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Old February 5, 2013, 10:05 AM   #1
TheDutchman19
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Redding 3BR with stick powder?

Does anyone have any experience with the Redding 3BR powder measure and stick powder. I am currently loading IMR-4064 with a Dillon powder measure. My Dillon is spot on with ball & flake powder, but sucks with stick powder.

I was researching the Harrell's product line. A lot of people say it's the best on the market, except with stick powder. Does any one have any suggestions, without the need to use a trickler?
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Old February 5, 2013, 10:18 AM   #2
Unclenick
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The JDS Quick Measure normally stays within 0.2 grains with stick powder. I have both that and a Redding 30BR that does not do as well with stick. The Quick Measure can be adapted to the Dillon presses. Otherwise, it dispenses powder through special funnels that have to be used with it to close the metering chamber at the bottom. Works as advertised for me. Better than my Dad's Harrell with long sticks, like 4064.

Be aware that many stick powders are affected as to burn rate by packing density, and this is why volumetric dispensing of them often works well despite some weight irregularity. But with the Quick Measure gives you both weight and volume consistency.

The next best stick measure, in my experience, is the inexpensive Lee Perfect measure. However, I have two, and one works better than the other. So there's some catch-as-catch-can involved with it.
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Old February 5, 2013, 03:12 PM   #3
Bart B.
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IMR4064's gonna meter within a 3/10ths grain spread in most measures using proper and consistant techniques. It does in my old Redding and RCBS ones. That's good enough for excellent accuracy through 600 yards as proved by Federal's Gold Medal Match .308 Win. ammo shooting well under 1 MOA at 600 yards.

As IMR4064 has less fps change per 1/10th grain charge weight change than others (IMR4895, for example), it seems to do well with a 3/10ths grain spread in the 40 to 50 grain charge range.

There's lots of evidence out there that metered charges of stick powder to a 3/10ths grain spread gives better accuracy than exact or 1/10th grain spreads of ball power charges. I've seen that myself. And Lake City ammo plant caught all sorts of flak when they changed their 7.62 match ammo's powder to a Winchester ball powder with less than half the charge weight spread as IMR4895 had previously. That ball powder charged stuff was often called "9 ring ammo" as that's the smallest scoring ring top shooters could count on for their fired shots to fall inside of.
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Last edited by Bart B.; February 5, 2013 at 03:20 PM.
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Old February 5, 2013, 04:30 PM   #4
Unclenick
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I actually measured 0.4 grain spread in the old Federal match I pulled. Shot great. And I always liked the story Hatcher had of finding a coarse stick that the arsenal loading equipment could only hold to a 1.7 grain spread but that out shot more tightly metered finer grain powder, and wound up being used to set several records as that year's National match ammunition charge. The powers of the stick are a might thing to behold.

The main thing is not to run out and buy the Redding or any other measure expecting you'll never throw a 0.1 grain spread. The Lee Perfect will do at least as well as the more expensive ones for about $20 (most places; $40 if you have to buy two), and if you are willing to spend the cost of a Harrell, but have a Dillon press and want the measure to work automatically on that press, then the Quick Measure and its progressive press adapter are the way to go.
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Old February 5, 2013, 05:55 PM   #5
Bart B.
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Unclenick, I think Hatcher's powder in that incident was IMR4064; it metered larger spreads than IMR4895 but that year's National Match lot with it was mostly weighed, not metered. So I was told in 1966. Metered charges of IMR4895 typically shot more accurate than metered IMR4064 so the arsenals used it in 30 caliber match ammo.

You may be totally right in this. I was first told about this incident by CWO Offut Pinion in 1966; a retired USN warrant officer then owning a gunshop north of San Francisco. He was also on the 1956 US Olympic Team and got bronze in the free pistol match. He'd build a extra-decent match rifle if he could get a good barrel.
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Old February 6, 2013, 10:41 AM   #6
TheDutchman19
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Thanks for the input. I am not going to put it on my Dillon. I am building a set of tools I can use at home as well as at the range. I was hoping to get some feedback, in an attempt to not to buy it twice.

Its also good to know that with a proper and consistent routine, a small spread shouldn't negatively effect my accuracy. Thanks again.

Last edited by TheDutchman19; February 6, 2013 at 10:49 AM.
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