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Dram equivalent load for PB powder

Discussion in 'Shooting Related Threads' started by waverider, Mar 28, 2010.

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  1. waverider

    waverider Well-Known Member

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    Dram Equivalent (DE) refers to the speed of the shot. 1 1/8 oz doing 1200 f/s is 3 DE; 1 1/8 oz of shot doing 1145 f/s is 2 3/4 DE.

    Check the link above, Hodgdon now handles IMR powder. Find the PB 1 1/8 oz load going 1145 f/s.

    I hope you have a reloading scale and are not just going by the bushing chart.
     
  2. Franktri

    Franktri Member

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    Waverider: Yes, I do have a scale but how do I manage to get exactly what I need if the next size down is 21.7 grains? I believe the chart calls for 22 or something like that. And thanks for your input!!
     
  3. JACK

    JACK Well-Known Member Supporting Vendor

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    You would be surprised how fast 21.7 Grs gets your lead going. Somoeone brought a chrono to the club yesterday and 4 or 5 guys were pumping loads thru it. My experience is that I get to 1200 with less powder than published data. Has to do wiht 34" bbl vs published data using a 30". I do chrono my loads and determine powder drops and bushing choces.
     
  4. phirel

    phirel TS Member

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    Dram equivalent does refer to shot speed, but converting dram equivalent into an actual speed accurately is not possible. The speeds that waverider posted were learned by most of us many years ago, but what we learned is not accurate. Factory standards allow any shell between 1110 ft/sec and 1290 ft/sec to be called a 3 dram shell. It is safe to assume that a 2 3/4 dram Remington STS shell to be slower than a 3 dram STS shell. It is not safe to assume than a 3 dram Remington shell is as fast as a 3 dram Winchester shell. I have found that Winchester 2 3/4 dram shells are faster than some imported 3 dram shells.

    If you want to measure shot speed, use ft/sec, not dram equivalent.

    Pat Ireland
     
  5. AveragEd

    AveragEd Well-Known Member

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    Pat's right (as always). Dram Equivalent is a form of measurement that has roots in the days of black powder and there is no dram-to-anything else conversion chart. I use the loading manuals as a starting point for the speed I want and then confirm it with my chronograph.

    Ed
     
  6. Neil Winston

    Neil Winston Well-Known Member

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    MIA, the difference is choke, not barrel length. If you follow a guide you are as likely to end you with the speed you expect as if you chronograph them with a full choke, which will always read too high, (relative to a industry-standard inductive chronograph) no matter what the barrel length. If you screw in a cylinder or skeet choke, you will be pretty close, again, usually.

    Pat, at least in 1992 if you tested seven boxes of lights and seven boxes of heavies, you would almost always find at least one example where the speeds were "reversed," that is, the lights were the faster.

    Franktri, if the powder-weight dropped by your bushings (by measurement of course, that is _not_ by what you read somewhere) won't hit the reloading guide exactly, just use the smaller of the two and don't worry about a thing. It's a "Guide." It's not exact. Get close to the recommended weight you scale reports; stay on the low side; you are good to go.

    Neil
     
  7. Savage99Stan

    Savage99Stan Active Member

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    There is no "dram equivalent" correlation, i.e. so many grains to equal so many drams as such. DE is relative to velocity and velocity is obtained from a combination of factors: kind of hull, primer, wad, powder (kind, lot, weight), amount of shot, barrel diameter (again relative), choke, etc.

    DE was the velocity as compared to the velocity of a certain amount of black powder for that charge weight of shot. The only way you can figure out the DE for a load is to go to the data book, load a recipe, then chronograph it.

    We worry too much about minutiae and too little about breaking birds. Thirty or forty fps is nothing to worry about. You'll never note the difference. A few tenths of a grain of PB, or most other powders, is about what variance you'll get from a lot of charge bars and a non-uniform stroke of the press handle.

    I've shot a fair share of black powder in shotguns and dram equivalent (or "real drams") didn't give what the books said they should.
     
  8. melbournemike

    melbournemike TS Member

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    Get ready for total confusion! in the avoirdupois system 1 dram is 1.7718 grams
    In the apothecary system 1 dram is 3.887 grams.in volume 1 dram is 3.696 ml. Mike Moloney
     
  9. waverider

    waverider Well-Known Member

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    Franktri,

    If you have a 32 and 33 bushing see what they actually drop. Do at least 5 drops. Also, recheck the drops when actually loading shells.

    Personally, I just pick the closest one. Sometimes I will even pick the one dropping less if I want to reduce recoil, like for the first shot for doubles. As you can see from the discussion above, there is quite a large plus or minus factor on the industry standard. So, close is good enough for me.

    Some have taken a smaller bushing and filed or drilled out the bottom to get what they want. Others would take a larger one and use tape or nail polish to get what they want. Also, there is the adjustable bar.
     
  10. Franktri

    Franktri Member

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    This seems to be a very stimulating topic and I've learnd lots from all. But, it amazes me why the manufacturers do not specify just how much powder is put into the shells. Maybe its because all powders do not fit the same volume, hence different numbers?
     
  11. AveragEd

    AveragEd Well-Known Member

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    They can't because their powder charges change with each batch of powder they get, just as ours can. Except their variance is much worse because they actually get the powder that doesn't quite meet the more exacting standards of "cannister grade."

    Ed
     
  12. phirel

    phirel TS Member

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    Mike- Yes, "1 dram is 1.7718 grams In the apothecary system 1 dram is 3.887 grams.in volume 1 dram is 3.696 ml" but one dram is not the same thing as one dram equivalent.

    One dram equivalent is the amount of a smokeless powder required to achieve the velocity produced by one dram of black powder. It was a useful measurement during th time when both smokeless powder and black powder were both used for shotgun shells. Shooters were used to black powder loads and they wanted to know how the new smokeless powder compared to their black powder loads.

    Pat Ireland
     
  13. Hap MecTweaks

    Hap MecTweaks Well-Known Member

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    What I have a tough time figuring out is why the factories still list their new loads in Dr.Eq.? 1 ounce or 1-1/8 ounces listed at 2-3/4,3,3-1/4,3-1/2 etc.!! I've never had a 2-3/4 dr eq 1-1/8 ounce have the same recoil as a 1290 FPS load does! Or, one listed as 3 dr either for that matter. Dumping all shell velocities into a 3 dr velocity of plus or minus 90 FPS cleared the way for higher velocities in our sport. Why do we have a velocity limit, no other organized shooting sport does that I'm aware of?

    Hap
     
  14. Neil Winston

    Neil Winston Well-Known Member

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    Two questions, Hap:

    1. What problem is it causing now? and

    2. Why should we care what other associations do?

    Neil
     
  15. Hap MecTweaks

    Hap MecTweaks Well-Known Member

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    I don't think I inferred there was a real problem? I said it continues to be confusing as per the title of this thread?

    It fairly evident you were a major player in changing our game by changing rules that worked well for a lot of years. The former association practice we adhered to was changed to this new one by vote but I don't see the real benefit in that either? More targets shot by less shooters with higher averages as the only real improvement, if that's what you'd consider a game improvement? Validating a cheating practice of throwing easier targets did away with the average shooters perception of standing a chance of a win without shooting nearly perfect scores. That's the association change I care about, not what others do.

    Hap
     
  16. Neil Winston

    Neil Winston Well-Known Member

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    Hap, I think you must not have read the speed rules. They do not mention "Dram-equivalent" and have not done so for about ten years. What's confusing?

    Neil
     
  17. Hap MecTweaks

    Hap MecTweaks Well-Known Member

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    I have read our speed rules Neil. Below is the question I posed above.

    "What I have a tough time figuring out is why the factories still list their new loads in Dr.Eq.?"

    Hap
     
  18. phirel

    phirel TS Member

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    Hap- The factories list dram equivalents because that is what many customers want. Very many, perhaps most shooters still talk about shooting a three dram load at handicap targets. Many select a load from manuals based on ft/sec but then forget that number and go back to dram equivalents when talking about their load.

    Pat Ireland
     
  19. Hap MecTweaks

    Hap MecTweaks Well-Known Member

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    Pat, I accept that as a logical explanation in terms of velocity and peoples thinking.

    I've never experienced a 2-3/4 DR factory load listed at 1145 feeling anything close to one at 1290!! I certainly don't think either you or Neil have ever loaded or shot a 3 dr load that exceeded 90 FPS either way either! Lumping all loads together as being "3dr eq plus or minus 90 fps" is a farce and you two buy that crap. Sure there may be some variances but not that much according to the numbers Neil has posted in the past concerning his reloads!

    Hap
     
  20. Neil Winston

    Neil Winston Well-Known Member

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    Hap. I don't know why factories still list their new loads as dram equivalent. But I don't see what the ATA should, or could, do about it. We don't - we use speed. It's all we can do to lead shooters in the right direction, it seems to me.

    Neil
     
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