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When do you stop...

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by Jcinnb, Jun 25, 2013.

  1. Jcinnb

    Jcinnb Well-Known Member

    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?
  2. warhwkbb

    warhwkbb Well-Known Member

    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.
  3. jwrowland77

    jwrowland77 Well-Known Member

    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.
  4. MtnCreek

    MtnCreek Well-Known Member

    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).
  5. jcwit

    jcwit Well-Known Member

    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.
  6. beatledog7

    beatledog7 Well-Known Member

    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.
  7. dirtykid

    dirtykid Well-Known Member

    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
  8. Certaindeaf

    Certaindeaf member

    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.
  9. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

    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.

    Yep, just threw charges, and actually, I never weighed a charge for my Bench gun, ever.
  10. Certaindeaf

    Certaindeaf member

    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.
  11. MtnCreek

    MtnCreek Well-Known Member

    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.
  12. mdi

    mdi Well-Known Member

    When you have your measure dialed in and have variations that are acceptable to you, then you can decide how often to weigh...
  13. Certaindeaf

    Certaindeaf member

    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.
  14. MtnCreek

    MtnCreek Well-Known Member

    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. :)
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2013
  15. Certaindeaf

    Certaindeaf member

    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.
  16. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

    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.
  17. mgmorden

    mgmorden Well-Known Member

    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.
  18. Muddydogs

    Muddydogs Well-Known Member

    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.
  19. blarby

    blarby Well-Known Member

    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.
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2013
  20. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

    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.

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