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Industry Ammunition
Founded 1948 (1948)
Founder John A. Nosler
Headquarters Bend, Oregon, US
Area served
Products Ammunition, handloading components, Firearms, Bullets, Brass
Owner Bob Nosler
Divisions Nosler, Inc., Nosler Custom, Nosler Reloading

The name Nosler applies to a number of companies involved in the manufacture of ammunition and handloading components, specializing in high performance hollow point and soft point hunting bullets. Current companies include Nosler, Inc., Nosler Custom, and Nosler Reloading. Nosler's contributions include both new bullet designs and new manufacturing techniques used in their production.

Early history[edit]

John Nosler was born 4 April 1913 in Brawley, California. Nosler was hunting moose in British Columbia in 1946, when the bullets he was using failed to penetrate deeply enough to reach vital organs and kill the animal quickly.[1] At the time, most jacketed bullets employed a single copper alloy envelope (the jacket) around a single lead alloy core. The jacket on most military bullets was closed in front and opened at the base. These full metal jacket bullets offered good penetration, but often failed to expand and passed completely through an animal leaving a comparatively small wound. Soft-point hunting bullets like Nosler was using had the jacket applied in the opposite direction to completely cover the base, but open at the nose. These bullets would expand to leave a large wound channel, but sometimes broke into small pieces with inadequate momentum to overcome resistance of moving through bone or muscle tissue.

The experience inspired Nosler to develop a new bullet design, intended to expand readily at low impact velocities yet maintain integrity at high impact velocities (see terminal ballistics). These Nosler Partition bullets used a specially designed jacket enclosing two separate lead alloy cores.[1] The front core was open on the nose to expand easily, but expansion would stop at the partition (which was a solid layer of copper extending right across the bullet, not just the thin shell of copper which composed the jacket). The portion of the bullet behind the partition has the structural integrity of a full metal jacket bullet, but the expanded forward jacket leaves a larger wound channel. Bullets were originally manufactured for personal use, using hand made, lathe turned jackets. In 1948 Nosler began to sell the partition bullets commercially, forming Nosler, Inc.[2]

Further innovations by Nosler included new techniques of manufacturing bullet jackets that yielded more consistent expansion, better core bonding techniques to prevent separation of the lead core from the copper jacket, and the plastic Ballistic Tip used to provide the streamlined shape of a Spitzer boat tail, with the expansion of a hollow point.[1] The Nosler Ballistic Tip design has been copied by other manufacturers, such as the V-Max bullet by Hornady. John Nosler sold the production facilities to his son in 1988, and died at his home in Bend, Oregon, on 10 October 2010.[1]

Company Information[edit]

Today, Nosler makes a number of different hunting bullets for rifle, handgun, and muzzle-loaders. They also manufacture brass and sell loaded ammunition, and Nosler Custom has recently begun to sell limited edition and semi-custom hunting rifles. The original Partition design bullet still is the company's flagship product. It has undergone many refinements over the years, but the basic design concept has remained unchanged.

Company News[edit]

Nosler experienced a massive explosion at their plant in Bend, Oregon on 2 June 2010. No one was harmed in the blast.[3]

In February 2015, Nosler announced plans to expand their long-standing operations in Bend, Oregon to their neighboring city of Redmond, where the company purchased 60 acres of undeveloped land in December 2014. Construction of a 30,000 sq. ft. building is planned for completion in 2016 and will house Nosler’s growing ammunition and cartridge brass operations, including the manufacturing of their SSA by Nosler product line based on the company’s acquisition of Silver State Armory in 2013. The expansion is expected to add approximately 20 jobs in Central Oregon and will allow the original Bend plant to focus exclusively on bullet production.[4][5]

Company Developments[edit]

In 2006 Nosler announced its very first rifle offering, the Model 48 Trophy Grade.[6]

Nosler announced the company’s first proprietary cartridge, the 26 Nosler, as the world’s most powerful 6.5mm cartridge commercially available during SHOT Show in January 2014. In January 2015, Nosler introduced the company’s second cartridge, the 28 Nosler, a 7mm rifle cartridge based on the 26 Nosler case. Since their release, the 26 Nosler and 28 Nosler [7] have been known for high muzzle velocities and extremely flat trajectories. The parent case for both cartridges is based on the .404 Jeffery case.

In October 2014, Nosler introduced Ballistic Tip Ammunition as the latest product offering in their factory loaded ammunition.[8] The ammunition is loaded exclusively with Nosler’s line of Ballistic Tip hunting bullets, a polymer-tipped projectile made popular by the company when introduced in 1984 as a premium choice for hunting medium-sized game such as deer, antelope and wild hogs.[9] The Ballistic Tip Ammunition line pairs the performance of the Ballistic Tip projectile with Nosler’s own component brass.

Late 2014 Nosler revamped the Model 48 line. It did away with the Trophy Grade Rifle and replaced it with the Patriot Rifle. The new rifle has a Basix trigger and Bell and Carlson stock. For the most accuracy out of the Patriot, Nosler incorporated an aluminum bedding chassis into the aramid-fiber reinforced carbon fiber stock, and the barrel is free-floated. The stock is a hand laid-up laminate that is elephant gray with black epoxy webbed over the surface. Which means it’s never going to warp or crack. The comb is straight with a pancake cheekpiece and a thick, solid pistol grip. The Patriot rifle chambered in .26 Nosler should be an effective hunting combination from the mountains to the prairies.[6]

Early 2016 Nosler introduced its third cartridge the .30 Nosler.

October 2016 Nosler introduces a new line of Competition / Target Bullets - RDF Bullets[10]

October 2016 Nosler introduces the .33 Nosler[11]

January 2017 Nosler introduces the .22 Nosler.

Company Awards[edit]

2007 NRA Golden Bullseye Pioneer Award: John A. Nosler[12]

2007 Field and Streams Best of the Best: Nosler Model 48 Rifles[13]

2010 Gray's Sporting Journal - Gray's Best Award: Nosler Model 48 Sporter Rifle[13]

2010 Field and Streams Best of the Best: Model 48 Trophy Grade Rifle[14]

2010 Field and Streams Best of the Best: Trophy Grade BT Lead Free Ammunition

2011 American Rifleman Golden Bullseye Rifle of the Year Award: Nosler Trophy Grade Rifle[13]

2014 Outdoor Life Editors Choice Award: Nosler M48 Patriot Rifle[15]

2015 American Rifleman Golden Bullseye Award: Best Ammunition, 26 Nosler [16]

2015 Outdoor Channel Golden Moose Award: Best Commercial, Flat Out. Lights Out.[17]

2015 Guns and Shooting Online: Rifle Award - Nosler M48 Heritage Rifle[18]

2016 Sporting Classics: Company of the Year - Nosler Inc.[19]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d Aaron Carter "John A. Nosler" American Rifleman January 2011 pp.38-39
  2. ^ "Partition". Nosler. Retrieved 2010-12-23. 
  3. ^ KTVZ report on Nosler Explosion
  4. ^ "Redmond thrilled by Nosler expansion plans". The Bulletin (Bend). Retrieved 30 July 2015. 
  5. ^ "Nosler Ammunition Acquires Silver State Armory". AmmoLand. Retrieved 30 July 2015. 
  6. ^ a b "Nosler Model 48 Patriot Review". RifleShooter. Retrieved 30 July 2015. 
  7. ^ "Nosler Introduces "World’s Most Powerful" 7mm: The .28 Nosler". The Firearm Blog. Retrieved 30 June 2015. 
  8. ^ "Nosler Announces BT Ammunition for America’s Most Popular Game". AmmoLand. Retrieved 30 June 2015. 
  9. ^ "Designed For America's Most Popular Game". North American Hunter Staff. Retrieved 30 June 2015. 
  10. ^ "Nosler Unveils Ultra-High BC, Reduced Drag Factor (RDF) Bullet Line". Nosler Inc. Retrieved 28 October 2016. 
  11. ^ "Nosler Introduces Their Most Powerful Cartridge Yet – The 33 Nosler". AmmoLand. Retrieved 28 October 2016. 
  12. ^ "Remembering Bullet Innovator John Nosler". Shooting Illustrated. Retrieved 30 July 2015. 
  13. ^ a b c "Nosler History". Nosler. Retrieved 16 September 2015. 
  14. ^ "Petzal's Picks: The New Best Rifles, Scopes, and Binoculars of 2010 Nosler". Field & Stream. Retrieved 11 November 2016. 
  15. ^ "2014 Gun Test: OL Reviews and Ranks the Best New Rifles". Outdoor Life. Retrieved 30 July 2015. 
  16. ^ "Outdoor Channel Unveils the Winners of the 15th Annual Golden Moose Awards". NRA Staff. Retrieved 30 June 2015. 
  17. ^ "2015 Golden Bullseye Award Winners". Outdoor Channel. Retrieved 30 June 2015. 
  18. ^ "Guns and Shooting Online 2015 Awards". Chuck Hawks. Retrieved 28 September 2015. 
  19. ^ "Sporting Classics Names its 2015 "Award of Excellence" Recipients". Sporting Classics. Retrieved 4 April 2016. 

External links[edit]