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Speer Load Data | How to Use It

When you’re getting into the world of firearms, there are a few big names you’ll learn about. These names are brought up in conversation depending on the topic of discussion, and for good reason. They’re giants in the shooting industry. One of these giants that you’ll hear about often is Speer. 

Speer is a company that got its start before World War II, and is known for their world-class ammunition and reloading data. Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about Speer, as well as the load data they provide consumers for reloading rifle and handgun bullets.

Who is Speer? A Very Brief History

Speer Firearms Logo

Speer is an ammunition company that got its start in 1943. Vernon Speer, the man the company is named after, started building bullets because reloaders weren’t able to get the necessary components. This shortage was due to the contracting that was necessary for World War II. 

To start, Speer was focused on hunting rifle bullets, but gained notoriety for the mass-produced jacketed handgun bullets he developed for law enforcement and hunting. These led to the Lawman line, and later on the Speer Gold Dot line. Both ammunitions are considered duty ammunition, with the Speer Gold Dot line being the modern equivalent to the Lawman. 

What Do They Sell?

Speer sells a number of different products. They are most well-known for their loaded ammunition and standalone bullets. In addition to this, however, they also sell plastic training bullets and bullet cases, as well as a variety of educational products. Perhaps the most talked about product they sell is the Handloading Manual.

At this point in time, the Speer Handloading Manual is on its 15th revision. The manual is meant to be used by enthusiasts who are interested in making their own ammunition, or handloading. It provides recipes so that handloading is a process made simple, fitting nearly any kind of lifestyle that you may want to live when it comes to shooting. All reloading techniques and concepts are covered, making it more of a reloading bible rather than just a simple manual.

What is Speer Reloading Data?

Speer reloading data is a section of the Speer website that provides the reloading recipes that you can find in the manual. The website splits reloading data into two categories – rifle and handgun. Using the reload data, you can hand load your own ammunition at home.

Where Can I Access It?

When you’re looking to access the Speer load data, you’ll have to navigate to their website, then choose between rifle and handgun. To make it easy, we’ve provided the links below.

Rifle bullet cartridge shells used for reloading

Speer Rifle Data

Pistol handgun empty bullet cartridges ready for reloading with gunpowder

Speer Handgun Data

How to Use the Speer Reloading Data Charts When Reloading

The Speer reloading data charts are very easy to use, thankfully. Take a look at the steps below to learn how to use the data charts:

  1. Navigate to the rifle or the handgun reloading data website, depending on what you’re looking to reload.
  2. Using the options on the left, choose the cartridge that you’re reloading. You’ll have many options, so make sure you choose the correct cartridge before continuing. This is going to affect the data that the charts provide.
  3. After you’ve chosen your cartridge, a list of all available recipes is going to appear. Recipes are listed by bullet weight. Make sure to pick the correct bullet weight before moving forward. As a preview, each bullet weight will have the number of powders and bullet styles that the recipe covers.
  4. When you’ve chosen the bullet weight, you’ll be provided a diagram with the cartridge specs, and all of the cartridge measurements. You’ll also have the option to download a PDF of the data that’s populated.
  5. Below the cartridge diagram, you’ll find the bullet options based on the bullet weight you’ve selected. This provides all of the information you need to procure the parts from Speer.
  6. Following the bullet data, you’ll have a list of powders that Speer has created a recipe for. You’ll get data for the Start Charge Weight, as well as the Start Charge Muzzle Velocity. You’ll also get the Max Charge Weight, as well as the Max Charge Muzzle Velocity. These are the parameters for each powder listed, as well as the velocity they’ll create.
Speer Reloading Manual for Rifles and Handguns Book Number 15

Overall, the load data is very easy to use, provided that you know how to reload already. If you don’t, the Speer Handloading Manual is still something that you can purchase to get started with.

General Information About Reloading

If you’ve never reloaded cartridges, or handloaded, there are a few tips that you can take into consideration when you’re getting started.

Reloading Tips

  • If you’re just starting out, get a single-stage press, and hang onto it. Single-stage presses allow you to focus on the quality of your handloads, rather than how fast you can move. Quality over quantity, any day.
  • Use a high quality powder measure. A good powder measure makes a big difference, especially when it comes to safety. We’ll touch on it again below.
  • Start slow, and get a hang of the basics. You want each load to be perfect, providing you the optimum performance.
  • Handloading ammunition doesn’t take a lot of space. Many people avoid handloading because they think that it’s space intensive. Handloading can be done with as little space as a 3-foot-by-3-foot bench, as long as you’re organized.
  • Calculate how many grains of gunpowder you need for the number of bullets you want to reload.
Single Stage Bullet Press with a rifle bullet being reloaded
A single stage bullet press reloading a rifle cartridge

Safety Tips

  • Get a high quality powder measure. We’re going over this again because powder measure is a big part of safety. A high quality powder measure is the difference between a high power load and a life threatening load. If your measure is off, it could result in disaster.
  • Always inspect your brass before loading. When you fire a gun, the brass casing expands to seal the chamber. Over time, brass can crack, or hold an incorrect shape. Look for signs of stress, and measure it for its tolerances before loading.
  • Follow the starting load recommendations in the latest hand loading manual. It’s the starting load because it’s the safest, and it works. Don’t start big.

Final Thoughts

Speer is a wonderful company, especially thanks to the data they provide the handloading world. Their load data is invaluable, and their Handloading Manual is often considered the best book in the business. If you’re looking to start handloading, Speer is the place to start!

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1 year ago

This is a great post! I have been using Speer load data for a while now and it is a great tool to use.

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