Originally Posted by bosstom
I have a few rifles that I need to work up loads for and wanted to know from those who use Quickload how good it is for predicting powders? I have watched the overview on youtube and it looks like it would be a good investment.
In the past I have wasted a lot of time at the bench and range just to find out that a powder dosen't give me what I'm looking for. I would just like to save time and not have to buy a lot of different powders.
I use Quickload regularly for developing loads.
It has a large selection of cartridges. With a little effort you can add others.
It has a large selections of bullets. With a little effort you can add others.
It has a large selection of powders. While adding your own is possible, the laboratory test needed to determine the input paramaters for a new powder are beyond the ability of most hobby shooters.
Quickload does have a powder selection feature. You set the parameters of what you want such as case, bullet, seating depth,, barrel length, and peak pressure. It will return case fill, calculated velocity, peak pressure, muzzle pressure for many powders in tabular form. There are a huge number of possible combinations. Loadbooks almost always assume SAAMI seating depths. That is not a constraint in quickload. Quickload also allows adjusting the affects of engraving froces, bullet jacket hardness, and lubricants (like moly).
What doesn't Quickload take into accont?
Two important things are primer effects and powder initial temperature. Quickload assumes that a primer is used which will give adequate and uniform ignition. Also it does not have inputs to simulate powder performance in arctic or hot desert conditions. You can tweak the numbers if you have the information on your powders.
What it does not predict directly are shot to shot velocity SDs or accuracy. Barrel twist rate is not an input parameter in Quickload so you're on your own to determine bullet stability. There are other programs which do that.
Given those limitations, Quickload is the best method I've found for selecting cartridges, bullets, and powders. It comes bundled with Quicktarget for $152.95 from Neconos, the US distributor:
quickload quicktarget software
About ever 4-5 years it's worth geting the upgrade with new cartridges, powders, and bullets.
It's written for Windows. I'm still using XP.
You still need to work up loads as you would if you used loadbooks. You'll still need to shoot targets over a chronograph to determine sweet spots, ES, SD etc. The difference is that you have orders of magnitude more combinations available than you would with a library full of load books. Load books only give peak pressure and muzzle velocity. Quickload also gives information like velocity vs distance in the bore and pressure vs distance in the bore. It calculates efficiency bullet energy/power energy. I find predicted velocities are typical within 25 fps of what quickload predicts for most rifles. It also allows you to calculate things you'd never find in loadbooks, such as subsonic performance with very heavy bullets in small cartridges.
Is it worth it? I certainly think so. It comes with a manual that give a lot of insight into how quickload works and describes it's capabilities. There is a learning curve but it's not difficult.
Most parameters have default values. Don't ignore them by just using the defaults. That can lead you to very wrong answers. Use the defaults to prompt you to get the right inputs. Lots of work has been done for you, like determining the case volume occupied by the boat tails of it's extensive list of bullets, and the performance of a long list of powders. Those come mostly from the German military ballistics labs.
I hand load for cartridges as diverse as 17 Rem, 300 Whisper, 6.5 Creedmoor, 338 Norma Mag, 50 Beowulf, and 50 BMG, (and about 45 others) Quickload has worked well for all of them.
Who doesn't need Quickload? If you just shoot factory ammo or make hand loads for which you have load books with the bullets and powders you want to use with standard SAAMI seating depths then the load books are sufficient.