Free Handloading Data

The internet is a great source of free information. However, that information often comes from unknown or unreliable sources, and you have to treat it accordingly. You need to be extremely careful with any reloading data you glean from the net. Free handloading data that's safe and reliable is a scarce commodity, but it does exist, and my favorite online source has just been expanded and improved.

If you've never visited Hodgdon's Reloading Data Center you're missing out on a great resource. It's always been a good website, but it's had a major rework and been completely upgraded. The site is now friendlier to mobile devices, meaning you can access it on your phone while at the range or while working at the handloading bench. No more need to run upstairs to the computer to look something up. The site is also more selectable, meaning you can use drop-down menus to pick only the data you desire. Before, if you wanted data on 55-grain bullets in .223 Rem. you got all .223 Rem. data for all bullet weights.

More information other than load recipes has been added as well. I see there is now a Reloading Education tab that includes sections on "Reloading for Beginners," "Safety" and "Tips and Tricks." There's a "FAQ" section as well, and even a "Wad Substitution Chart" for shotgunners. Overall, it looks to be a great improvement and is well worth a visit.

If you want to supplement the info on the website, don't forget about Hodgdon's Annual Manual. The 2014 version is available at newsstands now and includes informative articles, as well as a ton of load recipes. It's not free, but the $8.99 price makes it a great value.

I have a bookshelf full of reloading manuals from all the usual bullet manufacturers, but I still refer to these Hodgdon sources whenever I'm working on a new project. I've found their data to be safe and reliable, just like their powders—which I note are still hard to find on store shelves. It's pretty obvious the demand for handloading powders is outpacing the supply. Around here, when the powder truck arrives at a gun shop, you'd think it was a bread truck in the midst of a famine. Unfortunately, my sources tell me there's no immediate relief in sight for the availability of any brand of handloading powders. While you're on the Hodgdon website take a look at the yellow button with the title, Why Can't I Find Hodgdon Powders? That button has been there for most of a year now, and I doubt it's going away anytime soon.

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