August 7th, 2017

Fascinating Facts from Norma’s Ammo Academy

Norma web site Ammo Academy

If you haven’t visited the Norma website recently, you should click over to www.norma.cc/us. There you will find Norma’s Ammo Academy, a technical resource that provides information on Ballistics, Powder Storage, Barrel Wear, and Bullet Expansion. In addition, the Ammo Academy now links to Norma’s Reloading Data Center, where you’ll find loads for nearly 70 cartridge types including: .223 Rem, .22-250, 6mmBR Norma, 6XC, 260 Rem, 6.5-284, 6.5×55, 7mm-08, .270 Win, .284 Win, .308 Win, .30-06, 300 Win Mag, .338 Lapua Mag and dozens more.

The Ammo Academy’s Ballistics section contains some fascinating technical facts:

stopwatch

  • After the trigger is pulled, it takes around 0.005 seconds before the firing pin reaches the primer.
  • From the firing of the primer it takes 0.0015-0.002 seconds until the bullet exits the muzzle.
  • When the bullet leaves the muzzle, the hot gases surround and overtake the bullet, continuing the acceleration for a few centimeters.
  • Because the barrel is always angled slightly upwards, the bullet’s flight starts about 3-5 cm below the line of sight.

Norma also offers some good advice about Powder Storage:

To maintain the product quality for as long as possible, you have to keep the powder in a suitable place under suitable conditions. Where possible, store the powder at a constant temperature, ideally between 12 and 15°C (54°F to 59°F), and a relative humidity of 40–50%. If the air is too dry, it will dry out the powder, which will cause the pressure to be higher, thus affecting performance. Also make sure that you close the powder container properly afterwards. Cartridges should be stored under the same ambient conditions to maintain their quality.

Norma web site Ammo Academy

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Tech Tip 4 Comments »
February 21st, 2017

Why Does Load Data Vary Between Reloading Manuals?

load manual sierra reloading hornady data

Written by Sierra Bullets Ballistic Technician Duane Siercks
One of the first things new reloaders notice is that load data varies between reloading manuals. The Sierra Bullets Technicians frequently get inquiries asking us to explain why the load data appears to be inconsistent. This article explains five key factors that can influence published load data.

Example of load data variances for two 168 grain bullets:

Sierra Reloading Manual Hornady Load Reloading

Here are five reasons why the load data varies:

The Bullet
Basically, the similarities in the .30 caliber 168 grain Match bullets (for example) end with weight and diameter. The bullets likely have dimensional differences such as bearing surface length. Bearing surface has a large effect on pressure and velocity. There are also differences in boat tail, flat base, ogive and over-all lengths, which each help determine the cartridge over-all-length (COAL). With different COAL’s, we can expect changes in pressure and velocity also. In some calibers there are differences in bullet diameter with different bullet manufacturers.

It is also worth noting that bullet manufacturers do not all use the same copper alloy for their jackets. This produces more or less friction that results in load pressures and velocities. The solid copper bullets also vary quite a bit in comparison to a lead core and copper jacketed bullet.

The Gun
Each gun is unique, even if you are using the same make, model, and caliber. Special consideration should be used to consider that not all firearm chambers are the same either, creating more variables that need consideration. There can be drastic differences in the throat length. This controls the amount of “jump” that a bullet experiences when the cartridge is fired.

The Powder
Within normal manufacturing tolerances, you can see some variation in a given powders burn rate between different lots of the same powder. So naturally when two different Manuals are produced, it would be doubtful that the same lots would be tested.

The Cartridge Cases
New cases are almost always near minimum specs in dimension. A load fired in a new case would likely have slightly more pressure that when fired in a re-sized case. This would certainly be true if we were loading into fire-formed cases that have had minimal re-sizing done. Fired cases that are full length resized most of the time be slightly larger than the new unfired cases. This gives you differences in case capacity. The same powder charge placed within a new case and a full length resized case will produce different pressure levels and probably different velocities.

Conditions
Temperature can cause pressure increases or decreases. Hot temperatures tend to cause pressures to increase, while cold temperatures will usually do the opposite. Humidity and altitude can impact pressures and velocities likewise.

Conclusion
As you can see, an amazing number of variables effect any load combination. With the differences in the manuals, you’re just seeing firsthand examples of what took place when the data was collected with that particular set of components and firearm. Think of a reloading manual as a report. In essence, a reloading manual says, “We tried this particular component combination, and these are the results we obtained.”

Remember that you may or may not reach the same maximum load safely. There is no “one load fits all bullets.” The minimum load data offers a safe place to start. The maximum load data listed should always be regarded as a safety guideline and not necessarily a goal! Your gun should shoot accurately without breaching the maximum load data. The best advice is: always start low and work your load up!

If you have questions about variances in load data or other reloading questions, please call our ballistic technicians at 1-800-223-8799 or send us an email at sierra [at] sierrabullets.com.

Sierra Bullets Blog reloading information

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Reloading, Tech Tip 1 Comment »
February 16th, 2017

6.5 Creedmoor vs. Other Mid-Sized .264-Caliber Cartridges

6.5 Creedmoor Rifleshooter.com velocity barrel cut cut-down test saw blade

6.5 Creedmoor vs. Other Mid-Sized 6.5mm Cartridges
The 6.5 Creedmoor is a very popular cartridge with the tactical and PRS crowd. This mid-size cartridge offers good ballistics, with less recoil than a .308 Winchester. There’s an excellent selection of 6.5mm bullets, and many good powder choices for this cartridge. When compared to the very accurate 6.5×47 Lapua cartridge, the 6.5 Creedmoor offers similar performance with less expensive brass options. For a tactical shooter who must sometimes leave brass on the ground, brass cost is a factor to consider. Here’s a selection of various 6.5mm mid-sized cartridges. Left to right are: 6.5 Grendel, 6.5×47 Lapua, 6.5 Creedmoor with 120gr A-Max, 6.5 Creedmoor with 142gr Sierra MK, and .260 Remington.

When asked to compare the 6.5 Creedmoor to the 6.5×47 Lapua, Rifleshooter.com’s Editor stated: “If you don’t hand load, or are new to precision rifle shooting, get a 6.5 Creedmoor. If you shoot a lot, reload, have more disposable income, and like more esoteric cartridges, get a 6.5×47 Lapua. I am a big fan of the 6.5×47 Lapua. In my personal experience, the 6.5×47 Lapua seems to be slightly more accurate than the 6.5 Creedmoor. I attribute this to the quality of Lapua brass.” But now that Lapua is producing top-quality 6.5 Creedmoor brass with small primer pockets, we could have a “second generation” 6.5 Creedmoor that rivals ANY mid-sized cartridge for efficiency AND accuracy. We will soon know how well the 6.5 Creedmoor cartridge performs with Lapua brass.

The first shipment of Lapua 6.5 Creedmoor brass has arrived in the USA. It features a small flash hole and small primer pocket. We have some for testing…

Lapua 6.5 Creedmoor Brass

New Lapua 6.5 Creedmoor Brass Field Tests Soon
Our friends at 65Guys.com will be testing the new Lapua 6.5 Creedmoor brass next week. The goal will be to determine if Lapua’s new Small Primer Pocket/Small Flash Hole brass allows higher velocities than American-made brass (Hornady specifically). In addition the 6.5 Guys want to see how well the new Lapua brass holds up after dozen (or more) firing cycles. They’ll hammer the new brass pretty hard to see how it fares with repeated stout loads. Stay tuned…

Sierra 6.5 Creedmoor Load Data Manual reloading .264

Here are three tables from the Sierra Bullets Reloading Manual (5th Edition). IMPORTANT — This is just a sample!! Sierra has load data for many other 6.5mm bullet types, including FB, Spitzer, SBT, HPBT, and Tipped MK from 85 grains to 142 grains. To view ALL 6.5 Creedmoor DATA, CLICK HERE.

Sierra Bullets 6.5 Creedmoor Load Data MatchKing Tactical
INDICATES MAXIMUM LOAD – USE CAUTION
LOADS LESS THAN MINIMUM CHARGES SHOWN ARE NOT RECOMMENDED.

Sierra Bullets 6.5 Creedmoor Load Data MatchKing Tactical
INDICATES MAXIMUM LOAD – USE CAUTION
LOADS LESS THAN MINIMUM CHARGES SHOWN ARE NOT RECOMMENDED.

Sierra Bullets 6.5 Creedmoor Load Data MatchKing Tactical
INDICATES MAXIMUM LOAD – USE CAUTION
LOADS LESS THAN MINIMUM CHARGES SHOWN ARE NOT RECOMMENDED.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Gear Review 20 Comments »
January 17th, 2017

6.5 Creedmoor Load Data from Sierra Bullets

Sierra Load Data 6.5 Creedmoor

Sierra Bullets has just released very complete load data for the popular 6.5 Creedmoor cartridge. This medium-sized cartridge has become one of the most popular chamberings for tactical and PRS shooters. The 6.5 Creedmoor combines excellent accuracy, good mag-feeding, good barrel life, moderate recoil, and reasonable component cost. That’s why this cartridge has caught on quickly.

Sierra Load Data 6.5 CreedmoorDeveloped in 2007 by Dennis DeMille and Dave Emary, the 6.5 Creedmoor is a shortened and improved 30 TC cartridge case that was inspired by the .308 Winchester design. This short action design was created to maximize case capacity and a wide range of loading lengths, while still fitting in standard short action magazines. With the correct twist barrel, the versatile 6.5 Creedmoor can take advantage of the wide range of bullet weights available in 6.5 mm (i.e. .264 caliber). Reloaders should keep in mind that the 6.5 Creedmoor works best with medium to medium-slow powders such as H4350, Varget, Win 760, and RE-17. The light recoil and adaptability of the efficient 6.5 Creedmoor cartridge has already proven itself in high power, precision rifle series and benchrest competitions. Couple that with respectable barrel life and its intrinsic accuracy potential and you have a recipe for success which should insure its legacy for decades to come.

Sierra 6.5 Creedmoor Load Data Manual reloading .264

Here are three tables from the Sierra Bullets Reloading Manual (5th Edition). IMPORTANT — This is just a sample!! Sierra has load data for many other 6.5mm bullet types, including FB, Spitzer, SBT, HPBT, and Tipped MK from 85 grains to 142 grains. To view ALL 6.5 Creedmoor DATA, CLICK HERE.

Sierra Bullets 6.5 Creedmoor Load Data MatchKing Tactical
INDICATES MAXIMUM LOAD – USE CAUTION
LOADS LESS THAN MINIMUM CHARGES SHOWN ARE NOT RECOMMENDED.

Sierra Bullets 6.5 Creedmoor Load Data MatchKing Tactical
INDICATES MAXIMUM LOAD – USE CAUTION
LOADS LESS THAN MINIMUM CHARGES SHOWN ARE NOT RECOMMENDED.

Sierra Bullets 6.5 Creedmoor Load Data MatchKing Tactical
INDICATES MAXIMUM LOAD – USE CAUTION
LOADS LESS THAN MINIMUM CHARGES SHOWN ARE NOT RECOMMENDED.

Permalink News No Comments »
October 25th, 2016

Get Current Hodgdon and IMR Loads at Reloading Data Center

Hodgdon Reloading data Center hand loading powder

Hodgdon Reloading data Center hand loading powder

Hodgdon and IMR powders, including H4198, Varget, H4350, and IMR 4451, are some of the most successful propellants used by competitive shooters. If you want to find solid, reliable load data for these and other Hodgdon and IMR powders, we recommend you go right to the source — visit the Hodgdon/IMR Reloading Data Center, at www.HodgdonReloading.com. There you’ll find the latest, updated load recipes for pistol, rifle, and shotgun reloaders.

In the Data Center, you’ll find thousands of load recipes for pistol, rifle, and shotgun. Rifle shooters will find dozens of loads for their favorite Hodgdon, IMR, and Winchester powders such as H4198, Varget, H4350, and IMR 8208 XBR. And Hodgdon’s Reloading Center is now faster and easier to use. Navigation is simplified and the whole interface is more user-friendly.

Precise Search Results for your Cartridge and Favorite Powders
Hodgdon Reloading data Center hand loading powder

The online Reloading Data Center allows you to get precise search results for any listed cartridge. You can select your preferred powders and bullets. After choosing a cartridge, you can pre-select specific bullet weights and powder types. That quickly delivers just the information you want and need. You won’t have to scroll through scores of entries for bullets or powders you don’t use.

Data Center Works Well with Mobile Devices
Mobile users will notice Reloading Center is very “user-friendly” for smart-phone and tablet users. Controls have been optimized for touch-screens, and buttons are large and easy to use. Likewise the results are displayed in a large, easy-to read format.

Hodgdon tip from EdLongrange. We welcome reader submissions.
Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Reloading 1 Comment »
October 13th, 2016

Updated Load Manual for Accurate and Ramshot Powders

Western Powders Accurate Ramshot reloading guide LT30 LT32

Western Powders Accurate Ramshot reloading guide LT30 LT32Western Powders has released its new, updated Load Manual covering Accurate and Ramshot powders. This FREE Reloading & Load Data Guide (Edition 6.0) contains thousands of recipes for handgun and rifle cartridges (plus shotshell and muzzle-loading info).

You’ll find load data for over 100 important rifle cartridges. The rifle cartridge listings are up to date — you’ll find the popular new mid-sized competition cartridges, such as the 6.5 Creedmoor and 6.5×47 Lapua, along with many popular wildcat varmint cartridges, such as the 20 Vartarg, 20 Tactical, and 20 BR. Benchresters will also find recipes for the new LT 30 and LT 32 powders which have proven very accurate in the 30BR and 6PPC respectively.

Western Powders reloading guide LT30 LT32

>> GET FREE Western Powders Reloading & Load Data Guide 6.0

Here is just a partial listing of the 100+ rifle cartridge types covered in Western’s Load Data Guide 6.0:

Western Powders Accurate Ramshot reloading guide LT30 LT32

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Reloading 1 Comment »
September 16th, 2016

Vihtavuori Powders Loading Information Online

vihtavuori reloading guide
Click image for Online Reloading Data. CLICK HERE for Printable PDF Reloading Guide.

Vihtavuori has updated and enhanced its reloading information, adding VV powder load recipes for many more cartridge types. Data is now online for 64 rifle cartridge types and 26 pistol cartridge types. You’ll find the updated reloading data on the Vihtavuori Website. Bookmark this link: www.vihtavuori.com/en/reloading-data/about-reloading.html.

The updated online information supplements the Vihtavuori Reloading Guide (2016 Edition) available in PDF format. The online Reloading Database has dedicated sections for Rifle Cartridges, Pistol Cartridges, and Cowboy Action. There is also a handy, FREE Reload Mobile App for iOS and Android.


Rifle Reload DATA | Handgun Reload DATA| Mobile Reload App

vihtavuori reloading guide

Rifle Reloading Data

Vihtavuori’s Rifle Reloading Database is now very comprehensive. Many of the popular modern match cartridges such as the 6.5×47 Lapua and 6.5 Creedmoor are now included, and of course you’ll find the 6mm PPC, 6mmBR, and 6XC. (There is no .284 Win or 7mm RSAUM data unfortunately.) You will find recommended load recipes for all the following cartridges:

.204 Ruger
.221 Remington Fireball
.222 Remington
.22 Hornet
.22 PPC-USA
.223 Remington
.22-250 Remington
.223 WSSM
.243 Winchester
.243 WSSM
6mm PPC-USA
6mmBR Norma
6 XC
6mm Remington
.240 Weatherby Magnum
6.5 Grendel
6.5 x 47 Lapua
6.5 Creedmoor
6,5 x 55 Swedish Mauser
6,5 x 55 Swedish Mauser/ SKAN
6.5-284 Norma
.25-06 Remington
.260 Remington
.270 Winchester
.270 WSM
.270 Weatherby Magnum
7 mm-08 Remington
7 x 57
7 x 64
7 mm Remington Magnum
7 mm WSM
7 mm RUM

7 x 57R
7 mm Weatherby Magnum
7,5 x 55 Swiss GP31
.30 Carbine
.30-30 Winchester
.300 AAC Blackout
7,62 x 39
.300 Savage
7,62 x 53R (7,62 Russian)
.308 Winchester
.30-06 Springfield
.300 Lapua Magnum
.300 Remington Ultra Magnum
.300 Winchester Magnum
.300 Weatherby Magnum
.30-.378 Weatherby Magnum
.300 H&H Magnum
.300 WSM
.303 British
8 x 57 IRS
8 x 57 IS (8 mm Mauser)
.338 Winchester Magnum
.338 Lapua Magnum
9,3 x 62
9,3 x 66 Sako
9,3 x 74R
.375 H&H Magnum
.416 Rigby
.444 Marlin
.45-70 Government
.458 Winchester Magnum
.50 Browning

Handgun Reloading Data

Likewise, VV’s Handgun Reloading Database is extensive. These pistol cartridges are covered:

.32 S&W Long N.P.
.32 S&W Long Wadcutter
.357 Remington Maximum
.357 Magnum
.357 SIG
.38 Super Lapua
.38 Super Auto
.38 Special
7 mm GJW
7 mm TCU
7 mm BR Remington
7,62 x 25 Tokarev
9 mm Luger

9 x 21
9 x 23 Winchester
.40 S&W
10 mm AUTO
.41 Remington Magnum
.44 S&W Special
.44 Remington Magnum
.45 ACP
.45 Colt
.45 Winchester Magnum
.454 Casull
.500 S&W Magnum
.50 AE

Story Tip by EdLongrange. We welcome reader submissions.
Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Reloading 1 Comment »
July 2nd, 2016

TECH TIP: How to Get Optimal Results with QuickLOAD Software

In our Shooters’ Forum, many questions are asked about QuickLOAD software — how to get best results, how to use the advanced features, how to adjust for temperature and so on. To help answer those questions, here’s a short feature we first ran during SHOT Show 2012. You can also CLICK HERE for a very detailed explanation of QuickLOAD in our main site.

At SHOT Show, we had the chance to meet with German software engineer Hartmut Broemel, creator of QuickLOAD software. This software program, while not a substitute for conventional load manuals, allows shooters to evaluate a wide range of powders and bullets, comparing potential loads on the basis of predicted pressures, velocities, load density and projectile in-barrel time.

READ Full QuickLOAD Review

We took the opportunity, in the video below, to explain some of the fine points of QuickLOAD for our members. QuickLOAD, sold by Neconos.com, helps reloaders understand how changing variables can affect pressures and velocities. It can predict the effect of changes in ambient temperature, bullet seating depth, and barrel length.

In the video below we explain how to adjust the program for true case capacity, bullet seating into the lands, and other important factors. If you are a new QuickLOAD user, or are contemplating buying the $152.95 program, you should watch the video. The program isn’t perfect, but it can accelerate the load development process, and it can save you money by narrowing down the list of appropriate powders for your cartridge.

No other product currently available to serious reloaders offers as much predictive power as QuickLOAD, and you’ll find your money well spent just for the vast collection of data on bullets and cartridges. With a couple mouse-clicks you can instantly get the specifications of hundreds of bullets and cartridges. Likewise, in a matter of seconds, you can compare load density for a half-dozen powders, or compare the projected velocities of one cartridge versus another.

Permalink Reloading, Tech Tip 2 Comments »
May 10th, 2016

Lyman Releases 50th Edition Reloading Handbook at NRA Show

lyman reloading handbook 50th Edition Ideal manual hand loading

The 50th Edition of the Lyman Reloading Handbook is here — and it’s bigger and better than ever. This 50th Anniversary Edition, the first to be produced in full color, includes more load data, and covers more cartridge and bullet types than ever before. This handbook has a strong heritage, starting with the Ideal reloading manuals from the early 20th Century. For more than a century the Ideal Handbook (and later) Lyman Handbooks have been popular and reliable data sources for hand-loaders. (In 1925, Lyman purchased Ideal Reloading Products, which produced the Ideal reloading handbooks.)

View Lyman 50th Anniversary Handbook at the NRA Annual Meeting in Louisville
The full-color Lyman 50th Edition will be available for the first time at the upcoming NRA Annual Meeting in Louisville, Kentucky on May 19-22, 2016. The Hardcover Edition (item #9816050) is priced at $39.98, while the Softcover Edition (item #9816051) retails for $29.98. Notably, Lyman will donate $1.00 to the NRA for every Lyman 50th Edition Reloading Handbook sold during the first year of its publication.

NRA Annual Meeting & Exhibits

Lyman 50th Edition Handbook Features and Highlights:

• New Cartridges in 50th Edition: 17 Hornet, 6.5 Grendel, 6.5 Creedmoor, 6.5-284, 26 Nosler, 28 Nosler, 300 Blackout, 300 RCM, 338 RCM, 450 Bushmaster, 458 SOCOM, 50 Beowulf

• Expanded Selection of Bullets: Barnes, Hornady, Remington, Sierra, Speer, Swift and Winchester plus full selection of cast bullets

• Feature Articles by Top Gun Writers and Firearm Industry Experts

• “Barrels – Looking into the Unknown” by Ryan Newport

• “Advanced Case Preparation Techniques” by John Haviland

• “What is a Ballistic Coefficient and How Do You Use It?” by Dave Emary and Lane Pearce

• “The History of Modern Lyman Handbooks” by Ed Matunas, Ken Ramage and Tom Griffin

Permalink New Product, Reloading 4 Comments »
November 12th, 2015

Coming Soon: New IMR 4955 Enduron Powder

IMR 4955 powder Hodgdon burn rate chart propellant Enduron New

IMR just announced its latest Enduron powder, IMR 4955, which features a medium-slow burn rate similar to Hodgdon H4831 or IMR 4831. The IMR Enduron powders are clean-burning, temp stable, and feature a proprietary coating that helps reduce copper fouling. We are looking forward to trying IMR 4955 based on our positive experience with IMR 4166. We have used Enduron 4166 and have seen excellent accuracy in .308 Winchester and 6mm BR rifles.

IMR 4955 lands between IMR 4451 and IMR 7977 on the burn rate chart. Hodgdon, which distributes IMR powders, says that IMR 4955 works very well for cartridges such as 25-06 Remington, .270 Winchester, and the .300 Winchester Magnum. Perhaps this will prove a good choice for the .284 Win and .300 WSM as well (F-Open shooters take note). If you are currently using H4831 or H4831sc you should probably give IMR 4955 a try.

Hodgdon says IMR 4955 offers some important advantages:

1. IMR 4955 has a small kernel size. This allows the powder to flow through powder measures easily and meter very accurately.
3. IMR 4955 is very insensitive to temperature changes, so shooters should see uniform velocities across a broad temp range.
3. IMR 4955 has very good load density for medium and big game hunting cartridges (such as the .270 Win and .300 Win Mag).
4. Like other Enduron powders, IMR 4955 boasts a special additive that helps reduce copper fouling as the rifle is fired.

IMR 4955 H4831 burn rate hodgdonIMR 4955 Should Be Available Early Next Year
— Load Data is Online Now

IMR 4955 will be available in early 2016 in one-pound and eight-pound containers. With the addition of IMR 4955 to the series of Enduron powders, reloaders have a new, advanced-formulation powder that should work for a wide variety of popular cartridges — from the .260 Rem up to big magnums. Reloading data for IMR 4955 is now available online in the Hodgdon Reloading Data Center. Below is a sample of Hodgdon/IMR load data for IMR 4955 as used in the .300 Win Mag cartridge.

IMR 4955 powder Hodgdon burn rate chart propellant Enduron New

Permalink New Product, Reloading 1 Comment »
December 4th, 2014

Hodgdon 2015 Annual Manual Features 5000+ Loads

Hodgdon 2015 Reloading Manual annual load dataThe 2015 Hodgdon Annual Manual (the 12th Annual Edition) has been released. The 2015 Hodgdon Manual now contains over 5000 loads — more load data than you’ll find in any other annual reloading resource. The 2015 Manual has updates for numerous rifle and pistol cartridges. Featured in the 2015 Manual are the new IMR Enduron™ powders such as IMR 4166, IMR 4451, and IMR 7977. Enduron powders feature a built-in copper fouling reducer, along with small kernels for easy metering and good load density. IMR also claims that Enduron powders are not sensitive to ambient temperature changes. It appears IMR 4166 may be a viable alternative to Hodgdon’s popular, but hard to find, Varget powder.

Along with comprehensive load data, the 8 1/2″ by 11″ magazine-style Hodgdon Annual Manual offers authoritative articles by top gun industry writers. You can purchase the 2015 Manual at news-stands (and gunshops) for $8.99. In a few weeks, you should also be able to purchase the manual from Hodgdon’s online store. For more info, visit Hodgdon.com or call 913-362-9455.

Permalink News, Reloading No Comments »
January 20th, 2014

Hodgdon 2014 Annual Manual Now Available

Hodgdon 2014 Reloading Manual annual load dataThe new 2014 Hodgdon Annual Manual (the 11th Annual Edition) has just been released. The 2014 Hodgdon Manual now contains over 5000 loads — more load data than you’ll find in any other annual reloading resource. The 2014 manual has updates for 21 rifle and pistol cartridges. You’ll also find data for Hodgdon’s popular new CFE powders — including additional load info for 17 more cartridges. Varmint hunters will be pleased to see the addition of complete data for the popular 17 Hornet.

Along with comprehensive load data, the 2014 Hodgdon Annual Manual offers authoritative articles by top gun industry writers working with the editors of Shooting Times magazine. You can order the 2014 Manual directly from Hodgdon for $11.99 (that includes postage in the USA). That’s cheaper than we’ve seen it elsewhere. The link below takes you to Hodgdon’s online company store:

CLICK HERE to order 2014 Hodgdon Annual Manual

Product Tip from EdLongrange. We welcome reader submissions.
Permalink News, Reloading No Comments »
December 20th, 2013

Sierra Offers Load Data for 300 AAC Blackout

The 300 AAC Blackout (300 BLK, or 7.62x35mm) was created by Advanced Armament Corp. and Remington in order to provide the military with a way to shoot .30-caliber bullets from the M4 carbines with only a barrel change. It has since become popular with AR shooters for a wide range of uses including hunting and home defense. With the increased popularity of this cartridge, folks have been looking for reliable 300 BLK load information. Now, thanks to Sierra Bullets, we have some good load data for the 300 AAC Blackout. Sierra has released a FREE 6-page Load Guide for this cartridge, as part of the Sierra Reloading Manual (5th Edition).

CLICK HERE for Sierra 300 AAC Blackout Load DATA (PDF Format).

Here is ONE of SIX Pages in the Sierra Load Sheet for 300 AAC Blackout

300 AAC Blackout Sierra load manual PDF load infomation .300 Whisper

300 AAC Blackout

About the 300 AAC Blackout (300 BLK)
The 300 AAC Blackout cartridge shares case-head dimensions and body taper with the .223 Remington. Not only does this allow for compatibility with existing magazines and bolts, but it allows reloaders to form their own brass from cut-down 5.56×45 mm or .223 Rem cases. You can also form 300 Blackout cases by necking-up .221 Fireball brass. Take Note: Lapua has started producing .221 Fireball brass — this should be available in the USA by early April.

300 AAC Blackout

The 300 AAC Blackout is a similar concept to previous wildcats, such as the 30-221 and 300 Fireball, as well as the proprietary 300 Whisper®, except that 300 BLK was the first to be a SAAMI-approved cartridge and any company is free to make firearms or ammunition.

300 AAC Blackout is also finding use with hunters, who may not have been able to legally hunt with .223 in their state, and who prefer .30 caliber bullets for medium-sized game. It provides similar effectiveness to the 7.62×39 or the slightly more powerful .30-30 cartridges except works in the more up-to-date AR-platform rifles. Effective hunting range is about 150 yards. Some innovators, such as Dave Whitford, have also experimented with the 300 BLK for Across-the-Course competition. READ Whitford story in Rifleman’s Journal..

Permalink Hunting/Varminting, Reloading 8 Comments »
December 1st, 2011

Lee Reloading Manual on Sale for Just $12.49

Modern Reloading Manual Second Edition LeeIt’s great to be able to access load data on the internet. But we still recommend keeping some hard-bound reloading manuals at home for reference. Right now MidwayUSA has a great deal on the Modern Reloading, Second Edition, Revised by Richard Lee. Now through the end of the year, you can buy the latest LEE reloading manual for just $12.49. This book was recently revised, so it has more reloading data than the previous release of the 2nd Edition. The load data section now has black tabs on the side of the pages.

Should you buy the book? It’s cheap at $12.49. The load data covers a huge variety of cartridges. But some guys complain that the first section of the book reads like a LEE catalog. Here are book-buyers’ comments:

At twice the size of my old Speer book, the Lee manual covers everything you need from a reloading reference book. The best part is that it is not produced by a powder or bullet maker so the reloading data focuses on the best performing products.” — G. Basley

The reloading data is AMAZING for exotic loads, but pretty basic for popular loads. Also, Lee goes back and forth between Grains and CCs, which can be distracting at best. [Editor: Why CCs? Answer — Lee sells CC-graduated powder scoops]. The loading data is really the most useful aspect of the book because the charts are straight-forward and the diagrams are easy to read.” — D. Hukill

On the one hand, this reloading manual is a great deal for the money. It’s cheapest out of all the reloading manuals, and yet it doesn’t skimp on any of the load data. On the other hand, the writing style in this manual is not professional… [it needs] a competent editor. Many parts of this reloading manual read like pure advertising copy for Lee products.” — C. Weys

Permalink - Articles, New Product 1 Comment »
June 3rd, 2011

New ReloaderHub.com Website from RCBS

RCBS has a launched a new website, www.ReloaderHub.com, an advanced online community dedicated to reloading. The website is designed as a social hub where readers can exchange load data and recipes, engage in forum discussions, and share outdoor- and shooting-related photos and videos. RCBS will also run regular contests and promotions on the site. Currently you can enter to win an RCBS Reloading Starter Kit, valued at $364.95 MSRP. You can use all site features at no charge — ReloaderHub.com site membership is free.

ReloaderHub.com features a handy Reloading Calculator that lets you quickly figure out the cost of your ammo, based on the price of your components and anticipated number of reloads on your brass. You’ll find dedicated photo and video archives, where members can post their own “home movies” and images. To stimulate file uploading and forum participation, the site also features a point system. The more content you upload, the more points you earn towards virtual badges (points have no retail value at this time).

COMMENTARY: Clearly RCBS put considerable time and effort into ReloaderHub.com. Generally speaking, it has a nice look and feel, and the photo archive area is easy to access. However, we think the site could benefit from some design changes.

First the Message Board area doesn’t use standard Forum Formatting. The layout of the primary Message Board topics page is poorly laid out, requiring too much scrolling. Then it gets worse once you get inside a particular Message Board Category, such as “Hunting Report”. There’s too much vertical space between thread titles, and once you manage to drill down to an actual thread, the displayed font is small and somewhat hard to read.

This leads to the site’s second major problem. ReloaderHub.com is supposed to be a place where users share load recipes. This, apparently, is to be done through the Message Board. But we predict people will have trouble placing logically-related topics in the Message Board, so the load recipe postings will soon become a mish-mash. RCBS should have created a dedicated area for load recipes with a clear, consistent formatting for data entry. RCBS could have provided pull-down menus for cartridge type and powder, with supplementary fields for charge weight, primer, OAL etc. That would organize the data logically so that user recipes could become part of a searchable database with consistent entries among all calibers. The way the site’s Message Board is currently organized, we think most visitors will struggle to find and sort through the load data entries.

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February 20th, 2010

NEW Caldwell Tip Top Targets — Crisp Holes, No Rips

Caldwell recently sent us some new pre-printed targets that we really like. The new Caldwell Tip Top Targets have a combination of features we’ve never seen before in pre-packaged targets. First, the targets are printed on a unique, plasticized card stock — just slightly thinner than a business card. The plasticized material is very rip-resistant (if you really try, you can make a small tear on the edge, but it takes a LOT of deliberate effort). The plasticized material makes the targets 100% weatherproof, though you can still write on the surface. At the bottom of the targets, Caldwell includes a labeled data entry area where you can record firearm type, shooting conditions, distance, group size, load info, and chron data. Very Handy! The targets even come pre-punched for a 3-ring binder. That’s great if you want to save your targets. The 8″ Sight-In Tip Top Targets cost $7.49 for 25-pack, or $24.99 for 100 targets.

Tip Top Target Caldwell

Bullets Punch Perfect Circles on New Target
What makes these “Tip-Top Targets” really unique is the way bullet holes appear. When a bullet passes through a normal paper target, the paper can rip. At best you get a fairly round hole but with a fuzzy, uneven edge. With these Tip Top Targets, the bullet hole looks like it was made with a hole punch. No more ragged, fuzzy edges. If you’ve ever shot wadcutter rounds from a pistol into a paper target, that’s the effect here. But the bullet hole edges are even MORE sharp and uniform. As a result, you can measure your group sizes quickly, with great precision.

Overall, we think the Tip Top Target is a real step forward. Caldwell did a great job with this product. The new material does not tear, does not get soggy in wet conditions, and does not flap around in the wind. The new material delivers crisp, uniform bullet holes for easy group measurement, and the 1″ square gridlines let you quickly estimate your group size.

Caldwell Tip Top Targets are offered in six (6) different versions: large, Inverted “T” for iron-sighted rifles or pistols; 4″-diam. Bullseyes; 8″-diam. single Bullseye; 100-yard Benchrest Target; 200-yard Benchrest Target; and 8″ Sight-in Target with 1″ grid (shown in photos).

We really like the layout of the sight-in target. In has five different aim points with a central diamond split by horizontal and vertical lines running through the points of the diamond. The diamond, which measures 1/4″ on a side, provides a VERY precise aiming point. Just line up your cross-hairs with the heavy black lines and you should be able to shoot bugholes with this target. It’s a very good design, with good contrast in the center of each aiming square.

Is there anything we would change on the Sight-In Target we sampled? Yes… First, we’d like to see a long-range version with an all-white background so that bullet holes are easier to see at long distances. Second, we’d modify the data entry table so you could list results for multiple loads. See our FREE Targets Page for paper targets with multiple load-entry/chron data boxes.

Review Disclosure: Caldwell provided a free 25-ct pack of 8″ Sight-In Targets for testing.

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