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Thread: Reloading Manuals

  1. #1
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    Default Reloading Manuals

    I'm getting set up to do more reloading this winter. I noticed that Sportsman's has a manual produced by each bullet manufacturer going for $30 a pop.

    Does each book provide data for loads across the board or strictly their own bullets? Is the data pretty transferable? (i.e. Is it fine to use the Hornady book to reload with Nosler bullets?)

    What drawbacks are there to using a 1996 Nosler manual ($3 on eBay!) aside from it not having the cutting-edge bullets listed in it?

    Any advise on how to approach manuals is greatly appreciated!

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    They make good reading. I doubt the data has changed much, other than adding new cases, as you've mentioned.

    You may waht to look at the wesites: Hodgdon, and Hanloaders bench, as well as this web site.

    Each manufacturer list their bullets only, the powder books have a mix, but again, there's so much info on the web.

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    Quote Originally Posted by iturner8 View Post
    Does each book provide data for loads across the board or strictly their own bullets? Is the data pretty transferable? (i.e. Is it fine to use the Hornady book to reload with Nosler bullets?)
    Depends on the manual. For example, powder manufacturers produce books that use their powder exclusively and various other component manufacturers (i.e brass, primer, bullet) almost randomly. When using information listed in a manual, remember it is a guideline that is very useful for comparison purposes. You can make informed decisions with the data, but using similar but different components even from differing lots, much less different manufacturers, will create various loading results. IME cup & core bullets are similar enough to use starting data without worry. Watch for pressure signs, keep check with a chronograph and slowly increasing charges can be done safely. Monometal bullets (Barnes X, TSX, E-Tip, etc) have proven more temperamental IME and I defer to the specific bullet manufacturer for starting loads. When in doubt, contact the bullet or powder manufacturer directly (call or email) for specific load data. I've had excellent service from everyone I've called.

    What drawbacks are there to using a 1996 Nosler manual ($3 on eBay!) aside from it not having the cutting-edge bullets listed in it?
    None at all IMO. The newer edition's biggest advantage is the inclusion of newer propellants, recently developed bullets & cartridges. If you are loading for a 30/06 (or a hot of other common cartridges) Nosler #4 is as helpful as #6 IMO.
    Foolishness is a moral category, not an intellectual one.

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    I have a few older manuals and the newer ones. Some times they do not enclude older calibers in the newer manuals. In case the new barnes manual doesn't have a load for the 300 savage, but older one does. I also like to cross reference different loads and see if they have changed. It seems that they are loading them down in the newer manauls compaired to the older ones.

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    I have 15+ collection of reloading manuals and one thing I've noticed is that the ones put out by the powder companies have hotter loads than the books put out by the bullet makers. One example is for the barnes .458 WinMag 300 grain X. Barnes has it pushing along at 2500fps or so, while Hodgen has a load going 2700fps. That's part of what makes loading fun for me.

    One thing that is nice nowadays is that some of the companies have loading data for free on their websites.
    I may be slow, but I get where I'm going!

  6. #6

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    Join LoadData.com for $19 a year and get everybody's data. All the major manual's data is on there for every caliber I have checked plus most of Ken Waters Pet Loads and a slew of other sources. You can print them out and make your own custom manuals for only the chamebrings you load.

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    I have several manuals and get something out of each of them. I frequently use the Lyman reloading manual, rifle/handgun/etc. lead and jacketed. The Hodgdon Reloading Center is a great site for free load data.

    Once upon a time: Midway USA printed up what they called LoadMAP guides for several handguns. They covered different factory bullet and powder makes. It was a great read. They only did 4 or 5 and there must not have been a market for them. The book "clearly" shows that different bullets can take different loads, ie. some fill the case with more bullet than others, etc.

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    I have several and I like to explore them all. Nosler, Barnes, Sierra, Hornady, Hodgdon, Alliant, Vihta Vuori, Lyman etc... They use their own bullets and a few powders. Most have their accuracy load based on their results, most will vary.

    Lyman's manual lists several bullets from several manufactures as well as cases and primers, they mix it up. Their data is straight forward, my results have shown that the Lyman data is hot in comparison to others so don't start at the high end. I have found that the Nosler data is very good in the cartridges that I load.

    Different bullet manufacture will have different composition of materials in their jackets causing different pressures. It's important to research the bullet before substituting data.

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    ALL loading manuals are a guideline only as you are not using the exact firearm they are. So, even if you use the exact load, powder, primer, case and bullet the manual shows, you still have a different gun and it may show higher or lower pressures than the manual writer got with his gun. ALWAYS start low and work your way up watching for pressure signs as you go. All the manuals have something to offer but don't think you can start with a max listed load from any book.

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    I have about 8-10 older manuals and for the nominal cost of $25.00, you can have them all; Barnes, Seirra, etc etc...
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    I have old manuals that date back to my father 1940-50 era to present day manuals. I would agree with everything everyone else has said. Besides the inclusion new cart and the exclusion of old ones there really is not a lot of difference in the actual load data for a given cart, bullet, powder combination. What is different in those books of old is the inclusion of cast bullet loads for most if not all the listed cart.

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    +1 for the old manuals if you ever have any interest in old calibers or cast bullets. You can find them in used book stores, 2nd hand stores, garage sales. I've got all I've bought new since the 50's plus a bunch more I picked up here and there. I don't expect to pay over $5 for the oldies, but I sure get a heck of a lot of use from them.

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    I have little to add to already made responses except that for Barnes' latest manual, they report that they re-shot ALL their loads for this manual. I have also noticed (at least for Nosler, with each new edition new loads are added for new cartridges but the loads for older listings are apparently retained/reprinted with the occasional addition of new powders/loads since the prior edition was published.) I have a number of manuals and usually purchase the new ones as they come out. There is a wealth of information/knowledge included in the manuals in addition to just the listed loads. I usually consult at least 2 different manuals when I start to work up a new load for a rifle.








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    I use old manuals, new manuals, the Lee manual, those little cartridge specific manuals, Google and Quickload, as I frequently extrapolate data

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    Quote Originally Posted by Wildalaska View Post
    I use old manuals, new manuals, the Lee manual, those little cartridge specific manuals, Google and Quickload, as I frequently extrapolate data
    +1! Remember when you find a load that works really well or you really like to put the information in the notes section. After you fill that up do what I did and get a binder with separators (for caliber) and write down all your good loads in that. Only reason I buy any new manual is for new powders / calibers.

  16. #16

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    I have learned a lot from my 1962 copies of P.O. ACKLEY vol. I and II HANDBOOK FOR SHOOTERS & RELOADERS, as well as NOSLER #I from 1976 and of course the older LYMAN ones. Like was said, if it works for you-- write it down, just keep a look out on your primer cratering. As im sure you know its a pressure thing for each individual gun. Still using the same load, for my 03-A3 25-06 i built in 1965. Not so sure about all the new powders. My thoughts are "if it works- why try and fix it". Good luck.
    Goo

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    I just ordered Lees latest manual. I'll let you know what I think of it when I get it.
    I can do the impossible right away. Be patient, miracles take me a bit longer.

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