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How often do you verify the powder charge weight, and what's an "acceptable" range?


Cuz
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I hear you Sarge. 

Heck, we haven't even started to talk about the variations in chrono readings based on time of year and temperature.  I've chrono'd the same batch of ammo as a sort of "calibration test" about 10 times over the last 5 years and gotten some interesting spreads.  It was from a loading spree back in 2016.  I'll be shooting the last of that batch this weekend.  Then I'll be done with Berry's and moving on to Precision Delta's and Zero's for the most part.  I'm not too crazy about my foray into coated bullets over this past year.  But, the brands I did try were certainly all plenty good enough for the games we play.

 

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2 hours ago, SGT_Schultz said:

Here's how I load my pistol ammo

  • I fill up the powder hopper and throw a couple of charges to make sure charge is where I want it
  • I start loading ammo

I don't check OAL unless the make or profile of the bullet changes

All my brass is a complete mix of brands, with zero knowledge of how many times its been fired or what the case OAL happens to be.

Same here. Then from the blue Dillon bin to the tumbler with some corn cob for about 15 minutes, then into a hundo, and then into a storage box.

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23 hours ago, Cuz said:

Just curious Sarge, have you ever weighed 10 consecutive charges?  Also, what is the sensitivity level of your scale?  0.1gr, 0.05gr, or maybe 0.02gr?  I only ask, because most reloading scales are accurate only to 0.1gr which means that 10 consecutive charges all weighing 3.8 gr on the scale could actually be anywhere from 3.75 - 3.84gr. If you accept an accuracy range of +/- 0.1gr it really means you accept from 3.65-3.94 which is really a .3gr difference. 
 

of course the big question is does it matter, and how much does it matter. That’s why I’m asking all of you. 
 

thanks for the response. 

 

Sorry I have been traveling. I throw 10 at the start AFTER I throw a few and dump them back in the hopper. I dump 10 in the pan and get an average. My load is 7.8 WAC and I usually get 78 exactly. If it is very far off I repeat the process before making any adjustments. 
 After reading one poster saying they only check if they change bullets etc I must remind you to re chrono if you change jugs of powder as they can vary quite a bit

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After buying an A&D FX0120i that's accurate to 2 decimal places in GRAINS, I decided to pretty much follow Sarge and others advise by using the UniqueTek micrometer powder bar and checking calibration before each loading session.  After dumping the first few throws, I do at least one 10-throw drop to check my average.  Also using a bore scope where I can visually check each powder drop if necessary.  Dillon RL1100.

 

Recently developed a new loading for the CZ S2O using Zeros and N320.  Narrowed down to 3 weights with .1 grain variance.  Also checked on the Chrono.

 

3.5g was the winner!

3.5 N320 R3.png

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2 hours ago, HOGRIDER said:

After buying an A&D FX0120i that's accurate to 2 decimal places in GRAINS, I decided to pretty much follow Sarge and others advise by using the UniqueTek micrometer powder bar and checking calibration before each loading session.  After dumping the first few throws, I do at least one 10-throw drop to check my average.  Also using a bore scope where I can visually check each powder drop if necessary.  Dillon RL1100.

 

Recently developed a new loading for the CZ S2O using Zeros and N320.  Narrowed down to 3 weights with .1 grain variance.  Also checked on the Chrono.

 

3.5g was the winner!

3.5 N320 R3.png

That's the exact load (except for using a 147 PD FMJ) that I have been using for years.

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10 hours ago, GrumpyOne said:

That's the exact load (except for using a 147 PD FMJ) that I have been using for years.

According to many of the seasoned veterans here, this load is right in the "sweet spot" for this combination!

 

Zero 147g JHP, OAL=1.125"
Temperature: 62*
Pressure: 30.05
Bullet Weight: 147.0
Power Factor Average: 133
Power Factor Low: 130
Power Factor High: 134
Number of Shots: 10
Minimum: 891
Maximum: 917
Spread: 26
Average: 906
Standard Deviation: 8

 

:)

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I load all my handgun ammo on the Dillon Square Deal. It is pretty accurate within one tenth of a grain either way. I check about every 50th around just for the hell of it,  I figured that's good enough IPSC

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Depends on the application;

 

  Practice ammo, 10 throw average and load the batch

  Match/Load Development/Serious Effort, 10 throw average and then check 1 round every 10 or 20 rounds loaded.

 

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11 minutes ago, Why said:

Development/Serious Effort, 10 throw average and then check 1 round every 10 or 20 rounds loaded.

 

Loading progressively, that is actually counter productive to the process. These presses produce the most consistent ammo when you let them run.

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On 6/8/2021 at 6:49 PM, GrumpyOne said:

Same here. Then from the blue Dillon bin to the tumbler with some corn cob for about 15 minutes, then into a hundo, and then into a storage box.

What's the value in tumbling the ammo?

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32 minutes ago, UpYoursPal said:

What's the value in tumbling the ammo?

 

To remove the lube, some do, some don't. Depends a bit on the kind of lube you use as well.

Personally I just spray the ammo with some brake cleaner and roll them in a towel. Removes the lube in seconds.

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1 hour ago, Sarge said:

Loading progressively, that is actually counter productive to the process. These presses produce the most consistent ammo when you let them run.

Agreed

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2 hours ago, AHI said:

best way their is to get a squib

I have to say in all the years I've been using XL650s and now the RL1100 that has an endoscope showing every powder drop, I have NEVER had a squib or an over-charge!

 

Of course, I'm very meticulous when setting up/maintaining my machines.  Guess some would call me "anal"..........

 

As Sarge and others have stated, these Dillon progressives yield the best results when we just "let them run"!

 

👍

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I'm with those who check the powder weight only at the beginning of a reloading session.  I usually do 4-5 measurements to make sure everything looks good and then start loading.

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I slip an empty fired case under the powder drop and keep dumping it back into the hopper until a new primed case makes it to the powder drop.  After that first case makes it to the bullet seat station I’ll pull the case and check the powder. If it’s good everything goes back in and away we go. I may check one after 25 or 50 or so but after everything is running smoothly it’s best to just keep going keeping an eye on things as I’m loading. 

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On 6/7/2021 at 11:30 PM, GrumpyOne said:

This. Cycle the powder bar a couple of times, check the weight, load, don't check again till the next session.

This is what I do. The start of every session. Maybe take an average of three cases

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On 6/8/2021 at 2:52 AM, Cuz said:

I do notice that the weights tend to drift a little between a full powder hopper, a half full hopper, and an almost empty hopper.  I solve this by filling it, and then topping it off every 200 rounds or so.  This keeps things running pretty smoothly.

 

Adding a powder baffle will take care of that. 😉

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1 hour ago, RGA said:

 

Adding a powder baffle will take care of that. 😉

I don’t understand how. There’s already one in the Dillon powder measure, and TiteGroup powder meters pretty evenly. How is the UniqueTek baffle any better than what’s already there?  It just has smaller openings for the powder. 
 

I'm not trying to be sarcastic, I’ve looked at it and tried to figure out how it would work better, and I don’t understand how it can. 

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I have these weights that are fitting into the powder hopper. A friend of mine's father made them years ago, and they just work fine. At the moment I am using Prima V 3.9 grains for 124 JHP's and I check only from time to time, but the range I am getting is 3.88 - 3.92, which I think is quite good. I still do check a few drops at every beginning of a reloading session, adjustments are rarely needed.

 

IMG_1206.jpg

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I’ve got baffles in a couple of my throwers and it will still falls off as it gets closer to the baffles. Don’t know why but it does. But then there’s those days that the powder measure will throw all around the weight you want or not the same one twice! 🤪

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12 hours ago, RudyVey said:

I have these weights that are fitting into the powder hopper. A friend of mine's father made them years ago, and they just work fine. At the moment I am using Prima V 3.9 grains for 124 JHP's and I check only from time to time, but the range I am getting is 3.88 - 3.92, which I think is quite good. I still do check a few drops at every beginning of a reloading session, adjustments are rarely needed.

 

IMG_1206.jpg

How much weight are they? Thinking I could probably 3d print something with holes for some bullets and a little handle.

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10 hours ago, Intheshaw1 said:

How much weight are they? Thinking I could probably 3d print something with holes for some bullets and a little handle.

20 oz, they are machined from stainless steel. Guess one could 3d print and put some weights in (maybe some fishing lead, as bullets are too precious now...).

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11 hours ago, RudyVey said:

20 oz, they are machined from stainless steel. Guess one could 3d print and put some weights in (maybe some fishing lead, as bullets are too precious now...).

Do you know why he machined them out of stainless ($$$$) vs something cheaper but still corrosion resistant like brass ($$)?   Just had it laying around or there was some physical reason for it?

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