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Old 09-12-2017, 03:47 AM
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Default Looking for Reloading Manuals

Im getting into reloading for the 38 SPCL and 357 Magnum and I want to buy some data books. My question is what do you recommend? From a few of old reloading manuals I have flipped through, load data is crazy for these cartridges. A manual from 40 years ago will list 6.0 grains of unique as a max load for 38 but then another manual from 5 years ago will list it as a 4.9 grain max load. Im loading 38 Special for my early 70's Taurus model 84. I have put Remington white box 125 +p SJHP through it before but i would prefer not to give it too hot of a load and crack a cylinder wall. Please don't bash my Taurus, it is a gorgeous S&W M15 knock off. For the 357 loads im putting them through a 686-6p so im looking for some hot data for 357. I will be using Lee 158 gr SWC casted from wheel weights/ birdshot and powder coating them with Eastwood powder coating.
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Old 09-12-2017, 05:39 AM
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Default You know what projectile you...

You know what projectile you are going to use, so that's a good step. Being a 158 gr, LSWC best is to use lead data. Lyman reloading manual pays a lot of attention to lead bullets.

I have the 49th edition. I think there may be a 50th now, I'm not sure.

Decide what kind of shooting you will be doing. Target? You don't need hot load, if fact, many of the lighter loads work best for target.

Bullseye, Accurate #2, Titegroup are all good target powders. One problem with these is that they use such a tiny amount, that if you double charge by accident your gun and maybe you will be destroyed. So be VERY VERY careful and check the charged cases before you seat the bullet.

More medium burning powders have a little bulk to them. Unique, Win 231 or HP38 (actually the same powder) and Accurate #5 are excellent for .38 Special.

Look at the powders in the manual that will do what you want. Make a list from most desirable to the least. Availability is a bit of a problem because all stores don't carry all brands.

DO read and study reloading thoroughly if you haven't already before you load anything. Start with mild loads and work up if you want.
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Old 09-12-2017, 06:55 AM
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Lyman Reloading Manual 50th Edition has jacketed and cast bullet loads for all calibers. The max loads are conservative, that is on the mild side. I have used Lyman manuals since 1975.

I prefer Hornady bullets, so their manual is my second choice for jacketed bullets with "optimum performance" load data. Hornady data is safe at maximum charges, just more robust than Lyman's 'lawyer approved' load data.
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Old 09-12-2017, 12:23 PM
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If you're new to handloading, there's more to it than just looking up a powder charge and stuffing cases.
Any of the better manuals (Lee, Lyman, etc.) also have great tutorials to get you started on the right path.
When I began loading, too long ago to remember, powder choices were mainly the "holy trinity" (Bullseye, Unique and 2400).
With the plethora of new powders now available, a current manual (or 2) will be exceedingly useful.
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Old 09-12-2017, 12:37 PM
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For lead bullet data, go with a Lyman 50th. For jacketed bullet use go with the manufacturer of the chosen bullet (using Hornady bullets?, use Hornady manual. Speer bullets, Speer manual, etc.). Reloading manuals are much more than recipe books, there's lots of good info in the "How To" sections. If you are really new, I'd suggest The ABCs of Reloading as a basic starting text.

Hint; after you decide what you want your ammo to do, find a load in your manual(s) (bullet, primer and powder) before you buy components, and start with the starting loads. There's not enough easy to find data for plated bullets so just wait and get a little experience dealing with powder charges before you play with them...

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Old 09-12-2017, 12:48 PM
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Yes the changes in data are confusing. I look at 4 or 5 different manuals , of fairly recent publication and check the powder manufactures site for data. I then average all the max and min loads to get an idea of a logical min and max charge.
Some data is rather high and some is rather low...by averaging them all I usually come up with a good place to start and have a good idea of what maximum is. I never start with a max load, start low and work up. Maximum loads can get you in trouble so approach them with caution.
My go to first books are Lyman Cast Bullet Handbook 3rd Edition, 4th Edition, the Lyman Reloaders Handbook 49th Edition ( I will get the 50th soon) the newer Speer and Hornady manuals.
Then check the powder mfg. data .
Good luck,
Gary
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Old 09-12-2017, 01:04 PM
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Try the new Lyman cast bullet manual.
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Old 09-12-2017, 01:15 PM
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My most used manual is an older Lyman Cast Bullet manual. Mainly because I shoot a lot of cast bullets. Mine covers the old standard powders from duPont and Hercules, but those are the ones I use. Or the more modern equivalent powders from Alliant, etc. The powder sellers all have websites with recipes for their products. I also still have a number of older reloading handbooks from the 1950s-1970s which are occasionally useful (Lyman, Sierra, Hornady, Speer, etc.), except most do not include newer powders which I don't use anyway.
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Old 09-12-2017, 01:16 PM
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Depending on what you are loading, you will need more than one. I prefer to use the one from the bullet manufacturer I am using. For cast bullets the Lyman is one of the best. There are so many new powders out there currently you need a current one. Most of the bullet manufacturers have manuals on line.
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Old 09-12-2017, 02:38 PM
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Default Yeah....

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Originally Posted by TAROMAN View Post
If you're new to handloading, there's more to it than just looking up a powder charge and stuffing cases.
Any of the better manuals (Lee, Lyman, etc.) also have great tutorials to get you started on the right path.
When I began loading, too long ago to remember, powder choices were mainly the "holy trinity" (Bullseye, Unique and 2400).
With the plethora of new powders now available, a current manual (or 2) will be exceedingly useful.

I ONLY used Bullseye and Unique for over 30 years. I had IMR for rifles. When I got into magnum loads, then I added 2400.

That's all I NEED, but the powder shortages of the past few years have caused me to branch out to a dozen other powders for pistol and two for rifle.
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Old 09-12-2017, 05:00 PM
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You will always have variations in data as the test platforms, components & conditions are all diff. So I use at least 3 vetted sources & average data, trying to match bullets as closely as possible. At some point you will have to extrapolate for the diff bullets.
I like the Lyman & Speer, because they have decent lead bullet data. This is good for extrapolating for coated & plated bullets. Speer is about the closest to reality IMO, I get closer results with their data vs others.
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Old 09-12-2017, 10:26 PM
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Default Sometimes the data is.....

Quote:
Originally Posted by fredj338 View Post
You will always have variations in data as the test platforms, components & conditions are all diff. So I use at least 3 vetted sources & average data, trying to match bullets as closely as possible. At some point you will have to extrapolate for the diff bullets.
I like the Lyman & Speer, because they have decent lead bullet data. This is good for extrapolating for coated & plated bullets. Speer is about the closest to reality IMO, I get closer results with their data vs others.
Sometimes the data is VERY different. I'm an old hand, but I've seen some variations so big they bumfuddled me. It's like the old laxative commercial with the prunes. Four enough? Six too many?
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Old 09-12-2017, 11:29 PM
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Default Manuals

Buy them all, read them, it will seem repetitive at first, but you will learn lots.Be safe
tb
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Old 09-13-2017, 04:55 AM
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I'd go to Lyman's 50th Edition. Then I'd supplement it with powder manufacturer load data as a double-check.

Old load data is more "adventurous" in .38 Spl because of differences in testing methodology. As testing equipment improved, ballisticians realized the powder was exhibiting all sorts of behavior they didn't like--pressure spikes and the like. So the maximum loads were reduced.

Okay, so why didn't guns blow up?

A whole host of reasons why--the specifics of which, you'd have to ask the ballisticians. Everything from what's a safe margin of error, to what a particular technician judges as being undesirable. Suffice to say, your gun does not automatically blow up if you go .1 gr over max (and sometimes a lot more after that), but you really don't want to play around up there, especially when you're starting out. Some cartridge/bullet/powder combinations have a lot less headroom than others.

For the .38 Spl, you have a wide variety of powders to choose them. I've enjoyed WST, HP-38/WW-231, Bullseye, and AA #2 for accurate, low-recoil loadings. All of them are subtly different, with their own pros and cons.

.357, dunno, I haven't gotten around to grabbing a .357 yet. Again, there are all manner of medium to medium-slowish powders that will work well. I've used Unique extensively, along with 2400 and AA #5. 2400 would be a good choice for a true magnum loading. Other people like Power Pistol, or some of the "newer" formulations.
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Old 09-13-2017, 05:48 AM
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I have Lyman 49th and few powder manuals. I prefer the online manuals that are available. handloads.com is a good site too. Yes, there is data that does not agree. Be smart and research if in doubt. Bob
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Old 09-13-2017, 07:52 AM
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Please get a manual, don't watch you tube. Some of that stuff you watch on the tube is dangerous. A Lyman manual is great, as are most of the others.

Have a blessed day,

Leon
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Old 09-13-2017, 09:33 AM
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It can get confusing for sure. For years I used Bullseye for everything, then a boat load of new powders started to appear. A little experimenting and you will find the one's you like. For manuals I like Lyman 49 and Speer and of course the powder mfg. web site. Handloads.com is also a good reference guide. As mentioned before, read the entire manual, not just the "recipes". Lots of useful info there. Any guide is better than no guide and to me the more the better. Compare. Good luck!
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Old 09-13-2017, 02:07 PM
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If you see two different loads in two different manuals, or when in doubt go with the lower one. Many reasons why manuals are not identical and none are political/CYA, but until more experience and knowledge is gained, just err on the side of safety...
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