J.S. Hatcher - Hatcher's Notebook: A Standard Reference for Shooters, Gunsmiths, Ballisticians, Historians, Hunters and Collectors
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Hatcher's Notebook: An Excellent Firearms Work
Written: Feb 20, 2004 (Updated Aug 19, 2005)
a Very Helpful Review
by the Epinions community
Pros:Written by a qualified firearms expert, Data unavailable elsewhere
Cons:More people need to know about this book
The Bottom Line: Hatcher's Notebook is a seminal reference that belongs in the library of every firearms enthusiast
Julian S. Hatcher was one of the foremost firearms experts of the twentieth century.
A fortunate man is one who can combine his abiding interest with his career and Hatcher served over thirty years in the US Army as an ordnance officer; a job that concerns firearms ranging from personal weapons, through machine guns, up through mortars and artillery.
Hatcher was a technically minded man and Hatchers Notebook is a compendium of much of the knowledge Hatcher gained over his long association with firearms, particularly in his role as ordnance officer and his work at the historic Springfield Armory in Massachusetts. As early as 1914, Hatcher developed a new breeching system for weapons and established a pair of machinegun schools for the Army to take advantage of the new firepower available from automatic weapons invented by Browning, Maxim, Lewis, and other inventors. Hatcher supervised rifle manufacture, ammunition manufacture, and became the chief of ordnance for the entire small arms inventory of the US Army. One of the crowning achievements of his distinguished career was supervision of the development and adoption of the US Rifle, Caliber 30, M1, the first autoloading rifle fielded by a major power and known to millions today as the Garand.
Hatchers Notebook contains much valuable information not obtainable anywhere else. Included are topics such as
Development of the Springfield Rifle
Development of the Enfield Rifle
History of the 30/06 Cartridge
Automatic Gun Mechanisms
The Military Semiautomatic Rifle
Machineguns and their Development
The Strength of Military Rifles
Receiver Steels and Heat Treatment
Notes on Gunpowder
The Pedersen Device
And many other interesting subjects. The data is many times empirical, that is, developed under scientific conditions of observation and measurement, so while sometimes dry, it is factual and very valuable for students of science and technology as well as historians.
Hatcher was the man who discovered why the early Model 1903 Springfield rifles were blowing up with service ammunition. His findings helped cure the problem and resulted in a safer rifle for our soldiers in WWI. He also tested machineguns and noted that the range was not what was claimed. Through Hatchers ammunition developments, over a thousand yards range was added to the standard 30 Browning machinegun firing service ammunition. Hatcher participated in the hunt for a suitable self-loading infantry rifle. Many designs are discussed and illustrated in the exhaustive text. John C. Garands design was found to have the most merit and throughout the latter twenties and thirties it was developed into the M1 Rifle that the esteemed General Patton called The finest battle implement ever invented. All of these are covered in Hatchers Notebook.
The book is standard 6 X 8 hard bound and illustrated with black and white photos. Hatchers Notebook is an invaluable reference book for technologists, historians, shooters, and military buffs.
Also recommended: Hatcher's Book of the Garand.
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