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Old July 4, 2009, 01:51 AM   #1
rc_gilmore
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What is the easiest powder to auto measure

I'm trying to figure out what powder is the easiest to get consistent drops from an auto measure with. Mainly 4.5 to 6 grains. I've realized that Unique fails miserably in this department. Great powder though...
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Old July 4, 2009, 03:33 AM   #2
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What caliber are you reloading?
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Old July 4, 2009, 03:36 AM   #3
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Generally speaking ball powders measure best.
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Old July 4, 2009, 06:00 AM   #4
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Is there a list of powder types for the most popular powders?
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Old July 4, 2009, 07:14 AM   #5
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I think all Winchester powders are ball....

If you go to the websites, Alliant, Ramshot, Accurate, Hodgdon, etc, they usually have descriptions of their powders. Most will send you a data booklet for free or allow you to download it from there site.
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Old July 4, 2009, 07:29 AM   #6
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Quote:
I think all Winchester powders are ball....
I believe "Ball" powder is a Winchester trademark, "spherical" is sometimes used as a generic term.

Anyway - Win 231 is good and consistent through a Dillon powder measure. Flake powders like Hodgdon Clays flow ok, but not near as easy as 231. When I load Clays, I clean the press and powder path almost every time I use it because a smoothly operating press gives more consistent throws. Never had to do that with 231.

What was popular 10 (20?) years ago may not be now. Now, popular = available.

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Old July 4, 2009, 10:37 AM   #7
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HP38, HS6, Win231, TiteGroup, and Alliant Power Pistol seemed to meter extrememely well in my Hornady Lock 'N' Load.

The worst I've experienced is Accurate Arms #2 and #5 and Unique.
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Old July 4, 2009, 11:53 AM   #8
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The fine grained Winchester BallĀ® powders, produced by the St. Marks Powder company in Florida, are the easiest to meter accurately if you have the right measure for them. I once pulled twenty rounds of Winchester Supreme .308 match ammunition which is loaded with what appears to be 748 (the charge weight and volume was right for 748, though it was probably a non-cannister grade). Using a lab scale I found the extreme spread of charge weight for all twenty rounds to be an astonishing 0.05 grains. By comparison, Federal Gold Medal Match for the same bullet uses a stick powder resembling IMR 4895, and the charge extreme spread for 20 rounds was 0.42 grains on the same scale. You can achieve that Winchester Supreme kind of precision from their powders with a good grade drum measure. The only downside to it is the very fine grains will jam up measures that don't have fairly tight tolerances, like the Lee Perfect measure, which does fine with stick powders and coarse spherical propellants, but not with the tiny grained Winchester products.

An additional comment is that accurate powder measurement isn't the only consideration in getting accurate loads. Ignition consistency is more difficult when powder grains get fine and the flame can't move between them as easily as through the larger spaces between coarse ones. This can necessitate the move to magnum primers. When I shot Accurate 2520 in my M1A one summer, I was able to cut my 100 yard group size (fired from slinged-up prone using iron sights) from 1.25" to 0.70" just by deburring the flashholes in my Remington and LC cases. Deburring did nothing for me with stick powders, though, which light up very easily. Indeed, Hatcher's Notebook has a description of choosing powder for national match ammo one year, in which a coarse stick powder they could only meter half as accurately as a finer candidate, nonetheless produced consistently more accurate ammunition. He attributed this to the better ignition. And, in the first paragraph example, the Federal Gold Medal out-shoots the Winchester Supreme in my gun. YMMV.
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Old July 4, 2009, 12:11 PM   #9
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Power pistol and 2400 seem to meter well for me
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Old July 4, 2009, 03:35 PM   #10
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Hodgdon Universal

Meters consistently in the 4 to 5 grain range for me using a Lee Perfect Powder Measure. It usually drops within +/- 0.1 grain. It's also almost as versatile as Unique covering a wide range of cartridges and pressure levels.

All the Best,
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Old July 4, 2009, 04:15 PM   #11
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I prefer Hodgdon HS-6 for my pistol reloads. measures perfectly everytime out of my Lee Perfect Powder Measure.
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Old July 4, 2009, 06:00 PM   #12
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Add Accurate Arms #2 to the list of fine ball powders that meter very well.
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Old July 4, 2009, 07:17 PM   #13
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W231 and Titegroup work well for me
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Old July 4, 2009, 07:37 PM   #14
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Bullseye has always metered well in my Lee Pro Auto Disk powder measure.
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Old July 4, 2009, 07:51 PM   #15
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I load everything from 9mm to 500 S&W but the most common is 45 ACP
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Old July 5, 2009, 12:30 AM   #16
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For 45 acp it is hard to beat W231/HP38. The are the most consistant powders for me.
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Old July 5, 2009, 03:34 AM   #17
Sport45
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Unique isn't the most consistent metering powder, but then it doesn't seem like that really matters. I've had good success with Unique through my Dillon 550b and my Lyman 55. +/-0.1 (or more) variance in charge weight but they all seem to hit the same spot on the paper. YMMV.

If I'm looking for a 7gr load of Unique I'll drop 4 charges at a time into the pan and adjust the dispenser until they weigh 28gr.

I always stay 0.1 or 0.2 grains under max when loading Unique.
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Last edited by Sport45; July 5, 2009 at 03:49 AM.
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Old July 6, 2009, 12:55 AM   #18
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Power Pistol, Bullseye, 2400, Accurate #7, and Hodgdon Titegroup are all powders I use often that meter incredibly well.
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Old July 6, 2009, 12:59 AM   #19
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Ball powders and a Redding measure. Save up and get a Redding. They're the best for a good reason.
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Old July 6, 2009, 11:48 AM   #20
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Yeah, Unique is a tough one for me to use the powder measure for. I end up weighing about every charge I throw with it because I see so much variation, which kind of defeats the purpose of a powder measure.

My best metering powder so far has been TiteGroup. Great stuff and for loads that don't fill up much of the case, it works great because it was developed specifically to give consistent velocities regardless of whether the powder is in direct contact with the primer.

For milder velocities, Trail Boss is wonderful stuff for a powder measure. It's really fluffy stuff so the weights tend to be right on the money for a given volume. Plus it nearly fills up nearly any case you use.

231 powder is similar in burning rate to Unique and is also versatile like Unique. But it measures better than Unique. It sure is little bitty stuff though. It meters better than Unique but not as good as TiteGroup.
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