Opinions On Relaoding Manual

Discussion in 'The Ammo & Reloading Forum' started by Geezer1, Dec 24, 2009.

  1. Geezer1

    Geezer1 New Member

    Dec 19, 2009

    I would like your opinions on reloading manuals. I am about to buy one am leaning towards the Speer manual. Thanks
  2. LDBennett

    LDBennett Well-Known Member

    Dec 20, 2003
    Hesperia, CA

    Most all the reloading manuals are good. The safe thing to do is use the manual from the bullet maker of the bullets you intend to use. So that leaves the Hornady, the Speer, and the Sierra manuals. You can also use the Hodgdon manual as it covers all the bullets from all the manufactures. The Lyman manual is good for cast lead bullet pistol and rifle shooters. The Lee manual has a compilation of a bunch of different manuals but I think it better to use the source manual rather than just the data. There are sometimes jewels of info in the text that goes with each cartridge's data.

    As I use Hodgdon powders almost exclusively, that's the manual I most often use. But if it's a Sierra bullet or a Speer bullet of a Hornady bullet I compare manuals. I start at the starting load and work up watching for signs of excessive pressure (read the manual to determine what they are), and NEVER exceeding the listed MAX load.

    For new reloader I recommend you read and re-read and re-read again the "how to" reloading section of any manual. Try to understand how a cartridge works and it makes understanding the reloading process much easier and safer. I like the Hornady manual for new reloaders because it has pictures that show you the effects being described in the text of how the cartridges work and the pitfalls.

    My opinion is you can never have enough reloading manuals and I have a library of them. I buy a new edition of each about every couple of years.


  3. army mp

    army mp Member

    Jan 30, 2009
    western Pa,
    Welcome to the form. A lot depends on what you will be loading. Last check. I think I have 10 Manuals. If you plan on loading mainly Speer Bullets. Then yes get the Speer. About the best all around Manual would be the Lyman 49th Addition. Or the Lee Modern Reloading. If you are planing on loading cast, Then Lyman cast bullet manual.. I load a lot of Hornady Bullet so I have it. As you can see it all depends on what you are loading. And what components you can find.
  4. woolleyworm

    woolleyworm Well-Known Member

    Feb 23, 2009
    SW Fort Worth
    Copy of my posting in a previous thread, good stuff there :

    Here's my list in order of preference.

    Lee (yes, he is very arrogant, but does have some good info/great data)

    I have 6 manuals and a couple OneCalibers, they all get used. I'm sure I'll pick up some more as time goes on also.
    No one manual will "do it all", and I'm 100% certain that if there was one, that I would still use the others also.

  5. RandyP

    RandyP Active Member

    Jan 22, 2009
    Loading pistol or rifle? How many different calibers? How many powders?

    I use the Lee, Lyman 49th, Hodgdon manual and website datatbase and have Loadbooks for each caliber.

    That said, I presently only reload three pistol calibers using one powder (Win 231 = HP-38) and since my LGS range forbits lead reloads, I exclusively use Berry or Ranier plated.

    The Lee or Hodgdon data would more than serve my true needs. Heck just the website might -lol - though there is a great deal of knowledge to be gained by reading all the info you can find. Including all the posts on several reloading websites and forums.
  6. Freebore

    Freebore Member

    Apr 18, 2009
    Land of the Free
    I would suggest initially using a manual that is associated with the bullet manufacturers products that you intend to use, this will make life easier for you when deciding on loads for caliber and bullet weight. I feel that most all manuals offer some good advise and input to the reloading process. I (like most serious reloaders) have developed a library of loading manuals an information that is used to check and re-check data if necessary.

    Also, common sense is a good tool to use when sorting through any published data.

    Happy Holidays....:D
  7. Geezer1

    Geezer1 New Member

    Dec 19, 2009
    Well a big thanks for all the replies and so prompt. I can see I will like this forum.

    What a dummy I am, should have listed what I am planning to reload. From a rifle standpoint I'll focus on 25-06 (Sako) and 22-250 (Rem). From the pistol side .380 (Interarms) 38 SPL (S&W).

    So, I'll take your advice and focus on the books which address the caliber type/powders and can see my library will expand.

    Long time shotshell reloader, but have not done to much centerfire so re-read is defintely in order.

    Again, thanks for value added replies and Merry Christmas to all.
  8. neilin

    neilin New Member

    Jan 26, 2009
    Clinton, MO
  9. Gearheadpyro

    Gearheadpyro New Member

    Oct 11, 2009
    Charleston, SC
    I use three, Hornady, Lyman, and Sierra.
    Of the three, to start out with, I would probably recommend the Lyman. It's a great manual.

    If you plan to shoot mostly one brands bullets I would get that brands reloading manual. Personally I shoot Hornadys and Sierra's.
  10. jim brady

    jim brady Well-Known Member

    Sep 22, 2009
    Simla, Colorado
    These guys are right - you could go with the Sierra or Speer manuals, but if I was just getting into reloading - LYMAN is the best first manual. Bullet makers have a reason to list certain bullets and not others, while Lyman lists many more brands, types and wieghts. They also have a great variety of loading data for cast bullets in both rifle and pistol calibers.

    The other major factor is the GREAT 'How To' forward for new (and old) reloaders. Good Luck.
  11. 312shooter

    312shooter Well-Known Member

    Mar 17, 2008
    Las Vegas NV
    Lyman for the "how to" portion, although it seems to have some funky bullet weights in the data hence making it my second or third choice for that, but its an absolute must for the beginner and most of all it is an enjoyable read.

    Speer has a bit more preferable load data for my application (9mm, 308, and 270wsm) and the "how to" is not as in depth. So having both of these on the bench is a good combo.
    Last edited: Dec 24, 2009
  12. Geezer1

    Geezer1 New Member

    Dec 19, 2009
    We'll probably start out with the Lyman and work from there. I see Midway has them on sale

    Thanks again folks for all the value added inputs.
  13. medalguy

    medalguy Member

    Feb 20, 2009
    New Mexico
    Woolyworm is right, no one manual will do it, you will find you need several. You will find that information in the different manuals varies hence the need for several as they are a GUIDE not absolutes. I use Hornady, Speer, and Lyman routinely but I own sevral more, and then there's the information available from the various powder manufacturers to consider.
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