By: Mary and Dr. Jim Clary
We have never before reviewed a reloading manual and probably will not again in the future. However, the Western Powders Handloading Guide Edition 1 by Rob Behr is so unique and well done that we felt it necessary to share our review with everyone.
If you are a serious reloader, you probably have a library of manuals. One from each major bullet manufacturer, powder manufacturer and possibly others from companies that produce equipment. Each of them has their place; there is no one manual that works for us ALL the time.
That being said, the Western Powders Handloading Guide stands out as a solid reference book for reloaders. It covers reloading the Western lines of powders in detail, including Accurate, Ramshot, Extreme and Blackhorn black powder replacement. We are not being paid to say this; in fact, we have not used Western Powders in the past, except for their Blackhorn 209. However, we will try them in the future.
We are impressed by this book, due to the fact that the first 41 pages are devoted to all aspects of reloading. it has information essential not only to beginners, but also to advanced reloaders (such as Jim with 50 years experience). The text explanations are clear and concise, covering every aspect of reloading (including target shooting). The color photographs are just as instructive. Never before, in a single source, have we seen so much comprehensive information presented in such a clear and understandable format.
The rest of the Guide is just as informative, with specifics for each and every cartridge covered. Granted, like all company manuals, it only covers Western Powders, but they are not extensively covered in most other reloading manuals and that alone justifies adding this manual to your library.
Before we forget, the last 40 pages of the guide covers barrel slugging, removing stuck cases and shotgun loads for all makes of hulls. In addition, there is a very comprehensive glossary and burn rate chart.
To summarize, among the topics covered by this book (including load data for metallic cartridges and shotshells) are:
• Reloading Basics
• Tips, Tricks, and Signs of Trouble
• Powder Position and Pressure
• Berdan Primers
• Using a Chronograph
• Finding Twist Rates
• Montana X-Treme Products Instructional Guide
• Blackhorn 209 Information
Our bottom line is this handloading guide is a real bargain for under $30 (Midway and Cabela's). The Western Powders Handloading Guide Edition 1 by Rob Behr is a large format paperback; think Gun Digest size. Whether you are a beginner or an experienced reloader, your reference library will not be complete unless you add the Handloading Guide.