The Internet is for more then just watching cat videos and surfing TV sites. There are plenty of resources for reloading and shooting buried in there, and here is how you find it.
I came to a realization the other day. This Internet thing seems like it might just take off and be around for a while. Which is a good thing. There is so much information, both good and bad, online that you could spend lifetimes reading and learning. It's such a treasure trove of knowledge and sharing.
For shooters and reloaders, that also stands true. There are so many resources now for shooters to read up on a piece of equipment that they can almost make the purchasing decision sight un-seen. Technical specs, pricing, videos of a gun or specific ammo being shot, blog reviews, magazine articles, and so forth. There is so much. Reloaders have the same advantage. Load data, round specs, component pricing. The list can go on and on.
Before the Internet was as prolific as it is today, many reloaders and shooters had to rely on old dial up Bulletin Board Systems (BBS) and early email to share data and information. There were a few forums that were dedicated to load data for various calibers, for example, but the online resources were just not there.
Now, there are webpages dedicated to load recipes and data. Many bullet and powder manufacturers have searchable online databases to help distribute load data for various powders.
Since each gun is different and reacts a little differently to each bullet, powder and primer combination, sometimes it can be very tedious to try to work up a new load for a gun. A load manual is a great place to start, but they may give you a charge range. Hardcopy being what it is, the information could also be out of date.
Being able to ask a few thousand of your closest reloading friends about what their starting load is and getting an answer quickly is very nice. I have used a few online resources myself for reloading since I started. Some of these have been invaluable in expanding my knowledge and understanding about reloading.
For those of us who use Hodgdon Powders (this includes IMR, Titewad, Titegroup, Clays, Universal and others), Hodgdon provides an online database resource for all their load data for their powders. The site is here. I have used this when I use IMR 700-X, for example, for starting out loads.
Handloads.com has been around for a long time. This is a database site that accepts user submitted recipes for loads and stores them. There is a lot of information here broken up by caliber, powder manufacturer, bullet weight and more. They provide a reduced loads calculator with their data. This helps to design a lighter load for plinking. They also have forums where you can ask questions and get more information.
Most everyone is on Facebook these days, and believe it or not, there really is a lot of good information to be had there. There are many, many groups that specialize in just reloading and the members are very knowledgeable and very willing to help new reloaders with questions.
There is a ton of information being shared in these groups every day. I am a member of a few of them. These are basically the modern equivalent to the old BBS systems. Plus you can ask questions and get responses quickly on Facebook. Here are some of my favorite groups:
- The Reloading Room - This one is my overall favorite. It is well controlled and filled with very knowledgeable people.
- Reloading Central - Another great resource.
- Reloading Bench Pics and Tips - This one is kind of fun, as the people here share pictures of their reloading benches/rooms/buildings (in some cases), and it's neat to get ideas.
All the above Facebook groups are tightly controlled and politics are left out of the discussions. There is hardly any Spam (yes some filters through but it is removed as soon as it appears), and the information is invaluable.
Hopefully this quick look at some online resources helps you to find more information about the reloading hobby.
Do you have a favorite online resource for reloading data? We would love to hear about it. Share them with us in the comments below.