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Do you hand weigh your powder charge for each cartridge?

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by mastiffhound, Dec 6, 2012.

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  1. mastiffhound

    mastiffhound Member

    Jun 6, 2011
    I don't know if it is my OCD or not but I weigh each charge by hand. I just don't trust those powder discs or other methods that I'm not aware of. Every charge is exactly the same, it comforts me for some reason. Why reload if your not going to make every round as precise as possible? I know the cost factor, if I wanted to buy premium ammo it would cost me double to quadruple of what my reloading costs are. It takes longer but I feel more confident in my ammunition than anything I could buy from a "factory" reloading company like Ultramax or others.

    So, how do you charge your cases?
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2012
  2. 45lcshooter

    45lcshooter Member

    Oct 6, 2012
    Central of the Commonwealth of PA
    Charge rifle by hand with an electric scale. Most times i want to throw it through the wall, so i still use my Ohaus a lot.

    For semi auto pistol rounds we use progressive press, because we bulk shoot them so they get charged through the press.
  3. AlliedArmory

    AlliedArmory Member

    Sep 11, 2009
    I only weigh each charge if it is for my match rifle rounds. Pistol charges get weighed before, middle and end of my session on the progressive.
  4. RugerBob

    RugerBob Member

    Jul 12, 2007
    southern maine
    I hand weigh all my rifle rounds for 30-06 and 30-30 and 45-70.
    I weigh the 1st few with my 45acp 45LC and 38s. And use a powder dump with the handgun cartridges. May check them every 100 or so, but I do check at begining of each session.
    I think alot depends on amount being loaded. I only load about 40-60 a session for rifle and maybe 3 times a year. Handguns I load often and sevral 100 at a session.
  5. beefyz

    beefyz Member

    Nov 12, 2009
    I'm basically with you. What is the big hurry to reload as quickly as possible? Suppossed to be a hobby, right? Relaxation ? If its going to make you feel better at the end of the session, why not? You're the one who is going to put that rifle up to your cheek and pull the trigger. Having said that, I finesse each charge on my drop, with weighing each charge until I think its perfect. Then I'll drop & weigh and then pour the next 4-5 into the case. Then i'll drop 4-5 directly into a case, and then weigh the next one again checking for any variations, which usually there is no reason to readjust. After loading up one of my blocks(50) I visually look into each case for comparison. At max or very specific loads, you may want to drop & weigh after every other charge, or simply drop and weigh each charge, for your opn piece of mind. Who's to say you are wrong ?
  6. Blue68f100

    Blue68f100 Member

    May 25, 2011
    Piney Woods of East Texas
    I weigh all my rifle rounds since I use tubular powders. But for pistol once my dispenser is set I only spot check, since I'm running a progressive.
  7. j1

    j1 Member

    Oct 17, 2011
    Hand weigh rifle but meter pistol with every tenth weighed.
  8. mcdonl

    mcdonl Member

    Nov 24, 2008
    Southern Maine
    I weigh, hand inspect and polish all of my rifle rounds... but I only weight pistol every 25 or so... I use Lee Die insert data for most of my handgun loads so even loading the max has be well under the "real" max far as I can tell....
  9. NeuseRvrRat

    NeuseRvrRat Member

    Jan 24, 2011
    Wilmington, NC
    it depends
  10. DanTheFarmer

    DanTheFarmer Member

    Sep 24, 2010
    New Hampshire
    For rifle cartridges I use my Lee Pro Auto Disk system and throw a weight a bit below the desired end weight. Then I trickle powder in to reach the final weight. I use my turret press as a single stage here.

    For pistol cartridges I use the disks, double check the first one, then spot check every 5th or 10th one (when I fill a row in my ammo box). The disks have proven to throw a bit light, but consistently light so going to the next bigger hole usually does the trick. If the next bigger hole proves to be over max I'll try a different powder/bullet combination. Here I use my turret press in its auto-index mode.

  11. tightgroup tiger

    tightgroup tiger Member

    Mar 20, 2011
    Peidmont/Triad, NC
    All rifle rounds I weight each charge and trickle them to weight. With pistol rounds unless I'm using Unique I trust all three of my powder measures to give me what I want and I don't use stick powders in pistols. I spot check them on my Reading scales quite often but certain powders I use will meter to the exact weight I need and I spend alot of time getting them to that sweet spot before I load.
    Unique is my problem child, I can't make it consistent no matter what I do on any of my 3 measures whether my stand alone Uni-flow, the Hornady on my progressive, or the pro-auto disc on my pro1000.

    My Hornady digitol scale, when properly warmed up and the furnace isn't running is extreemly consistent. I still double check on my beam scales on setups.

    The kind of powder you use means alot.
  12. ATLDave

    ATLDave Member

    Aug 30, 2011
    Depends on what I'm loading, which powder, etc. Like many others, I hand-weigh rifle charges. For pistol rounds with powders that meter well and charges that are in the middle of the load range (such that a +/-.3gr doesn't super-max or sub-min the load), then I'll only spot check. For a new powder, or loads closer to max, etc., I'll tare weight each charge in the case.
  13. floydster

    floydster Member

    Jan 13, 2008
    Central, Mn.
    For long guns, yes--for pistol, no.
  14. jmorris

    jmorris Member

    Sep 30, 2005
    I have weighed enough of them to know with the measures and powders I use that I don't need to weigh every one.
  15. Arkansas Paul

    Arkansas Paul Member

    Mar 18, 2009
    Central Arkansas
    I used to weigh every rifle round. Now it depends on the powder. If I'm using an extruded powder like IMR4350 or Varget I still weigh every round. For H-380 there's no need. I've loaded 100 rounds in a sitting without having to touch it. It is the best metering powder I've ever seen.
    Pistol stuff gets weighed about every 20 rounds or so.
  16. holdencm9

    holdencm9 Member

    Oct 25, 2011
    I am pretty new but with my turret and Lee pro auto disk, I started out weighing every charge, the combination of static and brand-new hopper would cause the drops to fluctuate. Then it started to smooth out and I would measure every 5th round. Now that it seems to be more reliable and I gain more confidence in it I will check every 10th round. This is with .45 auto though, so I can see the powder drop, then see it in the case, and relatively mild loads, so a small fluctuation I don't think will be a big deal. But I don't think I will ever go more than 20 rounds without a check, just for the fact that if something goes wrong in the powder drops I don't want to have to pull all those bullets. Eventually I'd like to start reloading .308 and I think for that I would weigh each one.
  17. mljdeckard

    mljdeckard Member

    Jun 5, 2006
    In a part of Utah that resembles Tattooine.
    For pistols, every tenth. I am using Unique, and it can fluctuate, when my supply runs out I think I will try some titegroup.
  18. StandingTall

    StandingTall Member

    Jun 7, 2011
    For match rifle loads, yes. Each charge is weighed, each bullet is measured for COAL.
  19. Slamfire

    Slamfire Member

    Dec 29, 2006
    For 223, 308, 30-06 I shoot thrown charges out to 300 yards. I can't tell a difference on paper compared to weighed.

    For the 308 and 30-06, thrown IMR 4895 on my Dillion, the charges vary +- 0.5 grains. IMR 4064 and IMR 4350 throw -+ 1.5 grains (at least for 4350) and I generally weigh charges with those powders. I really prefer short cut stick powders because it takes a lot less time to dump loads.

    At long range, I am a total copy cat. I can't hold well enough to determine if weighed charges make a difference, but since all the good shooters weigh charges at 600 and 1000 yards, I will follow the herd.

    I shot this last weekend with thrown charges. These are 20 rounds fired prone with a sling out of a Garand, in a 100 yard rifle match, and thrown charges shoot very well even in a big case like the 30-06, if you are using the appropriate powder.


    For pistols, hell no!

    Pistols are spitting distance things and it is a total waste of time, in my opinion, to follow bench rest techniques when reloading for pistols.
  20. beatledog7

    beatledog7 Member

    Jun 18, 2011
    If it's a lot of about 30 or more, I set up and calibrate a powder drop, then weight every tenth or so to ensure it's still throwing what it's supposed to. The only rounds I ever load in this size lot are handgun and .223 Remington.

    For smaller lots, every charge gets dipped onto the scale pan, tweaked, and funneled into the case. For any load in any cartridge that was pushing the envelope (which in my case is none), every charge would be hand weighed.
  21. The Bushmaster

    The Bushmaster Member

    Jan 29, 2005
    Ava, Missouri
    Yes...No exceptions...RCBS Powder Pro and a RCBS 5-0-5 for backup.
  22. huntershooter

    huntershooter Member

    Dec 4, 2005
    Long guns: Yes
    Hunting ammo in revolvers: Yes
    Auto pistol match/practice ammo (IPSC/NRA Action Pistol): No
  23. cfullgraf

    cfullgraf Member

    Oct 19, 2010
    East TN
    The only time I might weigh every charge is when working up a load only because it is faster than resetting the powder measure for each change. But, I recently got a Harrell Culver style powder measure and it is quick and easy to change settings.

    Otherwise, I set the powder measure and charge away, rifle and pistol. I check the charge weight every 50 rounds or so.

    If I ever get into long range shooting, I will probably weigh ever charge. But, that is not on the horizon.
  24. rbertalotto

    rbertalotto Member

    Jan 19, 2011
    South of Boston
    The most OCD and accurate rifle shooters in the world..........The Benchrest Shooters....do not weigh their charges. ALL simply load by volume and not weight.

    Weight is only used as a quick form of measurement to be posted in a reloading manual. But all powder, smokeless and black will perform much better if loaded by volume.

    When you trickle those last few grains of powder onto your scale, psychologically it might make a difference, but in reality it will have zero effect in the actual performance.

    A few years ago when I was starting into BR shooting a few friend of mine and I did an exhaustive test of volume vs weight loading. In the end, after hundreds of round on target and through an Ohler there was zero difference. Not one shred of scientific evidence that either method was an advantage.

    So save yourself a bunch of time and simply "drop" your charge.
  25. Certaindeaf

    Certaindeaf member

    Jan 16, 2012
    Wet Oregon
    Heck no and double heck no for rifle. On a ratio basis, 1/10 grain is much less for a fifty grain charge than a five.
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