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Old November 23, 2002, 11:40 AM   #1
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Powder inconsistancy: 550B

Seem to be having a bit of trouble getting consistant powder charges from my 550B with certain kinds of powder, mostly stick rifle. Not during a run but a difference between set up and cranking them out. The way I usually do things is to take one case neck size & prime, then on to station 2 where I get the powder charge set. However the action of the press is pretty smooth with just one round being worked on. When each station has a round, there is quite a bit more jumbling and I guess the powder is settling into the measure so I end up with more on each throw than the set up intention. Is this just the price one pays for progressive reloading or is there a solution. I could shake the measure itself by hand on every throw but this really slows things down and I think it would make it even more erratic. Or am I just doing the whole thing wrong?
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Old November 23, 2002, 01:43 PM   #2
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The weak spot in the Dillon system is that powder measure, and one reason I quit loading rifle on my 550.:barf:

You can switch to ball powder, wtch will meter well, but on firinfg is dirty as democrat politics...
Or you can keep wrestling with the extruded powders.

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Old November 23, 2002, 05:30 PM   #3
Join Date: November 22, 2000
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Setting 550B powder measure

I reload all rifle rounds on a Rock Chucker because I weigh every charge. I reload pistol only on the 550B. I've found that it really helps to set the powder charge when you have a case in all four stations. I think I got this tip directly from Dillon Customer Service, something about the way the shellplate flexes with a single case in the press. This also applies to the seating and crimping dies.

Someday I may crank out some .223 (or some other caliber I need in large quantity) on the 550B. I intend to use ball powder to avoid metering problems that seem to be common with the extruded powders.


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Old November 23, 2002, 10:17 PM   #4
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Powder measure inconsistancy

Most any powder measure will very 3 to 5 tenths of a grain with each throw. Also, there is a 12% variance in the industry standard. You will usually get a charge 12% less than the chart says.
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Old November 24, 2002, 11:15 AM   #5
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As long as you`re not near maximum charges of powder, just load about 5 or so complete rounds, as normal, and then check your current charge weight on station 2. After just setting the powder measure, I check about every 5 or so throws, then less as my confidence in the correct charge weight increases. Charge variance is something you just have to live with, when using stick powders. Unless you`re benchrest shooting, or shooting at 1000 yds, you wont notice any difference if one round has .3 grains more powder than the other. 99% of us on here, couldnt tell the difference, human error causes MUCH MORE variance between shots. Good luck with great groups!!
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Old November 24, 2002, 11:59 AM   #6
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Make sure your shell plate is tight enough. With bottle neck cases, if the case wobbles around to much then it may not go into the die strait. This may let the case mouth catch the edge of the powder funnel and give inconsistent charges. Even if you have it working right stick powder still may not work the best. I just use ball.
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