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Thread: Latest Venturino Article in Handloader

  1. #41
    Boolit Master
    Chill Wills's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Larry Gibson View Post
    I figured out a long time ago that gun magazines are written for the new or "average" shooter/reloader out there. Most with any experience casting, reloading and experimenting that are found on this forum are not those. Also consider those on this forum constitute a very small percentage of the gun magazine's potential market.

    Few articles are written with us in mind.
    I think this about sums it up as to the current state of Handloader.

    However, I feel the loss of the 1970's 1980's era when Handloader was not written for entry level nor did product sales drive the content. Precision Shooting and the old Rifle - Handloader were written for a much higher level reader but when they made the drastic content change to have a wide newsstand market, they must have felt the need to dumb it down, and here we are today. It was a marketing choice that happened about the time the internet got into the game and changed everything.
    Last edited by Chill Wills; 03-12-2019 at 07:24 PM. Reason: I left out Shooting!
    Chill Wills

  2. #42
    Boolit Master

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    The amateur experimenters featured in the Wolfe publications of the glory days offered interesting, cutting-edge reading, but did not sell the magazines themselves, nor did they offer the “push” expected today for the goods and services advertised, to a mass market. The late, great Ken Howell was the Editor during a lot of this time, and, if you look through his old posts on 24hrcampfire, he said the magazines were a labor of love for the publisher and editor, a loss-leader for the main backers (major loading tool and component manufacturers), and no way to make much of a living for any of the writers or staff.

    The idea was to amp up general interest in shooting and reloading beyond the concerns of hunting or formal target shooting, and hope that some time in the future there would be a return on investment for the “angels” supporting the publications. In that respect, the magazines were a success, but they were no more a paying proposition than the catalogs sent out by those same advertisers. Howell had to photograph most of the magazine covers himself, fought constantly with the publisher for rare and tiny raises for the skeleton “permanent staff” the magazines had, and, though he never mentioned it, he was probably paid peanuts himself. The no-name writers of articles were given a consideration, if their article was published, but a “living wage” it was not.

    Once the magazines had to make money on their own (late 1990s, IIRC), most of that went by the board. Focus-group selections of topics, polished, stylish professional gun writers who could work to deadlines (try it, sometime), writeups featuring new market offerings, color photos inside and animal pictures on the covers in order to attract the “new breeds” of shooters were SOP. Articles on BPCR and Cowboy Action stuff were included when they were the hot, new games; when they peaked and started to wane, it was on to something else. Guys who buy ammo by the crate and fire it through the AR platforms are the hot new customer base. Writeups on the plethora of cartridges developed for these platforms are the natural response to this new group. If they handload, so much the better; if they don’t handload, sell ‘em the “best” loaded ammo. The new SAURUMULTRA cartridges, carbon-fiber rifle developments, the latest&greatest loading equipment and components, the everlasting controversy re: Which is better, the 9mm or the .38 Spl?, and How to Sight In Your Thirty-Thirty for Deer Season, have always sold magazines, and will continue to do so. And the point now is to sell magazines. Whether a cartridge should headspace on the rim or shoulder, whether poly, veggie or card wads work best in black powder cartridges, and which homemade lube will allow cast boolits to go 3000 ft/sec with accuracy, are the interests of a much smaller demographic. You might see this stuff mentioned in the larger context of the hardy perennial articles once in a while, and maybe there will be one “definitive” (short) article on the subject every ten years, but that will be it.

    Besides the Rifleman, I only subscribe to the ARTCA Journal, the Single Shot Rifle Journal, Black Powder Cartridge News and The Fouling Shot. These (and maybe the Single Shot Exchange and the various Collector’s Organization pubs) are throwbacks to the good old days, when ordinary people “did stuff” and wrote about it. But they are always starving for articles, the editors let a lot of typos and even a few non-sequiturs through, and sometimes you might not see your submissions (or even the magazines themselves) for quite some time. These Forums are much much more tolerant of amateurs (and their concerns), you can comment as little or as much as you want, and it’s all Freee! None of the problems endemic to the Printed Page.

    I’m inclined to give these poor working stiffs that write for magazines a break, myself. And I actually am kind of interested in one trendy, new development: these teensy pocket pistols that used to be chambered in .380 that are now coming out in (presumably) full-power 9mm loadings. I probably won’t buy one myself, but that is a noteworthy technological quantum leap.
    Last edited by Bent Ramrod; 03-12-2019 at 12:45 PM.

  3. #43
    Boolit Master

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    I've only seen one reference to what I assume was Precision Shooting. No bad mouthing of it. Both it and The Accurate Rifle went out of business a few years ago. I really enjoyed them even though I was not into bench resting or long range. I assume that the they didn't have enough advertising to maintain.

    I finally sold all my issues of both since they just took up room. I should probably do that with all the Handloader and Fouling Shot. I just can't bring myself to give up going back and reading them.
    John
    W.TN

  4. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chill Wills View Post
    I think this about sums it up as to the current state of Handloader.

    However, I feel the loss of the 1970's 1980's era when Handloader was not written for entry level nor did product sales drive the content. Precision and the old Rifle - Handloader were written for a much higher level but when they made the drastic content change to have a wide newsstand market, they must have felt the need to dumb it down, and here we are today. It was a marketing choice that happened about the time the internet got into the game and changed everything.
    I've only seen one reference to what I assume was Precision Shooting. No bad mouthing of it. Both it and The Accurate Rifle went out of business a few years ago. I really enjoyed them even though I was not into bench resting or long range. I assume that the they didn't have enough advertising to maintain.

    I finally sold all my issues of both since they just took up room. I should probably do that with all the Handloader and Fouling Shot. I just can't bring myself to give up going back and reading them.
    John
    W.TN

  5. #45
    Boolit Buddy
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    I've been subscribed to the online versions of Rifle, Handloader and Successful Hunter for several years now. I read Handloader cover to cover each issue, but I find less and less useful information every time. I've learned more on this forum and a couple others than I've learned from the magazine in the last 20 years. I still enjoy Pearce and to a lesser extent some of the others, but the articles from 20-30 years ago were definitely better.

  6. #46
    Boolit Master DonMountain's Avatar
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    I used to enjoy reading Handloader magazine 25 or 30 years ago before I stopped subscribing, but the articles appeared to be based on some research and thought from knowledgeable writers. Unfortunately I can't say the same for information gathered from internet web sites. Although it usually doesn't take me long to recognize certain individuals to be knowledgeable about certain subjects and others to not be so much. And others to be just stating unfounded opinion.

  7. #47
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by DonMountain View Post
    I used to enjoy reading Handloader magazine 25 or 30 years ago before I stopped subscribing, but the articles appeared to be based on some research and thought from knowledgeable writers. Unfortunately I can't say the same for information gathered from internet web sites. Although it usually doesn't take me long to recognize certain individuals to be knowledgeable about certain subjects and others to not be so much. And others to be just stating unfounded opinion.
    You're right. Much of the Internet information is from people whose only strong point is that they are opinionated, not necessarily right, and may have done inadequate or no research to arrive at what they represent as a valid conclusion. There is no "filtering" or editing of their material for accuracy and the inexperienced often believe the fallacies that are continually given new life.

    I know he has his share of detractors among the readers of gun magazines, but Dave Scovill, when he was still the HANDLOADER and RIFLE editor, commented several years ago on the quality of gunwriting in general. I don't remember the exact words, but his message was that research had become something many no longer did, and to do a really good handloading article required firing many, many rounds, maybe even enough to wear out a barrel, but in the end you had lots of good data for the article, something useful to many readers.

    What Scovill didn't mention but certainly understood was that whoever put together such an article probably had more basis and background in the subject matter than about 98% of those who might read the article. A lot of Internet material, doesn't come close to this level of writing and many of the Internet articles that are "edited" are poorly edited by non-professionals.

    Lots of paper gun magazine writers these days that aren't any good and lack creativity, but at least their material is edited to an extent. The few really good writers that remain have earned their credentials the right way rather than shortcutting to become self-anointed Internet authorities.

  8. #48
    Boolit Buddy Argentino's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by alamogunr View Post
    I've been reading thru the latest Handloader which arrived this week. The first thing I saw on the cover when I opened it was the announcement of an article about cast in "battle rifles". I was looking forward to the article since I'm planning to develop loads for 3 of my milsurps in .30-06. Well, it was a mixed emotion when I read the article. Lots of history, which I appreciated. Some I already knew, most I didn't.

    The discussion of cast and powder was sort of a downer. I had to wade thru his usual paragraph about linotype, his endless supply and there is no other alloy. I almost wish he would run out so he could write for the rest of us. I have enough WW alloy, pulverized antimony and solder to approximate quite a bit of linotype but the miser in me and laziness won't let me do that. I don't want to buy from Rotometals either.

    The only loads he gives use AA5744. I have some and will try those loads since I have a couple of the molds he mentions although my molds are not Lyman. I sometimes wonder if he has any recently produced Lyman molds. If the 5744 works out, I'll have to try some of Shooters World Buffalo Rifle powder, which is supposed to be close to 5744.

    I just extended my subscription to Handloader and don't regret it yet but, more and more, as my interests narrow I'm thinking fewer and fewer articles are of interest.

    Sorry for the rambling post but felt I had to get a couple of things off my chest.
    +1

    I was enthusiastic about its content but after reading it I guess I was expecting something else.

    Perhaps more data regarding testing of: different alloys, several mold designs sized at different diameters, bore measurements, etc.
    Anyway, the reloading data summarized on page #38 seems to be very useful.

    The most interesting articles I´ve read regarding cast bullets in rifles are the ones by Col. E.H. Harrison.
    I guess I always compare any new article I read with those ones from NRA which seemed excellent to me.
    "Skill is acquired not alone through practice but through the combination of study and experience" - P. Sharpe

  9. #49
    Boolit Buddy
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    A few years ago I had several email exchanges with Mike Venturino regarding his Cast Bullet articles for surplus military arms. Besides being overweight, he was also overbearing and I am sad he was the Editor of the last Lyman Cast Bullet Handbook.

    I do not read Venturino's articles, if I can avoid them. Just saying....

    Adam

  10. #50
    Boolit Buddy PWS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lotech View Post
    ...

    I know he has his share of detractors among the readers of gun magazines, but Dave Scovill, when he was still the HANDLOADER and RIFLE editor, commented several years ago on the quality of gunwriting in general. I don't remember the exact words, but his message was that research had become something many no longer did, and to do a really good handloading article required firing many, many rounds, maybe even enough to wear out a barrel, but in the end you had lots of good data for the article, something useful to many readers.

    ...
    While Scoville is old and tired, he's right in this regard.

    I tried a short stint writing what I thought were useful, interesting and well researched articles but it just wasn't worth it. If it wasn't a topic I was personally interested in researching, the $200 per article they were paying hardly covered gas and time just to go to the range, let alone cost in components and the time it took to write out the information. It's no wonder most gunrags are comprised mainly of pulp.

  11. #51
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by Adam Helmer View Post
    A few years ago I had several email exchanges with Mike Venturino regarding his Cast Bullet articles for surplus military arms. Besides being overweight, he was also overbearing and I am sad he was the Editor of the last Lyman Cast Bullet Handbook.

    I do not read Venturino's articles, if I can avoid them. Just saying....

    Adam
    It would be interesting to read both his and your emails in that conversation.
    Chill Wills

  12. #52
    Boolit Master
    lefty o's Avatar
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    to be honest, i quit reading his articles years ago when everything he wrote was a shill article for mitchells mausers. one thing for certain is, because somebody wrote it for a magazine article, doesnt mean its accurate.

  13. #53
    Boolit Grand Master

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    Another perspective - most of those mags, including the American Rifleman, are focused on the newest and greatest ... and I have all the guns I'm likely to get. If I'm satisfied with what I have I don't need them.
    Wayne the Shrink

    There is no 'right' that requires me to work for you or you to work for me!

  14. #54
    Boolit Master


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    Quote Originally Posted by Wayne Smith View Post
    Another perspective - most of those mags, including the American Rifleman, are focused on the newest and greatest ... and I have all the guns I'm likely to get. If I'm satisfied with what I have I don't need them.
    So very true.

    I think about the suckers who buy into the newest and greatest flavor of the month. Like my buddy with a very nice .270 that wanted to get a 6.5 Creedmoor. But the gun industry needs to do this to stay solvent.

    I have not bought a gun rag in over 15 years. Nothing that turns my crank when I see them on the newsstand.


    But to stay on topic, I have little use for MV any longer.
    Don Verna

    NRA Endowment Member

  15. #55
    Boolit Master

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    Quote Originally Posted by dverna View Post
    So very true.

    I think about the suckers who buy into the newest and greatest flavor of the month. Like my buddy with a very nice .270 that wanted to get a 6.5 Creedmoor. But the gun industry needs to do this to stay solvent.

    I have not bought a gun rag in over 15 years. Nothing that turns my crank when I see them on the newsstand.


    But to stay on topic, I have little use for MV any longer.
    OK! I agree to a point. I too, have all the guns I am likely to own although I am still tempted at times. Keep in mind that the publishers of the gun mags are probably fully aware that we are not their main audience. Without information on new products,where are new shooters/reloaders going to find out what is available. What is going to feed their interest in our sport/hobby? Most of my curiosity/desires are kindled reading about older unusual guns that someone has found in a gunshop in an area far away from where I live. You might say that I should check GunBroker. I prefer to handle any high dollar gun I'm interested in, although they are few and far between.

    Let's admit that most advertising/feature in publications is no longer of interest to us old codgers and that is where most of the criticism of current mags comes from.

    Also, to stay on topic, I get feelings of envy when MV writes about some very rare item he has been notified about at a shop within driving distance. No one is going to even know that I might be interested in such an item much less afford it. I have yet to receive an issue of Handloader that I didn't find 2-3 things that interested me. At least they are in one place. When I come here to Cast Boolits, there are hundreds of topics to try to filter out something of interest. Just today I found a thread that started in 2016, that was of interest and had several posts that had information that I wanted to keep. I just bookmarked the thread, at the same time wishing I had run across it in 2016.

    Are we trying to convince the "suckers" that they should acquire knowledge somewhere beside the printed word?
    John
    W.TN

  16. #56
    Boolit Master
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    I'll admit handloader is not as good as it was but I still enjoy it and rifle especially articles by Pearce and barsness .they are the only mags I subscribe to now .I wish they would bring out compilation mags of all articles on a single calibre.save having to spend ages trying to find that article in years of mags!

  17. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chill Wills View Post
    It would be interesting to read both his and your emails in that conversation.
    Chill Wills,

    Perhaps it would be interesting to reread my prior emails to Mike Venturino, but that would be a VIOLATION of both of our RIGHTS to Privacy! Your request of a violation of privacy rights is duly noted and REJECTED!

    Go send your OWN emails to Mr. Venturino.

    Adam

  18. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by Adam Helmer View Post
    Chill Wills,

    Perhaps it would be interesting to reread my prior emails to Mike Venturino, but that would be a VIOLATION of both of our RIGHTS to Privacy! Your request of a violation of privacy rights is duly noted and REJECTED!

    Go send your OWN emails to Mr. Venturino.

    Adam
    Kinda what I thought - over bearing.
    Chill Wills

  19. #59
    Boolit Grand Master

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    Quote Originally Posted by robg View Post
    I'll admit handloader is not as good as it was but I still enjoy it and rifle especially articles by Pearce and barsness .they are the only mags I subscribe to now .I wish they would bring out compilation mags of all articles on a single calibre.save having to spend ages trying to find that article in years of mags!
    You can buy the entire catalog in digital format that’s fully searchable. But they want $500 for it. I can guarantee they’d sell it if the price was reasonable. Selling zero at a high price means no profit versus selling a lot at a low price which yields an actual profit.

  20. #60
    Boolit Master

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    Quote Originally Posted by shtur View Post
    Venturino can't walk the talk. He placed dead last at the National M1 Garand match at Camp Perry in the early 2010's. Reminds me of the old saying, those that can't - write about it, those that can - keep doing it.
    And where did you place? Keep in mind that Mike is a member here and you might want to brush up on the site rules on treatment of other members lol.

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Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check