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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I need help understanding what is going on with my situation. I went to the reloading bench today and would have a “hot” drop on my first test drop proceeded by normal drops after that. I tested my drops in the beginning, middle, and end of my reloading cycle. My first drop always measured way more than the standard deviation of a normal drop. I would test the next 5-10 drops and would be .2 from where I want to be. Any advice or help as to what may be happening?
 

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My first drop on my 366 is always heavy. Maybe as much as 2 grains heavy.
First couple of drops go onto the scale and right back into the powder hopper.
From then on its normal drops unless there's an interruption in the loading sequence.
 

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usually it is opposite. On a junior, the first pull of the handle should be the lightest, as the handle gets pumped 5 times between each shell and the powder packs a heavier charge from the vibration. I have never seen anything different. When I fill the powder bottle, I pump the handle 5 times before measuring, and that is what it stays. Let us know what you figure out.

I guess if the charge bar is in the powder fill position, you may be packing powder as you pour. I use a baffle on all my powder bottles, and never experienced your condition.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Slow-I understand that and drop my first few loads before I put it onto the scale. I decided today to test a load after about 200 rounds and it came out hot. I tested the next five and they were perfect. I did the same thing towards the end of my session and the same thing happened. I can’t figure out what’s going on. Maybe I need a new scale...
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
My scale came with a weight for calibrating the scale. I tested the calibration after I saw this because I thought something had to be off. When I put the calibration weight on the scale it was right on.
 

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Leo—-you are thinking that it is packing powder as it sits in the powder position?
The bar usually sits with the bushing under the powder, when you drop the powder, and seat a wad, you shift the bar to drop shot, the powder bushing is under the powder bottle again. It rides the vibration in this position until you need powder again. that is minutely packing it each stroke.

1) define "hot" for me. Are you picking up 2/10ths of a grain, or more like 8/10ths or more?

2) does the heavy charge exceed the safe limits in the data book?

3) what powder are you using? large flake powders tend to vary a little bit more than small flake powders.

3) Is your scale accurate and repeatable? Is there air movement that will throw things off, like a fan, or a furnace duct. Due to a furnace duct in my place, I have to sit my scale in a cardboard box to keep the air from throwing my reading off.
 

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I have experience this same thing when I leave powder un my hopper. If I start with an empty hopper and fill it when I start, I do not have this happen, seems like when the powder sits between loading sessions it seems to pack under its own weight. I load on an RCBS Grand progressive FWIW. Bill
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Leo,
I am using 700x. My target drop was 16.5 and I was able to get within .2 of that on most test drops. Out of the the three that I had that came up “hot” both were in the 17’s and one was 18.6. Days shows the hottest load to be safe at 18. Partially why this has me worried....

does a powder baffle solve this issue?
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Also, I have to assume my scale is accurate. With the calibration weight it comes out to the correct weight every time.
 

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Leo,
I am using 700x. My target drop was 16.5 and I was able to get within .2 of that on most test drops. Out of the the three that I had that came up “hot” both were in the 17’s and one was 18.6. Days shows the hottest load to be safe at 18. Partially why this has me worried....

does a powder baffle solve this issue?
I've never been able to get consistent drops with 700x, no matter what I tried. I ended up trading it all, never looked back.
 

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My first two or three drops have not settled in when I first start on my MEC 9000H. After that, powder drops are uniform.
 

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This kind of situation spells out the necessity of keeping a weather eye on the powder charge. Of course, if you are the prisoner of a fixed bushing, it's not as easy as when you can just tweak a dial.

I would suggest tipping the bottles back (assuming a Mec loader) and repositioning them when you start a loading session, just to see if it makes a difference. Everything you say so far suggests the powder is compacting in the bushing when inactive. Any nearby source of vibration, no matter how small, may be the culprit.
Easy solution is to toss the first few drops.

HM
 

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Ed my size.master does the same thing. I'm using hodgdon international, and just the first powder throw is always about 20.5 grains then after that it's back down 19.4 right where I want. To me it is not a problem since I weigh the first 5-10 powder throws anyway. I really think it's from the bar sitting under the powder bottle when not in use and any vibration in the world makes the powder settle down and pack that bushing a little more. Never thought it to be a problem though. Just nature.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Everyone,
I appreciate the reply’s. I want to make a note that I do throw out my first 5 or so drops. However, my main concern was I measured these “hot” drops in the middle and the end of my session. After seeing what others have posted here; I believe the powder is being packed more densely when I pull the lever.

After I tested my load in the middle session the first drop was hot and the other 3/4 were fine, which was baffling to me at the time. Now, it makes sense as to why it was happening. For a short time, I couldn’t figure out why My first drop (in my set of test drops) was hot and the others were fine. It is of concern to me because now I do not know what my drops are and are more than likely inconsistent. Some have recommended a powder baffle and I am looking into buying one for my MEC today. Do you think the baffle will solve this?
 

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I have loaded 700X in 12 gauge for many years. I don't use a baffle or brass ring. Use just the rubber grommet. Baffles and 700X don't get along well, save your money. I don't leave powder in the loader bottle overnight. Make sure the bottles are at least half full and not too tight. My pet load is 17.5 grains for 1 oz. I use a 9000GN. Ditch the brass washer, and yes they wear out. As do the rubber grommets.
 
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