Wolfe Publishing Group

    Handloader December/January 2021

    On the Cover: A stainless steel Colt Python .357 with a match grade 6-inch barrel on top of Starline brass. Photo by Matt West.

    Volume 56, Number 6 | ISSN: 335

    Article Bites


    Propellant Profiles

    Alliant Reloder TS 15.5
    column by: Randy Bimson

    The Hercules Powder Company, in later years known as Hercules, Inc., has a long and storied history in manufacturing gunpowder dating back to 1882. Over the years, Hercules was best known for its shotshell and handgun powders, while its limited line of centerfire rifle powders, the Hi Vel series, 2400, Reloder 7, 11 and 12 played second fiddle to IMR powders and to a lesser extent, Winchester spherical powders. ...Read More >


    Bullets & Brass

    9mm Luger +P Cast Bullet Data
    column by: Brian Pearce

    I love the magazine and kudos to you and the staff for all the useful information. I am trying to develop a +P 9mm Luger load with the Rim Rock Bullets’ 148-grain Outdoorsman bullet. ...Read More >


    Cartridge Board

    .40-65 Winchester
    column by: Gil Sengel

    The 1880s were an exciting time for riflemen. Centerfire cartridges using drawn brass cases were here to stay. There were still some bugs to be worked out, but most every army in the world was throwing money at ammunition problems until they were solved. ...Read More >


    From the Hip

    Colt's New Python .357
    column by: Brian Pearce

    After considerable pressure from shooters and dealers, Colt has reintroduced its famous Python chambered in .357 Magnum which has been absent from its product lineup for around two decades. At a glance, it resembles the original Python .357 introduced in 1955, but it is crafted from stainless steel; however, there are notable design changes that Colt engineers employed that are reported to increase durability. ...Read More >


    Mike's Shootin' Shack

    Handloader TV
    column by: Mike Venturino

    In the summer of 2021, I experienced something completely new for me. That was participating with Jeremiah Polacek in videoing for Handloader TV. Like many readers my age, I was barely cognizant of YouTube, much less aware that Wolfe Publishing had its own channel on it. Earlier in the spring, Jeremiah’s father, Don Polacek, contacted me about videoing my World War II small arms collection. He thought viewers would appreciate seeing the primary small arms used by the World War II military forces of the U.S., Great Britain, Germany, Japan and the Soviet Union circa 1939/1945. My opinion was that they should come to Montana for this project as that would be far easier than me bringing so much armament to Arizona. ...Read More >


    Wildcat Cartridges

    .450 Watts
    column by: Layne Simpson

    In his Handbook For Shooters & Reloaders, P.O. Ackley briefly wrote “The .450 Watts was developed by Mr. Watts and A.B. Anderson of Yakima, Washington.” Digging a bit deeper, I learned that in addition to being a school teacher, James Watts was an experienced hunter who became a resident of Alaska in 1936. According to double-barrel rifle authority Cal Pappas, who also lives in Alaska, Watts developed the .450 Watts in 1948 and later used it to take elephant, buffalo and other game during a rather lengthy outing in Rhodesia (Zimbabwe), Africa. The case was formed by necking up the .375 H&H Magnum case for .458-inch bullets and fireforming to a straight taper with no shoulder. The 480-grain softnose and solid bullets Watts used were made by the British firm Kynoch for the .450 Nitro Express 3¼ inch. Muzzle velocity of his ammunition was around 2,250 feet per second (fps). ...Read More >


    In Range

    Hollow Victories
    column by: Terry Wieland

    It’s generally accepted that man’s discovery of fire was accidental, and the wheel as well, and most likely the domestication of the wolf, which led eventually to the breeding of happy-faced Labradors. All of these were milestones along the path from freezing in a cave with the wolves howling, to cruising along the interstate in a pickup with your trusty dog. ...Read More >


    .44-40 Winchester Loads

    Feeding Classic Sixguns
    feature by: Brian Pearce

    In an effort to improve upon the power, accuracy and versatility of the .44 Henry Rimfire cartridge chambered in the 1860 Henry and 1866 Winchester rifles, Winchester developed the .44 Winchester (later known as .44 W.C.F., .44-40 and .44 Largo by Spanish countries) cartridge by 1873, which was that firm’s first commercial centerfire cartridge. It was the standard chambering for the Model 1873 rifle, which was a combination that became popular across the U.S., but would become most famous as “The Gun That Won the West.” It became a favorite of many notable cowboys, frontiersmen, lawmen, hunters, showmen, kings and presidents. In an effort to avoid using the Winchester name, when the Union Metallic Cartridge Company began offering ammunition, it labeled it as the “.44-40,” with the “44” referencing its caliber (although it was technically a sub-.43 caliber) and the “40” indicating the charge weight of black powder. That name stuck and Winchester eventually began labeling ammunition as .44-40. Early ballistics listed a 200-grain lead bullet at 1,245 feet per second (fps), but by 1875, stated velocity was bumped to 1,300 fps. While these ballistics are not particularly impressive by today’s standards, the old “forty four” has accounted for countless deer, grizzly, moose, bison and became known as a formidable man-stopper. ...Read More >


    A Breed Apart

    The .500 Jeffery and .505 Gibbs Rule Their Class
    feature by: Terry Wieland

    In November, 1972, in the Tana River country of Kenya, Africa, I met a professional hunter by the name of David Thompson. His job was guarding camps along the river from possible depredation by the numerous elephants that inhabited the thornbush. Thompson carried a compact, heavy-barreled, deadly-looking Mauser. Naturally, I asked. “A .505 Gibbs,” he replied. “One of the originals.” ...Read More >


    Techniques for Sizing Case Necks

    How to Get More Accuracy
    feature by: John Barsness

    Many handloaders remain convinced that a single aspect of the process makes the most difference in accuracy, especially weighing every powder charge to less than 0.1 grain. Supposedly, velocity will be exactly the same for each shot, but that isn’t necessarily true, as an accurate chronograph will demonstrate. Consistent muzzle velocities also depend on how much space the powder fills inside the case, and often the primer as well. Accuracy also depends where in a barrel’s vibration cycle bullets exit the muzzle. ...Read More >


    The Perfect Pair

    Loading for a New .300 Winchester Magnum
    feature by: Aaron Carter

    When stoked with heavy-for-caliber bullets, Savage’s new Impulse Hog Hunter is not only ideal for pursuing pigs of the feral flavor, but also for most of the world’s big game at close to midrange. In modern parlance, firearms manufacturers are “influencers” and “disruptors” – some more so than others. An example of a company that helps drive the marketplace, as well as regularly interrupts norms, is Savage Arms. ...Read More >


    Hunting Loads for the 7mm-08 Remington

    Modern Bullets and the Latest Powders
    feature by: Patrick Meitin

    The 7mm-08 Remington, introduced in 1980, is nothing more than the .308 Winchester necked down to .284 caliber. But the cartridge is so much more, a former wildcat that made its mark in metallic silhouette shooting as a mild-mannered, short-action 7mm round, but also a round that improves on the performance of the parent cartridge by introducing ballistically superior projectiles that drop less, drift less and retain more downrange energy. ...Read More >

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