Powder measure question

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Powder measure question

Post by kjanracing on 4/12/2017, 9:42 pm

In prepping to load a batch on a set up machine( Dillon 550C in my case) do you throw and weigh a few charges to make sure where you are and kinda warm things up, or just load the first case and go? What is your procedure?
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Re: Powder measure question

Post by Mightyheb on 4/12/2017, 10:17 pm

Safety is key. I would load 4-5 and check them for consistency. Then off to the races
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Re: Powder measure question

Post by Jack H on 4/12/2017, 10:31 pm

Yes.  Weigh 3-4 throws.  Even after an interruption or bathroom break, check at least a couple.  I set my balance at 0 (zero) and 5 grains (with a RCBS bent wire standard).  I do not care about setting for 10x my charge weight.  If I get 3-4 in a row right at my set point (usually 3.8-4.2), I'm good.  Any change that might cause a need to re-fluff the powder for a consistent delivery calls for a check.
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Re: Powder measure question

Post by joy2shoot on 4/12/2017, 11:10 pm

When starting a reloading session, I turn on my electronic scale at least 30 minutes before I use it.  I then throw three individual charges and dump them back into the hopper.  I then throw 10 charges in a powder pan and weigh it.  If I am looking for an individual charge of 3.9 grains, I expect/hope the scale will read 39.00 grains (the scale is accurate to 0.02 grains).  In essence, I am looking at the weight averaged over 10 charges and I keep adjusting the powder bar's micrometer until I can get as close to 39.00 as I can.  (I have never been able to get it to exactly 39.00 but I have gotten it to 39.08 on occasion.)
 
When adjusting the powder bar's micrometer, I throw a charge into a case and while leaving the handle down (on my 550B), I change the micrometer.  In this way, I am changing the micrometer while the powder bar is empty.  I then throw that powder and the next three charges into the hopper and then I repeat my 10 charge test.

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Re: Powder measure question

Post by Magload on 4/13/2017, 12:01 am

I also been using a 550B for a few years and will adjust the load till it is throwing what I want then I throw 5 charges and average the weight.  I also throw 2 charges and dump them back before checking the weight  on the third charge.  If I am away from loading and restart I dump two charges before loading a round.  If I am loading for my benchrest AR I drop ecery charge with my ChargeMaster 1200 where every charge is weighed and redrop any charge that is off.  We don't shoot a 1/3" at 100yds in BE so don't need to be that precise.  Don
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Re: Powder measure question

Post by Bigtrout on 4/13/2017, 8:49 am

I zero the 505 scale and check zero 3 times, then throw 10 charges from the Uniflow back into the powder can if my previous loading session had the same charge.  Once the exact charge weight is established I measure 5 throws in succession to check weight consistency. Sometimes the initial check is slightly off due to temperature and/or humidity. If all 5 are the same weight I recheck zero then begin to throw into the cases, checking every 11th throw. That works for my single stage application and I only handload 9mm.
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Re: Powder measure question

Post by Al on 4/13/2017, 10:46 am

Loading with a Dillon 550b with a Uniquetech micrometer on the stock powder measure. I usually cycle through 5-10 drops to resettle the powder. Then drop 10, weigh the total, adjust if necessary & continue.  Unless I'm changing from 3.5 to 4.2 of Clays or change over to Bullseye for my jacketed loading, I very rarely need to tweek the setting for my lead loads. 

The micrometer setting is really handy if you've never used one.  I jot down the micrometer setting with the powder charge it represents on a piece of tape that stays on the measure until the powder type or lot is changed. When it's changed I just peel it off & put it on the cabinet in the front of my loading benches. Next time I load that load, I know what the measure should be set at. unless there has been a big swing in the humidity, it's usually off no more than 1-2 marks for a 10 drop average.

I was prepared before the Clays disappearance. It worked so well for me so I had stocked up on 2-8# & a 4# of it in the same lot, so realistically there should be no change in it's volume as my press' and powder are all stored in the same area of my man cave.
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Re: Powder measure question

Post by Magload on 4/13/2017, 1:11 pm

Al wrote:Loading with a Dillon 550b with a Uniquetech micrometer on the stock powder measure. I usually cycle through 5-10 drops to resettle the powder. Then drop 10, weigh the total, adjust if necessary & continue.  Unless I'm changing from 3.5 to 4.2 of Clays or change over to Bullseye for my jacketed loading, I very rarely need to tweek the setting for my lead loads. 

The micrometer setting is really handy if you've never used one.  I jot down the micrometer setting with the powder charge it represents on a piece of tape that stays on the measure until the powder type or lot is changed. When it's changed I just peel it off & put it on the cabinet in the front of my loading benches. Next time I load that load, I know what the measure should be set at. unless there has been a big swing in the humidity, it's usually off no more than 1-2 marks for a 10 drop average.

I was prepared before the Clays disappearance. It worked so well for me so I had stocked up on 2-8# & a 4# of it in the same lot, so realistically there should be no change in it's volume as my press' and powder are all stored in the same area of my man cave.
Al
I ordered a micrometer after reading your post.  I hate readjusting when changing loads.  Don
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Re: Powder measure question

Post by gregbenner on 4/13/2017, 2:38 pm

There is a company in Arizona which sells numerous "enhancements" for precision reloading with a Dillon.  I don't remember the gentlemen's name who I think is the owner, but he was very helpful in assisting me with several issues i had getting consistent powder charges when i started reloading 32 longs (which are a PIA due to super small powder charges).  He also sent me an article they had prepared, "23 Tips for Powder Measure Accuracy" for free, which was quite helpful. 

http://www.uniquetek.com

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Re: Powder measure question

Post by joy2shoot on 4/13/2017, 3:29 pm

gregbenner, you probably talked to Lee.

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Re: Powder measure question

Post by kjanracing on 4/13/2017, 9:38 pm

Great info. Thanks everyone!
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Re: Powder measure question

Post by s1120 on 4/14/2017, 5:36 am

I always run a few charges through and dump them back in. After that Ill measure a few till they are all the same, then run 5 loads then check... if that checks I will run 10 then check...  if that's still on, Ill check about every 20-30 rounds. I use a old Lyman 55

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Re: Powder measure question

Post by fpk on 5/13/2017, 9:13 pm

I really don't understand the practice of throwing 10 charges and weighing the lot to see if you are throwing consistent charges.  This suffers from the fallacy of averages, since throwing 5 charges at 3.6 and 5 at 4.0 would give you a perfect set of 38.0.  I wouldn't shoot those 10 throws...

As I mentioned in another thread, the charges are so small that even .2gr different is 5% variance, which sounds bad when you look at it that way.

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Re: Powder measure question

Post by james r chapman on 5/13/2017, 9:49 pm

Have you measured the accuracy deviation for the .4 gr difference?

If I was a betting Man.....
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Re: Powder measure question

Post by fpk on 5/13/2017, 9:58 pm

james r chapman wrote:Have you measured the accuracy deviation for the .4 gr difference?

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That is a really good point.  This should be tested on the target to be sure.

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Re: Powder measure question

Post by JayhawkNavy02 on 5/14/2017, 11:36 am

Polish the funnel
Ground your funnel/press
Verify the Auto Powder Measure wasn't assembled with the Bowed Washer installed upside down.
Check your bowed washer, bellcrank cube, and collar sleeve and plastic plug regularly.
Wash your hopper with dish soap as required
Clean the powder funnel as required
Inspect the case neck expander, clean using scotch-brite.  Starline can remove some material to prevent sticking.
Ensure your press is solidly mounted.


With the hopper empty throw 5 charges to ensure there is no leftover powder.
Fill the hopper to 2/3 full, and don't let it fall below 1/2
I throw 10 charges to let the hopper settle, after that I weight 5 charges and take the average and adjust.
Ensure the handle is in the down position to avoid variation.
When I have the charge weight I need I check/adjust all the other stations as required.
I then start the progressive for production, but measure every step until I have one component in each station.
When you have your press fully loaded (progressive) there may/will be deviations from initial setup.  Confirmed by the AMU.
I'll then go back and adjust the various stations to get the settings right.  Verify and then start production.
I usually have to adjust all the stations, except 1, again, but typically the changes are minor.

Key:  Technique, smooth consistent motion, pause at the to top of the stroke.


There are some very cheap (free) ways to improve the accuracy of the powder throw.
Some are inexpensive (nearly free) like grounding.

Progressive Presses: Uniformity of Headspace, Powder Charges and Priming - USAMU

https://www.ssusa.org/articles/2016/4/29/progressive-presses-uniformity-of-headspace-powder-charges-and-priming/

Dillon Powder Measure Accuracy

http://ashevillerifleandpistolclub.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/Dillon-Powder-Measure-Tune-Up.pdf

UniqueTek Tips File #1 20 Tips For Powder Measure Accuracy


http://www.uniquetek.com/store/696296/uploaded/20_Tips_for_Powder_Measure_Accuracy.pdf

Progressive Presses: Optimum Powder Metering Tips - USAMU


https://www.ssusa.org/articles/2016/5/13/progressive-presses-optimum-powder-metering-tips/

Handloading: Tips to Reduce Metered Powder Charge Variation - USAMU



https://www.ssusa.org/articles/2016/5/6/handloading-tips-to-reduce-metered-powder-charge-variation/


Last edited by JayhawkNavy02 on 5/14/2017, 12:45 pm; edited 8 times in total
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Re: Powder measure question

Post by Chris Miceli on 5/14/2017, 11:46 am

JayhawkNavy02 wrote:I throw 3-4 charges to settle, after that I weight 10 charges and take the average.
I then adjust all the other stations as required.
I then start the progressive for production, but measure every step until I have one component in each station.
Until you have your press fully loaded (progressive) there may be deviations from initial setup.  Confirmed by the AMU.

There are some very cheap (free) ways to improve the accuracy of the powder throw.
Some are inexpensive (nearly free) like grounding.

https://www.ssusa.org/articles/2016/4/29/progressive-presses-uniformity-of-headspace-powder-charges-and-priming/

http://ashevillerifleandpistolclub.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/Dillon-Powder-Measure-Tune-Up.pdf


http://www.uniquetek.com/store/696296/uploaded/20_Tips_for_Powder_Measure_Accuracy.pdf


https://www.ssusa.org/articles/2016/5/13/progressive-presses-optimum-powder-metering-tips/


https://www.ssusa.org/articles/2016/5/6/handloading-tips-to-reduce-metered-powder-charge-variation/
I agree with the fact that power throw is different from a single brass vs shell plate in my Dillon. Probably has to do with stroke and when Just a single case the handle bounces and rattles a tiny hut. Also if you half stroke the press and reset an complete a throw I get more powder. I try to pull the handle the same every time and always leave my press with all stations ready to go
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Re: Powder measure question

Post by noylj on 5/14/2017, 11:10 pm

1) I don't have any powder or primers until I have created a couple of inert dummy rounds to verify die set-up and COL feeds and chambers 100% in my gun(s).
2) I don't fill the case collator until my powder measure is dropping consistent charges. I run a case (with spent primer) through the powder measure until the charges are consistent. After I fill the hopper, I shake the measure to settle the powder. I always run at least 10 charges before I ever start to weight any. If the charges aren't consistent after three throws (+/-0.1gn), I repeat the shake and throw 10 more charges.
3) Always be sure that you have right rotor/charge bar installed
4) If a new measure, disassemble and completely clean, I like Hornady One Shot Cleaner and Dry Lube. Don't wipe off-just let it air dry. If you clean metal parts with brake fluid or other cleaning solvent, protect the plastic. Clean plastic with soapy water and air dry (don't rinse it clean). Run a hopper of graphitized powder through the measure (or just some powdered graphite).
5) I have never needed any other whiz-bang products—the measures I have bought are good to go after cleaning.

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