Reloading Manual: Which One to Start With?

Messages
1,745
Reactions
6,027
I was about to order the Lyman 50th Anniversary Reloading Manual, but thought I'd check in with you guys first. If you've never reloaded before which of the many manuals is a good one to start with?
I know I'll end up with a few of them before long. Reloading for .308, .45acp, and .38Special target loads. What do you think?
 

John Gault

Messages
1,221
Reactions
921
I judt purchased the 10th edition (2016) Hornady manual. I've got a like new 9th edition you can have . Other than a few new 300 blkout loads i haven't noticed much change...Basic reloading info will be the same.

Nice to have a couple references for loads but most can be found online at powder manufacturer sources..
 

Mikej

Messages
12,139
Reactions
24,635
I'm using Lyman 49th, and the Speer 14 that came with my RCBS kit. I also look at the Hogdon site. I have pages printed out from the Hogdon site with my own notes on the side and the bottom of those pages.

Being as I'm only doing handgun I pretty much have the loads I like and that is what I load, so there haven't been many notes made for a couple of years. When A box of ammo is empty, I just read the label and load the replacement.
 

bbbass

Messages
13,208
Reactions
28,036
Buying the manual of your intended bullet maker is not a bad way to go. For rifle, I own Sierra, Hornady, Nosler, and Ackley.

For pistol, I use what is printed on the powder jug, or loads recommended by bullet maker on the internet. I use Xtreme copper plated loads because I got tired of lead fouling and they are very similar loads to lead bullets but not an exact transposition.

45 and 9mm are easy peasey and .45 is not too critical being a large case low pressure load. The 9mm is a small case high pressure load so one needs to be more careful as small changes in powder loading bring quick changes in pressure. 38spc is another large case low pressure load that is not too critical.
 
Messages
555
Reactions
633
Any manual will have a good explanation of the loading process, that hasn't changed much in the last 50+ years, so it's not important to get the latest edition.
If you have already picked the powder(s) you plan to buy/use, the powder mfg. websites have a limited amount of load data.
:D
Edit: If lead or coated bullets are what you will be reloading, the Lyman manual has proven to have the best data...for me.
But I'm old and haven't bought a manual in 30 years :rolleyes:
Edit 2: OOPS...lots of new powders now but mostly ignored by me, so the latest edition might be worth buying, remember I'm old and have my go to powders that haven't changed.
:oops:
 
Last edited:

CHLChris

Messages
3,299
Reactions
4,599
I've got a Lyman 49. It seems the only additions in the 50 are the 300blk, which would be good to have if that floats your boat, and new stuff like the 26 Nosler and 28 Nosler.

But since my general reloading includes competition pistol loads, it seems I get almost all my data from powder sites like Hodgdon.
 

bbbass

Messages
13,208
Reactions
28,036
A bit off topic, but I am using my RCBS single stage for both rifle and pistol now... loaned my Dillon RL550B to my brother a few years back. Sure do miss it for pistol loads! He is not using it anymore so I am looking forward to my next trip thru Vegas or maybe I will pony up the $100 it takes to ship it back to me.
 
OP
HuckleberryFun
Messages
1,745
Reactions
6,027
A bit off topic, but I am using my RCBS single stage for both rifle and pistol now... loaned my Dillon RL550B to my brother a few years back. Sure do miss it for pistol loads! He is not using it anymore so I am looking forward to my next trip thru Vegas or maybe I will pony up the $100 it takes to ship it back to me.
Funny you say that. The Dillon 550b is the one I'm looking to get. Someone advised me to get the XL650 because you can load more faster, but Im thinking the 550 is plenty.
 

thorborg

Messages
2,353
Reactions
5,257
Gizmo's and equipment preference aside, the basic process hasn't changed much over the last century.
Powders and projectiles have considerably, so give credence for the eventual need to have a large updated library.
If you begin relatively clueless, you cant beat the lyman manuals for understanding the mechanical basics, albeit they may seem like an equipment sales brochure. Theirs helps you see the "bigger Picture" in reloading. Manuals from Projectile companies offer new and updated arrangements of components but may leave you wanting in understanding equipment and dies as they tend assume you already are up to speed on that. Also because Lyman is about equipment, they seem to offer a wider brand selection of powders and projectiles for the beginner.
After and if you become enamored, especially if you play with multiple calibers on a regular basis, filling a room with books and equipment will usually follow.
Stick with your original plan as I believe it to be excellent.
 

P7M13

Messages
7,069
Reactions
15,789
You won't go wrong with the 50th. Welcome to the club.
Up until recently, I used a Hornady manual from 2000 and get updated data on bullets and powder from manufacturer's sites. Recently I saw Lyman's 49th on 50% closeout at Sportsman's, so I picked it up.

You've probably read, "start low and work up." There is sage wisdom in this advice. Be safe.
 
Messages
2,684
Reactions
6,339
As long as one doesn't lean too heavily on the FPS promises; so many variables.

The 4th edition (I meant to type Lee 2nd) has taught me and served me well since my day 1.
 
Last edited:
If I was to have only one manual, it would be a recent Lyman. If I was planning on eventually buying more manuals, it would be the first one I'd buy. The Lyman is not bullet brand specific and will get you pointed in the right direction no matter what bullet you're using.
The only exception to this would be if one was focusing one one certain bullet or brand of bullet. Then that bullet manufacturers manual would get the nod.
 
Messages
418
Reactions
305
The Lyman has a very good section on the basics of reloading and gives some basic info on the powders available, an excellent first choice. However, sometimes Lyman doesn't have the bullet I want to use or something even reasonably close to it. My #1 go to manual for loads has been the Hornady #9 and I expect it will now be the #10 as they've added some CFE Pistol and BE-86 load data.
 

Goosebrown

Messages
4,911
Reactions
12,553
Personal opinion is that the book is for techniques and most are going to be really good because most are by smart people that have been doing this for a century or so each. I started with Sierra and don't have one now at all.

For the loads you look on the internet and find a few and see where they overlap, take 10% of max of the intersection of several recommendations and then shoot ladder tests up from there. The secret is never the maximum load, it is the maximum PRECISE load. Just check for signs of pressure and see where you go. If your load is approaching the maximum load then rethink your powder choice.

I had a Remington 700 in .204 that took 18 months and 12 powders before I settled in on RL10x and Sierra 39gr bullets. Now it shoots 1/4" at 100 all day long. About 10% under maximum load.
 

Goosebrown

Messages
4,911
Reactions
12,553
Funny you say that. The Dillon 550b is the one I'm looking to get. Someone advised me to get the XL650 because you can load more faster, but Im thinking the 550 is plenty.
Never used a Dillon but I don't load that many rounds. I am mostly rifle and doing a couple hundred at a time in a single press is fast enough for me. However I think Dillon can't be beat and if you want to do a lot of ammo, then that's your bird right there.
 

UPCOMING EVENTS

Project Appleseed
Douglas Ridge Rifle Club
27787 OR-224, Eagle Creek, OR 97022, USA
Albany Rifle & Pistol Club (ARPC) Gun Show 2021 show is cancelled
Linn County Expo Center
3700 Knox Butte Rd E, Albany, OR 97322, USA
22 Rimfire Challenge
Redmond Rod and Gun Club
Redmond, OR 97756, USA

LATEST RESOURCE REVIEWS

  • Lucky Sporting Goods
    5.00 star(s)
    Just a transfer but a great one. A+
    Came here today to meet another forum member to buy a Glock. Was the best transfer I've had the pleasure of doing. Even though I was just there...
  • Copeland Custom Gunworks
    5.00 star(s)
    Great work threading Tikka barrel
    I dropped off my Tikka to have Tim thread the stainless barrel. GREAT work. Excellent communications. Highly recommend Tim. Very good value for...
  • Sound Loan and Pawn
    5.00 star(s)
    Helpful and Handy
    I have shopped, transferred, bought, browsed, or merely stopped in for a friendly hello or two, and every time without fail I left feeling better...
    • 10mm
  • Sound Loan and Pawn
    5.00 star(s)
    Definitely recommended
    friendly people, great prices on guns ammo tools, jewelry, other pawn shop stuff, always been easy to deal with
  • A Cut Above Pawn
    5.00 star(s)
    Responsive, courteous, great comms and absolutely reasonable!
    Bought a firearm from a local NWF's member and as I live in Idaho it had to transfer through a local FFL. The Seller picked A Cut Above... The...
Top Bottom