Book Number One

There are several compelling reasons to reload your own ammunition. It is a popular impression that you can save money by reloading and there is some basis of fact in that because the brass case is the most expensive component in most factory cartridges. In extreme examples -- the .600 Nitro Express comes to mind -- a single empty cartridge case can cost $16.00 or more. Most cases cost well below that figure but the price is still substantial. Because the typical cartridge case can be reloaded several times, significant savings can be realized each time.

The shooter who sticks with factory ammunition has a fixed number of loads that can be tested in a given gun. The reloader, on the other hand, can make up and test infinite variations of loads. Bullets of different makes, types, and weights can be matched to charges of powder in almost as many makes and types, with charge weights varying by as little as 0.1 grain. Different cartridge cases can be tested, primed by different primers. The bullet seating depth or cartridge overall length can be varied, often with surprising effects on group sizes.

It's an established fact that no two guns are exactly identical. A load that performs superbly in one gun may be disappointing in another even if both are the same make and model and were made and assembled at the same time. By reloading, you can test a great many different load combinations through a particular gun and, if you keep meticulous records, you can track down the component combination that delivers the best possible performance. When and if you manage to do so, I confide the sense of personal gratification is so intense that it borders on being painful.

A following chapter explains why different guns give different results. People who compile and publish reloading data source books, such as this one, have both my undiluted sympathy and good wishes. I've tackled such projects a few times myself. Every single listed load has to be made up and tested; a project that blots up time by the megabucket.

Quite a few years back, a new edition of one of the well-known reloading data sources listed a load for a given caliber and bullet weight that was astonishingly potent. At the time, I happened to own two nominally identical .38 Special revolvers. One of them doted upon that hot load and actually produced a little more velocity than the book listed. Fired cases dropped out of the chambers at the touch of the ejector rod. The other revolver -- same make, same model and barrel length -- developed substantially lower velocities and the empty cases had to be driven out of the chambers with a wood dowel and a small mallet.

You figure it out!

The loads listed in this book show starting charges and maximum charges. With what I've just discussed, I'd hope you perceive the wisdom of beginning with the starting loads and, if indications warrant, moving up toward the maximum loads in small, cautious stages.

Many shooters avoid reloading because they feel it is too complicated for them to understand. Actually, it's surprisingly simple. Is it dangerous? So far, I've lost three friends who slipped and died while taking showers and none (yet!) while reloading. I continue to take showers, but carefully. If you follow simple safety precautions, you can minimize the hazards.

You should get into the reloading game. I can't possibly wish for anything finer than to hope you get as much fun out of it as I have!

Hunting Mastery Selected Tips

Hunting Mastery Selected Tips

Deer hunting is an interesting thing that reminds you of those golden old ages of 19th centuries, where a handsome hunk well equipped with all hunting material rides on horse searching for his target animal either for the purpose of displaying his masculine powers or for enticing and wooing his lady love.

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