If you want to reload ammunition, your safety and the quality of your new ammo are a top priority. That is why you need detailed, accurate, and reliable information about different reloading processes.
I’m sure you think you can find free information on Google, right? Well, the internet has a wealth of information about ammo reloading. Unfortunately, anyone can post online. This makes it challenging to differentiate factual and credible information from guides that potentially endanger your safety.
You can find numerous great reloader books that are packed with details about everything, including priming tools, powder measures, reloading equipment, safety precautions, and more. If you are searching for the very best reloading manual for higher accuracy, take a peek at our top 5 picks.
5 Best Reloading Manuals for Higher Accuracy
Even ammo reloaders have to begin from somewhere. It has taken years of practice and patience for me to finally grow into a reloading expert. Even with exceptional levels of expertise, I still use reloading manuals as points of reference from time to time.
Here are five excellent handbooks for reloaders of all skill levels.
1. Lyman 49th Edition Reloading Handbook
- Excellent and detailed instructions that cover all basics
- Offers a wealth of load data for different powders and bullets
- An ideal manual for beginners
- A reliable and credible source of reloading information
- Newer bullet weights and profiles are not covered
- New powder styles are not mentioned
If you are looking for the best reloading manual for beginners, look no further than the Lyman 49th edition. This book is packed with detailed reloading guides for rifles and pistols, and the language used is easy for beginners to understand.
Some of the calibers covered include the 204 Ruger, WSSM Series, 375 Ruger, 405 Winchester, 6.8 REM SPC, 338 Federal, 325 WSM, and more.
What makes this manual better than most is that it has comprehensive information about various brands, including Barnes, Hornady, Swift, and Sierra.
It covers not just the standard calibers listed above, but also the newer ones such as the 5.7×28 mm and 460 S&W. This book also provides information about different powders such as Alliant, Ramshot, Accurate, VihtaVuori, Hodgdon, and more.
Users get all rounded information about Lyman cast bullets. Generally, the book covers a total of 8 powder types and 5 types of bullets. The reloading basics are also included, and all instructions are clear and foolproof.
One of the first things we noticed about the Lyman reloading manual is that it is large. It contains several chapters inside, and the first few provide in-depth details about everything you should know about reloading.
You also get to know about the most precise loads for newbies. This is a well-written book with a good layout and loads of general information.
On the downside, this manual does not cover the latest powder styles and bullet profiles. If you need this information, you may have to settle for the Lyman 50th edition.
2. Nosler Reloading Guide 8
- Excellent reloading manual for beginners
- Updated information about the latest cartridges and powders
- Easy guide for distinguishing supersonic rounds from their sub-sonic counterparts
- Most instructions come with easy to understand illustrations
- Rich in 300 Blackout rounds information
- Some guidelines that lack illustrations are unclear and vague
This reloading handbook introduces new cartridges, including the Nosler 30, 28, and 26. It also provides extensive information about powders, cartridges, cases as well as long-range Accubond data. The step by step guides makes this a handy manual for reloaders of all skill levels.
I like the fact that the info provided also includes real-life experiences from skilled shooters who have reloaded different bullet calibers and cartridges. This only makes the manual more credible.
Furthermore, there are lots of high-quality images that help to explain the texts. The ballistics tables, bullet cross-sections, and charts make everything simple to understand.
This 800-page book was published in 2015, and it contains comprehensive information about the most popular bullets, including the Nosler 40 grain and 32-34 grain bullets as well as the 6.5 Creedmoor, the 458 SOCOM, the 204 Ruger and more.
Well, an 800-page book that is packed with information may seem overwhelming at first. However, it makes an excellent point of reference because just about all matters revolving around ammo reloading are covered. You can use the blank pages to jot down important notes.
The simple language used makes most instructions easy to understand. Sections with illustrations are foolproof, although I found myself straining to put two and two together when going through parts that lack illustrations.
3. Sierra 0600 6th Edition Reloading
- Accurate and up to date reloading data
- Comprehensive information about bullet dynamics
- Simple to understand instructions on ammo reloading process
- Binder format allows adding loose sheets with your notes
- The binder format puts pages at risk of tearing off
The 6th edition of the Sierra reloading handbook is here. It was published in 2019 and is by far the most recent and up to date manual in the markets.
First of all, the Sierra bullets company has a dedicated range for conducting ballistic tests. This allows them to accurately identify the pressure and velocity of their reloading data. The loads listed in this manual all fall under CIP or SAAMI maximum pressure limits for various cartridges.
Furthermore, the company is known for its outstanding accuracy. It has been around for over 60 years and has published several reloading manuals over the years. After all, the company understands the rapid developments in powders, bullets, and guns that take place with each passing year.
This 1,368-page manual has a three-ring binder format and contains all the information reloaders need in their libraries.
Apart from covering reloading recommendations, cartridge information, and histories, this handbook also includes sections with firearms and reloading terminologies as well as a detailed glossary of ballistic.
Moreover, there is comprehensive and updated information about the reloading process, reloading equipment, firearms cleaning, bore care, and a list of safety precautions.
This 6th edition of the Sierra Reloading Manual is user-friendly and ideal for newbie and novice reloaders. The interactive style of writing used makes the handbook easy to comprehend. Better still, this manual is quite budget-friendly.
The three-ring binder format allows easy flipping of the pages, and you could even conveniently add your notes. On the downside, this format also poses a higher risk of some of the pages falling out.
4. Hornady 9th Edition Handbook of Cartridge Reloading
- Comprehensive and easy to grasp information about the terminal, external, and internal ballistics
- Powder and velocity charts for convenient reference
- Covers numerous new cartridges and a range of propellants
- The detailed handbook serves as an excellent resource
- The manual was published in 2012, so it lacks data on bullets like 300-MP and the 180gr .44 XTP
If you are searching for the best reloading manual for rifles and handguns, I highly recommend buying the Hornady manuals. This 9th edition provides loads of facts about popular cartridges.
It is, however, important to note that the handbook was published in 2012 and may lack information about some of the most recent ammunition like300-MP and the 180gr .44 XTP.
On the bright side, this is a detailed handbook that covers propellants like Power Pro Varmint, CFE-223, and AR-Comp. As well, it contains data about external, terminal, and internal ballistics. It is an excellent point of reference for reloaders and has over 900 pages that are packed with vital information.
All the commonly used Hornady bullets are explained in-depth using easy to understand language. Some of the bullets that are listed include the InterBond, XTP, Interlock, SST, V-MAX, and A-MAX. The 223 Rem, 356 Winchester, 416 Barrett, 300 Whisper, and 308 Win 25-06 are also explained in detail.
I love rifles and shooting games. The perks of reloading my ammo are also too good to overlook. Unfortunately, ballistics remain a hard topic for me to understand. Among the reasons why this handbook is on my list is that it contains simplified information about different ballistics and their uses.
There is also plenty of information about the range of bullet calibers. You can even find sections devoted to explaining surplus military guns, their pressure, and velocity. Even though this is a handbook written for beginner reloaders, it provides excellent guidelines for veterans as well.
5. The Beginner’s Guide to Reloading by Steven Gregersen
- Best reloading manual for beginners
- Covers all basics including bullets, gun powders, cartridge cases, and primers
- Detailed information about case preparation
- This is a relatively small book with about 152 pages
Last but not least is the Beginner’s guide to reloading ammunition. This is a short 152-page book written by Steven Gregerson, and I can’t help but wish it was a little longer with more information.
On the bright side, Gregersen does an exemplary job at covering all the basics in a comprehensive, yet easy to grasp manner.
If you want to try reloading your ammo for the first time and have no idea where to begin, you could start by acquiring this handbook. It has detailed chapters about bullets, cartridge cases, gun powders, primers, and more.
The characteristics and variations of each are explained in layman’s language, and even complex concepts are simplified.
Sections explaining optional and crucial facets of case preparation are also included. Unlike most books that only focus on brass cartridge reloading, this one also has chapters on reloading shotgun bullets. The best part is that it teaches how to begin reloading with a small budget and limited space.
The well-organized chapters divide this rather detailed booklet into digestible chunks. All the data provided is accurate, precise, and told using a language that is packed with humor and sparkle.
Not even the intricate details get confusing, thanks to the use of photos and graphics. Generally, the handbook is an enticing and educative read.
Things to Consider Before Buying a Reloading Manual
If you are going to buy books on reloading, nothing is as essential as ensuring you get useful information. An ideal handbook will be detailed yet easy to understand. It will also have well-organized chapters, and its facts and figures will be both relevant and accurate.
Here are other vital aspects to consider for you to find a manual that is an excellent fit for your needs.
Before your shopping begins, consider the caliber of bullets you use. A good number of books cover all the basics. However, it is essential to confirm that there is adequate information about reloading your bullet caliber.
Reloading ammunition requires a lot of skill and precision. Simply because you can reload pistol bullets with remarkable ease does not mean you can do an equally great job when reloading rifle bullets.
If the accuracy of your ammunition matters, then you must confirm that your manual has the information you need.
Different reloading books cater to reloaders of varying skill levels. A manual that is uniquely designed for advanced reloaders may sound like gibberish to anyone in search of a layman reloading manual.
For beginners, it is best to find manuals that are detailed with all the basics, including safety precautions, equipment, and load data.
Some reloading books, like the Hornady reloading handbook, are brand specific. Then again, bullets may have different designs, and this often affects pressure and velocity.
The difference in the powder tolerances of various cartridges furthermore makes their load data very unique. Therefore, it pays to consider using manuals written by the manufacturers of your ammunition.
What Are the Benefits of Using a Reloading Manual?
A detailed reloading manual with clear directions is an invaluable asset to anyone seeking to reload their ammunition. This could make the difference between quickly mastering how to make bullets of better quality and struggling all the way with little success.
Here are the three main perks of investing in a reliable manual.
If you depend on guesswork and perhaps some shallow details on your shotshell reloader user’s manual, the chances are that you will not crank out more than a few rounds of bullets per hour.
Information is power. A manual whose data is backed up by the positive reviews of thousands of users is likely to give you the confidence to do a quick, yet clean job.
An ideal manual will have easy and clear instructions. Most books cover numerous guides that are not limited to the type of rounds you want to reload. For instance, a manual may focus on helping you to reload 2¾ and 3-inch shotgun shells.
Even so, you will also find a section on how to make blanks. A complete reloading manual is like a road map that can boost your reloading confidence and polish your overall skills.
With time, you may not need to refer to your manual when reloading bullets. However, it is good to have a point of reference should you want to modify your reloading methods or even learn a new reloading style.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Do I need to consider my skill levels before buying a reloading manual?
Yes, you do. This is especially true if you are a beginner and you need a book that is detailed with more than just load data. The right reloading manual for beginners should also have information about reloading equipment and safety precautions.
- Do I need a manual if I am not a reloading newbie?
Yes, you do. Reloading ammunition is more complicated than what meets the eye. A lot of attention to detail is required, and even small blunders can cause major accidents. Even experienced reloaders use their manuals as points of reference whenever necessary.
- Can I use a brand-specific manual to reload ammo from a different brand?
No, this is not something we would recommend. Remember that load data tends to vary immensely across brands. This is because of the different bullet designs and tolerances.
- Do I need a manual when I have Google?
You can find a lot of credible information about reloading ammunition online. Then again, you can find a lot of inaccurate information on the internet too. Anyone can post anything online, so not everything you see is accurate and credible.
If you would rather be safe than sorry, just invest in a top-rated reloading manual.
- Which safety precaution one must never overlook?
When it comes to matters of safety, there are no shortcuts. Reloading ammunition is inherently dangerous, so you cannot afford to underestimate any safety precautions.
When searching for the best reloading manual, you are likely to be spoilt for choice. The above are merely the top five handbooks that are worth a look. They are detailed, accurate, and provide up to date information about the latest bullets, powders, calibers, and more.
We hope our recommendations come in handy in your reloading ventures.