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Old June 29, 2002, 02:31 AM   #1
blades67
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What's your favorite load manual?

I already have the Speer and Lyman #47 manuals, but I think a third reference is called for. What manuals do you guys refer to when you go to the bench?

All replies welcomed, unless it hurts my feelings.
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Old June 29, 2002, 03:51 AM   #2
dakotasin
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speer #13 is my 'go to' manual, and if i feel like i need to cross-reference, i usually use hornady's manual.
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Old June 29, 2002, 04:28 AM   #3
Hal
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The ones I mainly use are Lyman, Speer and Hornady,,,,sorry for the duplicats.
The last year or so, I've been using a lot of on line data from the powder mfg's as well as suggestions here.
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Old June 29, 2002, 06:39 AM   #4
Mike Irwin
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Hornady, followed by Lyman, followed by Nosler.

Sierra (whoops, originally said Speer) doesn't even play in my house anymore. I stopped using their bullets some years ago when I discovered Nosler partitions.
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Old June 29, 2002, 06:58 AM   #5
Quantrill
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Manuals

Lyman #47 and Lyman Cast Bullet Manual. I have others but these are the first 2 that I turn to. Quantrill
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Old June 29, 2002, 07:46 AM   #6
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"Modern Reloading" by Lee
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Old June 29, 2002, 07:54 AM   #7
Chief Jones
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I use the Sierra manuals as well as Hogdon's. Be sure to cross-reference between manuals....
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Old June 29, 2002, 08:08 AM   #8
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I have the Sierra, Speer, Lyman, Hodgdon, Hornady, plus NRA books, and Cartridges of the World which also has load data in it plus years of notes. I guess if I had to use just one it would be Horandy ............... but its a close race.

I find I use it the most and the Hodgdon is right behind it.

For techinal questions I usually refer to Modern Handloading by Nonte.
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Old June 29, 2002, 08:51 AM   #9
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TRUST NOTHING

Check all.
Test.
Repeatedly.
Reconfirm.

(As a thin-ice-walker I've had to expand my search for sometimes even just start data. Highly recommend learning data collection with chronograph.)

I use: Lyman #2, Accurate #1, Speer #12 & 13, Hodgdon #26 & 27, Load-Maps from Midway, LoadBooks, multiple years worth of collected magazine data, manufacturers pamphlets and internet sites, etc.
Can't have too much.......
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Old June 29, 2002, 09:00 AM   #10
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I have all of them but I use speer the most for new loads. Then I use the little paper ones that the powder companies publish.
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Old June 29, 2002, 09:46 AM   #11
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Speer and Hornady
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Old June 29, 2002, 10:33 AM   #12
BenW
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I go to the Lyman first, but always check all my others as well, especially when I'm starting up a new load or taking a load up to max.
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Old June 29, 2002, 10:34 AM   #13
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I have on my shelf at least the last 3 issues of Hodgdon, Hornady, Lyman, Nosler, Sierra, and Speer manuals, plus Cartridges Of The World.

In addition I have the latest copies of the AA, ADI, Alliant, Ramshot and Winchester.

I can't honestly say I have a favorite!

To rely on one manual is almost as bad as not using one at all, and to try and make any sense out of 11 will drive you to drink! (The extreme variations in data are rediculous.)

When I am getting ready to work-up a new load, I select the components I want to use (such as I am doing right now with a new .22-250 and a new 6mm Remington I just purhcased), and then I open every manual...select the lowest of the "min" loads and the highest of the "max" loads...throw these two numbers in a spreadsheet I did, and it tells me what my increments are...

For example...on the .22-250 that I am working on right now I decided I wanted to switch to Varget powder (have always used H-380), and I wanted to change to Winchester WLR primers (have always used Remington 9-1/2).

The loading data for the bullet and powder I selected is as follows:

34.0 to 36.0 Hodgdon
30.7 to 35.7 Hornady
32.0 to 36.0 Speer

So I plug in 30.7 and 36.0, and I come up with 20 loads at 0.3 grain increments.

With the 6mm I wanted to change from IMR-4350 powder to H-4831-SC. Once again none of the manuals agreed.

44.0 to 49.5 Hodgdon
44.0 to 47.5 Lyman
43.2 to 48.7 Sierra
47.0 to 51.0 Speer

I plug in the two extreme numbers and now I am loading from 43.2 to 51.0 in 0.4 grain steps.

Although I can't say that any one manual is the "best", I do believe that it is a toss-up for the "worst"! That honor goes to both Nosler and Barnes...the Barnes manual is so far from real life that I don't even refer to it at all.

As for who has the most "accurate" data regarding velocity...it's a toss-up!

Here is what the manuals say about the .22-250 load I have been using for years:

Low . Hi . Low . High . My . Velocity
34.6 39.3 3400 3800 38.4 3723 Sierra
35.0 38.0 3458 3709 38.4 3742 Hodgdon
37.0 41.0 3421 3788 38.4 3549 Speer
32.0 36.0 3260 3580 38.4 3772 Nosler
38.4 38.4 3702 3702 38.4 3702 Actual Chrony


For my old 6mm loading:
Low . Hi . Low . High . My . Velocity
39.9 46.5 2800 3300 43.2 3050 Sierra
41.0 43.0 3017 3174 43.2 3190 Hodgdon
41.0 45.0 2960 3290 43.2 3142 Nosler
43.0 47.0 3116 3395 43.2 3130 Speer
40.0 46.5 2808 3300 43.2 3050 Lyman
43.2 43.2 3128 3128 43.2 3128 Actual Chrony

(I have many other examples of the cartridges I load at http://stevespages.com/table1.html if you are interested in the comparisons.)
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Last edited by sricciardelli; June 29, 2002 at 11:00 AM.
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Old June 29, 2002, 10:52 AM   #14
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(Double post)
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Old June 29, 2002, 07:23 PM   #15
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a number of powder companies also have there pams in PDF downloadable formats online.
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Old June 29, 2002, 07:33 PM   #16
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Lyman, Speer, Hornady, Hodgdon.
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Old June 29, 2002, 07:44 PM   #17
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Multitudinous manuals and pamphlets.
And like WS2 I second and third source all data.

Errors and typos possible from any source.

Sam
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Old June 29, 2002, 08:17 PM   #18
Jamie Young
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Isn't there a book out there that has everything by now? I have the Lyman but it doesn't have a lot of the bullets and powders I use. I picked up the Lee, but its still missing a lot of stuff. My Lyman doesn't have anything listed for Win 231 for the 230gr 45acp. And it doesn't list anything over 63gr .223 bullets.
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Old June 29, 2002, 11:32 PM   #19
sricciardelli
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Soda Pop...

There is what you want, it is called:

http://stevespages.com/page8c.htm

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Old June 30, 2002, 12:27 AM   #20
Jamie Young
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Cool
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Old June 30, 2002, 06:51 AM   #21
Bud Helms
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What Mike Irwin said exactly (same order) ... followed by Speer. And I always check 'em all. Cross-referencing is very educational.

Same opinion, re: Sierra vs Nosler Ballistic Tips.

Sorry to embarrass you, Mike.
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Old June 30, 2002, 07:17 AM   #22
KP95DAO
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Slight problem with reloading manuels.

They don't list the powders I use. Of course one can calculate based on burn rates. But, since the powders I use are tailored to the round, there is not any need for a manuel.
I do reccommend Speer manuels to all those who are starting out in reloading.
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Old June 30, 2002, 07:17 AM   #23
Markk9
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You can never have to many load manuals, try and get all the current ones that are out. I collect load manuals and just love to look and see how much the data has been watered down. The current books that I use are Hornady, Hodgdon, and Nosler. One book I think every reloader should own is Ken Waters Pet Loads. Here is the list of books I use:

Accurate Arms #1 1994
Accurate Arms #2 2000
A-Square #1 1996
Barnes #1 1992
Barnes #2 1997
Barnes #3 2001
Hodgdon #19
Hodgdon #20
Hodgdon #23 1979
Hodgdon #26 1992
Hodgdon #27 200
Hornady #1 1967
Hornady #2 1973
Hornady #3 1989
Hornady #4 1991
Hornady #5 2000
Lyman #39 1953
Lyman #41 1957
Lyman #42 1960
Lyman #44 1967
Lyman #45 1970
Lyman #46 1982
Lyman #47 1992
Lyman Pistol & Revolver Handbook #2 1994
Metallic Cartridge Reloading #2 1983
Metallic Cartridge Reloading #3 1996
Nick Harvey Reloading Manual #1 1993
Nosler #1 1976
Nosler #2 1981
Nosler #3 1989
Nosler #4 1996
Nosler #5 2002
P.O. Ackley Handbook Vol I&II #1 1966
Sierra #1 1974
Sierra #3 1989
Sierra #4 1995
Speer #7 1966
Speer #8 1970
Speer #9 1974
Speer #10 1979
Speer #12 1994
Speer #13 1998
Vihtavuori #2 1995
Vihtavuori #3 2000
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Old June 30, 2002, 08:31 AM   #24
ACP230
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Hornady Handbook Third Edition is my favorite.
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Old June 30, 2002, 09:48 AM   #25
maxwayne
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I use the Lyman, the manuals of the powder and bullet companies and my own. For over 25 years I have read a large number of gun mags and if there is a reloading article of interest I photocopy it and put it in a looseleaf binder.
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