Author Topic: Reloading Record Keeping  (Read 421 times)

Offline Coal Creek Griff

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Reloading Record Keeping
« on: July 23, 2019, 03:15:51 pm »
Periodically, the discussion of keeping records for reloading comes up.  Most of us find ourselves in two camps.  Either we keep detailed records of every round fired, wind direction, humidity, elevation, ambient temperature, path of flight for the bullet, etc., or we don't keep track of anything.

I propose a third camp.  I keep track of every batch/lot of ammunition I reload, noting basic info.  If I want more details for a particular load, I have separate pages just for notes.  In my system, I can at least know what this box of ammo contains.  I sometimes get excited to load ammo for that new .441 Thumblicker I just found at the gun show and load up mountains of ammo with different bullet weights, powders, etc.  Then I set it aside for a few years.  The time comes when I pull out the old gun.  I want to at least know what these rounds contain and when I loaded them.  By having a scrap of paper in the ammo box with the lot number, I can at least find out the basics.

I'm attaching a blank page that I developed a number of years ago.  I three-hole punch the paper and keep the records in a three-ring binder with sections for cartridges.  I've used this system for over 30 years and I find it very beneficial.  In the "notes" section goes whatever I think I want to remember, like the velocity or "light plinking load for my nephew" or "heavy load to see what a bruised shoulder feels like".

For many of my loads, this batch/lot of 100 is exactly like the batch/lot before that (and the one before that), so they just get ditto marks (") in each column.  If I'm working up a load, it's possible that only the powder charge changes, so I often have a bunch of lots of 10 rounds where everything except the charge weight gets a ditto mark, then there is a velocity reading and maybe group size in the "notes" section.  I also sometimes save important targets, which get three-hole punched and added to the notebook with the lot number noted on the target for reference.

I keep the records for everything I ever load, even if it's only a box of target ammo for a friend.  Having these records has really paid off a number of times, like when that friend comes back asking for another box "just like the one you loaded for me 10 years ago".  Sometimes I stop loading for a particular caliber, then come back to it years later.  It's nice to not have to reinvent the wheel every time.

This is how I do it and it works for me.  Of course this can be modified (or ignored) as you see fit.  To me it's a compromise between spending hours recording every detail or not keeping any records.  It only takes a minute or so to make the notes and it's well worth the effort.

CC Griff
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Offline Coffinmaker

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Re: Reloading Record Keeping
« Reply #1 on: July 23, 2019, 04:49:52 pm »

Hey CCG   :D

I well understand your record keeping.  I see no reason why you shouldn't do it.  However, I'm in the camp that doesn't keep track of anything.  Nada.  Nix.  Nothing.  Ah, well not quite.  I do keep track of what's inna box.  Each box of ammo has a little piece of box top, on which I record: Propellant, Amount of Propellant.  Filler or no filler.  Bullet & Bullet weight.  Primer.  I put the little card in each follow on box that I load with same same stuff.  I also stick a piece of tape on the Powder Measure for that caliber with the charge it currently drops recorded.  Atz it.  All I need is to know how much of what to put inna case the next time I load it.  Once I settle on a load, I'm pretty much done.

Offline Coal Creek Griff

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Re: Reloading Record Keeping
« Reply #2 on: July 23, 2019, 05:14:00 pm »
Coffinmaker:

When you blow yourself up, can I have your left over stuff (that didn't blow up with you)?  ;D

Actually, I have no issues with any of these camps.  I do know a few handloaders, though, who get scared off of record keeping because it seems complicated.  For those who like to experiment, record keeping is a must.  For the rest of us, not so much.

CC Griff
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Offline DeaconKC

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Re: Reloading Record Keeping
« Reply #3 on: July 23, 2019, 07:48:57 pm »
I use adhesive labels on my flip top boxes for identifying the loads in them. When I find good dependable loads I have a notebook that I write them down in.
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Offline Professor Marvel

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Re: Reloading Record Keeping
« Reply #4 on: July 24, 2019, 12:03:07 am »
Ah My Good Coal

You are of the class of loaders that I admire and envy! The results of these sorts of efforts often
End up in little loading  manuals!!! Whilst I was beaten into keeping meticulous lab logs for the now past day job, when it comes to personal stuff I sadly fall far short

Coffin, Deacon, I fear we are all of similar ilk. My documentation methodology begins with grand plans and expectations, and ends with a couple of marked up targets, notes in the margins of the loading books along with almost legible scribbles on loose notepad pages stuck in the loading book as bookmarks, ending with a summary sticker in the cartridge box.

I did get tricky of late with .45 Colt...
Schofield cases are exclusively smokeless.
.45 Colt Cases are BP or subs

If the .45 bullet is a FN truncated cone it is hardcast, the load is considered a Performance load.  Warm but safe, not hot, but not for use in C&B conversions
RNFP are all soft lead, all are "middle road" not wimpy, but not hot.  useful for most anything, but I do get the thats a lot of powder look
when shooting BP.

BTW , Years later, I will find the marked up target in the garage and wonder what it goes with....

Yhs
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Offline Coal Creek Griff

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Re: Reloading Record Keeping
« Reply #5 on: July 24, 2019, 10:19:19 am »
...almost legible scribbles...

That part made me laugh.  I might comment that, although I keep some records, I didn't say that I could actually read them later!

CC Griff
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Offline Abilene

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Re: Reloading Record Keeping
« Reply #6 on: July 24, 2019, 03:52:53 pm »
I guess I'm in that 3rd camp as well.  I do not own a chrono or any other test gear, but like to keep good recorsds.  My reloading data is one page of the Excel spreadsheet that tracks all my guns, how much of what shot in each, etc.
The reloading page is divided by caliber, and each recipe has a "name".  For example, I started by reloading 44 special, so the first recipe was labeled "44S-1", next would be 44S-2, etc.  A minor change to the recipe like a bit more/less powder or slightly different bullet might just get a letter suffix, like 44S-2a.   In the case of the 44 special, I think I'm up to 44S-27 or something like that.  I add to the quantity column every time I load that recipe.  Boxes of cartridges have a label on top to ID the contents.  Some recipes call for a colored stripe on the bottom of the cartridge (example: a blue stripe means loaded with BP, but no lube, so those are for pistol where I add lube over the loaded rounds in the cylinder.  A black stripe means BP with a lubed bullet, mostly for rifle).  In order to keep the size of this spreadsheet down, and even make it printable on a single page (albeit with tiny print), I hide all the lines that are recipes that I am no longer using.

I don't load hot loads, most are mid-range with a few a little lighter.

I mentioned in another thread that my reloading area is pretty messy.  But I do keep the powder bottle that is in current use sitting on top of the funnel that I use to pour powder back into it's bottle, to help me keep from mixing any up.  All other powders stay on the shelf.

Offline Coffinmaker

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Re: Reloading Record Keeping
« Reply #7 on: July 24, 2019, 04:01:44 pm »
Ah Yes.  And there is the Rub.  Following a most unpleasant stay in Hospital, I suffered some nerve damage that has not rectumfied as of yet.  Therefore, my handwriting is much as described by the Professor.  After I write something, a day later I can't read it.  >:( Wasted effort as it twer.

A Long Time Ago, In a Galaxy Far Far Away, I had the best of intentions.  :D Alas, all for naught.  How far is a naught anyway??  Anything like a Click??  Anyway, as I see it, Records are now obsolete round things made of plastic for music storage    ::)   And, as a point, I am one of those whom retained a precision Turntable upon which said music may be extracted   8)

PS:  Having just Backread Abilene .... I are also a cautious free-loader.  I also keep the bottle of powder in use nest to the Dillon with a funnel on top.  All other powders are stored under the bench.  Of course, since I only load 2f or 3f these days, it may well be moot.  Old habits are hard to break   :P
« Last Edit: July 24, 2019, 04:05:10 pm by Coffinmaker »

Offline wildman1

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Re: Reloading Record Keeping
« Reply #8 on: July 26, 2019, 07:34:32 am »
I keep records of all loads developed, some for reuse others just to know that I do not need to use those again. We have loads that are favorites for whatever purpose they were intended. Long rang loads are usually chronographed in case of powder change, bullet weight and shape is kept track of also.
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Offline Coal Creek Griff

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Re: Reloading Record Keeping
« Reply #9 on: July 26, 2019, 01:56:01 pm »
I'm finding this topic to be interesting. It's interesting to hear all the different ways that we keep (or don't keep) records. For those who have made their own record forms, I'm curious to know the details that they think are important to record.

CC Griff
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Offline DeaconKC

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Re: Reloading Record Keeping
« Reply #10 on: July 26, 2019, 04:15:01 pm »
That's why I try to keep it simple. Shoot new loads then mark as which ones shoot well. Case maker, primer, powder weight and type and bullet of course.
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Offline Johnny McCrae

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Re: Reloading Record Keeping
« Reply #11 on: July 27, 2019, 07:51:20 pm »
I started reloading in 2007. At first I kept a record of each reloading session in a notebook. Being familiar with database's I designed a database system in Lotus Approach to keep track of my reloading sessions. This certainly is over kill. If a person wanted to keep track, Coal Creek's form would be perfect.

Attached is a sample record. One could do something very similar with a spreadsheet.

My reloading now is at a standstill. I moved to Florida last November and still need to set up my reloading area.
« Last Edit: July 28, 2019, 05:40:46 am by Johnny McCrae »
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