Just was handed a rockchucker and a whole assortment of accessories to learn to reload with. I need to buy a manual, where should i start? I will be doing 357, 7 mag, and future 3030, 35 Rem, or 44 mag ( yet to be decided haha)
Hey Nightowl, Welcome Aboard! RCBS, the folks that make the Rockchucker, also have an excellent web page with instructions: http://www.rcbs.com/guide/step_by_step_reloading.aspx#
When I got my Rockchucker, I also got the Speer Reloading Manual #13 (published in 1998) -- it has been a lot help. Almost any used reloading manual will have instructions so you don't have to pay new price.
And this site has lots of helpful guidance -- try looking at some of the Reloading "Stickies" (a Sticky is info worth keeping on this web). http://www.marlinowners.com/forums/index.php/board,98.0.html
The Speer manual is great as a first manual when you are getting into reloading. It has a lot of details on the process. The manual I use most though is my Lyman manual as I mostly shoot cast bullets and they have a great selection of cast bullet loads. Actually I have several Lyman manuals as I've kept the old ones for reference
Like others have said - - get as many different manuals as you can.
Hit some of the gun shows and even pick up some of the used manuals... The older manuals are a good resource that may have loads that haven't been "Lawyerfied" and still provide a good cross-reference, within reason, of course. For the loads you mention, especially the .35 Remington, as an example, you may find loads in the older manuals that may push the envelope a bit, but are still safe and effective (at least, in my rifle). YMMV, and you will still need to develope your own loads, but the older data is interesting and enlightening, so, from that, don't overlook the older manuals out of turn.
Reloading manuals are something that I keep handy, and so far, my oldest manual was printed in 1970 and still has some good "go to" loads.
I would not buy any of them, borrow some if you want general lesiure reading! Just about all of their information is available on line from mfg. websites and other places. The online information is usually more current and free, they can't revise the printed material you have in your possession. It will take a bit of research on your part but worthwhile, online load data is more current and you can also call their tech's for data that is not published there.
When I first started in the 60's I had a few and then discovered that the majority of the information was repeated and specific to the company publishing the manual. Powder formulations and projectile information changes as changes are made to those products.
Thanks everyone. I will definitely be reading a bit on this forum. I have frequented the 1894 sight for a while, but need to expand my knowledge in this area now. I'll do some reading before I ask another question.
Regardless, don't be afraid to ask questions around here! Most folks are really willing to share ideas and to my way of thinking, the only stupid question is the one that SHOULD have been asked but wasn't! The Lee book has a lot of basic stuff related to reloading and I think it's very helpful for someone getting started. Just my 2 cents. John
Actually I suspect you will end up with more than one manual. My first to look at data in is my Lyman #48. Second is my Hornady #6, followed by Sierra #13, and Sierra #5, depending upon the bullet I am loading. Since I always use Alliant powder for my handguns, or Hodgdon/IMR for rifles, I always check data on their web sites. I even visit several other reloading sites and look for data on the caliber/bullet type-weight I am looking to load. I figure there really is no such thing as too much data.
When i got my "hand me down RCBS Rockchucker" it had a Sierra and a Lymans manual with it. I have added a Hornady, Speer, Reloaders bible, Manuals for powder makers (IMR, Hodgdon, Accurate) I go to powder makers websites, bullet makers websites for reloading data. I check websites for data. You can not have to many.
I have 5 manuals and have been reloading for almost 30 years. I started out with a Speer manual because I consulted some experienced reloaders way back then and they said that the Speer manual explained things the best and had the best photos to illustrate the subjects they covered. I have to agree- its still the one I go to when my memory doesn't work so well... if I have a doubt I go look it up.
Here's my rank order of manuals-
And I would start my own manual if I were you. I have a chronograph and keep track of my results both in velocity and accuracy. I record temperatures and wind conditions.... I even draw little pictures of the groups I shoot. I just finished a session with my 444 and 45 Super. Last step was put it all down in my book for my own reference.