Looking for Redding 3BR operating tips


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TexasShooter59
February 10, 2012, 11:46 PM
I got a 3BR right around Christmas and have loaded about 180 .223 cartridges with it so far. I checked against a balance beam scale every load for a while, then went to every fifth one. In doing this, I saw that it was not real consistent. The powder was H322. What was happening was that after being set and used for a while, it might start reading high or low. I would adjust the micrometer against the scale and go at it again. In checking against the scale after a while, I would find it was reading the opposite direction and would have to readjust.

Anyway, I wanted to see if any 3BR owners had any advice to offer. Thanks in advance!

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cfullgraf
February 11, 2012, 12:09 AM
I have a Redding 10-x, which is similar to the 30BR except for the size of the cavity. I also have 3 other drum style measures.

I find that you have to throw about 20 or so charges before the powder column settles enough to be consistent.

I find you need to use the same method of throwing charges each time. I try to not shake or vibrate the measure any more than necessary, but some folks like to tap the measure at each end of the stroke. The key is to do it the same every time.

I prefer to use a powder baffle. I find it best to have the holes in the baffle not over the hole in the drum. Put another way, the line between the holes is parallel to the rotational axis of the drum. But, other folks are so particular with the way the baffle is installed.

My baffle is down near the bottom of the measure, others have success with the baffle a third of the way up or so of the reservoir.

Once again, the key is to operate the measure the same each and every throw.

Hope this helps.

rfwobbly
February 11, 2012, 09:30 AM
This issue comes up often. The issue is probably not so much the measure as it is the technique employed in using the measure. Here is a "tips" article I wrote some time back....

• First and foremost should be a sturdy Powder Measure (PM) stand that holds your PM about 2 inches above the table and extends the outlet about 3 inches away from the post. You can buy these stands from RCBS and Lyman, or you can build one from wood scraps in your shop. You'll want the base to be plenty heavy so that it won't jump around, and the stand to be solid so that the PM doesn't wave around like a flag on a pole.

• Accurate measurement of powder depends on several things; one of the most important is consistent powder density. So when measuring powder I use a technique called "knock-knock". Whenever the micrometer adjuster reaches either end of the stroke I simply hit the stop twice. All this vibration gets the powder to sift down to a constant density so that with each throw, the contents of the PM chamber are more consistent. And therefore the weights are more consistent. So when you operate the PM, you raise the handle and hit the stop twice (knock-knock), and then you lower the handle to dump and hit the stop twice (knock-knock). This may take some practice on your part.

• Never use the first 10 "dumps" from the PM. Simply put them back into the top of the hopper. The first dumps out of the PM simply haven't shaken down enough to become a consistent density. On a volumetric PM, it's impossible to get consistent weights of powder without consistent density.

• These PMs are also helped by a "baffle". Explanation and design attached. We're talking 5 minutes with scissors and a beer can. Click Here (http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=uncle%20nick%27s%20powder%20measure%20baffle&source=web&cd=3&ved=0CD4QFjAC&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.shootersforum.com%2Fattachments%2Fhandloading-equipment%2F10528d1320785845-powder-measures-powder_baffle_instructions_and_templates.pdf&ei=nno2T8-OHIK02gW2mqiGAg&usg=AFQjCNFcp2R_pnPyeF6MmC1a_SCIsDs_6Q&cad=rja) for instructions on how to make your own. The most enjoyable part is emptying the can.

• You can best “dial-in” your powder measure adjustment by averaging. Say you want 11.4 grains per load. Try adjusting your powder measure until 10 loads weigh a total of 114.0 grains. You'll get much closer to a perfect 11.4gr by using this method than you will weighing single loads.

• If you ever need to lube your measure, use only powdered graphite. If you use your PM often enough, the graphite on the gunpowder (the gray coating is graphite) will self-lube the measure for you.

• Another tip is to get (or make) a "reloading tray" ( http://www.midwayusa.com/viewProduct/?productNumber=576361 ). As you prime your cases, put them mouth-up into the tray. When you have a goodly number, say 40-50, then dump powder into all of them in a single session. That way you get very good at knock-knock. AND you can take a bright light and inspect all the cases for equal powder height.

• Some powder measures, such as the RCBS Uniflow, have separate large and small rotors. You must match the large rotor to rifle loads and the small rotor to pistol loads.

• Finally, don't ever leave powder in the hopper. Always put it back in the can. The acid in the powder will etch the plastic cylinder pretty badly. The gray color is a natural consequence of using gun powder. Nothing you can do about that except to convert to a glass hopper.


It also helps to remember that NO powder measure is absolutely perfect. Better powder measures get better at delivering consistent "dumps", but they will all wander by some tiny amount.

Hope this helps! ;)

Krogen
February 11, 2012, 02:50 PM
Excellent advice, rfwobbly! The only thing I could add, is to keep the hopper full. I use a Redding measure and it will vary slightly as the powder level drops - even with the baffle. It's only a tenth of a grain or two, but still noticeable. Keeping the hopper at least half full eliminates that variation.

TexasShooter59
February 12, 2012, 10:56 AM
Thanks for all the tips! Quite a few to try out. I realize that the consistency of me is a big part of it, and that may take some work!

TexasShooter59
February 14, 2012, 11:46 PM
Loaded a little over 100 rounds tonight. Started out by putting in the baffle with holes over the axis of the drum, and had it close to the bottom. Ran 20 dumps through it just to get things flowing. Then, ran a few series of 10 dumps through it to get the average adjusted correctly. After this, KNOCK-KNOCK, knock-knock. Over and over!

All of this seemed to really help as things went a LOT better than last time. I measured the first 10 charges and then every 5th afterwards. Things went pretty smoothly for a while until the charges started staying .1-.2 grains high consistently. What I found was that the micrometer dial had moved just a tiny amount from all the "knock-knocking". What I learned was that the black knob on the left of this PM has to be tightened down pretty firm, and I was just tightening it finger-tight thinking that the friction of the micrometer was resistant enough. After readjusting back to the original setting and tightening that knob better, things went really well all the way through to the end. I was impressed how many charges were right on the money.

When doing the "knock-knocking", it was interesting to see how much the powder moves under the baffle. I'm sure this affects the density.

Once again, a big thanks to cfullgraff and rfwobbly for all the tips in posts #2 and #3, as they helped tremendously!!! The powder charging has been probably the most frustrating part of learning to reload for me due to the tediousness of it. I feel like I might have a much better handle on that part, now.

:cool:

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