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Old April 24, 2011, 09:47 PM   #1
SWC
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what is the best reloading data book?

As the title says, I am looking to purchase 1 book and would like to get the best one available. I am primarily going to load lead for a 9mm,.40 and a .45 acp. Thanks in advance
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Old April 24, 2011, 09:54 PM   #2
Sevens
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The genius of a load manual is in the instruction, to be used as a source of information and reference. As a source of data, I've found that I couldn't possibly survive on one manual. I find so many reasons to like a manual in one place, and be annoyed with it in another, if all I'm trying to get from it is load data.

Further, the best load data is to be able to cross-reference from at least 2 or 3 different sources. All I've really looking for are some ideas of what different published sources consider a "max" load, so I know how far under it I should start, and when I should consider that I'm pushing it to the limit.

That's my standard disclaimer when I hear the question, "Which is the best manual."

I've got three manuals, but most of my load data comes from other places.

With all that said , I would suggest that the Lyman #49 is a great manual to purchase if you don't own any manuals and you seek some load data for handgun calibers.
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Old April 24, 2011, 09:55 PM   #3
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Lyman is the first one that everyone should have.
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Old April 24, 2011, 09:59 PM   #4
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Stevens, you have 3 manuels but most of your info comes from other places? please tell me me where you get said info from. i have found info on the net for loads and they are all over the place.
.45 lrn col 1.245 5.8-6.2grains is from one book
but on the net I see .45 col 1.27 and 5.3 using the same win 231 powder.
Who do you beleive?
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Old April 24, 2011, 10:21 PM   #5
Marco Califo
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There is no one best. Instruction guides are good when you start. But in terms of reloading data, it is best to look at several sources and compare. These powder makers have on-line data or downloads:

http://www.alliantpowder.com/
http://www.hodgdon.com/
http://www.accuratepowder.com/
http://www.imrpowder.com/
http://www.winchester.com/

Bullet makers are another source. I like Sierra Bullets book because they list powders by various makers. They also make good bullets. Does anyone kow of a link to Sierra Bullets reloading articles by caliber? I saw one once, and downloaded some rifle calibers, but would like to get 40 and 9mm , too. Haven't found those yet.
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Old April 24, 2011, 10:24 PM   #6
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"Who to believe" was tough years ago, but these days, I trust myself the most.

My first check for data source is almost always the powder manufacturer/distributor. Even with them, there are multiple sources. Most of the powder makers used to print a guide full of load data... some of these guides are harder to find now than they were 10 years ago.

I've never thrown out one of these guides... I've got some going back to 1987 and many versions of basically the same thing, updated each year with some small changes. So I use those a lot, but I also check their websites for their newest stuff.

I get a LOT of "opinions" (which is really what load data is... one source's idea of what is good/safe/max) and I use all the different opinions to give me a:

--safe place to start
--an idea where I might end, or at least never tread beyond
--and an idea of my steps between the loads I'm going to try
(like in 0.3 grains, 0.2, 0.4, whatever)

These days, I will usually come up with my load when it's a totally new load (be it caliber, bullet or powder) and I've pretty much already decided on making it (and thus cross-referenced it) before I check it against one of my manuals.

One of my manuals is a Nosler and for handgun data, it sucks anyway, it's almost worthless. Still a good manual, but to buy it for handgun load data would be money in the toilet.
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Old April 24, 2011, 11:46 PM   #7
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Modern Reloading by Richard Lee is the best selling. Lymans 49th is also popular. I would get both of these.
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Old April 25, 2011, 02:02 AM   #8
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I like to have several to cover all the bases. I know that isn't fun from a monetary standpoint. Start collecting now The Sierra binder is probably my first go-to personally. YMMV. There are load calculators online also to help out, check out the Reloading Data Center at the Hodgdon website.

-Jayson (seriously )
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Old April 25, 2011, 02:16 AM   #9
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reload manuals

the best 1 manual that you can have if your only going to have one is the lee reloading manual. it gives you more data on more loads and much more general info than any other manual i have. I currently have Lee,Lyman,Nosler and Sierra.Most reloading manuals will be bullet specific such as nosler-nosler bullets and only the weights they make, same for sierra. Lyman offers some lead loads but lee covers it all and for half the price of the others. ive only been reloading for 5yrs. i own the above referenced manuals as well as an rcbs and a lyman field press but my favorite is my lee pro 1000 which is capable of dumping 1k rounds an hour! Lee brother go for the Lee. then buy the others because you will need them eventualy.If you decide on the sierra take everything out but the data you will be using because its a real pain in the @$#$% to open and find what yuor looking for being put together in binder form

Last edited by tomtom25; April 25, 2011 at 11:10 AM.
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Old April 25, 2011, 07:24 AM   #10
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Marco, I have used the Hodgdon online that is where i start to get confused. it looked good online until I emailed it to myself. the twist is 1/10. my gun is not that twist(SW M&P 9mm) mine is 1/18 so now what? I am only going to reload lead due to cost, and in my SW M&P 9 and my Kimber .45. Please keep the suggestions coming. Thanks
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Old April 27, 2011, 05:39 AM   #11
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The LEE "manual" is dangerous.

Lyman Pistol & Revolver #2 / #3 is a must-have for handgun ammo.

Add the inclusive "Loadbook" for your specific chambering.
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Old April 27, 2011, 09:24 AM   #12
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after talking with various powder companies and gun makers and reloaders it i even more confusing. Apex tells me that I should reload my .45 to get a velocity of 875-900 with a 230 lrn. The hornady book says use x amount of powder, the hodgdon online says that the load that hornady recommends is overloaded and dangerous. Does anybody shoot 230gn lead in a .45? what powder and what gn are you using? same for a 124gn lrn for a 9mm. Thanks
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Old April 27, 2011, 09:49 AM   #13
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When I first starting handloading .45, it was 1992 (I think) and I just bought a box of Winchester component hardball. I think I used Bullseye. That was forever ago. Shortly after, I bought some 200gr LSWC and went with that. Ran well. I now load 200 grain LSWC, 200 grain LRN and 200 grain Berry's plated-FP's.

I have used a few different powders, but currently, I'm loading the plated Berry's with a charge of a discontinued Winchester powder that you can't get, so I won't even mention it. I'm also loading them with Hodgdon Universal. I've loaded them with Titegroup, but I'm transitioning away from that powder.

In 9mm, I use Power Pistol and Hodgdon Universal.
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Old April 27, 2011, 09:56 AM   #14
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You're working this problem too hard. It ain't rocket science/
(Well, actually, it is... but don't over think it.)

Try the IMR/Hodgdon site recommened load of
230 GR. LRN (OAL of 1.2")
IMR PB Powder
MIN: 4.2 736 11,600 CUP
MAX 4.7 833 15,900 CUP

For the right velocity for minimum pressure.
Have a beer (afterwards).
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Old April 27, 2011, 10:22 AM   #15
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Lyman. The best reloading manual. I have tossed my Hornady, Lee, kept some vintage ones for the memories. Only one that I really look at is Lyman.
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Old April 27, 2011, 10:29 AM   #16
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"The LEE "manual" is dangerous."
Please don't take this as confrontational, but please elaborate. I use mine regularly along w/ the Lyman 49th. I've found fault with it at times, but dangerous seems a bit strong.
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Old April 27, 2011, 10:43 AM   #17
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+1, in addition I use www.reloadammo.com and www.handloads.com. All free. 11K+ reloads so far in .380ACP, .38/.357, 9mm and .45ACP and no problems.
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Old April 27, 2011, 10:56 AM   #18
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From a purely technical aspect, I find the Sierra Manual to be the most comprehensive.

From a loading source standpoint, I use the powder maker websites, as they are constantly updated to reflect new blendings and formularies
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Old April 27, 2011, 11:10 AM   #19
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Each of the reloading sources have their own little niche, one will offer something the other does not. For instance Nosler will include loading density, I have found that if I use a powder with a burning rate that will fill the case between 80-90% will produce best grouping with highest velocity. Sierra provides the receipe that produced the smallest groups, using their bullet and the powder they recommend I usually find the most accurate load with a minimal amount of components used. Like most of the posters to this thread I have a dozen or more loading books, I also have load books that Midway carries that is caliber specific that combine most of the other sources in a single booklet. I use Online data provided by Hodgdon for quick comparison when working up a load for a new rifle/caliber. Another factor to consider is every new lot of powder manufactured may have a slightly different burn rate, purchase all the same lot number when possible. I use most of the reloading manuals I have, I would suggest if your wanting to save money this isn’t one of the areas I would trim. I usually suggest that a newbie to loading ammunition should purchase at least two or more manuals and read from cover to cover before unpacking your press. My .02 Willliam
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Old April 27, 2011, 11:56 AM   #20
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Quote:
The LEE "manual" is dangerous.
Considering the Lee manual is nothing more than a compilation of all of the loading manuals, how do you figure its dangerous?

If the data is all you want, the online sites are great or the Lee manual is a good one. If you need a reference guide on how to reload, the Lyman is a good one.
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Old April 27, 2011, 02:43 PM   #21
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SWC - Twists

Quote:
Marco, I have used the Hodgdon online that is where i start to get confused. it looked good online until I emailed it to myself. the twist is 1/10. my gun is not that twist(SW M&P 9mm) mine is 1/18 so now what? I am only going to reload lead due to cost, and in my SW M&P 9 and my Kimber .45. Please keep the suggestions coming. Thanks
Twist is MUCH more important in reloading for high powered rifles. You are asking specifically about handgun cartridges. I will go so far as to say that I personally do not even look at the twist rates tested or which my handguns have. I don't care much about barrel length either.

Re: reloading lead: I wont. Lead is toxic. Toxic to handle, toxic to breath. I do not want any unnecessary contact with lead. I do reload cast bullets only for handguns, and only when they are Ranier triple plated, and then when shooting, if the smoke blows in my face - I am leaving the range before firing another shot! BTW - your medical insurance may not care (just say no) if you want a lead blood test and I do not think they will pay for any chelating treatment. It is not cost effective for them, and they think of it as self-inflicted.
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Old April 27, 2011, 05:18 PM   #22
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Good thing you are in California, Marco. You'll be safe there!
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Attention Brass rats and other reloaders: I really need .327 Federal Magnum brass, no lot size too small. Tell me what caliber you need and I'll see what I have to swap. PM me and we'll discuss.
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Old April 27, 2011, 05:41 PM   #23
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I agree with Sevens; there are many sources for info out on the web, but I try to go to at least three sources for the same info. (My reloading manuals, usually, then to the bullet manufacturers website {if they offer load data}, then on to the powder manufacturer website.)

Between all these sources, I find a happy medium to start with and work my loads up or down to were I am comfortable shooting them.

When I first started reloading, I worried and worried about slight differences between manuals and what I was finding on line. Like Mehavey said "Your working the problem to hard".
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Old April 27, 2011, 05:54 PM   #24
Marco Califo
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Quote:
Good thing you are in California, Marco. You'll be safe there!
Yeah, those health Nazi's in Cali!

First, they infringed on my constitutional right to have lead in paint in my house,
Then, they outlawed the performance enhancing lead in gasoline,
Furthermore, they started the racist steel shot for waterfowl laws that make it illegal to shoot 00 Buck at orbiting geese.
The last indoor range I was at enforced a "no exposed lead" ban.
And you can not hunt with lead bullets in about half the state!
And mandatory seat belts!
At least I can still smoke and drink! Well, in some-places, I think, but, not at the same time. But, I can buy cigarettes and 3.5% beer in Cali!.

I get my bottle rockets in Wyoming. And Mexico is 2 hours away for most anything else.
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Old April 27, 2011, 06:02 PM   #25
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Sorry Marco, but you are way off base when it comes to loading lead bullets - you seem to have little to no experience, otherwise you would know some of the facts....................

as to the Lee manual, while it is a compilation, it is not necessarily the latest updated version
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