What is your most reliable, accurate data manual? (with poll)


September 2, 2003, 02:50 PM
Which data manual do you go to whenever your trying a new or borderline pistol load? Which currently produced data manual consistantly produces the best information for your pistol reloading?

I've found some widely varying loads for the same caliber/bullet/powder combinations, and I am trying to build my library with the best data manuals out there. I am sure others would be interested to see how the votes tally up--thanks for your input!

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September 2, 2003, 04:31 PM
I second and third source all load data.
Over the years, it seems all the sources have earned my mistrust.

Mis written, typos, print set up errors etc etc.


September 2, 2003, 05:38 PM
It really depends. None of the manuals give velocity data that is worth a hoot for me. That's what chronographs are for. I never use the exact same load combos that they specify (different primers, seating depths, bullet styles, cases,etc.), so they're often only "guidelines" for creating starting loads. I personally like to use manuals that utilize real firearms, not test receivers.
I've found that the powder manufacturer's free manuals are as good as any of the expensive bullet manufacturer ones.

David Wile
September 2, 2003, 06:14 PM
Hey Stealth,

Like Sam & Poodle, I rarely look something up in one book without looking the same thing up in at least one more book. Somethings I look in a whole bunch of books. However, if I could only have one reloading manual, it would be the Lyman manual. My second choice would be the Hornady manual I guess. Lyman's manuals have been the most informative manuals over many years.

Best wishes,
Dave Wile

September 2, 2003, 07:18 PM
I have the Lyman 48th edition manual.

And I picked up all the FREE manufacturer's manuals of the powders I have been using.

Looking at getting another manual later, either the Speer or Lee.

Steyr Hahn
September 2, 2003, 10:09 PM
Like what David Wile said and Steven's Pages (http://stevespages.com/page8.htm)

You can never have to much load data!

Ala Dan
September 5, 2003, 09:35 PM
I voted for Speer's #13 but,

I have used the following with excellent result's:

Lyman's Cast Bullet Handbook

Sierra's 1st edition manual

Hornady Handbook For Pistol & Rifle

Best Wishes,
Ala Dan, N.R.A. Life Member

September 5, 2003, 11:06 PM
I usually end up defaulting to the Lyman manual, but not until checking out at least a couple of others to see where overlap in min/max powder loads occurs.

September 6, 2003, 12:37 AM
I'm relatively new at reloading (less than a year). Came to the game late. In talking with friends that have reloaded for decades, I was convinced to never single-source reloading data. I use the Speer #13 and the Sierra 5th, as well as Winchester and Hogdon data. Will eventually pick up Lyman, and maybe Hornady.

September 6, 2003, 01:16 AM
If I was limited to one, it would be Lyman's, but I've also got Hodgdon, Hornady, Nosler, Sierra, Speer and the powder companies freebees.


September 6, 2003, 07:13 AM
As far as "load data" goes, they are all suspect and should be cross checked with each other, as C.R. Sam stated. But for the new handloader, (or the experienced handloader for that matter) the best explanations, with drawings/pictures of the firing cycle, the relationship between the brass and the chamber, the loaded components, the transition to the bore, behavior in the bore and external ballistics all in one place, is in the Hornady manuals, followed closely by Lyman. That's just my own experience. I go to different manuals for different things. Never too many reloading manuals. The changes from year to year in the same manuals are pretty interesting!

September 10, 2003, 10:37 PM
I don't think of load books as recipe books.
I kinda look for agreements and things that the loads have in common.
I consult my burn rate chart, my lee dipper measure slider (To see how full the case will be.) and see if the powder manufacturers and bullet manufacturers loads agree.
If it looks to good to be true, chances are that it is.
For what it's worth, I've never found one load in perfect agreement from three different sources.
That tells me:
1. your mileage may vary.
2. Each gun is it's own story. Each load is too.
3. Start low, and work up. They are your eyes, fingers, and loved ones.
4. Never trust any one source for load data, no matter what. (Chances are, that if you only have one source for that powder in this caliber with this bullet, that that one load will suck in some way.)

September 10, 2003, 10:40 PM
I've seen typos in most of em. Never trust anything that doesn't make sense.

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