John Nosler, Ammunition Innovator, dies at 97

On October 10th, John Amos Nosler, father, outdoorsman and founder of Nosler Inc., passed away at his Oregon home from natural causes. A visionary in the field of ballistics, Nosler developed the famous Partition bullet in the 1940s and, ever since, his name has become synonymous with premium ammunition with some going so far as to say he invented the category.

Nosler’s story is classically American.  He built his business, the still celebrated Nosler, Inc, from the ground up.  He studied his passions—hunting and shooting—and sought ways to innovate them. He was a leading influence in the ammunition industry.

With folkloric undertones, John’s first ballistic revelation came to him courtesy of a moose hunting expedition to British Columbia.  In response to the seemingly bulletproof hide of a bull moose he encountered on that trip, John set out to develop a bullet that was sure to expand at low impacts but still maintain its character at higher velocities.  The result was a revolutionary projectile separated down the middle into two sections by a solid copper barrier.  He called the new bullet the “Partition” and the following year, John and a friend traveled back to Canada loading his new bullets.  They brought back home with them two pairs of antlers and one flagship product.

A hunter nearly to the end, John leaves us at the impressive age of 97.  For a better look at the life of John Nosler and his bullet designs, read his memoir, Going Ballistic, ghostwritten by noted outdoor writer Gary Lewis. You can read a sample here.