Best Reloading Manual?

Discussion in 'Ammunition & Reloading' started by JW357, May 27, 2013.

  1. JW357

    JW357 New Member

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    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.
     
  2. Axxe55

    Axxe55 The Apocalypse Is Coming.....

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    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!
     

  3. tri70

    tri70 New Member

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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.
     
  4. Trez

    Trez Well-Known Member

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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....
     
  5. locutus

    locutus Well-Known Member Supporter

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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!:p:p

    Of course, we all know there is no connection!:eek:
     
  6. aandabooks

    aandabooks New Member

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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.
     
  7. JonM

    JonM Moderator

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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.
     
  8. Apex-Predator

    Apex-Predator New Member

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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.
     
  9. Dragonheart

    Dragonheart New Member

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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.
     
  10. Axxe55

    Axxe55 The Apocalypse Is Coming.....

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    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.
     
  11. Apex-Predator

    Apex-Predator New Member

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    Yep always a good idea to keep a hard copy. I always cross check anything I find on the internet with my manuals, I have run across a few that were well over max listings elsewhere.
     
  12. Axxe55

    Axxe55 The Apocalypse Is Coming.....

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    my biggest problem with internet sourced information is that i want to print something out and my printer is out of ink!:eek:

    that and my computer and printer are in the office in the house and my reloading shed is outside.
     
  13. SurfGuitar

    SurfGuitar New Member

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    Ditto that axxe55.....the wife like drying up the ink cartridges printing out photos of the grandson, every time I go to print out loading info the black ink is out....

    I've relied on my Speer #13 since I started reloading, and continue to use it. All the powders and primers I use, and calibers I reload have been around longer than I have, so I haven't had a need for the latest info.....
     
  14. JW357

    JW357 New Member

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    Thanks for all the input guys. So far I'm leaning towards the Lyman. On this thread there seems to be the most positive things to say about it. Also it seems there's good variety in the loads.
     
  15. aandabooks

    aandabooks New Member

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    I started with the Lyman 49th. The front section on the steps of reloading is very good. Some of the bullet weights in certain calibers are a little lacking. That is where you add the Hornady, Speer or other bullet/powder specific manuals.
     
  16. Mongo

    Mongo Well-Known Member Supporter

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    The Lyman has more selection on bullets/weights as they aren't pushing any particular brand. I have an old Speer manual you can have for the postage
     
  17. JW357

    JW357 New Member

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    PM sent.

    JW
     
  18. Vikingdad

    Vikingdad New Member

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    I have a couple of dozen manuals, some are different editions from the same manufacturer. I order an updated manual any time I see a free one when I am ordering anything. I cross-reference all the time. But when it comes down to actually building a load, there is only one manual on the bench, along with one powder, one caliber, one primer, etc.

    One thing I will recommend is that you get a good progressive press with interchangeable dies plates. Makes caliber changes a piece of cake.
     
  19. JW357

    JW357 New Member

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    Was at the Local Gunsmith store today and he had some manuals. I picked up a Lyman #45 and Hornady third edition. $5 each. I figure I might as well start my collection. Still might buy a new Lyman though. This is a good start.
     
  20. Axxe55

    Axxe55 The Apocalypse Is Coming.....

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    another one i picked up a couple of years ago was Lee's Modern Reloading manual. pretty decent book, and not expensive either.