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Reloading Manuals

I'm going to take some sage advice and order two.

I think one will be the Contender Manual. Any suggestions for a second?


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  • bigoutsidebigoutside Member Posts: 19,443
    edited November -1
    I need to get one. Which is the best to get?
  • bigoutsidebigoutside Member Posts: 19,443
    edited November -1
    I went to the used bookstore in hopes of scoring a few old reloading manuals in their "reference books for a quarter" pile.

    No joy.

    I only have one book. The one that came with my press. If I could actually find some speer bullets, it would be very helpful.

    Any idea for additional sources for manuals? Or has everyone gone to the web as a resource? Most websites seem a little light in content to me.
  • charliemeyer007charliemeyer007 Member Posts: 7,250 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    I think I have more than 30 manuals and about that many fliers from like Hercules, DuPont and Winchester. I like my newer Lyman book (48) as it has cast bullets as well as jacketed, plus data for more recent cartridges and powders not covered in the old ones.

    added I looked on the auction side and didn't find any that interested me. I like my older Hornady book, trajectory tables.

    I think I have an Ideal #2, well most of it any way.

    As a side note - I have some 44 mag loaded a tad warm due to the change between Hercules and Alliant production of BlueDot. No it wasn't covered in a book. I'll let them set for another decade and see if they tone down some.

    Pro-tip Buy your primers and powder in Big lots if you can. I try and make sure I have primers enough to shoot away the powder I buy. Casting bullets assures me of projectiles. I'm working on my spent 22 LR brass to jacketed .224 bullets. Knocking the rims off is HARD work. The formed jackets are too long for my taste in the old 222 Rem, but ought to make nice 80 or 90 grain bullets for quick twist AR.
  • noyljnoylj Member Posts: 172 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Speer data for given weight and cartridge is usable for other jacketed bullets of the same weight and caliber.
    A good loading manual is important, and reading it is even more important.
    No manual is perfect. They are only guidelines showing what the they got with their gun and their lot numbers of components. Thus, you results will vary from theirs, so more manuals are needed for consulting and I recommend always starting with the lowest starting load from at least two sources.
  • perry shooterperry shooter Member Posts: 17,390
    edited November -1
    I have over 50 but suggest you have at least three different ones they used to be free from powder companies. LYMAN is a must if you want to try casting bullets and lower velocity loads.
  • XXCrossXXCross Member Posts: 1,380 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Keep your eye on the "sales" side of GB. There will be a selection of
    books going up for auction in the near future.
  • bpostbpost Member Posts: 32,643 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    quote:Originally posted by charliemeyer007
    I think I have more than 30 manuals and about that many fliers from like Hercules, DuPont and Winchester. I like my newer Lyman book (48) as it has cast bullets as well as jacketed, plus data for more recent cartridges and powders not covered in the old ones.

    I am going to second this recommendation. I find myself hitting the LYMAN 49th Edition more than any other book. My second favorite is the HORNADAY reloading manual. The Lee RELOADING book is a compendium of public (internet) available data in book form. I like it because it has obscure, not seen very much loads with uncommon powders for a lot of calibers.

    What ever you start with is fine but the more books you have the better. It is also pretty easy to print your favorite calibers loading data right off the manufacturers web site but having the book in your hands just feels right.
  • AmbroseAmbrose Member Posts: 3,127 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    As has been said, the more books, the better. It's good to have some of the old books as references, too. Some of mine go back a long way. But get the later books and use those. The books are at least as good an investment as your press so don't skimp. Starting with a new to me cartridge or rifle, I usually collect data from several manuals and average them to start. The Lyman is a good one since they don't focus on a single powder or bullet manufacturer. The auction side is a good source for reloading books.
  • FrancFFrancF Member Posts: 35,278 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Lyman is my bible "go to" book. But as powder formulations change, so does the data. Not much, but it does.
  • moonshinemoonshine Member Posts: 8,471
    edited November -1
    I've got 4 Speer, 1 Hornady and 1 Lyman.

    I find the Speer keeps lowering the grains for max loads, my 243 load that I've been using for years is now 1 grain over max.
  • sandwarriorsandwarrior Member Posts: 5,453 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    If you can't find a book you are looking for, all the powder manufacturers have websites where you can find loads.

    If you have an abundance of an older powder, email them and they can either call you or give you a safe place to start.

    FWIW, there is a lot of Speer bullets on shelves around here. We can't seem to keep the good Sierra's in stock. Hornady's come and go. So, at least they are producing. Bergers and Noslers usually build up as people hold back not wanting to pay that much.
  • Okie743Okie743 Member Posts: 2,470 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    First get a Lyman, current model then you can keep a eye and ear open for some others.
    I have several, old to new but always find myself looking at the lymans.
    I ran across a old used Nosler Number 3 hardback and the pro's have a page of comments about the likes, dislikes, brief history, etc, of the caliber and most probable accurate load for testing and it and the Lyman are good references.

    I also have a old PET Loads manual, don't remember who wrote it but it's good reference when a rifle don't like the powders or combos that most generally work for CONSISTENT accuracy.
  • CapnMidnightCapnMidnight Member Posts: 8,520
    edited November -1
    I collect old loading manuals, I've got some really good loads out of those old books, long before lawyers got into the gun business.
    I load a lot of old traditional rounds, 351 Winchester, 30-40 Krag, 38-40 Colt, 250-3000 Savage, 401 Winchester and 38-55 Ballard, can't find load data for those in new books. I also use a lot of traditional powders, 4831, 4895, a lot of the new books are into the latest and greatest cleaner, faster, better, neatest thing since sliced bread and pop corn powders. I've used Jack O'Connor's 270 and 30-06 loads for 50 years, and they still work.
    Point is, keep an open mind, the latest bears looking at, but, don't over look the old powders and loads. There is a sweet spot some where in the middle.
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