Wolfe Publishing Group

    Handloader December 2018

    On the Cover: A Ruger American Rifle Predator 6mm Creedmoor with a Zeiss Conquest V4 4-16x 44mm scope. Photo by Matthew West.

    Volume 53, Number 6 | ISSN:

    Article Bites


    Reloader's Press

    Relative Burn Rate
    column by: Dave Scovill

    With the introduction of newer canister powders (propellants) in the last few years, it has been the devil’s own work to keep up with their application in standard cartridges, let alone catch up in newer cartridges. In several instances, a powder was advertised but not listed in the various relative burn rate charts and rarely listed in the most current reloading manuals. ...Read More >


    Practical Handloading

    Increasing Powder Capacity
    column by: Rick Jamison

    Handloaders complain about the deep bullet seating required in some cartridges. The .284 Winchester and .300 Winchester Magnum immediately come to mind. Manufacturers design cartridges for specific action lengths, and sometimes to get more powder capacity and velocity. In the case of the .284 Winchester, powder capacity is increased with a slightly enlarged case body diameter over standard diameter while keeping within the 2.800-inch overall cartridge length requirement for a short action. Additionally, the case shoulder is located far forward to add even more capacity. ...Read More >


    Bullets & Brass

    Browning Model 1895 .30-40 Krag Loads
    column by: Brian Pearce

    I would like to ask your guidance once again regarding a Browning Model 1895 (Winchester copy) in .30-40 Krag. It is very accurate at 100 yards with the Hornady 220-grain RN bullet at 2,100 fps (using 46.2 grains of Alliant Reloder 19 powder). I would like to try the Hornady 180-grain spitzer bullet, but am hoping to reach 2,500 to 2,600 fps. I know that the load data for most intents and purposes for the .30-40 Krag cartridge is kept to minimal pressures in deference to the old Krag-Jorgensen rifles and carbines. ...Read More >


    Cartridge Board

    .400 Purdey Straight (3) Light Express
    column by: Gil Sengel

    Many shooters delight in using what can only be called “specialty cartridges.” These are rounds designed or intended to fill a certain need – real or imagined. Americans have a tendency to think we are the kings of specialty cartridge creation – hardly. European gunmakers are more scientific at the process, and the Brits have probably been at it longer! ...Read More >


    Propellant Profiles

    Vectan Ba10
    column by: R.H. Vandenburg, Jr.

    I have previously only had the opportunity to examine one Vectan powder, Vectan AS, which is useful in a wide range of handgun cartridges as well as 12- and 16-gauge shotshells. This time a purely handgun powder is reviewed: Ba10. As some handloaders may remember, Vectan powders are imported from France. A part of the French conglomerate Societe Nationale des Poudres et Explosifs (SNPE), which includes NobelSport and Martignoni, Vectan is the powder arm. ...Read More >


    From The Hip

    Smith & Wesson 638 Airweight .38 Special
    column by: Brian Pearce

    Beginning in 1950, Smith & Wesson introduced the Chief’s Special that was based on the new, all-steel J-frame with a round butt, a five-shot cylinder in .38 S&W Special and a 2-inch barrel. Other barrel lengths and a square butt were added later. Sales were instantly strong, as it was reliable, compact and easily carried for self defense or as a backup gun for officers or the police chief, who was largely desk bound. ...Read More >


    Mike's Shootin' Shack

    column by: Mike Venturino

    In my writing career I have been fortunate to have handloaded many dozens of late nineteenth-century cartridges. They have ranged from the tiny .25-20 WCF to the huge .50-90 Sharps. Much of this work was with vintage rifles, but quite a bit was also done with modern reproduction single-shot and lever-action rifles. ...Read More >


    Wildcat Cartridges

    .309 JDJ
    column by: Layne Simpson

    The .309 JDJ is one of six cartridges on the .444 Marlin case developed by J.D. Jones of SSK Industries for the Thompson/Center Contender single-shot pistol. Despite its name, it is loaded with .308-inch bullets. Like numerous other cartridges developed by Jones, the .309 JDJ is proprietary, which means he maintains control over distribution of the company’s chamber reamers. Doing so discourages other people from chambering firearms for his cartridges, and with the exception of the .300 Whisper, the plan seems to have worked fairly well through the years. ...Read More >


    In Range

    Longevity and America's Manufacturing Genius
    column by: Terry Wieland

    In the 1950s, writing in one of the English shooting magazines, Gough Thomas (G.T. Garwood) told of a Boss & Co. game gun that had been employed by Eley Brothers for routine cartridge testing. Over the course of its lifetime, Garwood calculated, the gun had fired at least 1.5 million rounds. That is 1.5 million! The practice of Eley Brothers, in those far-off days before pressure barrels and electronic pressure gauges, was to pick a couple of rounds at random off the assembly line, walk out into the yard and fire a shot from each barrel. ...Read More >


    6mm Creedmoor

    Loads for a Higher-Pressure Cartridge
    feature by: John Barsness

    Rifle hunters come in two basic types: One decides what they like early on, usually somewhere in their 30s, and uses basically the same rifles, cartridges and scopes for the rest of their life. The other type keeps trying as much new stuff as their credit card limit can afford, hoping for a rifle/cartridge/scope that will change their life. ...Read More >


    .444 Marlin (Pet Loads)

    More than 320 Handloads
    feature by: Brian Pearce

    As a joint effort with Remington, the .444 Marlin cartridge was announced in 1964 in the Marlin Model 444 rifle based on the 336 action. Although the cartridge shared a similar profile to many nineteenth-century levergun rounds, it was not based on any existing case. Several published reports indicate that the case is based on a “stretched .44 Magnum” while others claim that the base case is the .303 British, neither of which are correct. ...Read More >


    Swift A-Frame

    Standing the Test of Time
    feature by: Terry Wieland

    Any short list of the truly great big-game bullets now available must include the Swift A-Frame. For everything from moose to grizzlies, from greater kudu to Cape buffalo, it is difficult to name a bullet that expands better. The A-Frame was one of a generation of bullets that came out in the 1980s and included the Trophy Bonded Bear Claw, Woodleigh Weldcore, A-Square Dead Tough and, a decade earlier, the Bitterroot. ...Read More >


    Precise Powder Charges

    Powder Scale and Case Prep Experiments
    feature by: John Haviland

    Sitting around a campfire last spring, two dedicated long-range target competitors discussed how they handloaded cartridges to produce low extreme velocity spreads, thereby minimizing the vertical spread of their bullets on distant targets. The analytical balances they used cost upwards of $2,000. For that money they can weigh powder to within .02 grain. To obtain that precision, they often add half a granule of powder (having sliced one in half) to bring a powder charge up to an exact weight. ...Read More >


    .45-70 Cast Bullets

    Solid Advice for Hunting and Match Loads
    feature by: Mike Venturino

    This Shiloh Sharps Model 1874 .45-70 features factory engraving and an English walnut stock. Steve Brooks made the knife.Ninety-nine years after the .45-70 was introduced by the U.S. government, in May of 1972 I graduated from college, spent the s... ...Read More >

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