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Old September 15, 2010, 08:52 AM   #1
Mike Irwin
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CRAP! What a waste!



Really ticked at myself.

I'm getting geared up to load a bunch of .45 Long Colt. I've not used the loading equipment in some months, and I've piled crap on my loading table.

I was cleaning it off last night and discovered that my powder measure has about 3/4 of a pound of powder in it.

I didn't put a tag on it to remind me what powder it is, which I normally do, and I use several powders that are VERY similar looking, so I didn't even think about trying to guess what it was. I don't feel like guessing wrong and blowing up one of my guns.

What a waste.
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Old September 15, 2010, 09:06 AM   #2
PA-Joe
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That's why they say always put it back in the can it came from.
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Old September 15, 2010, 09:17 AM   #3
floydster
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Mike,Mike, Mike, after 24,000 posts you should now better.

Don't blame yourself too much, just learn from it.
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Old September 15, 2010, 09:19 AM   #4
WESHOOT2
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down to eleven

I currently have eleven powder measures, and when I pour powder into any I write the powder and charge weight on a notecard and place it directly into the measure.

That allows me to switch-n-swap measures on toolheads. Oh, and not have woes.....



PS the notecards act as dessicants, too; bonus!
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Old September 15, 2010, 09:21 AM   #5
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It could be worse...

Some powders leave a nasty residue that changes the interior walls of the powder measure hopper. Titegroup has a reputation for doing exactly that.

Good lesson for you to not be so cluttered at/around the load bench. Too important a place to pile junk.

That's what pool tables and exercise equipment is for!
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Old September 15, 2010, 09:28 AM   #6
demigod
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This is why I don't load a wide variety of powders. I know that approach doesn't work for every hand loader. But I keep 231 for pistol and use it across the board on the calibers I load.
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Old September 15, 2010, 09:32 AM   #7
riverwalker76
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What was the last cartridge you reloaded? Did you keep your charge data?

I feel your pain! It seems that over the summer my reloading bench had turned into a 'crap' desk. I'm going to have to clean it off before I do anything. I found a box of gummy worms on there yesterday ... where the heck did those come from? Kids ... pfftt.
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Old September 15, 2010, 09:34 AM   #8
Sevens
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Quote:
This is why I don't load a wide variety of powders. I know that approach doesn't work for every hand loader. But I keep 231 for pistol and use it across the board on the calibers I load.
IMO, that's really handicapping your flexibility at the bench.
When I first got going in this game, I (like everyone) wanted to see if I could load every-dang-thing with only two different powders.

It's silly. For what you pay for a pound of powder and how long it lasts, there is so much more flexibility in keeping a number of powders on hand to do the proper job rather than just make something that goes "bang."

Where it pays off the most is that you aren't asking the wrong powder to try and do a job out of it's comfort zone. Look up load data and see what is happening when you try to make a fast-burner (suchs as Bullseye or W231) do magnum work. What you get is HIGH pressure with much less velocity. They take a smaller powder charge, but you make your brass and your firearms work harder for much less result.

The great bonus is that when I pick up something new to dabble in, be it a completely different bullet in a familiar chambering or a whole new caliber, there's a good chance I have a few powders to pick from already in stock.

I think I have 13 different powders on hand now and honestly, I wouldn't have it any other way.

Not saying your way is wrong, I'm just saying that if you look at it from another angle, you might see what I see.
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Old September 15, 2010, 09:42 AM   #9
Magnum Wheel Man
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MIKE... whats is that big green spot in your yard ... least you got the common sense to not just put it in a cartridge...

kinda have the same potential for problems myself... been said to only have one cartridge on the bench at a time, but with more than one press, I'm often doing 3... ( however those 3 cartridges are all still in developement, so I weigh charges, rather than using my powder measures in that case, so no powder not in it's original can... right now ) not to mention, I've been making holsters on my "basement workbench" traditionally designated just for reloading... so right now, there are 3 different cartridge reloading set ups, covered in leather, thread & lacing... I'm a pretty safe reloader, but you could never tell by looking at my bench right now
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Old September 15, 2010, 10:01 AM   #10
Mike Irwin
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"What was the last cartridge you reloaded? Did you keep your charge data?"

I loaded several the same day - .38 Special, .357 Mag., .44 Special, .32-20, and .41 Magnum.

With the exception of .44 Special, which I only load using Trail Boss, it could have been for any of those.

Last time I loaded was about 5 months ago.
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Old September 15, 2010, 10:04 AM   #11
Real Gun
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I use masking tape on the lid of my powder measure so I can write the powder and load weight on it.
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Old September 15, 2010, 10:16 AM   #12
Mike Irwin
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I usually use a post-it note with a rubber band around it, but it wasn't there...
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Old September 15, 2010, 10:30 AM   #13
johnjohn
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As I said on another forum I'm self taught and have never left powder in a powder measure, I'm tight and worry about ruining the measure or having the powder "spoil".
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Old September 15, 2010, 10:42 AM   #14
Mike Irwin
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Well, in 30 years of loading, and well over 100,000 loaded, this is the first time I've done it for more than a day or two.
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Old September 15, 2010, 10:49 AM   #15
wingman
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I place the powder can next to measure and after reloading dump powder into it's original can, never let powder remain in the hopper, powder will degrade while it may fire it will not be up to par, IMO.
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Old September 15, 2010, 11:34 AM   #16
Loader9
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^^^^^^Exact same thing I do. And there are NO other powders out on the bench either. So, if I forget to empty the measure, the can is sitting right next to it with NO other cans in sight. But I'd throw it out too, Mike.
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Old September 15, 2010, 11:38 AM   #17
AlaskaMike
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Quote:
Well, in 30 years of loading, and well over 100,000 loaded, this is the first time I've done it for more than a day or two.
Well there you go Mike--you've only wasted 3/4 of a pound of powder in 30 years of loading. Can't beat yourself up too bad over that!
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Old September 15, 2010, 11:42 AM   #18
Mike Irwin
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The powder can doesn't stay on my loading bench.

It goes back on the shelf in the closet. Most of my powders are in 3 pound containers, and I don't have very much room on my reloading bench at all, so I don't have luxury of leaving the can out while I'm loading.
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Old September 15, 2010, 11:56 AM   #19
demigod
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Quote:
IMO, that's really handicapping your flexibility at the bench.
When I first got going in this game, I (like everyone) wanted to see if I could load every-dang-thing with only two different powders.
Like I said.. it's not optimal for every guy who hand loads. But for me... I basically do 9mm, 45acp, and .223 rem. So having only one pistol powder and one rifle powder is doable.
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Old September 15, 2010, 12:01 PM   #20
Real Gun
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Dumping powder from a hopper is not a trivial task, so unless I know I won't be loading for some time I drop an opaque container over the hopper to keep out light. If I dismount the press from my bench, I definitely dump the powder first.
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Old September 15, 2010, 12:05 PM   #21
Jim Watson
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I am like Realgun, I leave my progressive press measures loaded and covered to protect the powder and plastic from ultraviolet.

I also leave the powder can next to the press and a card with the load in the product hopper.
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Old September 15, 2010, 12:12 PM   #22
Mike Irwin
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I wouldn't mind buying a powder measure for each set of dies I have, but let's just say that right now that would be a bit... cost prohibitive.
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Old September 15, 2010, 12:33 PM   #23
JesterGrin_1
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Mike to be honest you should take a hard look at the Lee Classic Cast Turret press. You can use it as an auto index turret press or single stage it is a great press at a great price. Also the turret heads are cheap under $10.oo each so you can leave your die's set up for what you are going to load. Also there Lee Pro Auto-Disk Powder Measure works great and are cheap enough to have it mounted in the tool head for each round you reload for if you wish.

And since your space is limited I would go to the cast boolits forum and look for the Pats Mount. It is not all that expensive and will let you change out presses or whatever you decide to mount on the plate in seconds. Sorry I do not have a pic with the powder measure mounted.





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Old September 15, 2010, 12:56 PM   #24
Mike Irwin
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I have a classic cast turret, and have had for going on 3, 4 years now. I already have multiple turrets, with the only thing switching being the powder measure. My auto disk pro is going on 20 years old at this point.

I reload enough cartridges that getting a dedicated powder measure for each one isn't feasible.

It would cost me at a minimum $200 or more.


I fail to see, however, how any of that would address the issue of me doing some loading, and not getting back to my loading bench for close to 6 months, by which time I'd forgotten which powder was in the hopper.
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Old September 15, 2010, 12:58 PM   #25
rjrivero
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Expensive fertilizer.

Mike,

You've just made some pretty expensive fertilizer. Happens to all of us once. The question is will it happen again.

RJ
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