Noted Author & Gunsmith Fred Zeglin Pens Book on Legendary Gunsmith P.O. Ackley

The most comprehensive look ever into the life and work of eminent gunsmith, barrel maker, teacher and cartridge developer “P.O. Ackley: America’s Gunsmith” now available for purchase.

P.O. Ackley: America’s Gunsmith
P.O. Ackley: America’s Gunsmith

Kalispell, Mont. ( – Noted author and gunsmith Fred Zeglin is proud to announce that the first book in Gun Digest Media’s Heritage Series, P.O. Ackley: America’s Gunsmith, is now available for purchase. Zeglin’s hardcover, 256-page study of Ackley takes a comprehensive look into his life and work as an eminent gunsmith, barrel maker, teacher and cartridge developer.

Zeglin’s extensive research highlights not just the history of cartridge and rifle development, but a never-before-seen look at a humble man who influenced nearly everything we know about shooting and ballistics today.

“In writing this book I found many useful and pithy comments from P.O. Ackley. These comments express an understanding of guns and ballistics as only Ackley could and are worthy of recording so that coming generations can appreciate his work. I wanted to allow Ackley’s voice to come through loud and clear; at the same time, I felt it was important to add technically accurate information that completes the discussions where he may have been silent. The goal here was to record accurately the history of Ackley’s career and opinions and at the same time make this book as complete as possible with regard to gunsmithing and cartridge development,” remarked Zeglin.

Most shooters today know Ackley because of his “Ackley Improved” cartridge designs, but those cartridges are only the tip of the iceberg. Zeglin uses this work to share the most complete collection of accurate dimensions, loading data and history for the lifetime of cartridges created by Ackley. His ideas on reloading, rifle accuracy, safety, cartridge choice and wildcats are just as relevant for modern “gun cranks” as they were in Ackley’s heyday.

The book is illustrated with never-before-seen photos from the personal archives of Ackley's friends, family and associates; a veritable who’s who of giants from the firearms industry who went on to shape the shooting sports as we know it today. From the dusty, oil rag-covered machine shops of Ackley's early years, to stunning modern-day firearms chambered in Ackley’s timeless wildcats, the full-color center section brings to life this colorful character and his accomplishments in gunsmithing and cartridge development.

“We hunters and shooters face a bit of a quandary: we feel an inexplicable connection to our forefathers, yet more often than not, we thoroughly embrace the most recent modern developments available. Zeglin’s book is a shining example of that duality, and brings the past effortlessly into the present. Whether you’re a firearms historian, a lover of cartridges or a modern-day handloader looking for your next project, this book deserves a space on your shelf,” commented Philip P. Massaro, a celebrated expert on reloading and ballistics.

Gun Digest Media’s Heritage Series celebrates the iconic guns, designers and manufacturers who shaped today’s firearms landscape. P.O. Ackley: America’s Gunsmith  is available for purchase at, or by calling (855) 840-5120 (product number R3744). MSRP $59.99.

For more information on Ackley, visit Zeglin’s recently launched site

About the Author:

Fred Zeglin has been building custom hunting rifles for over 30 years. Zeglin has taught classes for the NRA Short Term Gunsmithing program at three separate colleges and is the Coordinator/Instructor for the Firearms Technology Program at Flathead Valley Community College (FVCC). He has published two books, Hawk Cartridges Manual and Wildcat Cartridges, Reloader's Handbook of Wildcat Cartridge Design and contributed to numerous publications. Fred has worked with American Gunsmithing Institute (AGI) to produce two instructional DVDs, Taming Wildcats and Reloading A to Z.

About Gun Digest Media:

Gun Digest has been the firearm industry’s premier publishing brand since 1944. In addition to the Gun Digest Annual, the imprint is home to the Standard Catalog of Firearms pricing guide and more than 150 active titles on handguns, rifles, shotguns, shooting, reloading, gunsmithing, self-defense and firearms history. Additional Gun Digest Media properties include Gun Digest the Magazine and Modern Shooter TV.

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