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Was to load Fed papers with 17.8gr Red Dot, SO3's, WW209's, etc---1 1/8, 1148 NO PROBLEM
New 8# jug of ALLIANT (not IMR) Red Dot. Chart called for 17.8gr and a #30 MEC bushing
New Jug, weighed a drop on a digital scale. Didn't get quite 16 gr with a #30 bushing.
A light went off in my little pea brain--something ain't right. Verified that I had Red Dot not IMR Red Dot data.
Checked two more data sheets. Same receipe.
Weighed some more--same result. Lite...bad lite.
Went to a 31, no big deal. Have seen bushing / powder variances before. That's why we WEIGH stuff.
#31 was slightly over 16gr. Hummm?? Pea brain percolating now. Questioning everything. Doubted the digital scale. Got out the old trusty beam scale. Guess what? Same result.
Went to #32 bushing..still lite...but closer.
Went to a #33 and viola, 18.0 gr on the dot. (chart called for 17.8 but close enough for me)
All is well BUT 3 bushings off??? Never seen more than one before that I remember.
Then I started doubting the 18gr measure as could be too much. Chart said 19.0 would give 1,200 fps but now I'm gun shy. Checked even more data sheets.
Walked away for an hour or two, re-read everything, re-weighed everything and loaded a couple hundred shells.

IF I had just worked with the bushing as listed my loads would not have made it to the target!
Now I think I will ask one of my buddies to shoot the first one or two...lol
I guess this is WHY we TRUST and VERIFY
Blew heck out of about two hours but that's ok. I'm a little wiser now.
Jim
 

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So, now Red Dot is just as consistent as Promo? WTF? The very definition of "canister powder" is consistency from lot to lot. We're letting the powder companies off the hook by making "weigh the drop of each new lot" the standard. The powder companies have shifted their quality control to the customer. Why do they bother to publish bushing charts? What else is different? Burn rate?
 

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For me, it happens often enough with bad weather and the humidity it creates in my garage. I can be off as much a 4 bushing sizes from the chart. So, I learned to either mess with the press or just load on nicer, dry, days.
 

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This is why everyone that reloads need to use a good set and accurate scales.
Bushings just get you in the ballpark. Drop rate is one thing but what gets to me is with some powders I have found that what the powder chart calls for will be really far off in the actual FPS.

It's looking as though every reloader will have to purchase a chronograph as we have had to with scales.
 

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Jet setter's post above raises some interesting questions: our recipes specify a weight of powder, but all of the common reloading machines measure and dispense by volume. So, the density of the particular lot of powder under a particular set of atmospheric conditions will determine the actual "mass" of powder delivered to the hull by the bushing in the reloading machine. Leaving aside lot to lot variations in the powder, does the "mass" (the quantity of matter which a body contains) change that much when we load by volume in a hot dry environment vs. a cold dry environment vs. a warm humid environment, etc? If it does change, by how much? And, how much does it influence the velocity and pressure?
 

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I previously loaded all my 12 ga trap loads on a MEC 650. A #30 busing using Red Dot powder was my norm. However, a few years back I switch to using a MEC hydraulic loader and found that I had to go to a #32 busing to drop the same powder volume. I got uniformly more concise powder drops with the hydraulic. My assumption is less machine agitation developed into less powder compaction in the busing. Yup, my hypothesis and I'm sticking to it. FWIW.
 

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I previously loaded all my 12 ga trap loads on a MEC 650. A #30 busing using Red Dot powder was my norm. However, a few years back I switch to using a MEC hydraulic loader and found that I had to go to a #32 busing to drop the same powder volume. I got uniformly more concise powder drops with the hydraulic. My assumption is less machine agitation developed into less powder compaction in the busing. Yup, my hypothesis and I'm sticking to it. FWIW.
No argument from me about that. I read some time ago that single stage reloaders drop more powder than do progressives because of five or six handle pulls vs one per shell.
 

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Was to load Fed papers with 17.8gr Red Dot, SO3's, WW209's, etc---1 1/8, 1148 NO PROBLEM
New 8# jug of ALLIANT (not IMR) Red Dot. Chart called for 17.8gr and a #30 MEC bushing
New Jug, weighed a drop on a digital scale. Didn't get quite 16 gr with a #30 bushing.
A light went off in my little pea brain--something ain't right. Verified that I had Red Dot not IMR Red Dot data.
Checked two more data sheets. Same receipe.
Weighed some more--same result. Lite...bad lite.
Went to a 31, no big deal. Have seen bushing / powder variances before. That's why we WEIGH stuff.
#31 was slightly over 16gr. Hummm?? Pea brain percolating now. Questioning everything. Doubted the digital scale. Got out the old trusty beam scale. Guess what? Same result.
Went to #32 bushing..still lite...but closer.
Went to a #33 and viola, 18.0 gr on the dot. (chart called for 17.8 but close enough for me)
All is well BUT 3 bushings off??? Never seen more than one before that I remember.
Then I started doubting the 18gr measure as could be too much. Chart said 19.0 would give 1,200 fps but now I'm gun shy. Checked even more data sheets.
Walked away for an hour or two, re-read everything, re-weighed everything and loaded a couple hundred shells.

IF I had just worked with the bushing as listed my loads would not have made it to the target!
Now I think I will ask one of my buddies to shoot the first one or two...lol
I guess this is WHY we TRUST and VERIFY
Blew heck out of about two hours but that's ok. I'm a little wiser now.
Jim
Mec has always been about two bushings light for most powders and drops when using a progressive, unless hydraulic.

Put the #30 in a Jr and you will be alot closer but probably still need to go up one.

Now it's fine to check first few for amount but if your refuelling the hopper from empty, by the time you've finished 12-15 shells on a Mec Progressive (other than hydro) you'll probably be dropping heavier. Be sure to recheck.

Also make sure your loading as normally you would when checking powder drops and not just cycling the bar with an empty turret.

BTW bushings seem to be pretty consistent with Red Dot for me through the decades.
 

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Jim, I had the exact same problem with a batch of Red Dot. I only found out about it when I chrono'd. I had to up the bushing to get the velocity back. I stopped using Red Dot after that. e3 has been my go to powder for years. Very consistent from lot to lot.
 

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Was to load Fed papers with 17.8gr Red Dot, SO3's, WW209's, etc---1 1/8, 1148 NO PROBLEM
New 8# jug of ALLIANT (not IMR) Red Dot. Chart called for 17.8gr and a #30 MEC bushing
New Jug, weighed a drop on a digital scale. Didn't get quite 16 gr with a #30 bushing.
A light went off in my little pea brain--something ain't right. Verified that I had Red Dot not IMR Red Dot data.
Checked two more data sheets. Same receipe.
Weighed some more--same result. Lite...bad lite.
Went to a 31, no big deal. Have seen bushing / powder variances before. That's why we WEIGH stuff.
#31 was slightly over 16gr. Hummm?? Pea brain percolating now. Questioning everything. Doubted the digital scale. Got out the old trusty beam scale. Guess what? Same result.
Went to #32 bushing..still lite...but closer.
Went to a #33 and viola, 18.0 gr on the dot. (chart called for 17.8 but close enough for me)
All is well BUT 3 bushings off??? Never seen more than one before that I remember.
Then I started doubting the 18gr measure as could be too much. Chart said 19.0 would give 1,200 fps but now I'm gun shy. Checked even more data sheets.
Walked away for an hour or two, re-read everything, re-weighed everything and loaded a couple hundred shells.

IF I had just worked with the bushing as listed my loads would not have made it to the target!
Now I think I will ask one of my buddies to shoot the first one or two...lol
I guess this is WHY we TRUST and VERIFY
Blew heck out of about two hours but that's ok. I'm a little wiser now.
Jim
Great Job verifying your drop weights with your scale.
I see this all of the time. Just switched to a Australian manufactured 8lb keg of Clays, after burning thru a Canadian made Keg.
Canadian Manufactured Clay required a Mec 30 bushing to throw my 17.5 gr drop weight. The New Keg of Australian Clays required me to go up to a 32 Mec bushing to get to. 17.5 gr.
Can you imagine some reloaders just putting a keg of Canadian Clays on a Mec 32 bushing? I checked it out just for grins.
20.4 gr. I now know why some say that the New Clays has more recoil!
All drop weights need to be verified with a scale.
MG
 

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So, now Red Dot is just as consistent as Promo? WTF? The very definition of "canister powder" is consistency from lot to lot. We're letting the powder companies off the hook by making "weigh the drop of each new lot" the standard. The powder companies have shifted their quality control to the customer. Why do they bother to publish bushing charts? What else is different? Burn rate?
Seriously,
I've only been loading for 45 years. Many here have been loading much longer.
I've NEVER seen a bushing chart weigh what the chart says in my life, NEVER.
As I use over 8 different powders in my target loads, I'm always changing to different recipes. As others have also verified, drop weights change with temperature and humidity, not just keg to keg. I highly recommend to everyone, to weigh your drop weights for accuracy, at the beginning of each loading session.
It takes 30 seconds, I think that you'll be stunned with what you learn.
MG
 

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I haven't reloaded a shotgun shell in over 45 years [luck of employment] but did so for about 5 years. Loaded 700X in a paper Federal case on a VersaMEC single stage and got about 3 loads out of them. Then changed to a plastic AA (readily available) case. I only knew to follow my cousin's directions on what bushing to use and never weighed a load! Still have all my fingers!

Scott Hanes
 

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Seriously,
I've only been loading for 45 years. Many here have been loading much longer.
I've NEVER seen a bushing chart weigh what the chart says in my life, NEVER.
As use over 8 different powders in my target loads, I'm always changing to different recipes. As others have also verified, drop weights change with temperature and humidity, not just keg to keg. I highly recommend to everyone, to weigh your drop weights for accuracy, at the beginning of each loading session.
It takes 30 seconds, I think that you'll be stunned with what you learn.
MG
Pretty good summary. I have a couple of fellow shooters that only go by what the bushing chart tells them, they do not weigh their powder drops. Nothing you can say to them can convince them that bushing charts are only a starting place. The actual drops seldom weigh what the chart shows. I have had to increase or decrease by as many as 4 bushing for the load to come out correct. Also, you MUST weigh your powder drop every time you open a new container of powder, I don't care who makes it, they are just not that consistent from lot to lot. It is just a good thing that the reloading books are conservative and modern guns will take a lot of abuse. I should have taken a picture of a guy I met several years ago that had a rifle bolt go through his right cheek bone, lost his right eye. He almost died but it did horrific damage to his face. They suspected an overloaded cartridge. I will never forget looking at his face, talking to him about how "lucky" he was to be alive. Regards, Bob
 

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Ok. I understand the our reloaders drop powder by the volume. So then I open a new jug of powder, and establish the proper size bushing for the desired weight.
Now, weeks later, basement humidity loading from the same powder jug causes a weight variation from the initial test. Since the same amount of powder is in the shell, shouldn’t the performance remain the same???
Asking for a friend of course.
As always thanks for the advice.
 

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Ok. I understand the our reloaders drop powder by the volume. So then I open a new jug of powder, and establish the proper size bushing for the desired weight.
Now, weeks later, basement humidity loading from the same powder jug causes a weight variation from the initial test. Since the same amount of powder is in the shell, shouldn’t the performance remain the same???
Asking for a friend of course.
As always thanks for the advice.
No,
I would choose the bushing that drops the correct weight at the time of loading.
Always drop by weight. Of course we use volume to control the weight drop,
we must always choose the correct bushing to drop the proper weight.
MG
 

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It isn't just Red Dot. I just went thru similar bushing gymnastics with Titewad. The drops were W...A...Y... lighter than chart specs. Three jumps in bushing sizes later and I was close.

When I switch powders or switch data, I mark the bushing that is coming out of the press with the weight of the whatever powder it was dropping just before I took it out. Those labels are always closer than what the chart indicates. However, I still weigh several drops when I put one of those labeled bushings back in the press.
 

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Bushing charts are lawyer friendly. Scales don't lie. The bushing chart, if you use it will just get you in the neighborhood of where you want to be.
Using a baffle will eliminate the baffling specter of compaction.
Weigh your charges before and during a loading session. I check every time I refill the powder bottle.
Unbelievably, there are still shooters at our club loading "a 32 bushing of Red Dot". I guess they just lack the initiative necessary to be a little more precise.

HM
 

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I use universal charge bars. They are a pain in the ass and it takes me many many times to get a load to synchronize with the tolerates I want, but that's another story. Maybe some others can chime in on the universal charge bars.

There's a sweet spot for each powder in each bar I have.

They have slack!!!
 
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