As an Amazon Associate, this site earns a commission from Amazon sales.











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 9 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.

Permalink - Articles, Reloading No Comments »
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.

Permalink Gear Review, New Product 2 Comments »