Drop tube info requested

QuietTexan

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They come into play for long extruded powders at max case capacity, otherwise they don't do much. The longer drop somehow aligns the cylinders better and fit more kernels into a given case volume, meaning there is less compression. I haven't used a load that requires me to compress an extruded powder, so I don't have or use one.

I'm sure there is a very detailed explanation somewhere out there, but the TL;DR version is that the density of randomly packed identically shaped objects is not optimized. Spheres that are randomly packed have a density of 64%, but optimally packed spheres have a density of 74%. The 10% increase in density is entirely related to packing more efficiently.
 

Calvin45

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Thanks. I’m familiar with the purpose they serve and it’s why I’m wanting to start. The extruded type powders in my 270 and especially .300 win mag with heavy bullets protruding into the case.

wondering if there’s an especially recommended product or if a homemade device is better, anything I need to steer clear of.

that’s really interesting that even spherical shapes don’t pack optimally. Never would have thought that. Assumed ball powder couldn’t be packed any tighter.
 

LoneTraveler

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Some people make and use drop tubes to settle powder charges, So powder is not compressed, And easier exact bullet seating.
Sinclair list some custom drop tubes. MTM makes a funnel set which has changeable adapters for large and small cases. Included in the set is a drop tube that has about 4" of powder travel from the funnel to the case mouth. I use drop tube for some of my 223 Rem. loads.

If you load any WSM or Ultra Mag size case may be a problem with the MTM set up. I had to modify 1 adapter, Had to drill out the large caliber adapter to 9/16 inch for a short distance, So the case mouth would go tight against the inside of the adapter, And tape it to the drop tube. So I could load 300 WSM cases with the drop tube. I wish MTM would make an adapter for cartridges built off 404 Jeffery size brass.
 

QuietTexan

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What's your load density, how much are you needing to compress?

I use Saturn and Precision Hardcore funnels, and they don't offer a drop tube, but I've seen people use tools that vibrate (an engraver specifically, not a rotary tool) to vibrate the case instead of using a drop tube. That would work to on lightly compressed loads, but not for a heavy crunch.

RCBS makes a cheap kit if you want to try it out, I don't like plastic funnels though.
 

Savage 12BVSS

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I use an MTM unit and it works well, plastic so using a cling free sheet to wipe it down once and a while. I much prefer a vibrator to settle and pack powder over anything else. Finding a powder that works with a little less case fill is the best alternative I've found.
 

ThrdKllr

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Try a cheap electric toothbrush. I use one to get enough RL26 in my 6.5 Creedmoor cases.
 

P7M13

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I hate hearing the <crunch> when seating a bullet.
For ball powder, I use a Lyman #35 BP powder dispenser. Balls on with each drop. The drop tube on that thing is ridiculously long. I bought a K&S brass tube (<$4) and it fits into the Lyman perfectly. Works well, and while the kernels or balls fill with better efficiency than a pour, you still need to vibrate/tap/settle the powder in the case.
The Lyman 35 doesn't handle extruded very well, so I'll do a drop that's a few grains short, dump it into the auto trickler and let it finish. Much faster than using the Hornady LnL powder dispenser exclusively. For 100-110% loads, I'll fill the case and the powder may come up to the neck/shoulder junction. I'll put my finger on top and tap-tap-tap the case on the table. Powder settles nicely.
The RCBS plastic funnels are anti-static, so I never have a problem with kernels staying behind.
I also have a bunch of stainless metal funnels that I use and prefer over the RCBS. They're cake decorator nozzles - you can buy them at confectioner's baking shops, Michaels Arts & Crafts or Craft Warehouse. Useless if your hand shakes, but perfect if you have a steady pouring hand.
 

338 dude

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What's your load density, how much are you needing to compress?

I use Saturn and Precision Hardcore funnels, and they don't offer a drop tube, but I've seen people use tools that vibrate (an engraver specifically, not a rotary tool) to vibrate the case instead of using a drop tube. That would work to on lightly compressed loads, but not for a heavy crunch.

RCBS makes a cheap kit if you want to try it out, I don't like plastic funnels though.
I’ve seen the old electric toothbrush used quite a bit turn it on touch it to the side of the case and as it vibrates it settles the powder
 

J E Custom

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If I have a load that would be compressed, I like/prefer to use it instead of breaking the granules.
It also helps when certain powders that are used should not be compressed. Many of the straight wall cases can bulge if compressed very much and not chamber well.

I got in touch with Harrell's powder measures and had him cut me a piece of Polly carbonate tubing like on his measures 2' long and mounted it on a stand to be able to view the powder flow while pouring.

It also helps when a bullet infringes on the powder capacity to load non compressed charges.

A very useful tool for reloading.

J E CUSTOM
 

RT2506

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I use one for loading black powder into my 45-70 rounds. I used a 24" long piece of coper tubing that I Red Neck engineered an attachment point in the middle of it so I can clamp it on to my loading bench. I flared the top end so I can use a metal funnel. Hold the case at the bottom and trickle the powder into the funnel and it settles really well. You have to use all metal when dealing with black powder to not get sparks from static electricity from plastic and blow yourself up. It take a long tube, at lest 24", for black powder. Some use 36" but I saw no advantage longer than 24" and it also was easier to work with.
 
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