The Firing Line Forums

Go Back   The Firing Line Forums > The Skunkworks > Handloading, Reloading, and Bullet Casting

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old January 13, 2006, 12:01 AM   #1
Bigoledude
Member
 
Join Date: January 1, 2006
Location: Chalmette, Louisiana.
Posts: 52
Who "NEEDS" this

A friend and I went to watch some long-distance rifle competition once. To our amazement, some of the competitors were brewing-up some loads at the match. And they were using what I call powder-throwers. Like the RCBS "Uniflow". Now, I don't remember the name brand but, I made a remark to my podnah, and the shooter heard me. He very politely explained to me that #1, he trusted his machine and #2, that volume measuring was plenty good-enough. And here we were weighing every charge.

Well, you'd think that wouldda been enough huh? Not for me, I still wieghed-up every load right up until Katrina took my reloading stuff for a ride to who-knows-where.

My perspective has now changed a little. I just finished telling my twin sons how (for now) "all we probably need" is a set of those Lee scoopers/dippers/spoonies or whatever you call them.

As they left the room I had to laugh! Funny how "needs" change.
Bigoledude is offline  
Old January 13, 2006, 12:40 AM   #2
T. O'Heir
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 13, 2002
Location: Canada
Posts: 3,212
"...those Lee scoopers/dippers/spoonies or whatever you call them..." They're not accurate enough. They'll can vary the charge by as much as a full grain plus or minus. Lots of match shooters load on the range with portable loading equipment. Usually bolted to a solid portable bench. Benchrest shooters do it all the time.
"...volume measuring was plenty good-enough..." Depends on the type of match, but precise it isn't.
T. O'Heir is offline  
Old January 13, 2006, 03:54 AM   #3
caz223
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 15, 2002
Location: Michigan
Posts: 1,383
I disagree,T. O'Heir.
I used a lee loader for years when I first started, but I used them to fill my scale, then trickled the last .1 or .2 grain, and had they thrown the right charge when full, there's no doubt they'd be consistant enough when used properly.
Now the main use for my scale is to CHECK my powder measure every hundred throws.
__________________
I'm not just a gun.
I'm YOUR gun.
(Hold me.)
caz223 is offline  
Old January 13, 2006, 05:02 AM   #4
mtnboomer
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 9, 2004
Location: Oklahoma by birth. America by the grace of God.
Posts: 635
Richard Lee in Modern Reloading said that to get the best results from the Lee Powder Dippers you should push the dipper into the powder bottom first and let the powder spill over into the dipper then scrape it off level with a business card. I pour my powder into the top of the red Lee die container, it makes it easier to get to the powder.
__________________
Quando Omni Flunkus Moritati (If all else fails - play dead!)

Support the Second Amendment. Join the NRA > http://www.nra.org <

Oklahoma State & Big 12 - #1 GO POKES!!!!!
mtnboomer is offline  
Old January 13, 2006, 08:08 AM   #5
HSMITH
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 21, 2002
Posts: 2,019
If top levels of international benchrest competition doesn't constitute precise I don't know what does. You won't find many if ANY of those guys trickling and weighing charges. They do use a scale, for REFERENCE, then throw charges by volume and shoot insanely small groups. If there was ANY advantage at all to weighing each charge to the tenth or hundredth of a grain they would ALL be doing it.
HSMITH is offline  
Old January 13, 2006, 09:10 AM   #6
zeisloft
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 7, 2005
Location: Amarillo TX
Posts: 419
One thing being overlooked here is the amount of practice involved in LEARNING how to throw a consistant and accurate charge.
~z
__________________
A scalpel can be just as effective as a broadsword

Obviously, Occam was not a reloader
zeisloft is offline  
Old January 13, 2006, 09:30 AM   #7
Leftoverdj
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 15, 2004
Posts: 934
Quote:
One thing being overlooked here is the amount of practice involved in LEARNING how to throw a consistant and accurate charge.
~z
Do tell!

I had no idea that the stuff I've been doing the last 45 years was so difficult. Maybe I should never have started.
Leftoverdj is offline  
Old January 13, 2006, 09:33 AM   #8
sundog
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 22, 1999
Location: Green Country, OK
Posts: 730
Try this. Weigh a charge on a scale and leave it. Check it everyday until you see the pointer change. Put the powder aside and see if the scale is still zeroed. If it is, what happened? Moisture - gain or loss. Will that charge still shoot the same? Yup. Volume. sundog
__________________
safety first
sundog is offline  
Old January 13, 2006, 09:36 AM   #9
TimRB
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 18, 2004
Posts: 1,028
"I had no idea that the stuff I've been doing the last 45 years was so difficult. Maybe I should never have started."

Sheesh, Leftover. I think all that zeisloft was saying is that if you're going to charge by volume rather than weight, you have to measure the charge correctly, and do it the same every time.

Tim
TimRB is offline  
Old January 13, 2006, 10:26 AM   #10
Al Norris
Staff
 
Join Date: June 29, 2000
Location: Rupert, Idaho
Posts: 9,311
There was an interesting article in Rifle's Handloader magazine an issue or two ago, where the author showed that volume measure was a better way to get the same results when going from lot to lot of a specific powder. Because powders are not 100% consistant between lots, weighed measures will tend to shoot differently. Whereas volume measures, between lots, will have less differences than weighed measures.

I haven't been reloading long enough to really know... So I take it with a grain of salt and I try both. So far, the author has been spot on.

YMMV.
__________________
National listings of the Current 2A Cases.
Al Norris is offline  
Old January 13, 2006, 12:41 PM   #11
zeisloft
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 7, 2005
Location: Amarillo TX
Posts: 419
Yes, that is what I was saying. Look at the difference in weight between a soft up and down as compaired to up, TAP TAP down. If you do not do it the same way, you can not expect the same results. I guess, it is not difficult, you just must be consistant.
~z
__________________
A scalpel can be just as effective as a broadsword

Obviously, Occam was not a reloader
zeisloft is offline  
Old January 13, 2006, 02:47 PM   #12
Mike Irwin
Staff
 
Join Date: April 13, 2000
Location: Northern Virginia
Posts: 35,892
Big,

Here's a startling revelation for you...

Every piece of commercial or military surplus ammunition you have ever bought, ranging from lowly .22 RF to 9mm to .30-06 or others, has been loaded VOLUMETRICALLY.

They don't weight the powder charges. A given weight of a powder will occupy a given volume. Once you know those parameters, you can turn out some incredibly accurate ammo without ever having to touch a powder scale.

I've been loading volumetrically for over 2 decades, both handgun and rifle. I check every 5th to 10th round, and also inspect powder levels visually.

The only time I have ever had a problem is when I got lax in my loading procedures and double charged a .45 ACP case. That certainly wasn't the fault of the equipment, though.
__________________
"The gift which I am sending you is called a dog, and is in fact the most precious and valuable possession of mankind" -Theodorus Gaza

Baby Jesus cries when the fat redneck doesn't have military-grade firepower.
Mike Irwin is offline  
Old January 13, 2006, 03:29 PM   #13
Mal H
Staff
 
Join Date: March 20, 1999
Location: Somewhere in the woods of Northern Virginia
Posts: 14,506
Whoa!
You mean Eley doesn't have hundreds of little old English ladies weighing out exactly 1.000 grains of powder for each and every round of Tenex???



Excellent point, Mike. Even the "match grade" rounds from the large ammo manufacturers (e.g., Federal, Lapua, Norma) are loaded volumetrically.
Mal H is offline  
Old January 13, 2006, 03:33 PM   #14
Mike Irwin
Staff
 
Join Date: April 13, 2000
Location: Northern Virginia
Posts: 35,892
Of course they didn't use little old ladies, Mal.

They used urchins from the streets of Liverpool.

It may be in his "Notebook," but Julian Hatcher recounted an experience from the National Matches years go. Apparently a competitior decided to pull some of the issued match ammo apart and weight each charge. Apparently he found quite a variation, and was very loudly bitching about the quality of the military ammo loaded at Frankford Arsenal. Hatcher noted that many National Match records fell that year.

AH! I found it!

Page 313 of my Stackpole, second printing, 1966, version of Hatcher's Notebook.

"For example, when I was at Franford Arsenal some years ago, we were loading the National match ammunition with Du Pont No. IMR No 1147, wihc was similar to the modern IMR No. 4320. This powder was cut into very short grains only a twenty-second of an inch long, and they would pack very uniformly in the loading machine powder measure, and the variation between the highest and the lowest charge in a test sample of cartridges would be not more than six tenths of a grain.

WE then tried a very similar powder with the grains cut twice as long, that is, eleven to the inch. The charges thrown by teh loading machines were not as uniform, having a maximum variation of about a graind and sevent tenths from one cartridge to another from the same machine. But on machine rest tests the coarser powder made smaller groups every time. Naturally we loaded the ammunition with this more accurate powder, and the scores at Camp Perry ran exceptionally high that year. But the Ordnance Department came in for some very sarcastic and bitter criticism from a self appointed local dispenser of wisdom at the matches who carefully pulled the bullets from a number of cartridges and weighed the charges, then spread the word that the extreme variation between charges was twice as great as it had been before.

The critic was accusing the Department of very great stupidity, and could not understand why in the world they used apowder that did not load quite as closely as to weight variations as the finer powder. He talked loud and long and no doubt there were many who gained the impression from him that it was a matter of indifference to the makers of the ammunition whether the accuracy was good or bad.

Actually, this critic knew noting whatever about powder or the problems of loading small-arms ammunition. He just weighed the charges in some cartridges, and found that the variation was about a grain and a half; and he heard that the variation was less with the finer powder, so he at once began to should his discovery. I suppose it never occurred to him that the Ordnance engineers, wtih all their vast testing resources and their vital interest in producing the best possible ammunition, had made hundreds of tests much more elaborate than any shooter could ever afford before they finally decided to use the large-grain powder instead of the other. Truly, a little knowledge is a dangerous thing."
__________________
"The gift which I am sending you is called a dog, and is in fact the most precious and valuable possession of mankind" -Theodorus Gaza

Baby Jesus cries when the fat redneck doesn't have military-grade firepower.
Mike Irwin is offline  
Old January 13, 2006, 04:01 PM   #15
Leftoverdj
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 15, 2004
Posts: 934
Mike, his grandchildren are still at it,
Leftoverdj is offline  
Old January 15, 2006, 12:07 AM   #16
Art Eatman
Staff Lead
 
Join Date: November 13, 1998
Location: Terlingua, TX, USA
Posts: 22,469
Do a Google for "Houston Warehouse". The extensive article you'll find has some startling comments about powder charges.

, Art
__________________
You're from BATFE? Come right in! I use all your fine products!
Art Eatman is offline  
Old January 15, 2006, 08:34 AM   #17
Peter M. Eick
Senior Member
 
Join Date: August 3, 1999
Location: Houston, Texas
Posts: 2,877
http://www.angelfire.com/ma3/max357/houston.html

Living in houston, I had no idea we had so many warehouse ads on the net.....



Thanks Art!

__________________
10mm and 357sig, the best things to come along since the 38 super!
Peter M. Eick is offline  
Old January 15, 2006, 09:22 AM   #18
Hal
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 9, 1998
Location: Ohio USA
Posts: 7,435
Quote:
Contraceptives missing from Houston warehouse
Issue date: 3/4/04 Section: News In Brief
Article Tools: Page 1 of 1


HOUSTON (AP) - A surprise audit of the city's south side pharmaceutical warehouse has discovered that thousands of packages of birth control medications and other medical supplies are missing.

Findings of the Sept. 8 audit were released by city officials on Tuesday.
The warehouse, which supplies the city's eight health clinics, stocks items such as birth control pills and prescription antibiotics. The supplies are worth $500,000.

Auditors found discrepancies among 57 of the 60 items reviewed. Out of the 57 items, auditors found shortages in 45, but discovered more inventory than was listed in the records for the other 12 products.

The largest shortages were found among oral contraceptives, with 8,619 packages unaccounted for, and foam contraceptives. Officials said 5,086 packages were unaccounted for.
Art,
err, can you be a bit more specific?? hehe. That's the third link google came up with.
Hal is offline  
Old January 15, 2006, 01:44 PM   #19
yorec
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 2, 2000
Location: Wyoming
Posts: 2,324
Believe this to be covered well enoug by previous posters... Will chime in to say I reload by volume too, though!
__________________
What part of "... shall not be infringed..." don't you understand?

My site - stop by n see what I'm all about... Yes, there is gun stuff.
yorec is offline  
Reply

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 04:36 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
This site and contents, including all posts, Copyright © 1998-2014 S.W.A.T. Magazine
Copyright Complaints: Please direct DMCA Takedown Notices to the registered agent: thefiringline.com
Contact Us
Page generated in 0.12053 seconds with 9 queries