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Thread: Newbie reloader, questions on weight of powder

  1. #1
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    Newbie reloader, questions on weight of powder

    Hey,

    So made my first batch of rounds today, awesome feeling to get them on the range (which is outside my reloading shed)
    Didn't group bad but definitely get better grouping out of my factory loads.. for now I hope.

    I had a few questions, while I was putting powder in my brass (Ari2217) I was doing a starting load of 67.5 but I found with my cheap Hornady digital scales I was getting a varied reading eg 67.4,67.5,67.8 etc... how important is it to get the exact same amount of powder?

    Also what is everyone's technique of case prep?

    Cheers team

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stefanhope View Post
    Hey,

    So made my first batch of rounds today, awesome feeling to get them on the range (which is outside my reloading shed)
    Didn't group bad but definitely get better grouping out of my factory loads.. for now I hope.

    I had a few questions, while I was putting powder in my brass (Ari2217) I was doing a starting load of 67.5 but I found with my cheap Hornady digital scales I was getting a varied reading eg 67.4,67.5,67.8 etc... how important is it to get the exact same amount of powder?

    Also what is everyone's technique of case prep?

    Cheers team

    Hey mate,

    I'm also pretty new to reloading and am learning a lot from this forum.

    Definitely get your powder weights exactly the same - treat the powder thrower as highly inaccurate. Sometimes it'll get it right, some times it wont - make sure the scales are calibrated and then adjust the amount of powder to suit. A powder trickler is a good tool for this.

    I have a set of the Hornady digital scales and pretty quickly got my hands on a set of decent beam scales - they've helped a lot.

    Case prep - quick clean, scratch carbon from primer pockets, lube body & neck, resize & deprime, measure, trim if necessary, chamf/debur, clean lube off, prime, then ready to go. A lot of more experienced people are more careful about case cleaning, and I'm sure I'll get more OCD about my routine as time goes on, but I'm getting some decent groups coming through now for a start.

    Cheers,
    Elliott

  3. #3
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    Yeah the powder thrower and scales were starting to frustrate me... I'll use the powder tricker next time...

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stefanhope View Post
    Yeah the powder thrower and scales were starting to frustrate me... I'll use the powder tricker next time...
    To be clear:

    1. Use the powder thrower to get slightly less than the amount of powder you want into the little flash silver thing.
    2. Put the little flash silver thing with the dispensed powder on the scales
    3. Use the powder thrower to top up to the amount of powder you want.

    Do no accept anything less than the exact same amount of powder if you're hoping to get good groupings.
    janleroux likes this.

  5. #5
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    I do my case prep separately from reloading, meaning after each shooting session I get the cases to the point of being ready to reload, then store them for reloading later.
    After firing I:
    Inspect the cases for cracks, flattened primers, ejector marks, etc.
    Tumble to clean.
    Resize and deprime (I mostly neck size using collet dies).
    Tumble again if lube used for resizing (collet dies don't need lube).
    Check length of every case.
    Trim if necessary.
    Clean primer pocket and check hole not blocked by media.
    Chamfer and deburr.
    Put into ammo box marked with calibre, how many times fired, and "Ready to load".

    When I want to load some ammo I then just need to prime, weigh and add powder, and seat the bullet.
    Klhari likes this.

  6. #6
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    Unless you spend a lot and calibrate often: assume digitals are inaccurate.

    Do a "ladder test" to find out how sensitive your rifle/ammo combo is to powder variations. Good beam scales, trickle in by hand if you have to.

    Sometimes tenths (That is one seventy-thousandth of a lb) will be the difference between good load and bad load.

    Case prep as above. Just with less lube. Only every 3-4 cases. And I resize/deprime then tumble.
    Quote Originally Posted by 308
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  7. #7
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    Greetings Stephanhope,
    Your variation of plus or minus .2 grains of AR2217 will only give a variation of plus or minus 7 feet per second so I would not worry greatly. Digital scales especially the cheaper ones can be a bit cranky. Your accuracy should improve as you increase the charge and as you shoot the rifle more. I assume that you are using a light projectile based on your start charge so you may find that the heavier projectiles give better accuracy.
    I started a thread yesterday Notes for New and Newish Hand Loaders etc which started with case prep. You may wish to have a look.
    Regards Grandpamac.

  8. #8
    Member Max Headroom's Avatar
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    My Lyman Gen 6 scales dispense within .1 of a grain high or low.

    For example, If I select 40.0, it may deliver 39.9, 40.0, or 40.1. I can live with that.

    If it occasionally throws higher or lower I biff the powder back in the hopper.

    ADI powders seem to be stick powder. Ball powders run smoother and (I think) weigh more consistently.

    Ball powders have their own issues though IIRC.

    If you have issues getting the powder throw just right, then you likely need a trickler.

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    The idea is to set your powder thrower about 2 grains lower than the charge you actually want, put it into the scale pan, sit it on the scale.
    Then sit the end of the trickler over the pan and add a few grains at a time, till you reach your target weight.
    RIP Harry F. 29/04/20

  9. #9
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    Make sure you are out of a drafty shed or room that can upset your electronic scales. Dont have your phone or other electronics next to your scales.
    What i do is start with a load just over min powder and go up in half grain increments of 3 rounds each and stay below max to begin. If you rifle likes those bullets it will def show up with groups getting smaller and then maybe larger once you go past your sweet spot. If it shows one load great groups then you can start fine tuning with seating depth and start going 1/10 grains either side of your load. Slow careful shooting allow 1 minute between shots and maybe 5 min between diff loads.
    cameronjackwhite likes this.

  10. #10
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    I like having the powder weight exactly the same, it's one of the easier things to measure and keep consistent. Cheap digital scales do tend to drift though so regular calibration is important, as is controlling the environment as best you can (no wind, good power socket, no phone). A powder trickler is helpful although the same thing can be achieved by carefully tapping a teaspoon full of powder so only a couple of kernals fall off the end.
    Case prep: clean, lube, size/decap, clean pocket, trim if needed, chamfer/debur, polish,(prime)

  11. #11
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    Small variations in powder have less of an effect the larger the case and the slower the powder.

    Quick wipe down
    Lube
    Resize w/ minimal shoulder bump
    Clean
    Trim, debur, chamfer
    Clean primer pocket

 

 

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