Hornady Reloading Manual vs. Lee...Variance?

Discussion in 'The Ammo & Reloading Forum' started by Distinct_Editz, Mar 7, 2018.

  1. Distinct_Editz

    Distinct_Editz Member

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    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
     
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2018
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  2. slayer

    slayer Well-Known Member

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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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  3. LDBennett

    LDBennett Well-Known Member

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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
     
  4. Distinct_Editz

    Distinct_Editz Member

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    Alright, thank you. Hornady data it is.
     
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  5. mogunner

    mogunner Well-Known Member

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    The more manuals you look at, the more variances you'll find. I just get a middle of the road charge and work it up from there.
     
  6. Krong of Belsnarf

    Krong of Belsnarf Well-Known Member

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    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.
     
  7. Larry Isaacs

    Larry Isaacs Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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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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  8. SilasW

    SilasW Well-Known Member

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    I've used Lee data and equipment for years without a problem. I have the Hornady manual and the Hodgdon data also.
     
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  9. LDBennett

    LDBennett Well-Known Member

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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
     
  10. soundguy

    soundguy Well-Known Member

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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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  11. Distinct_Editz

    Distinct_Editz Member

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    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.
    Well damnit.
     
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  12. drymag

    drymag Well-Known Member

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    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!!!
     
  13. Distinct_Editz

    Distinct_Editz Member

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    I'm sorry to tell you I have the 2nd edition. Here's a picture see for yourself haha
     

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  14. drymag

    drymag Well-Known Member

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    What years do you show for the reprinted? Mine has 2012 and 2013 and shows revised and reformatted 2011.
     
  15. Distinct_Editz

    Distinct_Editz Member

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    It just says revised 2016
     
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