Wolfe Publishing Group

    Handloader Feb/Mar 2017

    On the Cover: The .45 Auto Rim was designed for double-action revolvers, such as this Smith & Wesson Model 1917. Photo by Brian Pearce.

    Volume 52, Number 1 | ISSN:

    Article Bites


    Reloader's Press

    .44 S&W Special Versus .45 Colt
    column by: Dave Scovill

    In the 30-odd years I have been writing about handguns, this is the column I thought about writing but chose not to, mostly because for many of those years, the .45 Colt, in terms of bullets, reloading dies and sixguns, was at somewhat of a disadvantage. The exception was in 1971 when Ruger came out with the Old Model Blackhawk .45s that were manufactured to closer chamber and throat tolerances than the age-old Colts. The Rugers were stronger too, making it possible to match velocity and energy numbers produced by a hopped-up .44 S&W Special in a Colt SAA using bullets, cast or jacketed, of similar weight. ...Read More >


    Bullets & Brass

    .40 S&W and 10mm Auto Interchangeability
    column by: Brian Pearce

    Brian tackles questions on 40 S&W and 10mm auto interchangeability, .45 Colt data and .30 Carbine range brass. ...Read More >


    Cartridge Board

    11.35x51R Danish
    column by: Gil Sengel

    Ever since the advent of self-contained metallic cartridges, American riflefolk have had an insatiable appetite for obsolete (so-called “surplus”) military rifles. Many of these have been single shots chambered for big black- powder rounds. They were breechloaders adopted by countries hurrying to modernize their militaries beginning in the late 1860s. Their service with first-line units, however, was not long. Development of smokeless powders and smaller calibers in the 1880s quickly made them as obsolete as the percussion muzzleloader. ...Read More >


    Propellant Profiles

    Alliant Reloader 16
    column by: R.H. VanDenburg, Jr.

    The world of smokeless powder continues to change. On the heels of Reloder 23 and Reloder 26, Alliant Powder has now added Reloder 16. Manufactured in Sweden by Bofors, RL-16 promises to be “consistent across temperature extremes,” to have a “broa... ...Read More >


    From The Hip

    Buchanan Precision Machine Hand Reloading Press
    column by: Brian Pearce

    Handheld portable reloading tools first appeared shortly after the development of centerfire metallic cartridges and became popular during the 1870s. The most common was the tong-style tool, which proved important to hunters, ranchers, explorers and lawmen during the frontier era. Those early tools had certain limitations that included case sizing, and they required special dies or were caliber specific. ...Read More >


    Mike's Shootin' Shack

    50 Years of Favorites
    column by: Mike Venturino

    This past December marked my 50th year as a handloader. It started when, for Christmas 1966, my parents gave me a Lyman All American turret press with proper accouterments for loading .38 Special. I was completely hooked from the very first round. During those five decades, I’ve reloaded for more than 125 cartridges and still have die sets for 65 on my bench. All get used to one degree or the other. ...Read More >


    Wildcat Cartridges

    .500 Cyrus
    column by: Richard Mann

    It’s not that full-power loads from the .500 Cyrus pound your shoulder into gelatin, it’s the neck-breaking sensation you get every time the trigger is pulled. The cartridge feels like a roll of dimes. When fired from the 8.5- pound custom rifle d... ...Read More >


    In Range

    Gift Horses and Handloading Treasure Troves
    column by: Terry Wieland

    I paid John the handyman $200 for the first “treasure” and $50 for the second. I thought I was being generous; he thought I was being miserly. In a way, we were both right. The first installment of the treasure arrived in two cardboard boxes that ... ...Read More >


    .45 Auto Rim +P (Pet Loads)

    Pet Loads for a Classic Revolver Cartridge
    feature by: Brian Pearce

    The rockchuck population was excessive in 1989. They grazed in our irrigated pastures and made holes virtually everywhere, so always resting on my hip was an accurate sixgun used to thin them out at every opportunity. One day I was carrying a Smith & Wesson Model 1950 Target .45 ACP with a 61⁄2-inch barrel but stoked with .45 Auto Rim handloads, and a big chuck exposed itself at around 30 yards. The bullet struck where it was aimed, and the chuck rolled off the fence jack, a large pile of rocks used as a post. Almost instantly a second chuck appeared on the opposite side of the jack but made the mistake of hesitating before the Smith & Wesson N-frame spoke again. Another chuck appeared at around 50 yards, and once more the sixgun cracked. In the next few seconds, from a seated position, three additional chucks were taken at 83, 95 and 150 long paces. ...Read More >


    Reduced Rifle Loads

    Powder Options That Are Often Overlooked
    feature by: John Barsness

    Ever since some German cut spiral grooves inside a musket barrel, the overall trend in hunting rifles has been more velocity, both at the muzzle and downrange. So why would any twenty- first-century handloader use reduced loads, especially with relatively blunt bullets? Many hunters used to develop reduced loads because they owned relatively few rifles. This was common before World War II, and articles in shooting magazines frequently included reduced loads. Then, after the postwar economic boom took off, new cartridges appeared for every use, and affluent Americans bought specialized rifles for various kinds of hunting. ...Read More >


    H-S Precision Sporter Light Rifle

    Wringing Out a Semi-Custom .308 Winchester
    feature by: John Haviland

    H-S Precision started business in 1978, when Tom Houghton Sr. bought the Atkinson Barrel Works barrel-making business in Arizona. It used traditional cut rifling that would eventually be utilized on H-S Precision’s 10X barrels. Houghton always looked forward and was one of the first to develop fiberglass stocks. He took that development to the next level with Kevlar/graphite-reinforced stocks with an aluminum bedding block frame. ...Read More >


    Hawkeye Borescope

    Seeing is Understanding
    feature by: Terry Wieland

    One of the most frustrating (yet fascinating) aspects of handloading is the fact that much of what we think we know is little more than speculation. We can’t see a primer ignite, nor watch the powder burn, nor follow the bullet down the bore. This allows all kinds of theories – most of them unprovable – which give rise to all the endless debates in gun shops, shooting clubs and the pages of magazines. Which powder is better? Which bullet is more accurate? Do boat-tails promote gas cutting? ...Read More >


    .25-06 Ackley Improved

    Loads for a Custom Mauser 98
    feature by: R.H. VanDenburg, Jr.

    The years following World War I may well have been wildcatting’s Golden Age. Opportunities abounded with quite a few holes in the lineup of factory cartridges. On the other hand, smokeless powder was still in its infancy and choices were few. ...Read More >


    Product Test

    Runge Primer Catcher
    whatsnew by: John Haviland

    The RCBS Rock Chucker IV is a great single-stage reloading press. The only criticism, and it’s a minor one, is regarding its spent primer catcher. It often fails to capture primers, and removing it from the press to empty it requires some finesse to prevent spilling the collected, spent primers. ...Read More >

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