Hornady recently released the 10th edition of what they call their “Handbook of Cartridge Reloading.” At just over 1,000 pages in length, it’s a big handbook. It’s been almost 50 years since the first edition was published in 1967, and tracking growth in the reloading manuals is a good way of tracking Hornady’s growth as a company. That first manual listed data for 70 cartridges and 68 different Hornady bullets. This one lists over 200 cartridges and 300 Hornady bullets.
Readers will see that newer cartridge offerings such as the 17 Hornet, 300 Blackout and 6.5 Creedmoor are listed within this book. However, some old favourites have been dropped, including the 6X47mm. However, data for all the dropped cartridges is still available on the Hornady website. I noticed the 6mm Creedmoor didn’t make the cut for this book either, even though Hornady offers dies and loaded ammo for this cartridge. I’m sure it was just a matter of timing, with the book being completed before the 6mm Creedmoor data was ready.
Data for the 223 Remington is comprehensive, in that it has been split into three sections. One is for the commercial chambering of this designation, and it lists the test rifle as a Remington 700. The second is called “223 Remington Service Rifle Data,” with the test rifle listed as a Colt AR-15. And the third section is labeled “5.56 NATO,” and the test rifle is reported as a Bushmaster XM15-E25. Considering the popularity of this cartridge and its varied applications, chamber dimensions and pressures, this is a prudent way to report the data.
Handloaders will also find this new manual includes loading data for Hornady’s ELD-X and ELD-Match bullets, as well as G1 and G7 ballistic coefficients for them. All other bullets have G1 numbers, but generally don’t have the G7 figures. And instead of measuring BC at 200 yards, the ELD line is measured at 800 yards, using Doppler radar. The expectation being that these bullets will be used at those longer ranges.
The front portion of the book contains the usual instructional matter and a number of charts and tables. I particularly like the bullet chart which lists all the handloading bullets Hornady makes, as well as some discontinued items. The chart provides the technical data on each bullet, such as sectional density and BC, but also includes suggested usage and the muzzle velocity range for which the bullet is designed. This should be particularly helpful for those new to handloading. For example, Hornady makes eight different .30 calibre 150 grain bullets, so it’s important to select the right bullet for the application.
Although I have almost every published reloading manual on my bookshelf, I always find myself checking Hornady’s version more often than any other. And the reason is, I’ve found the data they produce matches my own findings more consistently than any other manufacturer’s. I don’t expect that result will change with the 10th edition, and my habit of reaching for the Hornady handbook won’t either.