Saving your Load Data
Category : Reloading
The smart reloader takes care to document the work they did while developing a working load for every gun. There are a number of reasons for this documentation.
Reinventing the wheel never makes any sense. So, documenting your load allows you to highlight great loads. It also allows you to express disappointment in loads that were less than satisfactory. Some of the things to consider are
- Effectiveness for the load purpose (hunting loads, etc)
- What happens with a specific bullet (each style or weight of bullet for a specific chambering deserves documenting that load data info.
- What happens with a specific powder (How cleanly does the powder burn, etc)
- What happens with a specific loading technique (bullet seating depth, etc)
So, there are lots of bits of information that are important for you to document, so that you can refer to it in the future. Depending on whether you are a person who is computer literate or not, it’s still important to write it all down. In the old days I used to just write load data info on single sheets of paper, and tuck those into the sections in my load data books for that chambering. I had one student who asked for a copy of one of those pages (he had an old Springfield 1903 , 30-06 chambering). He later called me happily explaining that after reading through my notes, he selected one of the loads from those sheets, and it seemed (by chance) to be a tack driving load for his own rifle. I’d never suggest that anyone use my developed loads for their own use, but in that instance, 20+ nyear old load data made his own load development take a much faster track.
I later started a better way to save the load data, and spent many hours transcribing all those individual sheets into a three ring binder, with each chambering I loaded for having it’s own tab.
Later on, my computer kills developed, and I started using Excel spreadsheet program for entering all my reload data. It’s a much easier way to keep track of it all. You can add notes, and easily enter a new line for every time you load that cartridge, even if it’s the same cartridge and bullet and powder combination, over and over again.
I’m attaching a copy of a blank Excel spreadsheet file for you to use. If you don’t have Microsoft Office, there are FREE programs that will read and write in Excel format.
Blank Reload Data File: Blank Reload History By Caliber
You can add new tabs by right-clicking on ny of the existing tabs, and selecting to copy the tab (including contents) and then renaming the tab, and adding the new header description. That is, you can add a 223 Remington tab by copying the .40 S&W tab, placing it after the last pistol tab, and renaming it to 223 Rem, and changing the new header wording from .40 S&W to 223 Remington. You can even have a separate spreadsheet for rifle vs pistol reloading.
If you are going to do this with a three ring binder or spiral binder, the important items to include for each columns of data are: Date/Bullet/Powder/Powder Amt/Primer/Notes
It doesn’t matter which technique you utilize for documenting your reloads. It’s merely important to document those reloads. If you ever have any questions about this documentation , either as Excel or written in a binder, feel free to email me: firstname.lastname@example.org