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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I don't know if this will help anyone but I thought I would post it. I just started reloading and was trying to find some labels to attach to my boxes. The ones for sale are pretty expensive and I couldn't find a template I liked. So, I made one using some of the features from the couple I found.

Formatted for printing on Avery 2" x 4" 5163 labels. You can buy 1000 of them off amazon for $25. Customize the document however you like. I used MS Word and the Avery 5163 template.

shotgun reload label template.doc
 

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I use Avery labels. I designed a template with blanks that I can fill in, with all the component info.
 

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Evesdropper,

I use a similar process, but I print the load information directly on the labels without the need for blanks to write it in. I usually load enough that setting up a template for a frequently used load allows me to just open, modify whatever has changed (Date, Times Loaded, etc.), and then print. No writing or scribbling to be done. Labels can be printed off of the same template whenever that particular load is used. With a color laser or even an inkjet, I can color code them for different uses with a word or two in color stating the purpose, Singles, handicap, doubles. practice, etc. The rest remains in Black print. I also use the same labels to label jugs of powder and primer sleeves with the date purchased, supplier, lot numbers in larger, bold print, for those whose arms are not long enough to read them easily. I also load a lot of Metallic cartridges and use the same type of label templates for those loads. Easy to print, easy to use, and easy to read. I also use an Avery "Clone" label, since they cost a lot less and use the same templates in Word and similar programs. Even the FREE Libre Office Suite works without the expense of buying an expensive software package. You can set up a custom label with the exact information you want. Avery also has templates and software available for their labels. Their templates work with the clone labels also.

You can cut and paste a few labels, or populate the entire page with the same information if you are loading more. One nice feature is that a sheet of ten labels does one Flat of shells. You can also print extras to label the flat on the outside so there is no need to open them up to see what they are. Load five flats, print six pages, which gives you two labels each for the outer cartons in addition. Labels are a couple of cents apiece when purchased in bulk, so cost isn't terrible. A monochrome laser printer does not cost a lot to print them either. Use a straight paper path if your printer is capable. Less chance for a label to peel or curling the sheet of labels.

Been doing that label process since the late 80's. Printers and supplies cost a lot more back then and it was a lot more work to set up. Odds are that most people on this forum would have some sort of computer and a printer already.
 

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Amateurs! I use a label maker and stick a label on each individual shell so there's absolutely no question as to what the load is!

I just use a Sharpie on whatever boxes I find on the floor or in the trash at the range; I only load 7/8 oz. 1350 so labels aren't necessary. Getting to the point where I'm tired of boxing reloads so I may just toss them into a labeled ammo can.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Quack Shot,
I had not considered labeling the powder jugs or the outside of the flat. Thanks for the idea.

I removed all my load information for the template I posted. Thought it might save someone, somewhere some time. I printed them right on my old HP laserjet printer.
 

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Eavesdropper,

Been using your method for years now. Just paste the label over printed lid of box or new boxes from Midway. Use on metallic cartridge ammo as well. Nice and neat, no problem trying to read my writing and saves a lot of time.
 

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When you take reloading seriously and on a larger scale than many others, record keeping is a good idea. Loaded ammo should be labeled and components should be used in rotation, using the older stock first. Having only one load and one jug of powder makes it a moot point. Loading numerous loads and having components dating back near WWII makes the labeling idea attractive. I seriously can't remember what every flat of shells would be unless they were labeled.

Given the short supply of some components these days, the general practice of making do with what you can get, rather than what you "Usually" use is the new reality. It makes sense for me, but if you don't feel the need, then don't shrug it off as useless. There are some people like me that are anal enough to pay attention to the details. When you have 50+ flats of shells stacked up with different components, it makes a lot of sense to put a label on them. I recently had some rifle powder recalled, and because of the labels, I was able to quickly identify the affected powder and any ammo that was loaded with those particular lots. Then again, I might be sitting on more stuff than some other people, and loading up enough for the next meltdown of civilization as we know it or Zombie invasion, whichever comes first. :hmmmm2:

If you have two different firearms in a particular chambering or gauge, sometimes it makes sense to identify what firearm the loads were intended for. Rifles especially. My 600 meter loads for a Colt barrel with a long throat might not work in a standard barrel all that well. If you have only one or two firearms today, wait until you have a couple of safes full, and parts to build a bunch more. Having custom loads for several rifles in the same caliber makes it a necessity to identify what's in the box. Whether you scribble it with a marker or print a fancy label, it makes good sense. Have a stuck case in a 204 Ruger because you had a grain more of powder that was loaded for a different 204 Ruger in which the load was worked up, and you'll appreciate identifying "What's in the Box"!

Seriously, when you have been reloading for over 50 years, it's nice to know what's in that forty year old box of ammo you loaded when you still had good enough eyesight to shoot them well. It's also nice to be able to identify a box of shells you loaded in the 60's and run them over a chronograph to see how they held up. Don't get the impression that I'm labeling my dresser draws and labeling my socks left and right. When I was first introduced to reloading, record keeping and labels were stressed as a good idea. I've been doing this long enough to appreciate what I was taught and glad I kept records and labeled what needed to be identified.

I can list tons of reasons why I go to the trouble, and I'm willing to make the effort to do it. If it doesn't fit your needs or lifestyle, then don't bother. Just remember when you get to be an old fart, you won't remember what's in that box when you can't remember anything else either. :iamsmilin:
 

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I use these Avery labels printed on a laser printer :



I use a mechanical pencil to "circle" most of the components, then I can erase the different components with a Magic Rub drafting eraser if/when I reload a different load.

Same thing for 20-gauge, just use a different Avery label :



The Word document for both are available upon request.

Course, I need to make a "Vectan-friendly" version since most of the powders listed on the labels are not available any more.
 

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It's amazing how many people have the same kind of idea. I used to buy stick-on Avery labels in a flat yellow package many years ago and hand wrote the details, then went to printed labels when the technology developed. I even had some that were set up in an old Epson Dot Matrix Impact Printer. They almost cost more than the shells, but I had a steady supply available and equipment to print them on. When I acquired my first Laser printer, the labels became easier to do.

I had experimented with different types of labels over the years. I had some plastic, glossy labels that you could check or circle components and wipe them clean for re-use. Problem is they wiped clean too easily. I have settled on the Avery style again and have a spare Laser printer to print them on connected on my home network along with a color printer. I can switch from address labels to reloading labels in a heartbeat by changing labels and opening a different file.

Having a saved file with the correct data works well for me, since I'm too lazy to mark labels. If I'm loading a batch, I'll setup and pre-print the labels and stick them on when I box them up. I have quite a few saved and seem to have no trouble opening one up, making whatever modifications to the data I need to, and then saving the new label separately.

I also print extras when pattern testing or chronographing loads. I can put a label right on the page where I'm recording the information and attaching printouts from the chronograph. If I'm shooting groups from a rifle, I can put one on the target. That way I have all of the load information, rather than what I scribbled on the target.

It's kind of interesting how the same type of information finds it's way onto all of these labels that have been shared in this thread. Some good tips and great ideas. Thanks to all for sharing!
 

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Quackshot,

When you mentioned dot matrix, you came right into my era. I actually came across some labels still on boxes that were printed in 1996 on my "OOOOOOLD" dot matrix printer. The shells have long since gone on to "Reload Heaven" but the bixes remain.
 

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Hi Pyrdek!

I think part of my hearing loss came from those dot matrix beasts. Had 9 and 21 pin models. I have a few clients that actually still use them for multi-copy forms and specialized applications. I still have a few standard width and wide format units hanging around. Those printers ran hot enough to heat a small garage.

By 1996 I had a collection of LaserJet IIs and that means a pallet of them. Had all of the toner I needed to last for years. I got pretty good at overhauling them and making one out of two. I worked for a large manufacturer and sometimes got a deal (free) on discarded technology. A few years ago, I came across some old tractor feed labels and paper. Had some in green stripe to match the screens of the day. I had a few of the huge "Hi-Speed" IBM Impact printers that were set up on stands. I still have the bases in use holding up a loading bench. Real sturdy and heavy stuff. I was always one to try to make use of anything I could acquire for the right cost (FREE).

I have an old laptop set up with a HP 6L within range of my loading bench. Has everything I need to print labels within reach. Have another printer setup on my network for bigger jobs. As a side benefit, I can print address labels and envelopes to mail stuff with. That seems to be going out of style. EMail and other electronic communications are taking over. Ever take 20 minutes to exchange texts in place of what would have been a 2 minute phone call? I'm not sure if technology is as much of a benefit as some think it is, but I've dealt with my share of it over the years.

I still have reloaded shotshells and metallic ammo from back in the 60's and 70's. I've been known to run a few over a chronograph and even break some targets with some once in awhile. They all seem to go bang and they actually were pretty consistent. Some of the better ones were old RXP reloads with 700-X or Red Dot. Not too much different than the current stuff. Pacific Versalites, Remington 29930 RXP wads, Winchester AA wads. Not that much has changed since the days of paper shells being the only hulls available. Nice part is, I know what's in the box, since I took the time to label them. Had some 30-06 match stuff I loaded back in 1973. Shot two sub 3/4" groups with it last year in the same rifle at 100 yards. I was surprised at those results. I had no doubt that the rifle and ammo were capable. Nice to have had labels on the boxes, even if they were older technology with pen or markers.

Thanks for the trip down memory lane!
 

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Quack Shot,

Right now I am looking at am Okiline 320 dot matrix. It replaced, via an insurance payment, a MX-10 (or maybe NX-10) that quit after a power surge that took out a microwave, the printer and even exploded some incandescent light bulbs. Some guy hit a power pole up the road and dropped some 12 KV lines onto the local service (240 Volt Lines) . amazingly enough the computer survived without any problem. The surge protector that fed the Computer did not fare as well.

I used the dot matrix for printing out carbonless master sheets for the trap league I was secretary of for a number of year. I still have almost a full ream of three part somewhere in the house. I picked up several boxes of it that my employer was throwing out when they did away with the DM printer. I even used the DM printer to be the first of the volunteer Hunter Ed instructors who computerized their records and used clear mailing labels to go on the Hunter Safety cards. That was before the PA Game Commission even had a computer! The local officer was very surprised at how much could be done with the computer. That would have been back in the 1980's sometime using a Commodore SX-64 "Portable" computer. Heck it was only the size of a small suitcase. I still have that computer and my first computer, a Commodore Pet I got in 1979. I also have a box of tractor feed mailing labels stuck on the back of the shelf. If I wanted to use the DM printer I would have to fire up one of my old PCs since I have been on Apples for many years now and there is not even a parallel interface available and heaven forbid trying to find drivers!

As for old ammo and accuracy, I had some 6.5x55 military FMJ that came from Denmark back in 1965 that when I used the last of it last year still held a two inch group at 100 from the short barreled carbine which was built by Carl Gustav works in 1918. In a little more than 2 years, that rifle will be 100 yers old and still going deer hunting to this day! They damn sure know how to make a good rifle a hundred years ago.
 

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Wish I still had my old PET! Had it with 16k of memory, dual 5" floppy drive, dual casett tape drive and a dot matrix printer. Wife almost threw me out of the house when I brought it home. Still have bulk labels I printed up on it for my reloads
 
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