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The Practical Guide To Reloading

Written by Nathan Foster on December 6th, 2014.      1 comments

Hi all, I hope this email finds you and your families well.

The Practical Guide To Reloading is finally here! Yes, it took me long enough but writing books is certainly not a fast process.
Being the fourth book in the series, The Practical Guide To Reloading ties in the other books of this series to help us achieve our goals of an accurate rifle. I decided to set about this book in such a way as to start with the very basics, then work through to advanced hand loading techniques. In this way, I hope that the book can be used by all shooters regardless of their experience levels.
But there is a bit of a twist to this. You see, I do not believe there is a clear distinction between basic hand loading operations and advanced procedures as far as extreme accuracy goes. To my mind, it is a process of problem solving as opposed to two different processes. Generally speaking, we do what works and there is a lot to be said for keeping things simple- especially for beginners. To this end, I have structured the book in a way that has possibly never before been utilized in the world of handloading. We start with good basic practices, observe accuracy, then work through steps to improve accuracy.
For those who are just starting out, the book starts with a shopping list and what to look out for and / or avoid, then a breakdown of how each item works. The step by step methods I have outlined are useful in that the beginner can work up a load that will (if the rifle is up to the task) be comfortably accurate at close to moderate ranges without any great deal of fuss. When the reader is ready, further steps can be taken to improve accuracy.

Those who have prior handloading experience may wish to delve straight into advanced techniques from the outset. These sections of the book can utilized in an immediate manner however I would strongly urge experienced handloaders to take a walk back through the basics and investigate initial procedures. Sometimes it is the little things that count and when faced with accuracy issues, we need to remind ourselves that as with many things in life, the solution to a problem is often very simple. But to find that simple fix (which may be easier said than done), we may have to shift our perspective from the belief that we need advanced handloading techniques to more of a troubleshooting mindset which may include investigation of our most basic procedures. Basic procedures are in my experience, the crux of accuracy issues. I am sure this will make sense to you.  

There are times when the goal of extreme accuracy seems overly frustrating. As mentioned, the solution to a problem may be simple, but finding it may be easier said than done. To this end, I have addressed the realities of problem solving. It can be very disconcerting when a book gives very basic instructions with the inference that within a few simple steps, you will have a tack driving rifle. The trouble with this attitude is that it can knock a hole in a person’s confidence when they are faced with a challenging rifle and it is taking more than 20 shots to get the rifle sorted like the book said. There are also times when we are faced with a dud rifle barrel and nothing is going to help. Through my other books, I have talked about the realities of rifle accuracy and the same goes here. I want you to feel supported, not inadequate. I want you to be able to keep going when the going gets tough.

I hope this helps paint a picture of the approach I have taken with this book. I have also included check lists at the rear of the book and as much other information as I felt was relevant towards helping you achieve your goals.
Aside from the book launch, Steph, Riley and I are well. Steph has been working alongside me in her usual manner. She does the work, I seem to get the attention which in reality can be quite unfair. We are to be very grateful for this woman who has quietly helped make all of this possible, whether working on a rifle of interest, at the load bench or in the field. I remember once, as Steph was climbing through terribly thick scrub with a carcass on her back, covered in sweat and blood, she turned to me grinning and said- “Last time I go shopping with you”.  She is a hard shot for sure.

Miss Riley is well, she is eight years old now- about level with my arm pit. Bright, happy, sensitive to others needs and with a good sense of humor. Can’t ask for more than that huh. She has just started hunting small game with a .22. Riley is no tom boy but she lives a balanced life, tap dancing one day, shooting the next.

The site is very busy which is good but unfortunately our email load has been very high and in some instances, I have not been able to answer all of our mail- even though Steph and I still answer mail seven days per week. We also need to take some time out soon, such has been the toll of work. I therefore wish to convey my advanced apologies if I am unable to answer mail at certain times. The truth is, when we answer mail on Sunday’s or holidays for several hours at a time, we miss out on family time. So I would like to try and find some balance in this regard, without offending our customers.
I will start writing the final book of this series in February. The final book will cover field work including shooting technique, making drop charts and so forth. I have often thought that this book is the most critical in the book series and that we should have perhaps started with a book focused on shooting technique however the series will soon be complete and with all five books, readers should be well equipped with information to achieve excellent results. I will probably have to go slightly ‘drill sergeant’ in style with this book. However I understand that our readers very much like this clear cut approach when I have need to take it. The truth is, the final book will be very much like a personal tutorial with me- and I don’t like to send clients home without established skills. So I really need to drum information home.

Once the book series is finished, I will be primarily focused on completing the site knowledge base which is still missing almost a third of my gathered research.

All the best, Nathan.

cover page Reloading


Steve Shearin (Texas) says ...
For those contemplating book purchase - I likely own every reloading (and accurizing, long range shooting) book and manual published in recent years and hands down I find the books by Nathan Foster (President of Terminal Ballistics Research, NZ) and Philip P. Massaro (President of Massaro Ballistic Laboratories, USA) to be the very best in accuracy, insight, thoroughness, information not included in other publications, and readability. Both authors are experts in their fields and both have the enviable talent of making their books very enjoyable to read. If I could only keep a few reloading books it would be everything by these two authors and a Lyman's reloading manual. Google these authors as both own businesses that demonstrate where their knowledge comes from (customers with world wide hunts needing loads worked up for a huge range of game and environments) - both maintain websites with a lot of great info and both seem very approachable and helpful. To avoid confusion - both authors are independent of each other and to my knowledge have never jointly written a publication ... would be interesting if they did though (hint hint to the authors).


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