Joined: Jan 04, 2006 Posts: 293 Location: NW Colorado
Posted: Tue May 23, 2006 12:04 pm Post subject: Required Reloading Books?
l have been reloading for about a year. I have a couple books specific to .30-06 and .308 which are the only two I currently load. I also have a couple books which are specific to bullet manufacturers. I have been staying pretty basic with my loads and have safely worked through several variations at the lower ends. I would like to take the next step and begin experimenting around the mid range of loads. My question or quest is to find a good book or couple of them that really take you through the experimentation towards a set goal in handloading and fine tuning loads. I asked Oprah's reading club, but they sent me a tree to plant and instructions on how to hug it......Are there some tried and true books out there that have stood the test of time? I am looking more for something in the process or mechanics aspect rather than load reference. Thanks in advance for any assistance.
_________________ Save the whales, collect the whole set!
Joined: Apr 09, 2005 Posts: 389 Location: North Carolina
Posted: Tue May 23, 2006 10:20 pm Post subject: Re: Required Reloading Books?
In considering the most Essencial/Valuable Reloading Books my list would be the following.
Current Lyman Handbook, Speer, Nosler, Hornady & the DBI book on Reloading.
I especially like the Nosler for listing its most accurate loads and the load density, the Hornady is a very good book for beginers and their article/section on basic reloading is excellent and has very good graphics. The Lyman covers many things and is great for cast bullets especially if you get the Cast Bullet Manual.
There are a great deal more excellent books out there and I would highly recommend that you start a home library. It will provide many hours of enjoyment.
Joined: May 25, 2005 Posts: 10162 Location: Brisbane AUSTRALIA
Posted: Wed May 24, 2006 7:24 am Post subject: Re: Required Reloading Books?
Like yourself Wiley I have only a couple of manuals. However, the guys that have replied above have listed just about every manual that is worth having.
I will reiterate what Bushy said.....use this site. There is a wealth of knowledge here that is freely imparted to those that ask.
Now, about that tree. Plant it in the appropriate place....hug it and love it....nurture it and feed it.....keep it healthy until it is big enough for your kids or grandkids to put a tree stand in it for when they go hunting.
_________________ Cheers, Vince
Illegitimi non carborundum
(Never let the bastards grind you down)
Live simply. Love generously. Care deeply. Speak kindly. Leave the rest to God.
It's been lonely in the saddle since the horse died.
Joined: Aug 22, 2005 Posts: 1032 Location: Phoenix, Arizona
Posted: Wed May 24, 2006 8:26 am Post subject: Re: Required Reloading Books?
On this site under "Articles" there is a Handloading section. Two submissions in that section may be of interest, one dealing with Optimal Charge Weight and the other discussing the matter of Section Density. They both have high value, IMO, in furthering an understanding of both matters.
In the current issue of "Handloader" magazine is a superb article by John Barsness, "Rules". Too seldom do we see this type of pragmatic application of loading theory. This is a very important article and dispells some of the myths we often hear when sitting around gunshops. More importantly, he defines the "rules" in which the handloader can easily calculate predictable results when changing components.
Homer Powley was instrumental in bringing a comprehensive methodology to the handloader. This was decades ago, but, the information is no less valued today than then. What Powley shows is the inter-relationship between burn rates, load densities, sectional densities, ratio of charge to bullet weights, etc, and the reliable predictability of results in terms of velocity and accompanying pressure.
If these referenced principals are understood they will bring clarity to the matter of internal ballistics and what is happening as we alter components. All the reloading books (my favorite for descriptive reloading techniques is Lyman #48) will inform the reader well, but, often omit or gloss over some of the very specific relationships between components and how the handloader can best alter these components for the desired results and understand just what is being accomplished.
A similar set of relationships occur in photography, at least for those adept with manual 35mm film cameras. There is a specific value relationship between shutter speed, f stops and film speed. Getting the desired photo often relies on this knowledge. With handloading, there are exacting values that are being altered with the goal of specific results; regretably, many handloaders simply begin tinkering with components in hopes of achieving a desired result. It is far more economical in terms of time and cost of components to be able to achieve these results with a knowledge of what will occur theoretically when given changes are made.
There are many reloaders that simply begin the quest for a goal by trying every component or combination available in the hopes of discovery of a perfect Pet Load. They will buy pounds of various powders, a variety of primers, various weights and brands of bullets and begin the mixing process. They will often come across some combination that works acceptably and consider this the best load. Or, they may obsess themselves into a frenzy that results in a burned out or seriously used barrel before they ever achieve their goal. If they understand the process and understand the nature of burn rates, powders, densities, seating depths etc, the whole development process can be a rather brief one that results in superb handloads meeting the pre-established goals.
I've used both methods over the decades. Knowledge trumps guessing, even educated guessing.
Joined: Feb 18, 2006 Posts: 2334 Location: South-Eastern Washington - the State
Posted: Thu May 25, 2006 5:00 pm Post subject: Re: Required Reloading Books?
With the information available on the internet one might think that reloading manuals are a thing of the past. I am here to tell you that you need to have manuals to check any information you get off the web. I have seen maximum loads listed that were 2 full grains over the HIGHEST listed maximum in any of my 9 manuals. I have seen loads that were only 1 grain over maximums that were a 6% overcharge. That is about 36% boost in pressure.
These loads are taken from sites that you would expect reliable information from and not some 16 year old's personal web page. I have even seen errors on powder manufacturer's web pages - I let 'em know about it and it was changed but if I didn't have a book to double check information against I might be double checking for missing pieces of my anatomy. All those manuals are worth their weight in body parts. Remember that you can have printing errors in the books too! the first printing of the Barnes book (I think) had some errors that they have since corrected. It is listed on their website. Always double check the information and look in as many sources as you can. If you are new to the powder or load then use the lowest starting point that matches your components most closely and work your way up carefully. Read everything you can on the indicators of over-pressure and what it really means. If you ever reach those signs mark it in your manual along with all the components - allert the company that put out the manual - it may be a misprint and not just your guns sensitivity. In either event you will know if you try those components again to start low and not to exceed the load that gave you problems before.
You should also keep good personal records that list all the components and the stages their were worked up to where you got the results you did get. I have kept records and it helped me solve a problem in my 357 Magnum load and get good information from the powder supplier to agree with my loads of the past. They are over the listed maximum for the particular round and weapon but listed below maximum when MY weapon is used with the same components. The manufacturer agreed that my load, in my cartridge, and in my weapon would produce less than the SAAMI maximum standard pressure.
Speer, Lyman, Hodgdon, Sierra, and Hornady = reliable loading data
So and So's pages on the internet = NOT reliable loading data
Always check data against manuals
NEVER exceed maximum listed loads
Posted: Tue May 30, 2006 1:55 pm Post subject: Re: Required Reloading Books?
Brand new; first post...
Wiley, In addition to load books, may I suggest P.O. Ackley's "Handbook For Shooters & Reloaders", Volumes I and II. These two books have an unbelievable amount information. I can't tell you how much I've learned and continue to recall each time I sit and read these books. The information on wildcats, killing power, reduced loads, wind drift, pressure, headspace, bore capacity, sectional density dies, etc..is enormous.
I would say these two volumes are a "must have" for anyone who truly wants to completely understand reloading and shooting.
Of course, that's just my 2 cents...FWIW.
Like I said; my first post, here, but I've been reloading for over 25 years now.
Last edited by rwsem on Tue May 30, 2006 4:52 pm; edited 1 time in total
Posted: Tue May 30, 2006 2:41 pm Post subject: Re: Required Reloading Books?
I agree that internet information, even ours, be checked against a reloading manual to be on the safe side.
Every gun is different and not like the test barrels that the manuals get their data from. So when you see a load on the net that is higher than a manual it only tells you that the load works safely in that one single gun. Every gun you own is different from the rest of the line it came from. Some can't take a max load, some are dangerous at a starting load. Reloading manuals are guides and good reference but the best information in all the manuals are the sections on reading pressure signs. If you can read pressure signs you can start by using and working up from manual starting loads to the pressure signs in your rifle. That is not the final word on a maximum load. Usually you will find an accurate load along the way and after that you are wasting powder.
_________________ Safe shooting,
Chris Young, aka: popgun, Moderator
I don't know everything but I have made most of the mistakes already and lived through many of them.
Posted: Sat Jun 17, 2006 3:11 pm Post subject: Re: Required Reloading Books?
Welcome rwsem. I think all the manuals listed here are good references. But, I couldn't get all the answers I wanted from them. That's why I got on to this site. Most everyone here reloads. If you have a specific concern, just ask it here.
Keep it coming...
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