Wolfe Publishing Group

    Handloader August - September 2024

    On the Cover: A custom rifle built by Pacific Tool & Gauge using its Drakkar action chambered in 22 ARC with a Leupold Mark 4HD 4.5-18x 52mm scope and equipped with a Nosler SR-30K suppressor is shown with handloading components in the field.

    Volume 59, Number 4 | ISSN:

    Article Bites


    Reloader’s Press

    22 ARC: The Right Time and Place (Part I)
    column by: Jeremiah Polacek

    Many decades have passed since the introduction of the 223 Remington and its acceptance by the Sporting Arms and Ammunition Manufacturers’ Institute (SAAMI) in 1963. Since that time, many companies have attempted to capitalize on its success by building cartridges that meet the 2.260-inch overall length restriction for function in AR-15 rifles. The widespread military adoption of this cartridge as the 5.56 NATO undoubtedly added to its popularity. It also meant that surplus ammunition, brass and bullets were plentiful for those looking for a cheap option for plinking and practice. The 223 Rem/5.56 NATO has been the most popular .22-caliber centerfire cartridge for decades running. ...Read More >


    Propellant Profiles

    Shooters World Match Rifle
    column by: R.H. VanDenberg, Jr.

    Let’s get one thing straight, right off the bat – Shooters World Match Rifle is an excellent propellant in the 308 Winchester. You have probably noticed that powders that perform well in 308 Winchesters also seem to perform well in the 223 Remington/5.56 NATO. This is certainly true in the case of Match Rifle. If you have ever wondered why these two cartridges, with very different case dimensions and bullet weights can share propellants, the answer is that they share similar critical ratios, a dynamic called conformation. ...Read More >


    Bullets & Brass

    357 Magnum and 9mm Luger Revolver Primer Problems
    column by: Brian Pearce

    Q: I recently acquired a USFA Single Action fitted with three cylinders. The barrel is marked .38 Special and it has two auxiliary cylinders in 9mm Luger and 357 Magnum. The 38 Special and 9mm cylinders shoot and work fine with factory-loaded ammunition and my handloads. However, about half of the 9mm cartridges tend to blacken the firing pin indents. This occurs with both factory loads from Hornady and Federal and my handloads that consist of the Hornady 124-grain XTP with 5.2 grains of Hodgdon CFE Pistol powder. Using magnification, I can see a tiny hole in each blackened primer, but I cannot see daylight through that hole. ...Read More >


    Cartridge Board

    280 Ackley Improved
    column by: Gil Sengel

    The heyday of wildcats began a few years after World War II (1945 BC – Before Chronographs, or at least affordable ones). There then existed a pent-up demand for sporting arms, quickly fed by “The Golden Age of Military Surplus.” America was one of the few countries in the world whose citizens had the unfettered right to own as many rifles as they wished. Literally boatloads of obsolete, discarded, abandoned or captured bolt-action and single-shot military rifles came to the U.S. from countries who needed the money for post-war reconstruction. Rifles in really bad shape were disassembled for just the action, which led to an interesting situation. ...Read More >


    From the Hip

    Palmetto State Armory Dagger Compact 9mm
    column by: Brian Pearce

    Beginning in 2008, Jamin McCallum established Palmetto State Armory (PSA) headquartered in Columbia, South Carolina. This is a gun-manufacturing-friendly state known as “The Palmetto State” due to its official tree being the sabal palmetto. PSA offers a variety of firearm types, including rifles and handguns that are 100 percent manufactured in the U.S. and the company boasts of more than 200 employees. PSA is a very progressive company that offers quality firearms at reasonable prices, such as the Dagger Compact 9mm pistol being discussed here. ...Read More >


    Mike’s Shootin’ Shack

    Changes in Cast Revolver Bullets
    column by: Mike Venturino - Photos by Yvonne Venturino

    Things have really changed in regard to revolver cast bullets since I poured my first one. Back in the mid-1960s, from my vantage point, it seemed that the vast majority of revolver shooters cast their own bullets. Nowadays, I’d bet that sixgun shooters casting their own bullets are in the minority. One reason is because in 1968, the federal government decreed that bullets (and gunpowder) couldn’t be shipped to individuals. Then, in 1986, that rule was reversed and a plethora of commercial bullet casters sprouted around the nation. ...Read More >


    Wildcat Cartridges

    35-284 (3 Inch)
    column by: Layne Simpson

    A long-time friend of mine has always refused to run with the crowd. Rather than having the usual rifles in 223 Remington and 22-250 for bumping off varmints, his favorite rifles are in 222 Remington and 220 Swift. Whereas I often hunt deer with a rifle in 243 Winchester, he said his rifle in 6mm Remington is a better choice. Despite the fact that my Remington Model 7 in 7mm-08 has proven to be a great little deer rifle, he said his Ruger Model 77 in 7x57mm Mauser kills them “noticeably deader.” His favorite .30-caliber magnum? ...Read More >


    In Range

    One More Good Reason
    column by: Terry Wieland

    A few years ago, I experienced what was then known as a Transient Ischemic Episode (TIE), now called an Attack (TIA), presumably to make it more dramatic. A TIE strikes suddenly, with some of the symptoms of a full-blown stroke, but usually passes in a few minutes. ...Read More >


    The Legendary 220

    Swift in Name, Swift in Performance
    feature by: Terry Wieland

    In 1953, the 220 Swift achieved something few other cartridges in history have done – it became notorious nationwide, even among those who knew little about rifles, because it was denounced, by name, in detail, by a famous author in a national best-seller. ...Read More >


    Pet Loads for the 38 S&W (Pet Loads)

    Cast and Jacketed Bullet Data
    feature by: Brian Pearce

    The 38 Smith & Wesson (S&W) was developed between 1876 and 1877, naturally as a black-powder cartridge that contained around 14 grains of powder behind a 145-grain lead roundnose (RN) bullet. Most sources agree that the velocity was around 750 feet per second (fps) from revolvers fitted with 6-inch barrels. ...Read More >


    410 2½-inch Target Loads

    Increasing Availability and Diversity While Cutting Costs
    feature by: Aaron Carter

    “I believe they’re around $16.00 a box,” shared an employee of Bull Run Shooting Center, a nearby public shotgun range, after I inquired about the price of its Fiocchi 2½-inch 410 bore target loads. The worker was close as a quick scan at the register revealed the cost to be $15.25 per 25 shells, which, believe it or not, is actually a good deal. In fact, on its website, Federal Ammunition charges $21.99 for the same quantity of its Top Gun 410s and an extra dollar for its newer High Over All (HOA). Other firms charge more, while some split the difference. All are overpriced – if you can find them. ...Read More >


    41 Long Colt

    In Search of Accuracy
    feature by: Mike Venturino Photos by Yvonne Venturino

    My experienced-based opinion is that the 41 Long Colt is a paradox, a conundrum, a mystery, a success, a missed opportunity and most of all – a very interesting cartridge. Let’s look at those words. My desk thesaurus lists absurdity as a synonym for “paradox.” It is absurd to have a cartridge with a bullet nominally .386 inch in diameter for use in handguns with a nominal barrel groove diameter of .401/402 inch. ...Read More >

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