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Thread: How do you value older manuals ?

  1. #1
    Boolit Master RU shooter's Avatar
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    How do you value older manuals ?

    This isn't a want to sell post but I have some older not but not"vintage" manuals I want to trade or sell off in the forums sell and trade section but have no idea what's a fair value ? So how does one determine that value ?
    What I have are Speer 10 and 12 , hornady 4th ed. Vol. 1,2 , Sierra 50th anniversary handgun manual 3 ring binder and lastly Accurate 1

    Thanks , Tim
    If you find yourself in a fair fight, your tactics suck!

  2. #2
    Boolit Master


    BigAlofPa.'s Avatar
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    IMO you should keep them. It's always nice to have a variety of data sources. One example is. I have Lymans 3rd and 4th cast editions. Each one has loads the other does not.
    One round at a time.
    Member of Valley Gun & Country Club. Elysburg Pa. And Zerby rod and gun club.

  3. #3
    Boolit Master 243winxb's Avatar
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    Start at 1/2 of current manual prices? https://www.midwayusa.com/reloading-...s/br?cid=19845

    I have sold old printed materal on Gunbroker. Set your minimum price & see what the market will bear. Supply and demand.

    To me, they have no value at all. To much free data on Hodgdon & Alliant & Accurare. Sorry.

    Very old first additions, yes worth buying $$$.
    Last edited by 243winxb; 05-01-2020 at 09:34 AM.

  4. #4
    Boolit Master
    Bent Ramrod's Avatar
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    They don’t seem to move at gun shows unless they’re in the $5-10 range.

    Unless they are really unusual or really large, like the Speer Wildcat edition or A-Squared’s compendium. Even then, they can languish if they are $15 or over.

  5. #5
    Boolit Buddy skrapyard628's Avatar
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    I have to agree with the post from 243winxb above. It depends on what people are looking for and if its available. The old supply and demand.

    Recently been looking for a copy of Reloading for Shotgunners by Rick Sapp, and while I can find electronic downloads of it for a decent price, the paperback copies I found so far are selling for more than $100.

    The example above is probably something to think about. I know I tend to find a few older manuals online that I can download and print (sometimes for free). So I would assume that would definitely drive the price down on the original paper copies to anyone other than a collector.

  6. #6
    Boolit Master
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    I’ve thought about buying old manuals, cutting them out of the binding and running them through the high speed color scanner at work just to have them available as a reference for old powders and whatnot, but it turns out that if I need something you guys will tell me for free. Of course some of you are getting pretty long in the tooth, so I may need a new strategy in a few years.

  7. #7
    Boolit Master RU shooter's Avatar
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    Thanks all , yeah gonna keep em ain't worth the hassle or shipping costs to try and sell them
    If you find yourself in a fair fight, your tactics suck!

  8. #8
    Boolit Master Scrounge's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JimB.. View Post
    Iíve thought about buying old manuals, cutting them out of the binding and running them through the high speed color scanner at work just to have them available as a reference for old powders and whatnot, but it turns out that if I need something you guys will tell me for free. Of course some of you are getting pretty long in the tooth, so I may need a new strategy in a few years.
    I bought an Epson WorkForce 7620 All-in-One scanner/copier/fax/printer for ledger size (11x17) pages. It was about $200 on sale a couple of years ago. I copy many of my books on it. It's slow, but gets the job done. I don't like cutting the bindings off anymore. Makes it hard to keep things together afterward, and destroys any value the original book may have had. I did that for some of my textbooks years ago when I was going to college, so I could have them on my laptop at school. Didn't work well at the time, but scanners & computers seem to have improves since then. One of the advantages to the WF-7620 is that it doesn't need to attached to a computer to work. You can plug in USB drives and a couple of kinds of memory cards and print from or scan to the removable memory. You can also choose to scan to pdf or jpg formats. It also has a document feeder, handles about 25 pages at a time, scans and copies both sides or only one, at your choice, and you can select the resolution you want to scan at. One of the ways I use it is by having a 500gb microSD card in my phone, with quite a bit of my personal library there. Currently there's about 67gb of free space on the card. Naturally, YMMV!

    And I just bought the first edition Lyman's Handbook of Cast Bullets from Amazon for about $15, and pretty close to the same for the second edition, titled Lyman Cast Bullet Handbook. I'll take stuff cheaper when I can find it, but those were the best prices I could find when I bought them. Maybe a month ago?

  9. #9
    Boolit Master


    Walks's Avatar
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    I've collected old manuals since H.S.
    Have about 75.
    It's great insight about the way things were done 50,60,80+yrs ago. and some long forgotten.
    I HATE auto-correct


    Happiness is a Warm GUN & more ammo to shoot in it.

    My Experience and My Opinion, are just that, Mine.

  10. #10
    Boolit Master
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    GONRA sez - maybe ya'll just wanna keep "yer gun library" to read (over and over again)
    when yer shootin' days are over and yer Just Sittin' there drinking beer and watching TV? ???
    Think about it!

  11. #11
    Boolit Master
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    Old stuff is worth whatever we can get for it, not whatever we want for it.

    I'm not a collector of old stuff, I'm an old user of stuff; old manuals are useful so I occasionally buy old manuals.

    My personal rule of thumb for buying old things that are like new is about half of what it would cost new and how badly I want it; then I work down from that. Seems paying any more than half of new for anything used gets too close to what I could get it new for.

    The asking prices for reloading books and tools can get stupid but sometimes stupid buyers do come along. I once saw a used set of old Lee dies in a common caliber sell for $100 on an ebay "Buy It Now"; it doesn't mean that was a fair market price but it had to be worth that much to the buyer. (I hope to find a few idiots like that when I get old enough to sell off my own gun books and reloading stuff!)

  12. #12
    Boolit Grand Master
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    This isn't a want to sell post but I have some older not but not"vintage" manuals I want to trade or sell off in the forums sell and trade section but have no idea what's a fair value ? So how does one determine that value ?
    Look them up on eBay
    Regards
    John

  13. #13
    Boolit Master Shawlerbrook's Avatar
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    To me the information is valuable and they make your loading bench just look cool. But if you have to sell , John Boy has a great suggestion.

  14. #14
    Boolit Grand Master

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    Quote Originally Posted by John Boy View Post
    Look them up on eBay
    You can also check Amazon. Iíve bought a lot of old manuals off Amazon. Simply because they were cheaper than eBay. Shipping on eBay can be a deal killer at times.

  15. #15
    Boolit Master



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    I have quite a few old manuals, including an original Ideal and a Belding and Mull. In between those are many from the fifties, sixties, seventies and eighties. Why keep all this old paper around? INFORMATION. For example, they give loading info for such cartridges as the 7.5 Swiss, 7.5 French, 7.7 Jap and many other older calibers.

    As an aside, I notice that the FREE handout loadbooks I picked up at the gun shows in the 1970's are being offered on Ebay as "rare" and "hard to find".......with a price to match. Brother......

    So, what's the big deal? Don't the newer manuals provide the same dope? NO! The reloading companies routinely rotate their entries based on what's "hot" for that year. Those older books are a goldmine of information and tips not included in the newer ones..........so I keep them, knowing I can find information on just about any cartridge I come across.

    To me, they're invaluable. The advice to "keep them" is really pretty sound unless you're absolutely SURE you'll never need them. It saves a lot of posts that start out with "Does anyone have data for the 6.5 Glibbersnitch from the 1920's?"

  16. #16
    Boolit Master Scrounge's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Walks View Post
    I've collected old manuals since H.S.
    Have about 75.
    It's great insight about the way things were done 50,60,80+yrs ago. and some long forgotten.
    I went into the USAF shortly after high school. That sort of discouraged the collection of stuff. Been here for something like 24 years, and only really started collecting stuff about 12 years ago. Machine tools, mostly. Even the benchtop machines add up FAST! But online material is really nice. I've got a 500gb microSD card in my phone with much of my metalworking and gun stuff on it. Heck of a lot easier to carry, but sometimes harder to read. Had a 10" tablet until I knocked it out of the truck during a rain storm, and then drove over it. Whaaah! I still have a lot of dead-tree books, and adding to the collection. I do try to scan them, so I can carry them with me, but it takes time that's been kinda short. Recently retired, and hoping I'll have more time for the scanning, and reading. I've learned a lot from reading those old manuals. Don't drink much beer, or watch much TV, so reading and playing in my workshop are the plans for my future. Loading bench is a part of that workshop, too!

  17. #17
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    A load published as safe 50 years ago is no less safe today. So, as sometimes happens, a good powder is discontinued but you find and buy or are given a can of it and want to use it. Loads not shown in manuals after the powder was discontinued, but can be found in the older manuals if you kept them.

  18. #18
    Boolit Grand Master

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    Quote Originally Posted by Der Gebirgsjager View Post
    A load published as safe 50 years ago is no less safe today.
    This is not true in some cases. The older loads were developed using CUP. W/ modern pressure testing equipment that can see the pressure wave in real time some older loads were found to be grossly over pressure. As much as people think lawyers are the reasons loads have been decreased over the years, itís due pressure testing.

    Iím not saying donít use old published loads. Just that some of them may be unsafe. As always start low and work up for your individual firearm.

  19. #19
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    Perhaps you have a verifiable example?

  20. #20
    Boolit Master Digger's Avatar
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    I am taking a guess here as I have recently obtained a copy of the "Lyman Cast Bullet Handbook ,for all popular rifles and pistols and black powder guns".... as it is titled.
    With no reference to being second or third etc. edition ...
    Have noticed there is no listing of the 40 cal S&W in pistol ... with this , could this be the first published ?
    It is much easier to fool people ,
    than to convince them they have been fooled !

    If you can read this , thank a teacher ...
    If you can read this in English , .. thank a Vet !

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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