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Keeping track of recipes.

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by OrangeCat, Jul 23, 2019.

  1. OrangeCat

    OrangeCat Member

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    Hey everyone, just wondering how some of you keep records for your hand loads.

    Do you use three ring binders, index cards, post it notes in your loading manual, an Excel spreadsheet in your computer.

    Anyone use stickers or tabs to color code for the calibers or firearms you use.

    What sort of data do you record
    Bullet
    powder
    Overall length
    Anything else you like to write down
    Powder lot?
    Cases?

    Thanks in advance for letting me look at your process.
     
  2. frogfurr

    frogfurr Member

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    I use an excel spreadsheet with:

    Bullet
    Powder
    COAL

    I also note any failures to feed, eject, lack of accuracy, etc. Anything that may be a reason not to try this load again down the road.
     
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  3. Ole Joe Clark

    Ole Joe Clark Member

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    Excel spread sheet, hulls, primer, powder and load, bullet type and weight. Been keeping load data since the mid 1970, (last century).

    Have a blessed day,

    Leon
     
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  4. forty_caliber
    • Contributing Member

    forty_caliber Contributing Member

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    I keep my records in this logbook. I try to fill in all of the blanks that I can for each session when loading and then when I get back from the range to sort my brass I fill in any impressions I had. If I'm running a ladder test the log book goes to the range with me.

    Described as:
    "5 logs per page with large, easy-to-use format has plenty of room to enter all important data such as bullet, powder, primer, case, firearm used, plus size, velocity, conditions and several lines for comments on your reloads. Large 8-1/2" x 11" size. 50 pages per log."

    I also use a label printer to create labels for all ammo boxes so I can easily find the ammo I want in the cabinet. With Caliber, bullet, powder type and charge, quantity, date loaded.

    Probably way to organized but this practice comes from lessons learned over the years.

    .40
     
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  5. Paul Toms

    Paul Toms Member

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    My range day notes go into a composition book while at the shooting bench. Once guns are cleaned & brass sorted, the info in the comp book gets loaded into the spread sheet by caliber. Projectile mfg, weight & type, powder mfg, type & charge and COAL. Also listed are velocity, power factor
     
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  6. ATLDave

    ATLDave Member

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    I use steno notebooks (the ones that have a spiral ring at the top) because they don't take up as much room on the bench as a lab notebook or a laptop.

    Here's what I record for a new load. At the top of the page, I write caliber, projectile type and weight, and powder. I'll also note the primer I'm planning to use. I then transcribe all the published load data I can find with sources. This forces me to pay attention to what kind of variance there is between specific projectiles, notice any out-of-whack data, and generally gives me a good feel for what the real working range is.

    If I'm going to be throwing powder on the press, I then adjust the powder dispenser and throw some charges. I just toss the first few back in the hopper, then weigh and record 5 or 6 of them in a row. This gives me a record of what kind of metering I'm dealing with.

    I then start loading rounds. I record the headstamp of brass being used. If throwing on the press, I record the specific powder weight thrown by tare weighing cases for the first few rounds, then intermitently for a while thereafter. I record the overall weight and length for the first 15-20 rounds. This gives me a baseline of what a finished round should weigh with the particular components, and what COAL I'm loading to.

    After I shoot the new load, I'll make a few notes about what I observed. If I chrono the load, I'll record that.

    If I change brass type or charge weight, I'll record the same finished-round-specific data described above until I again can get a feel for what a finished round with the new components should weigh. If I decide to bump the load up or down, I'll do the same. If I change the specific bullet being used, but don't expect it's going I'll also repeat it.

    I can write very small, so I can fit several iterations of development and data logging on a single sheet of a steno notebook.

    After about 10 years of reloading, I'm into my 4th notebook.
     
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  7. Slamfire

    Slamfire Member

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    I fill out the load data in a data book. The data book has gotten bigger over the years, because I am writing so much more information. As a part of my OCD behaviors, I used colored pens, have created my own color hierarchy. Load data is typically written in red, other data in blue or black. Makes it easy to skim through pages and find which rifles, which loads, which elevations. I must have 13 smaller load books and three 8.5 X 11" bound volumes. I also type the important load data, which is for me, bullet, case, primer, charge, charge weight, powder lot, OAL, and velocities, in my chronograph spread sheet. Data I frequently copy and paste into these forums.
     
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  8. Milt1

    Milt1 Member

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    I have a composition book that's divided into sections wherein I detail loadings for the .38 Special, .357 Mag, .44 Special and .45 Colt. For each specific caliber I list the bullet manufacturer, the bullet type and weight, the powder type and weight, the setting of the powder scale for each different weight used and the count of each round loaded to a specific powder weight. On the far right side I leave room to note how that specific load did.
     
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  9. lightman

    lightman Member

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    Years before computers I copied the one that MTM sold. I keep them in a large 3 ring binder. I have date, number of rounds loaded, case, primer, powder type, powder charge, bullet brand type and weight and a section for notes. The 3 ring binder also has enough room that I can save the target and I often staple the chronograph tape to the target.

    There are more modern things available now but I don't have to worry about backing things up or loosing them.
     
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  10. Steve in PA

    Steve in PA Member

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    I have a note pad with all the recipes for all the calibers and guns. Each page looks something like this;

    Caliber: .45acp
    Bullet: Manufacturer, weight and type (Rainier, 230gr FMJ)
    Case: Manufacturer (Rem, Fed, etc)
    Powder: Manufacturer (Unique)
    Primer: CCI LP
    COL: 1.260”

    Powder Charge: Weight and velocity/energy based on data used.
     
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  11. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator Staff Member

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    This. It replaced my hand written load book years ago.
     
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  12. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator Staff Member

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    For pistol loads:

    Date, temp and humidity and chrono numbers when shot, accuracy notes, bullet diameter and length, powder, powder charge weight, scale I used to weigh powder, crimp type and strength, bullet maker, bullet weight, bullet type (Jacketed, plated, lead, coated) bullet nose style, bushing used in powder measure (Don't use that anymore), or powder measure setting, OAL, conditions they were shot in, seater setting, trim length if applicable, case brand (Starline, Fed, Mixed, etc)

    I think that is it.

    Rifle? A lot more if it is target ammo.
     

    Attached Files:

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  13. peels

    peels Member

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    Excel Spreadsheet. Everything is in there. loading records (date, powder, primer, brass, projectile, # of time fired for brass, annealed or not, COL, along with notes).
     
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2019
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  14. Armored farmer

    Armored farmer Member

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    I keep a file on each gun, in a filing cabinet in my hideout. Each file has a target with details written on the margins.
    Not as scientific as some, but pretty handy.
    I pull them out for reference from time to time.
    20190525_131031.jpg
     
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  15. Ironicaintit

    Ironicaintit Member

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    I put it all down on 3x5 cards, and into a kinda nice wooden flip-top recipe box that was scored at the salvation army.
    Each load has it's own 3x5, and are segregated by caliber. At the start of each caliber is a 3x5 with "do's and don'ts" abouit the caliber....IE-which brass is crap, max and min OALs, trim length, etc.

    computers are great and all, but I've also found myself reloading by lantern light at 3am during a blizzard with no power. (a rare exception)
     
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  16. jmorris

    jmorris Member

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    If it’s a keeper I print off labels, keep them on the cabinet, dies, toolheads, powder bars/measures and boxes containing them. Test stuff I use a sharpie on each case or label the box by section with details on top.

    3 ring binders for older stuff are faster for me than computer and moving data from decades past.

    F00E506E-994F-4DFA-9F8E-5AD1C091420D.jpeg

    2F3B09C3-F2CC-42AD-87CF-438349396E36.jpeg
     
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  17. GW Staar

    GW Staar Member

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    jmorris! I like your idea of labels with the load data stuck on your tool head! Excellent! My idea of a label is the .45ACP below.....why didn't I think of that? sheesh. Way easier than even looking it up in load data book.

    I box up everything, including my bullet feeder parts.....see picture below....
    but I never thought of a detailed label with the load data!
    Including powder measure setting would finish the job.

    (However with my new PC7 press, I would just include the $10 preset "quick change" P.M. measuring screw.)
    Glad I saw this thread....:)
    IMG_1607.JPG IMG_1606.JPG
     
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2019
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  18. OrangeCat

    OrangeCat Member

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    This has been a pretty good thread so far.

    It seems like more of you are using Excell than I would have thought.
    Jmorris's labels are pretty sharp. Are real interesting idea for keeping the basic at a glance data right there where you don't have to hunt for it.
    And a lot of you have managed to get quite a bit of detailed information out of your hand loads. And it's a little surprising at the sheer amount of data generated over a few years.
     
  19. Jack Ryan

    Jack Ryan Member

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    I also "mark up" my reloading manuals.

    full.jpg

    I have that hanging on a deer antler over my reloading bench and I can grab those, find a card, have it on the cloths pin by the press and my powder out by the time most computer screens blink on.
     
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2019
  20. peels

    peels Member

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    Yep, agree with lots and lots of labels. I don't box any reloads without a lable. There is always a sharpie and a roll of masking tape at the reloading bench.

    For the unlikely event of no electricity or computer failure, and I want to reload, I can always reference the lables on loaded ammo.

    The spreadsheet data is backed up typically on a monthly schedule.
     
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  21. jmorris

    jmorris Member

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    Sometimes I sit and think and sometimes I just sit.

    Each Dillon press comes with a couple powder bars and each powder check comes with different arbors, so I just move the measure and PC from tool head to tool head. It saves quite a bit of money and doesn’t take much time. Looks like this.

     
  22. GW Staar

    GW Staar Member

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    I do a lot of sitting and thinking all right......unfortunately at my age, I forget it all by tomorrow, if I don't write it down.

    The Dillon change over is not bad.....the Quick Change Uniflow works on the same principle, you just have to pull out the metering screw and plug in another. Probably a little faster....no screws to tighten....you just pull on the keeper on the cylinder to release the metering screw...... Obviously you want to buy a screw for each setup you want to keep and set it once.

    As for labeling these ... a string or wire around the end of the screw, with a label dangling might work.
    14409.jpg
    powder dump on the left. large metering screw in the middle and small metering screw on the right.
     
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2019
  23. Jonesy814

    Jonesy814 Member

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    I use a 3 ring binder. Its divided into sections with a tab for each caliber I load. I use 4 lines on the paper for each load. I record the bullet by manufacturer. Type & weight. Since I have a Lee turret press I record which size disc cavity was used, powder weight and type and OAL. Finally I record the number of rounds loaded, head stamp of brass used and the date
    There is enough space to add comments like “Heavy recoil, or groups nicely
    I have a record of every single round loaded
     
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  24. Stew0576

    Stew0576 Addicted

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    I use a spiral notebook, one for each caliber I load for
     
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  25. Bfh_auto

    Bfh_auto Member

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    I start on a notepad and on a sticker in the ammo box. If it proves to be an exceptional load, it gets written into my reloading manual.
    To make this cut takes at least a hundred rounds of consistent accuracy.
     
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