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Better Powder Drops

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by MtnCreek, Feb 18, 2011.

  1. MtnCreek

    MtnCreek Well-Known Member

    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.
  2. ColtPythonElite

    ColtPythonElite Well-Known Member

    Like you, I have read alot of peoples woe's with powder metering troubles. I haven't never had any problem using even stuff like Unique, which comes up as "poorly" metering a good bit. I have two different powder measures and each works very good, IMO...Each are bolted to a very stout bench that doesn't move at all when using one of my presses with even the toughest brass...I guess my benches rigidity may be the reason I never have powder metering trouble.
  3. Woody3

    Woody3 Well-Known Member

    Awesome write up. I'm going to go out and check my bench.
  4. amlevin

    amlevin Well-Known Member

    The only way my reloading bench would be more sturdy would be if it was made of concrete poured in place. Built one from plans that were distributed many years ago. My Dillon XL-650 with case feeder is anchored so well you can't notice any movement at all while loading, even when looking at the highest and most unsupported part.

    How can anyone expect accurate and consistent powder drops when the mechanism is subject to movement and vibration?

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