Quantcast
How Frequently Check The Powder Measure? - THR
THR  

Go Back   THR > Ammunition, Gear, and Firearm Help > Handloading and Reloading

Welcome to THR
You are currently viewing our site as a guest which gives you limited access to view most discussions, articles and access our other FREE features. By joining our free community you will have, access to post topics, communicate privately with other members (PM), respond to polls, and access many other special features. Registration is fast, simple and absolutely free so please, join our community today!


If you have any problems with the registration process or your account login, please visit the help section.

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old June 28, 2015, 09:53 PM   #1
otisrush
Member
 
 
Join Date: October 2, 2010
Posts: 162
How Frequently Check The Powder Measure?

I'm pretty new to loading - and even newer to pistol. I'd be interested in the experts' opinions.

I'm using Titegroup - because that's the only pistol powder I've been able to find locally. I've had no issues at all with this powder - but I'm trying to heed and be respectful of "A Little Goes A Long Way" on the package, the narrow min/max load specs, and the various things I've read from others about being careful with this powder. It is a little odd dealing with a powder that has .5gr width from min to max for the bullet I'm using. (3.6gr min to 4.1gr max; I'm typically loading 3.8gr.)

I'm using an RCBS Uniflow that seems to do VERY well with this powder. I've gotten in the habit of weighing every 10th charge - primarily because I heard a report here of someone's adjusting wheel coming loose in the middle of a batch and charges were getting larger and larger as the batch progressed.

When I check the weight with every 10th charge it's always right on. I did find tonight the charge actually getting a little lighter as time went on - but I think that was because I didn't have much in the hopper. I put more in and it came back.

Finally my question: Is weighing every 10th charge over the top from a paranoia perspective? I can already hear some of the answers: You can't be too careful. But on the other hand I wonder what others do with this kind of setup. How often do you check that you're really getting into the cases the amount of powder you think you are?

Thanks.

OR
otisrush is offline  
Old June 28, 2015, 10:07 PM   #2
Walkalong
Moderator
 
 
Join Date: November 20, 2006
Location: Alabama
Posts: 39,053
I run 5 to 20 drops through the measure before I use it. I check a couple to make sure it is dropping what I think it will be to make sure I haven't set it wrong, and then I keep an eye on the measure to make sure the setting on the insert hasn't shifted. Other than that, only once in a while do I weigh a charge.
__________________
Do you ever wonder why nobody ever robs the bag man for the mob? No, you don't.

"Oh bother" said Pooh, as he chambered another round. Author unknown.
Walkalong is offline  
Old June 28, 2015, 10:09 PM   #3
Ironicaintit
Member
 
 
Join Date: May 7, 2015
Location: Colorado
Posts: 140
You asked for experts....I'll toss up an answer before they get here.
For me...it depends. Im running a uniflow as well and its great. But still, it depends on the powder. If im loading Unique, i check each and every one.
If im running a ball powder, something like H110, then its pretty much a "set it and forget it" deal.
Consider running a baffle. It removes the weight of the grains above the "drop" from the equation, so you get a consistent gravity over the powder at the bottom.

Oops, an expert beat me to the punch
__________________
But, thats just my opinion.

Last edited by Ironicaintit; June 28, 2015 at 10:10 PM. Reason: Slow wit
Ironicaintit is offline  
Old June 28, 2015, 11:03 PM   #4
cfullgraf
Member
 
 
Join Date: October 19, 2010
Location: East TN
Posts: 5,791
Quote:
Originally Posted by otisrush View Post

I'm using an RCBS Uniflow that seems to do VERY well with this powder. I've gotten in the habit of weighing every 10th charge - primarily because I heard a report here of someone's adjusting wheel coming loose in the middle of a batch and charges were getting larger and larger as the batch progressed.

When I check the weight with every 10th charge it's always right on. I did find tonight the charge actually getting a little lighter as time went on - but I think that was because I didn't have much in the hopper. I put more in and it came back.

Finally my question: Is weighing every 10th charge over the top from a paranoia perspective? I can already hear some of the answers: You can't be too careful. But on the other hand I wonder what others do with this kind of setup. How often do you check that you're really getting into the cases the amount of powder you think you are?

Thanks.

OR
Checking charge weights more frequently when new at the process is good. As you become more comfortable with the reliability of the powder measure and your capabilities, then you can extend the number of charges thrown between checking the charge weight.

Like Walkalong, I run about 20 charges through the measure when I am setting up and before even weighing one. Once I get the powder measure dialed in, I'll check the weight thrown about every 50 or so.

If the weight is outside what i consider acceptable variation, usually plus/minus 0.1 grain, I check another charge. If the weight is drifting, I will check the weight thrown more frequently until I get it to settle down.

On a progressive press, I am not as comfortable with the capability of the powder measure system and so i check the charge weights more frequently than when i use a single stage press for loading. But, i've been running a progressive only four or five years while I have been loading on a single stage for about four decades.

Yes, if the powder column in the measure gets low, it can adversely affect the weight. I like to use a powder baffle in all my measures and it seems to help. i usually can run the powder down to just above the baffle.

When loading on a single stage press, i charge cases in batches of 50. I look in each case to verify there is powder in the case and that all the levels are approximately the same.

On a progressive, I like to use a powder check die which verifies that the approximate correct amount of powder is in the case. I am mostly looking for no powder or double charges. In some cases, i visually check the powder.

This is by no means the only way to verify powder charges but gives you one data point to consider. I am sure others will chime in.
__________________
Chuck
Real trucks don't have Otto cycles.
My mustang is green fueled, four on the floor and all terrain.
cfullgraf is offline  
Old June 28, 2015, 11:12 PM   #5
billwitten
Member
 
 
Join Date: January 11, 2012
Location: Front Range, Colorado
Posts: 8
It seems to me that powder measures are often inconsistent even within the brand & model. I get a feel for a powder measure and develop a comfort zone. In the beginning I am always paranoid. In the very beginning I check every charge it throws. That said, I also try to ensure that I am using a load that requires me to fill most of the case with powder. If I fill over 50% of the volume of the case, then if I do a double charge or gross overcharge I am much more likely to notice it.

I weigh the charge and I also weigh the completed round. Good last indicator that your loads are consistent.
__________________
--billw
Just a rock looking for logic in an illogical universe.
Bone Canyon
billwitten is offline  
Old June 28, 2015, 11:14 PM   #6
bds
Member
 
 
Join Date: January 10, 2010
Posts: 10,626
I am using C-H 502, Dillon, Lee Perfect Powder Measure (PPM) and Pro Auto Disk (PAD).

As others posted, I allow the powder measure to settle powder in the hopper and drop charges until consistent on my Ohaus 10-10 scale.

Frequency of checking powder charges on C-H/Dillon/PPM for "drifting" of powder drops will vary depending on the powder but typically once every 10 to 50 drops.

But not for PAD as once drops are verified consistent within .1 gr for most popular pistol powders, I never have to recheck for "drifting" of powder drops as it uses fixed volumetric disks that cannot drift.
__________________
- I only do what the voices in my wife’s head tell her to tell me to do
- Accuracy is everything and holes on target speak volumes
- Vendors offering 5% THR discount
- Revelation 19:11

Last edited by bds; June 28, 2015 at 11:25 PM.
bds is offline  
Old June 28, 2015, 11:29 PM   #7
merrill
Member
 
 
Join Date: November 2, 2011
Posts: 149
I read that a couple of you use a baffle in the powder measure to insure consistency. What is a baffle and where do I get one? Honestly, I've never heard of one.
merrill is offline  
Old June 28, 2015, 11:43 PM   #8
Rule3
Member
 
 
Join Date: January 26, 2010
Location: Florida
Posts: 3,247
Quote:
Originally Posted by merrill View Post
I read that a couple of you use a baffle in the powder measure to insure consistency. What is a baffle and where do I get one? Honestly, I've never heard of one.
You can make one but foe the price buying one is much easier.

Nothing wrong with checking every 10 rounds or so especially if you are new and using Titegroup. What caliber you loading. ? TG can get "lost" in large cases.

As you mentioned keeping the measure full will keep the drop constant.

Baffle:

http://www.midwayusa.com/product/493...-powder-baffle
__________________
NRA- RSO
Rule3 is offline  
Old June 28, 2015, 11:46 PM   #9
R.W.Dale
Member
 
 
Join Date: October 14, 2005
Location: Northwest Arkansas
Posts: 10,750
The best baffle you can buy is a cheap $1 funnel

Place it on top of the measure fill it till powder stays in the funnel and load away. The funnel maintains a constant powder level in the measurer
__________________
I understand what both sides are saying in the JHP vs FMJ arguments, but the fact remains that no matter what you're getting shot with YOU'RE STILL GETTING SHOT!!!
R.W.Dale is offline  
Old June 28, 2015, 11:51 PM   #10
baseball2013
Member
 
 
Join Date: May 13, 2015
Location: Nebraska
Posts: 11
I weigh several drops when I start a new batch. Next I load every case and do a visual check.

The Lee Perfect Powder measure is very consistent with Winchester Autocomp.
baseball2013 is offline  
Old June 29, 2015, 12:34 AM   #11
Mauser69
Member
 
 
Join Date: January 17, 2014
Location: New Mexico
Posts: 38
Checking every 10 is a good practice. To be honest, I rarely do that unless I am assembling magnum or near max loads, but still a good practice.

When using my Lee progressive loader for churning out the practice rounds, I never check the weights after the initial setup for a load - dinking around to pull a charged case out of the progression to check weight, then trying to get everything back in the right position with the right stuff in it just adds a LOT more risk of messing up either that one or one of the other loads in progress. The only time I have ever had a squib load is from doing just that when I wasn't sure the auto measure was throwing consistently. Now I just keep an eye on the general powder level in each case before I add the bullet on each stroke and trust the measure to do it's job within the needed level of consistency for practice rounds. I do make a point of keeping the powder hopper at least half full. Even with big flake powders I get acceptable consistency.

I only do the magnum loads on a single stage press, and a lot of those get weighed, often every load even when using my RCBS powder measure.
__________________
NRA LIFE, and then some! USAF vet, Patriot Guard Rider

The collective "We" may always get the leaders We deserve, but this "we" ain't too happy about gettin' screwed by the collective!
Mauser69 is offline  
Old June 29, 2015, 01:21 AM   #12
rcmodel
Contributing Member
 
 
Join Date: September 17, 2007
Location: Eastern KS
Posts: 54,357
Believe it or not?

I keep a tiny pair of channel-lock pliers on the loading bench right next to the powder measures.

When it set them and 'lock' them?
They don't come loose without using the tiny pliers again!!!

But, with that said, I do the same thing Walkalong said.

I throw at least 10-15 charges and dump them back in before beginning.
Then keep an eye on the powder level and fill it again when it get below half full.

Then throw more charges and dump them to settle the powder again after adding more.

I also throw maybe 5 or maybe 10 charges in the scale pan, weigh it, and divide to get the average weight of a single charge while setting the measure.

But once I have done all that, I seldom check charges again on a scale unless I change powder cans.

I have 4 powder measures.
The one I use for .223 has been locked down on the same charge of W-748 since about 1971!!!

Probably couldn't change it now if I wanted too!!

rc
__________________
Don't put all your eggs in one basket.
Or all your primers in a glass jar!
rcmodel is online now  
Old June 30, 2015, 05:49 PM   #13
Average Joe
Member
 
 
Join Date: August 29, 2005
Location: Easton, PA
Posts: 1,028
Every 10-15 rounds
Average Joe is offline  
Old June 30, 2015, 07:27 PM   #14
Reloadron
Contributing Member
 
 
Join Date: July 6, 2012
Location: Cleveland, Ohio USA
Posts: 3,986
The RCBS Uniflow Powder Measure Cylinder Assembly Small is something you may want to consider down the road for those small light handgun charges. Also, as was mentioned the use of a baffle store bought or home brew helps consistency. After you use the Uniflow for awhile you will find it is like most powder throws. The more consistent you become on the lever, the more consistent the charge weights become.

For me depends on what I am loading and how OCD I want to get about my charges. Generally around 10 to 15 and I check. Some loads I throw a light charge and trickle on the scale for each charge.

Ron
Reloadron is offline  
Old June 30, 2015, 09:17 PM   #15
Dudedog
Contributing Member
 
 
Join Date: October 19, 2013
Location: Southern CA
Posts: 994
For pistol I tap the powder hopper a few times after adding powder, then throw a couple I don't measuere then about 10 I check. If I am getting what I want then I usually check about every 15 to 20 rounds. When I started reloading I measured every one then about every 5 after a while. Now that I feel I can trust my equipment I go longer. Part of it depends on the powder I am using as well. The Lee Pro disk with fixed cavities won't drift but you can never check to often. You just need to decide what is comfortable for you, no right or wrong answer IMO.

I find that Titegroup meters very consistantly in my Lee Pro Disk. (=PAD)

Titegroup does have a small load range (9mm? you didn't say) but if you check a lot of other powders don't have a much wider range. In 9mm with a 125 - HP38 for example 3.9 to 4.4 , Autocomp 4.3 to 4.8, so even a slower powder like Autocomp still has a .5gr range.

With most of my pistol loads I am not loading MAX charges so I can tolerate a .1 swing no problem. With a powder like Unique where I know I may have a .2 swing I just load for it. (Like the way Unique shoots, meters like )

Some things like 7mm Rem mag with H4831 I weigh every charge and trickle to weight.
__________________
"Are we at last brought to such humiliating and debasing degradation, that we cannot be trusted with arms for our defense?"
Patrick Henry

Last edited by Dudedog; June 30, 2015 at 09:28 PM.
Dudedog is offline  
Old June 30, 2015, 09:31 PM   #16
bocefus78
Member
 
 
Join Date: October 22, 2013
Posts: 104
Newer reloader, titegroup, and a mechanical device that can possibly move? Yea....I'd be weighing every 10 also. Only you can decide when you trust your reloading practices and equipment.

I'm unfamiliar with your powder drop as I use the lee pad, but as usual, it sounds like rc has great advice with the locking pliers.
bocefus78 is offline  
Old June 30, 2015, 09:34 PM   #17
dnfd737
Member
 
 
Join Date: May 2, 2015
Posts: 47
depends on the powder.......the more case filling it is the more trustworthy I am, so on stuff like trail boss I check every 20 or so as if fills the case......on others like 4350 110 or mrp I check every 5th
dnfd737 is offline  
Old June 30, 2015, 09:44 PM   #18
jmorris
Member
 
 
Join Date: September 30, 2005
Posts: 6,212
I have some powder bars that have not been adjusted in more than a decade, always drop the same. I run a powder check die when I can (that checks the charge for every round). I check drop before I start a session and when I start a new container of powder.

Just starting, check it as often as you feel comfortable, can't hurt anything.

That said I don't use powders that don't meter well out of volume measures, unless it is an "under" charge that is then trickled to the desired weight.
__________________
"My right to swing my arm ends at the tip of your nose." Joe S.
jmorris is offline  
Old July 2, 2015, 12:15 PM   #19
Bartojc
Member
 
 
Join Date: February 6, 2014
Location: Michigan
Posts: 41
For pistol I use the Lee auto-disk pro on top of my classic cast turret press. At the beginning of each session I fill the hopper past 50% full, and weigh a couple drops. They are always the same but I do it every session. I run 10 or so rounds and check again, after that maybe 15 or so rounds and so on. I've never seen this measure be off with any powder I've used. It's all ball powder so that could be why. I still check though..

For rifle I do not use a powder measure, I use a dipper and trickle up every charge. That is about to change as I've been bitten by the AR bug and I'm collecting 5.56/.223 brass.

-jeff
Bartojc is offline  
Old July 2, 2015, 11:29 PM   #20
Hondo 60
Contributing Member
 
 
Join Date: September 6, 2009
Location: Manitowoc, WI
Posts: 4,538
Quote:
Is weighing every 10th charge over the top from a paranoia perspective?
I'm no expert, but every 10th drop gets weighed.
Doesn't matter how many rounds I'm making, 50 or 500, what caliber, what powder, every 10th gets weighed.

Extremely rare that there's an issue, but I have caught an error or two over the years.
Hondo 60 is offline  
Old July 3, 2015, 09:44 AM   #21
R.W.Dale
Member
 
 
Join Date: October 14, 2005
Location: Northwest Arkansas
Posts: 10,750
After I throw a few and get the micrometer on my uniflow dialed in I MIGHT check the last case I charge. MIGHT

I'm a firm believer that volume is more accurate than weight, as such I put more stock on that micrometer being where it's supposed to than my scale.

Believe it or not weight per set volume will vary depending on atmospheric conditions.

If I setup for a load I've previously loaded and dial in my uniflow to the recorded value I do not compensate if the charge weight is +- a couple tenths.

If you are in a loading situation where even .5grs has you concerned over a catastrophic failure might I suggest you SERIOUSLY reevaluate your loading goals and practices.
__________________
I understand what both sides are saying in the JHP vs FMJ arguments, but the fact remains that no matter what you're getting shot with YOU'RE STILL GETTING SHOT!!!
R.W.Dale is offline  
Old July 3, 2015, 09:57 AM   #22
otisrush
Member
 
 
Join Date: October 2, 2010
Posts: 162
I'm not concerned my measures could be off a 1/2 a grain. Not at all. I'm very confident my processes won't mess that up. The narrow min/max window has just caused me to do more thinking about processing, checks, frequency of checks, etc.
otisrush is offline  
Old July 3, 2015, 11:41 AM   #23
konertjm
Member
 
 
Join Date: May 21, 2012
Posts: 49
Lots of good advice here.

Only thing I can add is a process I use when I change settings on my measure (Dillon on an XL650 with micrometer adjustment).
I load for pistol, and as such most of my weight is in the 3.8 to 5.1 gr area.
Once I have my weight dialed in, and I have checked several charges for consistency, I will throw 10 in a row, letting the powder accumulate.
This is then weighed, and in a perfect world would be exactly 10 X a single throw.
It usually isn't, but it is usually does not have more than a .5 gr variance, with an occasional 1 gr for some of the tougher flake type powders.

I then follow mostly the same processes mentioned earlier in the thread. Every 10th until I am comfortable in the consistency. In a 300 round run, maybe 10 times more, and I always check the last round.
konertjm is offline  
Old July 3, 2015, 12:50 PM   #24
iagbarrb
Member
 
 
Join Date: June 4, 2015
Location: Bolivia
Posts: 14
I agree with all that said it depends.
If you are loading precise and accurate rounds, I would meassure each single round. Not only in powder I would weight each and every bullet. This are not the lone considerations for precice ammo, but you asked about meassuring.
If you reload just to have the ammo for common use, every 10 to 20 rounds a control will not damage.
iagbarrb is offline  
Old July 3, 2015, 01:01 PM   #25
mdi
Member
 
 
Join Date: December 31, 2007
Location: Orygun!
Posts: 1,043
Why not check every 10th charge? There is no downside to conscientious reloading! I usually check more often like every 5th charge, and with powders/loads with a narrow "window" I may weigh every other charge. I'm in no hurry and I really like my guns (and fingers).

When I'm working up a load, looking for the "perfect" combination of powder/charge/bullet, I'll weigh every charge. When I settle on a load, I'll weigh every 5th charge, and for some of my handgun loads mebbe weigh every 8th or 10th. For me consistency is a necessity...

FWIW, I reload all my ammo to the same standards whether it be for "plinking", hunting or SD. Inaccurate ammo just ain't no fun (I've often wondered why anyone would purposely load inferior ammo for "plinking" even if just shooting a beer cans. Why shoot at them if you don't care if you hit them?).
__________________
My anchor holds fast...
I've learned how to stand on my own two knees.
mdi is offline  
Reply


Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 01:51 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.6
Copyright ©2000 - 2015, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
vBulletin Optimisation by vB Optimise.
This site, its contents, Shooting Reviews, and its contents are Copyright (c) 2010-2013 Firearms Forum, Inc.
IMPORTANT DISCLAIMER
Although The High Road has attempted to provide accurate information on the forum, The High Road assumes no responsibility for the accuracy of the information. All information is provided "as is" with all faults without warranty of any kind, either express or implied. Neither The High Road nor any of its directors, members, managers, employees, agents, vendors, or suppliers will be liable for any direct, indirect, general, bodily injury, compensatory, special, punitive, consequential, or incidental damages including, without limitation, lost profits or revenues, costs of replacement goods, loss or damage to data arising out of the use or inability to use this forum or any services associated with this forum, or damages from the use of or reliance on the information present on this forum, even if you have been advised of the possibility of such damages.