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Customizing Powder Bushings

Discussion in 'Shooting Related Threads' started by Matt Stockwell, Mar 3, 2011.

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  1. Matt Stockwell

    Matt Stockwell Member

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    Does anyone have some advise for customizing a powder bushing. I have been playing around with Alliant 20/28 for 20 ga loads using a P/W 800+. The Alliant web sight calls for 15.5 grains for 1200 fps loads and 16.5 for 1250 fps loads. The D1 bushing drops 14.6 grains and the E bushing drops 16.4. I really would prefer to shoot the lighter load. Any suggestions for a guy without a bunch of fancy tools? Thanks in advance for any help.

    Matt
     
  2. mag410

    mag410 Active Member

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    I have modified several MEC bushing by drilling on a drill press. I have a full set of by 1/64th, letter and number size bits. I go up in size one step at a time till I get close. Then I drill part way and test. Once you get close you can usually turn the drill by hand to get the drop exact. Always drill from the top of the bushing, so that if you end up with a part way drilled hole, the powder fills the larger part of the hole first. I grind off the old bushing marking so that if the bushing should fall into someone else's hand they wont get an overcharge.

    Michael Goines
     
  3. mike campbell

    mike campbell Active Member

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    No need to permanenetly alter your 14.6 bushing. Just apply some eletrical tape to the inside of your 16.4 bushing....reduce it to whatever you want and you can always remove the tape. No harm done.
     
  4. timb99

    timb99 Well-Known Member

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    If it were me, I'd try the 14.6 grain D1 bushing and see how you like that load.

    As long as its not below the minimum charge weight for that load combination, it'll probably work fine.

    Even if it is below the minimum published, you could call Alliant and ask if it is a safe load.

    I had exactly this same dilemma with my 20 gauge loads and Hodgdon Universal. I called them and they said the lighter charge weight would work fine, and that's what I've been using for years.
     
  5. W.R.Buchanan

    W.R.Buchanan Member

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    This is why I have a machine shop. I make my own bushings.

    The Hornaday bushing numbers indicate the Inside Diameter of the bushing. IE: #453 equals .453 inches. Others probably do the same to some extent.

    Another point partly made above is that A few tenths of a grain aren't going to make any difference whatsoever in a shotshell. You could not tell the difference betweeen 14.2 and 14.5 grains. You'd probably not even see it on a Chronograph. No need to split hairs here.

    In a pistol cartridge like the .40 S&W a few tenths of a grain do make a big difference, but not on a shotshell.

    I can make any size I want and I still use a stock size bushing. No need to reinvent the wheel.

    Randy
     
  6. Unknown1

    Unknown1 Well-Known Member

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    Since we don't all need to own machine shops, rather than use electrical tape, buy a roll of aluminum foil HVAC tape and apply full-length strips to the inside of the bushing. I'ts easy to cut and apply and can be smoothed in place with a bit of ΒΌ" wood dowel.

    HVAC tape can be left in place indefinitely, sticks like white on rice doesn't stretch or peel and can be removed a bit at a time for fine tuning by using a pointed Exacto knife to cut tin strips from the larger piece and peel them out without disturbing the rest. A cotton swab dampened with mineral spirits removes any adhesive.

    Cheaper than a lathe and you can reduce any busing as far as you want with it.

    MK
     
  7. Agitator

    Agitator TS Member

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    Get a small tapered HAND reamer from Harbor Freight, Sears or other outlet and turn it in the bushing from the top down to the desired 'drop weight' you are wanting. When you get there, it will be smooth as glass, also with the taper, powder will not hang up or clump, but will drop clean each cycle.
     
  8. BunkerGuy

    BunkerGuy TS Member

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    In small bore, it seems like we have to do this every time a new power comes out. Electrical tape works very well for shot bushings, but is tricky for the smallest-sized powder bushings. I use a small Home Depot 1/2" hand reamer to take out a very small amount of metal at a time, then test (I buy an extra smaller bushing and relabel it for the new powder). Ensure you make smooth, non-chattering cuts. I put the reamed side of the bushing up toward the powder tube, although I've never tested to see if it really makes any difference in drop tolerance variation. . .

    In small bore, you'll find that the powders seem to drop more consistently. However, notice that in some recipes, there is very little change in powder drop to achieve a 50'/s change in velocity. As, 15.0 grains might equal 1200'/s and 15.5 grains might equal 1250'/s. Meaning that a normal +/- 0.3 powder drop tolerance is approximately +/- 30'/s change in velocity. For this reason, I adjust the bushing to drop exactly what the manufacturer calls for when loading with these less-than linear recipes and try to be very action-consistent in loader operation.

    - - Bill
     
  9. Unknown1

    Unknown1 Well-Known Member

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    Hand reamers work well to make small bushings larger but if they get too large then you have to use another method to make them smaller again. Start with a larger bushing and make it smaller; it's easily reversible.

    MK
     
  10. Hap MecTweaks

    Hap MecTweaks Well-Known Member

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    I follow MKs advice on powder bushings. Somewhere down the road, an idiot may wind up with your "drilled out bushing" and possibly injure someone else in the process!

    Hap

    Sometimes powder manufacturers slightly change powder formulas and volumes may change also from lot to lot? Assume nothing!!
     
  11. W.R.Buchanan

    W.R.Buchanan Member

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    Another tidbit to this discussion,,, I have never seen a bushing from any one that dropped the exact amount of powder it is supposed to. They always are shy on the low side for obvious reasons. This is true of 5 different brands of powder measures I have. None of the bushing drop exactly what their companies say they will.

    The Dillon measure that is adjustable is the only one that "consistantly" drops + - 1/10 gr. All the rest are no more accurate than Lee Powder dippers.

    The Tapered reamer idea is the best one I've heard yet for modifying the size of a bushing. You definately need to remark the bushing somehow so someone down the road doesnt blow himself up.

    Randy
     
  12. TEXASZEPHYR

    TEXASZEPHYR Member

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    A very easy way to modify a powder bushing is with fingernail polish. Get the next size larger bushing and paint a stripe on the inside. Keep adding to the stripe until you have the drop that you want. If you mess up and get a little bit too much polish in there just take some fingernail polish remover and rub a little off until you are at where you want to be. This works quite well, It usually dries very slick and does not ruin the bushing as it can all be removed anytime you want. try it you'll like it

    Bob
     
  13. setool

    setool Member

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    You can have ANY CUSTOM BUSHING made to order from Whiz White at S&W Supply. His phone # is (605) 341-4412.

    Mark Schneider
     
  14. Smithy47

    Smithy47 Member

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    Instead of trying to obtain the PW bushings I made an adapter to allow you to use the MEC bushings in your PW. These can be purchased already made. I think MEC gives you another avenue to explore, they have a lot of sizes and are easy to get.
    Bob
     
  15. SeldomShoots

    SeldomShoots Active Member

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    Matt,

    According to Whiz Whites P/W I.D. bushing chart a D1 is .3425 and an E is .363.

    You probably need a Hornaday or Pacific .351, .354 or .357. Adding the D1 and E inner diameters and dividing by 2 puts you at .35275.

    So a 354 should put you right about where you want to be at 15.5 grains, maybe 15.6 to 15.7.

    Matt, I have several used Pacific bushings, in very good condition, in various sizes. I typically sell them for about $2.00 plus $.80 to $2.00 to cover postage depending on the number you order and weight. I could do a little better on multiples.

    I'm pretty sure I have a 348, 351, 354, 357, & 360, plus several other sizes ranging from 250 up to 606. Unfortunately, I know I don't have every size.

    Let me know if I can be of service or if you need one. It might be cheaper to buy a good used one than file on what you have or have a custom one made.

    Thanks, John E.
     
  16. wolfram

    wolfram Well-Known Member

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    John E has the best solution - get a hornady bushing.

    Most of us have modified bushings but that leads to having a collection of bushing that don't perform as marked. Yes I know we all check actual charge weights before loading but it's nice to get the bushing selection right on the first try.
     
  17. Matt Stockwell

    Matt Stockwell Member

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    Thanks to everyone for thier replies. It's amazing how much info is out there if you just ask, especially on this site. I'm not Mr. Handy so I think I will try buying a Hornady bushing and hope it is a little closer to the published load. If it is too big or small, then I can try reaming it out or sizing it down.

    Thanks,
    Matt
     
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