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Old 01-11-2013, 05:32 PM
Beartooth Regular
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: NE Texas
Posts: 70
Firearms Pressure Factors (CD-ROM Book)

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(I was surprised when I did a search and found nothing as I figured that someone else would have already 'reviewed' this book but it appears not so here goes. What follows is the review that I wrote-up for the Web Site.)


When you begin to try and analyze how firearms work (the actual physics/chemistry) it quickly becomes obvious that the published material on reloading (the closest that most of us will ever get to discussions on the chemistry/physics of firearms) is like a cookbook. Now from the standpoint of safety, and coming up with a working combination of powder charge and bullet, this is probably the only way to do it. However if you want to understand 'why' cartridges/bullets work together then the (numerous) reloading 'recipes' do little to answer those questions.

This book (a compilation of print articles now put on CD) covers those issues.

I learned of this 'book' (Wolfe Publishing has done a good job of transferring the 1990 print version to a PDF file) when I bought the Dec 2012 issue of 'Handloader Magazine' (also published by Wolfe Publishing). It contains a somewhat condescending article ('Chamber Pressure Revelations') about this book and gives a condensed analysis of the book's contents.

The book is a compilation of a series of articles that were run in the late 1960s/early 1970s in 'Handloader Magazine'. They were mostly written by Dr Lloyd Brownell, a PhD in the Department Of Chemical & Metallurgical Engineering at the University Of Michigan.

The series began when Col. G.O. Ashley wrote an article that took the view that 'S.E.E.' (Secondary Explosion Effect) was a myth. Dr Brownell took exception and the result was the series of articles in 'Handloader Magazine' of which Dr Brownell was the principal author.

Wolfe Publishing has included some additional information (also articles from past issues of 'Handloader Magazine') that were not part of the original series but which cover related issues.

The CD book's chapters (including the author(s) and 'Handloader' issue they were published in) are :

Secondary Explosion Effect (Col. G.O. Ashley, May-Jun '67)
Pressure Excursions (Dr Lloyd Brownell, Sep-Oct '67)
Pressure Excursions Explained (Dr Lloyd Brownell, Mar-Apr '68)
Powder Load (Dr Lloyd Brownell, et. al, Jul-Aug '68)
Bullet Weight (Dr Lloyd Brownell, Sep-Oct '68)
Jackets (Dr Lloyd Brownell, et. al., Nov-Dec '68)
Rifle Barrel (Dr Lloyd Brownell, Jan-Feb '69)
Gas Leakage (Dr Lloyd Brownell, Mar-Apr '69)
Seating Depth (Dr Lloyd Brownell, May-Jun '69)
Freebore (Dr Lloyd Brownell, Jul-Aug '69)
Powder (Dr Lloyd Brownell, Sep-Oct '69)
Quickness (Dr Lloyd Brownell, Nov-Dec '69)
Systems (Dr Lloyd Brownell, Jan-Feb '70)
Systems Ballistics (Dr Lloyd Brownell, Mar-Apr '70)
Caliber (Dr Lloyd Brownell, Nov-Dec '70)
Conclusion (Dr Lloyd Brownell, Mar-Apr '73)
Venturi Effect (Dr Lloyd Brownell, May-Jun '69)
Pressure in Revolvers (Bill Caldwell; Sep-Oct '72)
Modern Pressure Measuring (Dan Pawlak, Nov-Dec '74)
The Significance Of Muzzle Pressure (Dave Scovill, Sep-Oct '86)
Adventuring with a Pressure Gun (Wallace Labisky, Jan-Feb '87)

In making an initial 'once-over' view of the chapters I looked at the references and was pleased to find that two of them (which seemed to give-the-hope that they would have interesting material) were available on-line from the Univeristy Of Michigan. Those two publications are : 'Absolute Chamber Pressure In Center-Fire Rifles' (June '65) and 'Development Of Bullet Jacket Factor And Rifle Barrel Factors' (October '68). Dr. Brownell is one of the authors of both publications.
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Old 01-11-2013, 05:43 PM
Beartooth Regular
Join Date: Nov 2001
Posts: 6,262
I enjoy myhard copy. I would like to have it on CD for the word search function.
Every Handloader needs to understand muzzle pressure the article by Dave scovill is a good one.
If you enjoy math you must have the errata sheet. There are a few formulas I could not figure out without it - I am not a math wiz but I enjoy working the equations.
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Old 02-19-2013, 06:03 PM
Beartooth Regular
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Hastings, Nebraska; the Heartland!
Posts: 112
Like Mr. Iorg, I enjoy my hard (actually paper back) version of the work. I find it greatly instructive as to why certain things happen and so forth.

For those who wish to go beyond the mere assembling of components - not that there is anything wrong with that - this is a serious book.
Except for Jesus, there is no free lunch.

Archie the Preacher
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dr. lloyd brownell, pressure

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