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Weighing Powder - How precise is good enough?

 
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  #8  
Old 08-20-2011, 10:37 AM
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Re: Weighing Powder - How precise is good enough?

Hey Milanuk...sorry...the vast majority of the replies to this thread are contained in the 'reloading techniques' section of the forum, including the revelations regarding how to turn off the beep...my bad.
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  #9  
Old 08-20-2011, 10:54 AM
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Location: Wenatchee, WA
Posts: 804
Re: Weighing Powder - How precise is good enough?

Quote:
Originally Posted by jdbove View Post
Ya know...I DID read the manual, and the method to turn of the beep was NOT listed.
Actually... it is. Page 8, right-hand column, just about half-ways down, under the heading 'Disable/Enable Audible Tone (Beeps)'. The PDF of the manual is here, if you want to check.

Quote:
Ya know...if you READ the entire thread you will see that after I Googled the subject I found the way to do so, turned off the beep, and described in the thread how this is accomplished.
Quote:
Hey Milanuk...sorry...the vast majority of the replies to this thread are contained in the 'reloading techniques' section of the forum, including the revelations regarding how to turn off the beep...my bad.
NP... figured I must have missed something whilst skimming thru things. Wouldn't be the first time

Quote:
Ya know...this thread was ACTUALLY started to spur discussion about the necessity of hyper-precise measurement of charge weight and its resultant effect on long-range accuracy, which it did so wonderfully.
Fair enough... here's my take: in general... the smaller the cartridge, the more noticeable results you'll get from weighing charges out to the kernel - mainly due to the relative size of change you are making. For a .223 Rem where I might stuff 24.5 gn of N150 behind an 80 or 90 gn bullet, one kernel weighing ~0.025-0.03 gn (give or take a bit) probably makes more difference than one kernel of H1000 when dispensing 93 gn for a .338 LM pushing a S300MK. With the former, I can usually see tighter groups, less vertical dispersion, etc. from the uber-precision weighed charges. With the latter... not so much. Then again, a .223 Rem is a little easier to shoot, so it may not be an entirely apples-to-apples comparison.
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  #10  
Old 11-19-2011, 01:49 AM
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Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Montana Plains
Posts: 289
Re: Weighing Powder - How precise is good enough?

Plus or minus one grain of powder should be sufficient, I would think.

But, some grains of powder are bigger than others.

Then there is the "relative bigness" of cylindrical, ball and flake grains.

When the moon is overhead, the gravitational pull may cause a change in the scale reading, just as it causes a rise in the tides. Tides are for real, so moon pull compensation should get your attention as well. Is your scale moon pull compensated???

Turn off all fans when using a balance scale. Air currents even affect digital scales.

Ditto for vibrations.

And barometric pressure changes.

And scale pointer parallax error.

And earth spin centrifugal forces depending if you live on the equator or nearer the spin axis such as Anchorage, Alaska.
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  #11  
Old 11-22-2011, 10:11 AM
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Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Searcy, Arkansas
Posts: 700
Re: Weighing Powder - How precise is good enough?

I bought an expensive Sartorious scale about a year ago. It will measure to .02 grains. I dispense my charge with my chargemaster then trickle up or down as needed. More resolution would be useless since a single "granule" of powder will change the reading by .02.

Does it help? Not that I can tell. After using it for a year and comparing my average ES I see no difference. I still use it because I bought the darn thing, but I think .1 is probably good enough even for precision shooting.
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  #12  
Old 08-02-2013, 10:11 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Pilot Rock Oregon
Posts: 123
Re: Weighing Powder - How precise is good enough?

I know this is an old thread but I was loading for my rifles recently and I noticed the odd sized out of normal off color kernel of powder. (retumbo) Is this anomaly going to be an issue with charges out of a charge through ? and I always weigh my charges and trickle to the best my scale will read (5-0-5 RCBS)....
I know a lot of bench rest guys that just weigh every ten or so.....
Its a two part question ?
odd sized and shaped kernels ?
and to weigh every charge or every 5 - 10 ect...
for shooting at 1000 yards and wanting low ES
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  #13  
Old 08-02-2013, 10:28 PM
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Location: Wenatchee, WA
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Re: Weighing Powder - How precise is good enough?

The point blank BR guys I shoot with (Hunter/VFS BR @ 100/200/300) barely know where their scale is as they throw *everything* (1) and most long-range BR guys weigh *everything* to the nth degree. I've never heard/seen anyone from either group, that only checks weights 'every 5-10'. Maybe its a locale-specific thing...?

In the past I've used N150, which has several different sizes of kernels, with different weights (but often the longer ones weigh almost nothing, while the shorter ones are usually heavier!). If I'm weighing out to a point where that matters i.e. with a really good milligram scale, this becomes noticeable. For a 'normal' reloading scale... don't worry about it and rock on.

(1) While thats 99% true, there is a small group of point-blank BR guys that weigh charges - generally they either pre-load (load all their rounds at home on a proper scale) or else dispense weigh charges at home and then store them in test-tubes or similar vials to dump into the cases at the range.
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  #14  
Old 09-15-2013, 09:46 PM
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Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Montana Plains
Posts: 289
Re: Weighing Powder - How precise is good enough?

I have the new Hornady balance beam scale, and I can tell the difference when a single kernel of Varget hits the pan. I discovered that it takes about 5 or 6 kernels to equal .1 grain. I paid $65 for the scale at Midway USA. To tell me that I need to spend $700 on a scale that is accurate to .1 grain is RIDICULOUS.

Here is a little secret: tap the tabletop of a beam balance scale as it is settling down. It removes any stiction in the bearing and lets it find true equilibrium. Remove ALL air currents from the area, don't even BREATHE while doing this, and it will be VERY accurate.

You can also remove balance beam scale bearing stiction by playing music really loud and letting it vibrate the tabletop the scale is sitting on. Whatever works for you.

In the clinical lab of the hospital where I was a biomedical engineer, they had a beam balance scale that could literally weigh a fingerprint, and it sat under a glass cover in order to remove all air currents from affecting its operation.

There are plenty of beam balance scales for under $100 that can repeatably weigh to .1 grain or less.

Electronic scales are for quickly weighing brass and bullets that can vary by several tenths of a grain to several grains.

If your powder charge is accurate to plus or minus .1 grain (for a .2 grain span), which means about 10 kernels of most stick powders, you will never notice it in a field hunting situation, but you will in benchrest competition. For long range hunting applications, I would want plus or minus .05 grain, for a span of .1 grain high to low. The $25 Lee Safety Scale should be able to do that.

Last edited by FAL Shot; 09-15-2013 at 09:50 PM. Reason: correct mistake
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