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I was looking at this program but it seems a little high , does anyone know of a cheaper program ???
 

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The only cheaper internal ballistics program than QuickLOAD is Load From a Disk (LFD), which is half the price and does less than half as much. LFD is based on the old Powley equations that were developed for IMR rifle powders, though some others have made it onto their list as well. There are many fewer powder in LFD's database, and you can't add more. It also is limited to uncompressed loads of over 85% load density. It's output has less information than QuickLOAD's, which includes things like barrel time and ballistic efficiency and portion of powder burned completely in the bore.

On the other hand, QuickLOAD is not for the beginning reloader. It is so flexible you can fool yourself with it if you don't know what you're doing or don't spend time learning how closely its predictions run in your gun. Unlike external ballistics, for which numerous programs exist, internal ballistics is much more complicated. Homer Powley himself said:

First contemplation of the problems of Interior Ballistics gives the impression that they should yield rather easily to relatively simple methods of analysis. Further study shows the subject to be of almost unbelievable complexity.
Bottom line: This kind of calculation is way harder to do than trajectory calculations and it is all done with approximating models. None of the models is perfect, so this data is no more trustworthy than any other published load data might or might not be in your particular gun, so you still have to back computed loads down and work them up while watching for pressure signs, same as with manual loads. You will want to own a chronograph with good absolute accuracy to get feedback to work to best safety with these programs (to see how far off the predictions are in your gun).

If you are not an advanced reloader, but still want this kind of program, I would get LFD instead of QuickLOAD just to avoid pratfalls related to the complexity of input interactions. Just check LFD's FAQ first to learn its limitations and to see if a powder you are interested in is on their list.
 

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I have a lot less trust in either program than some folks. In a recent trial, I ran a test load through both programs and the predicted velocities came up 600 fps apart. The actual chronographed result was exactly in the middle.

Both programs are built on complex formulae and include a lot of assumptions. Both also depend completely on the EXACT data entered, especially the true case capacity and seating depth. Neither one can compensate for a real-world situation where a bullet may be half a thousandth over diameter and a bore a half-thousandth under. Or vice versa. Neither one compensates for primer strength.

In short, they may be fine for entertainment value on a snowy evening, but are IN NO WAY a substitute for actual lab-tested load data. Use the information at your own risk and remember that no keyboard load ever blew up a computer.
 

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I don't want to encourage any less caution about that lab tested data either.

I had a back and forth with fellow over at the Firing Line who had a Handy Rifle in .243 Win. As he got to within a grain of Speer's lab tested maximum, he was surprised to find his action popping open with every shot, despite checking the latch mechanism for cleanliness and burrs, and his velocity was 200 fps higher than the manual despite his having matching barrel length. He called Speer, and they simply said they stood by their data as being accurate.

One thing the QL program will do, if you have correct powder energy content and burn rate and some familiarity with their workings, is determine what pressure you need to get a certain velocity extracted from that charge weight's energy content and its burn rate. Burn rate can be adjusted by chronograph feedback from lower charge weight loads in your gun (and often needs to be), and after doing that for this fellow I figured he was at something close to 77,000 psi. Basically proof load pressure.

In this instance, QuickLOAD's first estimate of velocity agreed much better with what he was getting than the Speer lab data did.

I had an interesting exchange with a Hodgdon tech about some data that looked out of line in their online data about 231 in .38 Special 148 grain wadcutters and that disagreed with Winchester's original data as well as data friends of mine used to employ. The bottom line was that he had test records and the loads they posted were signed off on by their tech. All he could say was to keep in mind that this is one set of tests fired with one powder lot combined with one set of other components fired in one test gun operated operated by one technician. So it may not apply to what happens in your particular gun. True enough.

So, take caution with all load information, regardless of the source. There is a lot of information on line about how to tweak QuickLOAD to get it to better track your gun's behavior with a powder at lower loads. Chris Long's write-up is one example. I recommend you use some starting loads to do this to eliminate outliers. Note that the introductory information in the program manual warns you never to exceed manual loads even if the program says it's OK. There are other more specific warnings. I think the long standing advice to check at least three sources of load information (programs included) and start working up from the lowest starting load recommendation among them is still valid. Learn to read all pressure signs (that would have helped the guy with the .243, as it turned out). If you can afford a Pressure Trace to double check, so much the better.
 

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I have a Pressure Trace. While it is a pain to use because of all the extra stuff you have to cart to the range and get set up, it is at least as accurate (or more so) than laboratory transducer systems. What it lacks is a calibration method except for factory ammo, but that's less important than you might think. A system costs less than the rifle you might save by using it.
 
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