Wolfe Publishing Group

    Handloader June/July 2017

    On the Cover: The Ruger Old Army black-powder percussion revolver was modeled after the 1858 Remington. Photo by Dave Scovill. Background photo by Terry Wieland.

    Volume 52, Number 3 | ISSN:

    Article Bites


    Reloader's Press

    The Blackhawk Story
    column by: Dave Scovill

    I was 10 years old in 1954 when an advertisement in an outdoor magazine lying on a table in the recreation room at the Associated Plywood logging camp caught my attention. The ad showed a single-action .22-caliber revolver labeled “Single Six” that resembled a Colt Single Action Army carried by all the would-be movie and television stars in popular westerns of the time. ...Read More >


    Bullets & Brass

    Uberti Model 1873 .45 Colt Loads
    column by: Brian Pearce

    I have a number of Uberti Models 1860, 1866 and 1873 lever-action rifles in several calibers. I enjoy these guns so much that I have started to hunt with them. ...Read More >


    Cartridge Board

    3-Inch 20 Gauge Part II
    column by: Gil Sengel

    The early years of the 3-inch 20 gauge were discussed in the last issue. These lasted until World War II, at which time the cartridge should have disappeared, because it had been no more than a fad among a bunch of wealthy duck hunters. All the stories about it producing large bags and amazing long-range shots were just that, stories, and an example of the fact that scattergunners tend to remember the hits while forgetting the misses. Indeed, the 3-inch 20 gauge is not, nor can it ever be, anything but a common 16 gauge that is maybe a bit slimmer and a few ounces lighter. It takes these advantages back, however, in recoil when the trigger is pulled on a cartridge containing a shot charge equal to that of the 16 gauge. ...Read More >


    Propellant Profiles

    Vectan AS
    column by: R.H. VanDenburg, Jr.

    Vectan powders from France have been available for years in the U.S., but we’ve refrained from reviewing them owing their general lack of availability. That is changing, however, and it seems worthwhile to introduce these powders to Handloader readers. The Vectan importer is Graf & Sons of Mexico, Missouri, but recently other mail-order firms such as Ballistic Products, Inc. of Corcoran, Minnesota, have begun to carry the line of powders. Any retailer can, of course, obtain Vectan powders and stock the line if interest warrants. ...Read More >


    From The Hip

    Spring Fever
    column by: Brian Pearce

    This winter was one of Idaho’s worst in history, with deep snow and temperatures that plummeted below zero for extended periods. As this is written, days are getting longer, most of the snow is gone, and spring fever, which seems especially bad this year due to the long, harsh winter, is setting in. As soon as current Handloader deadlines are met, my son Porter and I will be saddling the horses and riding the mountain as “medicine” to cure our spring fever, to relax and enjoy the horses and natural beauty of the grasslands. We also check cattle, shoot sixguns and hunt up a little adventure when possible. ...Read More >


    Mike's Shootin' Shack

    Irreplaceable Gun Stores
    column by: Mike Venturino

    As I have written in these pages several times, I was born and raised in Mingo County, West Virginia, the location of the Hatfield/McCoy Feud of the late 1800s and the Coal Mine/Union Wars of the early 1900s. (My great-great grandmother was Suzanna Hatfield.) In 1968, the nearest college was Marshall University in Huntington, where in November 1970, a plane crash wiped out the football team and coaching staff. The 2007 movie We Are Marshall was based on that tragedy. (Yes, I was a student there at the time.) ...Read More >


    Wildcat Cartridges

    .255 Banshee
    column by: Richard Mann

    More than 30 years ago, Gary Reeder opened a gun shop in Flagstaff, Arizona, called the Pistol Parlor, and it is still in business. Next door to the Pistol Parlor is a custom gun shop where Gary and his son Kase build guns. Reeder’s original focus was on custom Remington XP-100s and Thompson/Center Contenders. Today they build 1911s, hunting rifles, custom revolvers and many one-of-a-kind specialty guns. Many of these guns are chambered for wildcat cartridges Reeder designed, like the .255 Banshee. ...Read More >


    In Range

    Missteps In Cartridge Design
    column by: Terry Wieland

    Fitting the .250-3000 into the short Savage 99 action was like putting it in a straitjacket.No one would deny that the 6.5 Creedmoor, designed by Hornady, with rifles initially made by Ruger, is not one of the great combinations to come down the p... ...Read More >


    Sierra Bullets

    Accurate and Field Proven Since 1947
    feature by: Terry Wieland

    For as long as I can remember, the name “Sierra” has been synonymous with high-quality bullets. Going back 60 years, when there was only a handful of independent bullet makers in the country, if looking for accuracy, you looked to Sierra. The Sierra MatchKing was the standard, and everything else was measured against it. ...Read More >


    Annealing Rifle Brass

    Accuracy-Improving Tips and Techniques
    feature by: John Barsness

    The primary reason for annealing rifle brass is to prevent case necks from cracking – and they will, eventually, because firing and resizing cases “work hardens” brass, making the thin necks brittle. Most rifle cases will survive four or five firings, and some will last longer, depending on the brand and method of resizing. Many handloaders avoid the issue entirely by retiring brass after several firings. ...Read More >


    7mm Remington Magnum

    Loads for New IMR and Reloader Powders
    feature by: John Haviland

    Handloaders always welcome new powders in their endless effort to improve the velocity and accuracy of their loads. So in anticipation of stepping up the performance of my 7mm Remington Magnum, new powders have been tested, including Alliant Reloder 17, 23 and 33; and IMR-4451, -4955 and -7977. Most of these powders worked well with a range of 7mm bullet weights, while one was limited to a single weight bullet. ...Read More >


    .44 S&W Special (Pet Loads)

    Bullets and Powders for Standard Pressure Loads
    feature by: Brian Pearce

    The .44 Smith & Wesson Special was developed in 1907 for the New Century revolver that began shipping in early 1908 – the company’s first N-frame. Due to this sixgun’s unique third cylinder lock, which secured the yoke and barrel together when closed, it is often referred to as the “Triple Lock.” By 1909 Colt began offering the cartridge in its Single Action Army and later the New Service and Shooting Master. ...Read More >


    Go-To Handloads

    Bullet and powder combinatioins that work.
    feature by: Mike Venturino

    At gun shows, shooting matches or during casual conversations with other “gun folk,” I am often asked what’s the best load for a given cartridge. To that I must honestly answer, “I don’t have a clue.” That said, I do have plenty of go-to loads. After owning several firearms of certain chamberings, when a new one pops up for that cartridge, my go-to load will instantly demonstrate that firearm’s potential. Inside go-to loads are some go-to powders, bullets and primers. These loads were not arrived at intuitively; they were settled upon after firing them at paper targets through a variety of different rifles and handguns in the 50 years I’ve been handloading. ...Read More >


    Product Test

    Lyman Deluxe Carbide Expander/Decap Die Rod
    whatsnew by: R.H. VanDenburg, Jr.

    Years ago Lyman Products decided to take a fresh look at the whole sizing/decapping business. Reasoning that the tungsten carbide inserts used in some straight-walled handgun die sets are so hard and slick that cases need not be lubricated before sizing, a tungsten carbide expander button would certainly facilitate pulling it through the case neck after the initial sizing. The result would be less potential case stretching and an overall smoother operation. ...Read More >

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