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What constitutes a separate "lot" of reloads?

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by 16in50calNavalRifle, Oct 12, 2011.

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  1. 16in50calNavalRifle

    16in50calNavalRifle Member

    Mar 7, 2009
    Perhaps a dumb question - but at least easily answered.

    I am just starting to reload and of course plan to document and label my various lots of reloads in different calibers (charge, bullet weight, COL, etc.).

    I had also expected to give each separate run of reloads a unique "lot" number.

    But after just reloading 200 rounds of 30 carbine over the course of a few days, I am wondering what really constitutes a separate "lot". For example, thanks to the nature of 30 carbine, I don't expect to vary the load at all. I expect I'll stick with the "classic" or original load, 110 grain FMJ over 14-15 grains of H110. (If I decide to try lead bullets that would be one more load - but again there would be no variations once I found a good combo)

    So if I load up the remaining 800 FMJ bullets over the same charge out of the same bottle of H110, using the same box of CCI SRPs, using the same COL (1.680), with the die settings unchanged, aren't they really just one big lot, even if I load them over the next 2 months?

    The obvious related question is what change would trigger a new "lot" number, if the charge/bullet weight+type/COL don't change? Different box of primers? Different bottle of powder?

    My answer is that with unchanged loadings and settings a new lot number would only be appropriate when a different bottle of powder or box of primers is used.

    Am I correct?
  2. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

    Sep 17, 2007
    Eastern KS
    I have never used "Lot Numbers".
    If I changed powder cans or primer brands 2 years ago when I loaded them?
    There is nothing I can do about it now, or any way to get any more of the same lot# at this late date.

    I don't even keep track of powder or primer lot #'s in my notes.

    My reloading box labels clearly state what components are in the loads.
    And the date they were loaded.

    That date is the only "lot #" need.

    My MS Word doc prints 18 of these per sheet of paper.
    Cal __________________/ Date _________________
    Case _________________/ Primer _______________
    Bullet ________________/ OAL _________________
    Powder _______________/ Charge ______________
    Notes _______________________________________

    I use Magic Scotch tape to tape one inside every box I load.
    They are easily removed and thrown away when I use the box again.

    Last edited: Oct 12, 2011
  3. Blue68f100

    Blue68f100 Member

    May 25, 2011
    Piney Woods of East Texas
    I have a log book in which I log all my reloads. When I worked up my loads I assign each change as a different load number. This includes OAL changes. So all loads are unique in such when compared to the others. Then on my labels I write all of the load specifics and load number as well as bag number. I do not keep track of primer or powder lots unless the mfg makes a change to his recipe.

    Now since you are loading the all the same recipe, they would have the same load #. Depending on how many your are putting in 1 box/bag... you may have several batch numbers. I bag my 9mm in 200/bag, 45acp in 100/bag. This keeps the weight down and I know how much I'm getting when I grab a bag when heading to the range. I use the the Food saver vac bags for storage. I know being vacuum sealed it will keep moisture out just encase the storage box gets wet. I put a label inside the bags with the details, including the lot #. I also write the lot number on the outside of the bag with a sharpy pen. So when I shoot them I make a log into my log book that they were shot. If I have any problems I also make a note in the log.

    BADUNAME37 Member

    Aug 10, 2008
    I do the same as rc. The only difference in my boxes would be the date, all other info would be identical for identical cartridge/bullet/loads.
  5. cfullgraf

    cfullgraf Member

    Oct 19, 2010
    East TN
    I consider a "lot" of reloaded ammunition a reloading session regardless of the number of rounds loaded.

    A session for me is an evening or an afternoon. Rarely do they last over two or more days. That would be two or more lots primarily because I clean up and put away everything at the end of a day's reloading. I do not want to leave stuff out on the off chance I get interrupted and do not get back to the reloading bench.

    I do assign sequential lot numbers by cartridge just because it is easier for me to track through my system.

    My main record has lot number, date, bullet, case, primer, powder and charge. There is an extra column for COL and any press/powder measure settings. These are filed by cartridge.

    The ammunition boxes are tagged with lot number, date, bullet and powder charge.

    I record velocities and groups on separate sheets from the reloading records as I don't measure every lot that I load. The lot numbers along with bullet and powder charge are used to reference back to the main data. Less stuff to right down. If I need the details, I can look.

    I could track by date and cartridge only.

    Finally, I do not use a computer for reload record logging, although the log sheets are blank CAD templates. The computer is not handy to the reloading area and is not left running 24/7. I'd spend too much time waiting for it to boot and shut down. But that is my idiosyncrasy.

    Several different ideas presented, none of them wrong. Figure out what will work for you and it will be the best.
  6. 243winxb

    243winxb Member

    Jul 7, 2004
    Hopewell Big Woods
    Yes. Change a component, new lot number. Plus each component gets a lot number. If it does not come with one, i make one up to identify it. When a 1/2" rifle turns into a 3" rifle, its easy to see what has been changed. This keeps you from pulling scopes, checking the glass bedding & more. Cast bullets all get a lot number. Todays first lot # is 101211A, then 101211B
  7. 16in50calNavalRifle

    16in50calNavalRifle Member

    Mar 7, 2009
    Appreciate the great feedback, thanks to all. I am probably going to use a somewhat lean system - sort of like cfullgraf, with any performance data linked back to loading data via a lot number or some other designator. I don't expect to do a great deal of adjustment or experimentation once I've found accurate loadings, even beyond 30C into 9mm, 45ACP, and 38/357.
  8. 1SOW

    1SOW Member

    Oct 28, 2007
    South Texas
    I agree with rcmodel.
    Put your reloading info on every cartridge box loaded. I change colors for different loads in the same gun.
    I keep loads on the computer and go back to "that" load and store my chrono, shot group, etc info there.

    If you decide to just change oal or powder quantity, that's a totally different load for me.
  9. evan price

    evan price Member

    Dec 7, 2005
    http://www.ohioccw.org/ Ohio's best CCW resour
    Yeek, I am no where near that OCD!

    I use the little 1" x 2.5" white labels that formerly were for floppy disks. I put date, caliber, powder type and charge, bullet type, primer, OAL, nominal velocity, and- if I cast the boolit- lead type, size, and lube.

    44 Magnum
    8.0gr PROMO
    OAL 1.600"
    Lee TL-430-240-SWC
    ALOX lube, as-cast
    Range Scrap+water quench
    BHN 14
    1000 FPS approx.
  10. GP100man

    GP100man Member

    Mar 16, 2007
    Tabor City, NC.
    This especially come into play if your shooting MAX loads in YOUR firearm!!!!

    I mainly shoot intermediate to upper intermediate loads so changes like cases or primers & different lots of powder are`nt as critical.

    All my revolvers can chamber & shoot the specified caliber ammo loaded , rifle ammo is more individualized & taylored to a particular chamber, so even if it`s a moderate load it does`nt get "shuffled"
  11. beatledog7

    beatledog7 Member

    Jun 18, 2011
    I like MTM stick-on labels for finished rounds. The label data gets entered into a spreadsheet that also tracks my experience with loading/shooting a given lot.

    Some might find this helpful. I designed a data card similar to RCs, but for case prep, so I can keep track of brass in various stages. A work in progress, but today it looks like this:

    Caliber____________ Make/Lot_________

    __ Initial tumble Source________

    __ DeCap Times Fired ________

    __ Full Length Size __ Neck Size

    Trim length ____________

    __ Debur, Chamfer, Flash hole, Primer pocket

    __ Second tumble


    __ Belled

    __ Ready to charge Qty_______


    Source is where I enter which gun fired it, range, P/U, brass seller, etc. The rest is obvious.

    Not every entry required for every case, but this helps avoid repeating or skipping steps, and I need that because I have about 20 separate case sorts going as I write. Priming and belling the case mouth don't usually get checked as that decision gets made when I decide what to load. Trim length has yet to prove critical for any load I've done, but I do like lots to be the same length to get even crimping.
  12. RandyP

    RandyP Member

    Jan 28, 2009
    I use a simple Avery label that I home print with very basic load data info - sufficient to recreate the loading. Can't say I fret much over creating 'lots' - my budget does not permit my making lots of ammo - lol - and even if it did, I'm making low-mid range plinking loads always using the same powder Win 231/HP-38.

    Like others, my Word Doc label is almost identical to those shown Date-Powder Charge-OAL-Bullet Used-Caliber-Primer
  13. dickttx

    dickttx Member

    Feb 9, 2011
    Fort Worth
    I use this Excel template. 2x4 adhesive labels. After 5 loadings I put another on top, offset a small amount, to keep track of the number of loadings.
    I had a similar one over 40 years ago. When I started shooting and reloading again last year, I knew exactly what I needed to know about my 40 year old ammo.

    Attached Files:

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