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I use them all. If I see one ‘way out of line with others, I may ease up to their loads as I watch my chronographs. As I’ve matured, i.e. gotten a little older 😁, I’ve realized that if I need a little more reach than a cartridge can give me, I have another rifle that will give me the performance I need.


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I have a Hodgdon manual, a Nosler Manual and a Hornaday Manual. If I am shooting Barnes I just look up the data for Barnes and go with it. Same with Speer. You really don't need manuals in this day and age since the data is available online.


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Originally Posted by MAC
I have a Hodgdon manual, a Nosler Manual and a Hornaday Manual. If I am shooting Barnes I just look up the data for Barnes and go with it. Same with Speer. You really don't need manuals in this day and age since the data is available online.

That's pretty much true--with a few exceptions. But the price of a Speer 15 is worth it because they've apparently FINALLY gotten their stuff together, and use the same barrel for both pressures and velocities.


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Originally Posted by Woodsman1991
Many of us have noticed the performance drop in more recent editions of manuals, for example the 220 swift being loaded in most modern books to similar velocity as the 22-250.

What are some of your favorite go-to manuals for older hotter loads?

My notes dating back to 1962.


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My favourite manual is the one produced by whatever bullet company I am loading. Almost always it’s the latest edition.

My favourite is Speer when loading Speer bullets. Hornady, when loading Hornady bullets. Etc.


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Quickload and a Chronograph. Often I'll also consult either the powder or projectile manufacturer's (or both) website as a cross reference for velocity/pressure.


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And not ALL 180s in .30-cal from the same manufacturer (i.e. - Speer, Hornady, Barnes, etc) give the same exact results in psi and MV, given the same load from the same rifle, as indicated in manuals. And that applies to other same weight bullets in other calibers from the same companies with differences in bullet structure, such as bonded vs non-bonded, mono metal vs lead core with gilding metal jacket, etc. While listed in manuals as giving the same results, often there can be significant distinctions. One example: The 225gr NP/.35-cal gave significantly higher MV from my .35 Whelen than the 225 AB using an identical load from the same rifle.

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Originally Posted by alpinecrick
The powder and bullet manufacturers reduced velocities in some cartridges because of better and more accurate methods of measuring pressure. In other words unless I’m shooting a obsolete/uncommon cartridge where only older data is available, the newer manuals provide more accurate—and safer—load data.

Equally important is that powders of the same label manufactured 50-60 years ago don’t necessarily have the same burn rates or energy as current manufacture. IMR4350 50 years ago isn’t the same as it is today, for example. My H4831 manufactured in the mid 90’s produces higher velocities than current H4831, using the same brass in the same rifle.

Where possible I rely on the more recent data.

I like the Hodgdon manual, but own 4-5 dozen manuals and often consult them to get a “feel” for a consensus among different pressure barrels.

Yep, I would agree... altho I only have about 2 dozen manuals.


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I have over 60 manuals and do not use any of them.
I develop my own loads.


But the loads I develop look more like the Sierra books.


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I'm a reloading manual reading geek, so I look at them all. BUT, I prefer as much info as possible in the data. Velocity, % of case filled, most accurate powder tested, preferred powder for lighter and heavier bullets, twist rates used, primers used especially when loading ball powder. I enjoy the right ups as well in most cases, but a bit bored with the O'Connor/270 type words year after year. I like the Nosler manuals, but don't like not separating monumental and lead bullet data. The latest Hodgdon magazine manuals are pretty good, but as a 240 Wby, 257 Roberts, 7mm WSM and 338-06 shooter, I'm disappointed in this mag since none of these cartridges are listed in the 2022 addition.


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Lyman, Hornady, Speer and online data is what i use nowadays. Mostly loading for lever rifles and S/A revolvers in same calibers. Only "deer and elk" rifles I have left are my 30-06[Ruger No. 1B] and my Mod 94 30-30. No longer hunt, but, those two have older, well established loads. Lyman probably more than the others.

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Don't have a favorite. Usually start with the guide for the bullet manufacturer I'm loading and compare it to other guides to find a starting load. Sometimes there's a large discrepancy like I found recently when loading Berger 52 gr bullets in a 22-250. The listed max load for H380 in the Berger guide is a few grains less than data from several other sources so I started at the max load in the Berger guide and have worked up from there. The Berger max load yielded significantly less velocity than listed, which is what I suspected would happen.


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I like the Lyman for the how to reference, but when I start a load I like to compare the data from the powder manufacturer with the data from the bullet manufacturer to see if they are in line with one another.

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i need to mention this , i may own 40-50 reloading manuals but i also used John Barsness " Mule Deer " books plenty too ! also excited about Mule Deer`s new book that will be out very soon. Pete53


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I use Sierra and Nosler most of the time.
Sierra’s has given me some damn accurate loads over the years. Their 150Gr .30-06 accuracy load is in 4 different rifles flat works.



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