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Old April 19, 2013, 08:33 PM   #1
MarkGlazer
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Load Manuals

I often hear that we can never have too many load manuals. If I am producing limited ballistics; specifically 9mm and 9mmM, why do I need more than one load manual plus access to data from the vendors I purchase powder from? Could someone please elaborate?

Thanks.
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Old April 19, 2013, 09:07 PM   #2
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My answer is yes.

Why? Reloading manuals cover many things other than just loads. Techniques and practices are covered and helpful. More helpful if you are a beginning reloader. Different manuals cover different things.

The powder manufacturers cover a narrow range of bullets for any given caliber. Additional manuals will cover more bullets and powder test combinations. Some manuals list pressure, some don't. Knowing pressure if very useful.

The 9mm is a high pressure round has one of the largest OAL ranges (from 1.010" to 1.169") and it is VERY sensitive to minor changes in OAL. As little as 0.020" can make a dramatic change in pressure. Having a listed load with your exact bullet is extremely helpful. What determines pressure is bullet seating depth. Different bullets of the same type and weight can have significantly different lengths. Can you determine the bullet seating depth of the listed load and what your load needs to be if you have a different bullet?

There are other places I would cut corners than having at least 3 sources before I start a load. But I feel more comfortable with more reference than I am with less.
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Old April 19, 2013, 09:20 PM   #3
Brian Pfleuger
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I see no need for multiple manuals. Loading ammo is loading ammo. It seems to me that the more "sources" most beginners have, the more confused they are by the differences.

I consider one, good, written manual to be necessary, mainly as an "End of the World" sort of protection where electronic data isn't available.

Beyond that, there are volumes and volumes of official data and information available online. More than anyone with 15 manuals would have had 20 years ago.
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Old April 20, 2013, 12:17 AM   #4
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I have 30-40+ manuals. In fact, I have everyone I've come acrossed and I've learned something from all of them. I always find a manual for whatever bullet I'm loading. That said. You don't NEED more than two or three most of the time.

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Old April 20, 2013, 09:06 AM   #5
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Just one

If I had to pick just one it would be the Lyman 49th because of the wide variety of bullets and powders that are covered.

Most companies just test their bullet brand and show that data in thier manual. The powder companies are on the internet but many times just with limited bullet data.

Sometimes the internet data is the only way to go. I recently bought some of the new Speer Deep Curl Boron coated .243 bullets (part no. 1212). Inside the box a card warns the user to use only the Speer data from their website, or to call Speer as the load data is different than their usual 80 grain (part no 1211) offering in the latest Speer #14 manual.

That said, I enjoy picking up old manuals at gun shows, garage sales, and Amazon or ebay. I ran across the Sierra 3 ring binder 1995 2 book set for rifle and pistol in very good condition just last month. It still has a lot of good relevant data, and since I am in the midwest Sierra is very popular here.
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Old April 20, 2013, 11:41 AM   #6
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I like multiple manuals. Not all manuals are created equal; My Hornady manual lists Hornady bullets only. My Hodgon manual lists only Hodgon/IMR/Winchester powders...
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Old April 20, 2013, 12:09 PM   #7
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I use 3

I currently use 3. Lyman, Speer, and Hornady. You probably only need one. I would reccomend the Lyman, they cover a pretty wide range of loads. I use the Hornady the most, becuase most of the bullets I purchase are Hornady. I only plan on keeping the 3, dont plan to add to the collection. There is a-lot of information out there, but as it was stated earlier "reloading is reloading" Just be Safe.

Jay
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Old April 20, 2013, 12:22 PM   #8
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I have the same three, Hornady because I bought it before I started reloading, Speer because it came with my rockchucker kit, and a Lyman 49th that I ended up with in a box of stuff from a local on Craigslist, and when I find good info on the internet like Hodgdon's tables I print it and put it into a binder. I have found a lot of load data that is not duplicated. The way I look at it, a lot of people have put a lot of time, effort, and money into researching loads so it should be very rare for me to have to re-invent the wheel.
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Old April 20, 2013, 12:22 PM   #9
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Does one make any major buying decision based on one review? Why would anyone make a decision on the correct components and load recipe from only one reference? Online info is a great addition to manuals, as they give you another reference. But since even slight differences in components can make a large variation in the performance and safety of a cartridge, having a variety of references using a variety of components makes sense to me. Three recent manuals and online info is my preference. It's my guns and my safety I'm dealing with. Others are free to disagree.
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Old April 20, 2013, 02:50 PM   #10
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"one, good, written manual to be necessary"

I would agree with this..... Only, where is that one?

I have many, many manuals. Some for lead data, some for 'Military Spec' data. As soon as I find one that fits my needs, I get another caliber/chambering that is not covered.

Then there is the problem of who to trust. Add to this tpyos or shifted data lines.

When I start looking at data for a new (to me) chambering, I want as many sources as I can get. I evaluate and list and sort and re-evauate, over and over before I determine what powder I will first. Old people with more time than money do this

Be safe,

OSOK
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Old April 20, 2013, 03:45 PM   #11
Brian Pfleuger
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Having one manual doesn't mean you don't have enough sources. There are at least 15 official sources of data from the bullet and powder companies, for free.

QuickLoad is $150, I'd spend that 3 times over before I bought 15 paper manuals.
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Old April 20, 2013, 04:52 PM   #12
Boomer58cal
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My loading bench is 8 mi's from the internet, so I own manuals.
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Old April 20, 2013, 05:57 PM   #13
Sevens
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Quote:
I often hear that we can never have too many load manuals. If I am producing limited ballistics; specifically 9mm and 9mmM, why do I need more than one load manual plus access to data from the vendors I purchase powder from? Could someone please elaborate?
If we take your question precisely as it is worded, the argument can be made much like Brian Pfleuger has done (before as well).

"Need" is different for everyone. The next guy who posts here who has never touched ANY load manual and has began his entire handloading career with nothing more than YouTube videos under his belt... will not likely be the first such animal. And there's no telling how he finds his way in this endeavor... perhaps he ends up doing fine. (he'll have to define "fine")

I can say that I own three published and very well known manuals. One of them I refer to multiple times in any given year. One of them I refer to somewhat less because it is outdated. (published in the 1980s) The 3rd manual offers me VERY little because it's much more geared toward rifle cartridges and I am a handgun guy.

With 20+ years at the bench, I could write a dissertation of where -MY- actual load data has come from over the years and compare it to where I get load data now. I suppose the two biggest differences between now and years gone by are the internet and my confidence in actually developing my own loads and using published data as a guideline rather than a "recipe."

A reloading manual offers an awful lot more than simply published load data. If what precisely it offers must be explained -- there's a good chance that if offers precious little to that particular audience.

It's very easy to admit however that a decent published Load Manual tends to be quite a bit less important in the age of the internet than it once was. Of course, some folks may be too jaded to agree, but that's okay too. Those same folks very likely get less out of their internet experience, and may certainly get even more from their Load Manual experience.
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Old April 20, 2013, 08:03 PM   #14
MarkGlazer
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Load Manuals

First and foremost, thank you all very much for your candid responses, very much appreciated.

Second, I purchased and have read, cover to cover, Lee's 2nd Edition Loading Manual. I have also spent countless hours on-line reading as much as possible and learning lessons from other newbies who are asking questions similar to ones that I would have posed myself.

Third, I have in-fact attended a hands on loading class, personally contacted representatives at Ram, Hodgon, CZ (my primary weapons) and the owner of Missouri Bullet Company asking questions concerning loads, loading and problems I encountered during this learning process.

I felt that I had assembled the necessary information to successfully load two calibers and will be putting the theory into practice tomorrow. At this time I am not looking to expand my horizons, rather wish to perfect the process and be safe in doing so. I have learned many Quality Assurance procedures from those on the board. I will consider purchasing more manuals if I move into other weapons or begin to play with different bullets not currently covered in Lee's.

Once again, thank you all.
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Old April 20, 2013, 08:16 PM   #15
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Sounds like you find yourself in a pretty good spot.

For some, reloading ends up being a task that provides a product, and little more. That's fine, especially if it works for them. For others, we've found (LONG ago) that it's a hobby that draws us in and has exponentially broadened our horizons and enjoyment of all the shooting we do.

There's some satisfaction that is absolute when I start with something at step one and eventually find myself in a place where I can make phenomenally good ammo that continues to deliver incredible performance when & where I choose to use it.

I don't know that I'll ever experience the similar joy that some get when they build their own ammo and take game with it (as I'm not a hunter) but suffice to say, I know of the feeling that they search for... because I've been there.
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Old April 22, 2013, 10:24 AM   #16
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If my power goes out, and it does once in a while, I can look to my manuals if the mood strikes,, I have found loads in manuals you simply cannot find as easily as I can in a book... Sometimes it's copied and duplicated in other publications, but where the tire meets the road is diversity and bullet selection,, with my manuals And all that is at my fingertips on the internet, I feel my wealth of knowledge is bigger. (not that I retain any of it)
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Old April 22, 2013, 10:42 AM   #17
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All data is suspect.... So multiple sources is a must. On-line data can be hacked, so again one source is not enough. Manuals can have mis-prints. More manuals means more bullets and powders are covered. Articles in magazines add to your knowledge ... again backed up with manuals or your experience. I personally enjoy 'hard copies'. When I am at the bench, I like to pull the manuals off my shelf and plop on the desk, instead of wondering off to the computer... so more manuals the better. I also scan articles from magazines I've bought and file in a binder, and also off the internet.... Anyway that is my take.
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Old April 22, 2013, 11:43 AM   #18
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Only use reloading data from a PUBLISHED SOURCE...
Check and verify any load with a PUBLISHED SOURCE...
Don't trust load data to memory, verify it with a PUBLISHED SOURCE...

The reloading gremlins do not suffer fools gladly, they will get you when you least expect it.

Load smart- load safe.

Gary
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Old April 22, 2013, 07:42 PM   #19
reynolds357
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I use Nosler, Hodgdon, Accurate, Alliant, and Ramshots online data. The current (up to date) printed manuals I have are Lee, Berger, Vhitivhuri, and Lyman. I have out of date manuals by Nosler, Hodgdon, Hornaday, Barnes, Speer, Sierra, and Lyman.
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Old April 22, 2013, 09:35 PM   #20
Sure Shot Mc Gee
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Quote:
I often hear that we can never have too many load manuals.
Why multitaple manuals. Why not!! Most up-to-date ones offer very little difference in information. Almost to where its reader may suspect it's a clone to the powder manufactures web sites or a free handout powder guide. But some of the older ones are indeed interesting to page through. I'm speaking of the old Lyman & Ideal ones. Old obsolete cartridges. Home cast lead bullets and their charge recipes. Many times less conservative reloading information and opinions given than its newer up-dated versions on a given cartridge. But a manual that's perhaps 30-50 years old shouldn't be used as reference for today's firearm reloadings. That's just common sense >knowing not to.
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Old April 23, 2013, 09:40 AM   #21
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What keeps me hanging on to the old manuals is the old recipes. Just because Speer stopped making the bullet doesn't keep me from loading it. While we are on the subject, what about the warnings about loading new bullets with old data, e.g., "molecular bonded jackets are different and prior data should not be used... . I haven't found data for Deep Curl formerly known as Gold Dots online, and I feel like I'm being teased into buying more manuals.
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Old April 23, 2013, 10:17 PM   #22
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This spreadsheet can be helpful on which manual may be of the most use to you. Sometimes you just gotta find the right book.

Criss
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Old April 23, 2013, 11:22 PM   #23
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A man with one watch always knows what time it is; a man with two watches never knows what time it is.

Although I have many manuals that I've picked up over the years I hardly ever use them to select the loads I use. They are only a reference for starting load information if I'm using a new bullet or powder. Otherwise the data I use is what I worked up myself.
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Old April 24, 2013, 07:27 AM   #24
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Having too many manuals is like saying there are too many books in a library.
They are all just a reference for me not a reloading bible. I prefer keeping my own records of loads worked up for specific guns in my safe. A particular load may not work as well in multiple applications IE handgun to rifle.

Came across this database some years ago and it fits my needs along with the net offerings and paper manuals to provide one place for storing my information.

Thanks go to Wiljen and his supporters.

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