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Best reloading manual?

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by dr_hefley, Oct 17, 2011.

  1. dr_hefley

    dr_hefley

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    Oct 17, 2008
    I'm about to get into reloading; now I just need to decide what manual is going to be most beneficial for me. I'll probably only reload 9mm and .45 for target and competition. Probably 115 and 124-gr FMJ and 230-gr for my .45s. I am starting with Unique powder and Berrys plated bullets. My SD ammo will still be off the shelf factory stuff.

    Sierra, 5th Ed
    Speer, Manual 14
    Barnes, Manual 4
    Hornady, 8th Ed.

    These are the books that cabelas has right now. I'm ordering some stuff from them because I have some gift cards and they have $5 shipping through today. I know there are better places to buy stuff but figured I might as well burn through those gift cards while I still had them. Of the books listed above, is any one of them better than the others? Any one you experienced reloaders prefer? Any one missing some info or have info I should stay away from?

    Thanks,
    hef
     
  2. IndyGunFreak

    IndyGunFreak

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    Hmm, of those, I'd probably get the Speer. If you just need data.... don't overlook those caliber specific "Loadbooks" I've got several (9, 40, .45 .357) and generally find it lines up pretty well with my Lyman. Typically, they are also fairly inexpensive. If you have to make an order from Midway, toss a couple on.

    Between my Lyman 49th, the Loadbooks, and Online sources.. I have more than enough to cross reference my data.

    http://www.midwayusa.com/browse/Bro...4&categoryString=9315***19845***&brandId=1170
     


  3. dr_hefley

    dr_hefley

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    I looked back and noticed they had a caliber specific load book for 9mm. Is that going to have all I need in it considering my loads will be pretty standard?

    Thanks for the tip. I didn't even know those existed until you brought it up. I appreciate it.
     
  4. Three-Five-Seven

    Three-Five-Seven Señor Mombo Millennium Member

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    Speer, if I could have only one. However, the more you have, the better you'll understand a given cartridge.

    In my opinion, you really need a good loading manual in addition to a load book. It doesn't happen often, but the various reference and instructional materials in a good manual (like the Speer) are absolutely essential to safety and performance at times. I cannot imagine doing without at least one good manual.

    I have Speer, Hodgdon, AA, Hornady, Lyman, and Lyman Cast Bullet Handbook. I use all of them -- especially when beginning with a new project. I just started working with the .260 Remington and every one of those manuals has been off the shelf more than once in an effort to find a starting point for two propellants. In the end, each of the starting loads was off the mark by a bit -- one on each side of intensity. So, you can't have too much information.
     
  5. Zombie Steve

    Zombie Steve Decap Pin Killa

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    Get multiple manuals.

    I like Lyman 49 best - lots of lead data, shows pressure and they use typical barrel lengths (for the most part).

    Speer 14 is up there too IMHO. Just an all around good resource.

    Hornady 8 - I've noticed they've changed their data since 7 to show some more realistic numbers in terms of max charge weights and speeds. Little better / closer to actual results now. Great intro and description of headspacing that I think some of the other manuals gloss over. Also has service rifle data for AR's, M1A's and M1 Garands. :thumbsup:
     
  6. fredj338

    fredj338

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    ^^THIS^^ The more data points you have the better. The Load Books are good, but you have to buy one for each caliber. I always grab the Speer & Lyman, especially for handgun loads. For rifle, the Speer & Nosler or Sierra.
     
  7. RRTX11

    RRTX11

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    The 9mm specific book has some good information in it and I would recommend getting it especially for a new reloader but I would not recommend it as a sole book for data. Recommend using two other sources as well to reference loads. I use:

    9mm specific book
    Lyman's 49th
    http://www.handloads.org/loaddata/d...=147&type=Handgun&Order=Powder&Source=Alliant

    It is good to have a book like Lyman's because you can learn info on other calibers as well, and it has a better listing of powders to chose from. Utilizing a burn chart is important too.
    http://www.hodgdon.com/burn-rate.html
     
  8. chemcmndr

    chemcmndr

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    In addition to the above information, I remember reading in the ABC's of Reloading, that for reload information, you generally want to use reloading information supplied by the bullet manufacturer for your specific bullet. This works well for bullets like Speer, Sierra, Nosler, and Hornady. For bullets like Berry's, a generic reloading manual like the 9mm/.45 specific manuals at Cabela's will suffice. Just make sure you're using information regarding the same bullet profile (not using HP OAL for a FMJ round).

    Another online source for information is http://www.handloads.com/
     
  9. fredj338

    fredj338

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    Well, sort of. To my knowledge, but for AA powder company, there is no published data for plated bullets & using jacketed data can get you into trouble up at the top end. Plated bullets load between lead & a jacketed bullet. It is always wise to match the bullet type & profile as closely as posssible to the bullet used in the data.
     
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2011
  10. IndyGunFreak

    IndyGunFreak

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    There's no specific "plated bullets" data in the book.. (I'm not aware of any book that does). Those "Loadbooks" are simply a compilation data that is gathered from a lot of different sources. Almost all the data in the Loadbooks, can be found in other sources as well (other loading manuals, online, etc..). As someone else said (and just to clarify what I said earlier).. Don't use any manual as a "sole source" of information... Use a couple sources to verify your data is good.

    Although the Loadbooks are cheap, I've yet to see a situation in my loading where it is grossly out of line w/ what is in my Lyman, or available online.

    IGF
     
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2011
  11. dr_hefley

    dr_hefley

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    I ordered the Lyman, a 9mm load book, and bookmarked the websites you guys listed. Just wanna make sure I do it right. Thanks for all the info. I'm sure I'll be back with more questions considering I'm using plated bullets and not FMJ's. Leave it to me to make things hard on myself.
     
  12. RRTX11

    RRTX11

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    Going to recommend before you order bullets that you just skip the plated bullets. Just go with FMJ's. As stated above, there is no actual data for plated bullets, so any manual or data you come across is going to be guess work.

    FMJ's are just easier to work with, not much if any difference in price, and plentiful data so you can be exact in working up your first loads.

    just a recommendation, good luck.
     
  13. IndyGunFreak

    IndyGunFreak

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    Actually, unless you've found a good deal, FMJ is usually cheaper.
     
  14. dr_hefley

    dr_hefley

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    I shoulda looked into the " plated vs fmj" thing before I placed my order. May try to pick up some FMJ's before I get going. It'll be a week or two before the rest of my stuff shows up. I know a couple of guys shooting plateds so I'll pick their brains about loads.
     
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2011
  15. Colorado4Wheel

    Colorado4Wheel

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    Don't worry about it too much. It will actually teach you a lot about your die setup. If you get your dies set right for plated then setting them for FMJ will be easy. In a nutshell

    1) Don't over crimp. Don't crimp at all. Just remove the flare. Pull a bullet to confirm you don't have a dent on your bullet.
    2) Use Lead Data as a start. Work it up from there. Plated will normally work between lead and Jacketed as for as load data.
     
  16. Kwesi

    Kwesi

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    I was going to order a Load Book for 10mm until I reviewed a friends. It contained photo copies of Internet data, etc. Text was crooked on the page & poor image quality. It goes without saying...get what you pay for. Invest in the better manuals as recommended above.
     
  17. fredj338

    fredj338

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    Last edited: Oct 17, 2011
  18. dr_hefley

    dr_hefley

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    I checked the Alliant website for load suggestions but they all used Speer GDJHP bullets. I sent them an email and just received a reply listing suggested loads for 115,124, and 147 grain lead and jacketed bullets.

    That's some pretty good customer service.