Alternatives to QuickLOAD?

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by fireroad, Jul 30, 2010.

  1. fireroad

    fireroad Well-Known Member

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    I am currently in the market for load development software. From what I have read on this and other forums QuickLOAD seems to be the number 1 choice. I downloaded their demo and must say it is quite impressive. Unfortunately the price is a little more then I am willing to spend right now. Is there another software suite out there that comes close to the functionality of QL....but for a few bucks less? Thanks
     
  2. Dancin' Crosshairs

    Dancin' Crosshairs Member

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    Load from A Disk is considerably less expensive, but is considerably less capable as one might expect (and simpler to use, to boot). One of its weaknesses is the limited number of powders its database accommodates and the the limited number of powders that will be offered as a solution when a case and a bullet are selected. On the other hand, I have found that it often is a pretty good predictor of velocity. By extension, I suppose that its pressure predictions are fairly good also. I have used it on several occasions and have had no bad experiences as a result...but I would caution anyone who would venture forth and try it to exercise due and customary caution. LFaD is certainly not a waste of money, IMHO.
     
  3. fireroad

    fireroad Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the heads up. Which version of the software do you have? Their powder list didn't look too bad, although they are missing RL17 which is a bummer. I'll still download the demo and check them out.
     
  4. X3MHunter

    X3MHunter Well-Known Member

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    QuickLOAD offers data for RL17, I know because I have it! ;D
     
  5. Dancin' Crosshairs

    Dancin' Crosshairs Member

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    I am running 5.0. Certain application updates can be had on-line, and there are sometimes updates to the powder and bullet databases. There are earlier application versions that cannot be upgraded to 5.0, so if you go to purchase the software make sure you're getting the latest version.

    Re-17 is not in the database as far as I can tell, and I wouldn't even guess as to when it might be added.

    I guess I could explain the powder selection limitation a little better...take the .280 Remington, for instance. I happen to know that Re22 will work great in this cartridge as long as temperatures variations are very limited, yet the software does not offer a Re22 charge (for .280 Remington). The slowest burning powder that comes up as a selection is H4831. I emailed the developer, Wayne Blackwell, and asked him about this some years ago and although I do not recall exactly what the response was, it sounded as though I would never see Re22 come up as a powder choice for the .280 Remington (but I have decided that H4831 is the ultimate powder in the .280 anyway, due to Re22's considerable temperature sensitivity). Re22 is in the database and will come up for other cartridges, though.
     
  6. Fitch

    Fitch Well-Known Member

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    After using it for going on 4 years I have to say QuickLoad is pretty much in a class by itself. I don't know of any other program that has all the functionality and flexability of QuickLoad. It will allow you to analyze almost anthing you can concieve of, though it will tell you if you are doing some silly things like using a .22 bullet in 6mm brass, for example.

    With regard to flexability, about the only thing that can't be practically added to the database is powder. New bullets, different brass, new cartridges, can be added. To design a whole new cartridge it is easier with QuickDesign, but brass dimensions can be altered in the basic QuickLoad program.

    It will, among other things, do a sweep of every powder in it's database and list the results for the cartridge of interest in order of descending muzzle velocity - a very powerful feature. One can save and compare two different loads. In addition to which it comes with two very capable external ballistics programs.

    The manual that comes with it (PDF file on disc) is excellent.

    If you are looking for a nearly universal load development tool, QuickLoad is pretty much it.

    That said, always back off from max loads and work up. Highly recommended to work with a chronograph to be sure there isn't a disconnect between what is supposedly entered in the program and the real world..

    There is an excellent review of QuickLoad on 6mmBR.com

    Fitch
     
  7. Mikecr

    Mikecr Well-Known Member

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    I've never heard of anything else that covers QuickLoad functionality.

    What I see out there are reloading manuals put to database. IMO, these would be no better than reloading manuals..
     
  8. esshup

    esshup Well-Known Member

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    LFAD does have it's limitations. For instance, some wildcats just aren't in it's vocabulary. For instance, Kirby's 7mm AM isn't supported even if you custom design the brass - the powders aren't in the library and won't be added anytime soon according to the owner.

    I have LFAD 5.0 and just updated the powder list. RL-17 is NOT on the list.
     
  9. fireroad

    fireroad Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for all the input. Looks like I need to save up for QL because 2 of my main interests were using RL17 in a 300WSM ans using RL22 in a 280 Rem.
     
  10. Dancin' Crosshairs

    Dancin' Crosshairs Member

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    I think QL's the way to go also, fireroad. I have not actually used it but I have had the opportunity to utilize the data it generates. I have heard, however, of a few instances where the predictions were not 100% reliable. I think that's just the nature of our game, though as we are responsible for each of our own safety and have to stay on our toes.

    About that Re22 in a .280 Remington, though...I've been down that road myself. I've seen astounding results using Re22, but that powder is, unfortunately, pretty temperature sensitive. With temperature sensitivity in mind, I've tried Ramshot Hunter and found that it burns too fast, Ramshot Magnum burns too slow. I tried H1000 and it was almost right (and just might be the ticket with 160-grain and haevier bullets, but I do not KNOW). I ended up coming back to H4831 and have concluded it is the best powder out there for the .280 Remington. I really wish Ramshot would produce something between Hunter and Magnum, since their powders are spherical they flow through a measure like W296. But for now, nothing beats H4831. It won't lose 100 fps on a 20-degree morning.
     
  11. Fitch

    Fitch Well-Known Member

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    Good point. QuickLoad does have limitations and works better for some cartridges and powders than others - which is why backing off, working up, and using a chronograph to confirm results is about mandatory.

    It doesn't work well for small cases - predicitons for my Hornet with Lil'Gun are not very good. Same for my .17 Remington - although it is closer to what I get than the Hornady manual is.

    However for my .223, .22-250, .243, .30-06, and 7mmMAG it is remarkably good. I've done analysis for some other folks now and then and discovered the SW works quite well for the big long range cartridges.

    It's like any other engineering analysis tool - it is only as accurate as the data put into it and the consistancy of the assumptions on which the model is based with the situation being modeled. The manual has a rather detailed discussion of the trade offs that went into the design of QuickLoad.

    All that said, QuickLoad is frequently a better predictor of the muzzle velocity I'll get with a particular load than the reloading manual I took the load from.

    Fitch