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

The company was founded in the late-1940s by John Nosler. A 1946 hunting incident involving a failure of an expanding bullet to penetrate 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). The resulting bullet, named the Nosler Partition, used specially designed jacket that separated the bullet into two sections. Both sections were filled with lead or lead alloy. The front section would 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). Originally developed for personal use, using hand made, lathe turned jackets, in 1948 Nosler began to sell the partition bullets commercially, forming Nosler, Inc.

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 full metal jacket bullet with the expansion of a hollow point. The Nosler Ballistic Tip design has been copied by other manufacturers, such as the V-Max bullet by Hornady.

Current company

Today, Nosler makes a number of different hunting bullets for rifle, handgun, muzzle-loader, as well as shotgun slugs. They also manufacture brass and sell loaded ammunition, and Nosler Custom has recently begun to sell limited edition 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.


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