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What books to read/


Active Member

Short from posting an image of each case/cartridge i have/get what books could i get to read up about head markings?
Must be something.

Any Ian V Hogg books are good,also any ammo articles from the armourer are the ones to beat. Im in Blandford and have a few armourer articles if you want to borrow them. Best get some reading material in now as were in for a cold winter and it gets very isolated living up on that bloody hill!If you want the info send me a message and ill get them dropped in.:tinysmile_fatgrin_t

Are you talking about small arms or artillery ammo?

If small arms I will give you a list of books. Unfortunately, most books only deal with one aspect, usually by calibre.


Both really as i have an interest in all military hardware.
However my small arms collection is the largest.


OK. For small arms ammo don't bother with anything by Hogg or Weeks. Hogg may be OK on artillery but his small arms writing is very poor.

For British military ammo, either ".303" by Labbett and Mead or "British Small Arms Ammunition 1864-1938" by Labbett.

For German Military 7.9mm, "German 7.9mm Military Ammunition" by Kent or "Die Militarpatronen 7.9mm" by Windisch (in German but with English summaries)

For American, "History of Modern US Military Small Arms Ammunition", Vols I and II, by Hackley, Woodin and Scranton.


"Cartridge Headstamp Guide" - White & Munhall
"Military Rifle and Machine Gun Cartridges" - Jean Huon
"Military Small Arms Ammunition 1945-1980" - Labbett
"Cartridges of the World" - Barnes

Many of the above are now out of print, but can be found from book dealers like Trotman or on Abe Books.

There are lots more small specialised books but the above would be a good start. Beware though, they are often not cheap and books are addictive.

Of course, if you just want to identify .303 rounds, then I will immodestly point you towards my own book on that subject. PM me for details.

There's also Part 2 of the 'Military Cartridges' series by de Hek, which can usually be bought at the ECRA International. That's pretty comprehensive on headstamps, tip colours, translations of terms etc for military ammo up to 20mm.

I do not know of any book which provides a comprehensive guide to large-calibre headstamps. I would pay a lot of money for one.

Thanks for the info on books. Yes I know what you mean about collecting books!

What I am after are reference book/s which would help in the ID of cartridge cases, then later for shell case's. As i now have a small number of cartridges from both WW1 and WW2 i do need to find out which is which.
So yes it would be nice to have one book but thats not possible so it will have to be several (what a shame, yes i do like my reference books!)

As you have your own book then thats a givern, i will just have to find a copy.
The Small-Caliber Ammunition Identification Guide from the Defence Intelligence Agency is good. Vol 1 deals with .25 ACP to 15mm and Vol 2 deals with 20mm to 40mm. Both deal with international markings of the respective calibers. My version is from '84 so it still refers to the USSR and is slightly out of date. If anyone wants either or both email me.