February 18, 2011, 11:24 AM
I’ve read several threads lately regarding better metering powders. These posts have included great info on powders that meter better than others and really great info on why it sometimes does not matter as much as we think because of powder density. The best thing I’ve done to get better powder drops (and much lower standard deviations) was properly securing my bench. It was already pretty sturdy and secured to the floor, but I later found out that it was not good enough. When I set up a progressive press, the instructions stated a minimum work surface thickness of 1”. My surface was .75” plywood, so I just slapped a sheet of .5” plywood on top of that and secured it with a brad gun. I thought everything was great until I started using a chronograph; standard deviations in some loads were pretty high (worst was 28). I was sure that it was the ‘stupid’ powder measure, then the powder choice, then...... It had to be something that was beyond my control because I ‘knew what I was doing’. I set a small level on my bench and full length sized some rifle brass. It didn’t really move the bubble, until I realized I set the level directly above the bench frame. Moved the level more towards the center (unsupported area) of the work surface, there was a pretty fair amount of flex in my work surface. Removed the upper work surface and reapplied it with adhesive and wood screws. I added several 2x4 braces underneath the bottom surface, glued and screwed !!! I also added wood screws to every joint in the bench frame. $10 worth of wood adhesive and $5 worth of wood screws have given me the best bang for my buck than anything else I can think of.