QuickLOAD Software


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jbrown13
August 7, 2010, 11:38 PM
I recently purchased a copy of QuickLOAD and in trying to learn how to use the program I've discovered some anomalies in the auto-pistol cartridges. I have taken the time to run 9 different powder and bullet combos in QL for 9mm, 40S&W and 45ACP and compare that output with the data published by the powder manufacturers, including their published COAL. The results I got were surprising to me in that I got data from QL that varied all over the place, that is some combos agreed pretty close to the published data and some data indicated that even the minimum published loads were overpressure. I tried to pick bullets that were in the QL bullet files so as to not have to create my own bullet data, and the only one that might be different is the 9mm, 147 HDY XTP. The QL program bullet file indicated it was a boat-tailed bullet, but the published data did not. These outputs are shown in the attached PDF file.

I posted this on another forum and got a lot of response, but not any that I could really say I felt comfortable with as far relying on QL for accurate data in these auto-pistol cartridges, especially 9mm. I did use the QL default values for case length and case volume as that was the easiest thing to do. Increasing the case volume based on real measurement of spent cases may increase the volume some, but it is going to lower the pressure in all the examples and the variations will still exist. The responses mostly indicated that I should measure the actual capacity of the spent cases to up the volume and input "false" COALs to allow for the expansion of the cartridge volume during detonation to make the data in QL match the published data. If I did this across the range I would still have the wide variations. If I did this for each powder/bullet combo I would have a list of "fudge factors" as long as my arm, and not have a lot of confidence in any of them. So I'm still confused as to how to use QL as a tool that produces accurate results that I'm confident in.

I'll admit I'm not the sharpest thorn on the rosebush, so maybe I'm not understanding the responses I got on the other forum. Hopefully someone here may have an explanation that will light my bulb.

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918v
August 8, 2010, 01:30 AM
The 147 XTP is a boat-tailed bullet.

QL does not provide accurate pressure or velocity data for straightwalled cartriges in some cases, so you'll have to adjust the case volume, barrel length, etc.

Bottlenecked rifle cases are no problem.

RidgwayCO
August 8, 2010, 02:35 AM
When using QuickLOAD I do the following:

1) Determine the weapon that will be used for load development and enter the barrel length into QuickLOAD. For semiautos I just enter the barrel length and let the program determine barrel travel. But for revolvers I enter whatever barrel length gives me barrel travel equal to the revolver's barrel length.

2) Establish the bullet's average length and seating depth to determine COL

3) Measure the actual capacity (before sizing) and length (after sizing) of the brass cases I'll be using (average of 10 cases selected at random, all with the same headstamp and ideally from the same lot#)

4) Use QuickLOAD to determine a "maximum load" for the powder I've chosen to use, and compare the powder charge to published maximums. Look especially for extreme differences.

5) Use QuickLOAD to determine a "starting load" and then check with the published sources for appropriateness. If QuickLOAD's starting powder charge is noticeably heavier than the published start charges, then I start with the published start load.

6) Shoot 10 rounds of the starting load over the chronograph, and compare the forecast velocity to the actual velocities.

7) Adjust the powder load as required to attain the velocity desired, if still within safe parameters. Work up slowly looking for abnormal velocities on the chronometer.

I believe that if a reload in my weapon is performing close to QuickLOAD's predictions, then the pressure must be close to QuickLOAD's predictions as well. I also make it a habit to never firewall my reloads...

YMMV (and most likely will)...

jbrown13
August 8, 2010, 12:35 PM
The 147 XTP is a boat-tailed bullet.

QL does not provide accurate pressure or velocity data for straightwalled cartriges in some cases, so you'll have to adjust the case volume, barrel length, etc.

Bottlenecked rifle cases are no problem.
If QL does not provide accurate data for straight walled cases one has to wonder why they are included in the software?

jbrown13
August 8, 2010, 12:43 PM
RidgewayCo, in item 4 in your post, what do you do if there are extreme differences?

Example 1: Say QL says the max load for powder X is less than the published minimum load in the powder manufacturer's data, then where do you go?

Example 2: Say QL says the max load for powder Y is more than the published max load in the powder manufacturer's data, then where do you go?

Sometime in the next week I'll measure 10 fired case volumes and plug that number into QL and see what is does to the data I attached to Post #1, and let you know the results. They will be the same manufacturer's brass, but not the same lot as all my brass is "mixed".

Appreciate your reply.

918v
August 8, 2010, 01:29 PM
If QL does not provide accurate data for straight walled cases one has to wonder why they are included in the software?

So that advanced reloaders can benefit from the capability of the software. There is more to internal ballistics than maximum pressure and velocity.

jbrown13
August 8, 2010, 01:34 PM
So that advanced reloaders can benefit from the capability of the software. There is more to internal ballistics than maximum pressure and velocity.
If the pressure and velocity are incorrect, wouldn't the other data be compromised as well?

bluetopper
August 8, 2010, 02:00 PM
I've thought about purchasing Quckload. Does it have a lot of cast lead handgun data? That's all I ever reload.

RidgwayCO
August 8, 2010, 02:01 PM
"Example 1: Say QL says the max load for powder X is less than the published minimum load in the powder manufacturer's data, then where do you go?"

Reply: In several years of using QuickLOAD, I can honestly say I've never seen this happen. Usually the max powder charge with QuickLOAD is a few tenths of a grain more than the max published powder charge. But if this situation were to happen, I'd probably chronograph the published data's starting load, and then proceed from there.

"Example 2: Say QL says the max load for powder Y is more than the published max load in the powder manufacturer's data, then where do you go?"

Reply: Since I always start at least 10% below the max published powder charge, and then chronograph the load, I'm always below any SAAMI maximum average pressure. I hesitate to exceed published maximum load data, but will on occasion if the load using the published data chronographs much slower than the data indicated it should, and QuickLOAD shows a higher load is still safe.

With published data, the problem is what firearm (or pressure barrel) was used. Pressure barrels are not like any of my firearms (save maybe a Contender barrel) and usually give much higher velocities than either a semiauto or revolver. That's one of the reasons I really like the Speer manuals, because Speer generates their maximum pressure data from pressure barrels, but then tests these loads in actual firearms to obtain their velocities. Perfect? No, but I've come closer to duplicating Speer data than any other source.

The neat thing about QuickLOAD (in my opinion) is ability to plug in the actual barrel length and COL you'll be using. I've often wondered about published data that use a barrel length or COL quite a bit different than what I use or need. This is especially noticeable in the 9mm Luger. Pressures in that little case can skyrocket quickly with seemingly minor changes in COL.

918v
August 8, 2010, 02:04 PM
Example 1: Say QL says the max load for powder X is less than the published minimum load in the powder manufacturer's data, then where do you go?

Example 2: Say QL says the max load for powder Y is more than the published max load in the powder manufacturer's data, then where do you go?



In either case, you should go with the bullet manufacturer's data at their OAL, qualified by pressure signs from your gun.

jbrown13
August 8, 2010, 05:47 PM
Maybe I should have stated back in Post #1 what I had hoped that QL would allow me to accomplish when I purchased the software. My shooting consists of 95% 9mm, so my focus is on that cartridge. (By the way, there is no mention (at least that I could find) on the QL web page that it has difficulty with small, straight walled cartridges) http://www.neconos.com/details3.htm

The first thing I hoped it would do is reconcile the occasional discrepancy I find in the many sources of data I have on my bookshelf, and the ones the powder manufacturer's have available online.

The second thing I hoped it would do is allow me to input different bullet dimensions from the one used in the published data and have QL tell me if that bullet, along with my powder charge and OAL, was within SAAMI pressure limits.

Pure and simple a safety tool since I don't have access to the dimensions of most of the bullets used in the published data. Unless I can get accurate outputs from QL, when using the components and dimensions in the published data, I won't have a confidence level necessary to allow me to do this.

jbrown13
August 8, 2010, 07:21 PM
I've thought about purchasing Quckload. Does it have a lot of cast lead handgun data? That's all I ever reload.
It does have bullet files for Hornady, Lee and Lyman lead bullets. You can also input the dimensions of any bullet you want to use. I've been told that it does very well with 38 Special thru 45 Colt revolver rounds, although I can't attest to that.

m0par
August 9, 2010, 08:48 AM
"Example 1: Say QL says the max load for powder X is less than the published minimum load in the powder manufacturer's data, then where do you go?"

Reply: In several years of using QuickLOAD, I can honestly say I've never seen this happen. Usually the max powder charge with QuickLOAD is a few tenths of a grain more than the max published powder charge. But if this situation were to happen, I'd probably chronograph the published data's starting load, and then proceed from there.

Using QL's default settings with 45ACP, compare hodgdon.com's info for 230gr Hornady FMJ/FP, and Clay's powder. Hodgdon says a 3.7gr minimum load predicts a MV of 670fps and pressure of 15,900 CUP. For the same load, QL predicts MV of 815fps and pressure of 26,446psi.

Similarly, comparing Hodgdon's 230gr LRN minimum load data, QL also predicts excessive pressure.

Other loads I have run through QL, like some 458 Socom loads, gave predicted MV that significantly exceeded chrono'd results (no published data to compare pressures). The 458 Socom is a bottleneck, but has a very narrow shoulder, and probably acts more like a straight-walled case, where QL can have trouble predicting results. I'm still trying to find the magic combination of Ba and cp/cv, etc that will correlate QL results with chrono'd speeds across a range of loads.

So, while QL is an interesting tool to play with, I don't put much faith in it. So far, I personally find it alot less useful than I had hoped. With any luck, maybe that will change.

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