Wolfe Publishing Group

    Handloader February/March 2020

    On the Cover: A Shell Shock 9mm Nickel Alloy Shell (NAS3) is set up for loading in a Lyman turret press. Photo by Chris Downs.

    Volume 55, Number 1 | ISSN:

    Article Bites


    Reloader's Press

    Winchester SIlvertips, 31 Years Later
    column by: Dave Scovill

    It has been 31 years since I posted a handgun column titled “Those Incredible Silvertips” for this magazine. The intent was to review the lineup of Winchester Silvertip handgun bullets and to include a few loads that had been adopted, some of which replaced standards that largely featured cast bullet designs. ...Read More >


    Practical Handloading

    Metallic Case Crimping
    column by: Rick Jamison

    Crimping is one aspect of handloading best avoided unless there is some reason that bullets tend to move either into or out of case mouths after being seated or during feeding and firing. There are a lot of reasons for this to happen. In a rifle with a box magazine, for example, recoil acting against the inertia of magazine-housed cartridges can bash bullet tips into the forward face of a magazine box. Handloaders may have noticed pointed lead-tipped bullets that are flattened when firing magnum-type big-game rounds. Severe recoil and lots of inertia from heavy bullets designed for the biggest game can even drive bullets deeper inside cartridge cases, altering cartridge performance and possibly creating a feeding malfunction. ...Read More >


    Bullets & Brass

    Real World .45 Colt Accuracy
    column by: Brian Pearce

    Q: I read and re-read your Pet Loads feature article on the .45 Colt in the June 2019 No. 320 issue of Handloader Magazine, which was a most excellent and informative piece unlike anything that I have ever read before. Your comments on throat sizes were especially interesting and I am considering fitting my Colt Single Action Army .45 with a new cylinder and have several questions. First, my gun is a second generation manufactured in 1959 and has throats that measure .457 inch. ...Read More >


    Cartridge Board

    .32 Short and Long Colt
    column by: Gil Sengel

    No matter how hard one tries, it is sometimes difficult to determine what useful purpose some cartridges serve. However, we can apply the old quotation… “The past is a different place; they did things differently there.” Looked at in this light, the two .32 Colts make sense. ...Read More >


    Propellant Profiles

    Ramshot LRT
    column by: Rob Behr

    My first day testing Ramshot LRT (Long Range Tactical) at a local range, I was approached by a friendly man who asked what I was shooting. I had just shot a three-round string through a 7mm Shooting Times Western (STW) and was letting the barrel cool, so talking to this amiable guy seemed a good way to pass the time. I told him I was testing a new spherical powder with a burn rate similar to Retumbo. He looked at me blankly for a moment and said, “Ball powders get wonky sometimes,” and wandered back to his bench. I thought about what he’d said while I wrote up notes on that last string. ...Read More >


    From the Hip

    Pietta Great Western II .45 Colt
    column by: Brian Pearce

    In the early 1950s Bill Wilson traveled from California to Colt Firearms to confirm that it had no intentions of resurrecting the Model 1873 Colt Single Action Army that had been more or less discontinued in 1941 to make room for the production of military arms for World War II. On multiple occasions, Colt assured Wilson there were no plans to resurrect the old sixgun and only planned to produce more modern designs. ...Read More >


    Mike's Shootin' Shack

    Many 9mms
    column by: Mike Venturino

    If someone is discussing 9mms with another handloader, it’s generally understood that the two are speaking of the 9mm Parabellum (9mm Luger). In other countries that would not be so. In fact, in some places the 9mm Parabellum is forbidden because cartridges in use by that nation’s military forces are banned. ...Read More >


    Wildcat Cartridges

    .17 Ackley Hornet
    column by: Layne Simpson

    Parker Otto Ackley developed several .17-caliber wildcats. The .17 Pee Wee on the .30 Carbine case was his first, but his .17 on the .22 Hornet Improved case went on to become far more popular. Plenty of varmint shooters continue to use it to this day, and based on reloading die sales at RCBS, its popularity has diminished very little through the decades. ...Read More >


    In Range

    Forever Lite
    column by: Terry Wieland

    Elsewhere in this issue is an article about reloading 2½-inch 12-gauge shotshells to use in unaltered English doubles. In the course of putting that together, I began searching around for some civilized loads to use in shotguns with standard 2¾-inch chambers, and guess what? They are almost as rare as the shorter English shells. ...Read More >


    Shell Shock Technologies

    Testing the New 9mm Nickel Alloy Shell (NAS3)
    feature by: John Haviland

    Brass has been the metal of choice for cartridge cases since nearly the advent of self-contained cartridges. Copper, the main component of brass, though, is a relatively expensive metal. Cases constructed of aluminum or steel, or partially of polymer, are used to lower costs but are not reloadable. A few years ago, Shell Shock Technologies started making Nickel Alloy Shell (NAS3) 9mm Luger cases with a nickel-plated aluminum head connected to a nickel-steel alloy body that are reloadable. ...Read More >


    .41 Magnum (Pet Loads)

    A Multi-Purpose Sixgun Cartridge
    feature by: Brian Pearce

    At the 1963 NRA Annual Meetings Elmer Keith and Bill Jordan met with representatives from Remington, Smith & Wesson and Ruger to obtain commitments for them to work together to develop a new sixgun cartridge. Specifically, it would be a “.40 caliber…that would push a 200-grain bullet at around 1200 fps.” (This is identical performance to the original 10mm Auto as loaded by Norma in 1983.) The new cartridge was intended to fill the performance gap between the .357 and .44 Magnums. It would offer notably less recoil and muzzle blast than the .44 Magnum, which many shooters have difficulty mastering but it would still offer a large enough caliber and bullet weight to provide reliable performance for personal defense and law enforcement applications. ...Read More >


    Loading the 7.7 Arisaka

    Among the Strongest Military Actions
    feature by: John Barsness

    One of the obscure mysteries of smokeless centerfire rifles is the existence of a few cartridges slightly over .30 caliber, which might be called the “kinda thirties.” This tiny trend began with the .303 British in 1888, which according to many references uses barrels with a .303-inch bore diameter and .311-inch grooves. However, in the three .303s I have owned – a Lee-Enfield Mk. 4 No. 1, a Ross Model 1910 and a special-run Ruger No. 1A made in 2010 – slugging the barrels resulted in bore diameters from .301 to .304 inch, and grooves from .310 to .313. This is more variation than a larger number of slugged “real thirty” bores. ...Read More >


    The 2 1/2-Inch 12 Guage

    An Old Problem Revisited and Resolved
    feature by: Terry Wieland

    The U.S. is now at the tail end of a remarkable 40-year period that saw the renaissance of the side-by-side shotgun. It began in 1981 with the publication of The Best Shotguns Ever Made in America by Michael McIntosh. It continued through the resurrection of great American guns like the Parker and Fox in the 1990s, and on into the wholesale importation of thousands of older British guns with names like Purdey, Boss and Holland & Holland. ...Read More >


    Everyman's Cartridge

    Shooting the .308 Winchester/7.62 NATO
    feature by: Mike Venturino

    Over more than 40 years, I’ve been fortunate to experience rifles chambered for .308 Winchester/7.62mm NATO in its three basic genres. The first I define as “sporting rifles.” I’ve owned or borrowed from various manufacturers many bolt actions, two lever guns and semiautos. Second is “target rifles.” These have included one custom and one factory made rifle. “Military rifles” have included M1As, FN FALs, ARs and even a couple of “real” M14s. ...Read More >

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