Book Review: Hornady’s 10th Edition Handbook of Cartridge Reloading

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Hornady’s 10th Edition Handbook of Cartridge Reloading lies ready with boxes of .300 Win Mag and .300 Weatherby Magnum brass. (Photo: Kristin Alberts)

Maybe this tome won’t find a home at your neighborhood book club, but it sure as heck belongs on any serious reloader’s bench or bookcase.  Hornady’s hardcover 1000+ pager is the be-all for fans of the company’s plethora of bullet options.  Can it appeal to reloaders of other bullets as well?  And is it worth the upgrade from previous additions?

Hornady 10th Edition

The hefty 10th edition manual wears a black hardcover outer with a roman numeral “X” fashioned of loaded brass rounds.  At 1,012 pages, the latest from Hornady is one of the thickest and most thorough on the market.  Over 200 calibers and 300 bullets are featured, from 17s to the largest dangerous game loads.

New cartridges include: 280 Ackley Improved, 7×64 Brenneke, and .338 Federal.  New powders are included from the previous books: Power Pro 2000MR, IMR 4451, IMR 7977, CFE Pistol, BE-86, Reloder 23, 26, 33, and 50; Accurate LT-30 and 32.  In addition, this 10th edition expands on the options for refilling brass with recent popular propellants like LeveRevolution, Reloder 17, and Superformance.

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Information for the .338 Federal round, new for this edition. (Photo: Kristin Alberts)

Hornady followers have gravitated to the company’s Precision Hunter, ELD-X and ELD Match ammo and bullet offerings last year, and now the company has incorporated plenty of loading data for those projectiles as well

Breakdown

Structured much like previous editions, this manual provides internal, external, and terminal ballistics.  An introduction by Hornady’s Neal Emery sets the tone, and is followed up by a history of Hornady’s heritage and vision.  From its post-WWII roots as a startup in an old auto body shop to become the “largest independently owned maker of bullets, ammunition, and tools in the world.”

Before the manual delves into the actual data, there’s an important section for both novice loaders and experienced alike to re-read covering basics of bullet accuracy, pressure, and the science behind reloading.  Then there’s a chart of powder burning rates in metallic cartridges, from fastest to slowest and including 149 powders. Different types of bullets, dies, and techniques are explained.  Abbreviations and terminology is covered as well, and then very importantly, the warning signs of overpressure.  Hornady even includes a section explaining the ballistic coefficient at once as simple or detailed as you care to examine it, and they also point users to their proprietary online ballistic calculators and apps.

The meat of the book is broken down into both rifle and handgun sections, with each caliber beginning with a brief history of the round.  They provide info on the test firearm used for their data, including barrel length and twist rate.  Though the manual does not indicate the most accurate load for given powder/bullet combinations, it clearly denotes maximum loads and does provide tips on the best twist rates for certain bullet weights.

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Hornady’s 10th Edition Handbook of Cartridge Reloading is a hefty tome at 1,012 pages. (Photo: Kristin Alberts)

There are even a couple blank pages in the back for notes.  This is not just computer generated information. No sirree—Hornady had a team of specialists loading, testing, and firing the meat and potatoes for this manual.  MSRP on the 10th Edition is $42.07, with the book listing on Amazon for $32.99.  For those who rather not weigh down their loading room, the manual is also available as both an iBook or Kindle edition.

Conclusion

Whether you’re a beginner or an old pro at the bench, there’s something you need within the pages of Hornady’s 10th Edition Handbook of Cartridge Reloading.  Even if you don’t use the specific Hornady bullets listed therein, bullet weights and types are provided in enough detail for the doctoring of any handloader. Whilst I certainly wouldn’t part with my old manuals for some now-deleted more obsolete rounds, this is still a great addition to a reloader’s information arsenal.   So grab the new book, head in for some quiet time at the bench, and enjoy one of the most underappreciated joys of the gun industry.