What’s New in Handloading



If you want to lose your mind, try to categorize and list all the new innovations in component bullets in the past couple of years.  I could write pages on each manufacturer and their products and I apologize now for leaving anyone out but it would take a volume to list all the new available component slugs out there.  Here are some of my favorites.

SPEER has made available the new DeepCurl flat-base soft-point hunting bullet at an affordable price in seven calibers and 12 weights.  These are good, reliable hunting bullets that won’t break the bank.  The Speer website has also been redesigned and is worth a visit.  Go to www.speer-bullets.com to see their complete line of products.

NOSLER has always been a household word when it comes to high-performance bullets and now is no exception.  With names like Partition, AccuBond and Ballistic Tip on the menu, there are some bullets here for every application.  I am particularly interested in the 30- grain Ballistic Silvertip for the .45/70, a chambering that refuses to die.  A properly loaded .45/70 is the equal to any game in North America and may be the best large-bore cartridge ever invented in terms of versatility and shootability.

BARNES has become one of my favorite bullet makers and the reason is that they make great bullets.  The Buster bullet is made for big game hunting applications where penetration is the goal.  Heavy for caliber, these jacketed lead bullets would have been called “solids” in the old days.  They have been getting some good reviews on heavy game.  The Barnes Tipped TSX bullets are simply wonderful; I’ve been using the .243” 80-grain TTSX in my 6mm Remington rifles and accuracy has been great with low pressure and high velocity.  The traditional TSX is still a favorite; if your rifle will shoot them I really can’t see a reason to shoot anything else!

FEDERAL has their fine Trophy Bonded Bearclaw bullets available in eight calibers and seven weights; the Bearclaw started the specialty bullet market and when they appeared in loaded Federal ammo they really took off.  I used one of their TB bullets to kill my caribou a few years back and its performance was all anyone could ask for in a hunting bullet.

I recently asked Federal about the possibility of making the new Heavyweight fine shot available to handloaders and even though there are no plans to do that at this point, there have been several requests for this and it could happen in the future.  That would be great news for handloaders who have to use non-toxic shot for their hunting.  I used the Federal Heavyweight #7 20-gauge turkey load to kill a gobbler at 51 yards this past spring and was very, very impressed.  So was the gobbler!


  1. Very good and positive article, but I am disappointed at the omission of Lee being mentioned for reloading equipment on page 3. I have been reloading for over 25 years and have tried every brand of product available. In my opinion, Lee’s dies are far superior to most others out there and their bullet molds and casting equipment is also as good or better than other brands costing 2-4 times as much money. Lee should have been given equal billing with the other equipment makers.


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