One doesn’t often get to witness history turning full circle, but that’s exactly what I saw during last week’s Safari Club International convention in Las Vegas, Nev., when a fellow stopped by the Nosler booth with a very special discovery. Company CEO John R. Nosler was on hand, and instantly broke out in a big smile when he saw the visitor’s small pasteboard box bearing a red label. “These are from the original run,” Nosler told those who gathered round. “From 1948, the first year in production.”
The label read, “Nosler Partition Jacket Bullets” and offered a cutaway illustration of the famed dual-core projectile that started the controlled-expansion wave that would change big-game ballistics. “My grandfather (the late John A. Nosler) hand-turned each one of these on a lathe, and my grandmother would have packed this box and put the label on.”
“We only have two of these red-label boxes in our collection,” added Nosler. “They’re very rare.”
I think everyone present felt a kind of electricity in the moment. Obviously it meant more to the present-day Mr. Nosler, who carries on the family business and still makes lots of the signature Partition bullets that were developed before he was born. The rest of us, however, were more than simply detached onlookers, since (I’m willing to bet) we all have Nosler Partition memories of our own. Folks who aren’t hunters may not understand how a small plug of jacketed lead could possibly trigger such nostalgia, and the best explanation I can offer is that it’s more about who we are than what we do.