Wolfe Publishing Group

    Handloader June/July 2020

    On the Cover: A Ruger EC9s 9mm Luger with Hornady 115-grain XTP bullets, Starline brass and Black Hills 124-grain JHP +P factory loads. Photo by Chris Downs.

    Volume 55, Number 3 | ISSN:

    Article Bites


    Reloader's Press

    Cast Bullets
    column by: Dave Scovill

    Reading through older handloading manuals recently, roughly from the 1930s to the 1970s, it was apparent that nearly all of the popular writers of the period started out shooting cast bullets in rifles and handguns. That’s understandable to some extent, because there were hardly any jacketed handgun bullets available, save for handmade swaged, and a lot of folks, such as Townsend Whelen, wanted a cast bullet for foraging loads in their favorite hunting rifle. The late Al Miller would be a classic example; most of his handloading projects in military and domestic rifle calibers included a number of cast bullet loads that helped to keep those rifles in the field during the off-season. ...Read More >


    Practical Handloading

    Rifle Brass Hardness II
    column by: Rick Jamison

    The last column Handloader No. 325 (April-May 2020), began with an introduction of rifle cartridge case qualities and concluded with tables of measured brass hardness from the solid web section of cases. Tests for this current issue involve a measure of brass hardness at three regions of fired cases to reveal how much brass progressively hardens with repeated firings and reloadings. For this, I enlisted the services of the accredited and certified Curtiss-Wright IMR Test Labs (no connection to IMR powders) in Portland, Oregon, for independent results. ...Read More >


    Bullets & Brass

    Mini Thirty 7.62x39mm Groove Diameter
    column by: Brian Pearce

    Q: I enjoyed very much your article about the Ruger Mini-14 and Mini Thirty rifles in Rifle No. 308 (January/February 2020). I have a Mini Thirty that I received as a Christmas gift in 1986 or 1987. I believe it to be one of the first to leave the factory. I have read previously about the .308 inch groove diameter that you mentioned in your article. In slugging the bore it indicates that my rifle does indeed have a .308 inch groove diameter. I am very curious to know where you received your information. Best Regards. ...Read More >


    Cartridge Board

    The .410 3-Inch
    column by: Gil Sengel

    In the last column we looked at the 2- and 2½-inch .410s, the origins of which are a bit murkey. The 3-inch round suffers from no such ambiguity. ...Read More >


    Propellant Profiles

    Shooters World Major Pistol
    column by: Rob Behr

    Shooters World Major Pistol fills a niche that sometimes goes unappreciated by serious handloaders, especially competitors seeking to shoot in the “major” power factor using 9mm Parabellum. With a burn rate comparable to Accurate No. 7 or Vihtavuori 3N37, Major Pistol allows charge masses that are great enough to provide high velocities at pressures that are still sensible in well-built competition handguns. ...Read More >


    From the Hip

    New Ruger EC9s 9mm Luger
    column by: Brian Pearce

    When Ruger introduced the EC9s with a stunningly low manufacturer’s suggested retail price, many people expected a compromised gun. On the contrary, it has proven reliable with a variety of loads containing bullets of different weights and profiles. It not only shoots where it is pointed, but its accuracy is on par with other striker-fired pistols that cost much more. At just 17.2 ounces, along with an especially trim profile and chambered for the 9mm Luger, it is already being accepted as a practical and reliable carry pistol. ...Read More >


    Mike's Shootin' Shack

    .38 Special
    column by: Mike Venturino

    My introduction to handloading in 1966 began with the .38 Special. The revolver for which I was loading was a Smith & Wesson (S&W) Model 14 (K38) with 6-inch barrel. Shooting with it was done at paper targets, with some plinking along the way. To this day I still have a great fondness for this fine, old cartridge. In its 120-year existence, an amazing variety of revolvers have been chambered for it. Included have been double actions, single actions, fixed sighted, adjustable sighted, five-shot cylinders, six-shot cylinders and 17⁄8-inch barrels to 83⁄8-inch barrels made of carbon steel, stainless steel, some blued finish and others nickeled finish. ...Read More >


    Wildcat Cartridges

    .24 Nosler
    column by: Layne Simpson

    Like the .22 Nosler, the .24 Nosler was designed to fit into the magazine of the AR-15 rifle. Both were given a maximum overall cartridge length of 2.260 inches, same as for the .223 Remington/5.56x45 NATO. The two Nosler cartridges combine the rim diameter of the .223 Remington with the body diameter of the 6.8mm SPC. Converting an AR-15 .223 Remington for either cartridge is done by switching uppers and inserting a 6.8 SPC magazine. ...Read More >


    .44 Magnum (Pet Loads)

    New Powders and a Wide Selection of Bullets
    column by: Brian Pearce

    For the past 65 years, the .44 Remington Magnum has proven to be one of the most versatile and practical big-bore sixgun cartridges extent. While it has been used to take practically all the world’s big game ranging from whitetail deer to elephants, it has also delivered extreme accuracy, with many experimenters achieving one-inch groups at 100 yards. ...Read More >



    Approaching a Century and Soldiering Onward
    column by: Terry Wieland

    In this age of fascination with DNA and tracing our ancestors, it’s fun to do it with gunpowder. In fact, with some you can trace not only the family tree of the powder, but also the various companies that produced it down through the years. IMR-3031 has been a stalwart in the gunpowder lineup since the 1930s, which is a good lifetime for anything, but it’s not showing its age and there is no sign it will be joining the “discontinueds” anytime soon. Good old “3031” is just too useful to let go. ...Read More >


    In Range

    Essential Powders
    column by: Terry Wieland

    Imagine for a moment you find yourself in a new place with no reloading facility, and the need to set one up and stock it for the ages – or if not “the ages,” at least the next five years. Your first order is going in. What would you stock up on? ...Read More >


    Swift Scirocco II

    Penetration and Expansion Combined
    feature by: John Haviland

    If looks could kill, a Swift Scirocco II bullet might kill big game just by lying in your hand. The bullet looks like a spear ready to pierce the air with its tapered base, long length and black plastic tip. But it’s the Scirocco’s construction that makes it deadly when it hits game. ...Read More >


    Tweaking Rifle Handloads

    Details That Can Improve Accuracy
    feature by: John Barsness

    Back when I began handloading, the standard advice for obtaining better accuracy from rifle loads was to try different bullets and powders, to see what a particular rifle “liked.” Specific bullets did group tighter in some rifles, supposedly due to tiny differences in bullet diameter and bore dimensions. ...Read More >


    7mm TCU

    Thompson/Center Contender Handgun Loads
    feature by: Patrick Meitin

    Thompson/Center’s popular Contender barrel chambering, the 7mm TCU, was born on the target range but offers plenty of in-field hunting utility. The 7mm Thompson/Center Ugalde, or 7mm TCU as it is more commonly known, was a product of necessity born during the “golden age” of metallic silhouette shooting. ...Read More >

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