What’s your method for measuring powder?

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by engineer40, Jun 8, 2015.

  1. engineer40

    engineer40 Well-Known Member

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    What’s your method for measuring powder?



    No matter if you’re using scoops or an auto dispensing method like the RCBS Chargemaster 1500, what’s your method for accurate powder measures? And what’s your reasoning for doing it this way?

    I’m just starting with rifle reloading, but so far this seems to work for me.

    -I use a Lee Perfect Powder measurer set to 2/10’s of a grain below my desired powder weight. I dispense into the actual case I’m planning to load. (I would like to dispense directly into the tray I use on the scale but every way I tried some powder would ricochet out.)

    -I dump the powder into the tray sitting on a digital scale. Give the case a couple taps to make sure it all came out.

    -I set that case on the opposite side of my loading tray that holds up to 50 cases. And immediately put the funnel on top of that case to keep track of it.

    -I use a powder trickler for the last couple tenths of a grain into the tray on the scale. (I also use calibration weights for my digital scale).

    -This takes only about 5 extra seconds but then I will lift the tray off and put it back on the scale 3 times and make sure the readings are the same. I noticed sometimes it would change by 1/10th. That just means I needed to just trickle in a couple extra granules of powder and do my test again because it was that close.

    -Take the tray off the scale and dump it into the funnel that's sitting on the case. Then move onto the next case and start the process over.

    -I finish by shinning a flashlight into all of the cases to verify nothing goofy happened during my process.
     
  2. morcey2

    morcey2 Well-Known Member

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    I do something similar, but I actually set the case to be filled on the digital scale and zero it to the case weight. After throwing the powder into the case, I put it on the scale and trickle directly into the case to make up the difference. I then immediately seat the bullet.

    Matt
     
  3. gohring3006

    gohring3006 Well-Known Member

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    I use the Lee powder measure to get me close, then i use a RCBS beam scale to weigh the powder. I can pump out 100 rounds pretty quick, once i get going. For my AR i use Benchmark and i throws really consistent, so i measure every 15-20 rounds to check, i rarely, if ever had to adjust my measure.
     
  4. FearNoWind

    FearNoWind Well-Known Member

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    IMO you guys work too hard.
    I load the primed empty cases into a loading block and zero the scale.
    If it's a beam scale I dump in a short load, No powder splatters unless I drop it onto the pan from too much height or toss it in at an angle - I have never had that problem. Then I trickle in the rest and use the funnel to pour it into the empty primed case and move on to the next one.
    If I'm using my Chargemaster I set up the loading block, zero and set the scale for the load and proceed. Any excess (which is rare) I remove the pan and pick out granules with finger tips and adjust the load accordingly. Under weight loads get balanced using the trickle button. Funnel to pour into primed empty cases and I'm done.
    I do use the flashlight inspection procedure to make sure I didn't miss one.
    Most of my rifle loads fill or nearly fill the cases so if I made a mistake and dumped a load into a case that's already filled the excess charge would be obvious.
     
  5. pods8

    pods8 Well-Known Member

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    RCBS powder dispenser set to short throw. Throw a charge into my beam scale tray, put it on the beam scale where my trickler is positioned over it and trickle the charge in. Use a funnel to pour it into the case on the loading block. Repeat as needed.


    I grab my electronic pocket scale and use that the measure when initially dialing in the RCBS short throw (rather than the beam scale) but otherwise I stick with the beam scale for more precise measuring.
     
  6. Greyfox

    Greyfox Well-Known Member

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    I have used an RCBS Chargemaster for about a dozen years with great success. If it happens to throw high which is rare, and dependent on powder type, I just remove a few kernels to bring it to weight. Checking charges periodically with a beam scale, it has always been exactly on weight to 1/10 of a grain. I hope it goes on like this forever!!!!
     
  7. North Idaho Hunter

    North Idaho Hunter Well-Known Member

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    I have the Hornady Lock n Load dispenser. It has helped me speed up loading tremendously. however, even on "slow" speed with my trickle set at 2.0-2.6 grains it still overthrows regularly. VERY annoying.

    Its my first electronic scale so i cannot say if i dont have it set to trickle long enough, but it works out in my favor mostly.

    Sure beats a beam scale!
     
  8. 7magcreedmoor

    7magcreedmoor Well-Known Member

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    RCBS powder measure set about 3/10 grain light, RCBS balance scale and trickler to finish, immediately poured into case. When I'm in the groove, I average one charge every 30 seconds.
     
  9. MagnumManiac

    MagnumManiac Well-Known Member

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    I load by volume, just like the factories do.
    I set my powder measure, dispense into the scale pan and swirl the powder into each case if it's more than 90% load density, if it isn't, I charge each case straight from the measure.
    I have found that using a larger dispenser nozzle on my powder measures gives more accurate loads, but I do not quibble over small variations in weight.
    I load from 222 Rem all the way up to a few DG cartridges like the 416 Rigby, 458 Lott and 505 Gibbs, all are loaded by volume.
    If you actually measure how many kernels .1 or .2 of a grain is, you will see how unimportant a few less or more kernels are going to be to the overall volume of the powder charge.
    Have been shooting 1000yrd matches using this method for some years, accuracy is very very good, to say the least.
    One major factor I have discovered is 'packing scheme' of the powder, it makes a huge difference to small ES and SD.

    Just my 2 cents.

    Cheers.
    lightbulb
     
  10. Greyfox

    Greyfox Well-Known Member

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    Years ago, I read a pretty extensive US Military study on the 30-06 that claimed a .1gr variation in powder charge would result in a POI change of .1MOA. I don't know about the validity of the study, but decided to load my charges to .1gr for competition and LR shooting. This seems to amount to 3-6 kernels of stick powder depending on powder type, and the weight being trimmed in fractions less than .1gr as measured on the scale.
     
  11. FEENIX

    FEENIX Well-Known Member

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    I've seen the straw trick done on RCBS CMs with very good success and can probably work with your set-up.

    I do like what Eric Cortina (he has quite a few excellent and helpful videos) use of a spent cartridge instead of the straw. :cool:



    He has quite the set-up too! :D
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 8, 2018
  12. North Idaho Hunter

    North Idaho Hunter Well-Known Member

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    Thank you feenix i will give that a try!
     
  13. bruce_ventura

    bruce_ventura Well-Known Member

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    I use the RCBS CM for hand loading at work and home. At work we load 50 BMG frequently, and 200+ gr takes a while for the CM to dispense. To speed up the process, we throw about 3/4 of the charge into a funnel pan using a Lee manual dispenser, then place the funnel pan on the CM to top it off.

    I have a very fast process for handloading at home. I dispense the charge and seat a bullet in one continuous process. I simply fill a funnel pan using the CM, transfer the charge to a case, and put the case in the holder on my press. I then place the funnel pan back on the CM and have the CM dispense the next charge while I seat the bullet and move the loaded round to the ammo box. By the time I grab a new case the CM is done dispensing, and I repeat the process. It doesn't get much faster than that.

    When I'm done loading a lot of cases, I compare the lot count in the ammo box with the number of charges dispensed by the CM (it reports a lot count after each dispense). If the numbers don't match, the CM count is low and I know I have an empty case somewhere (rare, but it has happened). I then weigh loaded rounds in groups of four to locate the one with the missing charge.

    The CM over dispenses about 25% of the time. I just pull out a few grains with a small spatula to get back to the exact 0.1 gr value, which means my loads are accurate to +/- 0.5 gr. FYI, my RCBS CM sits on a granite surface plate on a built-in work bench, and it's leveled to +/- 0.25 degree. The CM zero doesn't seem to drift at all.

    As far as I'm concerned, the RCBS CM is the ticket to handloading speed and accuracy. To get my CM from me, you will have to pry it from cold, dead hands...
     
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2015
  14. johnnyk

    johnnyk Well-Known Member

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    My setup is similar to Eric Cortina's. I set the CM to .2gn light and use the Mettler Toledo balance to get it dead on the money. My personal tolerance is +/- .004gn.
     

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