There are many reloading manuals by many great authorities in the reloading world, and several editions of each one to boot. Depending on what you are reloading and what components you are using, different reloading manuals may be more appropriate for you than others. Today I am looking at the Nosler Reloading Guide 7th Edition Manual, which is a hefty reloading guide packed with a ton of information. Before we get into the meat of it, a little history on Nosler.
Nosler was founded in 1948 by John Amos Nosler of Bend Oregon. Oregon happens to be my birth state, and I resided in Bend for quite a few years earlier in my life, so I am particularly fond of this great company. Nosler is a company known for its high quality and great products for over six decades, is a family owned and operated business, and is still run by the family to this day in Bend Oregon. The Nosler Reloading Guide 7th Edition is dedicated to John Amos Nosler who passed away in October of 2010. The book has a brief Memoriam starting on page 6 written by John R. Nosler, grandson to John A., in which he gives a very nice recounting of the family history and strong legacy left behind by the company founder. If you pick up the Nosler Reloading Guide 7th Edition, it is highly worth the quick read.
About the Nosler Reloading Guide 7th Edition
The Nosler Reloading Guide 7th Edition is a solid reloading manual which has a strong focus on reloading for Rifle Cartridges, which of course makes sense given Nosler’s long history of innovation in this regard. There is however a small handgun reloading section in the back starting on page 619 with load data for the more popular cartridges ranging from .380 ACP through .45 Colt. Overall though, if you are looking for published data on Pistol Loads, this manual probably isn’t for you. It should also be noted that the Nosler Reloading Guide 7th Edition is a comprehensive load data manual primarily covering Nosler Projectiles and Brass, with varying powders. If you are looking for a more general guide outside of the Nosler lineup of products, I would take a look at the Lyman 49th Edition Reloading Manual which tests projectiles from differing manufacturers.
Starting on page 12, Nosler lists a very helpful Cartridge Index for the reader, starting at .17 Caliber and working up to the .458 Winchester for Standard Rifle Cartridges. There are 2 sections listed specifically for Lever Action Guns with published data for the .44 Remington-Magnum and .45-70 Government cartridges as well, and as before stated a brief listing of select handgun loads. This index doubles as listing of all loads in this book as well as a table of contents for load data as well, listing page numbers as well as the Author of the Published data, which you don’t see in every reloading manual.
Following the index, their is a forward written by Aaron Carter, an about section featuring some highlights of Nosler Quality, Cutaways of the Nosler lineup of Hunting & Handgun Projectiles, Nosler Brass Cutaways, and a section detailing the various components, best practices, and reloading guidelines, as you see in most reloading manuals. Finally following this is a section on the Basics of Bullet Stability covering Twist Rate, Bullet Length & Density, Velocity, and Air Density. Before we finally get to the load data, the last two pages are a table of Powder Burn rates from fastest to slowest as well as Powder Abbreviations Table.
Nosler Reloading Guide 7th Edition: Load Data.
If you use Nosler products, the load data in this book will be an indispensable tool on your reloading bench. Each section has a different contributing writer that supplies some history, stories, and information regarding the specific cartridge. The first page of each cartridge section contains a list of the recommended Nosler Projectiles for the cartridge with cutaways, technical information, complete diagram with measurements of the cartridge, and Max SAAMI Overall Cartridge Lengths when applicable.
Going from lowest to highest, each page also dedicates itself to load data of a different projectile type or weight, listing important data points such as Case Overall Length, Max OAL, Bullet Type, Primer, Barrel Length Used in Testing, Barrel Twist Rate, Case Capacity, Ballistic Coefficient, and Sectional Density.
Dropping down further, a list takes up the rest of the page containing a variety of charges using different powders and includes Minimum and Maximum Charges, Powder Type, Muzzle Velocities, and Load Density. I love the load density part, as they actually bother to list how dense the load is in terms of percentage from low to high, giving a baseline indicator of the powder density with that particular load. Nosler also highlights the load with the best performance in terms of Grains of Powder and Velocities reached for each projectile. Going even further, you will notice an asterisk (*) or a double asterisk (**) next to certain loads. The single asterisk (*) indicates the most accurate of the 3 charges listed in the load group for each powder type. The double asterisk (**) is noting when a charge is compressed. You can see an example of this on Page 410 for the .308 Marlin Express Cartridge with a 150 grain Ballistic Silvertip projectile.
Appendix, Drop Table, Ballistics App, and Glossary Sections
After the Load Data Section, the Nosler Reloading Guide 7th Edition features an Appendix for “classic cartridges, wildcats, and cartridges that are no longer in production.”. This is a handy section, featuring obscure cartridges from the .225 Winchester through the .416 Weatherby Magnum and offers a small amount of load data for each cartridge including suggested projectiles. This is followed by the Universal Drop Table for Rifle Bullets, a handy guide for calculating the Bullet Path at a variety of yardages and supplemented with the Energy Chart for Rifle Bullets. which is basically just a large list of Bullet Energies per bullet weight in grains and velocity. Last but least, there is a small feature on the Nosler Ballistics App, which as of the time of writing, is no longer available, as well as a short Glossary of Terms that is helpful to reloaders both new and veteran.
The Nosler Reloading Guide 7th Edition ends with a few blank pages for notes a the back, which personally I would never use. Not that I don’t take notes, but I really like to keep my manuals unmarked, keeping a separate log book and using things like sticky notes to jot down quick information in the book. These double as a nice placeholder for quick reference as well.
Thoughts & Conclusions
All in All, the Nosler Reloading Guide 7th Edition offers a great value for rifle shooters and those that are big fans of the Nosler Product lineup. While this book is packed full of great information and a large amount of data sources, it is definitely lacking in the conventional sense in terms of variety, mostly due to this book being specific to Nosler. Not that that is a detracting point, as that’s the entire reason for its existence, to offer a comprehensive guide to the Nosler Line up of products. I appreciate some the information that Nosler provides, such as Case Capacity and Ballistic Coefficient, as other reloading manuals lack in this area. Nosler is definitely a premium brand, and if you are utilizing their reloading components, this book is a definite must have for your tool set.
The book itself, offers good value in that the data is well documented, the information is written by industry leading authors, and the company itself offers a truly premium product worth noting. Value is slightly diminished however when you consider that much of the data contained in this book is also made available online through Nosler for free, negating the reason for purchase. Personally, I enjoy having the Nosler 7th Edition sitting on my reloading bench next to all my other reloading manuals, and I will always opt for a printed manual when available. Nosler could have easily went cheap with the production of this reloading manual, using paperback instead of hardback, thin and flat paper instead of thick and glossy, used black and white photos and text instead of colr, and so on. But they didn’t, and that’s a true sign of the companies commitment to quality. They sell a premium product, and the Nosler Reloading Guide 7th Edition is no different. In fact, in terms of print quality, it is one of the best manuals I have found currently on the market.
The Nosler Reloading Guide 7th Edition can be purchased for around $30 USD and will make a great addition to any reloading bench.