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Thread: What's wrong with starting reloading with NO data manual to consult!

  1. #1

    What's wrong with starting reloading with NO data manual to consult!

    Time and time again on this forum we see peoples plea for re-loading data surely if one begins reloading then along with the dies, etc to reload said cartridges one also buys, begs, borrows or steals a suitable reloading manual .

    Not todays reloaders it seems they rely upon others to do so and look up the information and hopefully share is accurately through the forums. I wonder what would happen if due to a typo or incorrect information being posted that a cartridge is loading with an over laods and some damage or injury results .

    There were reports of an error on one of the Powder makers web sites in their loading data which resulted in damaged guns. Of course once reports came in a couple of clicks and the error was corrected but in doing so it removed the evidence so claims became almost impossible to follow up.

    With a proper printed manual more care by the writers, company and publishers must be taken as they cannot correct an error with a couple of clicks once it's printed and in circulation.

    A reloading data manual is not that expensive really and often has much more than just loading data inside. For beginners they often take you through step by step reloading. They might just help printed books hang on longer and you might even learn something by reading one so go ahead and get one at least if your going to reload cartridges. Of course it will mean any mistakes are solely down to you.

  2. #2
    Brithunter, without any constrain on cost which manual would you recommend for a novice in reloading ?

  3. #3
    I think that all of the powder manufacturers have free down loadable load charts on their web sites, I use Vit and Hodgson and have both sets of calibre table loads printed off, shows where to begin and stop.

  4. #4
    I started out with the LEE manual, have bought others since, but allways return it, clear and concise with data from all the main powder makers.

  5. #5
    I have found that some people simply prefer some manuals due to their layout of data to others and as I don't know what people prefer I will suggest a few:-

    Richard Lees Modern Reloading is good just ignore the sales pitch if you want too for the Lee gear.

    Speers if good and I find the layout easy to use.

    Hornady is another good one

    Those list various powder makes but only their make of bullets. This is not normally a problem especially if one follows normal safe loading practice of starting low nd working up.

    Remember each and every barrel can be a law unto itself what it likes. That includes the way it develops pressure and how quickly it does so. Some barrels will never allow you to reach published velocities, others will exceed them, and some people NEVER seem to learn or realise this.

    My person favourite was the Hodgdons manuals but they stopped printing the book ones and now do a annual magazine type which is a bit confusing to use, or can be, so due to ease of use I still use my Hodgdons #26 a lot. My original copy was getting very worn so I brought a second copy in good condition off e-bay. It was printed in 1992 so a lot of newer powders are not in it but the ones I used a lot are so it stills sees use hence it's tired condition..

  6. #6
    I think the critical ( as in important, not derogatory ) part of BH's title was 'starting'.

    Aside from pure load data, the majority of the manuals have details about the process and interaction of components - and not least guidance as to good practise. For someone starting out, I think these are essential reading.

    We all know the variation of quality/ accuracy of information on the web - these manuals are from the horses mouth so to speak.

    Reloading is a straight forward process - but as human beings we all have the uncanny ability to cackhand the simplest of tasks!

    My advice to anyone starting out is to include one of the main stream manuals in their must have list.

    As to which one? Richard Lee is pretty good across the board. Otherwise I say if you have a favourite brand of bullet - go with their manual, if a preferred powder maker - then theirs. If the relevant maker does one.
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  7. #7
    What about Quickload ? Takes a little getting used to, but seems to work well.

  8. #8
    I have used data from Quickload provided by a trusted friend with more experience in hand loading than I have and he has far more experience with computers than I have being able to write programmes (Hmmm you can go off people you know ) to produce loads whilst working with a rather fussy rifle but have never seen the programme or used it myself. latest versions should have the corrections as early versions were found to have a slight error. Same friend found this and was working with the Quickload programmers to fix it to make it more accurate.

    Now he was working with some wildcat cartridges as well as some antiques ones so used it in conjunction with a pressure trace system. As with anything accurate and precise data is needed to feed into Quickload or the data got out will not be the best.

  9. #9
    Personally I think Quickload although comprehensive and very good, for a beginner it perhaps is too much information, better to learn safe practices, My recommendation would be the ABC of Reloading as it is not affiliated to a bullet manufacurer or reloading maker.

    My pet hate on the forums is some one with just one tub of powder asking for recipes to satisfy his three calibres - sorry but if you are that tight, take up another hobby.

  10. #10
    QuickLoad is of no use to a beginner, one needs to have some print manuals and read, there are no short-cuts for someone starting out.
    I have used QuickLoad for more years than I care to remember and generally do not share any loads from it. It is tweaked for my particular rifles though
    and cross referencing with a friend we generally find a 'nice' load!

    1, get a manual - this is the best advice
    2, ignore internet experts 'loads' they will likely lead you astray or worse blow up in your face.

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