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How precise should the powder throw be?

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by wrx04, Oct 23, 2010.

  1. wrx04

    wrx04

    1,230
    36
    Sep 25, 2008
    MI
    I just sat down to load a small batch of test bullets for the range tomorrow, and i was planning on loading 5.9gr of unique for 230FMJ. I set up the dispenser, and the first couple measurements came out at 5.9, 6.0, 5.7, 5.9, 6.1....basically there was a .2gr error range. Is this normal?

    I decided to back down a little just in case, and my random test measurements were between 5.6 and 5.9. Should be OK, right?

    Secondly, is there any trick to get the spent primers to land IN the catch tray? I swear half of them go flying onto the floor.

    Finally, I had TWO rounds out of 50 that didnt fit in the case gauge.....they stick out slightly They were the first two rounds i made tonight. OAL is normal (1.25) and i ran them through the seating and crimping dies twice, but still no-go. The only thing i know could have caused this was there was a spent primer UNDER the shell plate (another that missed the damn bin), but that shouldn't have anything to do with the seating/crimp, but maybe they didnt get resized since the primer blocked the shellplate from reaching the full downward position?:dunno:


    And no.....i don't have an ex-wife that can test fire those two F'ed up rounds:supergrin:
     
  2. bob98247

    bob98247

    36
    1
    Jul 18, 2009
    Everson, WA
    On small charges you are going to have some variation.

    Sometimes the cases have a burr on the rim that keeps them from dropping into the case gauge. I have found that if I put the round in the gauge rim first and give a twist it knocks down the burr. I have also had a few cases that seem to have been a little off center when resizing like the burr held the base of the case offset to the press a few thousanths and these take a file to the rim to get them to drop in the gauge.
    Just something to think on

    Bob
     


  3. ron59

    ron59 Bustin Caps

    6,927
    20
    Jan 3, 2009
    Smyrna, GA
    Those that stick out *slightly* will still fire fine in your gun.

    When I am creating ammo for competition, however, those would get "weeded" out, I would use them for practice only. Only rounds that easily slide into and out of the gauge are ones that I will use for competition.
     
  4. WiskyT

    WiskyT Malcontent

    11,682
    1
    Jun 12, 2002
    North Carolina
    I think your powder throws are a bit too far off. What measure and scale are you using?
     
  5. BC Dan

    BC Dan

    459
    5
    May 23, 2008
    Oregon
    I quit using Unique in my progressive because of the same issue. I found Win231 works a lot better at throwing consistant weight charges.
     
  6. GioaJack

    GioaJack Conifer Jack

    10,016
    1
    Apr 14, 2009
    Conifer, CO
    How in the world do you expect to become an experienced loader with no ex-wives to test fire your work up loads? What do you want to do, kill yourself? Fine, have it your way.

    Now, to your question about the powder variance. As much as it pains me, I have to disagree with Wisky on this one and we all know how I almost always agree with him.

    It is not unusual, nor detrimental to have a .02 grain variance when throwing Unique as long as you're not loading max or over max loads. (You shouldn't be anyway... especially over published max loads on a progressive.)

    If you have a powder baffle make sure it's installed. When you add powder to the hopper tap the side a few times to make sure it's settled and throw several charges before you actually start to load.

    Do all that and you'll be fine. Short of clamping the gun in a Ransom Rest you'll never see or be able to tell the difference.

    Now get to work on that ex-wife thing... or do you always want to be a rookie?


    Jack
     
  7. wrx04

    wrx04

    1,230
    36
    Sep 25, 2008
    MI
    Bob and Ron, thanks for the advice. I will see if there is a burr.
     
  8. Nemesis Lead

    Nemesis Lead

    447
    0
    Mar 3, 2007
    Yeah--I agree. Unique does not meter as well. .2 grains is about the most variance you should accept, however. Beyond this, you have a problem. Make sure you run a powder checker.

    I usually get .1 grains of variance with Unique but do get the occasional .2 grain variance.
     
  9. wrx04

    wrx04

    1,230
    36
    Sep 25, 2008
    MI
    This was the next "variable" i was unsure of, and may actually be the problem. I am using the digital scale that came with the "best" reloading package from brian enos. I put the charge on the scale and it reads 5.6....wait for it....then jumps to 5.8 a couple seconds later. Hmmmm....:whistling:
     
  10. wrx04

    wrx04

    1,230
    36
    Sep 25, 2008
    MI
    Cool. Thanks for the reply. I'm staying pretty low in the load range, so i should be OK. I was gonna jump up to 6.0 grains for this batch, but since there is a .2 variance and the max published load is 6.6, i think i'll stay with my pansy 5.6-5.8 range until i get a better feel for this stuff.

    I'm working on the rookie thing. I'm probably gonna be popping the question on the FIRST future ex-wife in a few months here. I've got a long way to go to catch up to your old ***.:rofl:
     
  11. WiskyT

    WiskyT Malcontent

    11,682
    1
    Jun 12, 2002
    North Carolina
    Jack is right in the sense that as long as you are far enough away from max, the variation shouldn't cause any problems. But, you are looking at an extreme spread of 0.4 grains, which is a bit much IMO. I do not like digital raloading scales, I don't rust them. Good digital scales can cost $2,000.00. I just don't trust a $75.00 digital scale, certainly not more than a $75.00 beam balance.
     
  12. wrx04

    wrx04

    1,230
    36
    Sep 25, 2008
    MI
    Thank you, sir.:wavey:
     
  13. WiskyT

    WiskyT Malcontent

    11,682
    1
    Jun 12, 2002
    North Carolina
    Oh, and I have no problem staying within +/- 0.1 grain with Unique and the Lee disc measure checked with a beam balance.
     
  14. wrx04

    wrx04

    1,230
    36
    Sep 25, 2008
    MI
    That was my thinking as well.....a beam is pretty cut and dry. The one that i got was an "upgrade" probably just to take more of my money. The thing LOOKS cheap....kinda like one of those scientific calculators you can buy for five bucks. Maybe i should just buy a beam scale.
     
  15. PastorDan

    PastorDan

    244
    0
    Mar 3, 2010
    Central KY
    **Disclaimer - Everything writen is by a rookie***
    I have had the same variation when loading Unique (I will probably change powders when this pound is used up) but I was at the range today and there is no way to tell if one was off a little bit and nothing blew up.
    I did the digital scale thing but I can't say that I like the variance of .2 grains that is seems to have even when calibrated everytime I turn it on. I still use it though to get the powder thrower close and then the beam to hone it in. I would not use it only and never with my rifle rounds but I am working in some of the higher load range with them.
     
  16. IndyGunFreak

    IndyGunFreak

    25,808
    1,075
    Jan 26, 2001
    Indiana
    Totally agree.

    When everyone started raving about that scale over on Brianenos.com, I had serious misgivings... I'm sure it's a nice scale, but I have two issues. 1. I generally dislike electronic scales and 2. I will not use an electronic scale that does not have an external power supply. Batteries can be weak, dirty contacts, etc.. all can cause fluctuations, etc.. just don't like it at all.

    Personally, I'd have nuked the Electronic scale he sells, and replaced it w/ the $59 Dillon Beam scale... but that's neither here nor there now.

    As others have said.. My experience w/ Unique has been less than positive on my LCT. It just didn't meter all that well.. 231 meters almost flawlessly.
     
  17. PCJim

    PCJim Senior Member

    2,950
    1
    Aug 4, 2008
    FL
    For test rounds, you should be trickle charging those cases. At least that's what I do. There is NO variance in my charges, which is what you should be seeking for establishing the test levels. You can still use the progressive for sizing, priming and final bullet seating. This is especially easy to do on the 550b.

    Once you've determined the preferred charge, then set your powder dispenser.
     
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2010
  18. wrx04

    wrx04

    1,230
    36
    Sep 25, 2008
    MI
    Thats the problem....even if i do trickle the charges and know exactly what i want, the powder measure has a variance of +/- (.2).
     
  19. PCJim

    PCJim Senior Member

    2,950
    1
    Aug 4, 2008
    FL
    If you are trickle charging into the pan on a beam scale, you will not have a variance. I've tried an electric scale, albeit a cheap one, and will stay with the 5-0-5. Call me old school...
     
  20. It will make a big difference what powder you're using. IIRC, ball powders run better from a powder-drop than flake powder.
    I'm using Win 231 also, along with Bullseye, and have no trouble maintaining about 5 or 6 grains with 0.1grain variation in either direction. I wouldn't be happy with +/- 0.2 grains with these small loads.
    For that matter, even when I'm loading up to 20+ grains for my big long colt revolver loads with H110, I still get within +/- 0.1 grains.
    I'm using a Dillon 550B loader with Dillon powder measure that I've had for 20 yrs or so.
    Sonnytoo