Best Reloading Manual?
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Old 05-27-2013, 06:00 AM   #1
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Default Best Reloading Manual?

Ok, so I have been reloading for only abut two years now. I started with .40 S&W and now have moved onto 9mm. Soon I will be reloading not now those, but also .357 Magnum (possibly .38 Special as well) and 30-30 Win. I may also pick start in on .308 eventually, but that's undecided. I know its not a LOT of calibers to reload, compared to some of you, but adding three at one time is kinda a lot, at least for me.

Anyway, I should have probably bought a manual when I first started, but I didn't and intend to now. What are your favorites? Why? I'm looking for completeness, with lots of powders/primers/bullets etc listed. Min/max loads is of course a must. Velocity charts might be nice but for my current purposes not essential.

Also, which ones shouldn't stay away from? Thanks guys.

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Old 05-27-2013, 06:09 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by JWSchramm View Post
Ok, so I have been reloading for only abut two years now. I started with .40 S&W and now have moved onto 9mm. Soon I will be reloading not now those, but also .357 Magnum (possibly .38 Special as well) and 30-30 Win. I may also pick start in on .308 eventually, but that's undecided. I know its not a LOT of calibers to reload, compared to some of you, but adding three at one time is kinda a lot, at least for me.

Anyway, I should have probably bought a manual when I first started, but I didn't and intend to now. What are your favorites? Why? I'm looking for completeness, with lots of powders/primers/bullets etc listed. Min/max loads is of course a must. Velocity charts might be nice but for my current purposes not essential.

Also, which ones shouldn't stay away from? Thanks guys.
JW, i don't think are any really bad reloading manuals. i use several different ones and will add more as time goes by. some have loads that others don't have and some carry some of the older obselete loads that are not quite as popular as they use to be. some carry some of the newer loads that others don't have.

when i started reloading for my 204 Ruger, i had to buy a new reloading manual as none of mine had the 204 Ruger loads in them.

you can never have too many reloading data books!
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Old 05-27-2013, 02:06 PM   #3
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Lyman is good because it covers several brands and weights of bullets and powders. I have several but I like the Nosler the best, Hornady is good too and I use it for my 6.8 SPC loads. I just bought a new Nosler this year because of the updated powder info. I bought Hornady 2 yrs ago for new caliber info. The reason to update the manuals is so you get the latest and greatest info from the industry and you don't blow anything up.

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Old 05-27-2013, 02:40 PM   #4
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Data wise I really like the Lyman manuals...
Speer seems to be the only one that has data for all my "weird" calibers....

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Old 05-27-2013, 06:38 PM   #5
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IME, Lyman is the best starter manual, followed by Hodgdon or Speer. But they're all good.

Many folks do not recommend using older manuals, but if you pick up a few from the 80s and 90s, before they were "lawyerized" it makes interesting reading. (Not for use, mind you, just for reading)
Max loads seem to go down 2-3 percent every time a new class graduates from law school!

Of course, we all know there is no connection!

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Old 05-27-2013, 07:13 PM   #6
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I keep the Lyman 49th and the newest Hornady. I have a couple data sheets from Montana Powder Co and a Lyman Cast Bullet manual.

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Old 05-28-2013, 04:19 AM   #7
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I like sierra for producing accuracy loads as they make the best accuracy for the price bullets out there in my opinion. Their data seems to be preety good in reflecting performance im getting in a given firearm.

Older calibers i like the older manuals. Speer has some of the best old school loads.

If you use hornady for hunting gotta have one of their manuals.

The only one i kinda dont like is the barnes manual dont care for their bullets much either. Personal pref.

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Old 05-28-2013, 10:22 PM   #8
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My personal favorite is Nosler #6 it is superb though a little outdated seeing as they have #7 out now.
Lyman 49 is a great one as well, I double check all my data from Nosler with them.
Not impressed with my Hornady #9 I has hoping to get some 208gr A-Max data for my 30-06 and my friend's 300 WSM but they don't list it for those! How they could list it for the 308 but not the 30-06 is beyond me. They also pissed me off only listing 100 year old Mauser pressure loads for the 6.5x55, that is my favorite hunting rifle and mine like many is a modern action fully capable of modern pressures. And to top it all off they do not list accuracy loads like Nosler/Lyman/Sierra...etc do, I have always found that to be a very helpful tool. I won't be buying Hornady #10 for sure, love their bullets but hate their manual.

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Old 05-28-2013, 11:02 PM   #9
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There is no need to buy a manual with so much free data and information available from the manufactures. Just go online and check for free downloads. Manufacturers will also send you free manuals listing their products. If I were going to recommend one manual it would probably by Lyman. My question is are you only interested in producing a safe round to shoot or are you interested in accuracy. If you just want a safe round, then just pick a load and stick with it. If you care where the bullet hits then that will require many hours of testing numerous bullets, powder & primer combinations for a particular gun. For that you will be well served by obtaining all the loading data you can.

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Old 05-28-2013, 11:05 PM   #10
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There is no need to buy a manual with so much free data and information available from the manufactures. Just go online and check for free downloads. Manufacturers will also send you free manuals listing their products. If I were going to recommend one manual it would probably by Lyman. My question is are you only interested in producing a safe round to shoot or are you interested in accuracy. If you just want a safe round, then just pick a load and stick with it. If you care where the bullet hits then that will require many hours of testing numerous bullets, powder & primer combinations for a particular gun. For that you will be well served by obtaining all the loading data you can.
that's a good suggestion to a point and personally i do use the internet and browse the powder reloading sites from time to time for reference. but sometimes books are still good. like when the internet is down or when a person just doesn't feel like looking one up for whatever reason. books are always still a good backup resource to have.
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