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We measure infrared absorption spectra of 18 hydrochlorofluorocarbons and hydrofluorocarbons, seven of which do not yet appear in the literature. The spectra are used in a narrowband model of the terrestrial infrared radiation to calculate radiative forcing and global warming potentials. We investigate the sensitivity of the radiative forcing to the absorption spectrum temperature dependence, halocarbon vertical profile, stratospheric adjustment, cloudiness, spectral overlap, and latitude, and we make some recommendations for the reporting of radiative forcings that would help to resolve discrepancies between assessments. We investigate simple methods of estimating instantaneous radiative forcing directly from a molecule's absorption spectrum and we present a new method that agrees to within 0.3% with our narrowband model results.