Measurements of the double-differential π± production cross-section in the range of momentum 0.5 GeV / c ≤ p ≤ 8.0 GeV / c and angle 0.025 rad ≤ θ ≤ 0.25 rad in interactions of charged pions on beryllium, carbon, aluminium, copper, tin, tantalum and lead are presented. These data represent the first experimental campaign to systematically measure forward pion hadroproduction. The data were taken with the large acceptance HARP detector in the T9 beam line of the CERN PS. Incident particles, impinging on a 5% nuclear interaction length target, were identified by an elaborate system of beam detectors. The tracking and identification of the produced particles was performed using the forward spectrometer of the HARP detector. Results are obtained for the double-differential cross-sections d2 σ / d p d Ω mainly at four incident pion beam momenta (3 GeV/c, 5 GeV/c, 8 GeV/c and 12 GeV/c). The measurements are compared with the GEANT4 and MARS Monte Carlo simulation.