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Additional handbooks

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by alanwk, Dec 4, 2009.

  1. alanwk

    alanwk New Member

    May 21, 2009
    I have heard that you should have more than one reloading handbook. I have the Lyman. Which other one should accompany it?
  2. ranger335v

    ranger335v Senior Member

    Dec 3, 2006
    "I have heard that you should have more than one reloading handbook."

    We who are deep into this stuff always say that but it really ain't absolutely true. Your Lyman is perhaps the best first manual. I must have at least two dozen plus lots of powder company freebies, photo copies of magazine data, etc. But, fact is, one's really enough.

    But, if you DO want more (as most of us do, so badly we feel it MUST be necessary!) I suggest Hogedon and Lee as your next manuals. Each lists a lot more powders than others and have many pages of loads for most cartridges. But, actually, they are all very good. (Just not necessary.)
  3. warnerwh

    warnerwh Member

    Feb 14, 2009
    One thing I like to do is check 2 manuals. Often they vary a surprising amount. It's possible that knowledge could affect your starting loads. I like doing it out of curiosity more than anything else though.
  4. rfwobbly

    rfwobbly Senior Member

    Nov 14, 2008
    Cornelia, GA
    Well, that depends on what you're reloading (pistol or rifle) and who's bullets you're using. The top ones are probably Hornady, Speer, Sierra, and Nosler. I like the Hornady for pistol simply because when I'm not shooting Berry I'm doing Hornady XTP. For rifle I really like the layout and info in the Sierra.

    You can also fill out your library very quickly and easily with the free powder company pamphlets given away at the gun dealers. They are also happy to mail this printed information to you, simply apply on their web page. These printed publications don't have anything but load data on the powder company's products. But often times where the Lyman might only have 2 of a certain company's powders listed for a particular cartridge, the powder company will list all their applicable products.

    For instance, lets say you're shooting 38 Super and the Lyman RLM shows VV N320 and N340, but you feel like something in between might work better. The fastest way to find a N330 load for 38 Super is the VV web page and their downloadable powder pamphlet.
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2009
  5. David Wile

    David Wile Active Member

    Jan 4, 2003
    Mechanicsburg, PA
    Hey Alan,

    I would agree that if you could only have one manual, it should be the Lyman. My next manual would be Hornady, but Speer, and Sierra are also up on my list. I don't put much stock in the free stuff and the on-line stuff. Give me the old fashioned printed material with lots of good reloading information. In fact, they are more like text books than manuals.

    Best wishes,
    Dave Wile
  6. RandyP

    RandyP Participating Member

    Jan 28, 2009
    I like the Lee manual and also have the Hodgdon. I use their website database as well.
    Also have the Loadbooks for the three calibers I reload.
  7. Randy1911

    Randy1911 Active Member

    Mar 15, 2009
    If you check with your reloading supplier, most of the powder makers have free load book you can get. I have one from all the different powders that I use. I also have 3 Lyman books and a Speer.
  8. qajaq59

    qajaq59 Senior Member

    Dec 7, 2005
    S. C. Florida
    It's not a necessity, but having a couple of them gives you loads for one type of powder in one that may not be in the other. And that's kind of handy lately because a lot of us have to buy the powder that's available, and not really what we wanted.
  9. loadedround

    loadedround Senior Member

    Feb 18, 2006
    Valley Forge, Pa
    I have found the two handiest manuals to have and referenced are the Lyman and Speer manuals. I am also fond of the Nosler manual since I use quite a few of their bullets in my reloading activities. However YMMV!
  10. mongoose33

    mongoose33 Active Member

    Jan 2, 2009
    Know why I like the Sierra manual? It opens flat! It's a loose-leave 3-ring-binder format, and will just lie there flat. I've also pulled a few pages and copied them, put the copy in acetate, and can reference them w/o having to refer the manual.

    I also like the Sierra much better than Lyman for the calibers I reload (9mm, .45, .223). Lyman has a ton of cast bullet info, which is fine if you shoot cast, but relatively little in FMJ and the variants. I found Lyman to be a great disappointment after I bought it and found out what it is.
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2009
  11. M19

    M19 New Member

    Nov 6, 2009
    I feel the same about the Lyman.
  12. buck460XVR

    buck460XVR Mentor

    Feb 6, 2007
    I always like to reference three different published sources before trying a new load. I also have found that load manuals from bullet manufacturers give the best info when it comes to loading their bullets. That's why I have Hornady and Speer, along with the Lyman, Alliant and Hodgdon manuals. Sometimes the manuals closely agree on min and max loads....sometimes one's start load is another's max load.
  13. WatongaJim

    WatongaJim New Member

    Oct 18, 2009
    After using several old manuals for years, I recently bought the new Lee manual from Graf & Son's for about $15. It contains the most variety of loading options that I've ever seen, covering different loads for different bullet types that have the same weight. I'd recommend it. It has a lot of great sections to read about all aspects of reloading.
  14. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

    Nov 20, 2006
    I really like the Speer manuals. They do a lot of the testing with real guns instead of just pressure barrels.
  15. Hey_Allen

    Hey_Allen New Member

    Sep 3, 2008
    Tacoma, WA
    One reason I found to have at least a couple of manuals is for a sanity check.

    I was working up a load for my 45 ACP using Unique and data from the Lyman manual. The problem was it seemed awfully light on the charge, so after I'd been thinking on it for a bit (while loading a few near the bottom of the range) I pulled out my Speer manual, and noticed that for the same bullet and powder, it was 1-2 grains heavier charge, both starting and max load.

    I double checked the load data on the powder manufacturer's site, and found that the Speer manual was matching it, but the Lyman was decidedly light loaded.

    When I eventually got those test loads to the range, I found that the Lyman loads would leave the barrel, but would not cycle the slide on my pistol.
    Even the first two increments from the Speer (and Alliant...) load data shot reasonably well, and had enough energy to cycle the slide to boot.

    This is all just my .02 worth, but I'm definitely a believer in more data being better.

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