So what are some good manuals?


October 20, 2008, 08:23 PM
Ok, I'm going to have to break down and buy some load manuals. Any suggestions? I'm looking at Lee's "Modern Reloading", how much in the way of load data does it give?

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October 20, 2008, 08:29 PM
I have Lee, Lyman, Speer and Sierra. I also print out the powder companies charts from their website.

October 20, 2008, 08:49 PM
While I do appreciate the powder companies having some of their load data online, it is by no means all inclusive.

Crazy Fingers
October 20, 2008, 08:51 PM
The online sites don't ever give dimensional lengths. How do you know when to trim the brass if you don't know what its max OAL is?

October 20, 2008, 09:00 PM
ALL of the commercial manuals are good. The Lee book has a bit more loading data than the others. Lyman's includes a lot of cast bullet data.

Case trim lenght is generally considered to be .010" less than SAAMI max.

October 20, 2008, 09:04 PM
Go to ebay and search for them used. I like the Lyman manuals for the wealth of info including some cast bullet loads. You often can get good deals if you watch it. Older manuals can still be useful and cheap.


October 20, 2008, 09:31 PM
I 2nd on the Lymans,
I use more then one to make my loads up.
you can try ebay or a second book store.even librarays have used book sales.I picked up a few lymans for 50 cents,
I bought the new Hornady,lots changed from the 2nd book they put out years ago,

10 Spot Terminator
October 20, 2008, 09:45 PM
Another vote for the Lyman manual for a starter . Funny thing I found was 3 of their recommended best loads have turned out to be exactly that for my rifles . Lyman and Nosler I believe are the only 2 manuals I know of currently that accuracy test each bullet weight in each calibre . Note that Noslers info of course is with their bullets only and that Lyman uses many others ( all listed in their data ) except when it comes to cast bullets and of course they use their own . Lee is probably the most in depth reading and takes you from start to advanced loading and is easy to understand . Of those 3 you cant go wrong but would put Nosler #3 on my list . Hope this helps . 10 SPOT

October 21, 2008, 06:05 AM
Lee, Lyman, Speer and Sierra.
And if you ever intend to shoot any cast, then get Lyman's cast bullet manual as well. In fact if you don't mind spending a little extra, get it anyway. It has some interesting reading in it.

October 21, 2008, 01:15 PM
I own most all of the loading manuals, and consider the Lee a waste of money. All it does is compile data from other sources, and I don't like the way it's listed.

I consider the Lyman Manuals amongst the best. There are also free pamphlets offered by the powder manufacturers that are available at some dealers, but usually offered on their websites for free.

When new manuals come out, I buy them, but my fallback for most loading are the various Lyman Manuals, since they offer several, including their 49th Edition Reloading Handbook, the Pistol and Revolver Manual, 3rd Edition, the Cast Bullet Manual and the Shotshell Manual.

Hope this helps.


October 21, 2008, 03:30 PM
Between the powder manufacturer's guide book, a Speer manual and a Lyman manual, I was surprised at just how cautious the Lyman loads were.

That being said, cautious is not bad (just time consuming when developing), and the manual is easy to find info in, as well as nicely laid out.

October 21, 2008, 05:39 PM
Yes, most of the Lyman data is on the conservative side. This applies more to the handgun data than the rifle data, though, but it's still good data. It's well laid out and the variety of bullets and powders makes it one of my favorites.

Hope this helps.


October 21, 2008, 06:48 PM
+ 1 for the Hornady.


October 21, 2008, 07:01 PM
Fred - "I own most all of the loading manuals, and consider the Lee a waste of money. All it does is compile data from other sources, and I don't like the way it's listed."

I agree about the Lee being a compilation of data from other souces but that is part of why I like it, It's inexpensive and I don't have to find all those other books to get a LOT of data.

Liking or not liking the way data is listed is a personal thing. It makes not a bit of difference to me how it's presented, it's there and that's all I care about.

Lyman is, by far, our oldest loading tool and info provider. They have been doing us good for a long time, over a hundred years now and no one else is close. They sell good books.

October 21, 2008, 07:08 PM
I agree I like the Lee book better for a nice selection of load data. The lee book's flaw, at least the edition I have which was given to me, does not include much about "reloading" besides what lee products are available etc. The amount of load data provided alone make this book worth it whether its combination from sources or not.

I recently picked up a Speer Book for 7 bucks from grafs and its the opposite of the lee book. It provides a SOLID read on reloading going into details about cases, primers, tips, what to look for and a whole bunch more. Totally covers "reloading" in my eyes. However the speer book does not provide near the load data that the Lee book does.

The two combined however are a great tool to use and covers almost everything needed.

October 22, 2008, 12:43 AM
I just got the new Lyman manual and found it to be a good one. If you are going to buy only 1 I would make it a Lyman 49th Edition.

BTW, keep exact and extensive notes because they will be your best source of information in the future.

October 23, 2008, 06:25 AM
speer doesn't list 7.62x54R or 7.5 swiss, two calibers I own and reload for. That's my one complaint about speer. Other than that it's a great book (I have #14). I also have Hornady & Lee. I like all three.

October 24, 2008, 02:29 AM
Speer doesn't list 7.62x54R or 7.5 Swiss, two calibers I own and reload for. That's my one complaint about Speer. Other than that it's a great book (I have #14). I also have Hornady & Lee. I like all three.
I just checked and Lyman 49th Edition has data for 5 bullets and 8 powders for the 7.52X54R. I didn't see anything for the 7.5 Swiss though. They do have data for the 7.62X39, 7mm Mauser, the 7.65 Argentine Mauser.

the foot
October 24, 2008, 08:47 PM
I always buy the new Speer, Sierra, Lyman, Hornady, Nosler manuals; all are good. I buy the older edition manuals, compare the loads in them with newer manuals.

Also, I rely on books lilke "Metallic Cartridge Reloading" for data. You can buy older editions for all these manuals online.

October 24, 2008, 10:44 PM
any of this stuff online as a pdf anywhere?

October 25, 2008, 12:25 AM
I have several reloading manuals, & recently bought the new Hornady. This is a very fine reloading book.

October 25, 2008, 03:52 PM
If you're already settled on the powders you want to use, you might drop an email to the company (i.e., Speer, Hornady, etc.) to make sure they have listings for your powders so you don't waste your money. For instance, I like Ramshot powders and even the newest Speer manual doesn't list them.

October 25, 2008, 04:22 PM
My favorite is Nosler, all provide good info but Nosler is the only one (that I know of) that gives load load density. I have found that (in MY experience) 90% case capacity or greater provides best accuracy.

dagger dog
October 25, 2008, 08:41 PM
Lees' modern reloading is one of the best starter manuals, the load data given there is very generic, therefore safe data you can't go wrong with this book. You can use it to work up loads in powder and bullet configurations not found in other manuals. Their data on usefull case capacity is a plus.

The data found in the powder manufactuer manuals, are published to enhance the specific powder being hawked by said manufactuer, same goes for the bullet manufactuer load data.

The stand outs being Lyman and Lee, they are both reloading equipment makers and have little to gain by touting a specific powder or bullet combos.

Nosler and Hodgdon seem, to be the books in my opinion that give the greatest knowledge. Nosler in their load density percentages, and acurracy toutings, and Hodgdons,willingness to publish other powder manufactuers data along with their own ( although this is just a advertisement scheme to make their own powder stand out as better price per grain, along with lower pressures).

There is no ONE best or correct load manual. Buy or read as many as possible, your reloading data library should have as much data as possible.!

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