RCBS.Load version 3           RCBS.Load version 3           RCBS.Load version 3      

RCBS.Load, version 3.0 - more data, more function. For the version 2 user - an obvious evolutionary upgrade: a familar interface, but even more refined, and much richer in function - existing functions either enhanced or extended, and exciting new functions added. For the new RCBS.Load user: an entry point of extreme functionality.

New Data, More Data, Enhanced Data

More Standard Bullets and Factory Loads for the External Ballistics Calculator; More reference cartridge drawings for the Cartridge Designer. In total, 212 more than version 2.88(d), itself already an encyclopedic resource. For version 3 these lists have been extended to, respectively:

  • 1561 Factory Loads,
    American Eagle and A-Square to Weatherby and Winchester.
     
  • 1630 Standard Bullets,
    Berger and Barnes to Starke, Swift and Woodleigh.
     
  • 412 Reference Cartridge Drawings,
    14-222 Saksckek to 700 NE, including standard industry, common wildcats, the Gibbs and Ackley families, and the new WSM and Ultra Mags.
 

Version 3 offers more reloading data for the reloader - the (free) data included with the distribution has been both updated in contend, and expanded in size. Said data now includes :

  • Accurate Reloading Manual #2
  • Alliant 1998 Reloading Reference       (contains good data for cartridges dropped in 2000 manual)
  • Alliant 2000 Reloading Reference
  • Hodgdon 1998 Reloading Reference       (as per Alliant 1998)
  • Hodgdon 2002 Reloading Reference
  • LaserCast #1
  • RamShot #22
  • RCBS #1
  • SomChem 1997
  • Speer #13        (also includes 480 Ruger data not in #13)
  • Vectan #4
  • VihtaVu 2000 Reloading Reference
  • Winchester Reloading Reference #15
  • Winchester 2000 Reloading Reference
In total: 34,874 loads, for 215 cartridges.
 

The electronic-manual for sale collection has been expanded to include :

  • Barnes Reloading Manual #3
  • Lapua Reloading Manual #2
  • Nosler Reloading Manual #5
  • Sierra #4 Rifle and Pistol    (pending contract signing)
 
More data for the reloader,
   more data for the shooter,
      more data for the wildcatter...     RCBS.Load, version 3

 

Enhancements

RCBS.Load version 3 is by design and intent an evolutionary upgrade to version 2 - a familiar interface, familiar functions, but all just a little richer, all working just a little bit better. As such, although there are entirely new features in version 3, much of the change which constitutes version 3, is in the form of enhancements to existing functions.

Enhancements to Existing RCBS.Load Functions

  • MultiSelect Filters for the Graph Utility
    • GU filters for version 2 were single select, ie, select all bullets, or select all bullets of a single weight. Filters for version 3 add MultiSelect capability - where the user can now filter on one or multiple bullet weights, powder types or barrel lengths, eg, limit data to 240 thru 265 grain bullets, for 18.5 thru 24 inch barrels, using H110, W296 or 2400 powders.
    • Filters can now be either inclusive, or exclusive, eg, select all data for barrels 20 inches or greater; exclude all data for bullet weights less than 53 grains.
    • Defining of filters has been moved off the GU main page, thereby freeing up especially valuable screen real estate when run in a 800x600 environment.
     
  • External Ballistics Calculator
    • Show Trajectory as a Table. Whereas a right or left mouse click on the XBC's trajectory display will produce a tabular display of the trajectory about the mouse click; Show Trajectory as a Table (a push button) produces a full screen tabular display of the entire trajectory, at very fine resolution - nominally one foot, yard or meter.
      • Data per trajectory includes: Velocity, Drop, Drift, in inches and MOA, Kinetic Energy, TKD, Time-of-Flight, and even bullet flight angle
      • If there are any Reference Trajectory(ies), they are also displayed, in the above detail, alongside the current trajectory
      • User can sort data columns such that all similar data is together (ie, primary trajectory kinetic energy column is adjacent to any reference trajectory kinetic energy columns, where primary trajectory remaining velocity column is adjacent to any reference trajectory remaining velocity columns, etc); or the data can be clustered per trajectory.
      • Pretty printer output is provided (vs screen captures).
      • Trajectory data can be exported in spreadsheet format via the Windows ClipBoard for inclusing in other programs.
    • Standard Bullets/Factory Loads window has been reformatted to make better use of limited real estate at 800x600.
     
  • Support for Weatherby/Double Radiused Shoulders
    • Draw Cartridge utility now supports drawing of double radiused cartridges.
    • Double Radiused Shoulders now Supported by Cartridge Designer.
      • Existing double radiused shoulder geometry can be altered in standard Cartridge Designer style.
      • Existing rectangular shoulder cartridges can be converted to double radiused.
      • Double radiused shoulder cartridges can be converted to rectangular.
      • Double radiused shoulders can be added to any cartridge.
      • Case capacity calculations are supported throughout.
     
  • Minor change: Cartridge Designer has moved shoulder modifying push buttons to a PopUp Menu freeing more valuable screen real estate for the 800x600 user.
     

Entirely New Functions/Features

  • RCBS.Load can now update itself and its component parts via the Web
    • Program file (RCBS.Load .Exe file) can be updated whenever a new update is available.
      • No longer a need to call RCBS for an update; and to wait for the USPS to deliver.
      • Updates available for duration of version 3, ie, not limited in number or time.
      • At 56k baud, program update download runs 10-15 minutes.
      • Download leaves Icon on Desktop to initiate actual update install - install can be done at user's leisure.
      • Installing an update leaves current copy available as a backup, and hence reinstallable.
    • Bullet, Factory Loads, standard cartridges and cartridge drawings lists can be updated via the web.
      • At 56k downloads run 10-15 seconds.
    • HELP files can be updated via the web.
      • At 56k downloads run 2-4 minutes.
    • For version 3.1, the internationalized version of 3.0, the various language translation dictionaries will be updateable via the web.
      • At 56k downloads for one language dictionary run 10-20 seconds.
    • update files are hosted on the RCBS.Load website
      • A site known for high up-time and reasonable load levels.
    • A separate web page on RCBS.Load website devoted to status and content of available updates.
     
  • Inventory Function
    • As requested by many RCBS.Load users - A simple firearm inventory tool.
    • Function keeps each firearm by serial number and title.
    • User comments about each firearm are maintained.
    • Resulting database can be "pretty" (vs screen dump) printed.
     
  • Target Tool
    • Allows user to scan, score and archive shot targets.
    • Is compatible with any TWAIN compatible scanner
    • Maintains copious amounts of attribute information for each target.
      • Time/Date of target shooting, Time/Date of scanning of target.
      • Cartridge, Cartridge OAL, Firearm, Barrel Length and Twist, Optics.
      • Bullet Weight, Type and Mfg, Powder Type and Weight, Primer and Case Mfg.
      • Shot by shot velocities, Statistical Velocity for group, SD, Var and ES of group.
      • Range Temperature, Pressure, RH, Wind Tail and Cross.
      • Target Distance, Shots per String, Chronograph Distance.
      • And up to several thousands words the user might wish to attach to each target.
    • User can add to and edit any/all attribute information.
    • Supports "pretty" printing of a selected target along with associated attribute information.
    • Scanned targets can get seen "zoomed" and "unzoomed".
      • Zoomed where the scanned image is displayed in its full glory, pixel by pixel as from the scanner.
      • Unzoomed where the scanned image is "squished" and displayed so as to fit in the available screen space.
    • Holes easily defined at the 0.003" level.
      • Holes "located" by "drag-and-drop" method.
      • Group Size automatically calculated with hole movement.
    • Also supports printing of 6 standard full page targets.
     
  • Batch mode for BC Calculator
    • Allows user to combine a set of BC measurements over a range of velocities to "see" a bullet's BC "function".
      • (A bullet's BC is not a value, but a function of velocity).
    • Sets of data may contain hundreds of velocity begin/end pairs.
    • User is presented with graph of BC value as function of Velocity, per the set of data.
    • User can mouse-click select data into/out of the raw dataset.
      • Thereby allowing the user to cleanup the resulting statistics by filtering the input data set.
      • BC function automatically recomputed with each modification to the included data set.
      • A data-pair can be selected (in or out) from either Initial Velocity graph, Terminal Velocity Graph, or Resulting BC graph.
    • Support for Ft/Inch/FPS and M/CM/MPS data.
    • Support for either batch processing of files of data or manually entered data.
    • BBCC shares context info with BCC - so context values set there do not have to be re-set in Batch Mode BCC.
    • Export of raw data is supported.
    • BC computation very fast - 200 begin/end velocity pairs to BC graph easily under 1 second.
     
  • RCBS.Load has acquired serious language translation support
    • Support is available for all 180+ Windows recognized languages/sublanguages.
    • User can define support for their own language - West Oregonian?
    • Translations affect all RCBS.Load controls, titles and messages.
    • RCBS.Load can be taught to use the language of the locale, or a specific language.
      • Default language is that of the locale, until set otherwise.
      • If no dictionary is available for the selected language, English is the default.
    • User can ask RCBS.Load to build a phrase list, and then later by hand translate said phrases into a dictionary.
    • User can interactively build translation dictionary as RCBS.Load encounters untranslated phrases.
    • User can later interactively edit the existing phrase translations.
    • RCBS.Load version 3.1 will ship with translation dictionaries for the dozen mostcommon non-English languages - German, Spanish, Italian, French etc.
     

General Enhancements

  • Each window now has a Help button
    • Help text is written as HTML and hence viewable via the user's web browser of choice.
    • Help files are kept on the local machine, hence require no web access to read.
    • Help text "behind" a Help button tend to run 1 to 5 pages in length.
    • Help text describes the layout of a window, the function of each control, and usage notes specific to that window.
    • Entire set of help pages if printed would run over 90 pages.
    • Help text can be edited by user - to add their own comments, or to rewrite the existing text into words more appropriate to their world.
    • Help files can be updated from RCBS.Load update server.
     
  • International Units Support
    • GU and XBC in version 2 already had MKS (meters/kilograms/seconds) support.
    • Version 3 adds MKS support for the Kinetic Energy Calculator, the Cartridge Designer, and the Recoil Calculator.
     
  • Auto Repositioning
    • A minor point, but the user now has the option of having RCBS.Load reposition the main screen to the same cartridge across loading of new databases into memory.
     
  • User Cartridge List and Synonym Support
    • The user can augment the standard RCBS.Load list of cartridges with a list of their own.
    • Gives user control over order of their cartridges withing the RCBS.Load list, and hence databases.
    • User can also define synonyms for existing RCBS.Load defined cartridges, or even their own.
    • User cartridge list kept separate from RCBS.Load cartridge list, and as such safe from RCBS.Load update overwrites.
    • User Cartridge list kept as text file, as such easy to update with any text editor, eg, NotePad.
     
  • RCBS.Load Reloading Data Databases have been Deflated
    • Where version 2 databases contained the list of all possible cartridges, even though there might only be data for a single cartridge; version 3 databases only contain headers for cartridges for which there is data.
    • Resulting databases are much quicker and easier to work with - tend to involve must less mouse dragging.
    • Because the databases are smaller all operations on them are quicker.
    • Because of new database structures, database building is 10x faster.
    • Even database merging is faster, 2x or better.
     
  • Other Improvements
    • The entire source code has been moved to Borland's Delphi 4, using the newer and faster libraries.
    • Version 3 is entirely 32-bit code (the 1% from version 2 has been replaced).
    • Many algorithms within RCBS.Load (Graph Util, XBC, BC Calc etc) have been re-engineered to be faster and more robust - version 3 is generally 1.5-3x faster than version 2.
    • Program startup time has been vastly improved - even though the program is much larger, it starts in 40% the time of a version 2.
    • RCBS.Load default install-to-directory has been changed to conform with the Windows standard - C:\Program Files\...
    • On Win 98 and later, if enabled, RCBS.Load automatically installs by simply putting the CDROM in the CDROM drive and closing the door.
    • RCBS.Load configuration information (options, color choices etc) are now kept in the directory from which the .Exe is/was executed, thus allowing the user to have multiple copies of RCBS.Load installed on a single machine, where each is configured differently.
    • RCBS.Load continues to install into a single directory, making deletion simply a matter of deleting that directory.

Other

  • Point of reference:
    All RCBS.Loads versions have been written in Borland's Delphi [an object oriented Pascal implementation].
    Version 2.88(d) required 65k lines of code to implement, version 3.0 with its new function, is 97k+ lines.
     
  • Hardware/System Requirements:
    Minimum Supported: Win95, 16MB, 486-100MHz, 800x600x16;
    Minimum Recommended: Win98, 64MB, 133MHz, 1024x768x16;
    More Optimal: Win98 or XP, 256MB, 350MHz, 1280x1024 or 1024x768.
    Disk space requirements: (negligible) less then 15MB for all installations; less than 8MB for most.
    Supported Operating Systems: Win95, Win95SE, Win98, Win98SE, NT4, W2K, ME, XP
    Supported Processors: Pentium 1-4, K6-2, K6-3, Athlon, Duron, Celeron, Via C3
     

 

RCBS.Load v2.88(d) + More Data + More Function + Further Refinement
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RCBS.Load, Version 3