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Old May 8, 2008, 01:42 PM   #1
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What do you do when......powder bushing

Ok. first things first. I've been a metalic cartridge reloader for 20+ years.
So I do know a little about the process.

Just today I took the plunge and ordered a MEC shotshell loader to feed my trapshooting addiction.

I am a fan of Hogdon powder so I went to their website and printed some "Clays" recipes. Knowing which hull, powder, wad and shot weight I will be using, I plotted my way across the chart to the powder charge required.
This is where I got confused.
The suggested powder charge is 17.7 gr. On the MEC bushing chart at the Hogdon site there seems to be no bushing made that will throw exactly 17.7gr. The closest one is #32 at 17.5gr. If I change only the wad to a different one then a similar load requires exactly 17.5gr.
Is this what I am supposed to do? Find a recipe that exactly matches a bushing's given charge? If so then why are there so many loads listed that there are no bushings made to throw those exact charges?

Please shed some light for me. Thanks E.
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Old May 8, 2008, 02:25 PM   #2
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Metallic thinking versus shotshell thinking. Those powder bushings for the mec loader will throw lighter than what the chart says. They NEVER are right on. Also you do not have to be exact, like you do with rifle/handgun ammo. You're going to have to settle for almost right on, either a bit over or under where you want to be. The difference to actual predicted velocity will be unnoticeable.
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Old May 8, 2008, 04:37 PM   #3
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You will have a hard time finding a bushing (volume measure) of any system that throws the exact charge it is supposed to. The density of ANY powder may vary slightly from lot to lot. The measurement associated with bushings is really just a guideline. You can "enhance" the charge by giving the charge bar a couple of taps to settle the powder. With shotshell loading I usually run the loader through a few full cycles before I put any powder on the scale so I get a "true reading of what is being dropped when I get into a steady rythm.
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Old May 8, 2008, 05:24 PM   #4
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I've reloaded using MEC's for over 35 years - they're good machines. I'm currently using the 90000 HN hydraulics in 12, 20, 28 and .410 for my needs.

Use the bushing chart as a guideline - and pick the closest bushing you have. Make sure you have no static in the bottle on the press / keep anti static dryer sheets in powder storage cannister. Keep the powder bottle at least half full all the time. Pros and cons on using a powder baffle between bottle and the press - personally I don't use them. Put a bottle holder on the press ( block of wood / strap of velcro ) so they don't shake as press operates - or you can buy one from Mec. I always dump the first 5 powder drops on startup - then I measure each drop until they are consistent to 0.1 grain - and depending on powder you use / they drop very consistently. Hodgon Clays is a good 12ga powder - lots of range from min to max on a variety of primers and wads.

You can adjust a bushing by putting it on a drill press or a lathe - spin it - use a light touch with some emery cloth to open it up a little / or some hard finger nail polish to tighten it up ( then the emery cloth) / then scratch a new number on the side of it with a dremel tool or something so you know it was modified.
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