Wolfe Publishing Group

    Handloader August/September 2017

    On the Cover: A custom FN Surpreme .450 Ackley with Swarovski scope (photo by Terry Wieland); Savage Model 10 Predator hunter Max .223 Remington with Nikon 3-12x M223 scope (photo by Brian Pearce); Smith & Wesson Heavy Duty .38 Special (photo by Yvonne Venturino).

    Volume 52, Number 4 | ISSN:

    Article Bites


    Reloader's Press

    7MM Wildcats
    column by: Dave Scovill

    There seems to be a fascination with hot-rod 7mm wildcat cartridges lately, most of which are based on the relatively new beltless .28 Nosler or .375 Ruger cases. In large part, however, most of these wildcats have a case capacity within a few grains of a long list of wildcats based on the belted H&H case that dates back to the mid-1900s. P.O. Ackley’s Handbook for Shooters and Reloaders (copyright 1962 and updated in 1965) lists 14, 7mm belted wildcats, a few based on the .30-06 case and several others that are Ackley Improved versions of established standards, like the 7x57mm or .280 Remington, and a few short-fat designs based on the .348 WCF that duplicate the more modern WSM and RSAUM designs based on shortened versions of the .404 Jeffery case. ...Read More >


    Bullets & Brass

    Colt Lightning .38-40 Winchester
    column by: Brian Pearce

    I have a Colt Lightning rifle chambered in .38-40 that I inherited many years ago. It is actually in very good condition as it retains around 80 percent of its original finish and the bore looks as new. Mechanically it is crisp and functions positively. In referencing its serial number 71XXX, it appears to have been manufactured in 1894. ...Read More >


    Cartridge Board

    .300 Winchester Short Magnum
    column by: Gil Sengel

    Development of the centerfire, rimless, bottleneck, smoke- less powder military cartridge seemed to give all anyone could ask for in a round intended for small arms. It was hard to imagine how the 7.92x57mm Mauser or .30-06 Springfield could be improved upon. Of course, both were immediately taken into the hunting field and, given suitably constructed bullets, they performed well on all but the largest game. ...Read More >


    Propellant Profiles

    IMR Target
    column by: R.H. VanDenburg, Jr.

    This year, Hodgdon introduced five new IMR powders: IMR Target, IMR Red, IMR Green, IMR Blue and IMR Unequal. They are said to be cleaner burning, to meter better, and several environmentally unfriendly chemicals have been eliminated from their makeup. This latter trend was not started by Hodgdon, but it is nice to see the company join in by doing away with harmful chemicals. Hodgdon has, however, earned a well-deserved reputation for demanding, and getting, its suppliers to adhere to extremely tight manufacturing tolerances. To handloaders, this means more consistent shot-to-shot and lot-to-lot performance. As we shall see, this appears to be true of this new line of IMR powders. ...Read More >


    From The Hip

    Starline Brass
    column by: Brian Pearce

    Starline Brass began producing newly manufactured cases in .38 Special and .357 Magnum in 1976, which I began using almost immediately. In the decades since, the company has added all popular handgun calibers, including many less popular and formerly obsolete versions. This has allowed handloaders and ammunition manufacturers to keep vintage guns in service. Starline has also added many straight- and semi-straight-walled rifle cartridges. The latest new cases (which have been anxiously awaited) include bottleneck rifle cartridges based on the .308 Winchester family of cartridges. ...Read More >


    Mike's Shootin' Shack

    Colt SAA .38-40/.38 WCF
    column by: Mike Venturino

    One of my all-time favorite cartridges is the .38 WCF, aka .38-40. I’m not completely sure why, as it can be a fragile round to handload. Case walls are thin, easily crumpled, dented or creased when resizing and during bullet seating. Being of bottleneck construction, special carbide-type dies are not available, so lubing for sizing is a necessity. Also, some brands of reloading dies will not set case shoulders back enough to freely fit in tight revolver chambers. (I’ve never experienced this last problem with any .38 WCF rifle or carbine and have owned dozens – Winchester, Marlin, Uberti and Colt.) ...Read More >


    Wildcat Cartridges

    .277 Wolverine
    column by: Richard Mann

    The ever-growing selection of new AR-15 cartridges is apparently more than some folks can stand. Many harsh words come from those who have no interest in the AR-15. It’s not that we need another .264-, .277-, or .284-caliber cartridge; it’s that AR-15 afficionados want one. ...Read More >


    In Range

    Loads From The Intrepid Years
    column by: Terry Wieland

    Data from older loading manuals, such as Lyman Reloading Handbook 45th Edition (1970), is very useful but should be approached with care.In the April 2017 issue of Handloader (No. 307), loads were published for the .358 Norma Magnum, one of my fav... ...Read More >


    Accurate Rifle Powders

    Surveying an Eclectic Propellant Line
    feature by: John Haviland

    Western Powders has been a major distributor of various brands of gun powders in North America since 1972. Since then, Western, from its home base in Miles City, Montana, created an efficient delivery system for those powders. So it was only natural to further fill its pipeline by developing and marketing its own Ramshot brand of propellants in 1998. Western bought Accurate Arms powders in 2005 to grow its business even more. ...Read More >


    P.O. Ackley's Big .450

    Still Good After All These Years
    feature by: Terry Wieland

    In 1990, Jack Carter, developer of the Trophy Bonded Bear Claw, made his last safari in Africa, hunting first in Tanzania, then in Botswana. He took two rifles. One was a pre-64 Winchester Model 70 .243 Winchester, the other a pre-64 .450 Ackley Magnum. The big .450 was for use on Cape buffalo. ...Read More >


    Loading Oddball Rifle Cartridges

    Time-Saving Tips and Techniques
    feature by: John Barsness

    Cases are often part of the deal when buying oddball rifles (otherwise the previous owner would have trouble selling them), but if brass wasn’t included, it’s far more possible to buy oddball cases today than a generation ago. Modern manufacturing makes it possible to profitably produce smaller batches of brass, and the Internet makes finding them much easier. At least a dozen companies produce relatively rare cases these days, and if there’s sufficient demand, even some retailers order brass with their own headstamps. ...Read More >


    The .38 Caliber

    Loads for Classic Revolver Cartridges
    feature by: Mike Venturino

    Most American .38 cartridges can be traced to Colt’s Belt Pistol, a .36-caliber percussion revolver that collectors commonly call the Model 1851 Navy. How did .36 get translated to .38? In those days, firearms manufacturers were fond of designatin... ...Read More >


    .223 Remington (Pet Loads)

    Loading For Accuracy, Efficiency and Versatility
    feature by: Brian Pearce

    Development of the .223 Remington began in 1957, and it became commercially available in January 1964, about a month prior to U.S. military adoption of its twin cartridge – Cartridge, 5.56mm Ball, M193 – for the AR-15/M16 rifle. The case was based on a lengthened .222 Remington that offered powder capacity and velocity increases. It quickly outsold the .222 Remington and the rather new .222 Remington Magnum, causing those two cartridges to quickly fall from popularity. In spite of stiff competition, the .223 is easily the most widely used centerfire varmint cartridge in the world. ...Read More >

    Wolfe Publishing Group