When do you stop...


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Jcinnb
June 25, 2013, 11:01 AM
measuring every charge from the powder measure?

OK, I now have about 500 25-06 reloads down the barrel, all have worked and I still have fingers, hands, and eyes.

I still measure every powder charge I throw. I have been very consistent, sometimes a little bit light, but tricklers are awesome.

I keep telling myself, I can stop measuring every one, and go to every 5th or 10th, but ......a nagging doubt persists.

Am I more mental than I thought, or does, at some, point, this compulsion fade?

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warhwkbb
June 25, 2013, 11:36 AM
In this wonderful hobby, we are allowed to be as anal as we want to be and no one will be the wiser. I weigh all extruded powders each and every time. Ball powder, eh...not so much.

jwrowland77
June 25, 2013, 11:39 AM
I don't know. I have about 2000 down range and 1000 in ammo boxes, mix between 9mm, 7mm RM, .223 and .380 and I still weigh every charge by hand. Can't help it, I'm a little OCD, I'm an Accountant, so I probably won't every stop.

Do things take longer? Yes.
Do I load less in a sitting? Yes
Can I sleep soundly at night? Yes
Am I worried about my gun blowing up, when I pull the trigger? Nope not as all

YMMV though. I like the single stage. Gives me a reason to get away from the wife and kids for a couple hours each night.

MtnCreek
June 25, 2013, 11:47 AM
For the 25-06, might as well keep weighing them. If you're loading quantities of 9mm, .223 or similar, weighing is going to slow that process way down. I'll make concessions with some loads to keep from weighing (like changing to a well metering powder or backing off a hot load a little).

jcwit
June 25, 2013, 11:51 AM
I weigh from the measure till I get the charge wanted. Then I throw 10 charges from the measure and divide to check the average. Then I throw 1 charge to check to see if its still the same as the first one. Then I'm good to go, I do check periodically as the powder goes down in the measure, and if needed refill.

Now then, I do not load to max, I load for accuracy and comfort when shooting. No since having a hobby that causes pain.

beatledog7
June 25, 2013, 11:55 AM
I don't pay any attention to how long it takes me to handload. The majority of the time saving measures I take are in cleaning and prepping brass, not building rounds.

When I load a batch of more than about 30 of the same charge weight, I calibrate and use the powder measure, but I still weigh every 10th drop or so to make sure the device is in spec. Once set, my drops (Hornady LNL) are good to +/- .2 grains with ball and flake powders...+/- one tenth 95% of the time.

The only rounds I ever load in that sort of volume at a sitting are handgun rounds at low to mid range power, so if a drop is off by a couple tenths of a grain, I'm still safe and probably won't even notice when I fire them.

It's far more common for me to load batches of fewer than 20, and those get weighed individually by hand.

dirtykid
June 25, 2013, 12:01 PM
Never,
I guess I don't reload as much in volume as most folks, what I do reload is measured by an electronic scale, and every 5th charge is double-checked on a beam-scale (I don't trust electronic gadgets) It might take me a couple hours to reload 100-.243 cases, but I KNOW for certain that every cartridge is EXACTLY what I intended it to be

For me its a HOBBY, I enjoy reloading, and the time spent at the bench is a perfect time to unwind, and forget about the chaotic day I may have had, and just concentrate on some remedial task that does not require complex equations or 3-dimensional thinking like in my current day-job

Certaindeaf
June 25, 2013, 12:06 PM
I think most benchresters only use a measure to throw charges, after establishing that the measure is throwing the desired weight with a given powder. Heck, some not too old benchrest championship was won with Lee scoops.
I mainly use a powder measure and might check it anywhere between 20-50 to 1000-5000 after I've verified the throws.

Walkalong
June 25, 2013, 12:12 PM
I set up the measure, run a minimum of 10 charges through it, check the weight thrown vs my log, then start loading. I tighten the screw on the insert, eyeball the powder level in each case as I seat a bullet, but do not weigh every charge, or even every 100th etc. As long as the physical settings and parts have not changed on the measure, it will keep dropping the charge weight you set it at. The occasional case with powder too far up in the neck gets pulled, dumped, eyeballed inside for spider webs etc (Found one in the 500 .223 cases I loaded this week), and try it again. If it isn't something extra internally, and the charge still comes way up in the neck again, it is just a very heavy (Thick) piece of brass. I scrap these when they show up every once in a while.

I think most benchresters only use a measure to throw charges, after establishing that the measure is throwing the desired weight with a given powderYep, just threw charges, and actually, I never weighed a charge for my Bench gun, ever.

Certaindeaf
June 25, 2013, 12:20 PM
And if you think about it, 1/10 grain of five grains is way bigger that 1/10 grain of fifty or somesuch. It's odd so many people feel much more compelled to weigh rifle charges as compared to handgun. Maybe it's because they load like twenty for an outing or even a whole year of shooting out of their deer rifle.

MtnCreek
June 25, 2013, 12:43 PM
It's odd so many people feel much more compelled to weigh rifle charges as compared to handgun.

For me, handguns are loaded w/ powders that meter and not at top potential velocity. Rifles (most) are loaded w/ powders that do not meter as well and often at the upper end of pressures.

mdi
June 25, 2013, 01:16 PM
When you have your measure dialed in and have variations that are acceptable to you, then you can decide how often to weigh...

Certaindeaf
June 25, 2013, 01:48 PM
For me, handguns are loaded w/ powders that meter and not at top potential velocity. Rifles (most) are loaded w/ powders that do not meter as well and often at the upper end of pressures.
I hear you. Many people load at the top of the chart with both. Many powders throw as accurately (well, more accurately, on a ratio basis) with "large" charges.
To be the equivalent of a five grain charge being 1/10 of a grain off, a fifty grain charge would have to be one grain off.
With good powders and a good measure, that fifty grain throw will be +/- 1/10 of one grain.. which is much more accurate than a tenth at five.

MtnCreek
June 25, 2013, 02:04 PM
There is logic to what you're saying, but I don't think the math is that simple. I have upper limit (beyond book) loads in 9mm where an additional 0.10 gr is still 'safe'. I have a hot (but w/i book) 300 wm load that cannot take another 1gr and be safe. The wm is running at close to twice the pressure.

For me, pistol accuracy is solely limited by my capability. A 100 fps ES is not going to keep me off paper. With a rifle at range, it will.

Edit: I guess it all boils down to what we're trying to accomplish. I could take an Arkansas stone to a horses hoof, but I get by fine w/ a rasp. :)

Certaindeaf
June 25, 2013, 02:15 PM
There is logic to what you're saying, but I don't think the math is that simple. I have upper limit (beyond book) loads in 9mm where an additional 0.10 gr is still 'safe'. I have a hot (but w/i book) 300 wm load that cannot take another 1gr and be safe..
That's exactly what I'm talking about.. does your measure throw your chosen powder to +/- one grain given a 50 grain charge? I've never seen one that wouldn't do it to 1/10 of a grain.. never mind. And how do you know to what pressure I load my handguns? I'm no Clark though, that's for sure.

Walkalong
June 25, 2013, 02:17 PM
The plus or minus a measure throws with pistol powder is generally a larger percentage of the total charge than with rifle.

When working with below max charges I log a setting for the charge I am using that throws the average logged. Say I log 4.0 Grs for the charge weight, I pick a setting that throws an average 4.0 Grs. (4.0 Grs plus or minus .1 etc), as long as the max it might throw is below book max. If I am at or near max, I pick a setting that throws no more than the charge I log. Lets say I log 45.0 Grs (Max), so I pick & log the setting that throws 45.0 max, say 44.7 to 45.0.

mgmorden
June 25, 2013, 02:17 PM
I metered every charge for the first few years that I reloaded. Didn't even USE my powder measure at that time - I'd just use dippers to fill the pan until the scale balanced at the desired charge.

Realistically though, I mostly reload for volume savings. I'm not a benchrest shooter. With that in mind I've found that the deviation on the powder measure is perfectly safe at the mild loads I typically use. I'll set it once at the start of a session (checking several throws to make sure its consistent), and then I'll roll with it without checking again for as long as I need (often a few hundred rounds).

If I leave the bench and come back to it later I'll do a single check with the scale to make sure its still where I thought I left it but so long as it is I'll keep going.

I think a big part of it is are you loading for extreme accuracy (fine if it do, but its not really my goal), and do you load near max loads. Again fine if you do, but particularly in pistol I'm often shooting just barely hot enough to cycle the slide reliably.

Muddydogs
June 25, 2013, 02:21 PM
I weigh from the measure till I get the charge wanted. Then I throw 10 charges from the measure and divide to check the average. Then I throw 1 charge to check to see if its still the same as the first one. Then I'm good to go, I do check periodically as the powder goes down in the measure, and if needed refill.

Now then, I do not load to max, I load for accuracy and comfort when shooting. No since having a hobby that causes pain.
I never understood measuring 10 charges and taking the average. What happens if one charge got hung up and another dumped heavy? If I am taking the time to weight charges then I weight each one.

When loading single stage for the hunting rifles or important stuff I weight each one. On the progressive once I get the measure set I probably weight every 10 to 20 throws but if the eyes or gut tell me to check a round I do.

blarby
June 25, 2013, 02:22 PM
I used to weigh every single charge for everything.

It was very thorough !

I started realizing somewhere along the line that the only charges I was rejecting were the ones in the control and setup group- like Walkalong above.

Although, for my precision .308, I do reject a lot of them.... Mainly just because I can, and on those its more of a look before the scale even settles- and 9 out of 10 times I'm right.

As to when I made this transition ? It was probably somewhere right around the 6th caliber I started loading for- which was consequently when I started loading shotgun.

You don't get to weigh shotgun charges. Well, you could, but its not the same as dispensing powder from a measure in the metallic cartridge world.

That (shotgun loading) gave me the confidence to set the measure, and double check as Walkalong does above- and then carry on until the end of my run. If some little green commie wanted to sneak in and adjust my powder measure while I'm not looking..... he'd have to get past my cats first, and I don't give martians that much credit.

I dispense the charge into the case, examine that charge, seat a bullet, and move along.

Except for my really good .308 ..... Maybe one day.


For those of you who like Walkies "average" method above, you can dial in your powder measures using ten throws of powder into a medicine bottle or similar container. This is how I average out pistol throws- 10 charges of my 45 ACP w231 for example should be 51.0.... but I accept a margin of error as high as 51.9, an average of .1 over on each throw but one. If I dispense 10 charges and it weighs out less than 51.0, or more than 51.9, something is wrong- and I adjust it down and try again with another ten.

This WILL show you that your powder dispenser is throwing the right charge time after time. If you have a heavy scale, you could even do 100 charges if you felt so inclined.... I would lose count after ten- I can't count that high.

Walkalong
June 25, 2013, 02:23 PM
I used to take an average early on, but stopped. I still run numerous charges through to get my setting, but I just keep adjusting the measure until I get the average I want, unless I am loading at or near max. Then I adjust it until it will not throw anything over max.

rg1
June 25, 2013, 02:40 PM
Well, I'm not a high volume shooter but I've weighed all charges since the 1980's. My Pact Precision electronic scale bought when they 1st went on the market in the early 1990's has sped things up. I have an RCBS manual powder dispenser that doesn't get used.

X-Rap
June 25, 2013, 03:05 PM
After all these years I finally bought an electronic scale (simple MTM 750 gr).
I think it will be helpful in quickly assessing throw weights rather than adjusting the wheel on the scale.
That said I usually weigh all my rifle charges that I do on single stage, 223 & 308 I do on a 550 and I check 5-10 drops and again when I reload primers.
I think the important thing with the powder measures no matter the brand is to keep them full enough that they never expose the baffle and you get pretty consistant throws.

mgmorden
June 25, 2013, 03:47 PM
After all these years I finally bought an electronic scale (simple MTM 750 gr).

I recently picked up an electronic too. Actually its technically a jewelry scale (a Jennings JS-50XV) but it'll weight in grains. BrianEnos.com actually sells the exact scale (without naming it :)) as a reloading scale for $75 but if you search they're all over the web for $25-30.

Its faster than the beam scale I was using but my 3.1gr charge of Bullseye that I had setup from my beam scale registered exactly 3.1gr on the electronic too, so I"m getting the same results from both.

Certaindeaf
June 25, 2013, 03:51 PM
I think rcmodel weighs every kernel/grain. He'll never see this so I can say this slanderous thing in safety.
Of course joke.. he's probably avoided this thread because it's been all talked about.

Walkalong
June 25, 2013, 05:12 PM
If rcmodel avoided threads about subjects that have already been talked about at some time, he would never be able to post. ;)

It's always good to rehash important things for new readers. :)

Arkansas Paul
June 25, 2013, 05:30 PM
When loading rifles, if I'm using an extruded powder, I'll throw it a little light and trickle.
For ball powders, I throw and go. Especially with H380. You can set the measure and throw nearly exact powder charges all day with that stuff, which is why I use it every chance I get.

For pistol stuff, I don't weigh every load. I check about every 20. As has already been mentioned, its because pistol powders tend to do well out of a measure.

Kerf
June 25, 2013, 05:34 PM
Best group I ever shot in my life was with new brass culled from the flat ends of the bell curve and the powder was loaded with Lee Powder Dippers. All the precision brass and powder weighed to the tenth of a grain never came close. Go figure; sure opened my eyes to what counts.

Jcinnb
June 25, 2013, 08:55 PM
Thanks for all the responses. Very helpful.

Certainly did not mean to rehash and old thread. My apologies.

Walkalong
June 25, 2013, 09:18 PM
Don't sweat it, and this isn't one of the subjects that get rehashed a lot. :)

TexasShooter59
June 25, 2013, 09:26 PM
FWIW, I have not read one of these threads before, so it has been pretty interesting!

I tend to do what a friend who is a long time reloader told me: weigh every load for the first 10-15; then every 5 for another 15-20; then every 10. That's obviously using a powder measure. For dippers, it's the scale and weigh every charge.

blarby
June 25, 2013, 10:27 PM
What is the point of weighing every charge with a dipper ?

TexasShooter59
June 25, 2013, 11:11 PM
I wondered if I'd have to explain that...

I "dip" to get most of the charge in the pan and then trickle up, while watching the scale. I use this method for testing new loads, and also it just works better (for me) on extruded powders so far. I'm still pretty new to the extruded powders, so I don't have "a system" ironed out yet. I use a Redding measure for the ball powder using the weighing method mentioned above. When I had to start loading 100-150 rounds at a time, I decided I HAD to get a measure! Until that point, it was dip and trickle each round.

GLOOB
June 25, 2013, 11:23 PM
I suspect it will never fade.

I don't weigh any of my actual throws, but I never have. I mean, I will measure when I get set up. But then after that, all I'm doing is checking the cases on a loading block to make sure non are shortchanged or doubled. But then, I'm not concerned with being +-0.1 grain, at all. I put this in the same boat as cleaning primer pockets. Until I have proven to myself that it makes a worthwhile difference, I will not put forth the effort. That's just me. One of these days, I might finally do some testing. Maybe one day it'll matter to me. If it matters that much to you, perhaps you could do some blind testing to see if it's really worth it. (Blind test, as in give your friend both sets of reloads, and have him load your gun for you!) Until then, I suspect you'll weigh every one, because it's definitely better in theory, if not in practice.

Bovice
June 25, 2013, 11:41 PM
Once all my brass is prepped and ready to load and I'm setting up my press, I adjust my powder drop to the weight I want, checking charge weights until it's right. Once I hit the number I want, I take two more measurements. If it's the usual +/- 0.1 then it's good to go.
About halfway through the process I re-check. It hasn't ever moved.

788Ham
June 26, 2013, 12:56 AM
This last week, I was loading some '06 rounds, using IMR 4064 powder. I have an Redding #3BR thrower, good thrower I might add. Using the extruded powder, sometimes I won't but just start to throw a weight of powder, it will balk a tad bit, then when that powder is dropped, it will be over by .3 to 4 of a grain on my scale. Other times, a smooth throw, it might be .3 off, I then trickle the rest to level. Ball powders don't affect it that way, just extruded. I trickle and weigh each and every round I load, yes, it takes more time, but when loading, I'm not in any hurry anyway. YMMV

BullfrogKen
June 26, 2013, 01:02 AM
If you use a quality powder measure that throws your powder well, you'll learn to trust it or you won't. Once you learn to trust that your measure will consistently throw the same weight - plus or minus a tenth or two of a grain - you'll learn it's probably an unnecessary step.

TexasShooter59
June 26, 2013, 01:08 AM
I did not expect to get involved with this topic, but maybe I am now!

One thing I have to deal with is the Redding drifting while I'm using it. Some of you on this board helped me out a lot in getting fairly consistent with it. But, it seems that the micrometer will drift a little during the course of being used for a session. So, I feel like I have to check it periodically, and I usually have to readjust it a little at some point. If it did not do this, I could charge quite a few without weighing. If you have any tips on this, I would appreciate it. And yes, I do tighten the thumbscrew on the side, before anyone asks! ;)

This is a Redding 3BR.

TexasShooter59
June 26, 2013, 01:10 AM
788Ham, sounds like my experience when I tried Varget in the Redding.

blarby
June 26, 2013, 01:17 AM
Using it more of a scoop then, than an actual measuring device.

Fair enough !

I have a great set of lee scoops. If the power ever fails, and my last balance beam breaks...they are good enough. Within .2g of the chart I have, If I dip and level correctly.

I'm going to be making a selection of some BP scoops soon.

TexasShooter59
June 26, 2013, 01:35 AM
At some point, I would like to try making some custom dippers for actual measurements versus a scoop. It's on the To-Do List!

dickttx
June 26, 2013, 01:23 PM
"I don't know. I have about 2000 down range and 1000 in ammo boxes, mix between 9mm, 7mm RM, .223 and .380 and I still weigh every charge by hand. Can't help it, I'm a little OCD, I'm an Accountant, so I probably won't every stop."

JW, as an accountant you should be familiar with internal control, testing, and sampling.:) Works the same way with a powder measure. Once you have confidence in what it is going to do, you can trust it (but verify occasionally).

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