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#13551121 - 02/11/19 How much does brand matter?  
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SDHNTR Offline
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I understand there are quality differences, and one rifle may prefer one brand over another. But that’s not really what I’m talking about. When you look at reloading manuals, how strict must you be with regard to brass and primer brand? Of course my Nosler manual is going to call for Nosler brass, how big a deal is it to use Federal or Remington brass? Of course, sized and trimmed to spec in both cases. Same with primers... if one manual calls for a CCI 210, can I safely sub in a Federal 210? Or must I adhere to the manual to a tee? I’m trying to minimize the number of components I need to purchase. Thanks.

300 BP

#13551281 - 02/11/19 Re: How much does brand matter? [Re: SDHNTR]  
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Not a huge deal. I dont think I ever created a load exactly per the book. That's why people tell you to work up the loads, to take into account for the differences in components.

Last edited by warpig602; 02/11/19.
#13551440 - 02/11/19 Re: How much does brand matter? [Re: SDHNTR]  
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I use what I have on hand. Most load data can be found online now, so no need to buy loading manuals. I've used recipes for the same weight bullet many times, just start low and work up.

#13552380 - 02/11/19 Re: How much does brand matter? [Re: SDHNTR]  
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If you have a load right at or close to max with a certain brand of brass and a certain primer
I would not think of changing brass or primers without dropping back a little on the powder , and reworking the load !
Especially primers.

#13552472 - 02/11/19 Re: How much does brand matter? [Re: SDHNTR]  
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Both can make a big difference.

With an '06 sized case, brass can make a 2 grain difference it what's safe and what's not.

I've seen primers make 100 fps difference. I've also seen time where it makes no statistical difference.

So, it depends. Until you know what your doing, it's best to start low, work up, and build your data set.


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#13552791 - 02/11/19 Re: How much does brand matter? [Re: SDHNTR]  
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I'll take a swing at this, mostly because I started out a long time back with some of the same questions. I read some good reloading/handloading books, took some experienced advice, and then started trying it.

how strict must you be with regard to brass and primer brand? You don't need to be because your rifle; chamber and barrel; isn't matching theirs, anyway.

Of course my Nosler manual is going to call for Nosler brass, how big a deal is it to use Federal or Remington brass? It's not, as long as you follow the good advice given above and start lower in the scale and work up.

Same with primers... if one manual calls for a CCI 200, can I safely sub in a Federal 210? Depends on the load. If the load is near max, you'd need to back down and work back up to make sure you're safe.

Or must I adhere to the manual to a tee? No, see above.

You can minimize the number of components you purchase. Pick your brass. Pick a primer you can readily get from your shop of choice, online, whatever. Pick the powders you want to try. Pick the bullets you want to try. Start low or low mid-range in the book data and work with those components until you find a load that works and be happy.

Having said that, if you change those chosen components, then like some of the other guys said, you have to back down and work back up. Different brass can make a BIG difference in pressure and a max load can be dangerous if you switch to a case that generates more pressure than the one you worked it up in to begin with. Federal and Remington are an easy example. Using a .308 example, Federal is heavier, with less volume, and generates more velocity in every one of my .308 loads. For a specific example, 48.0 gn is at or near max of IMR 4320 and it is right up in the neck of a Federal case, but at the base of the neck in a Remington case. The difference is visible. Both are safe in my rifle, but the results on paper and velocity are different.

Speaking for my own experience and that of the couple experienced hand loaders I associate with, brand will usually matter with POI and group size results, as well. Sometimes, you might get lucky with similar POI and only a small change in group size, other times it might be drastic, but there will usually be some kind of difference. Primer changes things, too, sometimes, though not as often from my own testing. So, it will matter in that respect. I typically try a few different brass manufacturers once I settle on a good, safe load and choose the one that gives the best accuracy for that load. It's not always the same brand, or even the most expensive brand. Unnecessary, if you're looking to minimize, it's just an enjoyable excuse to shoot more.

Last edited by FLNative; 02/11/19.
#13553013 - 02/11/19 Re: How much does brand matter? [Re: FLNative]  
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Originally Posted by FLNative
I'll take a swing at this, mostly because I started out a long time back with some of the same questions. I read some good reloading/handloading books, took some experienced advice, and then started trying it.

how strict must you be with regard to brass and primer brand? You don't need to be because your rifle; chamber and barrel; isn't matching theirs, anyway.

Of course my Nosler manual is going to call for Nosler brass, how big a deal is it to use Federal or Remington brass? It's not, as long as you follow the good advice given above and start lower in the scale and work up.

Same with primers... if one manual calls for a CCI 200, can I safely sub in a Federal 210? Depends on the load. If the load is near max, you'd need to back down and work back up to make sure you're safe.

Or must I adhere to the manual to a tee? No, see above.

You can minimize the number of components you purchase. Pick your brass. Pick a primer you can readily get from your shop of choice, online, whatever. Pick the powders you want to try. Pick the bullets you want to try. Start low or low mid-range in the book data and work with those components until you find a load that works and be happy.

Having said that, if you change those chosen components, then like some of the other guys said, you have to back down and work back up. Different brass can make a BIG difference in pressure and a max load can be dangerous if you switch to a case that generates more pressure than the one you worked it up in to begin with. Federal and Remington are an easy example. Using a .308 example, Federal is heavier, with less volume, and generates more velocity in every one of my .308 loads. For a specific example, 48.0 gn is at or near max of IMR 4320 and it is right up in the neck of a Federal case, but at the base of the neck in a Remington case. The difference is visible. Both are safe in my rifle, but the results on paper and velocity are different.

Speaking for my own experience and that of the couple experienced hand loaders I associate with, brand will usually matter with POI and group size results, as well. Sometimes, you might get lucky with similar POI and only a small change in group size, other times it might be drastic, but there will usually be some kind of difference. Primer changes things, too, sometimes, though not as often from my own testing. So, it will matter in that respect. I typically try a few different brass manufacturers once I settle on a good, safe load and choose the one that gives the best accuracy for that load. It's not always the same brand, or even the most expensive brand. Unnecessary, if you're looking to minimize, it's just an enjoyable excuse to shoot more.


Excellent and thoughtful response! Thanks for taking the time!

#13554005 - 02/12/19 Re: How much does brand matter? [Re: SDHNTR]  
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It sounds like you only have the one Nosler manual? You may want to consider getting a few more from other well known component manufacturers. That allows you to compare data from different sources.


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#13554449 - 02/12/19 Re: How much does brand matter? [Re: Blacktailer]  
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Originally Posted by Blacktailer
It sounds like you only have the one Nosler manual? You may want to consider getting a few more from other well known component manufacturers. That allows you to compare data from different sources.


As of now I have a Nosler and a Hornady manual.

#13554511 - 02/12/19 Re: How much does brand matter? [Re: SDHNTR]  
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In addition to yours, I have Speer, Sierra and Lymans 48th if you want me to photo any data for you. Should have the Barnes manual shortly....for whatever thats worth.

Last edited by warpig602; 02/12/19.
Bravo

#13554520 - 02/12/19 Re: How much does brand matter? [Re: SDHNTR]  
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As a side note, I think every reloader should own a copy of the Lyman. Just good solid info all around.

#13554588 - 02/12/19 Re: How much does brand matter? [Re: SDHNTR]  
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Originally Posted by SDHNTR
Excellent and thoughtful response! Thanks for taking the time!


You're welcome, no problem.

And, I agree about the Lyman manual. Mine is the 49th instead of 48th, but the point remains: excellent resource with good data and usefully identified array of bullets used to obtain it.

Lee Modern Reloading is another good one, with a ton of detail on the process and procedures of loading. I've also got a Hornady, a Speer, and just recently replaced an older Nosler with the latest edition. One of the more useful things about having multiple manuals is that not all list the same powders for a given bullet weight in a given cartridge. By comparing different books, you can often get a better sample of likely options, as well as having a better chance of finding the one you intend to use.

I thought I would do a lot more comparing than I do, though. I often find myself choosing a bullet, looking at the data given by that manufacturer, in one of the books or online, then comparing it to the Lyman data, then choosing a starting load and working up.

#13554790 - 02/12/19 Re: How much does brand matter? [Re: antelope_sniper]  
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Originally Posted by antelope_sniper
Both can make a big difference.

With an '06 sized case, brass can make a 2 grain difference it what's safe and what's not.

I've seen primers make 100 fps difference. I've also seen time where it makes no statistical difference.

So, it depends. Until you know what your doing, it's best to start low, work up, and build your data set.


Good post AS. I've also seen a huge amount of difference in capacity, when comparing different manufactures 30-06 brass. One in particular, that I have and should get rid of, is some old UMC remington brass that is 3 grains less than even newer Remington brass. As for other manufactures: Winchester is known for being thin as well and FC known for being thick. Case volume varies greatly, especially when working with cartridges that were designed for military use. As far as primers, I started out using CCI and I have not swayed from them. They just work very reliably and I get good dependable accurate loads... When I load, I always refer to the bullet specific manufactures load manual or online data. That's always been a safe route and one can't emphasize enough, the need to start low and work up.


Originally Posted by raybass
I try to stick with the basics, they do so well. Nothing fancy mind you, just plain jane will get it done with style.

Originally Posted by Pharmseller
You want to see an animal drop right now? Shoot him in the ear hole.
P


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#13555396 - 02/12/19 Re: How much does brand matter? [Re: warpig602]  
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Originally Posted by warpig602
In addition to yours, I have Speer, Sierra and Lymans 48th if you want me to photo any data for you. Should have the Barnes manual shortly....for whatever thats worth.

Originally Posted by warpig602
In addition to yours, I have Speer, Sierra and Lymans 48th if you want me to photo any data for you. Should have the Barnes manual shortly....for whatever thats worth.

Thanks for the offer. I will surely take you up on that once I get rolling.

#13555539 - 02/12/19 Re: How much does brand matter? [Re: SDHNTR]  
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When you use up components it is wise to back off a little and work back up.As an example say you are using brand x powder and you run out and go buy another container of brand x powder it might not be exactly the same as the first brand x powder.I follow that rule with primers and brass too.I guess I could do a water capacity test on the cases but then I need to record that and actually do it.Bullets are easy to weigh a few to see if they are correct.

#13556156 - 02/12/19 Re: How much does brand matter? [Re: SDHNTR]  
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I like my Nosler manual but it doesn’t seem as complete as my Lee, more powders and bullet weights shown for each cartridge. But there’s differences between the powder charges listed in many cases. Like others said, you kinda have to find your own sweet spot and max load. On top of that, I would mention that even inconsistencies with yourself can be overlooked sometimes. My Model 7 308 likes 150gr Hornady Interlocks with 46gr of Varget, but it shoots the same POI with used Federal Brass, used Hornady Match Brass and brand new Hornady Brass. I can’t say that works for everyone, but it hasn’t given me any issues with that particular gun.

#13556923 - 02/13/19 How much does brand matter? More than you may think [Re: SDHNTR]  
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A stones throw from Henry's Fo...
Originally Posted by SDHNTR
When you look at reloading manuals, how strict must you be with regard to brass and primer brand? ...... Same with primers... if one manual calls for a CCI 210, can I safely sub in a Federal 210? Or must I adhere to the manual to a tee? I’m trying to minimize the number of components I need to purchase. Thanks.


I flatly if not completely, disagree with most of the posts on this thread.

Additionally and not much addressed here I'd add that once upon a time cup and core bullets were very similar across brands. Today's bullets, lead free or weirdly shaped are likely enough to be quite different and so not to be considered equivalent to each other any more than powders say. To minimize the components I need to purchase I buy the components as listed in a reputable manual as published in the most recent edition with applicable data for the cartridge and components. I have all the currently produced loading manuals as easily available from folks like Midway, Brownell's, Wideners, Powder Valley and the whole gang. To that add as many foreign and exotic sources as I've run across when I could afford them. I go back a long ways on data books. I don't use old data when I can help it. For instance Phil Sharpe's Complete Guide has lots of obsolete data. DuPont used to give away data for IMR powders. Today's IMR powders are made by a different company in a different plant so I choose to use newer data. There are exceptions. I use a lot of no longer available Winchester 452 ball powders in handgun plinking loads using data mostly from Speer #ll. Loaddata from Wolfe is easily computer searchable. Hodgdon is on line. I can often find a solid listing with components I have and if I can't well that's what folks call a clue.
Quote
PRIMERS AND PRESSURES
Author: John Barsness / Wolfe Publishing Co.
Date: Feb 13 2005

Many handloaders think a primer is a primer, or differentiate only between “standard” and “magnum” primers. But primer choice can make a big difference in load performance—and a REALLY big difference in safety.

..... This means a load that produces a very safe 58,000 psi with one primer can produce an unsafe 70,000 psi with another—and often there’s no way for the home handloader to tell the difference.


I strongly advocate reading everything John Barsness has written on the subject starting with the several books he sells d/b/a as Rifles and Recipes. Then again I'd suggest reading tales of old Indians and Winchester 97's too. I think there's a story in Best of Field and Steam. There are any number of additional writers with something to add.

Similarly when it comes to brass it is commonly repeated with some reason that military brass is different from commercial brass. Sadly but eternally the question is not about the lot of brass from a different time and place but the current lot of brass on hand. Weight and water capacity and headspace and other dimensions can all be gaged and should be. One extreme example is the change from 7x61 Sharpe and Hart to the Super improved (or maybe not?)
Quote
The newer case became the Norma 7x61 Super. Such cases (recent production from Norma) were used for the data in this article. Water capacity is 76 grains. Original 7x61 brass has a water capacity of approximately 71 grains........ Early 7x61 brass is probably still out there and being loaded, old as it may be. The matter is further compounded by a myriad of 7x61 brass that has been reformed from other magnum cases. As a result, there are significant variances in powder capacities. In light of all this, handloaders should treat the 7x61 with the extra caution reserved for wildcat cartridges.


And from the same source elaborating on the extra caution reserved for wildcat cartridges
Quote
forget spent primer appearance as an indication of high pressure. This once favored method of judging pressure has been proven to be less than reliable on several counts. The same can be said for measuring case head expansion and pressure ring expansion....Secondly, what about heavy bolt lift as an indication of high pressure? This is usually a sign of excessive pressure, in fact, probably pressure well beyond excessive...
Bolt closing and bolt lift require a little more exertion [in a close fitted rifle], whether there is a cartridge in the chamber or not...
Mike Thomas again from Wolfe found at Loaddata April 2015 and extensively discussed on this very board.

For another example my common shooting partner is fond of the 9.3x62 but mostly uses reformed .30-'06 cases. Without comparing it would be difficult to know what differences might or might not exist with commercial brass. Similarly there are reports of differences between what might be called inch dimension 6.5x55 brass and metric dimension 6.5x55 brass.

Notice I am not saying no substitutions ever. I'd use any primer that fits in any case that would chamber for a 3.5 grain load of Bullseye and an H&G 130 bullet for .45 ACP plinking and graduate toward a no modification magnum load.

I am saying do not substitute lightly and understand that the best way, not necessarily a good way but still the best way, to judge pressure is to compare performance of components as nearly identical as humanly possible between the book load and the hand loads in a given rifle.

Last edited by ClarkEMyers; 02/13/19.
#13556975 - 02/13/19 Re: How much does brand matter? More than you may think [Re: ClarkEMyers]  
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Originally Posted by ClarkEMyers
Originally Posted by SDHNTR
When you look at reloading manuals, how strict must you be with regard to brass and primer brand? ...... Same with primers... if one manual calls for a CCI 210, can I safely sub in a Federal 210? Or must I adhere to the manual to a tee? I’m trying to minimize the number of components I need to purchase. Thanks.


I flatly if not completely, disagree with most of the posts on this thread.

Additionally and not much addressed here I'd add that once upon a time cup and core bullets were very similar across brands. Today's bullets, lead free or weirdly shaped are likely enough to be quite different and so not to be considered equivalent to each other any more than powders say. To minimize the components I need to purchase I buy the components as listed in a reputable manual as published in the most recent edition with applicable data for the cartridge and components. I have all the currently produced loading manuals as easily available from folks like Midway, Brownell's, Wideners, Powder Valley and the whole gang. To that add as many foreign and exotic sources as I've run across when I could afford them. I go back a long ways on data books. I don't use old data when I can help it. For instance Phil Sharpe's Complete Guide has lots of obsolete data. DuPont used to give away data for IMR powders. Today's IMR powders are made by a different company in a different plant so I choose to use newer data. There are exceptions. I use a lot of no longer available Winchester 452 ball powders in handgun plinking loads using data mostly from Speer #ll. Loaddata from Wolfe is easily computer searchable. Hodgdon is on line. I can often find a solid listing with components I have and if I can't well that's what folks call a clue.
Quote
PRIMERS AND PRESSURES
Author: John Barsness / Wolfe Publishing Co.
Date: Feb 13 2005

Many handloaders think a primer is a primer, or differentiate only between “standard” and “magnum” primers. But primer choice can make a big difference in load performance—and a REALLY big difference in safety.

..... This means a load that produces a very safe 58,000 psi with one primer can produce an unsafe 70,000 psi with another—and often there’s no way for the home handloader to tell the difference.


I strongly advocate reading everything John Barsness has written on the subject starting with the several books he sells d/b/a as Rifles and Recipes. Then again I'd suggest reading tales of old Indians and Winchester 97's too. I think there's a story in Best of Field and Steam. There are any number of additional writers with something to add.

Similarly when it comes to brass it is commonly repeated with some reason that military brass is different from commercial brass. Sadly but eternally the question is not about the lot of brass from a different time and place but the current lot of brass on hand. Weight and water capacity and headspace and other dimensions can all be gaged and should be. One extreme example is the change from 7x61 Sharpe and Hart to the Super improved (or maybe not?)
Quote
The newer case became the Norma 7x61 Super. Such cases (recent production from Norma) were used for the data in this article. Water capacity is 76 grains. Original 7x61 brass has a water capacity of approximately 71 grains........ Early 7x61 brass is probably still out there and being loaded, old as it may be. The matter is further compounded by a myriad of 7x61 brass that has been reformed from other magnum cases. As a result, there are significant variances in powder capacities. In light of all this, handloaders should treat the 7x61 with the extra caution reserved for wildcat cartridges.


And from the same source elaborating on the extra caution reserved for wildcat cartridges
Quote
forget spent primer appearance as an indication of high pressure. This once favored method of judging pressure has been proven to be less than reliable on several counts. The same can be said for measuring case head expansion and pressure ring expansion....Secondly, what about heavy bolt lift as an indication of high pressure? This is usually a sign of excessive pressure, in fact, probably pressure well beyond excessive...
Bolt closing and bolt lift require a little more exertion [in a close fitted rifle], whether there is a cartridge in the chamber or not...
Mike Thomas again from Wolfe found at Loaddata April 2015 and extensively discussed on this very board.

For another example my common shooting partner is fond of the 9.3x62 but mostly uses reformed .30-'06 cases. Without comparing it would be difficult to know what differences might or might not exist with commercial brass. Similarly there are reports of differences between what might be called inch dimension 6.5x55 brass and metric dimension 6.5x55 brass.

Notice I am not saying no substitutions ever. I'd use any primer that fits in any case that would chamber for a 3.5 grain load of Bullseye and an H&G 130 bullet for .45 ACP plinking and graduate toward a no modification magnum load.

I am saying do not substitute lightly and understand that the best way, not necessarily a good way but still the best way, to judge pressure is to compare performance of components as nearly identical as humanly possible between the book load and the hand loads in a given rifle.


So, you disagree with everyone's posts here on this subject and go completely by the book? Are you using the same test barrels on your rifles as well? Do you chronograph your loads to see if they match the books loads exactly? Do you call the bullet manufacture and have that exact lot number of powder and bullets, that they used to develop loads for the manual, delivered to your doorstep? You have no right to dispute anything anyone here has to say on this subject. You aren't using all the same test equipment or the same test barrels, so to be smart, you better at least be using a chronograph to confirm velocities. You might be smart, but I highly doubt you are smarter than everyone else here that has been loading for decades. I think a lot of guys here have a clue about what's going on. In your case, maybe not so much...until you can prove otherwise, based on your own experience and not something you read in a got damn book....


Originally Posted by raybass
I try to stick with the basics, they do so well. Nothing fancy mind you, just plain jane will get it done with style.

Originally Posted by Pharmseller
You want to see an animal drop right now? Shoot him in the ear hole.
P


BSA
#13557166 - 02/13/19 Re: How much does brand matter? More than you may think [Re: FLNative]  
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Originally Posted by FLNative
I'll take a swing at this, mostly because I started out a long time back with some of the same questions. I read some good reloading/handloading books, took some experienced advice, and then started trying it.

how strict must you be with regard to brass and primer brand? You don't need to be because your rifle; chamber and barrel; isn't matching theirs, anyway.

Of course my Nosler manual is going to call for Nosler brass, how big a deal is it to use Federal or Remington brass? It's not, as long as you follow the good advice given above and start lower in the scale and work up.

Same with primers... if one manual calls for a CCI 200, can I safely sub in a Federal 210? Depends on the load. If the load is near max, you'd need to back down and work back up to make sure you're safe.

Or must I adhere to the manual to a tee? No, see above.

You can minimize the number of components you purchase. Pick your brass. Pick a primer you can readily get from your shop of choice, online, whatever. Pick the powders you want to try. Pick the bullets you want to try. Start low or low mid-range in the book data and work with those components until you find a load that works and be happy.

Having said that, if you change those chosen components, then like some of the other guys said, you have to back down and work back up. Different brass can make a BIG difference in pressure and a max load can be dangerous if you switch to a case that generates more pressure than the one you worked it up in to begin with. Federal and Remington are an easy example. Using a .308 example, Federal is heavier, with less volume, and generates more velocity in every one of my .308 loads. For a specific example, 48.0 gn is at or near max of IMR 4320 and it is right up in the neck of a Federal case, but at the base of the neck in a Remington case. The difference is visible. Both are safe in my rifle, but the results on paper and velocity are different.

Speaking for my own experience and that of the couple experienced hand loaders I associate with, brand will usually matter with POI and group size results, as well. Sometimes, you might get lucky with similar POI and only a small change in group size, other times it might be drastic, but there will usually be some kind of difference. Primer changes things, too, sometimes, though not as often from my own testing. So, it will matter in that respect. I typically try a few different brass manufacturers once I settle on a good, safe load and choose the one that gives the best accuracy for that load. It's not always the same brand, or even the most expensive brand. Unnecessary, if you're looking to minimize, it's just an enjoyable excuse to shoot more.

Good Advise!!

#13557320 - 02/13/19 Re: How much does brand matter? More than you may think [Re: SDHNTR]  
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Mostly I use the Lyman 49th (haven’t bought the 50th yet) and the Nosler book. I shoot mostly Nosler bullets and I’ve found that their recommended loads for their bullets are usually quite close to what I wind up with as most accurate. If you’re going to shoot Hornady or Barnes, buy their book and follow their suggested loads, starting near min and working up.

Brass...I buy Lapua or Norma these days, and no longer spend a lot of time on brass prep. Primers...I buy CCI BR primers.

For a newbie, buy the books, read them, read them again, and ask questions on the forum. Lots of knowledge on this forum and others.

#13558950 - 02/13/19 Re: How much does brand matter? More than you may think [Re: SDHNTR]  
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hanco Offline
Campfire Oracle
hanco  Offline
Campfire Oracle

Joined: Apr 2011
Posts: 26,861
Texas
I use what the manual says to use.

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