Noob Questions, which powder and load manuals


December 24, 2004, 07:19 PM
looking to start loading in 9mm and 40S&W.

plan on using variety of bullets though specificly plated,fmj,jhp. mostly plated if it works good. plated looks like best options for shooting on the cheap and not having to mess with lead.

which powder should I get and load manuals?

see some Red Dot and 700x locally havent ventured to too many stores to see what I can get reasonably. would like to shoot more or save money shooting when not saving money I would like to get accurate loads.

should I look for some slower burning powder ?
this is what I am using for referencing burn rate. had few other links but they were no where near as long.

which load manuals should I get? so far just have Lee modern reloading which I dont trust to much.

have checked out powder manufacture websites and looked at what they had online and found it lacking do they offer more complete manuals?

appreciate any advise except for Clarks for the moment. just ribbin sure clark could teach me more than a few things but dont need crazy load ideas.

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December 24, 2004, 08:52 PM
I like the Lyman Manual the best. It seems that they have the longest run, and the most experience in a Manual. It also states which powder is the favorite one for that bullet. I also pick up the free powder booklets at the gun shops, and the price is right. What I don't trust, is Speer, they have some really hot loads in their manual. Powder wise, I use AA#7, in 9mm. Also used some AA #5, but didn't like the groups, but good light range load, PB is good in 9mm, and a half a dozen other powders. I load powders that almost fill the case, then I have no chance on double loads. Also, a powder that fills the case, usually is a accurate load.
If a friend reloads, borrow a little bit, and try it out....

December 24, 2004, 09:37 PM
I'll second Greg's recomendation of the Lyman manual. What ever you get, check ANY load with a couple of sources. This keeps you from accidently finding the hotest published load, and sort of double checks against errors. If you have several books it also gives you a better idea of which powders are best for a cartridge too. If for instance, 3 out of your 4 books lists 231 as a good powder for your 9mm, it's a good bet you will be happy with that powder.

I don't load 40, but I think the two calibers will use similar powders. A lot of powders are well suited for 9mm. Besides AA#7, Power Pistol, Unique, and Universal are all great. Some of the faster powders like 231 and Titegroup are more economical, but as Greg said they don't fill the case up as much and give slightly lower velocities.

Most of the powder manufactuers have online data. Here is a place to start. (

December 24, 2004, 09:49 PM
Sounds like you have some good advice already. I would suggest getting any and all manuals you can - including PDF files from various manufacturer's site.

Read widely and compare figures . and do not tempted by what appear to be excessive/hot loads compared with others - they just might be!!

I do think the LEE edition #2 is useful as well . not just for load data and comparisons but - because the front half has some very good reading on a wide theme.

Jim Watson
December 25, 2004, 12:07 AM
I learned from Lyman, Speer, and the old NRA handbooks. Plus free literature from the powder companies.

I don't load .40, but would consider Red Dot and 700X on the fast side for the calibre, and would probably look at medium rate powders. Also Ball powder for uniform metering. I have loaded a lot of pistol ammo with the 700X I keep for shotgun shells but its large flakes lead to more variation and I am going to HP38 for .45 and have gone to HS-6 for 9mm.

December 25, 2004, 12:10 PM
Here's another vote for the Lyman manual.Mine is the most dog-eared of the three I have on the shelf.:)
You can shoot cast bullets even cheaper than plated IF your range allows em..some indoor ranges don't.also is it Glocks that say don't us lead bullets?
IIRC,is it 700x that comes in a 12 oz can,not the usual 16 oz? I just discoverd that my favorite,Clays,is only 14 oz.Hmmm,is a pound of powder not a pound of powder ?? :rolleyes:

December 26, 2004, 10:32 AM
I use an old Hornady manual most.
I also have the first Lee manual, and a bunch of Loadbooks.
They are small books dedicated to a single caliber with data from a lot of manuals in one book.

December 26, 2004, 11:20 AM
The best advice I can off is to buy several manuals. Bullet makers put out data for their bullets with different powders. Powder makers do it in reverse.

I have manuals from Speer, Nosler, Sierra, Hornady, Accurate, Lyman, A-Square, Hodgdon and others. You can never get enough data.


Swamp Yankee
December 26, 2004, 07:05 PM
All the manuals previously mentioned are good. I like Lyman and Speer but refer to several others frequently. The handout pamphlets from the powder companies usually have a lot of basic data that will get you started. Check the powder companies websites as well.

If you still don't come up with what your looking for call the bullet manufacturer directly. I have called Hornady, Speer, and Sierra on may occasions and their tech service has always provided load data for a particular bullet and powder combination. Just because it's not in the manual don't be afraid to ask, particularly with any newer powders that may not have made the printing deadline.

As to powder choice for the two cartridges you're looking at there are a lot of good ones but I would suggest PowerPistol. It is very clean and performs well in both the 9mm and 40S&W.

Take Care

December 30, 2004, 08:40 PM
appreciate the replies.

wont throw out my Lee info but the lack of 165gr loads in 40S&W is scary.

unsure bout powder to use HS-6 looks good. have hodgon 2004 magazine manual. have downloaded tons of info from powder manufactures but finding it missing info here and there. will probably wind up calling powder manufactures.

which edition is the Lyman? any news bout speer releasing 14th ed?

have pretty good web resources. do the powder manufactures put out load data in booklet not all have nice pdf's. though plan on making some with what I have managed to find and print out to put in my own reference book for double check.

saw lyman 2nd Ed and was not impressed didnt get great look but didnt have as many powders listed as I would like but have the fealing no one except some old handloader will.

powder pistol data I have looks nice as does HS-6.

December 30, 2004, 09:04 PM
The Power Pistol is more idiot proof than the HS-6 in the 9mm.
Neither are idiot proof in the 40sw.

December 30, 2004, 11:10 PM
I appreciate you chiming in Clark. what would you recommend for a noob in 40S&W.

December 30, 2004, 11:39 PM
Try and find a copy of the Hodgdon Data Manual and a Lyman manual.

December 31, 2004, 12:26 AM
Most people are very happy with Blue Dot in 40 S&W, if you can live with the flash.
The data that is free at the Alliant site is good.

The problem with 40sw is the case support.
My stock Glock 22 barrel had .235" of feed ramp intrusion.
The web of most any brand of brass case is .180".
That leaves .055" of thin unsupported case wall on the bottom rear of the case.

The solution is to load wimpy or get an after market barrel with better case support. I have not seen an after market barrel yet that was not better for case support.
Take the barrel out of the 40sw pistol. Put and empty case in the chamber. Scribe a line that outlines the feed ramp on the case with a needle. Measure the distance from rear of the case to the line.
Cross section a case. Measure the web thickness.
See if you get the same numbers as me.

What does it all mean?
Power Pistol for 9mm, stock barrel will be ok, Alliant data is ok.
Blue Dot for 40 S&W, keep the loads wimpy or buy another barrel.

Be careful what you pray for, it can happen.

December 31, 2004, 09:29 AM
I only load .45 ACP and .380, and have had real good results for both with Bullseye in light and hot loads.

The nice thing about Bullseye is you need a lot less of it. I run 4.9 gr for a medium load. That's a starting load for some powders. So you use less of it. If you want to shoot cheap, that'll help you get there.

I see the data for Bullseye in 9mm and for general cheap plinking rounds, it may be the way to go.

appreciate any advise except for Clarks for the moment. just ribbin sure clark could teach me more than a few things but dont need crazy load ideas. Hah! Clark has about the most useful posts I read! :)

Smokey Joe
January 2, 2005, 03:19 AM
Lyman has been at the loading-manual-business a while. You usually want the very latest info, therefore the latest edition of their manual, which is the 48th ed.

One exception to wanting the latest data is loading shotshells, if you have a supply of old hulls you want to load, and the latest manuals no longer list those particular hulls for loading. In that case, obviously, you stay with the older manual that has a recipe you can use. (Shotshell loading data is specific to the exact make and model of shotgun cartridge you are loading; the good manuals have a section with illustrations helping you identify each different shell case.)

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