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How often do you check your loads?

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by WolverineFury, Sep 25, 2015.

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  1. WolverineFury

    WolverineFury Member

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    How often do you check your powder load and OAL, and how do you check (visual, scale, etc.)? Every round? Five rounds? 30? 50? 100? And why do you feel that it is a good interval to check on?
     
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2015
  2. noylj

    noylj Member

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    Every load, with an RCBS Lock-Out die and visual examination.
    Like most things, humans tend to check about as follows--
    Rounds between weight check:
    1
    1
    1
    3
    5
    5
    10
    10
    20
    40
    etc.
    How many times are you willing to check the charge weight and pour the powder back in a case, if every charge is within +/- 0.1gn?
    If you really feel like checking every charge, then get a powder dispenser, like the RCBS ChargeMaster, and be done with it.
     
  3. jr_watkins

    jr_watkins Member

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    If you are referring to pistol rounds, I check 9mm/40S&W/.357/44 charge weight every round for the first 6, then at 20, 50, and 100. After that I only check one round every box of primers (100). By check I mean I remove the case from my progressive loader and weigh the charge, if correct I pour back in the case and put the case back in the press.


    I check every round with a case gauge after loading. Any that fail go into a 'FAIL' bag and get either shot or disassembled depending on what is wrong with them.

    For rifle, I load very slowly on a single stage press and effectively check the charge of every round. All rifle rounds get checked with a case gauge or chamber as well.
     
  4. tranders

    tranders Member

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    I load on a single stage Rock Crusher with a Uniflow powder dispenser. I normally check every tenth shell on the scale and then look at all the cases after charging with powder to make sure no double charges or light charges.

    I'm not a high volume shooter,so this procedure works fine for me.

    I load for 38 Special and 45 acp.
     
  5. GBExpat

    GBExpat Member

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    Currently, I am rolling handgun cartridges with a Lee Classic Turret press with a Lee AutoDisk powder measure (w/ChargeBar & cellphone vibrators installed).

    I setup a Frankford Arsenal DS-750 digital scale overhung by an RCBS Trickler. I use these to nail down the appropriate ChargeBar setting.

    After I have have a good setting on the ChargeBar, I actually check the throw-weight of the next ~5 rounds. Once confident in the throw, I will actually check a couple every ~50 rounds.

    After making the initial settings for OAL (part of the initial setup), I don't check it at all because the dies won't change without a little wrench-action. ;)

    To check OAL I use a set of electronic calipers.
     
  6. cfullgraf

    cfullgraf Member

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    For powder measures, I work with them until it throws three charges in a row that are the same. Once I start loading, I will check again after a few rounds, if correct then about every 50 cases. If not correct and I have to make an adjustment, then I'll check again after a few rounds.

    With plated or jacketed bullets, I get the COL correct, check the next two or three rounds and go to town. If the bullet has a cannelure, I can see if things are changing.

    With cast bullets, i check more frequently as I find the bullet lubricant builds up in the seater plug which affects the COL. I check cast bullet ammunition COL periodically to determine when I need to clean the die. This happens more with my home cast bullets and less with commercially cast bullets.
     
  7. cat_IT_guy

    cat_IT_guy Member

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    I use an autodisk measure on a turret press, usually measure 1, 2, 5, 10, 20 then every 25 or so.
     
  8. frogfurr

    frogfurr Member

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    I check the first round and after that weigh every 100th. I visually inspect every round. At the end of the reloading session I check the zero on the scale.
     
  9. guns3738

    guns3738 Member

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    it depends on the quality of the load im making. if i just want a plinking load ill mesuare powder every 10 cases and lenght by sight but if i want somthing to hunt with ill check powder and case lenght for every round i make
     
  10. RPegram

    RPegram Member

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    When setting for a new powder weight drop, I check every round for about 20 rounds after I feel the setting is right. If all 20 fall into the correct weight, then I only check every 50 to 100 rounds, or whenever I need a drink of coffee (I reload in the morning when I first rise). Basically the same thing for length using digital calipers, but I don't do 20, maybe 5 or so. Once set, unless someone turns something, the length nor powder drop will change. I only reload pistol. I use a RL550B Dillon and when done for the day, I'm one of the rebels who leave the powder in the hopper and the handle down. I always check the powder drop on the very first drop when starting back and it's always spot on, just like when I left it.
     
  11. gamestalker

    gamestalker member

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    I load on single stage presses, and I don't usually use a powder measure, most times I'm using a beam scale.

    So that said, whether I'm loading bottle necks, or handgun, I do a visual inspection of every case following the charging operation to assure every case has a charge. If any of the charges appear visually unusual, I'll toss that charge back on the scale to check / confirm the charge.

    Then I seat to a predetermined oal. Seating depth is first physically determined according to the distance too the lands. Once I have that distance confirmed, I then measure the seating die from the top of the stem, to the bottom of the die, then log that measurement. In other words, I don't rely on cartridge OAL.

    I also chamber check each piece of brass prior to beginning the actual loading process of priming, charging, and seating bullets. I also carefully inspect each piece of brass for any deformities or defects, such as split mouths, and incipient case head separation.

    GS
     
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2015
  12. LiveLife

    LiveLife Member

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    When I am using fixed volumetric disk powder measure (Pro Auto Disk), I will initially keep checking powder drops until powder is sufficiently settled in the hopper and weight variance is less than +/- .1 gr. For most small grain powders, this is about 5-10 cycles. Because the fixed cylinder cannot drift, I do not need to keep checking the powder charges even after 500-1000 round reloading session.

    When I am using variable volume powder measures (Dillon, C-H, etc.), I will check powder drops initially until consistent then at 50-100 rounds as QC checks. There is no set frequency as depending on the powder measure brand and wear, you may need to check more frequently (I know some reloaders who have to check every 10-20 rounds because charges dropped will drift).

    Powder charge verification is done on Ohaus 10-10 beam scales that have been checked with Ohaus ASTM class 6 check weights - http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?p=9593052#post9593052

    As to checking OAL and taper crimp, I will measure until I have variance of less than a few thousandths for OAL and less than .001" for taper crimp. I will usually recheck OAL/taper crimp when I am adding more bullets/brass or whenver I have any suspicion during my reloading session.
     
  13. splattergun

    splattergun Member

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    pistol, I visually check every powder charge and verify the weight of about every 20th round, unless that check is very consistent, then I will weigh about every 50th round.
    I measure length of the first 5 and then a few random rounds.

    Rifle, I weigh every single charge and measure OAL of the first 5 and then about one in twenty.

    I would never have to disassemble more than 20 rounds if an error occurs with this method. And I haven't had to yet (knock on wood).
     
  14. Crashbox
    • Contributing Member

    Crashbox Member

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    With pistol rounds: on the progressive I will cycle the dispenser about ten times when setting/checking the first charged case. After that, usually about every 25 to 50 rounds or so. Sometimes more often if it's a notoriously finicky powder. Single-stage pistol rounds either get the same check or I'll weigh individually a la RCBS Chargemaster.

    Rifle rounds always get individually weighed.
     
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2015
  15. Reefinmike

    Reefinmike Member

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    I do exactly this on the same setup. If im loading several hundred rounds with extremely consistent powders(bullseye, hp38) i may shift to checking every 50th after the 100 round mark.
     
  16. lckdnldd

    lckdnldd Member

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    I only load for handguns. I use a Lee Classic Turret Press with a Lee Adjustable Charge Bar and a Lee Safety scale. I check every ten charges. The reason being that is what I feel comfortable with. I am in no hurry.
     
  17. Gravedigger56

    Gravedigger56 Member

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    Every 10th round.
     
  18. jmorris

    jmorris Member

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    Like everything else, depends.

    I have some progressive powder bars that have not been adjusted in more than a decade, I check the charge weight with every new pound of powder (around 2200 rounds on my "minor" 9mm machine. I also have a powder check die on it that checks every round for high/low charges.

    I also quite often chronograph as the end result (in FPS) is actually more important than whatever the charge weight is, if you have to meet a power factor.

    I have witness marks on die body's, locknuts and tool head so at a glance I can detect any movement made by any part. If nothing has moved settings are all the same.

    I also roll size most of the ammunition I load to remove any imperfections on the lower part of the case/rim and extractor grove, because this part does not get touched during the normal reloading process.

    The last thing I do with any competition ammunition is case gauge every single round after it is completed and more often than not post load tumbled for 15 min or so.

    Why? It is the process that that has evolved for me to load the most reliable ammunition I can make, so far. You can't win if your clearing a malfunction.
     
  19. Potatohead

    Potatohead Member

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    Here and there. Usually more often than not.
     
  20. Catpop

    Catpop Member

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    With the Dillon SD, every time I change a charge, I throw and dump back about 3 pulls before weighing. Then weigh 3 to see if they remain equal. If they do I'm good to go. I'll recheck every 50.
    Catpop
     
  21. LiveLife

    LiveLife Member

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    Before you worry about how often to check your loads, you should first make certain your scale is verified accurate to 1/10th of a grain consistently with check weights for powder charge range you are using and calipers are repeatable to .001". ;)
     
  22. JonB

    JonB Member

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    I calibrate the scale then check the to see if I can throw 5-6 consistent drops from my Lee PPM. Then I check every 10th as I fill the loading tray. For COL, I check every 10th or so load.
     
  23. SC Shooter

    SC Shooter Member

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    Normally, I load 100 round batches. I always check powder weight and OAL on the first 5, then powder ever 25 and length every 50. When I have to refill the powder resavoir I also check the next 2 or 3.
     
  24. TBJK

    TBJK Member

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    Rifle I weigh every charge using the RCBS 505 scale. Handgun I will prime the pro auto disc 6 times then weight 6 times while dumping the weighed powder back into the hopper. I will then load & keep an eye out on the powder level. I also have a lockout die as well.
     
  25. 1SOW

    1SOW Member

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    BDS +1! Lee Disc system, with disc holes modified for a number of my comp. loads.
    Check until consistent. Use check weights---I have one within .1 grs as 90% of my loads.

    Until I change something/anything, I'm done checking drops until the press hasn't been used for a few days. Then I only check a few drops for consistency and 'press' on.

    I DO visually see every single drop under a press-mounted light.

    Approaching 90,000 9mm comp. loads with no problems. 60K in one pistol. I load frequently but not for extended periods of time.
     
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