Hodgdon's Reloading Data Center has always been a valuable resource for reloading ammo.
For the past seven years, the online database has given those who cap their own cartridges the chance to research potential loads using the entire arsenal of the powder manufacturer’s products. It’s hard to imagine how Hodgdon could improve on the RDC, but it has.
The Kansas-based company upgraded the database recently, giving it a clean new look and making it more compatible with tablets. But Hodgdon has done more than tweaked the fonts and colors of its online database. The company has made it more user friendly.
The handiest upgrade is how data is presented. Once the different load variables are selected, the data is laid out in easy-to-manage drop-down menus, cataloged by bullet weight. This knocks down a lot of the clutter of the old version, which — with a large amount of data — had all the charm of an actuarial table.
The RDC has also kept current with all of Hodgdon's products. For instance, data on the company's brand spanking new Copper Fouling Eraser line of propellents is already available. And given the database's history, expect the company to stay up on such pertinent information.
Diehard users of the RDC will be happy to find many of the little tricks they used to research loads and powders still viable. One of the slickest is choosing a type of powder, then discovering its compatible calibers. A propellent ubiquitous in a gun collection can save a ton of time, given more than one caliber can be loaded in a session without having to swap out powder from the hopper.
The RDC is far from just a tool identify Hodgdon products, it also provides the all data needed to build a cartridge. The database gives such vitals as minimum and maximum charges, velocity, chamber pressure, case overall length, trim length, among other data for rifle, shotgun and handgun loads. And the RDC's tips and tricks section is also worth a look; new and seasoned handloaders are certain to find its wealth of information useful.
The RDC has its limitations, the first is it obviously only deals with Hodgdon products. If you don’t fill your hopper with Hodgdon, IMR or Winchester powders the database might be superfluous. And while there is a wide spectrum of bullet makes and styles represented, by no means is the catalog exhaustive. Honestly, though, what reloading manual could ever cover every base?
Hodgdon's RDC is as good as it gets when it comes to free reloading tools. And with its recent update, the online database has gotten a little better.
Recommended Reloading Resources
Gun Digest Shooter's Guide to Reloading