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Best way to weight the charge of a cartridge?

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by D.B. Cooper, Apr 4, 2020.

  1. D.B. Cooper

    D.B. Cooper Member

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    This is going to be a bit of a ramble.

    I would like to weigh the powder charge of some 30-06 cartridges I loaded a very long time ago (20+ yrs) so as to be able to duplicate them now. What is the best way to do this the most accurately?

    Should I weight the entire cartridge, then pull the bullet, dump the powder, weigh the case and projectile and subtract the lower number from the higher to get the weight of the powder?

    Should I just pull the bullet, dump the powder on the scale and weigh it? (I feel like I'll lose some powder in the process.)

    Part 2: The reason I'm doing this is I want to do some loading while I'm home with the stay put orders in place. Yet I find myself somewhat short of powder to do both load development and load ammo. Our mayor just ordered Cabela's et al closed. (They were likely out of powder anyway.) SOOO...I find myself in a spot where powder will be unavailable for some time. I'm trying to decide if I should use up the powder I have now, or hold on to it. Or should I just load up some known ammo (47 grn 4895 Garand ammo) to boost my inventory.

    I can't go to the range anyway, because we're not allowed to travel between towns; the gun range in town was ordered closed and the next nearest one is in the next town.
     
  2. PWC

    PWC Member

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    Pull the bullet and weigh the powder....do you know what kind it is?

    How long have you been reloading?
     
    rfwobbly likes this.
  3. D.B. Cooper

    D.B. Cooper Member

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    It's 4064. I loaded for a few years about twenty years ago, took a long hiatus, started loading again about two years ago.

    I can infer why you asked. The point of my question was my concern about losing powder in the process. If I pull the bullet, all the powder will end up in the hammer. I expect to have less powder to weigh.
     
  4. film495

    film495 Member

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    if it were me I'd do it both ways, then check this against good reloading manuals to make sure it is in spec. my guess is you didn't put that info on the box you stored them in, which is highly recommended.
     
  5. higgite

    higgite Member

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    If you're going to lose powder in the process, then the first method is the only method that will work. Just be sure that there is no powder left in the case.
    That said, the second method is by far the best. Why do you feel like you'll lose some powder in the process?
     
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  6. TonyAngel

    TonyAngel Member

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    Yep, I've had to do this before. Bullet puller is the best way. If you try the weigh a bullet and a case and get the difference method, you won't even be close.
     
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  7. Ironicaintit

    Ironicaintit Member

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    Collet’s the only way to go.
    Pull the bullet, pour the powder in the scale.
     
    D.B. Cooper likes this.
  8. DocRock

    DocRock Member

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    Pull the bullet out of three. Weigh the powder each time. You won't lose enough in any event to make up for the difference between 4064 today and 20 year old 4064, let alone the difference in bullets between those loads and what you load today.

    When you load up the new ones, label both batches for posterity.
     
    45 long likes this.
  9. Metal God

    Metal God Member

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    I've pulled several bullets to weigh the powder . Some to confirm I loaded correctly . Others just to see how much powder the manufacture uses . They've never been off by much more then a tenth or so . And since my scale is good to a +/- of a tenth they are likely right on . I mean you do need to be careful when pouring the bullet and powder out of the hammer but that should go with out saying .

    I pour mine into a small glass bowl , take the bullet out with tweezers then pour the powder into the pan for the scale . eezy peezy
     
  10. rskent

    rskent Member

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    If it were me, I think I would pull a few and weigh the powder and divide by the number of bullets pulled.

    Side note:
    I have three bullet pullers. The Hornady is the fastest by far. That is what I use if I don’t want to reuse the bullet. It leaves marks. The whack a mole hammer is by far the slowest. Its what I use if I plan to reuse the bullet. It leaves almost no marks on the bullet. I use the RCBS for nothing at all.
     
  11. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator Staff Member

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    Yes, why would you lose any powder?
     
  12. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator Staff Member

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    That is what I did with some surplus ammo I saved the powder from.
     
  13. Random 8

    Random 8 Member

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    Rather than using your bullet puller, use a slip joint pliers or vice grip to wiggle the bullet out. Obviously you will destroy the case and bullet, but you should save all of the powder to get an accurate reading.
     
  14. buck460XVR

    buck460XVR Member

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    This is why the good Lord created those little labels that go on ammo boxes, He sent them down to earth with the angel Avery..........;)
     
  15. TfflHndn

    TfflHndn Member

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    Sounds like time to invest in a Grip-N-Pull bullet puller. https://grip-n-pull.com/ Great for rifle calibers, and for pistol bullets that give you something to grab (i.e., not wadcutters).
     
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