Collection Cataloging Template?


Anyone willing to share either an Excel or Access template they are using for the cataloging of their cartridge and/or headstamp collection?



[quote=“ChristopherB.”]Anyone willing to share either an Excel or Access template they are using for the cataloging of their cartridge and/or headstamp collection?


I too would love a cataloging system that works, is easy to use, reliable and affordable to me. I watch your search with interest.



I’d suggest getting a copy of Microsoft Excel, if you don’t already have it or a similar spreadsheet program on your computer. It is quite easy to use and will allow you to set up your own cataloging system, specifically tailored to your interests or needs.

I’d be happy to e-mail a copy of the layout I use to anyone who is interested and already has Excel on his computer. My system is simple - item number, caliber, headstamp, bullet, primer and case characteristics, acquisition information (cost, who it was bought from and when), a condition grade, dimensions for the less common items, and a link to a picture for those I have taken a picture of. I have no interest in ballistic information and have chosen not to include any of this in my spreadsheet; to do so would just make the cataloging process more of a chore than it needs to be. The beauty of these spreadsheet programs is that the user can set them up and modify them at any time to meet his needs.


Hello All,
Excel is a wonderful tool for keeping short (200-500 items) lists. My sugestion would be to use a database such as Microsoft Access. A database is far superior in organizing, searching for and reporting information than Excel. I taught both applications for a number of years and I am an Access database developer. I have found Access to be an excellent tool for databases such as you all seem to be looking for. Many folks have Access on their computers and don’t even know it. Access is generally friendly and a simple, usable database can be built quickly.

Another suggestion is to write a Visual Basic or C program. I am sure that the IAA is large enough to find some “willing volunteers” to develop a Visual Basic or C application for cataloging that the IAA could then share with the community. I have not seen the ECRA database, but I assume it was written along those lines.

I built a large database for cartridge information that I use. It catalogs cartridge dimensions, historical data and photos. I have about 3800 cartridges documented and over 8000 photos. I would love to build a database for collections, but I am in the middle of rebuilding my house so my time is being spent elsewhere (smile).

Brian Clark


I agree with Guy. Spreadsheets are the easiest way to set up a catalog to your collection. As you go along and you decide that there is some more information you want that you didn’t include in the first place, it is easy to add a new column where ever you want it. For convience, I have my collection broken down into several subgroups for cataloging purposes. I have Inch-Rifle, Inch Pistol, Metric-Rifle, Metric Pistol and then several individual Military files such as 30-06, 7.62x51 NATO, etc. I then add an “Index” consisting of a series of “Buttons” to click on that activate macros that take me directly to a group of entries so I don’t have to scroll down through hundreds of lines to find a particler caliber. I make this “Button Index” the opening screen for whenever I open the file. For instance, my file of 7.92x57 Mauser has a “Button Index” consistening of all the different German Load types so to go to the S.m.K’s I just click on that button and it goes directly to the begining of the listings of all the S.m.K’s. Without the “Button Index” I would need to manually scroll down about 1500 lines. If you set up a “Button Index” using macros, be sure to use “Named Cells” and not “Cell Addresses” in your macros. That way, no matter how many new entries you add, the macros will always take you to the same realtive place in your listing.

If anyone wants help in setting up a “Button Index”, send me an email.


I have to disagree with Brian in regards to Excell being an excellent tool only for short lists of 200 - 500 items. You are limited only by the number of fields of information you want to maintain for each entry, or line. As I understand, Excel capacity is 65500 rows by 256 columns per sheet (or tab), and there are 256 sheets available in each file. So, picture a catalog consisting of 256 pages, each with 65500 individual cartridges and 256 entries of information that you might want to keep on each cartridge. That’s probably more capacity than any of us need. I currently have 11476 cartridges cataloged in my collection, and have experienced no capacity problems.


One other point in the Excel vs Access decision - Excel, to a non-teckie like me, is far easier to understand than Access.


Also I may add if you do not want buy MS soft use Open Office. Very similar to MS but free.



Hi all,
The spreadsheet vs database debate is a long running one.
I think the best answer is use what works for you.
Databases are more “computer geek” oriented and to make a nice interface you have to program. Databases are designed to aggregate data and present it in a useful format. Spreadsheets are designed to do number crunching. The hard part is they both overlap in their capabilities.

I am just getting into Open Office. I live in the land of Microsoft, but I am getting tired of the cost. I have just installed Open Office, but I still have to explore the Open Office spreadsheet and database tools.

Yes, Excel does have a limitation of 256 columns. Excel 2007 changes that limit. It now has a limit of 16,384 columns and 1,048,576 rows.



Why don’t we take the standard of all standards.

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