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Thread: Handloading Manuals......

  1. #1
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    Talking Handloading Manuals......

    I have, it seems, become a collector of handloading manuals. Oh, it didn't start out that way, but over the years it seems that's what I've become. I don't go to the handloading manual collectors meetings anymore but I still collect them. I collect them and they collect dust.

    Well this seems to be the year to gain ground and gather a few more. I have a spiral bound Speer manual without a number on it from way back when and the picture of Vernon Speer is of a young man. Just this past week I purchased Speer loading manual #14. This is the thickest such book I've ever owned. Over a thousand pages of loading instruction, tips and data. Most of the most recent additions to our line of cartridges are covered as well as many of the old caliber and formalized wildcats. With good data using the newest powders and cartridges. This one is definately worth a look.

    A few weeks ago I obtained a copy of the latest Hornady manual, #7 it is, and it also is a heavy weight with many calibers not covered by others. Lots of older calibers for which Hornady makes brass, are covered with the newer powders. Another nice addition to the loading bench book shelf.

    I am also promised a copy of the long awaited Nosler #6 manual, soon to be delivered. It is slated to have data for the Accubond bullets and the newer calibers as well. I may need a new book shelf.

    The very first new manual I ever bought was the Speer number 3, back in the 1960's, before I needed to fill out paper work at the hardware store to buy a gun. Well those days are gone now but I still have that old tattered and torn, dog-eared book. In it is my notes on loading my very first cartridge....the 244 Remington. This was an old Remington model 722, with a cheap birch stock, I wish I still had that one. I began loading because of this old rifle.

    I had worked for a local farmer, hauling his hay out of the field and into the barn ahead of a summer thunder storm and when we stopped for lunch he caught me eyeballing this rifle hanging on the wall. "Heck of a deer gun" he claimed, and he was anxious to interest me in the rifle. Well at the end of the day, when the hay was in the barn and the rains came, I stopped by the house to settle up with the old farmer. I had two friends helping with the hay and I settled for enough money to pay them, a tank of gas for the old International hay truck and that old Remington. So for a hard Saturdays work I got a pretty dern good rifle. Well he threw in the last of his box of 244 Remington "Express" ammo which I quickly exhausted. I then began my search for more ammo at the various hardware stores in neighboring towns. I was told that it wasn't made any more. "There's just no way to get ammo for it", I was told by one store owner. I even looked through the ammo on the shelves at different stores, pawing past the 243 Winchester and 6mm Remington ammo. There was lots of 257 Roberts and 30-30 but no 244 Remington. Well, I could use it to prop the barn door open.

    Then Jim Carmichael came to my rescue. In an article, I believe, in Outdoor Life magazine he talked of handloading for a caliber I don't even remember but the idea of making my own ammo really tripped my trigger. There was a mail order company back then called Herters and another called Gander mountain. I think my original order for equipment went to Herters and components were purchased from Gander. I still have somewhere that old two die set of Herters reloading dies marked 244 Remington. My first box of bullets were Speer 100 grain round nose or actually were a semi-spitzer, as is noted in their older manuals. The yellow box with Speer in big red letters was cardboard with metal rivets in the corners. The powder was IMR and I think it was 4064, but don't really recall. There were many boxes of bullets sent through that old rifle barrel as well as others, as my handloading expanded to other calibers. I think I had loaded for two handgun and six rifle calibers before I was out of high school. All of this because I was too stupid to know that 244 Remington and 6mm Remington were the same caliber! This just one of many Remington name changes in an attempt increase sales in it's various calibers. Thanks Remington, you made my shooting a lot more fun!
    Is there nothing so sacred on this earth that you aren't willing to kill or die for?



  2. #2
    Member Big Al's Avatar
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    Murphy, my first manual was from Belding & Mull circa 1949, paper cover that has not faired vary well.

    I started by loading the .220 Swift and I remember that my first set of dies was 7.50 from RCBS (still have them with, the price on the box).

    One of my all time favorite ctgs is the .244/6 mm Remington. I have what I consider the best of all wildcats based on that parent case. I always felt it was to bad that Remington shot themselves in the foot with the twist on their barrels. Had they realized the market better, I don't think that short neck POS the .243 WINCHESTER would have ever reached the popularity that it has.

    I've given up buying new manuals, I still rely on only one, that being "Pet Loads". Anything else I go to the online sources.

    I do have one Speer manual that is for Wildcats only from the early
    1960's. It is to bad that the old books by PARKER ACKLEY loading data is down right dangerous. Both my copies need to be replaced as they are falling apart from use.

    I look at all of these old manuals that don't ever get the covers opened, and wonder why I keep them?

  3. #3

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    I tinker lots with old calibers, so have accumulated quite a few early ones and find them invaluable.

    Earliest Speer is #1 dating to 1954. My Lyman 39 is dated 1953, and my first Hornady is from 1967. Whelen's "The Ultimate in Rifle Precision" from 1951 is very good reading and has useful data for a handful of cartridges. I get the most use for old ones from Phil Sharpe's "Complete Guide to Handloading" dated 1941. Lots of the powders no longer exist, but are useful reference for starting loads with contemporary powders. Hard to beat Pet loads too, for the cartridges he covers. Most entertaining reading of the lot.

    And speaking of interesting reading, my 1980 reprint of "The Bullet's Flight: The Ballistics of Small Arms" from 1909 by Franklin Mann has lots and lots of margin notes reproduced from Harry Pope's copy. Minimal data, but food for thought on loading and ballistics that will entertain you through many a long winter night.

    "The NRA Handloader's Guide" (1969) draws from The American Rifleman articles dating between 1950 through 1968, and is a handy compilation that beats shuffling through all those mags (many disintegrating) in search of data. I agree with Al's comments about PO's loads, and throw data I've found in the early Hodgdon manuals in the same category. Zowie! Nearly as astronomical are the loads in Bob Hagel's "Game Loads and Practical Ballistics for the American Hunter," (1978) but his insights on trajectory and sight settings are really useful if you stretch the range.

  4. #4
    Member Big Al's Avatar
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    As a reformed HOMER S. POWLEY slide rule ballistic program junkie, I sure wish someone would do a powder update for this once great tool.

    I ran a cross a link for some new information on the latest new manuals for the guys that can never get enough.

    http://www.stevespages.com/page8b.htm

  5. #5
    Member Ripper's Avatar
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    Default Wildcat?

    BigAl-

    What is your wildcat that you based of the 6mm Rem case?

  6. #6
    Member Big Al's Avatar
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    It is known as the .22 AKM. It is a 6mm Rem case necked to .22 with a 35 deg., shoulder. No problems with case necks and the brass does not grow due to the shoulder angle.

    Easy to get past 4200 fps with 55 grain bullets. With the 80 grain bullets you see 3800+.

    The accuracy has been just fantastic. Shooting vary similar to a good bench rifle. I have not worn out my first barrel yet, in this chambering.

    It looks to me like the Swift is just dead in the water in comparison.

  7. #7
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    Murphy:
    I have that “Speer Manual for reloading Ammunition”. It was my first. I love it, and I referred to it just yesterday.

    And, I remember the Speer 105 grain bullets that were designed for the 1-12 inch twist of the 244 Remington.

    AND the Herters Catalogs.

    My first, and for many years my only, loading tools were the Lyman 310 tools. (I like to call them Three Tong Ten Tools.) I bought a set for my 280 Remington that included the means to cast bullets for it.

    I have a small collection of Loading Manuals now.

    Smitty of the North
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  8. #8
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    "As a reformed HOMER S. POWLEY slide rule ballistic program junkie, I sure wish someone would do a powder update for this once great tool"

    I would recommend you check out: http://loadammo.com/
    since it has I think what you are looking for.

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