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Reloading Question

Discussion in 'Uncategorized Threads' started by Pugs, Dec 6, 2007.

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  1. Pugs

    Pugs TS Member

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    Jan 29, 1998
    Messages:
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    OK, here is the situation: I've been reloading the same recipe for close to 40 years now with good results but now that I have more time on my hands (semi-retired) I have time to look at things more closely. A long time ago when I started reloading I was given a recipe by an old timer that was supposed to be the most like a AA 1 1/8 standard load. I've been reloading on a MEC, first with a 650 and about ten years ago switched to a 9000g. A short while back I was at an industrial auction and bought a digital scale with the intent on using it in my reloading.

    Recipe:
    Shot: 1 1/8
    Powder: Red Dot
    Wad: AA or Claybuster equivalent
    Primer: Win 209
    Mec bushing: #32
    Hull: AA or more recently Rem STS (don't like the new AA)

    The reloading chart (came with loader from MEC) claims the #32 bushing will drop 17.7 powder, my scale weighs it at 16.9, BUT the bushing chart on the MEC website says that a #32 bushing drops 19.2!!!.

    Any comments from a more experienced/knowledgeable reloader would be appreciated.

    Thanks
     
  2. zzt

    zzt Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
    Messages:
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    Location:
    SE PA
    First, different batches of powders have different densities. Right there you have an allowable variation of 0.5gr. The amount of powder dropped by a bushing is influenced by how you operate the press, and whether you use a powder baffle. That can easily account for another 0.5gr either way. The manufacturers print drop charts on the high side of normal for safety and liability reasons. I have never had any bushing, and I have about 30, that dropped what the reloading or powder manufacturer said. They are always optimistic, and I have to go one or two bushings larger to get the correct drop. I use Hornady/RCBS bushings and they come in finer gradations then MEC supplies.

    Anyway, you now have a scale and know how to use it. You'll no longer wonder how much powder you are dropping. You'll be able to measure.
     
  3. Questor

    Questor TS Member

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2007
    Messages:
    135
    I don't know the answer, but this is similar to what I experienced when loading Unique powder for 20 gauge. I found that humidity fluctuations affected the powder charge weight significantly. When I opened the cannister, I would get a lighter weight than some time later after the cannister had been in my relatively damp basement during the summer. The charge is lighter during relatively dry winter humidity.

    In any case, I had to get a few different bushings and try them until I got a weight close to what I was trying for.

    The weight change due to humidity is on the order of 1/2 to one grain. The MEC estimates are not consistent though. I have a MEC chart in my Lyman shotshell reloading book and it differs significantly from the one on the Web site.
     
  4. BDodd

    BDodd TS Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
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    3,594
    Take the bushing chart and fold it into the smallest package you can and toss it in the can for 2 points; 3 points if far enough back. The chart is an extremely rough estimate which will be different from person to person based on how you operate your loader and so on.

    Test your digital scale with some known items by weight. A box of pistol or rifle bullets would be good items to test. A 120 grain rifle bullet, for example, should come real close to 120 grains on your scale; try several and compare. Once you know the scale is good or not and needs to be replaced, trust the reading on the scale and ignore the bushing chart. Weighing your shot drop may also be an eye opener.

    Last, refer to published recipes and craft your new shells based on that tried and true information....Bob Dodd
     
  5. Quack Shot

    Quack Shot Active Member

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    Don't ever trust the bushing charts to be accurate. They will get you in the ball park, but you can be several grains off. Check your scale and USE IT! You should NEVER reload without verifying your powder drops. The bushing charts have been all over the place and there are many versions published by MEC and some powder manufacturers that don't agree. Always check a new lot of powder as well. Check your drops EVERY time you start loading and regularly throughout the process.
     
  6. james huffington

    james huffington TS Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
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    Sparrow: A good set of scales are a reloaders best friend, I dont know how you got by all those yrs. without one, anyway, every powder even the same grade differ from batch to batch, another factor is if your reloading on a single stage of progressive loader, as the loader vibrations with cause the powder to compact more in the single stage, weather humidity also factor in, this is why powder bushing charts a mearly a ball park figure to get you started, a good set of scales used properly are invaluable, economically as well as safety factor, I hope this helps. good shooting as well as reloading.
     
  7. Pull Bang

    Pull Bang Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
    Messages:
    472
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    Get your self an Adjustable Charge Bar and the variance between powders (& lot to lot) can be eliminated. Check them out at the URL above.


    You can tweak the powder drop to within +/- .2 grains. I have been using one since 2002 and would not be without it. I actually have two Adjustable Charge Bars; one set for 1 ounce of shot and one for 11/8 ounce of shot.

    Frank
     
  8. phirel

    phirel TS Member

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    Can someone explain to me how relative humidity can change powder drop weights? First, I think we all keep our powder in a closed container. Secondly, powder will not attract or hole moisture from the air.

    Bushing charts are simply a starting reference, but so many use them as accurate indicators of the powder charge.

    As some have noted, the speed and uniformity that the press handle is lowered and raised can have a significant effect on the charge dropped by the machine.

    Pat Ireland
     
  9. oz

    oz Active Member

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    the old guys all use red dot. try clays. oz
     
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