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Old December 28, 2012, 09:31 PM   #1
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Editions of manuals:)

I'm finally getting around to getting my stuff together and looking at some different manuals. Is getting the latest edition better? How much does the info change from year to year? How to's and recipes..

Last edited by iamjustifyd; December 28, 2012 at 09:54 PM.
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Old December 28, 2012, 09:51 PM   #2
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They don't change very fast, but they do change

Newer manuals will have newer cartridges. If you get a manual older than about 2005, you will find no loads for Trail Boss powder because it hadn't hit the market yet. Likewise the 460 and 500 Smith & Wesson cartridges.

Of course, there are uses for older manuals, too. If I have a 1990 can of powder, I would use a 1990 manual, just in case the formulation changed a bit. Of course, I would also cross-check with a current manual and visit the powder makers web site in case some issues became known (Like Blue Dot and 125 grain bullets in .357 Magnum and in 41 Magnum for all bullet weights for which Alliant issued a warning letter in July 25, 2008) in the meantime.

Recipes have changed over time, apparently mostly going down. I don't know if publishers have become more cautious or if measuring devices have become better (I have heard both explanations).

Procedures have not changed very much at all, but some examples might mention equipment that did not exist a decade or more ago.

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Last edited by Lost Sheep; December 30, 2012 at 10:46 PM.
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Old December 30, 2012, 08:29 PM   #3
William T. Watts
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I don't like to hear/read someone is using a manual 30 years old with current production powder!! I have 5 or 6 pounds of H4831 that is 20 years old, I am using a Hodgdon Data manual #6 (1992) as a guide for this lot of powder. With current production powder I would use current data from the powder manufacture or the bullet manufacture only! William

Last edited by William T. Watts; January 3, 2013 at 12:32 AM.
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Old January 1, 2013, 04:21 PM   #4
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So you guys think.......

So you guys really think that my Speer #9 manual from 1974 needs to be updated???

Seriously folks, I had a long lay off from reloading and I've never strayed far from the basic, using older powders, etc. Now I have revived my hobby and am branching out some, experimenting with reduced loads in 30-06 and taking up the .357 magnum. I'm anxious to get some newer manuals as soon as I can afford them. I will say that there has been a LOT of changes and I'm learning a lot in forums like this one!
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Old January 2, 2013, 11:58 PM   #5
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I don't know if it is true or not but I have also herd that fillers have changed, that is also what causes them to change data sometimes. I would also expect that updated and or new bullet designs have some to do with it as well. I like to have at least one current manual from a bullet maker like hornady or speer as well as one like the Lyman book because it gives you a variety of bullet makers as well as powders. Another option that I also like is the small caliber specific paper backs they usually cost less than ten bucks and supply data from powder, bullet, and mold makers. They are quite handy really.
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Old January 3, 2013, 04:51 AM   #6
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I keep old manuals of course but mostly use/reference the newer ones. When you go back 30 + years many of the commonly used powders have changed somewhat. I try not to fight change, at times for the better. Case in point is the newer TAC powder for the 223.
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Old January 3, 2013, 07:35 AM   #7
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I inherited alot of older powders & manuals from my FIL... alot of those older manuals have loads that he used marked in those manuals, so I keep them around, since I now have most of those guns he worked up loads for, but unless I were loading specifically from an older powder, I use the most current of the manuals...

some changes I've noticed over the years, are on cartridges like the 357 Magnum, which seems to have become "demagnumized" over the years... & of course like was already mentioned, newer cartridges, newer powders... & I do use alot of Trailboss
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Old January 3, 2013, 08:25 AM   #8
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I would definately suggest an update to the current edition of the Lyman manual. At least you can cross check your older data. I don't know this for absolute fact but I really doubt any of the current manuals would include data that would be dangerous using any powder that might be reasonably expected to be sitting on someone's shelf(maybe 20+ years old). Improperly stored powder is a whole different ballgame.
I keep current editions of Lyman, Nosler, Hornady, and Hodgdon manuals plus a LEE as reference. Be advised the LEE is NOT actually a generated data manual-it is a compilation of data from "other sources" and as such should NOT be utilized as an only source. The LEE data is not precise and leaves out vital component info.
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Old January 3, 2013, 04:58 PM   #9
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Current data is always your best bet.

However, there are some editions of various manuals that are considered to be better than others, due to errors, cartridge selection, or the amount of data per cartridge.

Barnes #3 is better than Barnes #4

Hornady #6 and #7 are better than #8 (#9 has just been released, and I haven't made up my mind about it, yet)

Lyman 48th / 49th - depending on what you're after, the 48th might be better.

I know I'm forgetting at least one more....
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Old January 3, 2013, 10:02 PM   #10
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The powder hasn't changed much but the way they test chamber pressure has.

I keep old manuals for reference and use the starting load data to start with load combinations or cartridges that aren't in new manuals.

For safe pressure limits I trust new manuals with old powder much more than the other way around.
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