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Old March 28, 2010, 08:31 PM   #1
SQUAREKNOT
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Redding powder dump experiment

I have an old Redding #3??? powder dump. It has a 3/4" wide slot for the micrometer. I purchased the "pistol" micrometer to see if I could get throws of light charges of UNIQUE and BLUE DOT powders. All tests were 25 throws.
BTW- DOES ANYONE KNOW IF A POWDER BAFFLE WOULD SMOOTH THESE OUT A BIT?

Test #1 UNIQUE
11 THROWS @ 3.9GRS
8 THROWS @ 3.8GRS
5 THROWS @ 3.7GRS
1 THROW @ 4.0GRS

TEST#2 UNIQUE
5 THROWS @ 5.2GRS
10 THROW @ 5.1GRS
8 THROWS @ 5.0GRS
2 THROWS @ 4.9GRS

TEST#3-BLUE DOT
4 THROWS @ 4.9GRS
15 THROWS @ 5.0GRS
5 THROWS @ 5.1GRS
1 THROW @5.2GRS
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Old March 28, 2010, 09:43 PM   #2
mongoose33
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Unique is not a particularly easy powder to meter, so I'm not surprised that you are getting variances.

I'm not that familiar with Blue Dot so I can't comment on that.

However, let me suggest this: How many throws did you have before you started measuring?

I believe i have the same Redding measure, and I have the pistol micrometer. What I've found--and this is the case with the Redding, my RCBS powder measure, and my Hornady powder measure--is that it takes 20 or so throws to settle down.

Why? Because the powder is settling each time you throw a charge.

What I do is take the large allen wrench that came w/ my Hornady LnL press and use it to tap the powder measure to settle the powder before I start measuring dropped charges.

This makes a huge difference. Give it a try and then see where you're at w/ the loads.

I still think you're going to have some issues w/ metering Unique, but that's the nature of the powder. I think if you're plus or minus .1 grains that's to be expected.
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Old March 28, 2010, 09:44 PM   #3
qcpunk
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Yes, a Baffle could help smooth out the powder distribution. How full did you fill the hopper during the test? And were you keeping the powder level somewhat consistant? Did you crank the lever exactly the same each time as well?

Some powders/throwers meter better with plenty of powder in the hopper to help push down on the powder in the throw chamber. I usually keep mine around ~2/3 full with AA#7. Also, when I throw my powder, I smoothly bring the lever up with a slight Tap at the top of the stroke to ensure everything drops free well. Same on return to Tap the powder into the charge chamber consistantly. Note; This is my standard procedure, and remains constant regardless of caliber and quantity of loads being performed.

Edit: Oh Mongoose beat me to it. I second what he said regarding throwing a bunch of charges before actually measuring. Drop these charges into a bowl or something and just recycle it back to the hopper.
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Old March 28, 2010, 10:01 PM   #4
Unclenick
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You're getting +/- .25 grains with Unique and are complaining? Some measures don't do that well with it. Their owners would call that a miracle and give up the search for better right there. Big flakes are notorious for inconsistent metering, and Unique is the king of difficult in that regard.

If you want to try baffling, I have templates and instructions for making baffles free for the downloading in PDF format at my file repository, here.
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Old March 28, 2010, 10:44 PM   #5
mrawesome22
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A .3gr spread seems quite acceptable to me. Actually, I'd be very happy with those results. I'd say those are some very uniform powders you are working with.
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Old March 29, 2010, 08:34 AM   #6
SQUAREKNOT
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I ran the dump 20-30 dumps before starting and after every dump I returned it to the pile, which was full to the top. All dumps were consistent as to stroke. The results were much better than the standard micrometer. Blue Dot meters better than Unique especially when the charge is larger as it almost always is.
I'm not complaining Nick just looking for a better mouse trap.
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Old March 29, 2010, 11:59 AM   #7
Unclenick
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OK. Then try the dual baffle arrangement depicted in my baffle template PDF file instructions linked to above. I just make them out of roof flashing aluminum from Lowe's. You can cut it with a good pair of scissors.

Also, take a look at the end of the micrometer head in the drum of the measure. I have the 30-BR and I believe that aside from its anti-backlash micrometer thimble and benchrest chambering capacity limitation (10 to 50 grains) the main differences is that the metering plunger in the 30 is hemispherical so there is no bottom corner in the chamber for the powder to have to fill out consistently (which is hard for flakes to do). If you have or know someone who has a lathe, you might be able to get your own hemispherical tip made to fit the micrometer thimble? It would define a minimum charge volume, but if the pistol chamber is narrow enough, that may still be small enough?
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Old March 29, 2010, 04:57 PM   #8
Doodlebugger45
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No matter what measure you use, it's not going to be that great with Unique. I never tried Blue Dot. I kinda quit using Unique though just because of those issues. There are just too many good powders that meter a lot more accurately than Unique. I will still use Unique for the mid-range loads for my 480 Ruger where the loads are quite heavy and it doesn't matter so much if I'm off by .2 gr. But I quit using it in my 357 loads.
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