Reloading manual

Cammy

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Looking at reloading for the first time and I see a lot of recommendations to get a reloading manual. What is in a reloading manual that is so important other than specs on a specific cartridge (powder and bullet combinations, cartridge overall length etc.)? I have seen some say that the "ABC's of reloading" is a must read as well. Is it really that critical when there is so much information available from powder manufactures as well as bullet manufactures? Does "You-tube University" suffice (knowing that there are you tubers who don't always follow generally accepted practices)?

I am in the beginning of my journey and have been collecting bits and pieces here and there. I have already decided on the press I want (can't believe what people want for a used press these days) though I have not purchased one. Not looking to do anything but load a few hundred rounds for hunting. Not a long range, miniscule accuracy type of shooter. Just looking to stave off the outrageous pricing for factory ammo that is getting harder to find for my gun.
 
Is it really that critical when there is so much information available from powder manufactures as well as bullet manufactures? Does "You-tube University" suffice (knowing that there are you tubers who don't always follow generally accepted practices)?
I think if you watch a bunch of YouTube and are a proficient tinkerer as well as ask some reloading specific questions here and other forums then I don't necessarily see the need for those books. There are a lot of good videos that help. There are some that can take you into the generalities of the process and others show obsessive methods such as mandrel sizing, measuring neck tension, etc and none of the manuals I've read take you truly deep enough to understand those. Free reloading data is readily available and it is often the most up-to-date. I do like referencing some older manuals for cast bullets. My manuals are approaching 20 years old and almost everything I do now as reloading was gleaned from YouTube and forums.

EDIT: a friend is a reloader that doesn't understand the safe practices of reloading and recently I had to use a rubber mallet to free his bolt. When I ask how he got to be so over pressure he suggested he got the info from a guy on the internet. He didn't work up for his rifle and he doesn't even know if the overall length wasn't jamming into the rifling. He also wonders why his 6.5Grendel brass only lasts 3 shots.
 
Get the Lyman manual. The data isn't the issue so much as that is available from various manufacturers.

The process of getting there is the key. As noted above you need to understand the process.

If you do a YouTube search for beginning reloading, you have no way to verify and validate that information.

Lyman is on their 52nd manual I believe. I trust that.

The manual is cheaper than an ER visit due to missing steps and being careless.
 
The Lyman manual is a good place to start. A lot of good information that has been tested and proven. They do their testing with a number of different jacketed bullets and cast bullets. You will find some manuals will give different maximum loads for the bullets of the same weight but different manufacturers. If you only want to load one manufacturers bullet's, then buy their manual and you're good to go. No way would I use information for loading from the internet. Thats a great way to mess up a gun and possibly yourself.
 
FWIW I’m in the same boat. I always cross-check what people are reloading and compare it to the bullet manufacturer and see what they suggest. Nosler has some PDFs for free, nice to have as a start. I’ll eventually buy their book.
 
I reference my book all the time for case dimensions and cut to length. I also like to see alternative powder manufacturers on one page. I use the Nosler book but that is because it came with my kit.
 
Main reason to have a book is so you have some information to lean on besides the stuff you read on the web. There is always more to learn. You like your fingers I assume. Learning about pressure is critical and the things that can affect it.
 
With a manual, you have an established reliable source for reloading data. Never accept anyone's reloading recipe off of the internet regardless of what they say it does, unless you can confirm it is within safe guidelines of data in your manual. It's too easy for someone to mis-type a number when giving information, and it could lead to disaster.
 
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Also, never substitute any component for another without reducing the load and slowly working up. Changing a primer, and substituting IMR-4350 for H-4350, and adding a Barnes Mono instead of a cup and core might not cause a serious problem if each is done separately, but do all three at once and it could cause serious pressure changes in the load.
 
I'm glad I have a manual or two on my desk. That said, I'm more apt to start with data from one of the bullet/powder makers that is found on their websites. Then, I'll usually compare that to the manuals to see if there's any major discrepancy.
 
I use several different manuals for checking and cross checking different loads. I have found load mistakes in Barnes, Hornady, Lyman and Nosler. The point being none of them are perfect but they are damn sure more accurate than some guy that babbles on on a YT video. The manuals are great for cartridge specs and for generalities in recipes. Just remember that misprints happen. If you see a load that has a questionable recipe, cross check it from several different sources. Life is short, don't ruin whatever you have left.
 
I started reloading with the ABC’s of Reloading and bothe the Lee manual and the Lyman 49th. I’ve bought every Lyman since that as well as some older manuals too just for fun. I make a point to but the Hodgdon Annual Manual too every year. It’s all their online data in magazine form. Great value too! I reload using mostly Barnes bullets and use their online data a lot.

I like starting new reloaders off with the ABC’s and a modern Lyman manual. Nice to have a physic copy of the all the reloading steps as well as some data to compare to.
 
@Cammy,

Get a manual!

The Barnes manual will help you if you choose to load monos.

Berger's manual will help if you choose to reload VLD bullets.

Got a 45 Colt or 45-70?
There are 3 pressure levels for each.

There are also differences between loading lead, plated and jacketed bullets for pistols.

New people often go with just the fastest data out there, or are nervous and go lower than starting loads.
Both can be dangerous!

There is more than just recipes in everybody's loading manual!

Along with online data, i get Hodgdon yearly updates, along with Alliant's.

For manuals, i have Lyman, Hornady, Berger, Nosler, Lee, and Sierra.
Hornady, Lyman & Sierra i have multiples of.

I also have Quickload with all the updates.
 
Thanks for all the replies and advice. I guess one of the benefits of the "great primer and powder shortage" is it has forced me to crawl vs run into reloading. I am not the kind of person who takes personal safety lightly and I am not someone who takes shortcuts. I am that guy that questions every thing and sometimes gets stuck in the indecision loop far too long.
 
my two cents is to separate the reloading procedure from the reloading recipe.
I stick with recipes from the bullet maker-and cross referenced with the powder makers info. I don’t go outside the book recommendations and for my hunting rifles I don’t burn barrels for the sake of perfecting a load.

For reloading procedure- I read, read and watch everything I can find. I don’t necessarily experiment with Internet personalities pet process, but I read everything I can about making accurate ammo.

I don’t think you can have too much knowledge when it comes to the process, sometimes it gets down to very small bits being picked.
 
Alliant, Hodgdon, Nosler and Barnes all have reloading recipes online. Unless you're shooting a specific brand of bullet like Berger or Hornady, having a reloading manual isn't as necessary as one might think.
 
Alliant, Hodgdon, Nosler and Barnes all have reloading recipes online. Unless you're shooting a specific brand of bullet like Berger or Hornady, having a reloading manual isn't as necessary as one might think.
There's volumes of information besides recipes in a manual. My#1 go to source though is the Hornady downloaded manual for PC or smartphone. It is updated every time a new load is published.
 
Welcome to reloading! As mentioned you can find info online. Also book stores carry reloading magazines. Those are great, they have a big reloading data section in the back.

Reloading is alot like canning. There's alot of Karen's out there that say if you don't waste 50 rounds working up a tenth of a grain at a time and stay 3 grains under book max it's extremely dangerous. Nah, just pay attention, don't double charge rounds in revolver rounds, follow A book and you'll be fine. It's not rocket science. I personally make a round a grain or two under book max, if it has no pressure signs I load some up at book max and start playing with seating depth. Unless it's practice rounds, where I stay near book minimum to save money.

My favorite thing about reloading is bringing back full power to alot of the old magnum cartridges that are watered down now and you can't buy full power factory ammo (.357 mag, .44 mag, 7mm rem mag) AND it's substantially cheaper too! My 7mm mag round is less than 20 bucks for a box of 20, using hornady eldx ($40+ factory per box). It's more accurate than the factory offering with that bullet and 300 fps faster than the factory offering as well. Its a win win win.
 
I am not the kind of person who takes personal safety lightly
This is good, picking pieces of primer / ejector out of your forehead isn’t fun.

I must of had a bridge form in my funnel and I overloaded the next round when it broke loose. When fired it blew the primer out thru the safety port and the sides of the bolt where the ejector was.

Action was salvaged but the chamber in the barrel was shot. M16 ejector was shrapnel, bolt face was scarred along with my forehead.

I had no idea why it happened until I pulled the bullets and started weighing the charges and found one missing about 8 grains.
 
This is good, picking pieces of primer / ejector out of your forehead isn’t fun.

I must of had a bridge form in my funnel and I overloaded the next round when it broke loose. When fired it blew the primer out thru the safety port and the sides of the bolt where the ejector was.

Action was salvaged but the chamber in the barrel was shot. M16 ejector was shrapnel, bolt face was scarred along with my forehead.

I had no idea why it happened until I pulled the bullets and started weighing the charges and found one missing about 8 grains.
Holy crap! Your pretty lucky it wasn't worse. We could start a whole new thread about accidents and mistakes.
I built a new reloading bench with a drop down shelf above the actual bench. It was a very convenient place to put my RCBS balance beam. I put the loading blocks directly below. It's convenient as hell to come off the scale directly down to the cases. I was loading some.308 for development and it started splitting case mouths at under max loads. I pulled the rest of them down and couldn't find anything wrong. During another loading session I accidentally fumbled the scale pan and dropped some powder on the shelf,,,, which scattered off the shelf directly into the cases I was loading.
 

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