Redding Reloading and the .17 Hornet

Redding Reloading Equipment is now making a powder measure adapter for their competition model 10x powder measure.  The drop tube adapter allows the handloader to precisely charge .17 Hornet cases.

The measure is designed to provide precise throws of 1 to 25 grains, with the “sweet spot” being at 10 grains.  The drop tube adapter for the .17 Hornet is available now and carries the part number of 03817.

The problem with small rifle cases is the chances of overcharging a case with catastrophic results is much higher than on a larger cased cartridge.  For example, lets say for your given powder, the charge should be between 11.5 grains (min) and 12.2 grains (max.)  If you try to drop 12 grains and accidentally go to 13 grains, you are way over the maximum for that load.

Compare that to a .30-06 where your charge may be between 42.0 grains and 51.5 grains.  If you drop an extra one or two grains on a medium load, you aren’t likely to go over, and if you do, the effect is not likely to be catastrophic.

(Please note that the above powder charges are random numbers pulled out of the air.  Do not use them for any reloading purposes!  Additionally note that I don’t recommend sloppy reloading.  Pay attention to what you are doing and drop the right charge…)


Portable Reloading

Lee LoaderReloading cartridges in the field is something that has been done by hunters and partisans for as long as we have had firearms.  Modern soldiers and sportsmen have access to seemingly unlimited supplies of factory loaded ammunition, but handloading ammo while in the field is still a great skill to learn.  You never know when the zombies may show up, or the Cubans paratroop into your town (see: Red Dawn).

For handloading while on the move, there are two kits made by Lee Precision that fit the bill.  They both work, and both are inexpensive.

The first option is the Lee Loader.   The Lee Loader is a simple kit that contains everything you need to reload a single caliber (minus the components: powder, primer, bullet, brass).  This kit allows you to use a hammer, rock or another heavy object to decap, resize, seat a new primer, add the powder and seat a bullet in about 30 seconds.


Hornady’s Ammo Plant – Home Edition!

Hornady is known for making great ammunition and some really nice reloading tools.  The Hornady Lock-N-Load presses and prep tools are widely regarded as being of excellent quality.  As we approach the new year, Hornady announced several new reloading products including the Lock-N-Load Ammo Plant.

Hornady already makes a progressive press called the Lock-N-Load AP press.  While Dillon Precision is considered “the” progressive press company, I have to admit that the Hornady AP press has been very tempting.  In the Ammo Plant package, Hornady gives you pretty much everything you need to fully automate the cartridge assembly process.  In fact, for the price, this package would be tough to beat.


RCBS Introduces Bullet Feeder for Progressive Presses

RCBS bullet feederWith the promise of increasing your loading rate by at least 50% on most progressive presses, RCBS has introduced a new electric bullet feeder.

The feeder fits most progressive presses that use 7/8″-14 threaded dies, including the RCBS Pro 2000.

Designed to work with jacketed pistol bullets only (no lead), the feeder ships with adapter plates for the most common handgun rounds: .355-357″ (9mm, .38 Special, .357 Magnum), .400″ (10mm and .40 S&W) and .451 (.45 ACP). The feeder holds about 200 bullets in the hopper.  According to RCBS, you should not use this feeder with cast or swaged lead bullets.  While technically not jacketed, I imagine plated bullets like those from Berry’s are probably good to go.

The feeder runs on 110v AC, and features a two-year warranty. MSRP is $495.95.

2013 Update

The shipping version of the bullet feeder comes with a country adaptable plug to handle 120 – 240v AC.  This means non-US residents can also use this with their reloading press.

The RCBS bullet feeder kit for progressive reloading presses now carries a MSRP of $541.95.  Compare that to the MSRP of the Hornady Lock-n-Load bullet feeder which is $363.52.  Like the RCBS bullet feeder, the Hornady feeder is designed to work with any press using 7/8″-14 threads.  while I like RCBS products, I don’t know what their bullet feeder is offering for your extra $200.


Barnes Buster Bullets

barnes_buster_bulletsBarnes has introduced their new Barnes Buster line of bullets designed specifically for hog, moose, bison and bear hunting.  The Buster bullets are “heavy-for-caliber” handgun and lever gun bullets that are designed to penetrate these notoriously tough animals.

The Buster line of bullets use a heavy lead core with a thick copper jacket for “minimal expansion, deep penetration and maximum weight retention.”  The bullets will track straight through dense muscle and heavy bone.  Barnes reported that using a T/C Encore, a .45-70 drove straight through a bison, which was anchored on the spot.

The bullets will be available for .44, .45, and .500 magnum revolvers and .45-70 rifles.  The .45-70 bullets (.458” @ 400 grains) are available at the Barnes site now.  The handgun bullets should be available sometime during the middle of the year.  The bullets are designed for deep penetration, especially on potentially dangerous game like bear.  The loads would also be good for other tough critters like feral hogs and the like.  I would expect that these rounds would do quite well against all of the feral hogs that we have here in the south eastern United States.  We seem to be overrun by the darn things.