Reloading Manuals - Pros and Cons

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by Joshuak12, Nov 20, 2012.

  1. Joshuak12

    Joshuak12 Active Member

    Messages:
    41
    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2011
    Having recently read through a reloading manual for the first time, and having enjoyed it more than I expected, I'm curious as to what some pros and cons are for the various manuals on the market. I'd like to build a good reloading library, but would also like to be well informed before I buy my next manual. Thanks in advance.
     
  2. g0rd0

    g0rd0 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    517
    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2012
    a single manual can get you into a lot of trouble. Get at least 1 more or at the least conferm your load on line with a differant publisher or powder/bullet manufacturer before you load. All it takes is 1 little misprint to ruin your day.
     

  3. Mikecr

    Mikecr Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,267
    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2003
    I would first recommend 'how to reload' books.
    Merely looking up loads doesn't get you anything but trouble.
     
  4. boomtube

    boomtube Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,595
    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2007
    I've been reloading since '65 and have well over two dozen manuals and twice or more that many pamplets. I've never had a blooper, skipped or double charge, never blew a primer, never a KABOOM! For the first five years I had a single manual (Lyman #43) and never felt I was handicapped in any way. I only got my second manual because of new powders that had been introduced.

    Consider any manual as infallible and you're going to be in trouble. Follow the ONE rule of starting low for the powder and bullet weight you're using and slowly work up to book max unless you experience pressure signs early and back off if you do. Do that properly and it won't make any difference what manual, specific bullet, OAL, case, powder lot, primer, etc you use.

    The basic instructions most manals have in the front are all good, none of them have anything important that the others don't include. Meaning if you can read and follow directions extra manuals won't add much safety and if you don't read and follow instructions a dozen manuals won't make you any safer.
     
  5. Derek M.

    Derek M. Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,417
    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2004
    I have 2 Speer manuals, 3 Noslers, and one Sierra, and one Swift. No Hornady, Barnes, Berger. But I used the internet a lot for the powder company's load data as well. I haven't bought a load manual in many many years.
     
  6. Joshuak12

    Joshuak12 Active Member

    Messages:
    41
    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2011
    Thanks for the feedback. Safety, of course, is top priority and I feel that, as a rookie handloader, establishing consistent procedures and patterns in loading rounds is vital and a manual won't do that for me. I'm specifically curious about the style and layout of the different books available. Having glanced through a few it seems some are extremely data oriented while others have a lot of anecdotal material plus data tables. What are the styles of the books you're familiar with and do you have a preference. I appreciate what was said above about not relying on any one manual exclusively - makes a lot of sense. I guess this is more of a taste question.
     
  7. mooser

    mooser Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    55
    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2007
    I just wish that these manuals would give info on different barrel lengths. A lot of loads wont give near the velocities stated in shorter barrels
     
  8. Corny

    Corny New Member

    Messages:
    1
    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2012
    Try LoadData.com online! Its cost a little ever year but you have a world of loads and advice.
     
  9. lslubecki

    lslubecki New Member

    Messages:
    2
    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2012
    I use Lee and speer and the internet for backup. I just got the newest Lee and is has loads for 6.5 Creedmore, 6.8 SPC and many newer rounds. It also has powers like X-terminator and TAC etc. that I didnt have in any other manuals. You definately want to look at 2-3 or more for the same load data and compare them all.
     
  10. jaybeach

    jaybeach New Member

    Messages:
    3
    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2011
    What gets me and I have been reloading for 40 years, is that the Lyman manual will often have a top load that is below the starting load in the Speer or Nosler manual. This gives pause and makes me wonder just how much these people know and which one to trust. Naturally, I start with the lower published load and work up my load from there.
     
  11. lyotehunter

    lyotehunter Active Member

    Messages:
    41
    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2012
    i never get the same velocity with the same length barrel,so that would not matter i have been loading since 1966. i have a cornograph that is the only way you would know.they still can't make two barrels the exactly the same
     
  12. Whitesheep

    Whitesheep Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    49
    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2010
    I have been on loaddata.com site and you have to pay $ to get the data AND it is not validated by anyone with a reputation or potential lawsuit on the line.

    As others have suggested, reference several manuals and the online sites for both powder and bullet manufacturers. You might also tryout Load Books as they reprint the relevant pages from several different books for a single caliber at a modest cost. Not pretty, but packed full of information.

    The best thing you can do is find a mentor who can show you the ropes, or at least work with a group of other reloaders to compare notes and ideas. It is best if these are people you know, not just posters on a web site like this.
     
  13. green 788

    green 788 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    563
    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2005
    Some of the max loads in load manuals are anemic, and some are above what is generally considered safe... Hodgdon has some IMR 4895 data published that is wicked hot... same for the 4064 data (see .308 win loads).

    Sierra is on the "lawyered up" side... their max loads are generally well under what you can safely shoot.

    The older Speer books show some pretty hot loads... don't use their IMR 3031 data for the 22-250... unless you want some ruined cases. :eek:

    And Nosler... in addition to "pie in the sky" velocity figures, Nosler's new manual (the number 6) says they developed their loads using Nosler brass...

    Problem is... Nosler shows EXACTLY the same starting and max loads, and EXACTLY the same velocities they showed in the number 5 manual--with WINCHESTER brass... hmmm... in other words, they're lying, obviously. The Nosler cases are thick and awfully similar to Federal cases... so load data as compared to Winchester cased loads would be WAY off...


    Dan
     
  14. Whitesheep

    Whitesheep Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    49
    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2010
    Really?

    Well Dan green 788, you're a sponsor and all and me just a little junior member, but please back up what you say. Am I now supposed to add a few grains to my Sierra "book" loads and see what happens based on your post? You know the drill, all is fine until you exceed max pressure several times and then KABOOM! Or am I supposed to call you and send $$$ so you will bless me with your wisdom and wonder loads. Please spare me.