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making a reloading database

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by primlantah, Feb 4, 2008.

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  1. primlantah

    primlantah Member

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    as the title suggests...

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

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    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


    1224.jpg
    rcmodel
     
  3. primlantah

    primlantah Member

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    RC,
    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.
     
  4. Shoney

    Shoney Member

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    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.
     
  5. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    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.

    1224.jpg
    rcmodel
     
  6. primlantah

    primlantah Member

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    so a program like this would probably be more or less useless?
     
  7. mokin

    mokin Member

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    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.
     
  8. Quigley

    Quigley Member

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    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.
     
  9. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    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!

    1224.jpg
    rcmodel
     
  10. bobaloo

    bobaloo Member

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  11. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    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.
     
  12. Asherdan

    Asherdan Member

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    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:

    Code:
    Bullet Type	WT	DIA	COL	PWD	PMR	  GR	MV
    Hornady HP	300	0.458	2.525	H4198	FED 210m  51	1914
    
    I also keep tested ballistic data for each load:

    Code:
    	ELV	V	E	TIF
    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:

    Code:
    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.

    Code:
    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.
     
  13. Shoney

    Shoney Member

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    Mokin:
    I believe what you are describing is already available as freeware in the form of Point Blank CRBS v17A

    primlantah:
    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.
     
  14. eflatminor

    eflatminor Member

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    Everything

    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
    Bullet
    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...
     
  15. primlantah

    primlantah Member

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  16. JohnMcD348

    JohnMcD348 Member

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    +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.
     
  17. JackOfAllTradesMasterAtNone

    JackOfAllTradesMasterAtNone Member

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    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.

    -Steve
     
  18. italian biker

    italian biker Member

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    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.
     
  19. primlantah

    primlantah Member

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    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. ;)
     
  20. Mark whiz

    Mark whiz Member

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    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.
     
  21. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Member

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    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!!!
     
  22. primlantah

    primlantah Member

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    just found the reloaders reference .isos. much cooler than the first version i tried.
     
  23. Wiljen

    Wiljen Member

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    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?
     
  24. Wiljen

    Wiljen Member

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    posted a new version, probably the final one for a bit.
     
  25. sqlbullet

    sqlbullet Member

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    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.
     
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