Wolfe Publishing Group

    Handloader June - July 2024

    On the Cover: A pair of rifles chambered in 223 Wylde beside Trigger, man’s best friend. The rifle on the left sports a Tract Toric Ultra HD scope and a Nosler Suppressor. The rifle on the right sports a Leupold Patrol 6HD scope and an AAC suppressor.

    Volume 59, Number 3 | ISSN:

    Article Bites


    Reloader’s Press

    Creedmoor Sports Enhanced Press Head
    column by: Jeremiah Polacek

    When it comes to the reloading press, everyone seems to have a favorite. It could be because of the feature set, brand loyalty or customer service. The reasons are as varied as they are long. I certainly have a few favorites of my own. ...Read More >


    Propellant Profiles

    Alliant Reloder 50
    column by: Randy Bimson

    In the mid-to-late 1980s, the company my wife and I owned was one of the first in Canada to build bolt- action target rifles chambered for John Browning’s .50-caliber machine gun cartridge, the 50 BMG. Building the rifles was one challenge, and reloading for the big Browning 50 was an even greater challenge, as compatible presses, dies and components, particularly suitable propellant powders, were almost nonexistent. Today, it is a much different ballgame with a number of manufacturers offering presses and dies suitable for the 50 BMG. Today’s offering of quality bullets is far removed from the days of having to buy .50-caliber bullets lathe-turned one at a time from 90-10 bronze solid bar stock, also known as “commercial” or “gilding” bronze. Also, now there are several propellants marketed specifically for the 50 BMG. ...Read More >


    Bullets & Brass

    Smith & Wesson J-Frame 38 Special / Mauser 98 in 8mm / 45-75 W.C.F. in a Cimarron Model 1876
    column by: Brian Pearce

    Q: I have been reading Handloader for several years now and learn something from each issue. I have a couple of questions regarding handloads for my Smith & Wesson Model 638-3 chambered in 38 Special +P. I have been using the Buffalo Bore 150-grain Hard Cast standard pressure load listed at 850 feet per second (fps). I would like to more or less duplicate that load, but have been unable to locate that same bullet. I purchased some Speer 148-grain, wadcutter hollowbase bullets, but they are leading my barrel rather badly and my loads are much lighter than the Buffalo Bore loads. If you can suggest a bullet supplier and data to duplicate the above factory loads, it will be greatly appreciated. ...Read More >


    Cartridge Board

    223 Winchester Super Short Magnum
    column by: Gil Sengel

    In the original version of “Top Gun,” with Tom Cruise, I believe it is Cruise who utters the line, “I feel the need, the need for speed!” The same urge must have also struck the group of people who designed the 223 Winchester Super Short Magnum (WSSM). Speed like 3,850 feet per second (fps) for 55-grain bullets and handloads pushing 45-grain bullets near 4,500 fps! Are we heading for the rifleman’s Holy Grail that a cynic once described as a 50 Browning case necked to hold a phonograph needle? ...Read More >


    From the Hip

    CZ-USA 75 B RETRO 9mm
    column by: Brian Pearce

    The CZ-USA 75 semiautomatic pistol was introduced in 1975, and featured steel construction, a staggered magazine column and was chambered in 9mm Luger. It shared a similar size and weight as the famous Browning Hi-Power. Its design includes short recoil operation with a tilting barrel, locking breech, link-less-style locking cam, double/single action, external extractor and a frame-mounted safety. Uniquely, it features a slide that works inside the frame. Naturally, the CZ 75 is manufactured in the Czech Republic. During the past 49 years, they have built a reputation of being rugged, highly reliable, accurate, and durable and report significant sales. ...Read More >


    Mike’s Shootin’ Shack

    Are 44 Revolvers Dying?
    column by: Mike Venturino - Photos by Yvonne Venturino

    Forty-four-caliber handguns are American icons. No other nation has so many in its firearms history. From the first cap and ball revolvers of the 1840s through the twentieth century, 44s of some sort have been used for self-defense or sporting purposes. They have been popularized in cinema, literature and even songs. My favorite Marty Robbins tune is “Mr. Shorty,” wherein it is sung, “His 44 spoke, spat lead and smoke and 17 inches of flame.” (That’s not just fable; a black-powder loaded, short-barreled 44-40 sixgun will do that.) ...Read More >


    Wildcat Cartridges

    243 Ackley Improved
    column by: Layne Simpson

    Not long after the 1955 introduction of the 243 Winchester, Parker Otto Ackley increased its capacity by fireforming the case for less body taper and increasing shoulder angle to 40 degrees. According to Ackley, he decided to do so due to customer demand and not in an attempt to greatly improve the standard 243 Winchester cartridge. We know the cartridge as the 243 Ackley Improved. Other gunsmiths traveled down the same trail but with minor differences in case modification. Fred Huntington, who invented the Rock Chuck Bullet Swage, stepped forward with the 243 RCBS that with the exception of a 30-degree shoulder angle, is pretty much the same as Ackley’s version. Others included the 243 Epps Improved, the 243 Mashburn and the 243 Reynolds Special. Regardless of the name attached to the cartridge, all performed about the same, although the 243 Ackley Improved became the most popular by far. ...Read More >


    In Range

    Garmin Xero C1 Pro
    column by: Terry Wieland

    Having used chronographs for the better part of 40 years now, I believe I have a certain perspective on what counts and what doesn’t when a super-duper new one comes on the market. ...Read More >


    Loading 45 ACP in the 455 Webley Revolver

    Adapt & Survive
    feature by: Art Merrill

    One of the world’s longest-lived service revolvers, Great Britain’s “Pistol, Revolver No. 1, Mark VI, .455 inch,” which served that country and its commonwealths through two world wars, suffered a somewhat ignominious end on America’s military surplus market. At least, many of these Webley Mark VI revolvers did, though there are surviving original specimens that have not felt the touch of a mill. To Americans’ credit, the intent behind the permanent modification of the Webleys was to keep them shooting, and the modifications were a matter of practicality to achieve that. ...Read More >


    270 Winchester (Pet Loads)

    Still Popular After All These Years
    feature by: Brian Pearce

    In 1923, Winchester engineers developed a new sporting cartridge that was destined to become hugely popular with hunters, which resulted in additional cartridge developments intended to compete. However, the 270 WCF, more commonly known as the 270 Winchester, was not formally introduced until 1925 (the same year the 300 H&H Magnum was introduced) along with the new Winchester Model 54 bolt-action rifle, which was the predecessor to the famed Winchester Model 70. ...Read More >


    375 H&H and 375 Ruger

    Two Peas in a Pod?
    feature by: Wayne van Zwoll

    The English gunmaking firm of Holland & Holland introduced the 375 Belted Rimless Nitro Express in 1912. The new century promised tectonic shifts in hunting rifles. Until the 1890s, black powder and steels and rifle actions to bottle its modest pressures had limited bullet velocities. Hunters had depended on heavy bullets to kill Africa’s biggest beasts. Then, in 1889, James Dewar and Frederick Augustus Able developed cordite, a smokeless propellant named for its pale orange spaghetti-like strands. ...Read More >


    The M350 from S&W

    The Legend in a Revolver
    feature by: Terry Wieland

    It was almost like a sign from on high: Smith & Wesson announced a new revolver chambered for the 350 Legend, the deadline for Handloader No. 350 (June – July 2024) was approaching and I’ve had a weakness for .35-caliber guns since I bought my first big-game rifle, a 35 Remington, at the age of 15. ...Read More >

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