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View Poll Results: Is Ken Waters "Pet Loads" a must have?
Yes a must have! One of the first references I check. 13 65.00%
Yeah, but I dont use much data from it. 4 20.00%
No, Some interesting stuff but not worth buying. 3 15.00%
No! Was a waste of time and money. 0 0%
Voters: 20. You may not vote on this poll

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  #1  
Old 11-28-2009, 12:22 PM
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Ken Waters Pet Loads


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Has any one had any experience with the book "Ken Waters Pet Loads"? Is it worth adding to the collection?
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  #2  
Old 11-28-2009, 12:53 PM
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As you read the articles you will notice Ken Waters writing style, his loading knowledge and ability to communicate grow over the years. Many of us do not realize Ken Waters started the Pet Loads series in Shooting Times magazine about 1962. Certain articles are quite poor, the original article on the 30-30 for instance, the 30-30 follow up though, is extremely well done.
The original article on the 300 Savage is very interesting with the follow up even more so. A very thought provoking series of articles.
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  #3  
Old 11-28-2009, 03:52 PM
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I consider "Pet Loads" a "classic" written by a true "gun nut" of the "first order". No matter what any reloading manual may print on any caliber I'm loading, I will check with "Pet Loads" to "nail down" the most accurate loads to check first. He is usually, "right on" regarding which combination of powder and bullets works best.
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  #4  
Old 11-28-2009, 07:22 PM
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Well worth the money for any serious handloader. The amount of data in his book is staggering and is always open on my bench.
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  #5  
Old 11-28-2009, 11:32 PM
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An excellent book, but the data is a bit outdated. However, I gained a bunch of insight into things that I might never even have thought of without reading the book. Little articles like "Heavier is Not Always Better" were quite illuminating and though provoking. It was where I found the data I needed for my 200 grain S&W loads.
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  #6  
Old 11-29-2009, 07:22 AM
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Exactly. How he goes about solving problems with obsolete components is worth the price of the book in itself.
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  #7  
Old 11-29-2009, 06:16 PM
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When I get a new caliber I check with pet loads for some data. Most of the time Ken's most accurate loads are the most accurate in my rifles also. A couple of rifles I didn't experiment any further than his most acurate load, because I just couldn't see finding anything better. So it's a great reference.
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  #8  
Old 11-30-2009, 07:10 AM
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The friend who got me into reloading gave me an older set when they were two volumes and not the new single volume. It's a great read and even if the information is dated, a lot of it is still very good and Ken's insight is worth the time to read it all.

His 180 grain load for the 30-06 is the one I found works best in my first 06. A happy coincidence.
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  #9  
Old 11-30-2009, 09:58 AM
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Really good information, a recent update would be nice though. Great load examples to fumble with.
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  #10  
Old 04-24-2011, 06:59 AM
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I also have one of the addition's or updates I guess, and the "Notebook" full of letters. There's always much to take in from someone who's been shooting/reloading longer than I've been alive!! Very good info.
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  #11  
Old 04-25-2011, 11:58 AM
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I have one of the first signed copies that came out. If you reload, you should own one.
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  #12  
Old 12-20-2011, 08:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by William Iorg View Post
As you read the articles you will notice Ken Waters writing style, his loading knowledge and ability to communicate grow over the years. Many of us do not realize Ken Waters started the Pet Loads series in Shooting Times magazine about 1962. Certain articles are quite poor, the original article on the 30-30 for instance, the 30-30 follow up though, is extremely well done.
The original article on the 300 Savage is very interesting with the follow up even more so. A very thought provoking series of articles.
I believe it was Handloader Magazine. It remains a timeless rescource.
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  #13  
Old 12-20-2011, 03:55 PM
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I agree the Handloader magazines are a valuable resource. I won’t argue the semantics of the two columns but if you look at Shooting Times from 1962 through 1967 or so you will see in Ken Waters Precision Handloading column, a Pet Loads column.
Ken Waters and Dave Wolfe have the shared experience of having written for Shooting Times.
The Pet Loads article “Developing Pet Loads” is a re-written and updated version of “How To Develop Good Handloads” from the August 1967 issue of Shooting Times.
Waters once wrote his first article was published in 1936 but I have been unable to find any of his early writing. By late 1962 Waters wrote he had written technical gun articles for ten different publications, I would like to know which ones - other than Gun Digest.
I believe some of the letters in his Ken Waters Notebook pre-date his writing for Handloader.
Ken Howell said that Waters was always a freelancer for him and the pay for his Pet Loads columns was quite low.
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  #14  
Old 12-26-2011, 11:41 AM
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This is one of my favorite references. Some of the articles are better than others, but so many include the thought processes of developing loads and confirmation of the general wisdom about certain loads and calibers.
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  #15  
Old 03-07-2012, 05:12 PM
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Ken Waters Pet Loads

I feel that this is definitely a book the handloader should have.

I've repeated his excellent results with the .30-06, the .270, the .280 and the 7mm-08. His most accurate loads in these calibers have consistently been very accurate in my rifles (especially 1/4" groups in the .270 and 7mm-08). I've basically become enamored with his "recipes".

Some of the powders he used are now becoming dated, with newer, more reliable powders being developed. This, however, adds to the fun and excitement of handloading, attempting to duplicate the accuracy obtained with 4350, 4831, 3031 and 4320 with newer, more temperature-stabile powders.
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  #16  
Old 03-09-2012, 12:13 PM
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If the poll here were still open I would have voted "No, its a waste of time and money."

I never got much out of Waters. He was not a target shot in my view.

I have his loads. As I say they are not worthwhile. Instead buy some loading manuals.
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  #17  
Old 03-11-2012, 06:58 PM
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I have been reloading for 51 years and have over 65 reloading manuals. I think the Ken Waters and P.O. Ackley books are a necessary addition to anyone's library of reloading books. You cannot have too many. What you cannot find in one manual will be in the next one. As calibers, powders and bullets change and are added, the manuals also change. What you find in a new manual may not be what you are looking for and can be found in some of the old manuals.
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  #18  
Old 04-12-2012, 04:03 PM
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Wink just like to read

Trying to read and absorb all the knowledge here and in these books. Pet loads are full of info are a great read too. Once the old timers pass on all we will have is books.
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  #19  
Old 04-13-2012, 08:38 AM
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I think if you're of the type that loads a box a year for hunting with whatever rifle you own, and you don't own many firearms, Ken Waters Pet Loads might not be for you.
For those that own a number of firearms, and contemplate owning more, I think Pet Loads is a terrific resource. Particularly when you find some relatively unusual cartridge, you'll often discover that Ken Waters has already found out what the problems with that cartridge are, and how to solve them.
Since some of the loading data goes back to the 1960's, Pet Loads is not a substitute for a current loading manual. Still, Pet Loads is a valuable resource to any serious handloader. I'm amazed how often I use my copy.
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  #20  
Old 04-14-2012, 04:47 AM
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“I never got much out of Waters. He was not a target shot in my view.”
I believe we can all agree that while Ken Waters could shoot well his primary interest was in hunting and field shooting. All through the Pet Loads series you can see Waters skill both as a writer and a Handloader improving.
Waters wrote his first Developing Pet Loads articles for Shooting Times in the early 1960’s. Dave Wolfe was writing for Shooting Times during this period and you can see the early Handloader magazine format developing in the early Shooting Times Magazines. Paul Matthews wrote for Shooting Times in this era also.
The early load development articles for the 300 Savage and 30-30 Winchester well illustrate the learning curve. Looking at these early articles and comparing them against the later Up-Dates on the same cartridge is revealing. The improvement in loading tools, canister powders, component bullets and the writing skill and overall knowledge of the author is readily apparent. Ken Waters first article on the 30-30 is comparable to others of the same time period but poor by today’s standards with little actual information. The 30-30 Up-Date is as good as any article ever written on the 30-30 Winchester cartridge with sound advice and good loading information.
The Pet Loads series is worth having but we must remember it was a working progress – 30+ years of progress.
Ken Howell once wrote that Waters was a Freelancer for the entire time he wrote for Handoader magazine and was paid very little for these articles. Waters probably did not break even on many of the article he wrote for Handloader.
I can attest that I have spent far more money on components than I ever have of firearms.
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