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Old May 4, 1999, 12:12 AM   #1
James L
Join Date: December 28, 1998
Posts: 32
What's your favorite manual(s) and why?
I use Speer's # 12. Why....It came with my press.
I've come to the conclusion that one manual is not enough. Mine leaves a lot of my questions unanswered. I'm going to start searching next week.
Is there one out there that "has it all"?
Or at least most of it.
Thanks for sharring.
Stay Safe.
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Old May 4, 1999, 03:50 AM   #2
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I mainly use hornady's manual, and make cross references in lyman's and lee's manuals.

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Old May 4, 1999, 06:31 AM   #3
Join Date: November 22, 1998
Location: Atlanta, GA
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I also use Hornady's, Lyman's (came with my press), and Lee's. So far, none of these seems to have it all. I've been thinking about trying a "load map" (such as Midway's) or some other compilation for my caliber (.45). I'd be interested to know if anyone has anything good or bad to say about these.
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Old May 4, 1999, 08:59 AM   #4
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I have Midway's loadmap in 45 acp. and think its great. It give's you more info than most of the manuals. Its easier and faster to read.
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Old May 4, 1999, 11:23 AM   #5
El Chimango Pete
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Lyman's 46th. edition (so tattered that it now lives in a ring binder - but suppose that's why it comes with the holes ready). It covers cast bullets as well as factory jacketed. Speer #10 - fine, but speer bullets; Hodgdon for their products. The complimentary' little guides from Alliant and Hercules are very useful...

A very useful compilation (in Spanish)- the "Manual Argentino de Recarga" by Abel Domenech, one of our best authorities locally (no addie this - never met him and don't think he comes to this board)

Haven't tried the Midway road maps - but will look for them now (can they be found 'online'?). I load 45, both ACP and LC, 357/38spl., 9mm and 380 (rarely), 44 Mag - and shortly, 454 Casull (as soon as i get the danged shells). In rifle 7.65 argentine Mauser, 'thurty-thurty' and 45LC (again) for now. 308 as soon as someone gives me a Steyr scout . Yes, must move a lot between manuals as well as exchange info with other shooters at the ranges and gun shops. A chronograph helps a lot, anfd theyre relatively affordable) - But the Lyman is usually the starting point. Reviewing this i see its about time to update!.

Peter Knight (aka "El Chimango Pete")
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Old May 4, 1999, 11:24 AM   #6
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Location: Missouri
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I've got about a dozen or more manuals. I tend to collect them, have new and older ones. For the most up-to-date information though, you can't beat the 'net. Most of the mfgrs have load data on their sites.
Just to name a few I have bookmarked.

[This message has been edited by fal308 (edited June 02, 1999).]
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Old May 4, 1999, 12:40 PM   #7
Mal H
Join Date: March 20, 1999
Location: Somewhere in the woods of Northern Virginia
Posts: 15,437
I use a variety of load manuals (6 manufacturers I can think of off the top of my head), but I tend to go to the current Speer, Lyman and Nosler most often. I really like the Nosler manual because of the "stories" and history they have with caliber and the format of the listings is very good.

Like fal308, I also keep the old ones. My oldest are from the '60's - Hodgdon #20 and Speer #7. Unfortunately, I threw even older manuals away before these whenever I got a new one. Just one of the many minor regrets one collects over a lifetime.

Skip - the Midway Load Maps are very good. The layout is good and the data is very complete, they're a good buy. I would not recommend the other "one caliber - one book" load manuals (they have them for most popular pistol calibers). They are simply reprints from the manufacturers load manuals, which is a good thing, but they are seldom current, which is a bad thing.
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Old May 5, 1999, 12:42 PM   #8
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Join Date: November 3, 1998
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Lyman's 47th and Lee's Modern Reloading. For .45 ACP I primarily use the Midway Load Map, and echo the good things already written about it. Well laid out, informative, and easy to use.

Regards - AZFred

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Old May 5, 1999, 04:21 PM   #9
John Foley
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Join Date: November 17, 2000
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I just bought a Lee Manual and I am somewhat disappointed with it. It does give the max load MV...but it doesn't do me much good as I am not able to find out what test barrel was used or what the lenght of it was.
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Old May 5, 1999, 07:39 PM   #10
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Well, all of 'em... The shelf above my reloading bench is a BOOKshelf... One I didn't see mentioned is: "Metallic Cartridge Reloading, 3rd Edition" by M. L. McPherson. This has "intermediate to advanced" loading in the "how-to" section, as well as a goodly selection of loads from various sources. I recommend this one highly for those who want to explore some advanced techniques in accuracy reloading.

Shoot carefully... swifter...

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Old May 16, 1999, 12:38 PM   #11
Paul B.
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Swifter. Another good book is, PRINCIPLES AND PRACTICES OF LOADING AMMUNITION, by Earl Naramore. I read this book way back in 1973, and have been looking for a copy ever since. It is (damn it) out of print, and pricey. I finally found a copy at Barnes & Noble, and $95.00 later it was all mine. It is a large heavy tome, with rather fine print. I guess it cost me anout $20 a pound or so.
It is my personal opinion, that anyone who plans to reload a cartridge, should read this book first.
Copywrite date is 1948, but the principles still apply.
Paul B.
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Old June 1, 1999, 05:58 AM   #12
Long Path
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I know this response is really, *really* late, but I like the newest (75th aniversary) Sierra manual. One of the great things about it is the fact that it comes in its own 3-ring binder (buy yourself some hole-reinforcers!), which makes it easy to pull a page out to focus on. Also, it has plenty of room to write your own conclusions in, an extensive drop table in the back for each of its bullets at a wide variety of velocities, most of which they *actually tested*, and all throughout the book is the 800 number that you can call to get free reloading advice from one of their several loading techs until about 9:00 PM (what a great job!!! Where do I sign up?).
Sierra has a great website at... um.. try
Only drawback? One manual for rifle, one for pistol (I have the rifle.)

Hornady's manual comes in a two-book set. One book is the reloading manual for pistol and rifle, the other (these are hardcover) is an extensive set of drop tables laid out for long range pistol, rifle, sillohette, etc, etc.
I love them both. I really can't get enough of the rows upon rows of the raw data in drop tables for a specific bullet at a given velocity, and these two give me both.
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Old September 5, 2000, 09:12 PM   #13
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I started with Speer 12 3 years ago, because it came with the Rockchucker kit.

I buy all the new and old load books I can get now.

Now I know that the start loads in Speer are calculated and not measured. The order of the fastest loads changes from year to year. They don't give the pressure. They just say less than SAAMI.

Now I like data from powder manufacturers best.
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Old September 5, 2000, 10:41 PM   #14
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I started on a Speer manual. Now my favorite manual is Hornady's two book set. Lyman's 47th is a great newbie book.
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Old September 5, 2000, 10:45 PM   #15
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Accurate Arms

I use them all and I use them alot.
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Old September 7, 2000, 10:39 AM   #16
Michael Priddy
Join Date: August 13, 2000
Location: North Carolina
Posts: 88
I use all the basic manuals provided by the powder companies. But the first place I go is Ken Water's Pet Loads. He saves me a lot of time and powder.
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Old September 7, 2000, 11:29 AM   #17
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Let's see... I've got...

The Lee book (like it)
The last Hodgdon red book (okay - has loads for some wildcats)
Lyman manual (my first manual - great for cast bullets)
The Sierra books (fair - good stuff on ballistics)
Speer (very nice)
Nosler (love the format)
Pamphlets from Alliant, IMR, VV, Winchester, Hodgdon
The Precision Shooting handloading book (GET IT!)
The Sinclair benchrest/handloading manual (ditto)
The Precision Shooting Benchrest Primer

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Old September 7, 2000, 01:22 PM   #18
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I use Speer #13 and Lee's current edition. Speer is my first choice.
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Old September 8, 2000, 12:33 AM   #19
El Rojo
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I just go the 5th edition Hornady, I find it is not all that great. I also have the compilation Loadbooks as seen on page 25 of the September Midway catalog. I have found that the Sierra entries in the Loadbooks are my favorites. The 5th edition Hornady manual sure leaves the loads light. They recommended a max of 39.something grains for .308 178 grn. A-max for the M1A. That is a crock of crap because everyone else listed their 175 grn. bullets at a max between 42-44 grns. I loaded them up at 42 and 42.2 grns. and they worked great.

I was just a little disappointed in the $35 Hornady manual compared to the comprehensive Loadbooks manuals that sell for $7.99 or less per caliber.
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Old September 8, 2000, 03:26 PM   #20
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If I could only keep one of my MANY manuals it would be Lyman's 47th. I just recent received a copy of Hodgdon's latest, nicely presented in a hard three ring, which I am becoming more comfortable with. sundog

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