As an inveterate cartridge hound, I’m always drawn to books that promise insight into rounds I might not have heard of. That’s why I picked up the Shooter’s Bible Guide to Cartridges, a 224-page four-color feast of bullets, brass, primers, and — surprisingly — art.
I was flipping through the book and immediately saw the red meat of ballistics, trajectory tables, and bullet listings that I like. Then a bright yellow siren of a page caught my attention. On page 14 there was an old-style poster of one hunter swinging a shotgun barrel over another nearby hunter, who was nearly scared out of his boots. It was an undated SAAMI safety ad provided by Federal Cartridge Co. that warned, “Watch That Muzzle!, Keep Hunting a Safe Sport.” Then in “Chapter 1: The Pipsqueaks,” I saw a Winchester-Western ad with a bird’s-eye view of a squirrel, artwork by Weimer Pursell. Pursell was born outside Memphis in 1906, and he eventually had a successful career as a commercial artist and illustrator in Chicago and New York. He was a leading abstract artist in the 1940s and ‘50s, and the Winchester-Western ad shows that talent, with the monolithic colors and clean lines predominating. He died in 1974. Two of his Winchester rifle posters were recently appraised on the PBS television program The Antiques Road Show.
On page 35, the opener for “Chapter 3: Buzz, Buzz,” about the .218 Bee, was a hunter dreaming of rabbits while he naps on a porch. This Western promotional poster, entitled “Dreams,” was painted by Norman P. Hall, a graphic artist of the early twentieth century. He was well known for illustrating adventure stories.
Several dozen more colorplates of art, bullet boards, and other historical artwork can be found in the book. A few of them are found in the gallery below.
So if you like a little oil or watercolor with your brass, check out the Shooter’s Bible Guide to Cartridges. It’s available from Skyhorse Publishing for $19.95.
All images © Winfield Galleries, LLC, St. Louis, Missouri. Used with permission. To view current artwork and pricing, log on to www.WinfieldGalleries.com.