Help with IMR 4895 powder


December 20, 2011, 05:19 PM
I am reloading 30-06 for my M1 and 1903A3 using IMR 4895. I am using a Dillon 550B. This is my first rifle and bottle neck round project. I have loaded a couple thousand pistol rounds this past year. The problem I am having is in the powder drop stage. Flakes of powder are falling out of this station and my powder charges are off +/- 0.5gn. I have tried the dryer sheet trick and it did not help. I have also tried working the handle rather slow again no change.

I have talked to Dillon and the CSR told me it was just that type of powder, and I understand stick or cylindrical powder is not as easy to throw as ball.

Is there a powder measure out there that I could mount to my bench and use the 550B sort of like a single stage press skipping the powder stage?

Thankful for any help on this matter.

If you enjoyed reading about "Help with IMR 4895 powder" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!
December 20, 2011, 06:03 PM
If you have powder falling out, something is wrong with your setup. I'm using the exact same press, powder and I assume powder measure for 30-06, and that never happens.

December 20, 2011, 06:08 PM
Flakes of powder are falling out of this station
Are you talking about powder flipping out of the brass when the press advances or something else?

You should get a little better than 0.5 gr spread, but not much better. You may need to try H4895; meters a little better than IMR.

December 20, 2011, 06:11 PM
Yep, extruded powder doesn't run through powder measures as well as ball powder. You could use a bench mounted Redding powder measure to throw your charges, but you will get variances (although probably not as much) with it as well. Personally, I would accept the +/- .5gr variance you have now. You're not going to be loading high pressure loads for the Garand, and it's not like it is a precision rifle. Just MHO.


December 20, 2011, 06:20 PM
Are you talking about powder flipping out of the brass when the press advances or something else?

You should get a little better than 0.5 gr spread, but not much better. You may need to try H4895; meters a little better than IMR.
Flakes are not falling out of the case when moving to the next station, but are falling out as I lower the shell plate.

I have got as much as +.07 this afternoon.

December 20, 2011, 06:27 PM
Welcome to THR, Robert37803.

If you have powder falling out, something is wrong with your setup.

I'm not familiar with your particular measure, but Fleet's analysis makes sense, being an owner of a similar setup. Perhaps it's bridging the powder and some is dropping loose with the index movement and spilling.

There is a spherical powder available that will nearly duplicate IMR4895 pressure curve, and flow through the measure like water. Just another option. Accurate 2520 is that powder.


December 20, 2011, 06:52 PM
I improved that on my setup by polishing inside of the powder drop die (after thorough disassembly and NO powder) with a dremel and some steel wool on the arbor bit. loaded many rounds of .308 with 4895 before switching to accurate arms 2520

December 20, 2011, 06:54 PM
I too use a 550B for necked rifle cartridges and sometimes use IMR4895.

For me, getting this powder to meter well requires that I pause the shell plate at it's highest point for a few moments, and just prior to lowering the shell plate, I flick the powder reservoir with my index finger to dislodge any lingering particles of powder.

Hopefully this will work for you also. Otherwise, Varget or Benchmark may be of interest to you.

December 20, 2011, 07:41 PM
Thanks for the input. I think I will reinstall the powder measure and die again and polish it up. I will post an update.

December 20, 2011, 09:02 PM
Here are a couple of links that I found beneficial when I was tuning my Dillon Measures.

Polishing a Dillon Measure (

Dillon Powder Measure Tips (




December 20, 2011, 11:36 PM
If all else fails you can change powders like mentioned above. AA2520 is the Ball powder equivalent to 4895. It's nickname is "The Camp Perry Powder" which must tell you something.

IMR4895, H4895, AA2520 and AA2495 are all extremely similar powders and can be used in all the same applications with almost identical results.

David Wile
December 21, 2011, 04:04 AM
Hey Robert,

Other folks may disagree with me, but when I started using a progressive press, I quickly gave up on the idea of using extruded powders. Like some of the others have mentioned, ball powders simply measure so easily and accurately there is no comparison. I have a Hornady L&L AP which uses a Hornady powder measure that most folks think is a top notch measure. I, too, think it is a good measure, but when it comes to using extruded powder, I say, "Forget it!" It is just so much easier with ball powders. I still use extruded powders when making loads that I weigh each charge, but not for progressive use.

Best wishes,
Dave Wile

December 21, 2011, 07:23 AM
Thanks for this information. I've got two lbs. of IMR4895 that I'm going to try and use after I try a few things first. Guess it's off to buy a dremel tool. Is it to late to ask Santa for a dremel?

December 21, 2011, 08:49 AM
I agree with the guys above that your powder is bridging. Keep in mind this can cause more charge to charge variations than 0.5grs; it could be potentially dangerous. I’ve never tried polishing the drop tubes; sounds like they may be on to something there. Dremil tools are really handy, but if you don’t want to spend the money on one right now you could probably polish w/o one. If you have one of those (almost worthless) three piece cleaning rods, take the end piece and chuck it in a drill. Attach a ‘smaller than hole’ bore brush to the end and wrap it in 0000 steel wool and apply flitz or similar to it. Remember to keep in mind which way the drill turns when wrapping the steel wool on there.

December 21, 2011, 09:46 AM
If like a Dillon RL450? Is the powder funnel/expander fully seated into the die? If its not, the top edge of the funnel will retain stick powder. (

December 21, 2011, 10:18 AM
One of the great illusions is that control means precision. Not always.

I have enough chronograph data that I am quite convinced that the lesser throw variations with ball powders do not translate to lower velocity standard deviations. Ball powder users in the minority for the group of competitive shooters I hang around with, some of which are F Class National Champs. I found ball powder threw well, but the ball powder I used, AA2520, the characteristics changed with every vendor, accuracy was good once I developed loads, but you had to do that with each lot, and the stuff was peaky. I would get blown primers without warning signs, with loads that looked perfectly fine in cool weather and then blam!, 20 degrees hotter, I got blown primers. AA 2520 shoots well when you hit the sweet spot but I donít think the sweet spot of ball powders is as wide as stick powders.

I do have lots of AA2520, when it was $64.00 for an eight pound keg, what can I say, I canít resist cheap. :evil:

I use the Dillion 550B for all my short range, out to 300 yards, ammunition. I primarly use IMR 4895, or surplus 4895, in my gas guns and bolt rifles.

My Dillion throws IMR 4895 +- 0.5 grains at least.

This amount of variance means nothing in 308 and 30-06 volume cases. Might make a difference in a .223 or 22 Hornet.

These are 100 yard prone slow fire targets fired in competition at a local 100 yard reduced range match. Unlike across the course matches, where your targets are pasted over, I can take my reduced course targets home.

All these charges are thrown on a dillion 550B, and the cartridge is 308.

My advice, donít worry about it. Yes some grains will fall out of the funnel and you have clean up later, incidentally, so will ball powders from ball powder.

I polished the inside of the powder funnels with Crocus cloth and an old .22 cal bristle brush. Made everything real shiny and did nothing for throw consistency. I did polish one funnel so large that it became unuseable. Live and learn. :rolleyes:

December 21, 2011, 10:48 AM
On my Dillon 650, I tap the powder measure when the ram is in the up position. This shakes loose any bridged (stuck) powder. As mentioned earlier, polish the internals.

Varget is the only extruded powder I have used so this might not be the solution to imr4895.

December 21, 2011, 12:23 PM
I suppose that I would not have any op-rod problems loading 47gn IMR4895 using Sierra 168gr HPBT Matchking bullets in my M1. Sierra gives 2700fps in there manual, and 49gr is 2800fps.I would have to have more than +/- .05gr to be a problem. I am not competing with G. David Tubb, but I do like to produce the best round possible. I will be shooting in some CMP games in the future. SlamFire1 may have changed my thoughts about being so anal about my powder charges.

December 21, 2011, 12:31 PM
off +/- 0.5gn. Thats a 1 gr difference between the heavest to the lightest?? Thats a lot to me.

December 21, 2011, 12:32 PM
Check your data. I load 42gr IMR4895 w/ 168gr SMK. 47 sounds like too much.

Edit: Nevermind. I was thinking .308.

December 21, 2011, 02:32 PM
For 30-06, I use a 168 grain Match, 47.0 grains IMR 4895 thrown, LC cases, CCI #34 or just tried Tula 7.62

Charges thrown from my Dillion 550B work just fine in Garands.

December 22, 2011, 12:58 AM
Thinking over your very first comment, I would also suggest checking the powder funnel adjustment. Be sure the mouth of the brass is right up almost touching the bottom of the powder funnel. Any extra space between the case and the bottom of the powder funnel can allow powder to hang up and fall out when the case is lowered.

December 22, 2011, 07:49 AM
I think the Dillon powder drop is activated by the case mouth pushing up on the drop tube. No contact w/ drop tube = no powder.

December 23, 2011, 08:37 PM
I have tried many things discussed on this thread.

1. Polished the powder reservoir base of the 550B.
2. Put about 1/2 of a dryer sheet (I have nice smelling powder) inside the powder reservoir.
3. Tapped the powder measure tube 2-3 times with the handle in the down position.
4. Raised the handle slowly on the up stroke.

I still have a few sticks fall out on some of the cycles, but not the large differences in the charge thrown. For the 16 rounds that I loaded tonight the charge was +/- .2gn. I am loading at 46.6gn. so this small amount should not pose a problem with the M1 op rod.

Thanks for all the input on this issue. The information that I have got on this forum over the last year or so has helped with many problems I have encountered.

If you enjoyed reading about "Help with IMR 4895 powder" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!