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Maybe this will make sense....

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by AzBuckfever, Feb 19, 2010.

  1. AzBuckfever

    AzBuckfever member

    So, I'm kind of a noob reloader. I have a history reloading with my dad but as a kid and always helping. Now, I'm starting out by myself. Just a few more things to get (such as a progressive press). I've had a friend (Ralfus) load a few rounds for me and I get the overall concept but have an interesting question, which I'm hoping I can describe right.

    A lot of info I get is by forums like this, reading reviews, and of course, gathering info from YOUTUBE....Don't worry, I'm pretty critical when I discern whether a video is complete BS or actually informative :)

    So I found a video by AmmoSmith on YOUTUBE called THROWING CHARGES PART 1....and in this video, he describes 2 methods of throwing a charge. Charging by weight, and charging by volume. I thought there was only 1 method (charging by weight) you measure the grains, dump the powder, and seat the bullet. What's this charging by volume biz?

    Can anyone shed some light on this other method as the first (charging by weight) is pretty self explanatory. Also, maybe some pros and cons to both....The person shooting the video says he's going to explain the difference, but he does not in the process of all 3 parts to Throwing a Charge...The only section I can see where he even talks about volume is when using a drop tube in Part 2 vs. a funnel, and also when explaining the dial on the Powder Measure.

    Also explains it a little more when talking about ball powders vs. extruded (PART 3) and the ability to maintain consistency with your charges with ball powder. I guess what I'm not understanding is when he says he primarily measures by volume? If you have a 30-06 cartridge and you need 46 grains, wouldn't it be 46 grains regardless of the size of powder, which would be measuring by weight?
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2010
  2. R.W.Dale

    R.W.Dale Well-Known Member

    You can't do this!

    Powder charge is a very small part of the total cartridge weight. Brass and bullet weight variations can be 2 or 3 times the total powder charge either way on some cartridges making it impossible to determine how a powder charge varies in a loaded round
  3. qajaq59

    qajaq59 Well-Known Member

    Krochus is correct. If you're going to weigh something, weighing the powder would make more sense.
  4. sourdough44

    sourdough44 Well-Known Member

    Also being new to reloading I wouldn't worry about/plan/feel the need to go 'progressive' right away. I'd just about weigh every powder charge starting out. Some powders/charges/ & loads are more forgiving than others with minor weight differences.
  5. 7.62 Nato

    7.62 Nato Well-Known Member

    To throw a charge by volume you have to know what weight charge you want with what specific powder. Then you can find out how much volume that weight of that powder will fill. If charts with the info are not available you would have to do that manually. If you change the weight or powder the volume WILL change and you have to start again from step one. I understand how it works but am not sure if I'm explaining it clearly. I hope this helps.
  6. AzBuckfever

    AzBuckfever member

    Thanks for the quick responses....y'all responded too fast to where I couldn't edit the post after watching the vids again :)
  7. AzBuckfever

    AzBuckfever member

    So basically, measuring by volume would primarily work with ball powders as you can throw a consistant charge almost every time. Such as loading with a progressive, checking every 50 rounds or so to maintain accuracy of the volume/weight?
  8. AzBuckfever

    AzBuckfever member

    I would only use a progressive for plinkin' ammo....9mm; .45; .357; etc.....basically to produce larger lots of ammunition without taking 5 hours to make a box of 100 (a little exagerated of course)
  9. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

    Ball powder really has little to nothing to do with it.

    You can throw consistent enough charges for precision shooting with a powder measure using stick, flake, or ball powder.

    Ball powder does tend to work better in the small .17 & .223 calibers because it will go through tiny case necks easier without bridging / hanging up.

    Anyway, you need a powder measure (volume measure) to speed production.
    But you need a scale (Weight measure) to set the powder measure.

  10. AzBuckfever

    AzBuckfever member

    Got everything for single stage with exception of the case/media cleaner. For a powder measure, I have a RCBS Uniflow (which needs to be refurbed/cleaned) and a Redding Comp measure (Thanks Ralfus)...for a scale, none other than the RCBS 304 (once again, thanks Ralfus for the idea).

    Just basically trying to understand what the initial differences were, which I understand now :)
  11. 7.62 Nato

    7.62 Nato Well-Known Member

    Just to throw one more twist in here, black powder and BP substitutes are always measured by volume.
  12. smoking357

    smoking357 member

    It's how we all still load black powder, and it's still a good way to load high-volume bulky powders. Heck, the Lee Auto-Disc powder measure is just a volume measure, and all those powder dippers are volume measures.

    Get yerself a nice dipper full of Green Dot, and you'll make a good .44 Mag or .45 Colt round.
  13. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

    All measures are volume based. You set it up to throw a volume that will be an average of the weight you want. There will be a small variation. Ball powder in general throws more consistently weight wise than stick powder, but most of the stick powders will throw very small variations, and plenty good enough to be very accurate at all but extreme ranges.
  14. bds

    bds Well-Known Member

    Example: Flattened small spherical (ball) powder like Winchester 231/Hodgdon HP38 will meter (flow/measure) very well in a volumetric powder throw.

    Charge to charge by volume based charge disk, I get less than 1/10 grain variation.
  15. Steve C

    Steve C Well-Known Member

    There is no inconsistency between the way powder is measured when reloading using a scale and powder measure which is generally done by volume. The powder measure with its adjustable volume dispenser is simply a quicker and more efficient method of dispensing powder than the more laborious method of weighing every charge. The scale is still necessary to make the adjustments on the powder measure and as a quality control tool.

    While its not too bothersome to weight the charges for 20 rounds of rifle ammo it gets quite tedious and time consuming when loading a couple hundred rounds of handgun ammo.

    My procedure with the typical adjustable powder measure is to add the powder to its hopper, dispense a few throws and return the powder tot he hopper to settle the powder and normalize the flow of powder into the measure. Dispense powder into the scale pan and weigh it and then adjust the volume up or down some as needed with successive weighing and adjusting until the measure is consistently throwing the powder charge desired. The measure is then used to charge sized and primed cases to be reloaded. Charge weights are quality checked on the scale every so often to assure they are within tolerances, generally +/- 0.05gr of the desired weight.
  16. JimKirk

    JimKirk Well-Known Member

    All powder charges should be WEIGHT based regardless if they are thrown by a powder measure, a teaspoon, a dipper or by the bucket full.

    Like Walkalong said all measures are volume based... based on the average WEIGHT of the thrown Volume.

    Due to the different methods that each of us operate measures, not every volume measure will deliver the same weight for each of us.

    Take a dipper for example... Walkalong may dip his dipper mouth first into his powder container, he comes up with 10 grs. of powder XX. RC pushes his dipper base first into his powder container letting the powder spill over into his dipper, he gets 9.5 grs.

    The same happens to rotor type measures, a quick snappy handle movement may deliver less of a charge than a slow steady movement or the other way around.

    All this goes back to the charge having to be WEIGHT based.

    Jimmy K
  17. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

    Excellent point. We set our measures for ourselves, and our method of operation.
  18. AzBuckfever

    AzBuckfever member

    Boy, this thread took off with a simple question :) Much appreciated though. As said about the youtube video. IMO, he described weight measure and volume as 2 completely different methods where as you do one, or the other. Makes perfect sense, which solves the topic of the thread. Thanks y'all.

    Now, which press to get....Hornady LnL or Dillon 650 **lol** I'M KIDDING!!! Please don't thrash the thread now about getting a press :) There are plenty of posts in this forum about that. One's a Ford, the Other's a Dodge (in this case, the Chevy is a Lee) :D
  19. JimKirk

    JimKirk Well-Known Member

    It is simple because you can't separate the two ... Volume & Weight.

    Jimmy K
  20. AzBuckfever

    AzBuckfever member

    Well, I appreciate everyones' responses and insight to this question. Makes a guy feel kinda welcome. Thanks again and hope to have a set-up up and running soon. Going to Phx. in a couple weeks so I'll probably buy some gear while I'm down there.

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