1. Attention: We have put together a thread with tips and a tutorial video to help with using the new software. Please take a moment to check out the thread here: Trapshooters.com Tutorial & Help Video.
    Dismiss Notice

Flaky powder scale or flaky reloader?

Discussion in 'Shooting Related Threads' started by rsikole, Nov 4, 2009.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. rsikole

    rsikole Member

    Joined:
    May 4, 2009
    Messages:
    302
    I have recently set up a MEC sizemaster that had been in storage. I also purchased an RCBS powder scale (fairly inexpensive at about $50). Using a universal charge bar, I seemed to get a variation of about +/- 0.2 grains of powder, which seemed reasonable to me. This seemed pretty consistent for a month or so. Recently, the powder charge variation seems to be a lot more, maybe +/- 0.8 grains.

    Has anyone ever seen anthing like that? Temperature, humidity, and the ambient conditions in the realoding area appear to be unchanged. No evidence of static build up on the powder bottle or other loader components. My scale is not the best, but this seems very odd, and possibly a combination of a flaky scale and possibly something going on with the loader.

    Any opinions or related experiences?

    Thanks,

    Rob
     
  2. samiam03

    samiam03 Member

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2009
    Messages:
    219
    Did you tighten the set screws on the charge bar?
    If your scale is the RCBS 5.0.2 you're right it does seem flakey. I've never zeroed out a scale by raising one end. As far as accuracy it's not that bad. Electonic scales are priced reasonably and I suspect that all the scales under $150 use the same Chinese circuitry. I use the RCBS for shot and a Lyman electronic for powder. I weigh often and sometimes just for the heck of it.

    Sam
     
  3. JACK

    JACK Well-Known Member Supporting Vendor

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2006
    Messages:
    14,742
    Location:
    NW Wisconsin
    Rob. I thought I'd leave this thread alone and watch what the real reloaders say and perhaps they still will. But right in MEC stuff they tell you that single stage machines will drop more than progressive machines and I suspect you are jostling the machine more at some times than oteher times. Therby creating the heavier drop. Personally, if you are not getting issues of static cling, then I'd just forget about it and go shoot the stuff. And check batches rather than every few loads. I use a progressive and get even and equal drops, but my MEC 32 bubshing is dropping less than it did this summer. I'm guessing it has to do with humidity. But rather than fret over the minor differences, I make 10 round batch (or pull 10 rounds) and chrono them. Not surprisingly the speed was the saem as the summer loads.

    Jack
     
  4. HSLDS

    HSLDS Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2006
    Messages:
    6,400
    Location:
    S-E PA
    Two comments.

    One, although the universal charge bar is great I have found that over time they throw less consistent charges than the bushings. I guess there is just more inside to get out of adjustment.

    In the past I have used them to 'dial in' a load and then switched to the regular bars for production - food for thought.

    Two, there is an aftermarket item - a tube with internal baffles about three inches long, that fits between the top of the loader and the bottom of the powder bottle - IMHO this REALLY helps in throwing more consistent charges.
     
  5. creek

    creek Member

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2007
    Messages:
    276
    Location:
    New Bern. NC
    I ran into a similar problem with the universal charge bar on a MEC 9000. For over a year, I experienced absolutely no variance on powder drop. Then suddenly without changing anything I was getting one to one and a half grain variation. I was using a baffle, same lot powder. I tore everything apart, cleaned and reset it all and again the variance.
    Finally I went back to a solid charge bar and bushing system and the problem was solved.
    I never found what the actual root problem was but solved it through the change in bars.
     
  6. superxjeff

    superxjeff Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
    Messages:
    3,781
    I have two of those adjustable charge bars and I do not use them as over the years I have made 1/2 size bushings for just about every number. Guys that use them sure love them though. Jeff
     
  7. goatskin

    goatskin TS Member

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2009
    Messages:
    1,781
    You didn't say what powder you're using, but some powders are more susceptible to clumping and erratic flows that others are ... for no apparent reason - just 'cause.

    Nor did you say which way the variance was. Both can be factors in troubleshooting.

    Adjustable charge bars can - also for whatever reason - can go off their feed, too. Same with MEC loaders. Sometimes they just need a little TLC a/o harsh words.

    Palletjack hit it. Clean & lightly lube everything. Use a RED PLASTIC baffle (and NO washers) - not that pot-metal jobbie. Dump your powder after each session. Turn your bottle upside-down a couple of times before filling up to make sure all the clumps are broken.

    Tighten your mounting bolts; operate smooth and consistently, using the same pace and same durations top & bottom.

    At the end of all this, you'll be back good-to-go, but probably without a clue what you did to solve your issue ... welcome to the wonderful world of MEC.


    Bob
     
  8. superxjeff

    superxjeff Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
    Messages:
    3,781
    Like Goatskin says.... don't buy the alloy/steel baffle. It is total shit. You want the cheap red plastic baffle as they work perfect. Jeff
     
  9. rick979

    rick979 Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2009
    Messages:
    1,908
    Its not your reloader. It is the powder.
     
  10. goatskin

    goatskin TS Member

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2009
    Messages:
    1,781
    <i>Its not your reloader. It is the powder. </i>

    Prolly, but all that will cure that problem too, unless he's loading e3 and there's a fix for that, too.


    Bob
     
  11. rsikole

    rsikole Member

    Joined:
    May 4, 2009
    Messages:
    302
    Thanks for the feedback! I am loading 700X, and yes the set screw on the charge bar is tight. I can't find anything that has changed other than the consistency of the powder charges dropped. I use one of the baffles which came with the universal charge bar, but I am less than sure that my scale is working like it should. I seem to have to zero it a lot lately and simply removing the powder pan and placing it back on the scale can have an effect. The variation seems to be both directions, about +/- 0.8 grains lately.

    I will try to clean the scale and continue to see how it does. No major concerns with the shells, but I would like better consistency, like what I had a month ago.

    Thanks again!

    Rob
     
  12. JACK

    JACK Well-Known Member Supporting Vendor

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2006
    Messages:
    14,742
    Location:
    NW Wisconsin
    Wow! you seem to have the answer in your scale. Get a 10/10 balance beam.
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.