The history of the belted case is rather colourful.
Back in the beginning of this century, dangerous game was shot with double barreled rifles using rimmed cases (similar to the 45-90 and 50-140).
The two barrels were to allow a very fast second shot on a charging animal (Lion, Rhino, etc)... and also in case there was a failure of a firing pin or spring, cuz metalergy was in a primative state at that time.
When the Mauser "type" action was accepted as reliable enough for dangerous game, the rimed cartridges were not suitable for feeding through the magazines.
But because of the lack of standardazation of chamber dimentions, using a straight walled, rimless cartridge (Like the cylindrical '06x450) was impossible at the time, cuz the chamber length varied so much., that it would be possible to feed a round and have it be too far forward to fire, or extract.
So the belt was added by Holland & Holland to several new cartridges in their line, to be used in their brand new "African Magazine Express Rifles", and they worked very well.
The .375 H&H is still famous after some 100 years, and still suitable for taking the "Big five"... and the 300 H&H was a winning round, both in the field, and at Camp Perry well into the '60s, which ain't too shabby in performance.
After these H&H rounds were introduced, the "belted magnum" case became synonymous with "powerful" cartridges...
... so much so, that Roy Weatherby put a belt on their itty bitty .224 Weatherby, a round that was about the same as the Rem .222 Mag
Because of tight tolerances and standardization by SAAMI, the current belted rounds headspace on the shoulder (when there IS a shoulder), not the belt... especially after the first firing.
There are no other problems or concerns with reloading them, and special dies are totally un-necessary.
I own an English .375 H&H "African Magazine Express Rifle", and also a 300WM long range match rifle, and shoot both with no problems loading the cases with standard Redding dies. Cases last as long as regular "beltless" cases.
In the older conical chambered M70s, and Mausers, a good (and logical) argument can be made that the belt added some measure of needed
extra strength because of lack of suport in that area of the chamber.
[ 05-06-2003: Message edited by: CatShooter ]