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Small Caliber, Big Savings: Reloading the .223

My first reloading experience was in Dad’s basement shop, watching, then helping him reload .38s and .30-06. I was about ten, and I still have the trophy he won at a local DCM (Department of Civilian Marksmanship) match with his handloads. Later, during my toolmaking apprenticeship, I moonlighted for a gentleman who made bullet-making dies for the benchrest competition elite. Most top shooters used Bob Simonson’s dies, including the founder of one of today’s premium bullet companies. I learned a ton about accuracy from Bob. Read More

Around and Around They Go: Tumblers for Handloading

When I began reloading in 1976, my department used .38 Special/.357 Magnum revolvers. Naturally, this was the first cartridge I reloaded. After a few hundred rounds, I started seeing scratch marks on my cases. I sent the die to RCBS, which sent a replacement die with a note asking how long I tumbled my brass to get them clean before resizing them. Read More

Happy Handgunning: Loading for Practice and Duty

For years, many people have said it is unwise to carry handloaded ammo for defensive purposes. This is based on two elements, both of which I believe are mostly myths. The first point of contention is that handloaded (reloaded) ammunition is unreliable. Read More

Hit the Bullseye with Bullseye: Classic Loads from a Classic Powder

Bullseye is one of the oldest smokeless pistol powders and still one of the most popular. Since it hit the market 103 years ago, it has been a staple for most handloaders and the backbone of most “accuracy” loads in the popular calibers. In my area, Bullseye is one of the first powders to disappear from shelves, lasting about a heartbeat longer than an econo bulk box of .22 Long Rifle ammunition. Read More

First Shots with Handloading: How Hard Can It Be?

I have studied ballistics for a while, my middle-school science fair project on bullet weight and trajectory during the Reagan Administration as an example. But until a few months ago I had never reloaded a single cartridge. I’ve been on the taxpayer subsidized skills development and ammo program for… Read More

Homebrewed Loads for the .38 Special: Custom Tailor Your Ammo

The .38 Special enjoys a well-deserved reputation as an accurate and pleasant-shooting cartridge. It’s just about perfect for building and maintaining skill without punishing your extremities or your guns. Reloading .38s is an economically sound endeavor—it has permitted me to keep shooting steadily upon retirement even after my stash… Read More

Handloading Subsonic Ammo: Is It Worth It?

Suppressors have become extremely popular, and more folks are reaping the benefits of suppressed shooting. They are so popular a push has begun to take them off the NFA list of regulated weapons. In my opinion, they never should have been put on that list to begin with. I… Read More

Strive for Precision: Getting the Most From Your Handloads

Basically three components account for an accurate shot from a rifle: the rifle itself, the shooter, and the ammunition used. Buying good equipment takes care of the first, while experience and training are the prerequisites for the second. For most people, quality ammo, often “match ammo,” means loads from… Read More

Social Shotgun Shells: Reloading Slugs and Buckshot

Only a small percentage of the millions of shooters across the country reload their own ammunition. Among those who do reload, not many cast or swage their own bullets. Comparatively speaking, folks who reload shotshells are few and far between. I’m one of the rare birds who fall into all three categories: loading metallic shells, casting/swaging my own projectiles, and loading shotgun shells. Read More