Re: Which reloading manual?
Who has the "best" manual (press, dies, 'scope, rifle, handgun, brass, primer, etc, etc.) is a recurring question. None of those questions have any better anwers than is it better to have a car or pickup, a boat or camper, a Ford or Chevy. Meaning, personal tastes aside, they are all good. Each one has streigths and weaknesses but all give good value for the price.
In over 40 years of reloading I've collected a 3 foot shelf full of loading manuals from every source, and another shelf full of books about reloading. All of them are good but none covers it all so I get something out of each. I'm not totally commited to any one of them and I re-read the best - to me - from time to time (working thought PO Ackley's Handbooks again now). So, get what ever, it will do you good. You WILL get others later anyway, so no matter what you get first won't be a mistake.
That said, my suggestion to any newbie is get the Lyman Reloading Handbook first, if that's practical. It has perhaps the best, I mean the most well written and clearly illustrated beginners information AND a lot of extra advanced stuff that's really good for old hands too. Lyman's loading data is extensive, includes pressures, a few tips on each cartridge and suggests potential best accuracy loads. They cover a wide range of bullets and powders without limiting themselves to selling anyones components. What's not to love?
Perhaps the second most comprehensive is a Hogedon or Lee.
Lee's book is often disparaged because it's a compliation of data from component makers. I say, so what, if you don't have all those manufacoror's pamphlets it sure provides a lot of info in one place and the price is, as usual with Lee, modest so you get more than you pay for.
There is no justification - other than personal interest and desire - to purchasing a maual from a specific bullet maker in an effort to get "special" info. Reloading data for any bullet diameter and weight (for very near weights, such as 160 vs. 163 gr .30 cal, or 52 vs 53 gr .22 cal. bullets, just consider them the same) can all be considered as valid generic starting and max levels. The ONE rule of "start low and only work up if you see no over-pressure signs" takes care of the largely trivial variations in bullets, powder lots, cases, primers, etc.
Last edited by boomtube; 08-21-2009 at 07:17 AM.