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Been Saving Up Questions -- Powder Measure

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by Jcinnb, Sep 7, 2013.

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  1. Jcinnb

    Jcinnb Member

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    Using RCBS powder measure. I reload 25-06, 8mm Mauser, and 7.62x54r.

    1). Do you use the numbers to return to a load? I have installed extra lights, but have a hard time seeing the numbers and that doesn't get to the issue of consistency.

    2). Does the baffle improve consistency, in other words should I get one?

    3). I fill the cylinder full when I load, feeling the greater the mass above powder the better the flow. When I finish I just work the handle up and down to empty back in the bottle. Seems cumbersome, is there a better way?

    4). The biggie: sometimes, apparently randomly, a partial charge comes out on the "upstroke" but more powder follows on downstroke. What is going on? Sometimes the total charge is on, sometimes not. Should I even consider measuring when this happens?

    5). No matter how tight I tighten the lock nut it seems that frequently, over the course of charging 50 cases, I tend to have to trickle more and more powder. It's as if the measure slowly but surely closes down over reps.

    Thank you, as always.
     
  2. rfwobbly

    rfwobbly Member

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    1. No, you use scale-measured powder weight to get back to loads previously used and written into your reloading notebook. Numbers on the powder measure thimble only help you get close to the weight.

    2. Yes, the powder baffle eliminates the weight of the column of powder from affecting the thrown weight. You should add one. Do a Google on "Uncle Nicks Powder Baffle".

    3a. The powder baffle eliminates that.

    3b. Mount the powder measure on an independent stand. Then when loading is finished you can easily pour the contents back into the powder can, using a funnel if necessary.

    4. Most powder measures need a vibration source to make all the powder fall due to many issues, including static, powder clumping, etc. On a manual powder measure, having the operator 'knock' the handle twice against the stop at both ends of the op handle travel can supply such needed vibration. But what ever system you use MUST be consistently done with each and every operation of the lever.

    5. Adding a fat o-ring under the lock nut will insure that the piston adjustment is not moving due to vibration. What you are most likely seeing, though, is the change in charge volume either due to inconsistent density (lack of consistent operation technique, as per #4) and/or weight of the powder column changing (due to no powder baffle, as per #2).


    Hope this helps!
     
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2013
  3. Lost Sheep

    Lost Sheep Member

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    Only to get close, then I drop several charges to get "settled" and weigh the next few charges to home in on the charge weight I desire, adjusting the measure to "fit".
    Consistency, drop after drop, is harder to achieve with some measures than others and with some powders than others. To top it off, some measures work well with some powders and not with others, yet those same powders reverse results with a different brand/design of measure. No one I have heard of has ever found a measure that is consistent with all powders, nor any one powder that is consistent with all measures. So many loaders simply keep one measure for certain of their powders and a different measure for others and hope that for each and every powder they use, they will have, or find, a measure that performs well with that powder. Then, they go forth and load happily.
    Quite often, yes. You have to try it and see.

    Also, develop the habit of always applying the same amount of energy to your operation of the measure. Some loaders tap or bump the measure with a "knocker" (and always the same number of raps) to settle the powder and knock any hung up granules.
    I try to keep my powder measure always between 100% and 40% full. At least it helps keep me from running my powder measure to empty unawares!:eek:

    Having a baffle is supposed to make the height of the powder column irrelevant (theoretically the weight of powder above the working parts of the measure is constant - equal to the distance from the baffle to working parts - with the air gap under the baffle making the amount of powder above the baffle irrelevant. That's the theory.
    I take the powder measure and up-end it into a funnel atop the powder bottle, then put the measure upright over the funnel and work the handle until empty.
    You should consider finding out the cause of this unacceptable behavior. Sometimes it is improperly assembled (or machined) parts or partial stroking of the mechanism. Sometimes it is static charge or leftover lubricant or preservative in the mechanism.
    Similar answer as to question 4. Does the reading on the numbers of your powder measure change? Is it related to the amount of powder in the hopper? Does it settle down to zero change after a while?

    Some do it this way: Use a powder dipper/scoop and trickle up to weight. If you are trickling to weight for every powder charge. There is little difference in time or convenience and a lot in price with this approach.
    You're welcome. I hope my thoughts help.

    Lost Sheep
     
  4. Jesse Heywood

    Jesse Heywood Member

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  5. Jcinnb

    Jcinnb Member

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    Thanks guys, I have done some of the things suggested and have not done others.

    Without doubt this is the most helpful forum of the many, many that I participate in. Thanks so much for the very helpful posts.

    jcinnb
     
  6. Jcinnb

    Jcinnb Member

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    Made and installed baffle today. Thanks for great advice.
     
  7. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    Homemade Powder measure stands.

    When you get done, you pick it up and dump the remaining powder back in a fullel in the can.

    [​IMG]

    rc
     
  8. ConcernedCitizen

    ConcernedCitizen Member

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    Are you running an extruded powder by chance? It sounds like you're experiencing powder bridging. The powder is getting lodged in the drop tube, similar to a log jam, and is getting jarred loose again on the downstroke.

    Do you have your powder measure set up to dump powder on the upstroke or the downstroke? It sounds like you're dumping on the upstroke, based on your description.

    If I remember correctly, the instructions show it set up for dumping on the upstroke, but I've had better luck changing the handle around so that the measure fills on the upstroke, and dumps on the downstroke.

    If you go with this method, make sure you pause at the top of the stroke to give the measure time to fill. Like most people, I tend to give it a solid knock at the top and bottom of each stroke, just to prevent powder bridging.

    Another option would be to switch to a ball powder, which should measure almost perfectly, or a shorter cut extruded powder.
     
  9. carbine85

    carbine85 Member

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    I concur with everything above. I strongly believe in the baffle for the powder measure. I have seen a difference in the powder drop. It just makes sense if you want to load up the hopper.
     
  10. Kp321

    Kp321 Member

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    +1 on the baffle. I made one for my Uniflow measure from my Sears credit card by folding it in half and cutting the corners off. It sets at the bottom of the hopper just right and does the trick. Plus, I don't buy so many Craftsman tools now.
     
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