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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
:bye: I have been doing some searching lately and wanted to poll all of you out there in Graybeard land.

My first question Volume or weight? When dispensing powder, do you guys go by weight or volume? Why do so many writers keep flip flopping?

When using flake or extruded powders. Do you use powder measures or weigh each charge? Have you found some devices work easier then others? :-D :eek:
 

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Both for smokeless, by volume only for black.

I don't know what you mean about writers flip flopping, I stopped reading the shooting rags many, many years ago.

It all depends upon the load. When measuring by weight I dump by volume first, then top off by weight. For other loads where the charge is less demanding, I just dump from the powder measure by volume.

When using a progressive press, it's by volume only. With a single stage, it all depends upon the load. Some loads are more sensitive to exact charges than others.

The type of powder and it's ability to be cut accuratly by volume with the powder measure will also be a factor. I use RCBS Uniflow's and Little Dandy measures.

Does that come close to answering what you are asking?
 

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I use a powder measure for everything, including long extruded powder like IMR 4198. There is some weight variation with the long extruded powders but I have never seen enough variation in my groups to prompt me to weigh each load. However, I shoot for fun, not competition.
 

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Maybe I'm a little nieve about this question but why would you measure powder by volume? I have never seen charges listed by volume with the exception of the Lee dipper charts. If you measure by volume then you will be getting different charges from powder lot to lot. Powders are not cut exactly the same from one time to the next and that will affect the volume to weight ratio. I have noticed differences in weight when refilling my measure with powder from a new container. Not much but as much as a couple of tenths in a 25gr charge. Just my observations. KN
 

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Weighing powder charges is a waste of time for most reloading. I get sub-MOA accuracy by using a powder measure and unmodified cases. What's the payback in doing more work? None. The Palma rifle team makes their competition ammo on a Dillon progressive reloader.
 

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KN,

Volume measurement (metering) is for speed and convience in the reloading operation. It depends upon the load and the margin of deviation you are willing to accept. Even though you measure by volume, you periodically verify your measure by weighing charges your powder measure throws.

Questor is correct that it is unnecessary for vast majority of loads. However, when you are right up to the edge with some maximum loads, I feel a little safer weighing each charge rather than a sampling.
 

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I was trying to read more into that post than I should have. I thought you meant setting your charge amounts by volume (CCs for example) rather than setting them by weight. I set my powder dump by weight and check priodically like most of you do. Unless I'm throwing a finiky powder like IMR4931 or something. I guess I just didn't understand the question. KN
 

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I use a Lyman 55 and it cuts just about every powder I use great, everything is within 1/10th of a grain, which is good enough for me, but when working up hunting loads for the best possible accuracy I weigh every charge, and I get sub-MOA groups with all of my hunting rifles, is this the reason? Maybe not, but it can't hurt.
Selmer
 

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There is also another psychological reason for weighing each charge.

Back many years ago when I was shooting service rifle competition, we used to go to great lenghts to get an edge. Guys on the team would not only weigh each charge, but sort bullets by weight and other extreme measures.

Now I don't really think it made that much if any difference, but at the time I think just thinking you had an edge made you more confident. Maybe it helped, maybe it didn't matter as far as the equipment went, but I believe it made it difference in your head.

So much for the power of positive thinking.
 

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If I’m loading for my rifle, I will usually weigh each charge. This is due in part to the fact that I use stick powders for my 30-06, and also because I am loading 50 rounds or less. I will also load about 50 rounds specifically for hunting with my Contender, these will also be weighed. I want to stack the odds in my favor since I have never taken a deer with a handgun. All other handgun loading is done strictly by volume. I try to stay with ball powders for these loads, since this type powder seems to meter very accurately.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
:D :-D :) I guess I did a poor job asking the question. Typing causes my brain to much stress. My overall thought is really WHY? Why would you go to so much trouble to weigh each charge? Like many of you, I have had stupendous results with my RCBS uniflow powder measures. It just seemed like the volume vs. weigh arguement was fussing all over again. Why would you use volume for black powder? That is another item that I don't get? All in all, I got some feedback that I was interested in. Thanks for all your info guys. :shock:
 

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I think you use a measure for black powder because it is easier to carry a measure into the field than a scale. Also black powder is not as sensitive as smokeless to a variation of a few grains.
 

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I'm not sure I totally understand the question... heck, I'm not sure of anything much any more. :-D :) However, I will jump in here for a second. On my rifle loads, I use an RCBS (same thing comes under other names as well) electronic scale and dispenser... I double check every few loads with a regular scale as well... On handgun loads, I nearly always use a Lee disk dispenser, that screws into the top of the Lee powder-through die and drops a charge on the upstroke of the ram. Especially with flake powders like Red Dot etc., this little disk dispenser is really accurate, and I have NEVER ever had a missed charge with it, and VERY little variation in the charge... So, I guess I am going by volume on handgun, and weight on rifle loads....
 

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I guess I will have to agree with ironknees about useing the rcbs electronic scale and trickler. I find this to be a lot easy and faster and for me the most accurate way of doing my reloading for my rifles. :gun4: :jeep:
 

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Get a good powder measure (like a Redding)

Gotta jump in just to say that I've handloaded since 1961 and up until a few months ago was a weigh-every-charge guy. No way you could have convinced me to load direct from a powder measure. Then I read a couple of articles on benchrest shooting that got me to thinking -- no easy task. So I loaded some .223s both ways and cannot find any difference of any kind in groups or accuracy. I started with a Lee powder measure, a cheap little piece of plastic junque that measures powder like a million dollars! Now I've added a Redding 3BR and with the powders I've used: Varget, H322, BL-C(2), W748, after the third to fifth round of each session, the measures will both throw within 0.1 grain through hundreds of rounds. And, talk about easy reloading: resize using Lee Collet Die, no lube, seat primers with Lee hand primer seater, perfect every time, then dump powder from measure, seat bullet, it's all over. I sat one night and emptied the hopper on the Lee measure using W748 and couldn't get a bad dump. If you're consistent, it's the only way to go.
 

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I use a Lee Auto Disk and RCBS Uniflow measure for pistol and rifle, and a micrometer adjustable charge bar for shotgun. The powders I use meter very well and as I load nowhere close to maximum (got over that years ago) I don't weigh anything anymore. The exception would be when I'm adjusting the measure. I have complete confidence in the accuracy of the measures. Put me down as a volume guy!
Stay Safe,
Savage
 

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I was loading some 110 grain bullets into .357 cases last night, using Unique, and a Hornady pistol powder measure. It comes with several bushings, and a chart of how big the charges are with different bushings and powder. After dumping powder into 50 rounds, I measured the charge weight, and found the bushing chart was WRONG. I intended to load 9.2 grains, and after weighing several charges, I found consistent charges of 9.7 grains, which was the listed MAXIMUM in my Speer book. I kept the charges, instead of starting over. We will see how the max charges shoot. It is important to measure!!
 
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