Latest Reloading Manuals from Nosler, Hornady and Lee


by Paco Kelly

photography by Paco Kelly

January 16th, 2004




Nosler Reloading Guide #5

Nosler Bullet Company has released its new Reloading Guide. They call it a ‘Guide’ but it is really a 728 page reloading book.  It is their fifth edition. And this one has loading data for the new Ultra Remington cartridges and the Winchester new offerings as well.  Including the hard to find data on the new .270 WSM. Naturally 99% of the other cartridges we would be interested in are there also.  With 74 rifle cartridges, fifteen handgun/rifle rounds (like the T/C Contender loads) and 16 true handgun rounds.  These are reloading listings for Nosler bullets.

One of the neat things about the new book is their listings of Ackley Improved cartridges also.  The 22-250, 257 Roberts, 280 Remington, 30-06, are all data rich in the Improved versions also.  I checked my references and the Improved drawings of these cartridges are indeed Ackley’s original designs. I wanted the improved 6mm Remington and the improved 35 Whelen... but sadly they are missing.  But the Dakota cartridges and loadings are listed, and the 45-70 loadings for strong guns. Just as they do for the 45 Colt listings.  I was also happy to see real data for the 8mm-06, a great cartridge that is used well in this country, but rarely listed in reloading books.

A real plus is you can do neat comparisons.  When you compare the listings for the 280 Remington Ackley Imp to the 7mm Remington Magnum (the belted round) you will be surprised how close the velocities are... but with the 280 Imp using 10 grains or so less powder than the Big Mag round.  (And my 280 Imp on a Ruger long action, does even better.)  The 280 Imp giving equal or in some cases better ballistics than Remington’s new 7mm Short Action Ultra Magnum, and very close to the Remington belted 7mm magnum.  Which means as far as bullet drop goes all three are ballistic triplets.  Set the point of impact with the Nosler 7mm 160 grain CI Gold Partition at 2900 to 3000 fps from any of these three, at 3 inches high at 100 yards, and the 400 yard drop is 9 inches!

I collect reloading books... past and present, and when I am loading a new round I feel I really need to check more than one reference manual.  Also as the Nosler book shows, it is listing its data with Nosler bullets. If you use another brand of bullets and their data, the prudent thing is to drop the max loads at least 5%.  The bullet’s bearing length, hardness of the jacket, hardness of the internal lead, whether it is bonded together, and more can have a significant influence on pressure.  That is another reason listed velocities for the same weight bullet and the same powder charge, sometimes vary considerably from reloading manual to reloading manual.  Also the type of firearm used to collect the data, the kind of brass, primer, etc.....  So this new reloading manual by Nosler is very good, especially if you use their very fine bullets.

Hornady Handbook of Cartridge Reloading Volumes 1 and 2

Hornady put out a two book set on reloading called the Hornady Handbook of Cartridge Reloading Volumes 1 and 2.  The neat thing about this offering is not just the first volume, which is 854 pages of data for reloading.... but the second book, volume 2.  It is the most comprehensive work I’ve have seen short of computer programs, for ballistic tables with over 1030 pages.  Giving bullet drop, in yards and meters.... one section giving drop figures for 1000 yards for the match shooters, the regular drop tables going to 500 yards, with 6 zero points for each velocity listed. From the 17 calibers to the 45 calibers.  The 1000 yard listings give those for 22 cal, .243, 6.5 (.264), 7mm, 30 caliber, and the 50 caliber... showing the 750 grain 50 cal/machine gun bullet at a B.C. of 1.050!  A full 24 pages of 1000 yard listings.

Handgun ballistic tables go from 25 caliber to .475.  For over 150 pages.  Then it is done again in meters... and the wind drift pages run for 64 pages.  If you can’t find the ballistic data you want in this Tome of a book...  You are shooting something nether Hornady or I ever heard of.

Volume one is of course the actual reloading book.  With 132 listings for rifle and handguns.  Well known rounds all the way to some data on cartridges not found very often... and with extensive listings. Like the 9mm Kurtz or 357/44 Bain&Davis... or the 357 and 44 magnums from rifles, the 458 Lott, 50 BMG, 7.7 Japanese, the new Ultra mags, all three Russians... the 7.62 x 39, x 54mm and 53 rimmed mm, the new 20 caliber as well as the 17s, and many, many others.  And of course like all of the past Hornady Manuals they show the best powders they found for the cartridges and bullets listed, not just one brand like some references....

When I called a national distributor for Winchester rifles, I asked about the new .243 WSSM Black Shadow rifle.  I was told Winchester wouldn’t ship them until some time in January 04.  They were trying to keep up with the .224 WSSM demand. But Hornady has 8 listings with 16 different bullets for the new .243 WSSM. So the next time you are looking for a good reloading manual... take a look at this set.  

Modern Reloading, Second Edition by Richard Lee

Richard Lee’s second reloading manual is on the market.  And like the first one it is unique, and with over 100 new listings.  Called Modern Reloading, second edition...  By Richard Lee.  Mr. Lee is the retired owner of the Lee Reloading Company.  I believe his son Michael now runs the company.  Richard Lee knows what he is talking about.  His reloading manuals give the reloader something that is rare in reloading books.  He gives the pressures of each listing... for example on page 353 under the listings for the 7-08, shows the 139 grain bullet over 50 grains of H4350 at 2906 fps giving 55,721 psi.  And on page 359 under the listings for the 7X57 with the same 139 grain bullet, 51.8 grains of ReL 19 gives 2835 fps and 49,000 psi.

Some of the listings give pressure readings in copper units of pressure (cup) not pounds per square inch (psi).  Usually if you have a CUP pressure reading over 40,000 or so, and want the psi of the cup listing, add 10,000 to it.  Now copper units of pressure and pounds per square inch, are not linear.  And the 10,000 figure is just a number to give a person an idea of psi.  It can in many cases be very far off, so don’t use it as a rule for reloading. At 719 pages Lee’s book is fairly extensive.. From the 17 Bee to 50 BMG, rifles and handgun loads....and an extra 12 chapters of valuable information, like Brinell testing your own bullets, burning rate charts for powder, new signs for pressure reading and much more. And as I said the pressure material alone, is worth the price of admission. 

Happy New Year, 


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Nosler Reloading Guide #5





Hornady Handbook of Cartridge Reloading Volumes 1 and 2





Modern Reloading, Second Edition by Richard Lee