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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Alright so I figured I'd get Hornady's reloading manual to cross-reference the data from my Lee 2nd Edition. I'm reloading those A-Max's as some may know and I was surprised at the variance between the two. In reference to Ramshot BigGame, Hornady has the starting charge 1.2gr lower than the Lee, and the OAL 0.110" SHORTER???? MORE THAN A TENTH OF AN INCH? That's not just minor variation which one could expect. Also, to achieve 2600fps Hornady calls for 52.0gr while Lee insists a smaller charge of 49.0gr, WITH EVEN MORE CASE VOLUME DUE TO EXTENDED LENGTH will grant you even FASTER FPS??? I am very much confused. Did I miss some information in these books somewhere? I have some pictures here. Free load data I guess :D
Hornady Manual.jpg
Lee Manual.jpg
 

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There will always be variations in load data across all manuals. There are different testing equipment, different lots of powder, elevation difference and so on. Lee doesn’t do any load testing, they copy and paste the data in their manual.
Pick a starting load that you feel comfortable with and work your way up until you get the results you want. If you don’t get the results you want using the Hornady data then try the Lee data. That’s the fun part about handloading :D
 

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When in doubt about a load and when you find differences as large as this, use the data developed by the bullet manufacturer. In this case that would be Hornady.

To be honest I rarely if never use the LEE data. When I got my LEE manual decades ago and read it I was terribly put off my the arrogance of the author. He believed only he knew how to design reloading equipment and others were dumb. The data did not seem to be his but a compilation of data from others. Yet I saw implications that his company developed the data. I ended up with zero trust of the man, his data, and the purchase of some of his equipment, that failed, gave me little trust in anything LEE.

But recently at least some of his equipment has seemed to be of better quality and still of unique design and of better materials. I still don't trust his reloading data. I have more than a dozen reloading manuals and compare the data when trying new loads. I NEVER include LEE's data in that comparison.

My current project is getting my cash starved son set up to reload. So after some research I went with the LEE Classic Turret Press for him. So far I am impressed but about all we have done is inspect it and mount it to the bench. It looks much better designed than the early LEE progressive I had back in the 1980's that broke every time I used it. The first problem that developed is the ram head is over tightened in the ram and the primer tool is not aligned correctly. A mild effort to to unscrew the head did not result in any movement so today I have to make a tool to fit into the head to get better leverage. Why did this press not come with this alignment right? Cheap often means that adjustments are left to the purchaser, I guess. We'll get it!

My biggest problem is my son's location of this press is DARK for my bad eyes. He has agreed to add a shop light or ??? to increase the light level but as a single father of two teenagers and on the hunt for companionship and with several other consuming hobbies, his free time is very limited and I resist just doing it for him. That will not allow him to learn the press or the details of reloading which is the idea of this exercise. He has never reloaded or watched me. He finally realized that ammo is expensive, that I will not be around forever to reload for him, and that he better get set up and learn now while I am able to teach him.

So much for the LEE rant (much reduced in intensity this time as LEE appears to be improving their equipment?). So far I do like this LEE Classic Turret press design.

LDBennett
 

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I have several loading manuals, Lee being one of them. Products change very quickly it seems these days, so I rely on online data. The online data is the latest per a given product, print data was old the day it hit the book shelve. I will keep my paper manuals and verify with the online data.

Good luck
Larry
 

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"on line data" means data from manufacturers' web pages (like HodgdonReloading.com), not loads from some yahoo who has a history of blowing up guns. If you prospective data is not in print or on a bonafide manufacturers web page, DO NOT USE IT. Also don't shoot others reloaded ammo, even those from you best buddy or an "expert".

LDBennett
 

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If you are loading hornady projectiles, I'd be using hornady data, not collated reprinted generic lee data.

Its a good second reference, but more reference points are better than less.

Only data I trust less that lee is sierra.

I try to have a manual for each projectile manufacturer, and if powder makers put one out, ill grab that too. And everyone needs a Lyman book, just because.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Did you notice the two data sets were talking about different COL meanings? The Hornady, one of my favorite manuals, gave suggested or tested COL while the Lee, one of my least favorite manuals, gave a minimum COL. Those are not the same things.
Yes, Yes I did notice. Somewhat ironic that the suggested OAL is .110" under the minimum haha. Also, For Lee, the A-Max's are the only one's with such long "Minimum" OALs. Makes me wonder why.
And everyone needs a Lyman book, just because.
Well damnit.
 

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A-Max's are the only one's with such long "Minimum" OALs. Makes me wonder why.
Which edition of the Lee manual do you have? I have the 2nd edition and they do not list the 168 a-max in the 30-06 and your page 551 is in the pistol area in my manual. The a-max is a newer bullet but the 2nd is the latest book. Confused!!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Which edition of the Lee manual do you have? I have the 2nd edition and they do not list the 168 a-max in the 30-06 and your page 551 is in the pistol area in my manual. The a-max is a newer bullet but the 2nd is the latest book. Confused!!!
I'm sorry to tell you I have the 2nd edition. Here's a picture see for yourself haha
 

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Just use the right manual (Hornady for Hornady bullets) and use the LEE manual as a paper weight. You already proved the LEE manual to be suspect. If you do use the LEE manual double check it against other manuals and go with the bullet manufacturers load data if different.

LDBennett
 

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The bullet manufacturer is a great source , especially for OAL's and max loads.
For starting and max loads I go to 4 different manuals take the starting loads and average them. Take the max loads and average them. Compare these averages to the bullet manufactures data and see how it looks. I will usually start in the middle of the range and work up for accuracy...Max. fps is not my ultimate goal.
Gary
 

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The construction of the bullet CAN slow the initial motion of the bullet in the barrel allowing the pressures to exceed normal. When you use the bullet manufacturers data they take that into account by testing.

Notice I said "CAN". In most cases bullet choices by weight are enough to make sure pressures don't get too high. That is why only one manual won't do. You have to do comparisons between manuals taking into account the exact bullet and lean towards the bullet manufacturers data if is is significantly different.

A prime example is the Hornady XTP series of handgun bullets. Hornady usually wants smaller powder charges for them than for other expanding bullets. Who knows why??? but they do.


LDBennett
 
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