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Are you serious? A dealers' guide to reloading - where the serious customers spend their money.

Whether it is the long winter evenings, the enthusiasm generated by the past hunting season, or anticipation of next summer's skeet, trap, and sporting clays matches, this is the time when hand loaders sit down at the bench and do some reloading. It is also a time when new shooters and hunters enter the hobby, apparently for the same reasons. In a recessionary time, the economies of handloading have widespread appeal to those who won't give up their sport because of a lighter pay check.

In such a climate, any dealer should be able to expand his reloading sales and establish a solid base for future expansion as well. The following list is comprised of those companies which have become the backbone of the reloading trade along with a few new names which show promise.

Accurate Arms Co.

This company offers a lengthening line of high-quality smokeless powders, most of which are made with nitrocotton for uniformity. The series of powders for metallic cartridges is extensive, ranging from fast-rate powders for the .38 Special and .22 Hornet to some new slow-rate numbers for the high-intensity rifle cases.

A new item is No. 2700, a ball powder with a burning rate similar to that of the 4350s. Nitro 100 is a very clean-burning shotshell and handgun propellant that performs efficiently in cold conditions.

Armfield Custom Bullets

Armfield produces the Plainsbond bonded core big game bullets in .270 and 7mm calibers. Bullets can be ordered in standard flat base or Very Low Drag (VLD) design in either caliber. Bullet tips can be specified as the lead tip spitzer, open tip, or polymer tip.

Both calibers are available in pure copper or guilding metal jacket. Armfield's copper jackets are manufactured from copper sheet stock which eliminates the hole in the base that is common with custom bullets manufactured from copper tubing.

Guilding metal jacketed bullets are made with either a light jacket for use on small deer-sized game or a heavy jacket for use on larger animals.


The Blount catalog is a supermarket for dealers, offering reloading equipment and components under Speer, RCBS, and CCI brand names. Most of the equipment and accessories are pointed toward metallics, although CCI makes both standard- and magnum-force 209 shotshell primers, and RCBS supplies shotshell dies to fit single-stage reloading presses.

RCBS features single- and progressive-type reloading presses with virtually any die set imaginable, including a custom die department. Bullet moulds range from .22 caliber to Minie Ball, round ball, and specialty silhouette shapes.

Speer offers jacketed handloading bullets with a current emphasis on boattail designs for aerodynamic efficiency.

Dillon Precision

One of the best-known names in the customer-direct game now offers an excellent dealer program. The Dillon program makes Dillon reloading products available through established dealers with an FFL, a Yellow Pages Ad, and a storefront location. This two-part program gives dealers a 5 percent commission, or "finders' fee" on any item ordered through the Dillon catalog after the customer leaves the store, and dealers get a 10 percent commission on any Dillon item that is purchased through the dealer's shop.

Any reloading press or Dillon item ordered through a gunshop will be drop-shipped directly to the customer's home. The company encourages its dealers to stock demonstrator models with the idea that a "hands on" trial of the equipment is the best possible sales tool.

Hercules, Inc.

This is one of the oldest powder makers in America and continues to be a dominant manufacturer. The company's Red Dot and Green Dot powders are the most famous names in stateside powders. Most beginners hear of Red Dot before any other powder.

Hercules Bullseye and Unique are foremost handgun powders; the relatively new line of Reloader rifle powders gives Hercules a presence in all burning-rate levels of rifle reloading, while names like Unique, Herco, and Blue Dot do the same on the shotshell side. Hercules offers a custom service department and the company also distributes free an annual reloading guide with extensive data.

Hodgdon Powder Co.

Hodgdon began after WWII by selling a surplus powder now known as H-4831, which is still an exceptional powder for large-cased rifles. The Hodgdon line covers all metallic and shotshell categories. Powders currently come from Scotland and Australia. Their latest product is CLAYS, a clean-burning shotshell and handgun powder.

The line is a mixture of spherical (ball) and extruded propellants except for CLAYS, which is an Australian flake fuel.

Hornady Manufacturing Co.

This company is almost unrivaled in the span of its products. Hornady offers a wide selection for shotshell reloading, including a new set of presses, the APEX-91, in either standard or progressive models. Hornady also manufactures a brand of hard, high-antimony shot for optimum reloading patterns.

The Hornady jacketed bullets feature the "InterLock" design which maintains core/jacket integrity on impact, and its performance tends to equal that of the more costly premium bullets on big game. There is also a substantial series of metallic dies and presses.

Lee Precision, Inc.

Lee Precision is a most innovative concern, producing inexpensive, albeit serviceable, presses and accessories for both shotshell and metallic reloading. This company's products have always attracted beginners and casual sportsmen.

Lyman Products Corp.

Lyman is a grand old name in American shooting. Currently it focuses on metallic reloading, including a low-cost family of accessories under the Accu-Line name. Bullet casting moulds abound, with several presses and a multitude of dies. Lyman also publishes soft cover books which cover the handloading topic completely.

Mayville Engineering Co.

Mayville Engineering, otherwise known as MEC Inc., is a dominant force in shotshell reloading presses. Of interest is the "Steelmaster" which has certain features designed for optimum ease in reloading with steel shot. Other presses include single-stage and progressives at various price levels. A collet-type resizer is available.

Midwest Firearm Products Inc.

This company has popped up since the 1992 industry trade show to present a replacement wad at low cost, called the "Trapper Wad." Made to fit Winchester AA and Remington Premier hulls, the Trapper unit is pointed toward the economy market.

Nosler Bullets

Nosler was the first to capitalize on a truly premium bullet, the Partition. Since then, Nosler has developed two additional lines of bullets -- the Solid Base and Ballistic Tip -- which have caught on with shooters. The company prints a hard cover reloading manual.


One of the most respected names in the reloading industry, Forster's extensive catalog of reloading tools, such as their neck reamers and bullet pullers, and gun-smithing products have been a boon for many dealers. The Bonanza Co-Ax Press was designed so that no excessive tolerance is needed in its mating parts, giving reliable ignition for reloading.


Zero bullets are known for their accuracy and reliability with a wide range of proven designs, from hollowpoint to lead roundnose, available in most calibers.

Redding Reloading Equipment

This company furnishes SAECO bullet casting equipment and other presses, scales, etc., for metallic cartridge reloading.

Scot Powder Co.

The Scot Powder Company continues to market its line of clean-burning Solo powders from Scotland. Solo 1000 is a fine clay target powder. Two new shotshell propellants -- 453, a ball-type powder, and Royal Scot "D," a flake fuel -- are being imported from Czechoslovakia. The original Royal Scot from Scotland has been dropped, and the newer "D" variant does not interchange with the former. Check Scot data manuals for new reloading instructions.

Scot also provides a Brigadier line of extruded rifle powders.

Sierra Bullets

This company has categorized its bullets into varmint, hunting, and match groups, along with tournament slugs for handguns. The list is long, with an emphasis on streamlined profiles for high ballistic coefficients.

Practically every popular caliber is on hand, from the 40-grain .22 caliber through the 300-grain .44 Magnum. The "Powder Jacket" is a fast-opening handgun bullet. There are also hunting-weight bullets with jackets drawn for mushrooming at handgun velocities.


Winchester's newest Ball Powders remain popular, as does the line of AA-type wads and 209 primers. Super Target is catching on broadly with those who like ball propellants. Winchester also sells virgin brass and rifle and pistol primers. The company will sell bullets, but a distributor must buy in bulk.
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Publication:Shooting Industry
Article Type:Buyers Guide
Date:Jan 1, 1993
Previous Article:Slugs, shot, and spitzers: the latest in long-gun ammo.
Next Article:Colt's new organization made public.

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