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Old March 17, 2007, 08:53 PM   #1
sneaky pete
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Scale vs measure ???

Which is better and why??? Loading for accuracy and I wonder if it i worth the effort to weigh each load or just throw a charge from an accurate measure. ? Thanks for your help. SNEAKY
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Old March 17, 2007, 09:01 PM   #2
Art Eatman
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I've checked my old RCBS powder measure; it holds within a tenth of a grain. Plenty good for my pistol cartridges. And for "casual" .223 ammo.

However, for most rifle cartridges, I'm in no hurry and I weigh to pretty much the nearest granule of IMR. And, as small a fraction of a tenth of a grain for ball or small-grain powder as I can. Hey, it's something to do during a football game or a car race. I use an old Lyman 500 mag-dampened scale.

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Old March 17, 2007, 09:32 PM   #3
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by weight, no doubt. For black powder by volume.
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Old March 17, 2007, 09:33 PM   #4
rem33
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Just as a safety precaution for myself when using a powder measure I weigh one every dozen or so. Depends on powder and load. Lee makes a very reasonable scale under 20 bucks I think. I 've not used one but all the other Lee products I have are just fine. Cheap insurance.
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Old March 17, 2007, 11:03 PM   #5
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For decades, if it wasn't weighed it wasn't going in my gun. I rarely weigh every load anymore. I set up my scale for adjusting the RCBS Combo Measure, get it throwing the ball powder on the money, lock it down and start dumping powder. My little brother doesn't even go that far. He uses the Lee Dipper set. He goes by the data supplied with the dipper set and loads. He has 45s that will shoot better than most shooters using this method. He also does the same thing with his M1as, Garands, all of his rifles. He never seems to have an accuracy issue or any problems at all.

FWIW, I met an elderly gent that had a gunshop in San Antonio. He was retired and was also a 1000 yd shooter. He showed me a copy of the target that he shot with a 308 Norma Mag many years ago. It almost looked like one hole but was ten rounds. It was in Illinois and on a cold, still morning with witnesses. He did not weigh the powder charges but used a dipper. He was a firm believer in volume, not weight. Per his conviction, powder can change weight with humidity, the scale can change weight with temperature and barometric pressure. Too many variables according to him. He believed in volume, not weight. Seems to have worked for him.
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Old March 18, 2007, 10:05 AM   #6
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I use a Redding 10X pistol powder measure. It has a micrometer dial setting. I can go back to an old setting I had previously loaded and noted in my book, and when I check the charge weight, I'm right on, 10 out of 10 drops.

You need to use an accurate powder measure that is built for your type of loading.
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Old March 18, 2007, 05:31 PM   #7
WSM MAGNUM
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I don`t think it is a question of which is better. Both are needed for accurate powder charges. There are 1000 yard bench rest shooters that do not bother to weigh every charge. I have an RCBS Uniflow powder measure with the micrometer and baffle. Once I weigh the initial charge, then it`s cranking out powder from there on out. If one does not feel right when cranking the handle I will dump it back and throw another one by checking on the scale.
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Old March 19, 2007, 11:21 AM   #8
30Cal
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You'll seldom see a scale at a benchrest competition. For inside 300yds, I don't think it matters.
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Old March 19, 2007, 11:23 AM   #9
Abstract
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I just use the scale to adjust the charge with the measure. I do stop during reloading sessions and do spot "quality control" checks. I've found my Hornady and Dillon measures to be within .1 grain with ball powders.
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Old March 19, 2007, 12:48 PM   #10
cracked butt
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Volume.

If you work up a load from a certain lot of powder, then buy another lot, you can't predict if the new lot is going to have more or less moisture/solvent content than the first lot. The weight per volume could likely change, but if you use the same volume, you'll get the same amount of powder.
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Old March 19, 2007, 07:46 PM   #11
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Use a measure, check it with a scale.
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Old March 19, 2007, 11:05 PM   #12
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Most everything I have ever seen regarding loading referes to "weight". I suppose that if your charge is well below max. there is no problem with using volume. Weight is what the powder manufactures recommend, the reloading books and every author of any article or book has ever indicated. I think there is a reason hidden in the advice.
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Old March 20, 2007, 08:57 AM   #13
Abstract
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Quote:
Most everything I have ever seen regarding loading referes to "weight". I suppose that if your charge is well below max. there is no problem with using volume. Weight is what the powder manufactures recommend, the reloading books and every author of any article or book has ever indicated. I think there is a reason hidden in the advice.
Yeah, probably an industry-wide conspiracy against all of us who use the excellent powder drop systems sold by RCBS, Dillon, etc., etc., ad infinitum.
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Old March 20, 2007, 10:32 PM   #14
44 AMP
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weighing vs volume measure

Why is there a "vs" at all? You can use one, or the other, or both. Both have their little drawbacks when used seperately, but they are minimized when used together.

Weighing takes more time (even with electronic scales), and can get tedious, working the trickler. Dippers must be used with great care to be consistant.

Powder measures without weighing are not a good idea, for me, as the markings are only guidelines. Fixed charge measures restrict you (like dippers)to the preset volumes.

I use a scale to set my measure(s), and then check them periodically during loading, every x number of round, after refilling the measure, etc.

When loading, consider the small (.1gr or so) variation in charges against the overall volumn of the charge. A .1 variation in a powder charge of 4.5gr is a much larger difference than it is in a charge of 50.4gr. Will it make a difference in the accuracy of your ammo? Maybe. Maybe not. The only way to tell would be to load a batch with exactly measured weight, then reload the same brass with (weighed) volume charges. And even then it only works for that particular load in your particular gun. And that assumes that there are no other factors that could account for any difference.

As has been noted, some long range/benchrest shooters rely on volume.
Of course, some of them shoot the whole match using the same single case, oriented the same way in the chamber every time. It all depends on what you are after.
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Old March 21, 2007, 09:26 AM   #15
XD-Guy
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I use a scale for rifles and a measure for pistols
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Old March 22, 2007, 02:03 AM   #16
multistage
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I use a measure, a scale, and a trickler.

Ball powder=check every 25 throws.

Stick powder=throw, weigh, trickle up each load.
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