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Reloading Newbie needs a basic reloading manual. Which do you recommend?

Discussion in 'Ammunition & Reloading' started by TOVO, Nov 21, 2011.

  1. TOVO

    TOVO SW WA. Active Member

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    I just purchased my first single stage reloading set up. Which beginning reloading manual with recipes do you recommend? Thanks in advance for everyone help.
     
  2. ma96782

    ma96782 Vancouver, WA Well-Known Member

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    When I started way back when........I bought a Speer Manual (#10). I read it cover to cover (OK I didn't really spend much time reading about specific calibers/load data that I didn't have). So anyway, it had a good tutorial on how to get started and the reasons for doing things the way it's done and of course WARNINGS galore.

    Manuals are usually put out by the bullet manufacturers or some other company that has a product to sell you. I used Speer products back then....thus, I picked the Speer Manual. Now a days, loading data can be down loaded from the internet. Search and you'll find..........

    Like this site with links to various companies: LOADING DATA

    Many will say to a beginner to get: ABCs of Reloading. I don't own one. But, I've thumbed through it several times. It's more like an overview of reloading and available in paperback so it isn't that expensive.

    Aloha, Mark

    PS.........things may have changed w/ some manuals so, ask if you could thumb through a copy before putting your money down. BTW, from one brand of manual to the next, you'll notice that some data may vary a little (speaking about starting and/or max load data).........it's common. It doesn't mean that one manual is WRONG as they all have a disclaimer printed in there somewhere about using only the exact combinations of products specified. Not to mention that human error can occur.
     
  3. Throckmorton

    Throckmorton Florence,Ore ah gone Well-Known Member

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    Lyman's has been my goto book for years,and I thnk it always will be. I have others but this one looks well used because it is.
     
    evltwn and (deleted member) like this.
  4. deadshot2

    deadshot2 NW Quadrant WA State Well-Known Member

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    There are two kinds of "Reloading Manuals". One is a book that spends most of its time instructing you HOW to reload and may have a few "recipe's" tucked in for good measure.

    The other kind is more of a written "Database" of suggested loads for a given caliber and bullet. The manuals in this category that are put out by the bullet manufacturers are specific to their bullets. The ones published by non-bullet manufacturers are usually compilations of all the data available for a bullet caliber and weight.

    I prefer the Lee manual that is often referred to as "Lee 2nd Edition". It has some good instructions but it's real value is the huge database of "recipes". Start and Max loads for just about ever caliber that is still being shot today. While it may not list every powder combination available for a given bullet weight, it lists the most common and often the best powders in descending speed values. What I can't find in the Lee manual I can find on the Powder manufacturers website. Between the two I am always able to obtain a STARTING POINT. I emphasized that last because one should never take a "recipe" and just assume it will work well or be safe in their rifle. Always Work UP, don't start at the top and then work DOWN if things don't go as they should.

    If you want ONE manual, get the Lee. If you've got the budget, consider starting out with two, the ABC's of Reloading, AND the Lee manual. I've been reloading for over 30 years now and only have the Lee.
     
  5. Izzy

    Izzy Oakridge Active Member

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    I also have several manuals, but the Lyman gets the most use! They are all useful, but the Lyman is my favorite!
     
  6. sneakboxer

    sneakboxer NW OR Active Member

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    I have a bunch now but i started with the ABC's and LEE. Then Nosler followed by Hornady and lastly Barns. I also use the manufactures websites. None of them are exactly the same. You will need to compare all the data and select what best fits your goals and components. Start on the low side and work up. If you are not trying to turn a 30-30 in to a 30-06 and pay close attention you'll be fine. For a new guy i'd recommend a bulky powder at close to 100% capacity google what seems popular in your cal and make the call. Or post on here and you will get some opinions.
     
  7. orygun

    orygun West Linn Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    The first manual I acquired was an old Lyman. It came with the reloading tools I bought. It was very informative. The 2nd was Hornday, because I was using Hornady bullets in the .41 Mag I was reloading. I have since purchased several others.

    However, if I was to do it all over again and know what I know now, the Lyman Reloading Manual, 46th edition would be my first pick, closely followed by the manual from the manufacturer of the bullets I was using. The 46th edition is full of so much information it's hard to fathom. I can't recommend it enough.
     
  8. djthemac

    djthemac eugene Member

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    ABCs of reloading and Lyman.

    ABCs is a more comprehensive background to what you are doing.

    Lyman is a quick and dirty with good pictures and solid reference material to refer to while you use the recipe's in the main section. Of the two, I use Lyman more often
     
  9. TOVO

    TOVO SW WA. Active Member

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    Thanks everyone for your insight as it is very helpful.
     
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  10. Otter

    Otter Oregon - mid Willamette Valley Active Member

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    For the basic reloading steps, I think one is about as good as the other. I used a Speer when I resumed reloading and I'm still here with both my eyes and all my fingers. I have a Hornady and a VihtaVuori manual now as well, and they follow the same basic steps.

    When you advance to turning necks or doing stuff like primer pocket corrections, I suggest you visit some of the benchrest websites like 6mmBR, or articles published on the web by some of the on-line retailers like Sinclairs and Brownells. Don't use the advice of most the guys on the Internet forums unless you have a lot of faith in their opinions. Lots of excellent advice is handed out, but lots of terrible advice that could get you hurt is also passed out.

    For load data, I like to get that info from the bullet and/or powder manufacture. Most of these companies post that data on the Internet. Bullets can be made of different alloys, and a load for one 55 grain bullet from Sierra could be way to hot for a Nosler bullet of the same weight. Stay within their recommended loads and you will be safe.
     
  11. ma96782

    ma96782 Vancouver, WA Well-Known Member

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    The post above reminds me of an old post of mine:

    Then for the LAWYERS........

    Aloha, Mark
     
  12. BK13

    BK13 PNW Member

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    In my opinion:
    first should be from the bullet manufacturer
    second should be from the powder manufacturer
    HOWEVER: more is better. I try to stay current with loading manuals, so I have the current Nosler (I probably load more Nosler bullets than anything else), Barnes, Sierra, Speer, Hornady, and Lyman. I think my Hodgdon manual is the last edition (need to get a new one). I haven't yet taken the plunge buying the Swift book. I need to, because I want to give the Scirocco II a try in my .25-06 and .257 Weatherby.
     
  13. deadshot2

    deadshot2 NW Quadrant WA State Well-Known Member

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    I'm surprised that nobody has mentioned any of the Software Programs for reloading.

    A couple that are common among those that are serious "load developers" are Quickload and Load From A Disk Ballistics Software

    With these one enters all the known parameters of his cartridge and bullet. The software then offers several different powders with start, optimum, and Max loads along with calculated pressures.

    I use the Load From A Disk software as it is less expensive yet provides all I need to get me started on a new load. I've found that the data produced by this program matches almost to the number when checked with my chronograph. The program also has a means to correct Chronograph readings for different distances from the muzzle.

    By the time one buys all the manuals from all the bullet manufacturers, and others, they'll have the same, if not more, money invested.
     
  14. 2gr8dgs

    2gr8dgs oregon Active Member

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    I like to get my hands on as many different manuals as possible. I comb the used book stores & gun shows for good deals. One piece of advice I would give, when you find a discrepancy on a powder charge, one coming from the bullet maker, the other from the powder maker, Go with the powder makers recommendation.
    good luck. Mike
     
  15. BBDartCA

    BBDartCA PNW Member

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    I would get the Lee Book. Very comprehensive. Has its downfalls (watch out for the OAL length typos in the 357 section!!).
     
  16. Otter

    Otter Oregon - mid Willamette Valley Active Member

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    I've found older manuals printed in the 60s and 70s suggest hotter loads and sometimes considerably hotter loads. For example .270 Win loads often would exceed 3,150 fps. Now it is hard to find a manual that suggests a load that breaks 3,000 fps. I think this was before all the law suit happy lawyers took up their own personal aspect of guns. Of course this could be an attempt to sell everyone a .270 WSM, cause as they are quick to tell us the old .270 Win just isn't flat enough shooting nor does it carry enough energy down range to actually kill anything.
     
  17. Spitpatch

    Spitpatch Forest Grove, Oregon Well-Known Member

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    I will offer some (previously stated in many cases) gentle advice from 44 years of handloading. Cross-referencing is MANDATORY.

    Having said that, and with the understanding that the OP is looking for his first manual, I give accolades to those who have suggested Lyman. I also understand that the OP may be trying to economize, and therefore, I offer this recent experience to that end: I recently picked up no less than SEVEN good semi-recent manuals at a 4WD swap-meet, for only 20 bucks TOTAL. Modestly challenges my library, and this was done for a friend that is just starting to reload. The OP is to be lauded for going single-stage to start with, and additonal accolades go to whoever gave him that advice. Too many just starting out, learn to RELOAD before they learn to HANDLOAD, and in so doing, miss the greatest pleasure and accomplishment.

    Loading manuals should (and I would say MUST) be cross-referenced for a number of reasons. Some have a reputation for "hot", others "mild", and those from the bullet manufacturers specialize (in the most part) toward THEIR bullets. A handloader with Sierra bullets as his choice would not be well-served with only a Nosler manual for instance. (A suggested load for a 130g .270 in Sierra will very often not match that from Nosler).

    Handloading is very most definitely a SCIENCE. Science requires all available data. To deprive oneself of available data toward a conclusive goal is not good science.

    So, the view from my saddle is get the Lyman manual if you have an itch to start, then almost immediately (perhaps before the itch is scratched) economically purchase at least two or three others. They need not be "the latest edition". Some of my older manuals continue to serve well in the forefront in my experiments. Go forth as a Scientist Armed.
     
  18. BK13

    BK13 PNW Member

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    Maybe, but I would be more likely to believe that the modern loading manuals were produced with far better equipment for measuring pressures.
     
  19. deadshot2

    deadshot2 NW Quadrant WA State Well-Known Member

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    Not to mention the reformulation and subsequent improvement on the various powders. If using powder manufactured in the current decade it makes no sense to use data generated 20-30 years ago, that is unless you have a can or two dating back to that era.

    One can always get current data from the Powder Manufacturer's website.
     
  20. motoman98

    motoman98 Gresham, OR Active Member

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    Read thoroughly the Lyman Reloading Handbook(mine is now the 49th edition):
    All the good info on "how to" and "what with" is in there. Plus many loads for cast and jacketed bullets.
    Then consider subscribing to Ammoguide interactive: 13,000 loads are listed and many interesting features to use. Good site.
    Check it out here: AmmoGuide is now... "Interactive"!
    Don't hesitate to get any and all other loading books/booklets you can find, they all have good information.
    Compare published loads and more importantly, learn how to "work up" loads for your firearms.
    Once you learn the basics, only you can decide what a safe and accurate load is for your situation.