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Thread: Lyman cast bullet handbook 4th edition review.

  1. #1
    Boolit Master Bazoo's Avatar
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    Lyman cast bullet handbook 4th edition review.

    Well I finally broke down and bought a Lyman cast bullet handbook 4th edition. Bought it here on the forum, and it arrived today. I skimmed through it and am somewhat disappointed. I've not read any of the articles yet, but I'm looking forward to those.

    The disappointing part is the lack of data for Lee bullets. There is some, but not nearly as much as I'd expected given the popularity of lee moulds.

    Overall I'm happy, but I am hoping we won't have to wait too long for the Lyman 5th edition and that it's chocked full of lee and RCBS and other cast bullet data.

  2. #2
    Boolit Buddy zymguy's Avatar
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    What’s better tho ????


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  3. #3
    Boolit Master

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    I share your disappointment. I have mainly "old" powders, to wit Bullseye, 2400, Unique, IMR3031, 231, etc., etc., etc -- and I note most published loads nowadays use modern powders, some of which I've not heard of. And, as you aptly remarked, loads for the moulds at hand.
    I subscribe to both AmmoGuide as well as LoadData.com, and generally have had luck finding a close -- I mean REAL close -- bullet to mine, and -- albeit a pia -- load ten at less than their suggested starting load (e.g, about 1gn for pistol bullets). A real helper, too, is Ken Waters' Pet Loads. At range I see what they do... and perhaps move up to the next ten, at a tenth or two-tenths more grains of powder. Keeping an eye on the velocity as well as spread -- again, albeit somewhat of a pia -- a usable safe load is generally found in one 2- to 3-hour range trip.
    Regardless if you're waiting for the 5th edition or 150th -- lots, I assure you, will not be offered. Just as one example re my challenges: Figure full wadcutter 0.452" bullets, each weighing in at 223 grains. The plan is to seat the wadcutter almost flush with case mouth -- this to be used in a Ruger New Vaquero in .45 Colt. You reckon the loading for this might be published?
    Good luck!
    geo

  4. #4
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    What a shame that manufacturers don't market others products.
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  5. #5
    Boolit Master Bazoo's Avatar
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    It's a shame when the company that makes the moulds don't supply data for the resultant bullets.

  6. #6
    Boolit Master
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    Yes, and then look at the Lee reloading manuals and they do not even show data for their own bullets. Good thing that we can have other reloading manuals to provide appropriate references for working up loads.

    Maybe they just do not have the facilities to pressure test hundreds and hundreds of loads to keep folks happy. Or maybe they are busy making the tools that we enjoy using.

  7. #7
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    I agree with the above, lee has enough on their hands making the equipment already. Lyman is more worried about their own products. If you use data for the same weight bullet and work your way up you will find what you’re looking for pretty easily. Half the fun of casting is being a mad scientist and most people on this forum will give you good advice as to where to look if you are totally lost. I love hodgdons reloading website and use it for all of my load data just about.
    I have danced with the devil, luckily she was stupid and didn’t hire a lawyer!

  8. #8
    Boolit Master Bazoo's Avatar
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    When using a lee 309-170-fn, sure it's simple enough to start with Lyman 31141 data.

    It's not as simple for something like the lee 356-95-rf in 380, as there isn't really anything similar. In this example, having a seating depth and starting load would be beneficial.

    By my way of thinking, if Lyman is going to test some lee bullets and advertise it on the back of the manual as a selling point, they aught to make it more comprehensive. They obviously know that few people limit themselves to just one brand of moulds. I have lee, Lyman, and RCBS currently.

  9. #9
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    I have found the Lyman CBH #3 & #4 incredibly useful, and I currently do not have anything but Lee molds.


    Sometimes one needs to "extrapolate' data from a similar boolit & then to go to the regular load testing to find the load to use for the boolit one has in hand.
    Doing that is a bit more advanced than many folks who reload & takes a bit of effort some times, but in the end it works well.

    BTW it is why you see folks asking about loads for some boolits , or the dimensions of other mold makers boolits, so they can compare to the ones they cannot find.

    For anyone who, when in similar circumstances, would like a kind of relatively simple explanation for "extrapolation" to find load data for similar boolit weights, the process of which is more advanced than regular reloading, you can read below...

    If you are not comfortable , or have no reason to do it, then skip to the next post if ya like.


    ------
    One example of "extrapolation" might be, that if I wanted to find 9mm 120gr Lee TC data in the Lyman CBH#4
    ( or any manual for lead boolits), but was only able to find the 9mm RCBS 120gr. TC boolit in the manual, and I did not have that mold or boolits, I could either ask here in the forum if someone had the RCBS TC boolit & get the measurements from them, or go search the internet to find the dimensions, either from RCBS or elsewhere.

    Once I got the measurements of the RCBS boolit, being that it is the same weight as the LEE TC one, I would look at the OAL of the RCBS & subtract the length of the RCBS boolit from the OAL to find out where the base of the RCBS boolit is, and them measure the Lee boolit & do what was necessary to adjust the Lee OAL so it matches the base of the RCBS in the case.

    {Just hypothetically...If the RCBS is .250 long and the COL for that round is 1.15", then the base of the RCBS would be at .90 inside the case, by subtracting the boolit length from the OAL.

    1.15" OAL -.250" RCBS boolit = .90" < RCBS boolit base

    If the Lee was .220" long , then I would have to subtract the .03" difference from the RCBS 1.15" OAL to accommodate for the shorter Lee boolit, as compared to the longer RCBS boolit of .250", to 1.12" OAL for the Lee boolit.

    .250" RCBS boolit - Lee .220" = .03" 1.15" OAL - .03 <difference between boolit length to accommodate for the bases to be the same place ( .90"). = 1.12"OAL for the Lee boolit.

    Thus, doing the above would be keeping the base of the Lee boolit in the same location in the case as the RCBS boolit. The capacity of the case would be the same for the powder used, so the pressure(s) for the Lee boolit should be relatively the same as for the similar RCBS boolit.

    So, then, the Start - Max. powder charge range for the powder I was using for the Lee one, would be the same as the manuals list of Start - Max. powder charges.

    The same sort of hypothetical "extrapolation" can be done when using powders that have similar characteristics, like if one only saw the ranges for Bullseye, but only had Red Dot, & one knew that RD was a little bit faster & used a little less powder by a couple .1(tenths) of a grain, easily seen by comparing the data when RD & Bullseye are in the same load data with other similar boolits.

    If the powder charge Start - Max. range for Bullseye was 4.2gr. - 4.8gr. , then one could start with a charge of RD around 4.0gr. or 4.1 gr. reducing the Bullseye START charge (minimum) to where the RD would likely start for its' range, & then work up the load by .1" gr. ( tenths) increments, checking for similar velocity & for any pressure signs, as one worked out the load. Or, increase in larger increments like .2 gr. or .3 gr., if the load had a wider range.)

    ---------------

    OK, that is all from me for now, on that stuff.


    Bazoo, I think you will find the manual to be useful as you use it more, and Thanks! for sharing what you have discovered so far.
    Last edited by JBinMN; 06-11-2019 at 09:15 PM. Reason: moved a decimal point to correct it.
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  10. #10
    Boolit Master Bazoo's Avatar
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    Thanks all for the replies.

    Thanks for the reply JB, I do exactly as you describe with bullet selection and substitution, but couldn't explain it nearly as well.

    Thanks for the reminder about cast bullet selections being more advanced. I forget sometimes this ain't off the shelf bullets we're working with.

  11. #11
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    There is much more lead bullet data "wiggle room" than jacketed bullets. If I have a Lee mold for a 255 gr bullet, I can safely use the data for 255 gr. Lyman bullet. Another reason for the much recommended practice of starting low and working up.

    I bought a 4th Edition a few years ago and the only thing better is more data; more powders listed and more bullets listed, but the "front half" is only interesting if one casts for and shoots black powder cartridge, cast bullet loads. The 3rd has a much more "user friendly" front half, especially for newer casters...
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  12. #12
    AKA: GRMPS Conditor22's Avatar
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    IF you can't find the same weight boolit, you can safely use data from a heavier boolit.

  13. #13
    Boolit Grand Master
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    The Lyman 3rd edition was widely feted, and in my opinion this was both deserved and undeserved.

    The articles were excellent. Big plus.

    The load data in a great many cartridges was less so. Over reliance on very fast powders like the pistol shotgun types in far too many examples. I have nothing against these for lighter loads.

    However, in many cases the fast types were the only ones used, and velocities were pushed higher than good results could be obtained. Absent all too often were 2400, 4227, 4759, 4198 and slower that often to usually give superior results especially at similar to higher speed than the overdriven very fast powders.

    The newer version addresses this problem in the data better than the 3rd did. A wider range of suitable powders other than the fast types is used.

  14. #14
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    I got the #4 when they first came out...it has some pro's and con's . Newer powders and other makers boolits ...big pros . The information sections in the front , 98 pages , are left wanting a little when compared to #3, but there are a few good chapters ... slight con .

    Glad to have the additional information in #4 ... BUT , not getting rid of manual #3 because of all the good information contained in the first 10 informational chapters , 123 pages .

    Handbook #4 along with Handbook #3 make a very good set....
    so don't toss #3 after getting #4 ,
    #3 is still useful .
    Gary
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  15. #15
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    I started casting when #4 came out, it was such a great resource for me. Later on, I was given #3 by a generous member here. I was happy to see many different powders in the Data section...also a great help.
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  16. #16
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    My opinion is that Lyman puts out a manual to sell molds and casting gear. It doesn't make much on the sales of it and marketing is slow to say the least.
    I like #3 and find it light years above the data contained in #'s 1 & 2. There is far more data to be found here, in the Fouling Shot and specific published articles, old and new.
    [The Montana Gianni] Front sight and squeeze

  17. #17
    Boolit Master Bazoo's Avatar
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    I'm sure Lyman takes note that those here suggest their manuals but not their new moulds. They probably figure if they can't sell moulds they aught to atleast sell a mess of handbooks.

  18. #18
    Boolit Master
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    I've been disappointed in a lot of post-2000 reloading manuals, but the Lyman #4 isn't one. Plenty of good data in there. I was surprised how many Lee bullets are listed, when they didn't have to list any. If Lee bullet mold load data what you want, buy the Lee manual, another great one, I like it even more than the Lyman. While Lee doesn't list the exact mold number, they usually list "95 grain lead", which of course is their 95 grain mold, also works with other 95 grain cast bullets.

    I agree with 35remington, the Lyman #3 wasn't that great. The #4 has load data for rifles from mouse fart to all out, velocity beyond any hope of accuracy. That's fine, I want to see the whole spectrum and choose accordingly.

    Another manual you can look into is the Lyman pistol and revolver handbook. I have the #2, and it has some good old school data, from back when the 357 mag and 44 mag had some hair on their chest.

  19. #19
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    Mal Paso's Avatar
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    I was disappointed all the 44 Mag data was with .429" Lead bullets. I know exactly one guy who shoots .429" boolits. LOL

    Mine burned up but I got #3 in PDF here and I like it better.
    Mal

    Mal Paso means Bad Pass, just so you know.

  20. #20
    Boolit Master
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    The diameter the bullets were sized to makes no difference to load data at all. If you didn't like it, fine. You could have at least donated it.

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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