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    Reloader's Press

    Seating Hollowpoint Cast Bullets
    column by: Dave Scovill

    I am routinely on the lookout for hollowpoints, cast or jacketed, for testing handgun bullets in water jugs or wet newsprint to determine if they had any potential for expansion in predators or deer-sized game. One of the first hollowpoints to be tested back in the early 1970s was the Speer half-jacketed semiwadcutter that was sold in solid or hollowpoint designs, but neither seemed to have much potential for expansion when fired from my .38 Special with an impact velocity of less than 900 fps. The other observation was that the bullet seating punch in my Lyman reloading dies did not fit the nose of the Speer bullets correctly, resulting in rounded edges, e.g., somewhat squashed and/or misshaped noses, especially the hollowpoints. The amount of distortion depended mostly on the degree of force required to seat the bullet in the case mouth. ...Read More >

     

    Practical Handloading

    Rifle Brass Hardness
    column by: Rick Jamison

    A brass cartridge case holds and contains a primer, propellant and projectile in a durable near-waterproof, compact package. It aligns the bullet with the bore, provides a seal for high pressure gases when fired, acts as a heat sink to reduce the amount of heat transferred to the barrel steel, and then recovers after firing to permit easy extraction. The brass case is not only the basis for a round of factory ammunition; a fired one provides the ability to reconstruct another shot. A new component case lets the handloader assemble his own recipe from scratch without the expense, chamber throat erosion or time required to find, purchase and shoot a factory round. A brass case can be resized, reformed, blown out, work-hardened, annealed, shortened, reamed, trimmed, turned, chamfered, weighed, measured, sorted and polished. ...Read More >

     

    Bullets & Brass

    Marlin .44 Magnum Heavyweight Bullets
    column by: Brian Pearce

    Q: Based on your articles in Rifle Magazine and Handloader it is obvious that you have extensive experience with Marlin rifles. I have a Marlin Model 1894 chambered in .44 Magnum that I purchased new about 15-years ago. The first thing that I did was ship it to Brockman (Brockman Custom Gunsmithing, 2165 South 1800 East, Gooding ID 83330) for an action job and to lighten the trigger pull to 3-pounds. I thinned the fat forearm and installed an X-S aperture sight and white stripe post front. Using Speer and Hornady 240-grain jacketed bullets pushed with 21.5 grains of Accurate No. 9 powder with CCI #300 primers (a load that I got from you) I often get groups measuring around 1½ to 2-inches at 75-yards. It is a ton of fun just to shoot offhand rolling cans and rocks, but I have also taken two Kansas whitetail deer with it, both with a single shot. ...Read More >

     

    Cartridge Board

    Short .410 Shotshells
    column by: Gil Sengel

    To my way of thinking, guns, shooting and handloading should not be just something to do, but fun. Fun of the “Where did the day go, we just got here” type. ...Read More >

     

    Propellant Profiles

    Winchester StaBALL 6.5
    column by: Rob Behr

    When Hodgdon announced the addition of a new Winchester Ball powder that was insensitive to changes in ambient temperature, the shooting public took notice. The general consensus has been that a handloader can either have easy metering spherical powders or extruded powders with less temperature sensitivity, but not both. After testing StaBALL 6.5, I’m convinced that its performance isn’t just a lot of marketing hype. ...Read More >

     

    From the Hip

    The Uberti Smith & Wesson Model 3 Russian
    column by: Brian Pearce

    As early as 1862, Smith & Wesson began making plans to manufacture a .44-caliber, top-break single-action revolver containing a cartridge (rather than cap and ball). However, producing arms for the Civil War and other factors stalled its production for several years. After considerable development of various models and continuous design changes, the Smith & Wesson Model 3 (indicating frame size) First Model American chambered in .44 Henry Rim Fire finally appeared in May of 1870 and was subsequently submitted to the U.S. Army Small Arms Board. The board reported “that the Smith & Wesson Revolver was superior to any other revolver submitted.” On December 28, 1870, the U.S. government signed a contract for 1,000 guns (800 with blue finish and 200 with nickel), but chambered in .44 S&W American, the first cartridge-firing revolver adopted by the U.S. military. Inspection was performed by the notable O.W. Ainsworth. ...Read More >

     

    Mike's Shootin' Shack

    Smith & Wesson Webley .455s
    column by: Mike Venturino

    Twice in the twentieth-century, Britain declared war on Germany when woefully short of firearms. In 1914 and 1940, its government quickly turned to the U.S. armament industry for both handguns and rifles. Soon after the war declaration in 1914, the country turned to Smith & Wesson because the company was already tooled-up for large frame double-action revolvers. It was easy for the British to prevail on Smith & Wesson to divert production to the .455 cartridge. ...Read More >

     

    Wildcat Cartridges

    .300 Kong
    column by: Layne Simpson

    I had the great pleasure of knowing Roy Weatherby. Back then people took pen and paper in hand and wrote letters, and I have saved all received from Roy on various subjects. Several were on an old wildcat he had formed by necking down the .378 Weatherby Magnum case for .308-inch bullets. His reason for doing so was as interesting as the cartridge. ...Read More >

     

    In Range

    Primed and (Almost) Ready
    column by: Terry Weiland

    History records that priming compounds were discovered by Reverend Alexander Forsyth around 1805, and that “by the 1830s, percussion had largely displaced flintlocks.” This is fine, as far as it goes. Alas, it does not go nearly far enough for anyone interested in the more arcane corners of firearms history. ...Read More >

     

    Federal Syntech Bullets

    Handloading Coated Projectiles
    feature by: John Haviland

    Shielding a bullet from damage caused by friction against a barrel bore has evolved over the centuries. During the Revolutionary War, Americans loaded their rifles with a lead ball slightly narrower than a rifle’s bore, encircled within a patch of linen or animal membrane. During the Civil War, lead Minié ball bullets were dipped in tallow and beeswax, or their cannelures were filled with lubricant. Berdan and Whitworth rifles used during the Civil War and years after, fired paper-patched lead bullets consisting of two turns of moistened paper tightly wrapped around the bullet. ...Read More >

     

    .300 Winchester Magnum (Pet Loads)

    57 Years and Still Going Strong
    feature by: Brian Pearce

    The .300 Winchester Magnum is currently enjoying greater popularity than at any time in its 57-year history, and in spite of many newer, excellent .30-caliber magnums appearing, it remains the most popular of all. It was originally conceived as a modern hunting cartridge suitable for taking all North American big game including moose and brown bear, but it also offers a flat enough trajectory and downrange power to hunt in open and mountainous country where long shots are common. In addition to widespread acceptance among hunters, it has proven a worthy long-range match cartridge. The U.S. government even adopted the .300 Winchester for use in the M24 Sniper Weapons System and Mk.13s rifles. There is a wide selection of components readily available that permit handloaders to fully duplicate and often exceed factory load performance. ...Read More >

     

    .40-65 Winchester Center Fire

    Loads for a Shiloh 1874 Sharps
    feature by: John Barsness

    One of the pleasures of gun writing is encountering firearms you never really expected or wanted until they somehow “appear,” the reason some specialists consider my modest collection of rifles too scattered, unlike their own collection of old Winchester lever actions or German drillings. (My collection includes both – and some twenty-first-century rifles.) This forces me to learn new stuff, which is always fun. One recent unanticipated learning curve turned out to be a Shiloh reproduction of the 1874 Sharps rifle in .40-65 WCF. ...Read More >

     

    All American .45s

    Variations and Misconceptions
    feature by: Mike Venturino Photos by Yvonne Venturino

    Almost 40 years ago when breaking into this business, I was thrilled to get an invitation to a writer gathering hosted by one of the major companies. One morning I was pitching an idea to this magazine’s then editor. As I spoke, a much older gent and editor of other firearms magazines sitting nearby slapped his table and literally shouted at me: “I hate it when you young fellows call it .45 Long Colt! There never was a .45 Short Colt!” With what I considered great dignity, I calmly responded, “Okay, but can I finish talking about the .41 Long Colt?” The poor fellow was truly embarrassed, but all ended well. We became friendly and he gave me quite a few assignments thereafter. ...Read More >

     

    Loading the 8.15x46R

    A German Classic in a Teutonic .32-40
    feature by: Terry Weiland

    The world of German Schützen rifles is a continuing mystery to American shooters, and if the rifles themselves are baffling, contriving ammunition is doubly so. It sometimes seems as if German target shooters did everything differently than we do. ...Read More >

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