Speer #13 and #12 ?


November 25, 2006, 10:27 AM
Is there a difference between these two books? Do the loads change that much, or are new powders introduced and such.

Can a new reloader get by with the #12 edition?


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November 25, 2006, 10:40 AM
I use both. Don't see much diff in load data, except that the #13 has more lead bullet data due to the popularity of cowboy action shooting.

but then again, I never actually side-by-side compared the load data between the two.

model 649
November 25, 2006, 11:02 AM
Yes, you can get by with #12 as long as you follow the rest of the rules(like working up your load slowly and checking for signs of over-pressure). Powders DO change over time and from lot to lot. The info in #13 is marked 1998, so, it isn't exactly "new" data anyway. I believe #12 is 4 years before that. It's a good idea to consult more than one source as well. The powder company's own data is a good one, too. Take care on the bench,

Ben Shepherd
November 25, 2006, 11:13 AM
As posted above, with proper precautions the #12 manual is fine. Heck, I still use #8(affectionately known as the blow up:what: manual) for a reference occasionally.

November 25, 2006, 11:20 AM
I have both. #13 has most of the #12 data in it, plus some new data and some new calibers.. Some calibers have virtually no new data. Just #12 stuff.
I use #13 and am glad to have it, but I'm looking forward to #14 and hope its full of good stuff!
I also use the published powder company data. When I find conflicting data I start LOW!

November 25, 2006, 02:38 PM
Thanks. im on kind of a tight budget now and know I need a manual. I will reload for popular calibers, so the #12 will do. Again thanks.

PS. Why is #8 known as the "blow up" manual, and if it had bad info why not recall it?


Ben Shepherd
November 25, 2006, 03:04 PM
It's old enough that modern testing equipment wasn't around. Many of the loads were/are safe in strong actions, but aren't safe in modern lightweight guns.

Manuals are almost never recalled, just revised. Hence the disclaimer in the #13 manual to disregard all previous data that was in the #12 manual.

I keep them around to see just how much difference there is/was between them. Example:

In one old manual I have there are 44 magnum loads listed at "43,500 ABSOLUTE MAXIMUM" you will NOT find any loads listed above 36,000 in any current manuals. There are 44's out now that are designed around the more modern spec. If you use the old data, KABOOM! But those heavy loads are generally just fine in a blackhawk, redhawk, dan wesson or similar gun.

Ben Shepherd
November 25, 2006, 03:09 PM
One more thing:

Get at least one more manual for data crosschecks, even on a tight budget. Printing errors can, and do, occur. If you see a big variation in charge weight between the 2 manuals, you'll have a STOP RIGHT THERE moment until you can contact the powder manufacturer, or the company that put out the respective manual, to resolve the issue, rather then possibly blowing yourself, or your gun up.

And get some safety glasses.

November 25, 2006, 05:14 PM
I have Speer's 11, 12 and 13. I won't use data from any older ones although a great many people do. Like has been said, many of the loads in 12 and 13 are very similar or the same. The no. 13 is probably my most used manual. More lead data in 13 which I use almost exclusively and more info on cowboy loads if you into that. I too am waiting for the next one they put out.

Ol` Joe
November 25, 2006, 07:11 PM
As noted there is a lot of free newer data on the powder, and some of the bullet makers web sites. Run copies of the cartridge you are loading for from the different sites and use it to compare with the older Speer book.

Dave R
November 26, 2006, 12:19 AM
Just to state the obvious, 13 is newer than 12.

November 26, 2006, 12:32 AM
I looked for free data but was disappointed.

I just bought the Speer #13...$22 shipped, should be here in a few days.

Thanks a lot


Ol` Joe
November 26, 2006, 08:19 AM
I looked for free data but was disappointed

Why were you disappointed?
There is more data for a given cartridge on Hodgdon, Alliants & IMRs web sites then in any bullet makers manual I have seen. Not only do they list most popualr bullet wgts but give data for all of their applicable powders for them.
I have manuals from all the big makers, Lyman, Sierra, Speer, Nosler, Hodgdon, VithaVouri, Hornady, in most case 2-3 old volumes plus the newest (probably 25 or so books, including the new Hodgdon #7) and still find loads on the powder company sites that aren`t in the books.:confused:

highlander 5
November 26, 2006, 09:21 AM
The only difference is I see is Speer no 13 has loads for the CAS crowd 38/40,44/40,44 Russian,45 Schofield etc

November 26, 2006, 11:04 AM
As far as disappointment, I couldnt find a decent site, speer and those others seem to only display whats not published. I also wanted a reference, as oppose to blowing up my gun and then saying "but I saw it on the internet?" :D


November 26, 2006, 11:20 AM






Ton of info here. Go slow, ask questions, have fun.

So many choices these days, not like when I started.

November 26, 2006, 12:13 PM
Those sites are great!!



November 26, 2006, 03:29 PM

One huge difference between the Speer manuals that nobody's mentioned. They will change the test guns that the loads are developed in. Therefore, there can be a significant change in the reported data.

For instance, Speer #11 had it's .357 magnum loads worked up in a Ruger Security Six, 6" barrel. Speer #12 & 13 used a S&W model 19 for load development. Look at the load data for Blue Dot powder, 125gr JHP between the two manuals. Number 8, 16.3 gr max load at 1602 fps. Manual #13, same bullet & powder, max load 13 gr @ 1333 fps.

Word used to be that Speer had gone "lawyer". Not so, what they did was change the test bed for the loads. Here's the trick, read all the data published about the load you use in either Speer or Hornady, they use real guns to garner the information, not test barrels. When they change the test platform, the data changes also.


November 26, 2006, 05:54 PM
Very good advice CB900F. Glad someone's paying attention.

November 26, 2006, 05:57 PM
I have ~50 load books, and I consider "Speer 12" and "Speer 13" to be the two worst.

1) The loads for a given cartridge and bullet weight are compared in a hierarchy of velocity are at different pressures.
2) The start velocities were faked.

November 26, 2006, 06:44 PM
Which ones are the good ones, I'll get them, Serious!

November 27, 2006, 10:37 AM
1) I like the Quickload software program:

2) For rifle loads I like the Sierra book:

3) For handgun loads, I like the free load data in pamphlets or on line from Alliant, Hodgdon, Winchester, IMR, Vihtavuori, and AA.

November 27, 2006, 11:17 AM
I use the online powder company info quite a bit. The Neco program is a bit pricey for me, but it looks real good. I don't load much rifle outside of .223, 308, & then the 6PPC in my benchrest gun.

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