Weighing components

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by 400bull, Mar 26, 2010.

  1. 400bull

    400bull Well-Known Member

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    I have been reloading now for a couple years but have never sorted my reloading components by weight. Up until this past week all that I used to weigh out my charges was a balance scale. It took too much time to weigh each component to make it worthwhile to me. I reload more for the cost savings then the accuracy although I do strive to get groups under 1 ½ @ 100 yards. This past week I picked up an inexpensive digital scale that seems to be Accurate to +/- .1 grains. I decide to go through and measure all my previously loaded rounds to see how consistent they are. I was very surprised to see extreme spreads of 15 grains. Meaning that when I weight the finished rounds I am +/- 7 grains from the average weight. For those of you that do sort your components by weight what kind of normal weight swings do you get? Do you thing that sorting your components by weight is worth it for hunting accuracy out to 500 yards?

    400bull
     
  2. Russ Hatch

    Russ Hatch Well-Known Member

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    You'll get different answers on this one. If your happy with 1 and 1/2 inch groups at 100 probably not. If you want all the accuracy you can get out of your rifle and want to be sure you have done everything to get it, probably yes. I weight sort my cases and weigh the individual powder charges. I sort bullets by ogive length. Does it help? I think so, at least I'm confident that my loads are the best I can make them. My last 30 three shot groups off the bench averaged 0.4 inches at 100. This from a stock Ruger 77 made in 1976 in 7 mm caliber.:D
     

  3. Boss Hoss

    Boss Hoss Well-Known Member

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    To weigh powder is a must but to weigh cases is a waste of time. Weight of the case has nothing to do with internal volume...........
     
  4. MontanaRifleman

    MontanaRifleman Well-Known Member

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    A 15 gr variance is a whole lot of variance. It's been a while since I weighed some loaded rounds, but I remember them to be well within 2 or 3 gr. Your powder should be within .1 gr and bullets within .5 gr. I used to weigh brass, but like Boss Hoss said, I don't see much point in it for the reason he said. However, when I did measure them, they were usually within 1 - 2 gr.

    I would recheck your cartridge weights on a balance beam scale. If I had rounds that were more than 3 or 4 gr off, I would be concerned.

    I do separate my bullets into two groups, the heavier ones and the lighter ones. The extreme few on either side I use for fowlers. Some guys separate by bearing surface which makes sense.

    I think the most critical measurement is the powder. I try to get it down to the kernel.

    -Mark
     
  5. 400bull

    400bull Well-Known Member

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    15 grs seemed like a lot to me also which lead me to post the question. I have debated about pulling the bullets to start all over. Having said that most of these bullets where put together during my learning stage to reloading where I used a mixed bag of brass, some are winchester others are remington, and others are extra brass that I found out the range. Not only are they a mixed bag of brass I also know that some have been trimed to length only others have been trimed to length and primer whole has been uniformed ect.... I think the extrem spread is effected more by the brass type and prep then anything else. My more recent loads that I have been assembeling where I have been paying more atention to case prep have a 3-5 grain spread.

    400bull
     
  6. Russ Hatch

    Russ Hatch Well-Known Member

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    Mixing brands of brass will cause that. I use Norma or Lapau if I can get them in the cartridge I'm loading. For my 358 Winchester only Winchester makes brass and then only once a year.
     
  7. phorwath

    phorwath Well-Known Member

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    If you're not loading them to maximum charges and you're content with mediocre accuracy, shoot them as is.

    +/_7 grains of weight is a huge difference, especially for 30-06 class or smaller cartridges. At least test some of these on a balance beam scale to confirm.

    I've weighed a lot of brass and +/-3.5 grains is usually about the extent of it. The heaviest might weigh 6-7 grains more than the lightest.

    If you've got some really old brass - well the tolerances in brass case manufacture and prodution has improved substantially over the past 30-40 years, and than could explain some of your excesses.

    I would pull them and sort out the problem. If you just want to practice shooting form, work through recoil sensitivity, condition yourself not to flinch, and hear them bang - then fire away.
     
  8. 400bull

    400bull Well-Known Member

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    I'm even more curious now then I was when I first measured them. I think that I will weigh and sort them into groups again over the weekend. Any of them that weigh more or less than 3 grains from the average I'll break down to see what's causing the issue. Should be a good learning experience.

    400bull
     
  9. phorwath

    phorwath Well-Known Member

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    Now that you've gotten us curious; You've GOT to report back. :)
     
  10. gunpower

    gunpower Well-Known Member

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    The weight of the loads should be within 1-1.5 grains of each other!
    All brass dosen't weight the same- Winchester from Reminton and any other brand all are different. This means that the wall thickness is thicker or thinner from one brand to the next, this in turns mean that you can put more or less powder into an empty cartridge case. The thinner walled case will hold more powder than a thicker walled case. The thicker walled case will hold the same amount of powder but will have less space for it , this will cause a lot higher level of pressure that is generated in the cartridge when it is fired, and less pressure in the thinner wall case. I would recomend that you read a reloading manual from the front cover to the back cover! A loaded case that weights more than 1-4 grains over the rest, can mean that you are way over the recomended pressure for that firearm!!
     
  11. 400bull

    400bull Well-Known Member

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    I may never show may face again on LHR depending on what I find, I will let you know the out come. I ordered a bullet puller from Midwayusa that should be here mid week. I'll see if I can have some results up by next weekend.

    400bull
     
  12. Boss Hoss

    Boss Hoss Well-Known Member

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    Please let me clarify as you do not understand my post. The weighing of brass is in no way, shape, form, or fashion is a legitimate way to determine the internal volume delta between any group of weighed cases. Notwithstanding the aforementioned my statement is intended to be relevant to the way I load. NEVER would I even consider mixing lots of brass within the same manufacturer much less mixing manufacturers. Sorry but I take things for granted and do not always break a process down into its most basic elements -- never Assume people posses a given level of knowledge when responding to a question.
     
  13. winmag

    winmag Well-Known Member

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    You act like your the first person to ever make a mistake. How do you think so many of us learn from eachother. Im fairly new to the ''roll yer own'' ammo, but I was lucky to have very experienced mentors, and I paid as much attention to each and every load as I could. That doesnt mean that Ive never screwed up. The only reason I caught a DOUBLE POWDER CHARGE, when loading my WSM once was because the powder didnt fit. I weigh each and every load to the nearest 2-3 sticks of powder, but I had a brain fart, and put the charged case into the wrong loading tray. (I have 2 trays when I hand load, one for empty primed brass, and one for charged brass. I do 3-5 rounds at a time then seat the bullets) So when I had the next charge weighed out, I grabbed the brass, and funnel..........ya, Everyone messes up at some point. I was fortunate. And learned a Very important lesson!
    So report back, and dont get too down on yourself.:)
     
  14. jwp475

    jwp475 Well-Known Member

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    Like BOSS HOSS I do not wiegh brass


    Here are a couple of 300 yard groups


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