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Handloading Essentials: The Nosler Reloading Guide No. 7

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April 22, 2013

Handloading Essentials: The Nosler Reloading Guide No. 7

By David E. Petzal

The first Nosler Reloading Manual appeared in 1976 and contained 234 pages, about the size of the French novels we read in college to impress girls with our intellectual powers. It has now morphed into a veritable tome of 864 pages, a work of such godless and massive thoroughness that one shudders at the thought of lifting it.

Picking it up, however, is well worth the trouble. There are 117 cartridges in here. I did not see the .22 Velo Dog or the .498 Thunderfu**er, but they’ve got just about everything else, including a fair number of rounds of which I’ve never heard.

For an experienced handloader, Old Number 7 is valuable, for only witless savages don’t use Nosler bullets. If you’re new to handloading, it is invaluable.  The odds are you’ll never use 90 percent of the loading data because there’s so much here, but the explanations of the mechanics of handloading and what you need and how you go about it are worth their weight in all-copper bullets. I’m also very glad to see that Nosler has included several pages listing all the hundreds of powders available by burning rate, going from fastest to slowest.

There are the usual semi-ecstatic introductions to each cartridge (I did the .338 Win Mag.) which are useful to varying degrees, but what are really valuable are the short comments added by the Nosler folks about how to get the most out of each round.

The price is $21.95, and for that modest amount of money you get a ton of information. What you will not get is the inscription that Bob Nosler personally wrote to me:

“What, are you still here?”

I will treasure that always.

Comments (23)

Top Rated
All Comments
from Tim Platt wrote 51 weeks 1 day ago

So where's the link to your semi-ecstatic introduction to the .338 Win. Mag.? I'm surprised you were able to tone it down from God like worship to semi-ecstatic... ha. You are the consummate professional.

I will forever be a Nosler Ballistic Tip man. Nothing kills faster, which is a must where I hunt. The meat damage is inconsequential if you lose your deer to someone 300 yards away.

-1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Michigan Gunner wrote 51 weeks 1 day ago

I have the original book. I'll be buying this one for sure. Since I'm not a witless savage, every deer I have shot has been with Nosler bullets.

MG

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from WA Mtnhunter wrote 51 weeks 1 day ago

A friend bought one and he expressed dissatisfaction with the mindless regurgitation of Nosler #6 data with little else of worth. He said he returned it. I'll peruse it at the gun shop before I buy it.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Clay Cooper wrote 51 weeks 1 day ago

I have 3 old reloading books, Hodgens, Lyman & Honady and one DuPont IMR flyer I use. One thing for certain, I can safely say about these four references is the listed load coincides with my chronograph and performance. Be interesting to chronograph those Nosler loads and see the results. Nosler has a thicker jacket and partitions do drive the pressure up just a tad bit.

As for the .498 Thunderfu**er ?

There is only one way to load it. Take what propellant you have in quantity, dip the case into a tub full of powder, tap the side, top it off and seat the bullet and be careful of to much propellent causing case bulging. No data needed!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from NHshtr wrote 51 weeks 1 day ago

I don't know if another manual will make much difference. If you don't have one (or two) already, this one is probably a good choice. (I trust DP's opinion, even if he loves the .338 Win.Mag.)

I have Lyman's and Hornady's latest and neither use the same test barrel lengths, nor are they the same as my guns. Also they differ on starting loads and max loads for the same caliber and test grain bullet. This is nothing new to re-loaders. We use what little brain material we were given and make proper adjustments accordingly. So those variations from the re-loaders actual firearms make velocities and pressures given in manuals approximate anyway. My chrony is the best tool to give me the data I need. But if you plan to reload, at least one of, if not more of, these manuals are a must to keep you reloading safely.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Amflyer wrote 51 weeks 1 day ago

I tend to load my rifle cartridges until the case just blows, then back off a tenth and go hunting.

Discuss.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from -Bob wrote 51 weeks 20 hours ago

We have been loading Sierra GameKings for quite a while now, as they perform beautifully out of our 7.7 Arisaka. The deer have not complained thus far. Warm regards, -Witless Savage

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from etexan wrote 51 weeks 19 hours ago

Back when gun writers would publish their pet loads, I took Jack O'Connor's favorite load out of Outdoor Life when I first started handloading and measured out the prescribed amount of H4831 and poured it into an empty case. Filled it to the brim. It shot and didn't bend anything but I backed off a couple of grains anyway for subsequent use.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Carney wrote 51 weeks 19 hours ago

@WAM. LOL! We know who to trust!

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Safado wrote 51 weeks 18 hours ago

I'm with NHshtr in that I have several loading manuals and was surprised that their starting and max loads differ. However I have found that each manual has something useful. While I don't use the Lee manual too much it has good pressure information. I tend to use the loading information for the bullet that I'm shooting. If I'm shooting Barnes I use the Barnes manual, likewise with Sierra, Berger or Nosler. Nosler has great Ballistics Tables and I appreciate the stories introducing each cartridge.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from WA Mtnhunter wrote 51 weeks 18 hours ago

@Carney,
You got it! BTW, Barnes will email you data for any of their bullet and powder combinations not shown in their #4 manual or online.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Carney wrote 51 weeks 18 hours ago

@WAM,
As it is, I may have to forget those "all copper" bullets to which Dave alludes above. Hardly a box on the shelves and never of a caliber I am after.

I may just have to try Noslers since there seems to be plenty available...
;-)

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Jim in Mo wrote 51 weeks 17 hours ago

I do hate manufacturers loading tables that tell me my '06 or 280 or 7-08 must have a 24 or 26 inch barrel to meet their specs., when most gun makers build non-magnums with 22in. They also go on to say they use "universal receivers" etc. Tell it like it is, please.
I may be wrong since I don't own a Speer manual, but I believe they use actual production rifles to test and print their data.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from tom warner wrote 51 weeks 15 hours ago

On a unrelated subject,I greatly enjoyed your article in the latest F&G on"Good Old Gun Writers",having grown up reading them all. I will admit to having a strong preference for Jack O'Connor, and not only for his superior writing style. I must have owned all of his books by my early teens, and having begun shooting before I was ten years old, and followed his advice on most everything, all of which served me well. I recall feeling pretty proud, when I read a bit of shooting advice that I had already discovered for myself. You should feel darn good too, since your own writing compares very favorably with his.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from tom warner wrote 51 weeks 15 hours ago

Oh yes, I forgot to mention the cover illustration portraying a nimrod about to fire his rifle off the back of a horse! The animal must be damn well trained, or else the hunter wishes to be hospitalized or even worse. Did not the editors know this, or is it a joke? I would strongly advise readers not to try it.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from deadeyedick wrote 51 weeks 5 hours ago

All reloading manuals are quite good. I have three new ones and about 6 or7 older ones. I keep those older ones around because over the years some loads are no longer in the new manuals or a cartirdge is obsolete. Many of the loads I use now were developed years ago and I believe in the old adage "IF IT AIN'T BROKE, DON'T FIX IT."

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from fordman155 wrote 51 weeks 3 hours ago

The Nosler #7 is a good manual, in my opinion. I know there are different starting loads, barrel lengths, pressure readings, ect. The Hornady manual I have is way underloaded for most cartridges, except for the 270 Win and that one basically is Jack O'Connor's load. They #49 Lyman is good also, especially since it gives different manufacturers of bullets and powders per cartridge loading. It comes down to using a manual to get you going AND THEN you find the sweetest load for your 498 Thunderf*@$er or what ever is your cartridge of choice. And you can toss your Alliant Powders guide (makers of the Reloader Powder line) right out the window. I think it is as useful as sand in the Gobi dessert.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from davidpetzal wrote 50 weeks 6 days ago

To Tom Warner: Thank you for the kind words. About the cover: When I saw it I like to spewed, and it was explained to me that it was a reproduction of a cover we ran back in 1911, or something like that. Many of those old covers were pretty fanciful, and I don't think we were supposed to take this one at face value. Anyway, that's what I was told.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from dtownley wrote 50 weeks 6 days ago

We are not all plebs from Mi. but some of us learn a word with three or four syllable and BOOM ! Lecture circuit ready !
Let me try, if my Michigander is up to it.
HEY! I DON'T SUCK! WELL, TO ME ANYWAY !
After 30 yr in TX.
Funny you should mention them NOSLER bullets MG, I shot my last deer with their Partition style and the experts was co-rect...it kildt them dead with authority.
Funny... their Solid Base Ballitic Tip loaded by my wife kildt her deer also...quite dead...who knew ? Personally the Hornady Inter-loc & Remington Core-loc have been working quite nicely and Bob up yonder says them Sierras have been keep'un his deer firmly planted on their side long enough to end up burger ?
Just say'in MG ? i was also riddled with them PCBs, hope them zebra snails has cleared that up ?

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from tom warner wrote 50 weeks 6 days ago

Hi Dave: In regard to what you were told about the photo of the guy about to be catapulted off his horse: back in 1911 it seems doubtful that ANY hunter was wearing camo, as this one is, nor would he have been wearing a Filson hat and toting a modern scoped rifle. Your informant must have been pulling your leg. Ye gods,the editors really should warn their readers about the folly of this little scenario!I really am surprised that the public has not spotted the idiocy of this and raised more of a outcry. Or maybe I should not be?

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Amflyer wrote 50 weeks 6 days ago

Tom warner, maybe it's just a modern "enterpitation" of the 1911 cover.

I wouldn't waste any outrage over the whole bit. It's not a big deal. 1972 USSR/USA Olympic basketball game, that's a big deal.

Besides, the scene in Jeremiah Johnson where the horse throws him when he shoots from the saddle serves as a sufficient PSA to counteract the illustration, IMO.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from tom warner wrote 50 weeks 5 days ago

Amflyer: No doubt you're right. However I was once witness to a serious wreck when some poor soul did this and it is not something I would ever want to see again. Pretty bad and not something I suspect he ever completely recovered from. Anyway, it should not have been on the cover of F&S.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from nc30-06 wrote 50 weeks 4 days ago

I have three different loading manuals now. What gripes me is that one might say use a starting load of 6.7 grains of a specific powder for a start load and the next will say 6.9 grains, and the third might say 7.0 grains. Same bullet, same primer, same powder. How about some standardization.

0 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment

from Carney wrote 51 weeks 19 hours ago

@WAM. LOL! We know who to trust!

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from WA Mtnhunter wrote 51 weeks 1 day ago

A friend bought one and he expressed dissatisfaction with the mindless regurgitation of Nosler #6 data with little else of worth. He said he returned it. I'll peruse it at the gun shop before I buy it.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Amflyer wrote 51 weeks 1 day ago

I tend to load my rifle cartridges until the case just blows, then back off a tenth and go hunting.

Discuss.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from WA Mtnhunter wrote 51 weeks 18 hours ago

@Carney,
You got it! BTW, Barnes will email you data for any of their bullet and powder combinations not shown in their #4 manual or online.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Carney wrote 51 weeks 18 hours ago

@WAM,
As it is, I may have to forget those "all copper" bullets to which Dave alludes above. Hardly a box on the shelves and never of a caliber I am after.

I may just have to try Noslers since there seems to be plenty available...
;-)

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Jim in Mo wrote 51 weeks 17 hours ago

I do hate manufacturers loading tables that tell me my '06 or 280 or 7-08 must have a 24 or 26 inch barrel to meet their specs., when most gun makers build non-magnums with 22in. They also go on to say they use "universal receivers" etc. Tell it like it is, please.
I may be wrong since I don't own a Speer manual, but I believe they use actual production rifles to test and print their data.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from tom warner wrote 51 weeks 15 hours ago

On a unrelated subject,I greatly enjoyed your article in the latest F&G on"Good Old Gun Writers",having grown up reading them all. I will admit to having a strong preference for Jack O'Connor, and not only for his superior writing style. I must have owned all of his books by my early teens, and having begun shooting before I was ten years old, and followed his advice on most everything, all of which served me well. I recall feeling pretty proud, when I read a bit of shooting advice that I had already discovered for myself. You should feel darn good too, since your own writing compares very favorably with his.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Michigan Gunner wrote 51 weeks 1 day ago

I have the original book. I'll be buying this one for sure. Since I'm not a witless savage, every deer I have shot has been with Nosler bullets.

MG

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Clay Cooper wrote 51 weeks 1 day ago

I have 3 old reloading books, Hodgens, Lyman & Honady and one DuPont IMR flyer I use. One thing for certain, I can safely say about these four references is the listed load coincides with my chronograph and performance. Be interesting to chronograph those Nosler loads and see the results. Nosler has a thicker jacket and partitions do drive the pressure up just a tad bit.

As for the .498 Thunderfu**er ?

There is only one way to load it. Take what propellant you have in quantity, dip the case into a tub full of powder, tap the side, top it off and seat the bullet and be careful of to much propellent causing case bulging. No data needed!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from NHshtr wrote 51 weeks 1 day ago

I don't know if another manual will make much difference. If you don't have one (or two) already, this one is probably a good choice. (I trust DP's opinion, even if he loves the .338 Win.Mag.)

I have Lyman's and Hornady's latest and neither use the same test barrel lengths, nor are they the same as my guns. Also they differ on starting loads and max loads for the same caliber and test grain bullet. This is nothing new to re-loaders. We use what little brain material we were given and make proper adjustments accordingly. So those variations from the re-loaders actual firearms make velocities and pressures given in manuals approximate anyway. My chrony is the best tool to give me the data I need. But if you plan to reload, at least one of, if not more of, these manuals are a must to keep you reloading safely.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from -Bob wrote 51 weeks 20 hours ago

We have been loading Sierra GameKings for quite a while now, as they perform beautifully out of our 7.7 Arisaka. The deer have not complained thus far. Warm regards, -Witless Savage

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from etexan wrote 51 weeks 19 hours ago

Back when gun writers would publish their pet loads, I took Jack O'Connor's favorite load out of Outdoor Life when I first started handloading and measured out the prescribed amount of H4831 and poured it into an empty case. Filled it to the brim. It shot and didn't bend anything but I backed off a couple of grains anyway for subsequent use.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Safado wrote 51 weeks 18 hours ago

I'm with NHshtr in that I have several loading manuals and was surprised that their starting and max loads differ. However I have found that each manual has something useful. While I don't use the Lee manual too much it has good pressure information. I tend to use the loading information for the bullet that I'm shooting. If I'm shooting Barnes I use the Barnes manual, likewise with Sierra, Berger or Nosler. Nosler has great Ballistics Tables and I appreciate the stories introducing each cartridge.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from tom warner wrote 51 weeks 15 hours ago

Oh yes, I forgot to mention the cover illustration portraying a nimrod about to fire his rifle off the back of a horse! The animal must be damn well trained, or else the hunter wishes to be hospitalized or even worse. Did not the editors know this, or is it a joke? I would strongly advise readers not to try it.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from deadeyedick wrote 51 weeks 5 hours ago

All reloading manuals are quite good. I have three new ones and about 6 or7 older ones. I keep those older ones around because over the years some loads are no longer in the new manuals or a cartirdge is obsolete. Many of the loads I use now were developed years ago and I believe in the old adage "IF IT AIN'T BROKE, DON'T FIX IT."

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from fordman155 wrote 51 weeks 3 hours ago

The Nosler #7 is a good manual, in my opinion. I know there are different starting loads, barrel lengths, pressure readings, ect. The Hornady manual I have is way underloaded for most cartridges, except for the 270 Win and that one basically is Jack O'Connor's load. They #49 Lyman is good also, especially since it gives different manufacturers of bullets and powders per cartridge loading. It comes down to using a manual to get you going AND THEN you find the sweetest load for your 498 Thunderf*@$er or what ever is your cartridge of choice. And you can toss your Alliant Powders guide (makers of the Reloader Powder line) right out the window. I think it is as useful as sand in the Gobi dessert.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from davidpetzal wrote 50 weeks 6 days ago

To Tom Warner: Thank you for the kind words. About the cover: When I saw it I like to spewed, and it was explained to me that it was a reproduction of a cover we ran back in 1911, or something like that. Many of those old covers were pretty fanciful, and I don't think we were supposed to take this one at face value. Anyway, that's what I was told.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from dtownley wrote 50 weeks 6 days ago

We are not all plebs from Mi. but some of us learn a word with three or four syllable and BOOM ! Lecture circuit ready !
Let me try, if my Michigander is up to it.
HEY! I DON'T SUCK! WELL, TO ME ANYWAY !
After 30 yr in TX.
Funny you should mention them NOSLER bullets MG, I shot my last deer with their Partition style and the experts was co-rect...it kildt them dead with authority.
Funny... their Solid Base Ballitic Tip loaded by my wife kildt her deer also...quite dead...who knew ? Personally the Hornady Inter-loc & Remington Core-loc have been working quite nicely and Bob up yonder says them Sierras have been keep'un his deer firmly planted on their side long enough to end up burger ?
Just say'in MG ? i was also riddled with them PCBs, hope them zebra snails has cleared that up ?

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from tom warner wrote 50 weeks 6 days ago

Hi Dave: In regard to what you were told about the photo of the guy about to be catapulted off his horse: back in 1911 it seems doubtful that ANY hunter was wearing camo, as this one is, nor would he have been wearing a Filson hat and toting a modern scoped rifle. Your informant must have been pulling your leg. Ye gods,the editors really should warn their readers about the folly of this little scenario!I really am surprised that the public has not spotted the idiocy of this and raised more of a outcry. Or maybe I should not be?

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Amflyer wrote 50 weeks 6 days ago

Tom warner, maybe it's just a modern "enterpitation" of the 1911 cover.

I wouldn't waste any outrage over the whole bit. It's not a big deal. 1972 USSR/USA Olympic basketball game, that's a big deal.

Besides, the scene in Jeremiah Johnson where the horse throws him when he shoots from the saddle serves as a sufficient PSA to counteract the illustration, IMO.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from tom warner wrote 50 weeks 5 days ago

Amflyer: No doubt you're right. However I was once witness to a serious wreck when some poor soul did this and it is not something I would ever want to see again. Pretty bad and not something I suspect he ever completely recovered from. Anyway, it should not have been on the cover of F&S.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from nc30-06 wrote 50 weeks 4 days ago

I have three different loading manuals now. What gripes me is that one might say use a starting load of 6.7 grains of a specific powder for a start load and the next will say 6.9 grains, and the third might say 7.0 grains. Same bullet, same primer, same powder. How about some standardization.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Tim Platt wrote 51 weeks 1 day ago

So where's the link to your semi-ecstatic introduction to the .338 Win. Mag.? I'm surprised you were able to tone it down from God like worship to semi-ecstatic... ha. You are the consummate professional.

I will forever be a Nosler Ballistic Tip man. Nothing kills faster, which is a must where I hunt. The meat damage is inconsequential if you lose your deer to someone 300 yards away.

-1 Good Comment? | | Report

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