Lapua Shooting and Reloading Manual
2nd Edition, printing date December 2000

10 March 2001
By peteR

There are reloading manuals and then there are RELOADING MANUALS!

Nammo Lapua Oy's latest edition is one of superlative quality. I received my copy from Janne Pohjoispaa, Nammo's Product Development Engineer.

The manual starts with an introduction and credits followed by a comprehensive history of the Finnish Ammunition company, tracking it to the current huge conglomerate with such names as SK Jagd-und Sportmunitions GmbH, Patria Finavitec, Vihtavuori Oy, Patria Vammas, and Patria Vehicles. Also tacked on are Celcius AB of Sweden, Patria Industries Oyj of Finland, and, lastly, the big-bore sniper rifle's favorite brand, Raufoss ASA of Norway. Combined, they are now officially known as Nammo Lapua Oy. Well written sections on non-toxic ammunition, .22 rimfire ammunition, and the history of the .338 Lapua Magnum cartridge follow to close the first chapter.

Chapter 2 covers the history and production of metallic cases and projectiles from sheet stock to ready-to-rock. It explores everything from raw materials selection to each step in fabrication, quality control, and hardness distribution/measurement.

Chapter 3 is a superlative presentation of information on propellants/powders and primers. The material is carefully laid out and easily answers a large quantity of questions frequently posed to more knowledgeable shooters and reloaders, including the incorporation and chemical history of Flame Reducing Agents (Anti-Flash Agents). The chapter is finished off with a THOROUGH piece on primers and just about anything you could think to ask about them.

Chapter 4 covers cartridge reloading from equipment selection to preparation, loading, and incremental testing of your handloads. The vast majority of the equipment pictured is US domestic and includes much gear that I personally use: a Redding powder measure, RCBS press & bench priming tool, and a tabletop of other goodies.

Chapter 5 introduces the reader to exterior ballistics, the use of tables, and the variables that can affect shot placement. There is a lot of good math and formulae here for the folks interested in such things, and all of the standard conditions are clearly and carefully explained.

Chapters 6 and 7, respectively, cover Lapua's world-recognized projectiles and give usage of and brief technical data for each product. While not quite as large in scope of production calibers as the US components manufacturers, it must be remembered that Nammo's reputation on the competition circuits is impeccable.

Chapters 8 and 9 detail loading data for a number of cartridges. Rather than being a catch-all for everything in the world, Nammo once again deals specifically with their product and minimizes the use of propellants. Vihta Vuori propellants and Hodgdon Powder Co., Inc. of Kansas, USA are the only products addressed - and I, for one, concur with their choices. Both brands have given me superior results in my battery of center fire handguns and rifles.

Summation:

My only gripe here is the lack of data for Hodgdon's Varget powder in .308 (7.62x51mm) caliber with projectiles in the 168 gr. to 185 gr. range. However, the use of VV N-150 or N-550 provides you with loads that could easily equal Varget, to be quite honest. Remember that the now defunct Talon Mfg. Co. "White Feather" .308 ammunition used a Vihta Vuori powder and, for me, gave the best overall performance of any production tactical ammunition in my particular rifle. If you plan to reload any of the Nammo components in your particular rifle or handgun, this well-compiled book is the definitive source, and you should not be without it!



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