In this post, we’re going to take a look at how you can maximize load data and really fine tune that hand-load you’ve been contemplating or working on. The first place to start is the data source. I recommend getting your load data from a known published source as they are reliable and you have a measure of safety there. While there are certainly numerous sources, you can obtain load data for various applications and calibers you have to be cautious on the source. If you trust if for a good reason then you should be ok moving forward. Secondly, it’s a good practice to cross-check that load data with another source to make sure there isn’t a discrepancy indicative of an error. After all, even reputable sources are prone to error, though less likely with their quality control measures.
While selecting the load, you should consider the firearm and application you intend to use it for. This will help ensure you pick a load that is right for what you need or at least a close match to provide you a good starting point for customizing it to your application.
Going on the assumption that you’ve selected a load that seems to fit your intent we can look at diving down and maximizing it for your specific needs and wants. Here is where attention to detail really starts to come into play. It is imperative that you take meticulous notes and keep good records on your loads. Obviously, capture your load data along with any other details that could provide insight. If you tweak the load what variables did it change etc.. Additionally, if you’re using the load in multiple firearms, you could make notes specific to the firearm, as a particular firearm may like the load more than another. That firearm could even potentially like the load but prefer a different brand of brass with it. These little details are both the tedious and rewarding aspect of reloading. It’s a complex form of puzzle solving that can be frustrating at times but is quite rewarding when you find those perfect loads, document them well, then employ them as desired.
If you’re looking for some pre-made templates that you can quickly print off and use there are a ton of them out there and a quick Google search will give you plenty to look through. I’ve linked two that I personally like below for your convenience.