Handloader #319

  • Last Post 31 August 2019
JeffinNZ posted this 08 May 2019

I like Mike Venturino's articles.  Mike is a crank who likes to shoot the same sort of rifles as me.  However, in his latest piece in HL319 on shooting cast in MILSURP long arms he states he shoots linotype only now in these rifles as he was gifted a large amount (lucky man).  My concern is that statements like this help the continuation of the perpetuation of the 'harder is better' doctrine that catches out so many newbie casters; myself included many years back.  Increasingly my alloys are getting softer rather than hard.  I shoot air cooled clip on WW in my .223 Rem at 2300fps and 40-1 GCd bullets in my bolt .30-30 at 1750fps both with very good accuracy (1.5 MOA when I do my bit).   Likewise his BP revolver loads are 20-1 alloy which are a lot harder than they need be.  I would like to see the mainstream writers do more on alloys of hardness at both ends of the spectrum.

Not to nit pick further, Terry Wieland in his column "In Range" talks about the transitional period from black to smokeless powder.  He mentions "Black powder ignition causes soft lead bullets to 'bump up' in diameter to fit the rifling; smokeless does not".  Terry is not 100% correct there however.  My .310 Cadet would beg to differ as 5gr of Unique bumps up that heel perfectly.

I guess we have the luxury of sitting here with a wealth of knowledge but such material in the mainstream literary sector can do as much harm as good.

Cheers from New Zealand

Attached Files

Order By: Standard | Newest | Votes
David Reiss CBA Membership Director posted this 08 May 2019


There was an article written by Venturino awhile back that had 3-4 statements about cast bullets that were very false. Enough so that I considered writing to the editor about the errors. John Alexander and I had a phone conversation about this article and he agreed that the statements were false or misleading. At that point I lost any respect for his writings. I will have to go back and find the article so I can quote him. 

I totally agree that these writers can lead many readers astray with there words. However this has been going on ever since shooting mags and books have been written. Many will want to chime in about the pressure of the manufacturers influencing their article, but it has nothing to do about what we are discussing here. We have editors that know little about cast bullets and just take the word of the writers that their word is gospel. They should be held accountable about what they write, but there is no easy way to accomplish that task.    

David Reiss - NRA Life Member & PSC Range Member Retired Police Firearms Instructor/Armorer
-Services: Wars Fought, Uprisings Quelled, Bars Emptied, Revolutions Started, Tigers Tamed, Assassinations Plotted, Women Seduced, Governments Run, Gun Appraisals, Lost Treasure Found.
- Also deal in: Land, Banjos, Nails, Firearms, Manure, Fly Swatters, Used Cars, Whisky, Racing Forms, Rare Antiquities, Lead, Used Keyboard Keys, Good Dogs, Pith Helmets & Zulu Headdresses. .

Attached Files

mashburn posted this 08 May 2019


This is off subject but I either dreamed it or imagined it, but did you have a post recently advertising round ball bullet molds for sale? I have been looking for it but haven't been able to find it. Keep up the good work about unfounded writings. That is why I quit buying gun magazines years and years ago,


David a. Cogburn

Attached Files

Shopdog posted this 08 May 2019

A tough subject to be sure....

On one hand you're thankful for the exposure but on the other hand,certain "slants" can do more harm than good.

Folks need to take it in,not as gospel but as one person's experience. And BTW,I just cracked the 3k fps milestone with little more than water quenched,slightly fortified,old WW alloy..... out of a factory barrel.

Attached Files

  • Liked by
  • Johnshandloads
Squid Boy posted this 08 May 2019

I feel that Handloader and Rifle were better magazines back when Dave Wolff was still alive. He knew enough on his own to sort through the chaff. I've given up on all the mainstream magazines as being more fluff than substance and how many black-rifle articles can you read? 

JeffinNZ, I was also surprised by recovered bullets from my 310 Cadet showing full rifling engraving into the heel with smokeless loads. To really know, you have to find out for yourself. Thanks, Squid 

"Squid Pro Quo"

Attached Files

  • Liked by
  • Johnshandloads
Larry Gibson posted this 08 May 2019

Here's my humble take on it;

Seems we (I use "we" figuratively) take all that was written by the old "great" writers as gospel fact because they wrote it and it was published in must be so. The truth is much of what they wrote was just their own opinion or what they thought was needed or necessary.  The same with todays gun/reloading writers.  Much of what they write is just their own opinions on subjects.  It is the same on forums such as these.

Much of what is posted on forums is just opinion based on something that has worked for us.  There are also many armchair keyboard experts just as there were "Remington Rand" experts back in the day.  A lot of what is posted/published is good information but not always hard fact 100% of the time.  A lot of what is posted/published is simply conjecture based on myths published by the old writers.  A lot of what is posted/published is just rubbish.  Over the years many of the accepted truisms I also believed because they were published in books/articles by the "greats" were found to be incorrect.  I take it all with a grain of salt and continue to test and experiment to find out what really is factual.  That's just me. 

I recently picked up the 50th Lyman manual.  After getting it home and unwrapping it I turned to the 45-70 for Springfield (trapdoors) section and right away was struck by the blatant untruth stated in the description of the cartridge; " The cartridge was originally designated the 45-70-500 to indicate it's 45-caliber bullet, 70 grains of black powder, and 500-grain bullet composition." .....that was neither the "designation of the cartridge nor the "composition" of the original cartridge.  Then I turned to the 45 Colt and read; "The original loading propelled a 255-grain lead bullet with 40-grains of black powder......"  All which just shows because it is in print doesn't make it correct.

The original U.S. Gvmt 45-70 cartridge as adopted in 1873 had a 405 gr bullet.  The 500 gr bullet was not adopted until 1882.

Duke Venturino got it right about the history of the 45 Colt in an article some time back when he wrote;

"For decades, many firearm magazines have listed 40-gr. of black powder as the .45 Colt military load used. Except that’s not true. In developmental testing, some 40-gr. charges were tried but proved too much for the wrought iron frames of early Colt revolvers. The .45 Colt loads produced by the US Government’s Frankford Arsenal used 30 grains of black powder. Also commonly written is that early .45 Colt loads used 255-gr. bullets. Wrong again. They were 250-gr. conical bullets with two lube grooves and a hollowbase."


Concealment is not cover.........

Attached Files

RicinYakima posted this 08 May 2019

"The Duke" is a good writer who writes about guns that I like. But he is not the curious sort of person, as several time he says that when he finds a load that shoots for him "I never look for another". That is why he is shooting 2.5 MOA groups with linotype and 5744 for almost 30 years now.

He is not Ken Waters or even Brian Pearce, just himself making a living writing for the grocery store rags. Just like Jack O'Conner who wrote the same articles over and over for forty years.  Dave Wolfe's subscription only sales, may not have printed as many magazines (which determines ad prices) but the profit margin was higher.

Attached Files

Johnshandloads posted this 08 May 2019

This is why we all need to do our own experimenting and figure out what "works for me". As I have been learning about bullet casting and reloading the last few years, I have seen this over and over. You have to filter everything based on your own experience and sometimes disregard or disagree with someone else's take. In the long run 'experience is the best teacher'. The problem is, getting started in a new endeavor, like me, and subscribing to a publication then reading stuff that doesn't jive with my limited experience. You assume the other guy, especially a well known bullet/shooting guy, would give you sound advice. Not necessarily.

What I am certain of is how well the 308 Winchester cast load I have used is shooting for me. If it continues to improve or be repeatable "forever" I am not sure yet. But I am using a mold/bullet profile I was led to believe may not perform and that my alloy was not good for rifle bullets. My bore and my target say otherwise.

My pistol loads have been good from day one and the learning curve was not bad, but the rifle load was absolutely shocking. I am still waiting to get a "Leaded Bore" in the rifle from my home cast range scrap alloy. I am just happy with the whole process and glad I can make my own bullets.

Attached Files

  • Liked by
  • M3 Mitch
Tom Acheson posted this 08 May 2019

Hard to resist jumping into this one!

John has the right perspective on this general subject. The only person who says a writer is a "renown expert"is the reader himself.

When I read someone else's work, I don't dive into it to find evidence to discredit the writer's work. I look for data points that I can possibly use in my own "escapades". Not a big deal if the writer's results don't fit my conclusions. 

Again, that's why they call this thing called handloading a hobby. Our only field of variables are our gun, our selected components, our handloading skills and our shooting abilities. If things just happen to coincide with a writer's outlook, fine. If they don't that's fine too.

Each of us just needs to look in the mirror and ask ourselves just how important is it to us to demonstrate (and to who) that we are smarter than the "expert".



Attached Files

  • Liked by
  • BudHyett
  • Johnshandloads
Brodie posted this 09 May 2019

When I was a youngster I thought that gun writers were all some kind of Xperts.  Then I shot with two of them one day.  After that I realized that they are generally only mediocre shooters with typewriters (I guess word processors now) who usually shoot better on printer paper than targets.  They are writers first and shooters and handloaders second.


Attached Files

BigMan54 posted this 10 May 2019

When I was much(40yrs)  younger I worked for Petersen's Publishing as a Computer Operator. I spent every break I had haunting the halls looking to talk shop with the writers. Who never worked in the offices, but made rare visits. I found that most of them knew about Hunting and some about Shooting. But blasted little about reloading.

My DAD knew more about HandLoading then all of them put together. I would read Rifle & HandLoader for technical info. 

I can't buy HandLoader or Rifle from any newsstand in at least 10yrs. I Don't go to Gunshops around my Home because all they are interested in is black guns and sending as many rounds down range in s short a time as possible. Reloading equipment is RCBS or Dillon. Bullets are Berry's or .22cal 55gr FMJ in bulk. 

I recently found some 1992 issues of HandLoader & Rifle in the garage. Comparing them to what is published today is like going from Homer to Dr. Suess.

I have only recently started casting Rifle bullets from softer alloy that the Linotype I grew up on. The NEW IDEA'S that I've learned here have reawakened my interest In experimenting again.

Powder Coating has opened up an entirely new way to Handload for me. 

I've learned so much, It's almost like starting from scratch. 

Plus I got back to casting, bought many more new/used MOLDS then I can afford. And returned me to the JOY of HandLoading. 

I'm even doing some Experimenting with new loads.  


And once again I HI-Jacked the thread. I just have NO ONE TO talk reloading with. 

Still got a few friend left alive that sorta reload, but they only reload to shoot, loads established years ago by me for them.

Sometimes I need to talk to another Adult.

Long time Caster/Reloader, Getting back into it after almost 10yrs. Life Member NRA 40+yrs, Life S.A.S.S. #375. Does this mean a description of me as a fumble-fingered knuckle-draggin' baboon. I also drool in my sleep. I firmly believe that true happiness is a warm gun. Did I mention how much I HATE auto-correct on this blasted tablet.

Attached Files

Squid Boy posted this 10 May 2019

 I had the pleasure of hunting for three weeks in Africa with Dave Wolfe and spent many hours around the camp fire talking guns and loading. We continued as friends until he passed and I always thought he tried to get the best and most accurate content for his magazines. I think the subscription only basis made for better and more sophisticated articles since the target reader was more advanced as well. The advantage today is nearly everyone has a chronograph and can check the published results. Not so much before when velocity was measured across a typewriter instead. I might page through them at the news stand now but hardly find anything of interest or substance. The Fouling Shot is essentially subscription only and contains far better info. A good friend once said, the more you know, the less you know. He was right. Squid Boy

"Squid Pro Quo"

Attached Files

JeffinNZ posted this 10 May 2019

 The advantage today is nearly everyone has a chronograph and can check the published results. Not so much before when velocity was measured across a typewriter instead.

Not THAT's funny.

Cheers from New Zealand

Attached Files

Qc Pistolero posted this 30 August 2019

I've invested lots of $$$ in Gunzines in the '70s and '80s.But as gents like Elmer Keith,Skeeter Skelton,Bill Jordan and Col Jeff Cooper(to name a few)passed,I kind of shifted my focus towards another vehicle for info on guns and ammunition.

The web does a wonderful job of communication and we can consider ourselves as lucky to still have a few men who are so experimented and willing to share their experience with us.Let's be thankful to them while they are still with us.While I'm writing this,I'm thinking more specifically about Ed Harris;the man is an encyclopedia of experience and willing to share it.I for one am thankful towards him.Many of his recommendations have switched me to a shortcut towards accurate loads.

Attached Files

  • Liked by
  • Gregor
  • RicinYakima
Ross Smith posted this 31 August 2019

Excellent thread.   Nothing like experience as a teacher.

Attached Files

  • Liked by
  • RicinYakima