Quantcast
  1. Sign up now and join over 35,000 northwest gun owners. It's quick, easy, and 100% free!

How often do you check your charge?

Discussion in 'Ammunition & Reloading' started by Kimber Custom, Dec 28, 2012.

  1. Kimber Custom

    Kimber Custom Vancouver, WA Bronze Vendor Bronze Vendor

    Messages:
    1,791
    Likes Received:
    1,435
    I'm loading on a Hornady progressive press with the upgraded micrometer; how often should I check my charges to ensure consistency?

    I hate to interrupt the flow and yet I'm always worried about powder creep. I use a powder cop but must admit that my eye is not usually focused on the right spot to really count on that.
     
  2. IheartGUNS

    IheartGUNS WaCo Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    657
    Likes Received:
    260
    Whenever you want... since you have a powder cop just keep your eye on it or you could use the rcbs lock out die.
     
  3. Gwitness

    Gwitness Lake Stevens Wa New Member

    Messages:
    20
    Likes Received:
    16
    first 5, all of them..every 10th after that.
     
  4. Old506

    Old506 Northwest Member

    Messages:
    63
    Likes Received:
    5
    I too had the Hornady Powder Cop. Get rid of it and buy the RCBS lockout die. I had the same problem as you, not looking for it every time as has to happen. The RCBS Lockout die locks up the press, it will stop the press for a double charge and no charge (and something like 10% above and below case capacity). The Lockout die has saved me a couple of times.

    Another thing that I do (on my LNL) is I also visualy look inside the case to make sure there is powder there, just a habit and not needed with the lockout die but I still do it. I will load a thousand or so (at least) without checking the powder throw.
     
  5. Mark W.

    Mark W. Silverton, OR Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

    Messages:
    5,776
    Likes Received:
    4,965
    I check my powder weight every single round I load. From 9mm to 30-06 I charge the shell with powder and set the bullet in one step. in 41 years of reloading I have never had a squib nor a double charge.
     
  6. xlsbob

    xlsbob coos county Platinum Supporter Platinum Supporter

    Messages:
    465
    Likes Received:
    346
    With my 550 it's maybe every tenth one, rarely if ever is there one that's off at all.
     
  7. MarkAd

    MarkAd Port Orchard Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,422
    Likes Received:
    617
    My L-N-L powder process
    Set the charge
    Weight the first 10 in a row, Check for any variations
    Do another 5 to check for consistency
    Run my whole batch. Pick a random round every 100 or so to check.
    I have yet to change abything once I get it tweaked.

    I just need more rotors to have one for each load.
     
  8. techiej

    techiej vancouver, wa Active Member

    Messages:
    271
    Likes Received:
    80
    Have the LNL AP, use the powder cop and currently reload 9mm & 30.06.

    After the 1st 5, I do a check on approx the 10th a couple of times. Then I just do 2 checks per 100 unless I run low on powder (I try to keep the dispenser it at least 1/3 full) or I was distracted or had to leave the bench for any reason (sort of like reverifying firearm is safe when you leave it already checked but have to leave the room & return).

    I do a visual verification (powder cop) on every drop and if it varies I will check that charge...doesn't happen very often. I try to not be in a hurry so slowing it down a bit isn't a big deal.
     
  9. traderpats

    traderpats MILWAUKIE, OREGON Member

    Messages:
    75
    Likes Received:
    12
    Depends on the powder / PM and your experience with that specific combo. With a nicely metering ball powder, in a powder measure that is known to be stable (AND using a lockout die), I would maybe check a couple times in filling a 50 round tray after the initial setup.

    If it's say a stick type of powder I would check about every 10 rds or so after the press has settled down from the initial filling /refilling. I would also check more often if loading on the bleeding-edge of a max load. Those are some of the variables to consider.

    When reloading pistol ammo I like a powder that will do what I want while still having a margin for safety when loading on a progressive. For instance for .45 acp I like Silhouette. I can get 900+ fps out of it with a 230gr bullet and still not be worried about a few tenths of a grain either way....
     
  10. deadshot2

    deadshot2 NW Quadrant WA State Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,407
    Likes Received:
    537

    Pretty much THE answer for this question. I load on a Dillon XL-650 and try to keep a good rhythm going so powder settles in the measure uniformly. That said, it really only works for ball/flake type powders and only the smallest grained extruded powders. For anything like Varget, I don't even bother because measuring regularly will make you want to pull out your eyeballs with your fingernails.

    If I can't get uniform loads, defined as no more than +/- .1 gr over 10 loads, I don't even bother to load that powder on my progressive. I can either use my RCBS Uniflow on a stand/trickler combo, or my Chargemaster. I will get better accuracy in just about the same hourly rate of production as I would by checking each load on the progressive.

    When I'm loading .223 or 9mm using AA2230, CFE223, or Power Pistol, I merely check the first 10 or so and then one at random intervals. The Powder Check Station gives me a good audible warning if there is a large variation and I can see any "creep" as the plunger will slowly move to a point where the pin doesn't center in the groove, moving either higher or lower on a slow progressive basis. That hasn't happened with the powders I listed above. They're like measuring water.
     
  11. sheepdip

    sheepdip Redland Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,769
    Likes Received:
    1,064
    I dont use a progressive press so every single charge gets weighed. not very fast but makes for very consistant ammo!
     
  12. deadshot2

    deadshot2 NW Quadrant WA State Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,407
    Likes Received:
    537
    That works great until you have a couple of grandkids that want to go shooting. When they start shooting an AR-15 in "relays", a lot of ammo suddenly needs to be reloaded. I can come back from one of these days at the "pit" and have replacement ammo loaded in an afternoon. Last time we did this a whole "can" of ammo went down range. Close to 1k.

    Of course now we might have to cut down on those "outings", at least until the insanity settles down.
     
  13. BAMCIS

    BAMCIS Eugene Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,191
    Likes Received:
    981
    I'm in the very same boat but with my wife and daughter. Except in addition to the AR's they have a thing for Glocks and now 1911's. At least though they load their own mags.

    So yes, a progressive is a must.

    But I generally check the first 10 or 15 very close. By then everything is tweaked just right and then I check one here and there.
     
  14. no excuses

    no excuses Rainier OR Member

    Messages:
    58
    Likes Received:
    22
    I cycle the powder measure 20 times and just dump that powder back in the hopper when I first start. I will then cycle the p.m. 10 tiimes and weight that for a average. Then weigth the first ten rounds checking the variation. If all looks good I will check powder and OAL every time I change bullet feeder tubes (about every 60 rounds). If I had a auto bullet feeder I would check every time I change primer tubes. This is all on a hornady LNL AP.
     
  15. RVTECH

    RVTECH LaPine Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,261
    Likes Received:
    3,076
    If the powder I am using meters well through the measure I will drop several charges and weigh them for consistency before charging cases. Since I load single stage I use the 'old school' method of running a flashlight over the charged cases and visually ensuring there are no double charged or empty cases. I am trying to narrow my powder choices down to only a few that all meter smoothly and accurately through the measure. I recently tried Ramshot TAC for 30-30 reloads and this stuff meters with such consistency I do not have to weigh each charge like with 'old' IMR powders. It also burns very clean and gives me some of the best accuracy I have ever experienced with a 30-30.
     
  16. deadshot2

    deadshot2 NW Quadrant WA State Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,407
    Likes Received:
    537
    You are among a large group that use this method to find an average. Unfortunately it's fraught with error. Yes, you may get 10 charges to add up to 10 times that of the individual load but if you have a powder that's inconsistent in how do you know that the "charge variation" isn't extreme. Yes, you do go through a second process focusing on this but why not just weigh each charge, record the weight, and then do a simple Standard Deviation calculation. He're's a simple online calculator Standard Deviation Calculator

    Even without resorting to the advanced math, it's easy to see a trend with any over/under charges. When checking, it's imperative that he test be done with the same routine as when loading. To merely cycle a powder measure multiple times without all the associated pauses and machine operation vibration won't yield the same results.
     
  17. bellarum

    bellarum beaverton Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    961
    Likes Received:
    397
    I trickle every charge on a digital scale. I have had zero issues taking this extra time. I sleep well knowing that the suprise factor of a load that wasnt inpected at every stage of process has been eliminated. I would never hand someone a bullet, that I reloaded to shoot, without knowing that I inspected every stage. I reload for consistency and safety. If I was doing it to save time I would just buy factory rounds. Load how ever you feel safest. I have my way, the time, the pride, and its just that. Enjoy it! I love reloading!
     
  18. ConcernedCitizen

    ConcernedCitizen Oregon Member

    Messages:
    81
    Likes Received:
    8
    It may be a method that's "fraught with error", but it seems to work pretty well for me. I tend to take it a step further, though.

    I'll start with a single throw until it's close, and then do at least two averages of 10 charges. Once I'm happy with that, I'll weigh a few more individual charges before starting, and will then check a few random cases every 100 rounds. I also check when reloading primer tubes.

    With the powders that I use, I am very happy with the consistency I am getting with my powder measure. It is steady enough that a slight change in the micrometer setting is enough to change the average charge weight with repeatable results. If I can't get at least two good averages, I'll keep tweaking it until I do. This does mean that I sometimes spend more time adjusting the powder measure than actually loading ammunition, but that's the price I'm willing to pay for my confidence in my reloading procedures. Besides, once I get the micrometer settings down, it makes caliber changes much easier in the future.

    Even if the charge variation was extreme, what would be the chance of getting two separate averages of extreme charges that both averaged out to your desired load?
     
  19. deadshot2

    deadshot2 NW Quadrant WA State Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,407
    Likes Received:
    537
    And it's all those extra steps that are actually assuring the consistency of your loads. I've spoken with lots of handloaders over the years that merely use the "Drop 10, weigh, then divide by 10" method without any of the followup steps you listed.
     
  20. bballer182

    bballer182 Molalla Active Member

    Messages:
    392
    Likes Received:
    53
    When I loaded on a single stage I would set the charge cycle my powder drop 10 times very consistently as if I was dropping powder to cases and then measure the next 5. Then if I was satisfied I would drop powder to cases then every 10th I would check cases. On my L-N-L I set the charge same as above. And check every 10th cases for consistency. I wouldn't drop powder without it going into a case or without cases being at the other stations. That's a good way to get a false reading on the drop.