Best book for a beginning reloader?


September 7, 2010, 04:34 PM
If you had to recommend one book for someone just getting into reloading what would it be?

Or it you are inspired, what are your top 3?


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September 7, 2010, 04:41 PM
The ABC's of Reloading comes highly recommended by many, although I have never even seen a copy to have an opinion on it.

I'd say the Lyman #49 Reloading Manual is a Must Have book for any reloader.

The Speer manual is also very good.


September 7, 2010, 04:51 PM
These are the three books I own, I just bought them and have learned quite a bit. The Lee book is specially handy when using Lee equipment, he pushes his products hard in his book, and shows you how to use them properly. The ABC's of reloading, I think is a must for us noobs, it covers a lot on the hobby. The lyman #49th edition is another good book with minimum and maximum load info for pistol and rifle cartridges. I plan on buying the Hornady book next.:cool::cool:

1st Book

2nd Book.

3rd Book

September 7, 2010, 05:14 PM
Speer, Sierra, Hornady IMHO are the best out there but no one can cover all cartridge, bullet, powder scenarios. Build a library of those and as many others as you can and cross reference your ideas for new loads.

dagger dog
September 7, 2010, 05:16 PM
The question of which one reloading manual is BEST, is a real hard one to pin down,you really need a library of reloading manuals.

There are manuals by powder ,bullet,component,manufactuers, and they ALL have good information.

If you have a Gander Mtn, Bass Pro, or another type of shooting sports store available, take a look at their stock and see which one is the most suitable to your standards, it may be how easy it is to find a specific load or caliber,or something on that line.

Most have a section that covers the basic relaoding steps in rifle and handgun, then loading data for the specific rounds, Lymans, #49 (just out last year) even has load data for cast lead bullets, Hodgdons, Hornady,Lee, all have usable info there are free basic load data manuals from powder manufactuers all you have to do is ask. Then there are the internet data site as stevespages and others.

IF you deide to stay with it for awhile no doubt in the future you will have a growing reloading library!

A and O
September 8, 2010, 04:09 AM
Which is best can more easily be answered by which is the worst. At least for me anyway. I vote the worst to be the VIHTAVUORI and is tied with the LAPUA for the worst and that the Lyman and Speer are tied for best. The Speer has more Vihtavuori recipes for the calibers I load than the Vihtavouri. Go figure. It also appears as if the Lawyers made the writers subtract one full grain from all loads in the latest Speer Manual for liability reasons. Maybe I'm wrong, I just received the latest Manual today and have not cross checked.

September 8, 2010, 06:47 AM
For someone just getting into reloading, The ABCs.... is an invaluable book, IMO. It provides a good overview of the hobby that a total noob can use to get a handle on the activity. From that overview, it then makes sense to move on to one of the typical manuals. Personally, I prefer the Lyman 49th / Pistol & Revolver 4th manuals, and I like the Speer 14 manual.

Finally, specific HANDLOADER articles are invaluable. I recently started loading .44 S&W Special, and Handloader has run a comprehensive article on reloading that cartridge.

Jim H.

September 8, 2010, 11:29 AM
I use the Lyman #49 Reloading Manual.

September 8, 2010, 10:24 PM
thank everyone for the input

as always, the people of THR are GREAT!!!

September 8, 2010, 10:44 PM
The "ABC's is my first recommendation, though I have something to add about it. I am a big fan of the original author, Dean Grennell, and have four different additions of his version of "ABC's".

The reason I like his writing better is there are lots of personal anecdotes about problems/successes he found during load development. Helps a lot to see the reasoning behind developing a good load. Also lots of personal stories about his shooting career, like the day at the training range where he was training GI recruits how to shoot the M1 carbine.

Here's a link to one of his books for sale.

September 8, 2010, 10:49 PM
My first reload Manual is Hornday 7th edition. I like because it list charges by fps. It tells Youhow main gains for 950, 1000, 1150 ... and on. Which is the way it should be.

September 8, 2010, 10:49 PM
How about the NRA book? Is it any good?

Arkansas Paul
September 8, 2010, 11:25 PM
The ABCs is great. Our Barnes and Noble stocks it here.
The Speer manual is excellent.
I'm gonna have to try the Lyman #49.

September 8, 2010, 11:30 PM
Another vote for the ABC's after that probably the Hornady 7th edition folowed by Lyman

September 8, 2010, 11:36 PM
I own Speer #14. It is a very good book.

My local store has an opened copy of each for perusal. (Hornady, Lee, Lyman, Nosler, Barnes, etc.)

My next book purchase is going to be the Lyman 49th.

September 8, 2010, 11:41 PM
My first was Lee's book since I had Lee's equipment. Next, I bought Hornady's book because I was loading some of Hornady's bullets. Third, I went to Hornady's web site to get data for the FTX bullets and stuck them in the book. Then, for the heck of it, I bought "The Complete Reloading Series" for the 9mm to get a flavor of the other manuals that I didn't have.

Lee's book is a good one and so is Hornady's. I can't speak for the other's yet but when the time comes that I load up Nosler's or Speer's, I'll probably buy their books also.

September 9, 2010, 12:12 AM
After reading the ABC's of reloading I felt confident and knowlegable enough to start reloading without any other instructions. Later picked up as many reloading manuals as possible. Nosler, Hornaday, Lee and Sierra probably the best supplimentary info, Speer is ok too. Barnes has fantastic BC-Trajectory charts.

September 9, 2010, 12:15 AM
Has anyone read A-Square: Any Shot You Want? Looks like a good book, I'm thinking about getting it.

September 9, 2010, 12:52 AM
I have ABC's on the way and a Speer

Not exactly a noobie

seems like everyone I know rolls their own but I have never had the time.

I understand the process and have done so on a limited basis. That said, a little bit of knowledge is dangerous so I am going to approach this from square one.

EVERYONE tells me how rewarding reloading is.

My most important job, raising my daughter, is soon to be over (she is off to college next spring) so I will have some time.

I thank everyone again for the input.

September 9, 2010, 01:22 AM
I started with the Lee Basic Reloading manual. It was great. i have gotten a few more now to have more references. The other thing i would recommend would be to get a book put out by the manufacture of the bullets you mostly use. For example. i use Nosler alot for my rifle rounds so I have a Nosler reloading book. Or Hornady or Sierra. Just what i think is simple.

Hondo 60
September 9, 2010, 11:10 PM
For a beginner, I'd say Lyman's 49th, ABCs of Reloading and Modern Reloading by Richard Lee.

You need to have at bare minimum 2 or 3 manuals.

September 9, 2010, 11:47 PM
I started with Lee's Modern Reloading 2nd Edition, and Lyman's 48th, along with all the free load data offered by the various powder and bullet manufacturers that I could scrounge.

Everyone raves about Lyman's 49th now, which I haven't yet seen. I'm assuming it must have considerably more load data than the 48th, because that one seems a bit lacking to me, compared to the Lee. The instructions and theory were great, though.

September 9, 2010, 11:53 PM
My most important job, raising my daughter, is soon to be over (she is off to college next spring) so I will have some time.

Boy, are you in for a surprise.

It's never over........ :neener:



September 10, 2010, 08:20 AM
I teach formal reloading classes here in Kansas (NRA's Basic Metallic Cartridge Reloading) and if you could only afford one book, I'd recommend the Lee manual. It has tons of information in it and is probably the least expensive of the ones available.

I'd also recommend downloading and printing all the available data the different powder manufacturers have on their websites (a google or other search on the manufacturer's name will usually turn up the info).

As has been previously stated by others, as soon as you can afford it, you should pick up the bullet manufacturer's manual for the brand of bullets you use most.

Sort of like fun, you can't never have too much or too many loading manuals :D

Jumping Frog
September 10, 2010, 10:00 AM
I agree that the ABC's book referenced above is a good book.

The Lee book has a huge variety in the published loads, whereas the bullet-specific manufacturers tend to publish loads for their bullet.

However, let me send you on a different tangent.

The biggest bargain I know is the Lee Anniversary Pack (, Lee part number 90700.

The kit includes the Richard Lee book, Modern Reloading combined with the Lee Reloader Press. ( sells the book for $13.99. Wideners sells the Lee Anniversary Pack (|212|237) consisting of the book plus single stage reloading press for $20.40.

As you get into reloading, you'll realize it never hurts to have a spare single stage press around and what is not to like about a single stage press for $6.41?

September 10, 2010, 11:42 AM
Whenever $ are not so tight or when asked "what do you want for Christmas" let it be known of a great book- Ken Waters- "Pet Loads". Yeah he's an old geezer ( I'm beginning to resemble that remark too). But the guy has been there done that and more than I could ever dream. It's an excellent source of history, ideas, and opinions on most cartridges I'm interested in.

September 10, 2010, 12:23 PM
"Ken Waters- "Pet Loads". Yeah he's an old geezer ( I'm beginning to resemble that remark too). "

It gets amusing to see some guys give indications that "old geezers" don't know anything, only younger guys can be trusted. That suggests a little bit of experience is much better than a lot of experience and as if "modern" reloading is something they invented, with no input from us old guys! Also gives proof of the old saying, "A little knowledge is a dangerous thing."

September 10, 2010, 12:28 PM
Was just at my son's home last night. He showed me some of the instruction manuals that Lyman was packing with every piece of equipment. These are small paperback-sized pamphlets, but they fully explain all the reloading steps in as much or more detail than I've seen anywhere else. You might visit their web site and ask them for one of these free pamphlets.

September 10, 2010, 10:57 PM
Boy, are you in for a surprise.

It's never over

you don't know my daughter :)

September 10, 2010, 10:59 PM
what is not to like about a single stage press for $6.41?

that is pretty cheap!!!

September 11, 2010, 12:42 PM
I've had Speer since I started reloading back in the late '60s, and also have Lyman and Sierra (the latter being long on data and short on reloading info). I've looked at the Lee and Hornady manuals, and so many people recommend them that I'm sure they're perfectly satisfactory.

For people who have a hard time following the printed word when it comes to running machinery, there are also videos now on YouTube on the Internet that show how to operate certain types of reloading equipment. I have watched one on the Dillon 650 and others on the Lee Loadmaster and Classic Turret, and they might be valuable, particularly to those just starting out.

Silent Sam
September 11, 2010, 04:45 PM
All you can find and afford, including "Pet loads".

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