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Overweight Charges Due to Loose Micrometer


tyler2you

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So, I was cranking out some .40 loads for my 2011 last night and ran into a problem. A little background first. I reload on an RCBS Pro 2000 Progressive that has 5 positions.

1: Resize/Decap

2. Primer seat/charge/bell

3. Powder check

4. Seat bullet

5. Lee FCD

I was loading mixed brass, Titegroup, CCI Small Primers, and 180 gr Extreme Heavy Plated Bullets. Loading to 1.180 with 4.7gr of powder which just makes Major PF in my gun.

Well, I was cranking along and had done close to 300 rounds when my powder check die started getting "sticky". It would still allow the press to operate, but had a slight resistance and click on the downstroke. I thought that was strange and decided to weigh a couple of charges. Sure enough, my drop was at 5.1 grains now. I threw a couple more and they were pretty consistent at around 5.1 grains. I thought maybe I bumped the micrometer adjustment somehow and turned it down until I was back at 4.7 grains. I went back to work and the same thing happened again after about 10 rounds. I was really confused at this point and decided to empty the powder assembly and make sure there wasn't something going on inside of it. That's when I realized the little set screw that holds the dial on the end of the micrometer shaft had come loose and was creating around 1/4" of play in the adjustment. It was enough to throw off my charge over time.

So, now I have about 300 rounds that are "suspect" (at least some are at 5.1 grains). Most of the load data I have says 4.7 gr. is max for an OAL of 1.125 to 1.130. Should I suck it up and pull them all or does the long OAL give me enough margin?

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Better safe than sorry. I wouldn't feel safe shooting them. I would pull them and recharge to the correct weight.

I'm sure that I can pull 300 rounds faster than I can get to the ER to get stitched up.

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Better safe than sorry. I wouldn't feel safe shooting them. I would pull them and recharge to the correct weight.

I'm sure that I can pull 300 rounds faster than I can get to the ER to get stitched up.

Yeah, I decided to go ahead and pull them all last night. Ended up with a nice blister on my left palm from screwing/unscrewing the end of the puller. Much better than hurting myself and gun though.

It's really scary how easily a progressive can get out of adjustment due to parts loosening up. That set screw now has a healthy dose of blue loctite on it and I'm going to watch things a lot more closely in the future. Thank goodness for that powder check die.

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