Dr. Kenneth E. Howell

Dr. Kenneth E. Howell was a long time gun writer and was friends with just about every famous gun personality you can name from the 1950’s to 70’s. He was a long time Editor for Rifle and Handloader Magazines.

“Designing and Forming Custom Cartridges For Rifles and Handguns”, by Ken Howell, ended up being Ken’s Magnum Opus. It is unique in that it contains dimensions and drawings of hundreds of cartridges. Most important of all there are darn few errors in the tome.

At his passing in December of 2015 Howell left an unfinished work he titled “Inside the Rifle” in which he was using documents from his old friend Homer Powley to give a layman’s explanation of internal ballistics in modern rifle cartridges. This would have been a great read, maybe some day the manuscript will surface? One can Hope.

“This book has earned the reputation of being THE authority in the field of reliable dimensions for small arms cartridges. The author [lists] which cases are useful in making other cases which may not be available. This is the bedrock technical book for this subject area and is a necessity for any hardcore reloader. It is worth more than the price asked.”
— Gene C.

“This is an absolutely incredible [book] for wildcatters, ballistic students and serious cartridge handloaders. It provides the critical dimensions (imperial and metric as well as displacement) for about 1840 cartridges[.] The first 100 pages explain the mechanics of cartridge forming. The cartridge drawings are in B&W, very legible and easy to copy or scan[.] Especially on the metric side there are a few notable cartridge ommissions… but it does not detract from the overall importance of this magnificent work, which I consider the best of the genre. A great buy for serious cartridge students at any price.”
— Pierre Van W.