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How do you catalog your loads?

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by JRWhit, Feb 5, 2013.

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  1. J_McLeod

    J_McLeod Member

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    I use an excel spreadsheet. Every so often I print out the sheet and put it in a binder along with Hodgdon load data and other stuff.
     
  2. cfullgraf

    cfullgraf Member

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    I use three ring binders, one tab for each cartridge.

    Each tab has sheets for reloading records, notes, accuracy, and velocity.

    The reloading sheets are the main sheets with a lot number, date, case, bullet, powder, primer, and some equipment settings. Each session at the reloading press is recorded.

    All other information is referenced by the lot number and cartridge.

    The separate accuracy and velocity logs are because I do not test every lot. No sense cluttering up the reloading log with empty spaces.

    Each container of loaded rounds are labeled with the lot number, date, bullet and powder.

    I keep a list of favorite loads to make it easier to remember what i need to load. For most cartridges, I have alternate powders in case I cannot fine my favorite powder. This list helps keep the alternate data front and center.

    Lots of good suggestions for the OP. He should have lots of ideas to experiment with.
     
  3. dragon813gt

    dragon813gt Member

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  4. witchhunter

    witchhunter Member

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    Raindodger, we must be old dudes, I also was looking throgh an old Sierra manual and laughed at my comments on those blank pages.....I noticed my 357 loads were pretty stout back then, wow, I was a speed freak with the 110 grain loads. I have a log book also, used an excel program for a while but lost it when my computer crashed. Still have most of the paper trail and notes though. Love the old Midway labels.
     
  5. JRWhit

    JRWhit Member

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    You can say that again. Lots of great ideas here. I really like the spread sheets. I'm going to have to play around with Microsoft word and see what I can come up with. Thanks everybody for the great ideas.
     
  6. emptybrass

    emptybrass Member

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    So, I was reading this thread last night with interest since I am just getting into reloading and want to track my recipes. Last night I downloaded the Mememto Database app for my Android tablet and set up a database to record my data. The database even allows you to populate fields with photo, so you could take pics of range targets to store grouping data.

    I have also started a database of my firearms with a pi of each along with SN, etc.
     
  7. Adam the Gnome

    Adam the Gnome Member

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    You guys are professional. I tried post its on boxes, but now have tons of post its in my closet.
    I was thinking a binder but spreadsheets seem easier. jrdavidson has just about sold me Bento.
     
  8. Vec

    Vec Member

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    I just made a spreadsheet on Google docs and keep it there. I'm not doing any complicated formulas or anything, just tracking data.

    My scheme:

    Everything goes in the spreadsheet -- down to the lot number of the powder and the primers. From every row I should be able to replicate the load exactly.

    On the boxes of cartridges I have the lot number (that relates back to the spreadsheet) and high level details: bullet type and weight, powder type and charge, OAL, etc.

    I'm sure it's note perfect, but it works for me.

    -G
     
  9. Powerglide

    Powerglide Member

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    Great ideas for an old reloader.I still use lickum stickers on the boxes.Of course., I still can't use my cellphone either.Always learning.
     
  10. JRWhit

    JRWhit Member

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    I was talking to my wife last night with excitement showing her my note book catalog system and telling her about all the ideas I got from this thread. As I carried on about getting it into excel on the computer, she called me a nerd.:eek:
    Guess I won't be sharing with her anymore.:neener:
     
  11. StrawHat

    StrawHat Member

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    I use a three ring binder for all my reloading info. The poster who mentioned one binder per rifle is certainly on to something, I may adopt that idea. Here is the page I use, this is for black powder cartridges but a similar page could be drafted for smokeless.

    LoadDataSheet.gif

    I like the log books as it is easier for me to carry a notebook to the range. A computer would not work for me at the range.

    I just checked, M. E. Harvey, good idea!
     
  12. PhotoBiker

    PhotoBiker Member

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    I am still working out my system.

    Right now, I use 3 x 3 3M stickies to write down the load information before I start loading, I use that while loading then place in the box of ammo. I then write down the info in a notebook with a comments section that is blank. At the range, I shoot paper plates, then write down the load information on the plates as well as comments on the 3M stickies. When I get back, I throw the plates into a stack and update the notebook with my comments (like "NO", "OK"...).

    When I am getting the next load ready, I look at the notebook first, then the stickies (in case I had more notes on them), then sift through the plates to see the groups.

    This process will not stand the test of time...
     
  13. dickttx

    dickttx Member

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    In the 60's/70's when I started reloading I used a piece of tape stuck on the box to record the pertinent info on the load. When I pulled out those boxes of loaded ammo forty years later they still had all the info I needed.

    http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=637938


    If the above link works, post 10 shows what I use. Easy.

    After being an accountant for 52 years and a CPA for 48 years, I don't really want to do any more record keeping than absolutely necessary.:rolleyes:
     
  14. GLOOB

    GLOOB Member

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    For pistol, I label the containers in which I store my component bullets. This label contains my load info and expected velocity for that bullet, with any and all of the appropriate powders I have for that bullet. For pistol bullets, this is only 2-3 powders for each caliber.

    Sometimes I don't label a batch of reloads, at all. If enough time passes, I may have to pull a bullet to see which powder is in there. Once I identify the powder and the bullet, I know the powder charge. For 357, I try to buy CCI magnum, Win regular, to tell the difference between my H110 and Unique loads by primer color. But that doesn't always work out, due to availability.

    But generally, I load what I shoot, and shoot what I load. It doesn't sit around for long. I label any ammo meant for longterm storage.

    For rifle, I pretty much have one favorite load I've chosen for each bullet. Even easier. Look at the type of bullet, and I know how much of what powder is in there.

    For small workup batches, that's different, of course. Those are labeled, usually with a handwritten note taped to the bag. Or a shapie scrawl on individual cases.

    So my main step is to keep loaded batches separate. I have never done up a batch and then dumped it into a box with previous batches. They go in their own bag, even if they're essentially the same thing, different day. Afterall, I don't really care what's in there, as long as it's actually what I intended. All my loads work. If I were to run into a problem caused by human error, such as taper crimp, OAL, powder charge, primer seating, etc... then all I really want to know is how to identify the rest of that batch.
     
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2013
  15. Hondo 60
    • Contributing Member

    Hondo 60 Member

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    Wow, some of you guys carry this on pretty far.

    I just use home made cards that look exactly like the MTM cards that come in new Case Guard boxes.

    load-cards.jpg
     
  16. ScratchnDent

    ScratchnDent Member

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    I keep a hand-written notebook for each cartridge I reload. When I find a load I like, and load them in quantities, I pack them in old factory ammo boxes with the bullet weight, powder charge, and load date marked on a couple pices of tape. Some of my ammo boxes must have a 3/8" of tape wrapped around them by now. :)
     
  17. sbrader

    sbrader Member

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    I tend to load 100 round boxes with anywhere from two to ten different loads (in rows of ten) that I am testing; so putting a sticker on the outside of the box doesn't let give me the information I need. I keep the detailed information in a spreadsheet. I print one out for each of my firearms and keep track of the loading data in there; including which rows of the ammo box apply to each load. Then I stick a small card inside each box with very brief notes of the lot number by row so I can jot notes on each different load that I transfer to the spreadsheet when I get home.

    It may not be the most efficient, but it works very well for me. Having a separate sheet for each firearm also allows me to tweak loads for different firearms of the same caliber.

    Scott
     
  18. JRWhit

    JRWhit Member

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    Well just like working up loads and can see this progressing with time. I really like the use of exel and started toying with it on my PC. I'll be making a trip to an office supply store to get some other goodies so that I can catalog in exel and print to hard copy in a binder for load bench access and back up record.
    Funny , I started reloading in large because of cost of ammo. All the while thinking that I wasn't interested in getting caught up with the fine tuning aspect of reloading.My plan was to find a reliable load cheap to produce and go with it. I was ill prepared for how much I would enjoy that process and it rapidly grew to more than just paper puncher handgun loads. Now unexpectedly, I find even more enjoyment in the cataloging process and fine tuning my findings. I think my wife may be right, I'm a gun nerd.:eek: I'm not sure how many more side Hobbies are to come from the original hobby of shooting, but I must say thanks to all here on HighRoad, this has been a fantastic source to consult and learn from the more experienced. :)
     
  19. robowo

    robowo Member

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    I am a programmer so I wrote a Microsoft Access database. In it I track all the details on all firearms. It includes pictures of each gun, along with holsters and other accessories and modifications. I also track all ammo, whether it be factory or reloads. Most, except .22 LR is reloads. There is a report for each gun that shows the amount of ammo on hand for it. It also shows how many rounds have been fired in each gun. It also contains an inventory of reloading components. I also entered the data for over 1,400 loads for .357 Magnum and .38 Special. I have reports that you can sort by caliber, bullet weight, powder, or any combination of these. I have a reloading history form where I enter all the details of each load. A screenshot of this form is the 1st attached picture. For marking the ammo boxes I have a report that is printed and put in each ammo box. This is shown in the 2nd attached picture.

    Besides the load info, it also contains 2 other pieces of useful info for when we shoot on our range. It also shows the drop in inches for 50, 75, and 100 yards for each of my revolvers for that load. This comes in handy since we routinely shoot at those ranges on steel targets.

    It also shows the recoil for that load in each gun, which I find handy when introducing new people to shooting. I start each new shooter on a 22 revolver and then work up in power. Usually 148 grain wadcutters, followed by a mid-range 38 Special, then a mid-range 38 +P load and then low end 357 Magnum followed by full house 357 Magnum. By working up the recoil ladder, each shooter can tell me when they have reached the recoil threshold that they are comfortable with. This way they get comfortable shooting and enjoy it much more. I have had 2 couples come and shoot for the first time who later bought 357 Magnum revolvers. With one couple, the wife was only comfortable shooting 38 Special, but her husband was comfortable with 357 Magnum rounds. In the other case it was the wife who liked the 357 Magnum rounds better than her husband who has a lingering wrist problem.

    I also built in recoil, muzzle energy, momentum and power factor calculators and have a trajectory calculator linked to it.
     

    Attached Files:

  20. jhei88

    jhei88 Member

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    How does a guy get a copy of that robow,that's exactly what I've been looking for
     
  21. HighExpert

    HighExpert Member

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    I guess I am really anal about this. I have a full list in a Word file on my computer and three backup drives, labels on all the Dillon boxes for each caliber and a row of sticker labels inside my reloading cabinet door with everything listed. Bullet, Primer, Powder, Charge, OAL, Chrono and gun loaded for.
     
  22. JRWhit

    JRWhit Member

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    Well here it is. My THR inspired load workbook. Thanks all for the ideas that led to it




    IMG_0268.jpg
    IMG_0269.jpg
    IMG_0270.jpg Page shows work up for load, followed by a log sheet behind it after I have figured my findings for firing sessions and load sessions.

    Still changing or adding things here and there but that's it in a nutshell. I'll have to add a spot for velocity after I get a chronograph.
     
  23. JJ-

    JJ- Member

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    I use Evernote. I enter every bit of information when working up a load and then even snap pictures of the target directly in the app. Syncs across all my computers iphone and iPad so I always have access to my load logs
     
  24. Reefinmike

    Reefinmike Member

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    I keep it simple and stick to one load for each caliber and simply put a sticker with the date of the lot on the box of ammo.

    I keep the load info written on my bench just in case I have a brain fart when setting up the press for a loading session.

    380's all get a 102gr cast boolit seated to .980 and 3.1gr hp38 using the .30cc autodisk and a small pistol primer
    38 spl get a 158gr lswc seated to 1.435" and 3.4gr hp38 using the .32 autodisk and a small pistol primer. newer lots have a small rifle primer- tula copper colored so they are easy to know what is what
    357 mag gets a 125gr plated swc seated to 1.585 and 7.5gr hp38 using the .71 autodisk and a small rifle primer
    45acp gets a 230gr ltc seated to 1.170 and 4.9gr hp38 using the .46 autodisk and either a large pistol or small rifle primer depending on the case.

    Once I find what I like, I stick with it and dont tinker around with the load. I have a good stack of 50 cal cans full of ammo and I really dont see the need to write down anything other than the date for each lot of ammo that way If I were to come across something like a squib or a junky alloy that leads up the barrel, I know what lot to set aside. As I get my monthly take of lead, I turn that into bullets and load it all up in one or two sittings that way each "lot" of ammo has the same lot of boolits seated in em.

    Tldnr- a garage sale sticker with the date of manufacture on the box and thats it.
     
  25. gamestalker

    gamestalker member

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    I'm pretty anal about keeping records of reloading. I have a large record book and I catalog each load for each action or pistol that includes,
    1. fps
    2. pressure signs
    3. powder charge & type
    4. primer
    5. bullet brand / type
    6. head stamp
    7. OAL,
    8. accuracy
    9. Temperature it was tested at
    10. Trim length
    11. Where it zeros on the scope turrets at 200 yds., if it is a rifle cartridge obviously.

    That last entry is extremely handy when I'm loading up for a hunting trip. I just love not having to re-zero each time I load.

    GS

    GS
     
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