Getting powder in a .223 case


July 31, 2006, 11:24 PM
I've found that filling my .223 cases with powder is kind of difficult when just using the pan from my scale (a Dillon balance beam). I've heard of things called "powder drops" (or something), but never seen one in a catalog or store. Any recommendations out there for getting all of the powder in the case without making a mess?

I've got to figure something out until I can get the conversion kit and dies for my XL650.

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July 31, 2006, 11:33 PM
A powder drop goes on a powder measure. You need a powder funnel. These are real nice -

There are lots of powder funnels that cost less or you can use a regular funnel.

Steve in PA
July 31, 2006, 11:56 PM
A powder funnel is right up there with a press in order of stuff needed to reload, especially when reloading rifle cases.

August 1, 2006, 12:42 AM
There are hand held powder throwers, but even they need a powder funnel for those wee case mouths. Powder funnels are 'one size fits all' and not expensive. Any gun shop should have one. It fits over the case mouth and sends the powder into the case and not all over the table.

August 1, 2006, 03:18 AM
If you have a 650 but dont have a powder funnel, you need to walk into the street with both hands up! :scrutiny:

August 1, 2006, 09:00 AM
A handmade paper funnel will work in a pinch till you get one. Ask me how I know.:neener:

August 1, 2006, 09:12 AM
Thanks everyone! I'll have to pick up something like Bullet suggested above.

See - I got into reloading kind of backwards. I started out on a progressive so that I could load .45 ACP in mass quantities. Only recently did I get a single stage and start loading rifle calibers. After using the little pan that comes with the balance beam scale to try and get powder into a case I quickly realized there must be a better way.... thus, not having a powder funnel to begin my reloading hobby - I didn't need one at first.

Thanks again. :)

August 1, 2006, 10:22 AM
I use my progressive for .223 range loads. Its a Lee 4 hole turret and I use a Lee autodisc set up. Get the kit to doublestack discs and have at it. I also use H-335 which meters great out of this set up. Can mass produce ammo for AR range trips with ease.

As for single stage, I use that for accurate hunting/bench shooting loads where more precision is required.


August 1, 2006, 10:25 AM
Oh, I totally plan on using the 650 to load .223... I just need the conversion kit, case feed plate and some other parts first. Right now my gun budget is down to zero... but I could probably afford the funnel in the meantime. ;)

August 1, 2006, 11:19 AM
Forget regular funnels. You need a long drop tube powder funnel:

I use the Forster long drop tube for loading high pressure military style loads for the AR. The Forster makes it a lot easier to pack the 25.3 gr of Varget behind the 77gr Sierra Match King that I need to duplicate the velocity of MK262 Mod 1 ammunition.

Mal H
August 1, 2006, 11:45 AM
I wouldn't say forget the regular funnel. Perhaps get a longdrop funnel in addition to a regular powder funnel if you plan on using compressed loads. But the regular powder funnel is handy when loading up a block of cartridges. I can dump powder in one case and then transfer the funnel to the next case and it will sit on top of the case without falling over. Not having to put down the funnel and then pick it up and place it on the next case probably saves me, oh, around 10 seconds per block of 50! ;) Time is money! :D

I have no idea when or where I got my powder funnel, but I've had it about 40 years. It is shaped like a small model rocket engine. Maybe 2" wide at the top tapering down to a .17" hole and then a reverse taper to about 3/8" in diameter at the end. It balances perfectly on the smallest of cases I use in reloading. It's the reverse taper that distinguishes a powder funnel from a normal funnel.

August 1, 2006, 12:30 PM
I got one of these;

The cat's meow, it'll stay positioned on top of the case in a loading block because it has removeable caliber specific ends.

I also find the little lee funnel to be real usefull.

August 1, 2006, 12:54 PM

is about 16 bucks and comes with 16-20 different mouths for various calibers, probably anything you'd be going to reload for. I have used this one and it works well.

(When you're reloading .223 and the powder drops out all over the place on your first case, you probably forgot to switch the little mouth back from the .45 cal you reloaded the previous weekend).:banghead:

oops, same one snuffy mentioned. oh well, bandwidths cheap!

August 1, 2006, 01:09 PM
I would caution that loading large charges of Varget in the 223 on a Dillon is not a really good idea! Why, because it tends to bridge in the powder funnel, and with a charge over 25 grains you almost need a drop tube to help settle the charge of Varget. I would look at finding progressive friendly powder, ie RL15 or TAC.

August 3, 2006, 05:29 AM
BS, the Dillon powder measure will throw varget as well as any other powder.

August 3, 2006, 06:57 AM
I load 223's with Varget in my 550. Seems to work OK. Once in a very great while it may bridge, but I've never seen it as much of a problem. The powder measures on Dillons lift and fall. I think the movement keeps the powder moving.

If you individually charge, the little Lee funnel works fine. If the cases are too full, tap the side of the case a few times with a pencil to settle the powder.

I have some specially made tapping pencils. They have a red rubber counter weight on the tip secured by a brass lock ring, center is reinforced with graphite, and they are painted safety yellow. They are manufactured from non-sparking wood. These are special priced for THR members at $9.95 each.

August 3, 2006, 02:03 PM
When I was reloading .223 a few years back, I had the hardest time finding a powder funnel that worked well.

The best thing I found? Those little plastic thingies at the doctor's office that they snap on the end of the light they use to look in your ear. They make perfect funnels, and have very small ends (but not so small that powder bridges badly). They're also very smooth inside.

August 3, 2006, 02:07 PM
re: Dillon's powder funnels...

I was getting some big variations in the powder throws for my .308 loads (using IMR 4064 & 4895), until I talked with some highpower shooters at my club. They suggested I have a gunsmith from the club mill out the funnel to make it a little larger and smoother - he may have tapered it too? - and presto, my powder charges became much more consistent.

I figure I'll have him do the same with the .223 funnel once I get it and if I have problems.

Thanks again all! :)

August 3, 2006, 03:09 PM
I've heard about that Dillon powder measure "modification" for some time now, and I'm intrigued. It sounds like something that can be done by anyone that is fairly handy. Can anyone give instructions? Thanks!-

August 3, 2006, 03:14 PM
Wish I could give instructions - but I know absolutely nothing about milling machines. :confused: I'm barely competent with a file! ;)

August 3, 2006, 04:23 PM
You could make a simple hone from a piece of 3/16 bar. Hacksaw a slot in one end put 2 small rectangles of reasonable sand paper back to back and insert into the slot. Put into a electric drill or cordless and polish the inside of the powder funnel to a smoother condition using progressively finer grit.

August 4, 2006, 02:21 PM
Here's a trick I wish I could claim credit for. It requires a vibratory tumbler.

With the powder funnel flush to the case mouth, and a weighed or thrown charge of powder in the funnel, refusing to enter the case, hold the bottom of the case against the center post of the vibrating tumbler. The powder will get sucked into the case as if by magic. Works well even for stick powders that often bridge, like H4895.

August 4, 2006, 09:31 PM
I still think you need to get one of my custom tapping pencils. Faster and easier than holding a vibrating case cleaner up to your loading press.;)

August 4, 2006, 11:16 PM
Some novel ideas and I din NOT read all posts. I used a funnel for a long time with my RCBS electronic scale. Then found a combo pan/funnel and cut out that step trying to hold case, an and funnel all at once.
Lyman makes a combo-funnel/scale pan.

August 5, 2006, 10:02 AM
Full charge loads of Varget, ie those like 27.2 gr of Varget do not measure well from Dillon powder measure! That is a lot powder, but if you are loading around 25gr it is not that bad.

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