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Old October 13, 2010, 09:55 PM   #1
mitchell koster
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Whats the most helpful reloading manual you have ever read?

Well i was thinking the other day about reloading manuals that have been really helpful for me in getting me started in the world of reloading.

So i though i'd ask and see what the most helpful reloading manual you have ever read?
Why was it helpful?
And Do you still have it?

Have a safe week.

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Old October 13, 2010, 10:49 PM   #2
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They are all helpful but for different reasons that's why I have about 8 of them. Since I use Hornady bullets the most, I would say the Hornady manual would be my choice, BUT since I use mostly Hodgdon, IMR and Winchester powder I always check their web site to double check my loads.


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Old October 13, 2010, 11:21 PM   #3
abber
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Speer. Maybe because it was the first one. Got me going with very little doubt about what I was doing. That was almost 20 years ago.
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Old October 14, 2010, 12:29 AM   #4
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Quote:
Speer. Maybe because it was the first one. Got me going with very little doubt about what I was doing. That was almost 20 years ago.
I agree the most helpful one was the first one. For me Speer #3. Today I think they compliment each other. I buy many. Sierra stands out in the current ones.
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Old October 14, 2010, 12:38 AM   #5
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I like the Lee manual because it is not limited to one powder company or bullet manufacturer. I have others but I always seem to reference the Lee. I do like Hornady's for the Garand info.
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Old October 14, 2010, 01:02 AM   #6
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I still use a Lyman circa 1970..good light loads for rifle and revolver starting points. Most useful for black powder ctg. guns..whether you use black or smokeless is one of the reprints of the original Ideal (1891) catalogs. Good tips useful today, & good pictures of old bullet moulds.
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Old October 14, 2010, 02:00 AM   #7
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Depends on your type of shooting. Not all reloading manuals give as much info on the reloading steps. Some have great historical and shoting/hunting info for each caliber, others don't.

If you shoot cast bullets then the Lyman Rifle/Pistol manual is great. It also has one of the best photos and info on the reloading process.

I like Lee because it has data from several powder companies, and includes both cast and jacketed bullets. It also has lots of info on reloading steps and Lee equipment.

Sierra has some of the best ballistic tables and information.

Hornady, Speer and Nosler are good if you shoot their bullets or equivalent styles and weights. As already mentioned, Hornady as some of the best info for AR15 and M1 Garand loads.

If I could only have two manuals they would probably be Lyman and Sierra, with Lee as a close third. Like many reloaders, I have several different manuals and am into the second and third versions of each. My earliest is from the late 1980s and my newest is from 2009.
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Old October 14, 2010, 05:48 AM   #8
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Lyman , a true shooters bible 2nd is the cast bullet handbook!!

But as stated they all have good info , some better than others & looked at from a different viewpoints !!
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Old October 14, 2010, 05:59 AM   #9
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im a beginner, and i also like the lyman manual. big print and good pics.
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Old October 14, 2010, 06:26 AM   #10
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Speer Manuals have some interesting additional info.

Each Speer manual that I have includes some additional information that helps me understand things that other manuals usually don't address, at least not in any detail. For instance, the current manual has a table that showes how much variation there is among about 20 different guns shooting 3 different .357 Magnum loads. It allows me to see how important barrel length is in comparison to other factors that vary among guns, even of the same manufacture. I have also found information about how much pressure can change with OAL, and that the actual pressure curve shape in a revolver doesn't look much like the pressure curve in a test barrel. I tend to look at old Speer manuals that I don't have as another opportunity to buy some discussions of real test data.

The Lee manual is another that includes a lot of information beyond the load data. In the Lee case, it involves lead bullet alloy strenght and pressure, and the relationship of pressure and charge weight for reduced loads.

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Old October 14, 2010, 08:46 AM   #11
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Not really a reloading manual, but . . . "The ABCs of Reloading" currently by Bill Chevalier, but I think the earlier editions were by someone else. I can still learn things from reading it after 35 years of reloading. Of the reloading manuals in the strict sense, I think Lyman provides the most useful additional info.
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Old October 14, 2010, 10:20 AM   #12
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The Lee manual.
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Old October 14, 2010, 10:28 AM   #13
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I have over 50 reloading manuals [new ones and old ones off Ebay and from gun shows] and don't use any of them for loads, but I do look at the case trim length.

I now use Quickload software.
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Old October 14, 2010, 03:11 PM   #14
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Manuals

IMO...

ABC's of reloading was best for learning the concepts of reloading.

Lee seems to be the most generic of load data, so if you are creating a load, it is the most useful x-ref book.

Those small books specific to a caliber are the best for finding proven specific loads with specific components. This is the best basis for x-refing with Lee manual when creating a load.

Unless of course you shoot a lot of a particular brand in which case their manual gives you the most proven loads for starters.

The one you make as you reload with varying components so you can measure the differences they make independently from a otherwise proven list of components is where you can really start to get creative.
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Old October 14, 2010, 04:28 PM   #15
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Lee first, then Lyman, also check on powder manufactures web sites.
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Old October 14, 2010, 04:42 PM   #16
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As a Newb to Reloading.

I found the Lyman to be the best all purpose manual, its layout well, easy to follow, covers the reloading basics and has a decent amount of reloading data.

I purchased the Holy Grail "The ABC of Reloading” It’s a compilation of older articles. Yes the information is helpful and still relevant, but the same information can be found from the manuals like Lyman, Hornady, Speer, Sierra and Lee.

I use the Speer, Sierra and Hornady manuals the most reloading data. Which one I use is dictated by the caliber and the components that I'm are using. No one manual has it all, especially if your are loading multiple calibers.

If you are looking for additional data don't look for in "the One Load One Books", and "Gun Guides reloading Guide for Pistols". They are a waste of money, all they do is regurgitate the free information from the powder companies and the reloading data you already have in your reloading manuals.


Buy several reloading manuals. Take avantage for the powder company sites.
Check out the equipment sites. Search You Tube. Subcribe to Handloader's Magazine

Have fun, be Safe!

just my cents, what do I know I'm just a newb.
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Old October 14, 2010, 08:41 PM   #17
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My 15yr old Lyman book because when I bought it, I didnt know jack about reloading. I still refer back to it every now and again.
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Old October 14, 2010, 08:50 PM   #18
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I have 11 I think. I like to use the bullet manufacturers book so have Nosler, Sierra, and Speers, but in general, the most helpful one...gotta be Lymans, no suprise there. I have the last three of Lymans and like the older ones more than the newer ones.
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Old October 14, 2010, 08:57 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Barbicatter
If you are looking for additional data don't look for in "the One Load One Books", and "Gun Guides reloading Guide for Pistols". They are a waste of money, all they do is regurgitate the free information from the powder companies and the reloading data you already have in your reloading manuals.
Unless you don't already own ten manuals. I have a couple of the "One Load, One Book"s and I find them to be quite helpful.

Even if I can get the information somewhere else for free, those manuals put it all in one place for $10. I never have to remember "Let me see.... does Sierra have their data online or is that Barnes I'm thinking of?..."



Still, beyond the basics, I don't find any of the manuals to be particularly useful. I find that they almost never include the EXACT powder and bullet combination that I'm interested in. Once you know the basic reloading process, I find QuickLoad to be an indispensable tool. It's not perfect but, even in generic form, I find it to be more accurate than the data in most manuals. Once the variables are tweaked for the exact gun, case and bullet combination, QuickLoad does things that no manual can EVER do.

QuickLoad makes manuals almost entirely obsolete.
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Old October 14, 2010, 09:29 PM   #20
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Most helpful for me, like most of you, was my first one. For me that's Speer #10. Read the instruction section beginning to end more than a few times, still a valued reference book. Favorite modern will be Hornady because I like their bullets or Lyman because I like their style, still waiting on Lyman's new cast bullet handbook. That may change soon because I finally bought a Lee manual and I'm reading it now. I don't much care for his criticizing other brands of tool-makers but I think I'll learn quite a bit from Richard Lee.
I think what's really helpful is to have a stack of them, new and old, from as many sources as possible.
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Old October 14, 2010, 09:40 PM   #21
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Most useful manual?

My first one.

Or maybe my latest one.


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Old October 15, 2010, 12:32 AM   #22
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My first Hodgdon manual had the most impact and taught me the ABC'S of loading ammunition, between my Hodgdon manual and Jack O'Connor's articles in Outdoor Life were virtually the only sources of information in the early to mid 60's for anyone wanting to load their own ammo. I liked to shoot and buying factory ammunition was to expensive, Jack O'Connors articles gave me the final nudge to load my own! I still have my original Hodgdon Reloaders Catalog #6 which contained reloading data in addition to being a Catalog for what ever one might need. My Hodgdon's Reloading Data Manual was #20, I can't find any date so 1965 or 1966 is about as close as I can get, I've spent a lot of time at my bench and enjoyed every minute! William

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Old October 15, 2010, 07:12 AM   #23
Don P
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ABC's of reloading and Lee's reloading manual
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Old October 15, 2010, 07:42 AM   #24
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Since I mainly load for pistols and revolvers the Lyman pistol and revolver 3rd edition manual has helped me the most. In the begining of the book it has helped me to get started with the proper equipment and procedures for reloading my pistols and revolvers, also some signs to watch out for,and the load data isn't just specific to one bullet company.
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Old October 15, 2010, 10:51 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by peetzakilla
Unless you don't already own ten manuals. I have a couple of the "One Load, One Book"s and I find them to be quite helpful.

Even if I can get the information somewhere else for free, those manuals put it all in one place for $10. I never have to remember "Let me see.... does Sierra have their data online or is that Barnes I'm thinking of?..."

Still, beyond the basics, I don't find any of the manuals to be particularly useful. I find that they almost never include the EXACT powder and bullet combination that I'm interested in. Once you know the basic reloading process, I find QuickLoad to be an indispensable tool. It's not perfect but, even in generic form, I find it to be more accurate than the data in most manuals. Once the variables are tweaked for the exact gun, case and bullet combination, QuickLoad does things that no manual can EVER do.

QuickLoad makes manuals almost entirely obsolete.
Well I was pretty underwhelmed by the Caliber specific books. I purchased them in hopes of finding more data only to find it was the same information that I already had from the Manuals and the Powder Manufactures. They definitely have their place just disappointed that they didn't provide new and exciting data.

For some reason I have an uncanny knack for picking a bullet and powder combination that has very little written data available. As a novice reloader, I am reluctant to use software to provide my load data. However, reluctant as I am of making a mistake with data entry, I believe Quickloads software will be my solution in the end.
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