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light-switch
12-26-2011, 18:19
First time reloading... got a Lee Perfect Powder Measure and a Lee scale. I'm using Bullseye as the propellant. The manual says Alliant Bullseye's VMD is .1064cc, so I adjust the Powder Measure to drop 5.32cc to get 50 grains, and I'm expecting to measure 50 grains in the scale. But it's consistently coming up to 4.97cc! This is the first time I'm going through the Powder Measure hopper (manual says to go through a whole hopper so graphite from powder coats nylon internal parts) and I'm not done yet. Is this normal? I'm halfway the hopper now, and the readings are consistent. If I'm reading and adjusting everything right, that's a 3.29 grains off what I'm trying to hit.

Any suggestions? Anyone has the same setup, and had similar issues?
Thanks for any help.

F106 Fan
12-26-2011, 18:41
Are you sure you're supposed to drop 50 grains of Bullseye?

That seems like about 10 times too much for just about anything.

Richard

Colorado4Wheel
12-26-2011, 18:51
The manual isn't going to know exactly how dense your specific powder is. Its just a guide. What do you need 50grs of bulls eye for?

TRaGiK
12-26-2011, 19:10
The manual isn't going to know exactly how dense your specific powder is. Its just a guide. What do you need 50grs of bulls eye for?

A small bomb?

light-switch
12-26-2011, 19:18
Sorry, I'm just trying to verify the accuracy of the instruments involved, not really working a load.

Are you sure you're supposed to drop 50 grains of Bullseye?

That seems like about 10 times too much for just about anything.

Richard

light-switch
12-26-2011, 19:19
Would the density of a particular powder affect its weight?

The manual isn't going to know exactly how dense your specific powder is. Its just a guide. What do you need 50grs of bulls eye for?

Colorado4Wheel
12-26-2011, 19:28
Would the density of a particular powder affect its weight?

A great deal.

F106 Fan
12-26-2011, 19:31
Grains is a unit of weight and density is, well, a unit of density (weight/volume).

Power manufacturers create powder to get specific burn rates based on weight of charge, not density. Depending on the powder lot, there may well be differences in density but there will not be significant differences in burn rate versus weight.

Therefore, all this cc versus grain stuff is going to be a guess. What matters is the weight of the charge, not the cc's.

Most powder measures are measuring volume which gets back to the issue of density. But what really happens is we adjust the measure for every can of powder or, more likely, at the beginning of each reloading session. Some folks are more pedantic and check the charge every hundred rounds or so.

Trickle charges from a trickler are the exception where charges are weighed directly. But these tend to be used for precision rifle.

RCBS also makes check weights to test the accuracy of the scale.

Richard

light-switch
12-26-2011, 19:44
Thanks for the responses, it certainly helps.
However, I'm still confused as far as what to do exactly: without weight samples provided by the manufacturer, would I be safe to assume that the scale is accurate, and adjust the trickle charger to match the scales reading?

Grains is a unit of weight and density is, well, a unit of density (weight/volume).

Power manufacturers create powder to get specific burn rates based on weight of charge, not density. Depending on the powder lot, there may well be differences in density but there will not be significant differences in burn rate versus weight.

Therefore, all this cc versus grain stuff is going to be a guess. What matters is the weight of the charge, not the cc's.

Most powder measures are measuring volume which gets back to the issue of density. But what really happens is we adjust the measure for every can of powder or, more likely, at the beginning of each reloading session. Some folks are more pedantic and check the charge every hundred rounds or so.

Trickle charges from a trickler are the exception where charges are weighed directly. But these tend to be used for precision rifle.

RCBS also makes check weights to test the accuracy of the scale.

Richard

F106 Fan
12-26-2011, 19:53
I think most folks trust the balance beam weigh scales although few like the Lee version. As I got close to very hot loads, I might want to verify the scale with check weights. All of a sudden, 0.1 gr might start to make a differnce.

I have the RCBS balance beam scale and seldom use it. I have a Dillon digital scale that I think I should verify more often than I do.

Nevertheless, people reload for decades with nothing more than a balance beam scale.

BTW, when I mention a trickler, this is the kind of thing I was thinking about:
http://www.cabelas.com/product/Hornady-Powder-Trickler/704542.uts?Ntk=AllProducts&searchPath=%2Fcatalog%2Fsearch.cmd%3Fform_state%3DsearchForm%26N%3D0%26fsch%3Dtrue%26Ntk%3DAllProduc ts%26Ntt%3Dtrickle%26WTz_l%3DHeader%253BSearch-All%2BProducts&Ntt=trickle&WTz_l=Header%3BSearch-All+Products

You just twist the knob to drop granules onto the weighing pan.

Richard

redbrd
12-26-2011, 19:59
I use the lee precision powder measures, and they have been really consistent with No5 but I still weigh on a old school balance beam style scale about every 10 rounds or so. Piece of mind is worth the extra time.

fredj338
12-26-2011, 20:09
Would the density of a particular powder affect its weight?

This statment tells me you have NOT done enough reading on the ins & outs of reloading. Back to the books my friend. The Lee powder measures will often yield slightly smaller charge wts per vol than what is indicated in their chart. Don't trust the chart, especially w/ uberfast powders like BE. Why noobs want to start w/ the most diff powders to run escapes me. I would put it on the shelf, get a 1# jug of Unique & learn on that, JMO.
BTW, the only way to check if yor scale is accurate is to use a known check wt. That is NOT a bullet, they can vary by as much as 1gr. Another reason I do NOT like uberfast pwoders like BE, no room for even a small error in measuring.

DanaT
12-26-2011, 21:03
If you want to check the precision of your scale, you need a refernce weight set.

Here are some:

http://www.fishersci.com/ecomm/servlet/fsproductdetail?tab=Items&siteName=FisherSci&productId=681174&fromSearch=&storeId=10652&langId=-1&catlogId=-1

Note that these do not come cheap at all.

But, to answer your more basic quation, you measure powder by weight as you have been told. Ignore density. If a receipe says using a starting load of 5.1 grains, use 5.1 grains. Don't try and convert between grains and density and back. Measure weight of the powder directly.

Now, the more complicated you are trying to ask is how accurate is your scale? If you want to get into accuracy and precision, that is an an in-depth discussion that involves statistics. The simple answer, it is reasonably precise for what you need and much much less precise than a $5000 analytical balance.

-Dana

ColoCG
12-26-2011, 21:35
Here is a relatively inexpensive and good quality set of check weights: http://www.midwayusa.com/product/212586/lyman-shooters-weight-check-set
They appear to be back ordered now but you can check other places, Grafs, Midsouth, or Natchez. They should have them also.

I also agree with Fred , you need to understand that loading manuals list their charges by weight in grains. The Lee powder disks measure in volume in cc's.
You need to find a volume measurement to equal the weight of powder you want. That is where your powder scale comes in.
Lee's measures usually throw light charges. So you have to weigh your throws to find the exactweight.
All powders have a different density for their volume. Lee's chart should explain this.

AZson
12-26-2011, 21:39
I bought the micro bar for my Lee powder dumper then I bought their Lee Shooter software that tells me approximately where to set it for what powder.
I still check it with my scale.

light-switch
12-26-2011, 22:19
Here is a relatively inexpensive and good quality set of check weights: http://www.midwayusa.com/product/212586/lyman-shooters-weight-check-set
They appear to be back ordered now but you can check other places, Grafs, Midsouth, or Natchez. They should have them also.

I also agree with Fred , you need to understand that loading manuals list their charges by weight in grains. The Lee powder disks measure in volume in cc's.
You need to find a volume measurement to equal the weight of powder you want. That is where your powder scale comes in.
Lee's measures usually throw light charges. So you have to weigh your throws to find the exactweight.
All powders have a different density for their volume. Lee's chart should explain this.

If Lee's Perfect Powder Measure knob-thingy measured by weight, it would've been a straight forward deal. I just got caught up in relying on the dispenser's micrometer too much, and when that didn't match my readings on the scale, I got confused. :dunno:

light-switch
12-26-2011, 22:20
But, to answer your more basic quation, you measure powder by weight as you have been told. Ignore density. If a receipe says using a starting load of 5.1 grains, use 5.1 grains. Don't try and convert between grains and density and back. Measure weight of the powder directly.

-Dana

Thanks, that's what I'm going for now!

light-switch
12-26-2011, 22:27
This statment tells me you have NOT done enough reading on the ins & outs of reloading. Back to the books my friend. The Lee powder measures will often yield slightly smaller charge wts per vol than what is indicated in their chart. Don't trust the chart, especially w/ uberfast powders like BE. Why noobs want to start w/ the most diff powders to run escapes me. I would put it on the shelf, get a 1# jug of Unique & learn on that, JMO.
BTW, the only way to check if yor scale is accurate is to use a known check wt. That is NOT a bullet, they can vary by as much as 1gr. Another reason I do NOT like uberfast pwoders like BE, no room for even a small error in measuring.

Alliant suggests a recipe of 4.4 grains in the combination 124 gr Speer GDHP + Bullseye + CCI 500, yielding a velocity of 1,059fps. Does this type of load/speed classify the powder as "uberfast"? I looked up Titegroup's numbers, and it seems to me that would classify as a fast powder... ? Correct me if I'm wrong! :dunno:

BTW, thanks for all the replies, everyone!

gforester
12-26-2011, 22:46
Alliant suggests a recipe of 4.4 grains in the combination 124 gr Speer GDHP + Bullseye + CCI 500, yielding a velocity of 1,059fps. Does this type of load/speed classify the powder as "uberfast"? I looked up Titegroup's numbers, and it seems to me that would classify as a fast powder... ? Correct me if I'm wrong! :dunno:

BTW, thanks for all the replies, everyone!

Here is a comparison chart.

http://www.hodgdon.com/burn-rate.html

Titegroup is a fast powder, Bulls Eye is even faster. I would also suggest a powder that is less volatile for starting out. Unique is very forgiving and if you want something just a bit easier metering you might try HP38.

Billua
12-26-2011, 22:52
Subscribing as a new reloader myself.

F106 Fan
12-26-2011, 23:07
Alliant suggests a recipe of 4.4 grains in the combination 124 gr Speer GDHP + Bullseye + CCI 500, yielding a velocity of 1,059fps. Does this type of load/speed classify the powder as "uberfast"? I looked up Titegroup's numbers, and it seems to me that would classify as a fast powder... ? Correct me if I'm wrong! :dunno:

BTW, thanks for all the replies, everyone!

I assume you are starting out with 9mm so Fred's suggestion to use Unique is excellent advice. The problem with Unique is that it doesn't meter very well - the flakes are just too big. I haven't used HP38 but it might be a decent choice. Still pretty fast.

Another good choice for the 124 gr bullet is WSF. It's the slowest of the bunch! FWIW, I have some WSF but I haven't used it yet.

Play with the Hodgdon reloading data center here:
http://data.hodgdon.com/cartridge_load.asp

Richard

Skytow
12-27-2011, 07:17
If you want a set of inexpensive check weights and have access to a KNOWN scale (or balance) you can easily make your own. I worked in labs for years and would use an analytical balance to weigh some known objects but you can use a friend's known accurate scale as well.

I would often use a penny, a dime and a nickel. Then for a light weight in the range of 5 grains or so I'd use a paper clip trimmed to what ever size I needed. You must use those weights in the future (not any penny, nickel etc)

Simply record the weights of each item and keep the data with your "set".

The only caution is they must not be allowed to corrode as the weight will change.

With a set made as I describe you can check accuracy, precision, and linearity.

Hope this helps,

JD

oneofthose
12-27-2011, 08:07
manual says to go through a whole hopper so graphite from powder coats nylon internal parts

If you clean it with Hornady one shot gun cleaner and dry lube it will remove oils from manufacturing and prevent powder from sticking to the inside walls of the hopper. Use it to clean your new dies before first use also.

http://www.cabelas.com/solvents-lubes-bluing-hornady-shot-8482-gun-cleaner-dry-lube.shtml

Also, I'd suggest getting one of these for your powder measure if it doesn't already have one. Once you get your weight/volume thing figured out, this will help you drop consistent charges wether the hopper is full or near empty. If you have a Lee, maybe it came with one. Clean it with the above mentioned product too.

http://www.midwayusa.com/product/493217/rcbs-uniflow-powder-measure-powder-baffle

TX expat
12-27-2011, 08:20
If you want to check the precision of your scale, you need a refernce weight set.

Here are some:

http://www.fishersci.com/ecomm/servlet/fsproductdetail?tab=Items&siteName=FisherSci&productId=681174&fromSearch=&storeId=10652&langId=-1&catlogId=-1

Note that these do not come cheap at all.

But, to answer your more basic quation, you measure powder by weight as you have been told. Ignore density. If a receipe says using a starting load of 5.1 grains, use 5.1 grains. Don't try and convert between grains and density and back. Measure weight of the powder directly.

Now, the more complicated you are trying to ask is how accurate is your scale? If you want to get into accuracy and precision, that is an an in-depth discussion that involves statistics. The simple answer, it is reasonably precise for what you need and much much less precise than a $5000 analytical balance.

-Dana

This is your answer. As you gain experience, you'll find that the different grain types (spherical, extruded or flake) will all throw different amounts when set on the same setting. Rely on your scale for grain measurement and double check it frequently when you are loading.

One other thing that you can do that will help some powders throw more evenly is to add a weight to the top of your hopper. I'm sure every brand makes one for their equipment. This helps keep a constant pressure on the powder while it's being dispensed. It's not a necessity, but it can help with some powders that don't 'pack' in as much when the level starts to get a little low.

fredj338
12-27-2011, 09:41
Alliant suggests a recipe of 4.4 grains in the combination 124 gr Speer GDHP + Bullseye + CCI 500, yielding a velocity of 1,059fps. Does this type of load/speed classify the powder as "uberfast"? I looked up Titegroup's numbers, and it seems to me that would classify as a fast powder... ? Correct me if I'm wrong! :dunno:

BTW, thanks for all the replies, everyone!
Sure does. I break powders down by handgun & rifle, then their burn rate as seen in a burn rate chart Uberfast, fast, medium slow & slow. The faster the powder, the more energy that is released over a shorter period of time. The more energy the higher the pressures. So 4.4gr of BE has more energy than 4.4gr of TG more than 4.4gr of Unqiue, etc. Volumn has nothing to do with it. Even though we measure powder in a volumetric way, the measure is set by weight, ALWAYS. You'll note in the back of your Lee manual the volumetric diff between all the powders. I like powders that give a high volume per weight. Less chance of getting a double charge & easier to spot a squib or non charge. One reason I really hate TG.
You can stuff any powder into a case & make it go bang & even make it go bang safely, but choosing the correct powder for the task is the key. You do NOT want to be trying to make factory equiv loads for the 9mm using powders faster than W231 IMO. That is only putting you in danger by pushing the pressure limits for that powder. On the other end, you do NOT want to be using a really slow powder to make really low vel loads as the powder will not burn completely below a ceratin pressure level. And you though all you had to do was get a reloading kit & pick a powder & go. Nope, it's a bit more complicated than that, or at least should be approached that way. Back to the books!:wavey:

light-switch
12-27-2011, 10:24
Sure does. I break powders down by handgun & rifle, then their burn rate as seen in a burn rate chart Uberfast, fast, medium slow & slow. The faster the powder, the more energy that is released over a shorter period of time. The more energy the higher the pressures. So 4.4gr of BE has more energy than 4.4gr of TG more than 4.4gr of Unqiue, etc. Volumn has nothing to do with it. Even though we measure powder in a volumetric way, the measure is set by weight, ALWAYS. You'll note in the back of your Lee manual the volumetric diff between all the powders. I like powders that give a high volume per weight. Less chance of getting a double charge & easier to spot a squib or non charge. One reason I really hate TG.
You can stuff any powder into a case & make it go bang & even make it go bang safely, but choosing the correct powder for the task is the key. You do NOT want to be trying to make factory equiv loads for the 9mm using powders faster than W231 IMO. That is only putting you in danger by pushing the pressure limits for that powder. On the other end, you do NOT want to be using a really slow powder to make really low vel loads as the powder will not burn completely below a ceratin pressure level. And you though all you had to do was get a reloading kit & pick a powder & go. Nope, it's a bit more complicated than that, or at least should be approached that way. Back to the books!:wavey:

Crap. Anyone has a suggestion for a cheap and good bullet puller? I have 80 rounds made, and now I'm afraid to shoot them... :wow:

WiskyT
12-27-2011, 10:44
Crap. Anyone has a suggestion for a cheap and good bullet puller? I have 80 rounds made, and now I'm afraid to shoot them... :wow:

As long as the ammo you loaded is at the starting level listed in a published manual, they are fine.

F106 Fan
12-27-2011, 15:19
Assuming the powder charge is rational, shoot just one. How does it feel? Is the bang a lot more than a factory equivalent? That might be bad.

Read in your reloading manual on how to detect overpressure. Basically, if the primer is flattened and the radius is gone from the perimeter of the primer, you have too much pressure.

Did the round extract normally? Is the case all scraped up? That too might be a sight of overpressure.

If everything seems ok and there are no obvious signs of overpressure (mag blown out of the gun, barrel split, slide fractured, you might be good to go.

In the end, you are the only one that knows how much powder you put in the case and how deep you set the bullet. If those items are in spec, you shouldn't have a problem.

Personally, I load pistol to reach a certain power factor (bullet weight in grains time velocity in feet per second). I DO NOT try to get to the absolute limit. More often my rounds are mid-range. I don't like shooting really hot rounds so I never try to reload to that level. Besides, I don't mind having a little slack on the high side just in case my powder measure throws a little high.

A ballistic hammer is a very slow way to disassemble rounds but the parts will be reusable (except the powder, I toss that). RCBS makes one and so does just about everyone else. There are some collet type bullet pullers but they seem more useful for rifle than pistol.

http://www.midwayusa.com/product/630146/rcbs-powr-pull-impact-bullet-puller

Richard

Colorado4Wheel
12-27-2011, 15:21
Crap. Anyone has a suggestion for a cheap and good bullet puller? I have 80 rounds made, and now I'm afraid to shoot them... :wow:

Are they right are are they not right? The problem with making 80 is that you might find out really fast that they are either not that great, too hot, or some other issue. Now you have 80 of them to deal with. But if they are safe then you can always use them for close in work no mater how bad they shoot.

F106 Fan
12-27-2011, 15:27
It's not unusual to load 10 rounds at the starting charge and then 10 more at each of several 0.1 gr increments. As I said before, I stay away from the upper end and, in some cases, that's only 0.5 gr away from the starting load so I might only make 3 or 4 increments.

Then I go shoot to see if they are safe. If I like them then I'll make up to 50 of a kind. If I really like them, I'll just load them forever and ever. I don't go chasing the holy grail of a particular caliber. Any pistol load I come up with will shoot far better than I do.

Richard

PsychoKnight
12-29-2011, 13:46
Light-switch; please don't shoot your loads, yet. You are wise to be fearful of them. Get a set of checkweights to be sure that you are using the scale correctly and you have confidence in its readings.

There are a number of instructional DVDs for rent and purchase over the internet to learn how to load ammo. Reloading DVDs will be a good compliment to a personal library of 3 reloading manuals. Reloading isn't like a young person's science kit whereby you just follow the included instructions.

Use a 5.0gr checkweight to adust the scale's accuracy at your charge range. Remove checkweight. Pull apart 9 rounds (square rt of your lot of 80) and weigh each charge separately. If they are all within .1gr of your intended charge, you can have confidence the batch you made is charged to your chosen load combination. That doesn't mean its safe; there are other factors such as bullet seating depth and o.a.l. based on bullet shape and material, magnum vs standard primers, etc.

Find an experienced reloader in your area. Due to the potential for serious injury and damage, most are very willing to help beginners. It would be ideal if someone could come over to monitor and guide you as you assemble your first few batches - especially if you are dead-set on using Bullseye (useful and popular, but unforgiving of errors).
Good luck and welcome to reloading - its rewarding, if you are cautious and follow all the safety considerations.

PS - general advice; it's important to distinguish between Jack's rants, irreverant jokes, and his geniune advice.

GioaJack
12-29-2011, 14:02
How did I get involved here, I hadn't even read the thread?

Although now that I have I'd really like to see a video shooting the 50 grain Bullseye load.


Jack

thorn137
12-29-2011, 19:28
As mentioned multiple times: You do not ever calibrate anything for VOLUME of powder. Only weight.

But to add another tip: you definitely need check weights. Good ones are $25, and I use them every time I start a new session. Once you acquire some, calibrate your Zero using a weight close to the charge you'll be using. For example, if I'm using 5.5 grains of WTF, I'll use a 5gr weight on the scale to set zero. In my experience, beam scales are very accurate, but have better relative accuracy... i wouldn't Zero with a 100gr weight (for example), and then expect a perfect exact Zero at 3gr.

And - yeah, don't ever make 80 of anything when you're developing a new load. I usually make 5, and never more than 10.

thorn

BLK RIFLE
12-30-2011, 20:10
I use the Lee measure and scale and have had no problems at all. You will find in your reloading manual all you need to know under the particular cartridge you are reloading. The the bullet weight is in grains, the powder charge is listed in grains and your scale is measured in grains. Don't worry about cc. In the Hornady manual for a Hornady 115 gr HP-XTP and Bullseye powder. The minimum is 2.3 gr and the max is 4.6. You can load this particular bullet anywhere in between the two.