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Thread: Speer manuals

  1. #1

    Speer manuals

    Lookin over some of my manuals and came across a #7 circa 1966, #8 -1970, and # 10-1979. Would these be old enough to stir up any interest from collectors of old manuals ? All three in pretty good shape.

  2. #2
    Boolit Buddy metricmonkeywrench's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Definitely of interest not only to collectors but reloaders in general, as times change so does the available components and listed calibers. Having references that you can refer back to can sometimes be invaluable

  3. #3
    Sounds logical. Think I'll just keep em. Thanks

  4. #4
    Boolit Buddy
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    The Willamette Valley, in Oregon
    Yep, wish I had kept my Dad's #10; some Red Dot & Blue Dot loads in the older Speer manuals that I can't find anymore.
    I expect that I could find more useful loads that were dropped if I happened to have a few manuals side-by-side.

    Rather unfortunate that my powders are usable for longer than the revision cycle of reloading manuals, lol.

  5. #5
    Boolit Bub
    Join Date
    Sep 2017
    Near that little town in Eygpt or SW Wyoming, whichever
    Yupper, they are great for when I started to use up some of the vintage powders in my stash. 230, and several other old Win. powder from the 70s. Gave me a place to start and work up so I could use up those old timers before I take the big dirt nap! If I do not use them up they will end up in the land fill or be destroyed by the bomb squad. I decided to burn it up one shot at a time!

  6. #6
    Boolit Master
    DerekP Houston's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2015
    Houston, Texas
    I've got a speer from the 70s that was part of my uncles equipment, I like to use it for reference compared to newer manuals.
    My feedback page if you feel inclined to add:

    Thanks Yall!

  7. #7
    Boolit Bub
    Join Date
    May 2016
    Mesa, AZ
    My oldest is the #8. Bought it when I got out of the Army, just back from Vietnam. Still have it though the pages have yellowed with age. And still have the notebook style Lyman manual from the same era. It too is showing it's age as most of the tabs separating Rifle, Handgun, Shotgun, & Muzzle Loader are worn or broken off.

    I regularly go back to these for loads the new manuals don't list. Yea, I know the new stuff is supposed to be much safer but people shot these older recommended loads for thousands of rounds (me included) so I have trouble believing they are all so dangerous. Guess I'm getting cranky as I get older. (smile)

    Last edited by Dave T; 06-06-2018 at 05:16 PM. Reason: mis-spelling

  8. #8
    Boolit Buddy JoeJames's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2018
    Arkansas Delta
    I used my No 10 Speer manual last weekend brewing up some Win 231 loads for my 38 Special SWC's. 4.1 gr under 160 gr lswcs.

  9. #9
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    I have about fifty manuals including Speer books that go back to the '50s. The old manuals remain excellent sources for comparison and reference.

  10. #10
    Boolit Grand Master
    dragon813gt's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Somewhere in SE PA
    All manuals are invaluable. The caveat being that pressure testing methods have changed and the older manuals contain hotter loads. This shouldn’t pose an issue for a reloader that does things correctly and works up the load. It can cause issues for people that skip right to max loads.

  11. #11
    Boolit Master

    gwpercle's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Baton Rouge, Louisiana
    Back in the middle of the great powder shortage , I discovered a can of Alcan #5 , had S&W name on it , that had hidden itself in the back of a closet shelf. It Looked good , smelled good and Speer Reloading Manual #8 (1970) had plenty of load data on the Alcan powders I used it !
    Waste not , Want not Mom would say.
    Them old manuals come in handy at times....that's why I never get rid of one.
    Certified Cajun
    Proud Member of The Basket of Deplorables

  12. #12
    Boolit Buddy
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Western Colorado
    I run across some older and some newer manuals in yard sales and estate sales, some of these people don't have any idea of what they are worth so I snap them up. that is a good place to look .

  13. #13
    Boolit Master Airman Basic's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2013
    South of I-20
    Makes me kind of sad that manuals I bought new are now "vintage"

  14. #14
    Boolit Buddy
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Central PA
    Speer #2 and #4 manuals are for Wildcat calibers. Those two are also the hardest to find.
    NRA Endowment Member

  15. #15
    Boolit Master

    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Nashvegas, TN
    I gotta get the most recent manual otherwise I have them all. The number 4 is probably my most treasured

    Sent from my SM-G930V using Tapatalk
    At one with the gun.

  16. #16
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    I'm still using my Speer #9 as reference for most of my reloads. Just found load data in it for my 7.7 Jap using a 100 grain carbine bullet (I know it's a condom bullet) which looks like a lot of fun.

  17. #17
    You must be careful with old data!!
    Early US loading data expected shooters to discriminate between heavy frame S&W and Colt guns, and pot metal imports. Speers reloading manual # 8 (1970) lists several loads for 38 Special that push 125 grain bullets to over 1300 fps. These loads were recommended for medium and heavy frame S&W and Colt guns. This is current 357 Magnum performance!

    There is no “magic” in the 1970 load data, these early Speer loads are high pressure! Speer tested these loads in actual revolvers not test barrels. In a revolver with chambers and cylinder throats on the large side, you can work up to the Speer maximum. My S&W Model 10 duty gun would accept loads which were way over pressure in my personal 38 Combat Masterpiece. What we are talking about here is INDIVIDUAL responsibility for differences in INDIVIDUAL guns.

    Because I was required to carry a 38 Special on duty, I loaded hundreds of the hottest Speer loads my gun could digest. In those days the administrators did not care what ammo we used, issue ammo was 158 grain round nose. Some of the men carried Super Vel loads, I used my hand loads. By 1995, the best 38 +P 125 grain load in the Speer manual #12 produced only 1098 fps, and many “maximum” loads are below 1000 fps. Where did 300 fps and 50% of the energy go? It went with the introduction of the minimum dimension pressure barrel and zero personal responsibility.

    Some of the 60's rifle loads are much hotter than in current manuals with the same powder. The old manuals expected you to be careful and responsible, the new ones expect you to have a lawyer on retainer.

    "It's not the people who vote that count. It's the people who count the votes." Josef Stalin

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Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check