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Joined: Aug 2002
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Mr. Howell, do you know Ken Waters? I read your reply on powder measures on another forum and that reminded me of the way Ken Waters would tackle a loading problem. I find his approach to hand loading fascinating. What do you think of his methods? BM

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I know Ken Waters very well, respect him very highly, and consider him one of my best friends. We don't always agree (usually do) but never fuss at each other.


"Good enough" isn't.

Always take your responsibilities seriously but never yourself.



















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What is Waters approach to handloading anyway?
<br>
<br>What proceedure do you find facinating?
<br>
<br>I find that each of his essays starts with colorfull enthusiam for some cartridge as he skillfully paints a verbal picture of it's highlights. Then the article goes down hill with random results and Waters still a happy camper.
<br>
<br>I have never learned anything from him but would read him as he is a rifleman.

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If you've read a lot of Ken Waters's stuff but haven't learned anything from his work, you already know a hell of a lot more than I do and aren't likely to learn anything from me either. I've long been aware of the truth (and often quote) the Old West proverb "Never was a horse couldn't be rode; never was a cowboy couldn't be throwed." This certainly applies to me, whether I'm horse, cowboy, or simply an ass.
<br>
<br>I've also often advised my writers that no matter what they're writing about, there are readers "out there" who already know more about that subject than they (the writers) know about it. My on-going experience confirms this (as it applies to me, certainly) every day that I get anything from anyone else.
<br>
<br>I envy you your great wealth of knowledge. I'm still plugging away with the little I know, slowly increasing it. The sheer enjoyment of learning, however, more than offsets the discouraging realization that there's so MUCH to know, so LITTLE gourd-filling to learn it with. So I DON'T envy anyone's inability to learn from another despite long and frequent exposure. Blessedly and thankfully, I don't ever have to worry about knowing too much. Always too little. Too little.
<br>
<br>{How'd I get onto this subject, anyway?)


"Good enough" isn't.

Always take your responsibilities seriously but never yourself.



















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Don Martin,
<br>
<br> If you're talking to me, I'll tell you that I find his approach to reloading fascinating because of the many problems he runs into with his "just finished" rifles and die problems he always finds a way to go around that or alter something to make a way. Each caliber reads like a story to me with him making comments on the side that make it very interesting to anyone who doesn't have the newest gadgets for reloading. I respect the man very much. BM

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I will be specific and I hope you will also. I have a copy of Waters tome "Pet Loads" and one of the cartridges he reviews is the .358 Winchester. Now I have reloaded for that cartridge since 1966 and I have three rifles in that caliber. I note also that the editor here Ken Howell also has authored at least one write up on the cartridge in some loading manual.
<br>
<br>Waters spends two and one half pages lamenting the lack of popularity of the .358 Winchester. This musing is old stuff and leads the reader nowhere. You learn nothing. Then at the end of the two and one half pages Waters says that the .358 Winchester is a brush cartridge, he says that bullets that the .358 shoot will be deflected less should one hit brush. In this Waters is wrong.
<br>
<br>Then Waters goes into the travails with his personal .358 Winchester rifle a Mannlicher-Schoenauer carbine. His rifle does not group well and he can't figure out why (could it be the lack of a plan in developing loads) so he sends it back to Stoeger! Now this is the first time I have heard that Stoegers does accurizing work but I am out to learn.
<br>
<br>But so is Waters as Stoegers tells him that they can't give him the rifle stock he wants instead of the full length stock that he had as Waters has overlooked the fact that the barrel is not blued under the barrel band. So the craftsmen at Stoegers leave the barrel band on but leave a space under it! After all Waters is going all out here. Now the rifle shoots 1" to 1 3/4" five shot groups at 100 yards. Clearly not a article on load develpment so far. Finally in three short paragraphs Waters cautions to trim the cases to .010" less that the max case length. To neck size or FL size, he says it does not matter! But if you FL size not to set the shoulder back too far. So far this is beginners reloading stuff that any manual has in far more detail. That's it except he says not to use flat nosed bullets but does not say why and then to use large rifle primers (as if I were about to use large pistol primers?).
<br>
<br>Then there is a table with eight suggested loads for bullet weights of 200 thru 220 grains. Nowhere does Waters give a load for 180 or 250 grain bullets!
<br>
<br>This is all that there is in this piece on Pet Loads for the .358 Winchester.
<br>
<br>Now what did you learn about reloading in this article?
<br>
<br>Nothing, just as I said.
<br>
<br>Go ahead, it's your turn now and be specific.

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Ken Waters knows very well that nothing that he will ever write will provide anything new to anyone who already knows it. He also knows that every day, someone out there reads his (that reader's) first treatise on that cartridge. In the latter case, of course, that reader learns a lot from Ken.
<br>
<br>So --
<br>(a) Ken continues his many-year string of success and popularity by writing material that tells you nothing new --
<br>(b) you know much more than Ken relates -- maybe more than he knows --
<br>(c) you write very well -- very clearly --
<br>(d) you should be writing, for publication, the better material that you're capable of producing --
<br>(e) editors are waiting to get it --
<br>(f) readers are waiting to read it.
<br>
<br>Go to it!


"Good enough" isn't.

Always take your responsibilities seriously but never yourself.



















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Mr. Martin, the "Pet Loads" book I have weighs about 35-40 lbs. and dates from maybe the 60's to the late 90's. I know nothing about the .358 Win. but do have a 30/30, 30-06, 7-08, .243, .44 marlin, 7mmwsm, 38-.357, 9mm, 45acp plus a couple of .22's. He addresses all of these except the 7wsm and the main flaw I find in his data is that it is dated and they don't make some of his main powders anymore. I am not an expert reloader as I've been at it about 5 years so I can always learn something even though I may not be loading for that caliber or that length rifle barrel. Maybe I'm easily fooled but I'm amazed at how he overcomes some of his setbacks. I'm also surprised that there are not more type errors for a book that has thousands upon thousands of words and #'s. If you think his stuff is for beginners then maybe that's what I am because I sure enjoy it. BM

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Ken,
<br>
<br>You must have Water's "Pet Loads". Get it out and read the chapter on the .358 Winchester and stop being so general.
<br>
<br>Tell us what Waters says that would help someone load that cartridge.

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Blue Moon,
<br>
<br>The copy I have weighs four pounds! It's just over 400 pages and may be an original edition. When I came I read some of the pleasant ramblings and then put it down. I am not into musing and what if's but prefer specific information.
<br>
<br>If your copy weighs 35 to 40 lbs the pages must be all wet!
<br>
<br>

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Don,
<br>Ken Waters' books are a compilation of articles over many years. You keep pulling up the fact that the 358 article doesn't inspire you. Look at the collection of articles as a whole and tell me that you learned nothing. At worst it seems like you could have learned spelling and grammar tips from Waters. The 358 article was written in 1969. Compare it with the 25-06 version from 1984. It is possible that his style improved over 15 years. I wonder how much the new member in the rifle thread learned from your post. Seems like you are beating a dead horse. Many of your contributions to the forum are thoughtful and constructive. This one didn't qualify. Waters doesn't need my defense; his work stands alone to those with half a neuron.

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Pet Loads is the best source of serious loading data and notes ever. Two flaws: Waters should abbreviate and he should not spell out numbers over nine. "180 gr. bullets" is far easier to read than "one-hundred-eighty-grain bullets," and "2,554 fps" is easier than "two thousand five hundred fifty four feet per second," especially when one sentence uses several of these figures. But I'm a proofreader, so what do you expect? Maybe he got paid by the word to write those articles...
<br>
<br>Okie John.


Originally Posted by Brad
If Montana had a standing army, a 270 Win with Federal Blue Box 130's would be the standard issue.
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BlueMoon,
<br>
<br>Of course there are few typos, look who was editing most of the pieces when originally written for publication!
<br>
<br>Don,
<br>
<br>I refer to my copy of "Pet Loads" (both the 1000-page plus compilation volume, and the most recent supplement) religiously. I find it very helpful in supplementing pressure-tested data from manuals.(Ken's loads are usually remarkably close, if not more conservative, despite his much-maligned method of measuring case expansion).
<br>
<br>He also often addresses important issues such as extending brass life, and it's interesting in itself to see how approaches to reloading have changed over the decades.
<br>
<br>I was born in the year you started reloading, however, so my standards for someone telling me something new are not yet as high.
<br>
<br>John
<br>

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I am really looking forward to Ken Howell's review of Water's "Pet Loads" essay on the .358 Win.
<br>
<br>Howell was the editor for Rifle and Handloader mags during their heyday.
<br>
<br>Also I hope Howell answers Blue Moon's orginal question.

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Friend Don, I cede the dais to you. I appreciate your kind invitation, which I must decline.
<br>
<br>Nobody tells me what to write.
<br>
<br>You obviously have a axe to grind, and I'm nobody's whetstone.
<br>
<br>I'm already 'way behind on a multitude of projects far more meaningful than any squabble on any subject.
<br>
<br>If you acquire any of the five books I'm trying to get ready for printing and binding, you'll find some new axes just waiting for your expert attention and appraisal.
<br>
<br>All the best, Amigo!


"Good enough" isn't.

Always take your responsibilities seriously but never yourself.



















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Ken,
<br>
<br>Considering the present circumstances and as a friend of Waters you have handled this with discretion and aplomb.
<br>
<br>Don't have any of your books yet. I have a huge stack of "Precision Shootings" that a buddy is lending me to go thru. So little time.

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Don,
<br>
<br>I load for a number of "low interest" cartridges, like the .25 Remington, .303 Savage, and .32 Winchester Special. Where could I find loading information if not for Ken's "Pet Loads"? Although I have an extensive library, "Pet Loads" and "Rifle/Handloader" are always the first place that I look.
<br>
<br>I recall the .358 Winchester article and didn't think that it was one of Ken's best, but it was useful. As far as the obsolete powders and projectiles go, I figure that if I know where a obsolete powder's burn rate ranks relative to the common IMR and Hodgdon, I can interpolate.
<br>
<br>Sincerely,
<br>
<br>Bearrr264
<br>
<br>PS Although I've never met Ken, anybody who like Ruger 44 Internationals and Winchester Models 64/71 can't be all bad.

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The only problem I have with "Pet Loads", and its only a conditional problem, is Waters continued use of case expansion as a test process. I would prefer he use an Oehler.
<br>
<br>I said conditional problem, because I probably wouldn't want to glue a transducer on some of the guns he uses in his tests either.
<br>
<br>I use "Pet Loads" like all the other manuals, websites, etc. Just another report to take into consideration.
<br>
<br>Joe.

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Bearrr264,
<br>
<br>Your library is not at all "extensive"! Loads for those cartridges are in all of the Ideal and Lyman manuals thru #43 at least. Not only are they in there but they list minimum and maximum loads a concept that Waters has not invented yet.
<br>
<br>Since nobody has hit upon it yet what Waters does is list some loads that worked for him and spend the remaining 80% of the prose on telling you how nice your gun and cartridge is. This is pleasant reading and saves all that thinking.

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Please do me a huge favor, Don -- grind your Ken Waters Pet Loads axe somewhere else. (Don't forget, I can delete your posts in this forum if I decide that you're too contentious for this quiet place.)
<br>
<br>You've answered yourself already anyway, in your post just above -- "Pet Loads" (the long-running series AND the book) from the beginning has been presented as reports of (a) loads that work well for Ken and (b) how he found 'em. Nowhere is there any promise of encyclopedic coverage or recipes and revelations for anybody else's load development.
<br>
<br>Is it legitimate to bitch that a man or a product is not what he or it isn't claimed to be? Not IMHO.
<br>
<br>


"Good enough" isn't.

Always take your responsibilities seriously but never yourself.



















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