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Reloading?


Dusty Boots

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I am going to start reloading again after a 25+ year hiatus.  The questions I have are:

  1. I have some very old but never opened powders, is it safe to use them?
  2. Most of my reloading manuals are dated (example Nosler Reloading Manual Number Three, print date Oct 1989), but if the powders listed for a specific load are still available, is there any reason not to follow recipe (ie is Bullseye today the same as Bullseye of the past)?
  3. The latest manual I have is a Lyman Reloading Handbook, 49th Edition, is it still applicable?
  4. If I do need updated manuals what are two or three of the most useful for smokeless and for black powder?

I appreciate all feedback, it has been great resource in the past.

 

DB

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If you open the container of powder and it doesn’t have a strong acidic smell its still good to use. 
 

Use caution when loading near maximum loads. As pressure measuring has gotten more accurate load data has changed. Some up and some down. 
 

For CAS the Lyman Cast Bullet Handbook is a good investment.

 

Both Hodgdon and Alliant have special load data just for CAS on their websites. 
 


 

 

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1.  Should be as long as they were kept dry.

 

2. For loading data I would go to the powder manufacture's website for current load lists

 

3. Yes, see above and use the book for things like OAL etc.

 

4. The rules for loading BP cartridges hasn't changed, load enough powder so the bullet slightly compress the powder.

 

If you search the forum there there are threads about specific loads others have used for CAS.  

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Welcome back DB.

1. If the seal on the powder  hasn't been broken or never opened and it flows freely, it should be ok. Load a few and see how it performs. If it is clumpy and smells like ammonia or off, (subjective),, I'd be suspect.

2. The Lyman #49 should be ok to use. I'd put the other ones in your library for reference. Lyman has had the #50 out for a few years.

3."MY OPINION", the Lyman and Lee manuals are the better ones. If you buy a bullet manufacturers manual they'll only have their bullets and everyone else's powder. If you buy a powder manufacturer's manual it'll have only their powder and everyone else's bullets. Lee and Lyman has just about everyone's bullets and powder. .I prefer the Lyman, it's a big book "big print", and I can read it without my glasses. :rolleyes: I have both.

4. Powder and bullet manufacturers have their own manuals, some are free, some are online.

There you go, have fun and be safe.

YMMV,

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Some black powder substitutes have been introduced in the last 25-years.  Do not load them exactly as you might real black powder but instead follow the manufacturer's instructions.  +10 for those who recommend online reloading data.  BTW, coated bullets are now available and are favored by many.  Bullets by Scarlett is located in your region.  You should check out her products.

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The best printed manual that supports cowboy cartridge loading and is fairly current is the Lyman 4th Edition Cast Bullet Handbook.

 

As listed on Amazon, 

https://www.amazon.com/Lyman-Cast-Bullet-Handbook-4Th/dp/B004DWBKQY/ref=pd_lpo_14_t_0/138-5419020-5136541?_encoding=UTF8&pd_rd_i=B004DWBKQY&pd_rd_r=1a8a3c02-4362-4356-9db1-e10bb0504f7a&pd_rd_w=HroOm&pd_rd_wg=CrsGY&pf_rd_p=7b36d496-f366-4631-94d3-61b87b52511b&pf_rd_r=56PYV73DZ8TYSZ8D4Y06&psc=1&refRID=56PYV73DZ8TYSZ8D4Y06

 

It's low end loads are a little warmer than some cowboys shoot, but it gives you a good safe range to pick from.  Not many of the really mild cowboy loads are published anywhere except right here.   When you need a specific load, just ask!

 

Good luck, GJ

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The propellant manufacturer's web site is usually a good place to start.  Hodgonreloading.com, for example, lists every load that you could ever think of using.  The Lyman books are also very helpful as they contain more data on different powders and more detail on cartridge dimensions than you are likely to find on a manufacturer's web site.  There are differences in load amounts between the various sources so you may have to experiment a bit to find what best suits you.

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I still have some Winchester Super Lite (WSL) powder that was discontinued years ago that is still fine. You can't have too many manuals, I like Load Books, Lee, & Lyman.

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I would reference both the websites and the old manuals.  Powders can change over time, and load data for newer versions may not match your older powder.  

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