The Bullet's Flight

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  • Last Post 16 February 2017
RicinYakima posted this 16 February 2017

 

The Bullet’s Flight; the Ballistics of Small Arms

 

Franklin W. Mann, MD

 

Copyright 1909; Copyright 1942 STANDARD PRINTING & PUBLISHING CO.

 

This book has been an enigma of American shooters for over 100 years. It is not text book; it is not manual; it is not entertaining to read. What it is is a “lab book” of explanations of experiments tried and what results were achieved. It follows chronologically what Dr. Mann’s interests were at any given moment.

 

The book deals with cast lead alloy bullets as that was what was available in the 1890’s and early 1900’s. Hundreds of shooters have spent many years of experimenting and shooting that could have been saved with a study of Dr. Mann’s work. The problem is that you will have to become a college student of the 1960’s to spend the effort and gain the insight the text can deliver.

 

If at all possible, try to buy a copy of the 1942 Standard Publishing Co.’s book. The internet freebies have the pictures so washed out, they are a joke. The Wolfe and NRA reprints are somewhat better, but not much. You will not see what the pictures are detailing as you will from the original glass negatives of the 1942 edition. Also, this was a vanity publication by Dr. Mann’s daughter and has the only personal information every published about the author.

 

Ric Bowman

 

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BudHyett posted this 16 February 2017

As you have observed, this is a laboratory report type of book. Once you understand this, the contents become very interesting.

I especially liked his “plank-shooting” experiments for the originality of-thought. 

Country boy from Illinois, living in the Magical Pacific Northwest

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John Alexander posted this 16 February 2017

Good advice Ric.  He disproved some of the “principles” and rules we still hold dear such as the need for a perfect crown and the need for a perfect base because of the effect of muzzle blast at bullet exit -- all over 100 years ago.  Could we be slow learners?

John

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papertrl posted this 16 February 2017

I understand that Mann had more material, either revised or supplemental, but his widow burned it.

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RicinYakima posted this 16 February 2017

Yes, I have read that the last ten years of his work was thrown away, burned. It is not hard to understand that when you are independently wealthy and you spend all your time shooting, the spouse can not wait to get rid of your “stuff". It appears the original printing plate and glass negatives for the book where at the publishers and the daughter was able to save them.

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papertrl posted this 16 February 2017

Yes, I have read that the last ten years of his work was thrown away, burned. It is not hard to understand that when you are independently wealthy and you spend all your time shooting, the spouse can not wait to get rid of your “stuff". It appears the original printing plate and glass negatives for the book where at the publishers and the daughter was able to save them.

Yup, I think we might find a lot of ladies who are glad to be rid of the stuff that took so much of their man's time. Mine, I think, teeters on that brink sometimes. 

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billglaze posted this 16 February 2017

A year or so ago, while recuperating from the flu, I spent 4 days reading/digesting the book.  I have owned it for Lo the last 40 years plus, and re-reading it brought things to my attention that failed to be absorbed at first reading.  Agreeing with Ric and all, it was a stretch of 4 days of a book well worth reading through.  One of the most personally interesting things was how much I had changed over the years--becoming, it seems, more willing to absorb information than forty years ago.  Age?  Attitude?  And, amazingly, I only disagreed with one of his findings, although, admittedly, I didn't mutilate any of my rifles to check his validity.

In theory, there's no difference between theory and practice. In practice, there is. My fate is not entirely in Gods hands, if I have a weapon in mine.

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