The Firing Line Forums

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

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old August 10, 2013, 02:01 PM   #1
revolvers_good
Member
 
Join Date: May 11, 2013
Posts: 23
Powder measure - do you empty between uses

Do you return unused powder from powder measure or leave in powder measure till next loading session? My measure is half full of powder, probably won't reload for another two weeks. Is it OK to leave in powder measure?
revolvers_good is offline  
Old August 10, 2013, 02:13 PM   #2
chiefr
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 27, 2010
Location: AR
Posts: 1,294
I always empty after each use. If you leave double based powder in anything plastic for an extended period, It will eat away the plastic. Process begins by turning the plastic dark.
Don't ask me how I found this out.
chiefr is offline  
Old August 10, 2013, 02:18 PM   #3
Unclenick
Staff
 
Join Date: March 4, 2005
Location: Ohio
Posts: 10,465
I can verify that.

Also, the powder does better on life expectancy in its original container, where humidity is held at bay.
__________________
Gunsite Orange Hat Family Member
CMP Certified GSM Master Instructor
NRA Certified Rifle Instructor
NRA Benefactor Member
Unclenick is offline  
Old August 10, 2013, 02:30 PM   #4
arch308
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 6, 2011
Location: DFW, Texas
Posts: 876
I always return the unused portion back to the original container. It seems safer and better storage for the powder and I don't want to forget what powder I left in the measure. Can't use it if you don't know for sure what powder it is!
arch308 is offline  
Old August 10, 2013, 04:02 PM   #5
howlnmad
Senior Member
 
Join Date: April 29, 2009
Location: Harriman Tn
Posts: 413
If I'm done for the day, yes. If I'm coming back to finish up the same caliber then no, not til I'm done.
howlnmad is offline  
Old August 10, 2013, 04:06 PM   #6
LSU
Member
 
Join Date: May 12, 2013
Posts: 38
I agree with the posters above but I've always wondered what is in the powder that turns the plastic "dark".

I've heard this for years but since I've never left my powder in a powder measure I have no first hand knowledge of the potential damage.

Anybody have first hand knowledge with this?

I actually think my Dillon powder measure with its thicker plastic walls and tight fitting metal top is a better storage option than the original container but I've been concerned about leaving the powder even - even for one evening.

If I were to do this, I'd use my label machine to label the powder in the measure.
LSU is offline  
Old August 10, 2013, 04:45 PM   #7
mmb713
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 15, 2011
Location: Salt Lake City, UT
Posts: 314
I left some Universal in the measure and forgot it was in there. I went to load some 357 with Lil' Gun and poured it over the top. I caught my mistake before anything disastrous happened but I did waste a bunch of powder. I always empty the hopper now. Discoloring the hopper is an issue too and powder really is better left stored in the air tight container it comes in.
mmb713 is offline  
Old August 10, 2013, 07:14 PM   #8
revolvers_good
Member
 
Join Date: May 11, 2013
Posts: 23
Thanks for the replies. Good to know
revolvers_good is offline  
Old August 10, 2013, 07:28 PM   #9
Vance
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 16, 2011
Location: North Bend, OR
Posts: 553
I always put left over powder back in the container it came in when I am finished. And yet, I still have a powder hopper that shows the darkening. I noticed it when I put the oldest measure I have next to the newest one I have (both the same brand).
Vance is offline  
Old August 10, 2013, 07:40 PM   #10
spacecoast
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 14, 2009
Location: Sunshine and Keystone States
Posts: 4,167
I dip everything and keep a portion of my powders in plastic Rubbermaid/Tupperware-style containers (for years) in a dark desk drawer. I've never noticed and darkening or degradation of the plastic with AA#2, Titegroup, Bullseye, Unique or H110. I'm wondering if the food-resistant nature of these containers makes them less prone to problems.
spacecoast is offline  
Old August 11, 2013, 12:01 AM   #11
Nick_C_S
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 21, 2013
Location: Taxifornia
Posts: 2,359
I always return my powder. With the rare exception if I know I'm going to use that same powder the next day - over night is acceptable.

Along the lines of safety: I will only have one powder at my reloading bench at a time. A couple weeks ago, I finished with one powder, went back in the house - up the stairs - to get another powder. I went back out to the garage only to realize that I hadn't emptied the hopper of the first powder. Rather than leave the second powder at the bench, and go back to get the first powder container, I returned the second powder back upstairs, brought the first powder down to empty the hopper, took it back upstairs, and then brought the second powder back down.

I'm that anal about it. Mixing powders is a bad thing (duh). We humans make a lot of mistakes. The reloading bench isn't where you want to make one.
__________________
If you ever find yourself in a fair fight, it's because your tactics suck." -- Allen West, quoting Marine 1st Sgt Jim Reinfinger
Nick_C_S is offline  
Old August 11, 2013, 01:20 AM   #12
GJSchulze
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 3, 2013
Location: Western New York
Posts: 323
I leave the powder in, but I only use one powder. After two years of doing this, the plastic was not only too dark to see through, it had also bulged at the bottom. I ordered two new hoppers from Hornady for $9.95 each. I then realized that I could have cut the bottom off the old one and reused it. I'll do this the next time. I pour a couple inches of powder in at a time, so the powder only gets to be a week or so old. I reload in my basement which is cool and dry.

I suppose that if I used more than one powder or only reloaded a couple times per month I would drain the hopper, but I reload two or three times a week.
GJSchulze is offline  
Old August 11, 2013, 08:01 AM   #13
Rifleman1776
Senior Member
 
Join Date: April 25, 2010
Location: Arkansas
Posts: 3,309
I always empty in case I forget what the powder is. I also place the canister near my press to make sure I am using the right powder. But, one time I didn't place the canister nearby, let my reloading task and didn't return for a couple day. Sure enuf I forgot what the powder was, had to dump and waste.
Rifleman1776 is offline  
Old August 11, 2013, 08:13 AM   #14
BigTex308
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 26, 2012
Location: Texas
Posts: 259
Re: Powder measure - do you empty between uses

Always empty it. Your powder containers are more sealed and you don't want any moisture getting in there.


Not to mention the safety issues. Like forgetting what you had in there



Ike
BigTex308 is offline  
Old August 11, 2013, 08:19 AM   #15
stubbicatt
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 15, 2007
Posts: 1,106
Since powders are hydroscopic, I empty the powder hopper. Too, if I leave powder in the hopper, it discolors.
stubbicatt is offline  
Old August 11, 2013, 08:31 AM   #16
Misssissippi Dave
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 5, 2009
Posts: 1,407
I often leave the powder in the measure. I generally load several nights during the week. I normally start loading with 1/2 to 2/3 full measure. It is easily under 1/2 when I stop for the night.

There is a hole in the cap of the Dillon powder measure that keeps it for making a good seal for storage. During the time when powder is in the measure I do make certain I leave the a/c unit running to keep it cooler and the moisture level down. Mississippi tends to be a little humid so this is needed. When I know I won't be loading any ammo for the week the powder is returned to the container for proper storage. Some powders do darken the plastic much faster than others will.

I also like to leave a note on the bench as to what is in the powder measure along with the other information about the load I setup to load. It makes things easier to check when you start loading. A mentor of mine a long time ago always used 3X5 cards for each load he used. The card with the information on the load he was going to use came out of the box and was put on the bench before he did anything else. He used it to check and recheck everything. When he finished everything was put away and the card returned to the box. I don't recall him ever having problems with any of his loads. He also had a second box of cards with the same load information in the house just encase one or all the normally used cards was damaged.

I use a spiral note book and just turn to the page with my information. I too, have a second book in the house. You never know when problems might come up. I like the note book better since I can write larger on the pages making it easier to read without touching the book when I have it on the right page. It also gives me room to put in additional notes.
Misssissippi Dave is offline  
Old August 11, 2013, 10:48 AM   #17
LarryFlew
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 15, 2009
Location: Minnesota CZ fan
Posts: 898
I use lee 1000 and in winter (when I do most of my 9mm reloading) I leave the Unique in my 9mm loader for the whole winter and have no discoloring. I load my 45 in another lee 1000 but do that in spring or fall and it is a bit more moist in my basement at that time so I empty it. For 44, 223 etc I use a separate powder dropper and empty it but more so I don't mix powders than for moisture or discoloring.
LarryFlew is offline  
Old August 11, 2013, 10:56 AM   #18
mikld
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 7, 2009
Location: Southern Oregon!
Posts: 1,177
Yes. Basic Reloading Safety 101. Replace all components in their containers and return to storage place. Goes along with "Only one powder on the bench at one time"...
__________________
My Anchor is holding fast!
mikld is offline  
Old August 11, 2013, 11:02 AM   #19
buck460XVR
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 28, 2006
Posts: 2,287
Quote:
Originally posted by mikld:
Yes. Basic Reloading Safety 101. Replace all components in their containers and return to storage place. Goes along with "Only one powder on the bench at one time"...

Agreed. That and powder breaks down when exposed to light. That's why the original containers are not see thru like your powder reservoir.
buck460XVR is offline  
Old August 11, 2013, 03:42 PM   #20
gwpercle
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 30, 2012
Location: Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Posts: 117
Do not leave the powder in the plastic hopper. Solvents in the powder attack the plastic. It will etch, darken and sometimes warp the platic hopper.

Possibly some of the newer plastics in the hoppers don't react to the solvents but the older plastics ones did/do. Reason no. 2 is safety...I don't want to forget what powder is in the hopper and screw up a bunch of loads. I also don't like to keep powder in anything other than it's factory container. It's not a big deal to refill the measure.

Remember it not a good idea to push your luck in this hobby....the Reloading Gods do not suffer foolish mistakes gladly , consequences can be servere.

Gary
gwpercle is offline  
Old August 11, 2013, 04:32 PM   #21
trapper300RUM
Member
 
Join Date: February 19, 2013
Location: Va
Posts: 39
Powder Measure Empty Between Uses

I have always returned the powder to the original container after each use & the powder will surly darken the measures hopper & as one other poster stated that he had forgotten the powder & then he poured another powder over top & if he hadn't caught his mistake it would have been bad .It doesn't take a minute to empty it in the first place
trapper300RUM is offline  
Old August 11, 2013, 05:00 PM   #22
mehavey
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 17, 2010
Location: Virginia
Posts: 3,053
I used to load/unload every session. Then I realized that proper materials (Low Density Polyethylene
for [sealed] the bottle), proper labeling (Contents/throwweight and setting), and leaving the powder container
itself directly behind the measure itself made for the safest procedure.



Note that every aspect of what I've said above is critical for control. And I weightcheck
the throw-setting before starting any session -- even If I haven't "touched" anything
from the last session.



postscript: Powder absolutely ATE the plastic in my Redding measure. I replaced it with LDPE as above.

Last edited by mehavey; August 11, 2013 at 07:12 PM.
mehavey is offline  
Old August 11, 2013, 05:04 PM   #23
Louca
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 22, 2013
Location: Michigan
Posts: 175
I always return my powder to its canister, BUT I never wiped any residual powder ("dust" if you will) out of the hopper. No problem darkening so far, but after what I have read above, I think I might start wiping out the hopper, too.

Lou
Louca is offline  
Old August 11, 2013, 06:38 PM   #24
skizzums
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 1, 2013
Location: Douglasville, Ga
Posts: 2,219
i empty if i won't be using for more than a couple days. i'm just worried about the humidity possibly making my loads weigh more. but i have no info to back that up.
skizzums is offline  
Old August 12, 2013, 09:56 AM   #25
Unclenick
Staff
 
Join Date: March 4, 2005
Location: Ohio
Posts: 10,465
Mehavey makes an important point. The discoloration I've seen has been in clear styrene or polycarbonate. Red color in Lee products may mask it. LDPE is generally hard to attack, and should be a safe container. It's just hard to find in a shape that will let you add powder baffles if you use it on a measure.
__________________
Gunsite Orange Hat Family Member
CMP Certified GSM Master Instructor
NRA Certified Rifle Instructor
NRA Benefactor Member
Unclenick 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 09:21 AM.


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 0.12726 seconds with 7 queries