Rifle, Shotgun, and Pistol loads and then further divided as noted above.

The third part is a detailed series of Appendices from A to M. Subjects covered include Game Animal Physical Structure, Bullet Expansion, Wound Channel and so on.

The Black Rifle Guide was released in 2013, followed by the Cartridge Comparison Guide 2 in 2015. Be aware that despite the different names, the two guides are about 90% the same material.
The cartridge choices for the Black Rifle Guide are naturally less, as expected. In other words, nobody makes an AR-10 in 7mm Weatherby Magnum, so 7WM is not profiled.

Both guides are printed on high quality glossy white paper, which greatly assists reading the fine print in the tables. Measuring a full 8.5 x 11 inches, both books are coil-spiral bound, allowing them to sit flat when open.

A portion of the proceeds of sales goes to the NRA Foundation’s Firearms and Marksmanship Training Endowment.

This article first appeared in Small Arms Review V21N5 (June 2017)
and was posted online on April 21, 2017


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