Wolfe Publishing Group

    Handloader December-January 2023

    On the Cover: The Colt Single Action Army turns 150 years old! Four 1st Generation Colts from Brian Pearce grace the cover.

    Volume 58, Number 6 | ISSN:

    Article Bites


    Reloader’s Press

    FN 509 Tactical in 9mm Luger
    column by: Jeremiah Polacek

    It has been about two years since we posted our video on the FN 509 Tactical on our YouTube Channel, Handloader TV. It was thought that it would be a very popular video, especially considering that 9mm die sales are among the some of the most sold dies for handgun cartridges. However, that was not the case, and to this day it has not been a very popular video for us. Which is rather sad considering the performance of the handgun. Since that video and the introduction of the firearm, there have been a lot of things that have happened. More time has been spent behind the gun, it has visited the Gunsite Academy on numerous occasions and seen many thousands more rounds. At the time of this writing, the rough round count is at about 4,000 rounds between several shooters. ...Read More >


    Propellant Profiles

    Shooters World Long Rifle
    column by: Rob Behr

    When I sit down to begin to write about the powder, the first place I look, long before any company advertising, is at its place relative to other powders on a burn rate chart. Burn rate charts are offered in two basic styles. One uses a linear progression, listing the fastest to slowest powders in a numerical progression; the powder in the first slot is faster than the powder in the second and so on. The other style offers powders in a table format that still lists the fastest powders at the top working down to the slowest powders at the bottom. What sets the table format apart is that it also offers powders with very similar burn rates on the same horizontal line. ...Read More >


    Bullets & Brass

    Starline 45 Auto +P Versus 45 Auto
    column by: Brian Pearce

    In Handloader No. 345 (August – September 2023), in my “Bullets & Brass” Column, I indicated that 45 Auto +P brass and standard 45 Auto brass from Starline are the same other than the headstamp that is for load identification purposes. This statement was based on information provided by Starline many years ago to this writer, but was also confirmed by weighing cases, etc. However, after that issue of Handloader was received by Hunter Pilant, process manager and chief ballistician at Starline, he contacted me with this response. “While our 9mm Luger and 38 Special are no different than other +P variants, the 45 Auto and 38 Super do differ from the +P variants. Both the 45 Auto +P and 38 Super +P are made out of heavier cups so that we can hit the head harder in the heading process to get a stronger case head. The 45 Auto +P also has a little thicker sidewall at the base than our standard 45 Auto.” ...Read More >


    Cartridge Board

    270 Winchester Short Magnum
    column by: Gil Sengel

    Every year when Dad and his hunting buddies would check the zero of their rifles, someone would invariably ask when he was going to get a modern deer rifle? Dad had several rifles, but his deer rifle was a plain vanilla pre-‘64 Model 70 Winchester chambered in 270 Winchester with a 4x scope. One of his friends called it “that old Jack O’Conner rifle.” ...Read More >


    From the Hip

    The New Kimber KDS9c 9mm Luger
    column by: Brian Pearce

    After firing more than 600 rounds to allow the new Kimber pistol to settle in, the magazine was loaded with 10 rounds of my handloads. The first five rounds were fired off target for me to properly settle myself and the pistol into the sandbags, but the next five rounds were fired in slow-fire mode at the 25-yard target. I tried not to notice the group size after each shot; rather I concentrated on proper breathing and duplicating the sight picture, grip pressure, hand position and trigger control. I already knew the gun was accurate, but this part of the shooting was necessary to produce hard copy confirmation. The first group fired on paper measured slightly less than .75 inch, which is a level of accuracy seldom seen with the myriad of personal protection, high-capacity pistols that are so widely popular. ...Read More >


    Mike’s Shootin’ Shack

    Bullet Casting Start-Up Tips
    column by: Mike Venturino - Photos by Yvonne Venturino

    On the surface, casting bullets is a relatively simple affair – melt lead alloy and pour it into a bullet mould. For satisfying results conducive to continued interest in the endeavor, there is so much more than that. The following are my opinions based on my experience starting in 1966. ...Read More >


    Wildcat Cartridges

    285 O.K.H.
    column by: Layne Simpson

    Charles M. O’Neil was a gunsmith who opened his first shop in Hopkins, Minnesota, during the late 1920s or early 1930s. Most of his barrels were made by Adolph Niedner. After deciding the west was where he was meant to be, O’Neal loaded his supplies and equipment on a big truck and opened a new shop near Alberton, Montana. Like many other gunsmiths during that era, he developed a number of wildcat cartridges with a couple in 25 caliber. One was on the shortened 300 H&H Magnum case, the other on the 30 Newton case. Both were eventually abandoned due to the short barrel accuracy life with the powders available at the time. The 250 O’Neil on the 30-06 case proved to be a much more practical cartridge. A very talented guy, O’Neil held patents on several of inventions, most in the automotive industry. ...Read More >


    In Range

    More, But Maybe Not Better
    column by: Terry Wieland

    Every so often, in the midst of the latest stream of complaints about this shortage or that – guilty, your honor – it’s a good idea to step back and take an objective look, not at what we don’t have, but at what we do. ...Read More >


    Colt Single Action Army

    An Impressive 150 Years Old
    feature by: Brian Pearce

    It’s doubtful that the engineers working on Colt’s new metallic cartridge sixgun including William Mason and Charles Richards had any idea how popular, respected, or appreciated that gun would become, or maybe they did! It is very unlikely that they ever considered that 150 years later, it would still be in production, remain in high demand, become widely copied and easily hold the title of being the most collected sixgun in the world. ...Read More >


    350 Legend

    Hunting Loads for a New Straight-Walled Cartridge
    feature by: Patrick Meitin

    In June 2014, Michigan’s Natural Resources Commission drafted rules to allow .35-caliber or larger straight-walled cartridges measuring a minimum of 1.16 inches and a maximum of 1.80-inches long to be used for deer hunting in southern regions. This was done on the premise of maintaining safety in highly-populated areas. This made the 450 Bushmaster and 460 S&W Magnum go-to cartridges but excluded the 2.105-inch long 45-70 Government. It was not long before states like Iowa, Indiana, Pennsylvania and Ohio (where the 45-70 is legal) followed suit. Seeing sales of 450 Bushmaster ammunition soar due to these laws, Winchester set out to design a more shooter-friendly and economical cartridge. ...Read More >


    Handloading U.S. Military Handgun Cartridges

    Duplicating Original Loads
    feature by: Mike Venturino - Photos by Yvonne Venturino

    Like just about every American who grew up during the 1950s/1960s, I watched westerns that appeared on television and in movie theaters. My all-time favorites were those that dealt with U.S. Cavalry in the Plains Indian Wars through the early 1940s when American horse soldiers fought the Japanese in the Philippines. In my teens, I began seriously studying the actual fights that involved American horse soldiers. Their influence was so great that at age 19, I filled my sister’s VW Beetle with camping gear and traveled westward to see some actual battle sites in person. I visited places such as Wounded Knee, Fort Phil Kearny, the Wagon Box Fight, Fetterman’s Massacre and topped it off by visiting the field of the greatest western battle with Indians – the Little Bighorn. ...Read More >


    380 ACP (Pet Loads)

    Better Than Ever
    feature by: Brian Pearce

    The 380 Automatic Colt Pistol (ACP) was designed by John Browning and formally introduced in 1908 along with the Colt Pocket Automatic Pistol. However, it was not introduced to Europe until around 1912. ...Read More >


    Shooting the Renowned G33/40

    Or Trying To
    feature by: Terry Wieland

    The object of this handloading project is simple and direct: To put the blade front sight of a Mauser G33/40 on an 8-inch steel plate out to 100 yards and actually hit the thing. This may not sound like a very lofty goal, but when a rifle is shooting 15 inches high at a hundred, with the sights set as low as they’ll go, and using something approximating the military ammunition for which it was allegedly regulated 80 years ago, something is seriously out of whack. Also, since I want to shoot the rifle – it’s a delight – on a variety of practical-rifle courses, it’s up to me to find a solution. ...Read More >

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