My favorite reloading manual is the one by Hornady. I'll also be getting the new Speer manual.
As far as dies are concerned, I generally buy RCBS or Lee.
July 8, 2007, 11:24 PM
I really like the Lee book because of the sheer quantity of load info it has. On the same token, the Hornady book has much less load info. However, the Hornady book has some nice color photos and illustrations in the instructional part.
If I had to choose one, I'd get the Lee.
July 9, 2007, 04:57 PM
I wouldn't pass up a copy of Lyman's 48th Edition either...
July 9, 2007, 05:21 PM
Buy whatever books you want. There are many good ones.
But I suggest you also get this one. It is an out of print classic . . . and the NRA's new editions are not at all the same
I handload the 221 Fireball ..... great cartridge.
You will end up with one of three powders, Hodgdon Lil'Gun, Reloader #7, or IMR 7828. All are good, Lil'Gun is the - I'm on steroids powder. I like both Sierra BlitzKing and Nosler Ballistic Tip 40 grain bullets. Most guns chambered for the 221 have a slow twist (1:12, 1:14) so bullets over 55 grains don't stabilize well if at all. As far as dies go, I like the Hornady New Dimension only because of their seat die, it really helps to minimize runout. If you work at it you can get one-hole groups at 200 yards. The ideal die situation (IMO) is the Redding Body Die, the Forster Ultra Seat Die, and the Lee Collet Neck Die. Those are hard to find/assemble so Hornady is a good compromise. I have RCBS dies that just sit on the shelf.
Mine is a Remington 700 Light Varmint Stainless Fluted. I've ordered a replacement stock from a Boyd's distributor because the Bell and Carlson that came with the rifle is too flimsy and I had to put a shim under the forearm to keep it from randomly touching the barrel. Still, I have my handloads developed such that I get one hole groups at 200 yards. The crows hate it!
Pay attention to detail as the powders are highly sensitive to minor charge weight deviations. I like the LEE powder cups. When used properly and they produce very accurate loads.
July 9, 2007, 11:43 PM
thanks flashhole, i'll take some of those dies into consideration.
July 9, 2007, 11:45 PM
With regards to which reloading book. Most all the reloading manuals are good. General concensus is - Lyman, most recent edition, is a great tutorial but you can find similar information in recent LEE, Hodgdon, Sierra, Nosler, Barnes, Hornady, and Speer manuals. I own Hodgdon, Speer, Nosler, and Hornady manuals. Cross referencing is a must if for no other reason you get a multiplicity of opinion as to what constitues a safe load. Older manuals give more aggressive load data because the level of sophistication of older test equipment wasn't up to current standards. I have migrated to website searching for reliable load data and you would do well looking at the Hodgdon website for specific load information for the Fireball.
July 9, 2007, 11:55 PM
You're welcome. I lurk in the background but don't often post in this forum. Your preference for the Fireball inspired me to share my experience with the cartridge. It's the odd man out for varminters but a super cartridge nonetheless. I like the case, a miniature 222, it will stand up to a lot of reloading and is not near as challenging as the Hornet.
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