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The ABCs of Reloading: The Definitive Guide for Novice to Expert Paperback – January 12, 2011
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"Neverworld Wake" by Marisha Pessl
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About the Author
As a shooter, a competitor and a collector, Dr. C. Rodney James has more than half a century's experience with rimfire rifles. A professional firearms forensic expert, Dr. James is also the editor of ABCs of Reloading and Handloader's Digest, both by Krause Publications/Gun Digest Books, and has authored numerous articles dealing with rimfire rifles and other topics. Dr. James lives on a large farm in central Ohio, where he can often be found testing the latest development in .22 rifles and ammunition.
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The book is chock full of information about military loads, mercury primers, tracer rounds and many more things that dropped out of wide circulation 20 or 30 years ago. Normally, I'd just "read around" the outdated things to pick up the wisdom... however, there's nothing in this book that is not also available in the front section of Sierri, Hornady, Berger, data books - which you will have to have anyway. Therefore, skip this one.
This book is not simply a how-to manual. Be advised the "how-to" material is several chapters in. The author starts off with a very informative discourse on cartridges and their components. Each component has an individual chapter. The author emphasizes safety and specifies some things not to do before getting into the "how-to" information which is solid.
I had previously read Richard Lee's Modern Reloading with its "how-to's" and wanted to get another author's viewpoint. The ABC's was recommended by an on-line reloading forum. I was at first a bit taken aback with the author's approach as it was not what I was expecting.
After loading several hundred 9mm rounds and reading the ABC's a second time I can say the book is a must. As a newbie, I did not know what I needed to know. I thought I wanted more "how-to." What I needed was more understanding of the why's and wherefores of the process. That understanding has increased exponentially over the basic "do this, don't do that" approach. I will be a better and safer re-loader as I branch out into more handgun and rifle cartridges.
When all is said and done, I am glad this book is in my collection, although at the moment it offers precious little for my personal needs. Perhaps when I am capable of creating a full workstation, then it will be better suited to my needs.
I am actually quite glad I have it at the moment simply for the safety info, and random tidbits from here and there.
As far as recommending this book, I'm in no position to say who would truly benefit from it, but the guys at several of the large name retailers around here were quick to push it my way.
If you're starting to reload, or thinking about starting, make this your first purchase. Read it through to get the information you need to choose your equipment and process, and to save you many wasted hours, and dollars, applied to things you'll never really use. While agnostic about specific products, this book will guide you through the possible choices on your new obsession. With the information inside, you can make the informed decision you should be making, rather than be swayed by the bright lights, pretty colors and salesmen wearing bow ties.