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Old August 15, 2012, 01:00 PM   #1
Moloch
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Join Date: November 27, 2005
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Drop tube ineffective?

I built myself a so called ''drop tube', a 3ft long tube made of brass that is supposed to ''settle'' the pieces of black powder so I can fit more of it into a case.
I did some extensive testing with two empty .454 casull cases and swiss 3FG powder, the difference between powder simply poured into the case and using the drop tube was a hardly measurable 2-3 grain. Not a lot.

Then I poured as much BP as possible into the case and gently grinded the bottom of it against a rough surface - this way I could get 2 x ~5 more grains of BP into the case,a total of 10 grains. So shaking / vibrating the case to settle the black powder is more than 3 times as effective as a drop tube.
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Old August 15, 2012, 10:15 PM   #2
pohill
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I also made a drop tube for reloading my 50-70 Trapdoor, but gave it up for similiar reasons. I thought about buying a compression die but never did. I pour the powder in a little at a time, shake the case a little, then compress the power slightly after I place the card on top of it. I've been loading less than 70 grs (55 -60 grs of FFG) and using a filler, with good enough results. Saves on powder and shoulder. Great gun. If I ever become a serious shooter, I'll measure better and probably use the tube.

Last edited by pohill; August 15, 2012 at 10:20 PM.
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Old August 16, 2012, 06:47 AM   #3
Doc Hoy
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My experience here is very limited

I have only just begun loading cartridges and am at the beginning of the learning curve.

When I was considering drop tubes and what they are intended to do (at least my understanding of it) I reached the conclusion that I don't really need one.

I am loading .45LC and I can get all of the powder into the case that I need without the benefit of a drop tube. I don't even shake or vibrate the cases once they are charged and I feel like I do not need more powder.

I did reason though, that a potential secondary benefit of using a tube is to give a more even dispursion of the powder in the case than could be acheived by charging with a scoop or with the flask attachment contraption I use. This may not even be important but I figured, What the heck?

So I made a shorter drop tube with a taper to it which I thought might even out the flow of the powder into the case.

I tried several times to detect any difference in the level of powder in the case when I load with the drop tube and when I load directly from the flask attachment. I was not able to detect any. I measured the level with a dowel I have marked. I know I am putting the same amount of powder into the case. But I swear, I saw no difference in the level to which the case was filled with or without the tube.

So now, here is my question:

Is it possible that a drop tube has a more profound benefit to rifle cartridges that are intended to reach way out there than to revolver cartridges?
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Old August 16, 2012, 07:44 AM   #4
eastbank
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a old lady,s electric shaver(smaller than a man,s) will settle the powder,i use one on 45-70 cases. got it for a dollar at a flea market. it will also work on any powder. eastbank.
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Old August 16, 2012, 10:59 AM   #5
Moloch
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Quote:
a old lady,s electric shaver(smaller than a man,s) will settle the powder,i use one on 45-70 cases. got it for a dollar at a flea market. it will also work on any powder. eastbank.
I tried it with my shaver and oh boy, it worked like a charm! Good idea!

Last edited by Moloch; August 16, 2012 at 11:14 AM.
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