Gun Quotes

John Nosler’s Search for a Better Bullet

Many of the fine variety of bullets we have today are owed their heritage to ammunition guru John Nosler.


Bullet genius John Nosler at his drafting table.

Bullet genius John Nosler at his drafting table.

“In 1946, I was shooting a Model 70 Winchester, chambered for a .300 H&H Magnum, using 180-grain bullets. I loved the way this rifle would shoot at long range. It was accurate and it killed, well, most of the time. The problem was that the bullets expanded too much on heavy game. Bullets, shot at such high velocity, sometimes flattened out like a pancake and seldom penetrated to the vitals. …

… My new, high-powered rifle was too powerful to kill a moose with the bullets available in the 1940s. … My gun was the latest in high-velocity rifles and I was using the best bullets available, but most of them had disintegrated just under the hide. It became clear to me that the bullet hadn’t been invented that was good enough to use in a high-velocity rifle.”—John Nosler, as told to Gary Lewis, John Nosler, Going Ballistic, The life and adventures of John Nosler, from the chapter “Penetration and Expansion—The Need for a Better Bullet.


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About Jennifer L.S. Pearsall

Jennifer L.S. Pearsall joined Gun Digest in summer 2011 as a books editor. She began her career selling guns in a retail gun shop and handgun range in Northern Virginia in the early 1990s. Recruited by the NRA to join its editorial staff in 1999, she then went on to succeed as a freelance writer and photographer. She's been a competitive shooter in many disciplines, including sporting clays, IPSC, and metallic blackpowder cartridge silhouette, and she has been an avid hunter for many years.

2 thoughts on “John Nosler’s Search for a Better Bullet

  1. 4570fanatic

    Would you happen to know what bullet he was shooting when he decided to make the partition? Be awesome if it was the
    core-lokt just to get some feathers ruffled every once in a while

  2. B Cochran

    Mr. Nosler has created most of the projectiles I use in my loads. .308,30-30,.45, 9mm and more. I’ve never had any problems and don’t expect to.