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Old October 22, 2011, 03:21 PM   #1
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Database to keep track of reloads

I've been reloading for almost 10 years, and I'm losing track of what loads work and what don't. I usually write everything on a label and stick it on the box, but after the label is replaced all I have is my memory to go on. It doesn't help that I have a dozen different primers and 20 or so powders and I like to tinker. I'm trying to consolidate a little as I use things up, but that's not working very well.

So I tho't maybe I ought to keep track of my load data in a Google Docs or Excel spreadsheet. Does anybody else do this? Do you track individual lots by date? There's an awful lot of columns you can have on a spreadsheet; what to put in all of them? Seems like too much data is better than not enough; you can always hide columns or leave fields blank.

Any good templates?
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Old October 22, 2011, 03:37 PM   #2
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Try doing a search. I'm pretty sure someone shared his Excel file for that purpose recently. A log book will work, too, of course, but it takes longer to find old data that way. A relational database file like an Access file is ideal, as you can search it on any parameter, but I don't think most shooters need that sophistication. Just use Excel, or the free Open Office Suite's spreadsheet program, Calc, to create a worksheet for each gun (a good place to record the serial number and insert a photo for insurance purposes is in this worksheet). Then record the load data in columns and sort those by bullet or powder or whatever. You can also link the same load among different guns that share them (if you do any general purpose loads). Columns just need to be whatever data you normally check when you load. I like to add which dies I used along with the cartridge info. If you've ever shot out a barrel, you'll want to note which barrel used which loads.
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Old October 22, 2011, 06:26 PM   #3
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Sinclair makes a good reloading data book to keep track of your reloads. I keep a log of all my reloads for future reference. Very handy when you reload for numerous pistol and rifle loads. I keep a range log as well.
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Old October 22, 2011, 06:32 PM   #4
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I have an Excel spreadsheet that has, as suggested, a worksheet for each caliber. I have columns for all the load parameters as well as columns to record the velocities of the test rounds that go over the Chrony. I also note where the recipe came from (e.g. QuickLoad, or a load book, or in some cases an Internet reference). I also have a column for the group size, and another for notes.

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Old October 22, 2011, 07:02 PM   #5
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I created a Microsoft Access database to keep my reloading data in. Not a ton of data but all the basics and an area for keeping chrono data and reviews of shooting the bullet. Works for me.

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Old October 22, 2011, 07:32 PM   #6
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I set up an Excel program so I could put any or all or some of the data that I feel is pertinent to me. By doing so you can put as much or as little info as you wish in the program.

Reloading recipes that I need for each caliber plus all the data I for each. 10 sheets or pages for the spread sheet.
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Old October 22, 2011, 07:36 PM   #7
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I use Microsoft WORD documents to keep track of my load data and range results. Before that (1960's to 1980's) I used large index cards for each cartridge/load combination, then went to 8.5x11 paper forms. Converting from paper to WORD was a pain but worth the effort. WORD doesn't have the searchability of a data base or Excel file, but does allow unlimined text and freer form wherein I keep records of every range session with that load and firearm. Here is a link to a copy of one page.

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Old October 22, 2011, 07:41 PM   #8
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I just write notes in the margins of my loading manual.
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Old October 22, 2011, 08:24 PM   #9
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I took the low-tech approach about 24 yrs ago with a 3-ring notebook and dividers for each cartridge. First pages are where I assign a load number (and often a variation letter) to each load. Next few pages are a log of rounds loaded and notes about the results.
I like CherokeeT's format. This computer thing might just catch on after all.
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Old October 22, 2011, 09:27 PM   #10
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Just be sure to BACKUP YOUR WORK,believe me it happens.Thankfully I had a bunch of it printed out so I could write new notes on them while at the range.
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Old October 22, 2011, 09:59 PM   #11
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Amen to backup!! I made a fairly simple Excel worksheet to track data for my reloads. Different sections for pistol and rifle ammo, and I enter whatever information pertains to that particular round.
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Old October 24, 2011, 05:47 AM   #12
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dts686 that looks an excellent way to do it. Can you print labels from that database too to put on batches of ammo?
Have now started to reload 38spl/357mag as well as 9mm so hard to keep track of everything
Any chance you would share the template
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Old October 24, 2011, 06:10 AM   #13
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This is a great spreadsheet I found on posted by Wyatt. Thanks Wyatt. It does a lot of calculations and conversions that you may or may not want to use. It makes great lables too. Hope this helps a little more than the common "I made my own."
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Old October 24, 2011, 09:19 AM   #14
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Thanks OEF that should do everything I need with a few tweaks
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Old October 24, 2011, 10:20 AM   #15
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Glad I could help.
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Old October 24, 2011, 10:24 AM   #16
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I use an Excel workbook that I made myself. Got pages for each caliber, but I find that I don't refer to them all too often, but those particular pages are the best place to list ALL the loads you've made in any one caliber, and use the strike-through text feature to ensure that you never make the same crappy load more than once.

More than anything, I use one of the work sheets in my file with a dated log. Entries include any ammo that is produced at my bench with just the most necessary items according to my own standards. I list the caliber, the bullet brand/weight/style, the powder type and charge weight and the COAL of the loaded rounds. I rarely list the brass headstamp, and I rarely list the primers simply because I tend to stick to CCI non-magnum in all four sizes. When I use something else, I will list that. I also don't record powder or primer lot numbers because I don't do much rifle loading and I don't tend to load at or near or over max, where those items become more important.

I could never possibly be convinced that ANY method using paper and pen is going to come anywhere near the power, flexibility and ease of use as a spreadsheet and a log page in that workbook.

I'm very nearly SHOCKED that anyone who has been handloading for a number of years and is serious enough about handloading that he takes regular part in an internet discussion forum would still be using a series of paper notes and labels and NOT taking advantage of a log on his PC.
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Old October 24, 2011, 10:59 PM   #17
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My notes are on my Crackberry and in an Excel spreadsheet. The Crackberry works well because I can enter shooting notes while on the range. I have found that once I settle on a load I don't refer to the notes, unless old age kicks in. Back in the days before PCs (yes, its true) I kept a ledger with all my notes. What a PITA that was! I don't even know where that book is now!
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Old October 25, 2011, 08:16 AM   #18
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I use Excel and made a target that has 1" grid and at the bottom has all the pertinent data, I shoot and then put it into a three ring binder for reference.
You can get one at
I make notes on the target for conditions, FPS, etc and it makes for a handy reference to keep from making the same mistakes.
Oh, and it helps a great deal to be able to see the actual groups for different loads
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