Wolfe Publishing Group

    Handloader December/January 2020

    On the Cover: A throwback from days gone by. We found the bubble gum machine when we cleaned out our warehouse. Swift A-Frame pistol bullets are dispensed. We wish it was that easy! The gumball machine was on the cover of a previous issue of Handloader. Email Jessica and let us know which issue and we will send you a gift certificate. Photo by Chris Downs.

    Volume 55, Number 6 | ISSN: 329

    Article Bites


    Reloader's Press

    Elite Sixguns Have Fixed Sights
    column by: Dave Scovill

    It has been nearly 20 years since I was sitting on the porch at a hunting cabin in South Texas cussing and discussing various topics related to hunting with a well-known handgun editor from another magazine. Glancing down at my holstered Colt he asked, “You hunt with that?” as if it was some sort of disgusting vermin, or some such. ...Read More >


    Practical Handloading

    Bullet Seating - Get the Ring Out
    column by: Rick Jamison

    There is nothing like the feeling of gazing on a new box of shining bullets that are perfectly formed with polished surfaces unblemished by human touch. Handloaders are almost giddy with anticipation of how the exquisite gems will perform, and can hardly wait to pull a loaded round out of a seating die to admire the full cartridge. Suddenly, the future is marred by the sight of an ugly scratch or indent plowed around the tip! ...Read More >


    Bullets & Brass

    .243 Winchester Dual-Purpose Powder?
    column by: Brian Pearce

    First, let me say how much I enjoy Handloader magazine. There is no other publication that contains so much information for shooters like me. My main question is: I have several rifles chambered in .243 Winchester. My favorite is a Savage Model 110 with a 24-inch Shilen custom barrel that is used for varmints. I have been using the 58-grain Hornady V-MAX bullet with Hodgdon Varget powder for around 3,700 fps. It is devastating to prairie dogs and other varmints and is very accurate. ...Read More >


    Cartridge Board

    .300 Weatherby Magnum
    column by: Gil Sengel

    When Roy Weatherby quit a good-paying job to open a California sporting goods store to sell his ultra-high velocity rifles and cartridges in late 1945, success was not assured. He went ahead because he believed high velocity provided greater shock (sometimes called hydrostatic shock), thus producing quicker kills and preventing the loss of animals not hit in exactly the right spot. The introduction of slower burning DuPont IMR-4350 powder in 1940 made this possible. ...Read More >


    Propellant Profiles

    "Improved" Alliant Herco
    column by: Randy Bimson

    One thing my years in the ammunition and firearm industry has reinforced is that the industry does not sit on its laurels, and there is no better case study than Alliant Powder. Over the years, a number of Alliant powders have gone through a succession of improvements to keep pace with the demands of the marketplace and changes in technologies. Herco is the latest in the line of Alliant Powder propellants to benefit from performance improving enhancements. ...Read More >


    From the Hip

    Charter Arms Pitbull .45 ACP
    column by: Brian Pearce

    In spite of advancements and the widespread popularity of autoloading pistol designs in the past few decades, the demand for double-action revolvers remains strong. One example is the Charter Arms Pitbull .45 ACP, which is a medium frame, five-shot revolver with a 2.5-inch (actually 2.460) barrel and is stainless steel. It offers a modest price, reliability and is manufactured in the U.S. For this review, several hundred rounds were fired and it functioned flawlessly throughout. ...Read More >


    Mike's Shootin' Shack

    Barrel Length Comparison
    column by: Mike Venturino

    After settling on a good handload, a thought in almost every handloader’s mind is, “How will barrel length affect velocity?” Over the years I’ve seen many tests done on this question, with the most technical being when a rifle or handgun has its barrel shortened incrementally an inch at a time and chronographing done accordingly. ...Read More >


    Wildcat Cartridges

    Niedner .22 WCF Improved
    column by: Layne Simpson

    During searches for a better varmint cartridge, gunsmiths and tinkerers of the 1920s took a close look at what could be done to improve the performance of the .22 Winchester Centerfire (.22 WCF) introduced in 1885. First available in the Winchester 1885 rifle, it was sometimes also cataloged as the Winchester .22 Single Shot and the 22-13-45, with the latter two numbers indicating the charge weight of black powder and the weight of the lead bullet. Beginning during the 1920s and until its discontinuance in 1935, the .22 WCF was loaded with a charge of smokeless powder that duplicated the original black-powder velocity of 1,300 fps. According to some sources, bullet diameter was .228 inch, but the bullets in my 1920s Winchester factory ammunition measured .226 inch. Winchester’s “200-yard small-game cartridge” promotion was overly optimistic to say the least. ...Read More >


    In Range

    Wild Bill and the Art of the Possible
    column by: Terry Wieland

    James Butler “Wild Bill” Hickok is generally acknowledged to be the foremost gunfighter of the American West – the “Prince of Pistoleers,” as one admirer referred to him. Any such judgement is, of course, subjective. After all, how can it be measured? Bodies left in the dust? John Wesley Hardin killed four or five times as many as Hickok. Does that make him the best? ...Read More >


    Swift A-Frame Revolver and Pistol Bullets

    Expand Like Crazy and Drive Deep
    feature by: Layne Simpson

    By offering the necessary tools and supplies for making premium-grade jacketed bullets, Dave Corbin of Corbin Mfg. has long blazed a trail for those with the ambition to produce unique designs and start their own small businesses. Among the more imaginative was Lee Reed of Quinter, Kansas, who introduced the A-Frame bonded-core rifle bullet around 1984. An integral frame in the thick copper jacket separates a soft lead core into two sections, with the front section bonded to the jacket. ...Read More >


    .357 Remington Maximum

    Loading a T/C Contender for Deer
    feature by: John Barsness

    The .357 Remington Maximum is the .357 Magnum revolver round lengthened .315 inch, and was basically developed by the hyper-competitive Elgin Gates, who among other things raced powerboats and obsessively hunted trophy-book big game around the world. When Gates got into handgun silhouette shooting, he decided to design a better cartridge, coming up with what he called the .357 SuperMag. ...Read More >


    .257 Roberts +P (Pet Loads)

    300 Handloads
    feature by: Brian Pearce

    During the 1920s, experimenter N.H. “Ned” Roberts shortened the 7mm Mauser case, necked it down to accept .257-inch bullets and changed the shoulder angle from 20 to 15 degrees. Roberts was a well-known writer, and his new .25-caliber wildcat cartridge quickly became popular among custom rifle builders and hunters. While Roberts was known to change the specifications of his wildcat, they were all known as “.25 Roberts.” ...Read More >


    In The Black

    All is Not Equal in the World of Black Powder
    feature by: Terry Wieland

    Legend has it that black powder in the late 1800s was far superior to that which is available today. Further legend has it that the best of the 1890 black powder was Curtis’s & Harvey’s No. 6, an English powder that was highly prized in the U.S. It was both expensive and hard to come by, but shooters loved it. Alas, modern shooters are not in a position to prove or disprove either of these legends, since none of the powders from the 1800s are available for testing. ...Read More >


    .22-250 Remington

    A New Twist on Bullets
    feature by: John Haviland

    While the .22-250 has been a popular commercial cartridge for 56 years, it’s time to put a new spin on its bullets to bring the cartridge abreast of the times. A faster rifling twist than the .22-250’s standard 1:12 or 1:14 rate enables it to shoot the entire range of .22-caliber bullets, including today’s long and heavy target bullets and lead-free and mono-metal bullets. ...Read More >

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