making a reloading database


February 4, 2008, 04:55 PM
as the title suggests...

what data do you find useful to reloading and what data do you keep? anything from simple to mathematically complex.

If you enjoyed reading about "making a reloading database" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!
February 4, 2008, 05:07 PM
I keep an Excel spread-sheet with all of my favorite loads.
Data includes:
Cartridge-S/Holder-Trim Length-Max OAL
Bullet-Case-Primer-Powder-Charge Wt.-Vel.-Loading Notes

February 4, 2008, 05:25 PM
how long have you been keeping your spreadsheet? In that time have you found any use of it other than a recipe book?

What i hope to achieve is the ability to let a program do the math(former engineering student so i mean real math) on what the most bang for the buck out of all loads achieved to date.

if i get something good put together ill post a copy of it... but keep in mind i have only been reloading for a couple weeks.

February 4, 2008, 05:30 PM
I have them in hard copy form as Reloading Books.

I have them in the digital form as XL spreadsheets, Word documents, Adobe Acrobat documents, copyrited software programs, and as Freeware programs.

In my NET "Favorites" Section, I have several hundred (close to a thousand) sites earmarked in three reloading categories - Forums, Data, Wholesale/Retail. Some of these have multiple addresses for the same company's different divisions.

February 4, 2008, 05:33 PM
I think I had it going on a dBase spreadsheet on my first IBM 286 computer.

I'm one of those folks who keep using the same old loads forever once I find one that it works very well.

The thing is, I keep a copy of it printed out in each of my loading manuals for comparison purposes. Also keep a printout on the loading bench.

February 4, 2008, 05:39 PM
so a program like this would probably be more or less useless?

February 4, 2008, 05:40 PM
I'm slowly building a database in Access. I include date, caliber, number of rounds, brass make, whether it is new or used, primer, bullet make, bullet type, bullet weight, bullet manufacture, ballistic coefficient, powder, powder wieght and lot number, and cartridge length. A section of this page also lists the source of the recipe including velocities and listed minimum and maximum loads. I also include what firearm I fire the load in with firearm information including sights, action, barrel length, twist, etc (I have more than one weapon chambered for the same cartridge). I have a results page where I can enter range conditions, whether I was shooting at paper or metal targets, rate the accuracy (so far I haven't come up with a quantifiable method that applies to all loads) and list things like FTF/FTE incidences, high/dangerous pressure indicators and muzzle blast and recoil.

I've done a couple other databases in Access and have found that I don't use most of the stuff I enter (so my list is probably overkill) but by using drop-down menus entry is quick and easy and I never know, I just might use it.

So far the data entry has gone well and I find display easier to read than what I can do on Excell but I've run into some seroius debugging and haven't really been able to take advantage of the relational search capabilities of Access.

February 4, 2008, 05:44 PM
I use an Excel spreadsheet. At the least keep a writen journal you won't regret it. Your reloading manuals have places to put notes as well.

February 4, 2008, 05:45 PM
so a program like this would probably be more or less useless?
To me it would be.

If on the otherhand, I was an engineering / math whiz, maybe I could use it for something.

The thing is, I trust reloading manuals way further then my, or someone elses manual data input in a spreadsheet or database.

One typo would be all it takes.
The reloading companies even make one occasionally, but usually catch them in time to avoid mass distruction!

February 4, 2008, 05:51 PM
Are you aware of "Reloader's Reference"? A huge database, available for free as a Sourceforge project.

February 4, 2008, 05:56 PM
I have an excel sheet as well. I have been doing it right at 3-4 years now. It has tabs for all the calibers. I also print it out and keep it in a 3 ring binder. My old book was primarily lead loads, but not all, and it is "paper" only.

February 4, 2008, 06:05 PM
I keep an excel file that I maintain multiple tabs in. For each cartridge/Rifle combination I keep a list of 'good loads' in this format:

Hornady HP 300 0.458 2.525 H4198 FED 210m 51 1914

I also keep tested ballistic data for each load:

50 2.2 1744 2026 0.08
100 3 1581 1664 0.18
150 0.5 1430 1363 0.27
200 -6.25 1300 1125 0.39
250 -18 1190 944 0.5

I keep manual reference data I'm currently working with in its own tab for easy reference/planning. When I plan out my next load to work up I outline it like this with projected MV:

Bullet Type WT DIA COL PDR PMR Charge MV
Hornady XTP 240 0.43 1.6 2400 CCI 300 19.5 1580
20 1660
20.5 1750

I also keep a range/test data tab for the next outing and a cumulative tab for prior data. Each test trip I run up an empty frame of the following and fill it in off of my paper notes later. Sometimes I'll take the laptop and punch stuff up while sitting in the bed of the truck on lunch break.

Range Dat w/ Chrony - 071110
Rifle Bullet Type Weight Diameter COL Powder Primer MAX Chg MAX MV
1895G Laser Cast FP 350 .459" 2.525 Re 7 CCI 200 47 1850
1895G Laser Cast FP 350 .459" 2.525 2400 CCI 200 25 1450
1894 Hornady XTP 240 .430" 1.6" 2400 CCI 300 21.5 1700

Charge MV1 MV2 MV3 MV4 MV5
GG 45g 1742 1743 1706 1686 1729
GG 25g 1401 1349 1426 1430 1350
94 19.5g 1592 1589 1566 1583 1578
94 20g 1669 1662 1660 1680 1655
94 20.5g 1771 1762 1760 1766 1749

Charge Hi - V Lo - V Avg - V E Spread Std Dev
GG 45g 1743 1686 1721 57 22.09
GG 25g 1430 1349 1391 81 35.47
94 19.5g 1592 1566 1582 26 9.18
94 20g 1680 1655 1665 25 8.66
94 20.5g 1771 1749 1762 22 7.34

The first set of data there is what I'm working with that day and expected MAX info so I can keep an eye out for 'stop now' type issues. The middle data is chrony info by load/rifle type. The bottom stuff is the standard data I want to see with excel doing the calculations and populating the appropriate cells for me. As long as I set up the equations correctly it takes me out of the calculating.

I also keep a tab of suppliers and standard consumables with type and cost. I organize it so I can use filter and sort to narrow what I'm looking to compare that day.

I format everything to fit into standard 8.5 x 11 so I can print and replace pages as I add data or update to the binder I keep at my reloading workspace. I have another binder broken up by rifle and caliber of test targets with relevant data noted on them for my reference when working new stuff up as well.

Hope some of this helps.

February 4, 2008, 06:09 PM
I believe what you are describing is already available as freeware in the form of Point Blank CRBS v17A

About the only databases that are not available on the net are new powders. However, there is on data base you could develop that would be be a popular read. Publish a database like "My Favorite Over Max Loads Which Only Mame, and Will Not Kill" and call yourself OneEye Three Fingers Stumpy.

February 4, 2008, 06:19 PM
I keep it all by which I mean all steps in the process of working up a load dedicated to a particular gun are recorded on paper and filed. Those steps generally center around measured groups to determine the optimum ogive to base length as well as groups and chronograph readings to determine optimum powder and weight. I can't tell you how many times I've gone back to a sheet of paper (always dated!) to get needed information. This ensures I shoot the minimum number of rounds necessary to work up the best load for a given gun.

Each sheet of paper has the various loads/lenghts and/or chronograph readings of course but also which brass I'm using and the # of times fired. I pre-mark the actual targets I'll be shooting (1A, 1B, etc.) and indicate those on the sheet so I don't forget which target was shot with which load. As I measure groups, I note this right on the same sheet of paper I took to the range and put a star next to the best group/speed. Keeps things simple. I keep each range sheet in folders, one per caliber. Once I get through all the steps (usually three or four trips to the range at least), I get a "final load" which goes on the outside of the folder and includes:
Ogive to base length
Distance off lands
Powder and weight
Average speed
Brass used to work up load
Primers used to work up load

I also use a lot of plastic bags for brass, separating it by # times fired and of course manufacturer.

Once I get the right load and go to do a final sighting in, I put all the necessary info into a ballistics program. I use Exbal, which I really like. Here you'll enter your speed, range conditions (weather, elvation, etc) and of course your bullet to get the ballistics you'll need to know what your load does in your gun.

That's all I can think of...

February 4, 2008, 07:00 PM

that about sums up what i was trying to do. All that but applied to an individuals range data.

February 4, 2008, 11:59 PM
+1 for Reloaders Reference. It's a well done program and it's free. Wiljen has put alot of effort and love into this program.

February 5, 2008, 01:21 AM
I just keep a little black book of prefered loads for specific guns. Mostly hunting loads where I balanced accuracy and velocity desired. If I had more guns than I do.. Then I suppose I'd build some sort of DB. I work in the cornputer world, but this sort of thing hasn't really been a priority. If I was shooting competitive high power I'd probably keep extensive records. I'll probably keep better records if I start shooting Bullseye 2700's in the next couple of years. But even with that I suppose the loads won't change very much as long as I can get the same bullets and other like components. One of the things about a DB is that it's not convenient in the gun room. No computer in there at this time. The black book is always on the shelf with the dies. I don't need to boot it up just to look at a prefered load or two for a particular rifle. I also have margin notes in many of my reloading manuals.


italian biker
February 5, 2008, 02:50 AM
I usually just save the web page of the powder mfg. that has the load data on it. It saves it as a .htm file that your browser can open. I only use factory recomendations as I'm not a competative shooter.

February 5, 2008, 11:10 AM
i have my first several loads on paper. but lets face it, youngsters these days learned typing not handwriting... computers are way to convenient for me. notes arent any good if you cant read them. ;)

Mark whiz
February 5, 2008, 12:03 PM
The Lee Shooter program is a cheap way to track your loads. It doesn't do any calculations but it does a good job of organizing your loads once you input the data and you can print out the data however you want it, based on caliber, or bullet brand/type, or powder type/brand, date load was entered, etc.

February 5, 2008, 12:22 PM
I used to check SourceForge ofter years ago but haven't been there in years. I didn't know about Reloaders Reference but I just downloaded it and checked it out. It's a very large database and will be quite a useful tool. You can add to it so you can have the provided loads along with your loads all in one place.

bobaloo & primlantah,
Thanks for posting the link!!!

February 5, 2008, 01:39 PM
just found the reloaders reference .isos. much cooler than the first version i tried.

February 26, 2008, 02:34 PM
I posted an updated version of the lite edition today. It now includes shot shell data in addition to the other. I'm debating the need for another Full version release. Do you guys use the manuals etc or are they just taking up space?

March 20, 2008, 10:42 PM
posted a new version, probably the final one for a bit.

March 21, 2008, 12:42 PM
I am not a reloader yet (hence my time here today). I am a professional software architect with 25 years experience in data and list management.

I strongly suggest this type of data only be stored in a true relational program. I suggest the free program Base that is included in the OpenOffice suite of tools. You can download it from the openoffice site. Alternatively, if you have Microsoft Access already, like spending money and being locking into the MS monopoly, it would work as well. (no, not a Microsoft fan)

Here is the why you should NOT use a spreadsheet. You can delete a single cell in a spreadsheet, shifting the surrounding cells either up or left. This means the row is no longer a proper data relation.

A database program relates the entire row and will not let you delete only a 'cell'. You can delete a row of data, or you can edit data in a cell. This ensures you don't attempt to delete a row of 38 super data, inadvertantly only remove the cell, and shift the cells below up, associating a 9mm label with a 38 super load. Best case you end up with a 'hot' 9mm load. Worst case you end up shopping for a new gun and an orthopedic surgeon. (actually, worst case is really worse, but you get the idea:))

If you are managing your Christmas list, a spreadsheet may work fine. But when dealing with reloading, I would suggest an hour or two be spent learning to use free software that properly manages rows of data.

March 21, 2008, 02:07 PM
I have seperate tabs (.32 ACP to .45 Colt) for all calibers in my Excel log. I can not get .38 Super and 9MM mixed up, or .44 Spl and .44 Mag, for that matter.

I understand about deleting cells/rows/typing, etc. One has to be carefull with load data no matter how one logs it. :)

I use Excel only because I am real good at manipulating the cells/rows/etc. and can make it look anyway I want. I do NOT use any of its mathamatical abilities in my log. That could to easily get screwed up.

Pic 1 - Computer Screen (

Pic 2 - Log Book (

March 21, 2008, 02:30 PM
I use Lee Shooter software.

March 21, 2008, 04:24 PM
I have an excel Spread sheet set up to work with my velocities off of the chrono. I got a chrono that did not do it for you and while i could work it out with a pencil and paper Excel works good and is quick.

I keep load cards attached to a hand written note book with velocites in it.

On my load cards I have:
Powder type
Powder charge
Load date
Amount loaded

I print my cards on to business card sheets you can get at the store.

I have thought about starting an access database for all my loads but I think it would be too small to warrent all the work involved with creating a good usable database in access.

Uncle Chan
March 21, 2008, 11:51 PM
I wrote my own in Microsoft Access database. I then populated it with 7000 loads of my own and from various places. I then found reloaders reference and populated it with his 20,000. I now have about 28000 recipes with a free form search form I created. Pretty slick.

March 22, 2008, 12:03 AM
"...notes arent any good if you cant read them..." You're right. That's why you should print your notes. The most important data is what load you used with what bullet weight. There's nothing worse than finding a load that shoots really well only to find you didn't write down what it was. Write it on the target. Bullet weight, powder charge, primer and case.

March 22, 2008, 11:32 AM
I was doing spread sheets 10 years ago, but have given up.

I now write up a range report like a lab report in email with pictures, load data, chrono measurements, wind conditions, gunsmithing problems, etc, and send it to my accuracy mentor.

I print it, and staple it to the targets.

In the email title, I put "Range report 2008-3-22 6mmBR, 19 Badger, 7mmMag, 44 mag"

The sent email are moved to folder "range reports" in the email client.

Before I load any ammo, I do a search on that cartridge and read my history.

If I have this many cartridges:
.177 pellet, 17HMR, 17Rem,.22 pellet, .22lr, 22mag, .222, .223, .243,
25acp, 6mmPPC .262 Neck, 6mmBR,.243Win, 6mm/284, 25/35, .250/3000, 257
Roberts, 257 Roberts AI, 6.5 jap, 6.5x55, 270, 7x57mm, 7mm Rem mag, 32acp,
32sw, 32S&WLong, 32-20, 30 Mauser, 7.62x25mm, 30-30, 303Sav, 300Sav,
.308, 30-06, 300 Win Mag, 300RUM, 7.5 French, 7.5 Swiss, 7.62x39mm,
303Brit, 7.62x54R, 8x57mm, 338WM, 338LM, .380, 9x19mm, 9x23mm, 357 Sig,
38special, 357 mag, 38sw, 350RM, 40sw, 10mm, 10.4mm, 44 mag, 45acp,
45acp tight, 45Colt, 452/70, .410, 45/70, 458Lott, 32 ga, 28ga, 20 ga,
16 ga, 12 ga, and 10 ga.

And I have the memory function of the absent minded professor, this is how I have to deal with it.

March 26, 2008, 02:33 PM
to respond about the manuals: I do not use them BUT i think its cool having them available for quick reference. I keep a computer closer to my bench than a bookshelf.

If you enjoyed reading about "making a reloading database" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!