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Discussion Starter #1
Looking for some assistance folks.

I am using a (brand x, keeping the name hidden to avoid any bias) digital scale.
I have left the scale on for about 20 hours (should be nice and warmed up).
I calibrated the scale using the weights provided.
I zeroed out the scale with the pan on it.
I ensured to pull the press handle (Hornady LnL Progressive) evenly each time.
I attempted to pour the powder in the very center of the pan.
I am using Titegroup, thus it is not as course as say a Blue Dot.

I did 10 throws, using the same case, here are my results:
1. 4.1
2. 4.0
3. 4.3
4. 4.1
5. 4.0
6. 4.2
7. 4.1
8. 3.8
9. 4.1
10. 4.4

What grain was a shooting for (pun intended), looking at the results, I can't really tell. All I was looking for was some level of consistency - and this ain't it.

What are your thoughts?
 

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are you saying that this is a variation from a powder throw.. or the same charge measured multiple times and with different results.

if the latter.. the scale has an issue.. or the technique / placement is cause a problem.

if the former.. then .. well.. some powders cut when going thru a powder dropper and it's not uncommon to see a LITTLE variation. I usually don't see more than a .1 variation on a stick powder like 4064 in my rcbs thrower... i'm see ing a range of .6 on your 3.8-4.4 #'s

have you checked these on a ballance beam.. or.. is this the digital scale that came with your hornady kit :)


please clarify.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Soundguy,

these are 10 different throws measured on my Hornady digital scale. ;)

I have not yet tried a beam scale, but may soon be in the market. The .6 has me REALLY concerned.

Thank you for your input.
 

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Soundguy,

these are 10 different throws measured on my Hornady digital scale. ;)

I have not yet tried a beam scale, but may soon be in the market. The .6 has me REALLY concerned.

Thank you for your input.
Are you running a baffle? I have never ran Titegroup. Is it a flake powder, a stick powder, or a ball powder?
 

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Soundguy,

these are 10 different throws measured on my Hornady digital scale. ;)

I have not yet tried a beam scale, but may soon be in the market. The .6 has me REALLY concerned.

Thank you for your input.
So at this point, you don't know if it's the scale at all. It could very well be that your powder throw is way off for some reason. To check the scale, you really need something that's a known weight, and weigh it several different times to see if the scale gives you a consistent reading each time.

You can't troubleshoot properly if you don't eliminate variables.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Highboy,

I am not at this time.

btw, get your next vid out! My bride thinks I'll wear out the Youtube watching your most recent one.
 

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I kinda figured it was the hornady scale that came with the kit. not that that means anything.. etc.

Here's what I would do. make a throw.. measure that throw multiples times. if the scale comes back withthe same reading.. that is GOOD. retest your calibration weight and see if it comes back the same each time..e tc.

ensure no fan or vent is blowing on it. some go as far as removing flourescent lighting int he room..e tc.

the issue COULD be that your powder dropper is not throwing the same charge.

I'd remove powder and clean it.

do you have a ball powder just to check it with? make some test throws? ball powder generally throws REAL easy.. whereas stuff like large stick powder can cut/hang and not give you a smooth action on the powder drop.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Poser,

The Hornady digital comes with a 50 and 10g weight and the scale and I was able to get consistent weights using both...which means its probably operator error?

I counted out my cadence to ensure that I was "timing" things correctly.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Soundguy,

I am pretty new to loading and still trying to understand ball vs stick, etc.

I have HS-6, Blue Dot, Titegroup.
 

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I will agree with Soundguy and poser pilot. You need to narrow down the variables to determine where your problem is coming from.

It sounds to me like a variation from your powder measure, but it could be the scale too.

Start by checking just the scale.
For starters, make sure it's on a stable surface with no drafts blowing on or near it.
If you've got it calibrated with the checkweights, throw one charge (or use a bullet, empty case, whatever you have handy). Weigh that sample at least 10 times. Put it on the scale, take it off, put it on again, remove again, etc... See how consistent the reading is.
The same procedure applies to a beam scale too. Whether digital or mechanical, our scales are accurate down to 0.1gr or so and are all sensitive to bumps, breezes, unlevel surfaces, etc.

Next, move onto the powder measure...
-Hornady. Are you using the large metering chamber or small metering chamber for the measure? The large one is VERY tricky to get small pistol charges dialed in.
-Is this a brand new setup? If so, you will need to clean the measure's parts good first to remove any residual rust protectant from when it was manufactured. Also you'll need to wash the mold release agent from the plastic tube. Otherwise the powder will stick to the parts and drop at inconsistent times.
My preferred method is to wash all of the parts in HOT soapy water. Keep it hot and dry the parts on a warm surface to ensure all the moisture is gone otherwise the rust monster will pay a visit. :)
-After you know they're clean, you will need to do something about the static buildup that collects on the measure. Some guys wipe all the parts down with an anti-static dryer sheet. I don't, but I know it works.
-Next step, I like to use a bit of powdered graphite to coat the interior of the measure. You can also just load the measure up with powder and cycle a few dozen charges through it to let some of the residual graphite coat the measure. I like to speed up the process by using powdered graphite lock/zipper lubricant to speed the process along.
-After that, load the hopper at least half full of powder (and don't forget the baffle that Highboy mentioned). Set your measure to your desired charge using the scale. Then throw a couple dozen charges or so to ensure you're where you want to be and you're getting a consistent charge.

That's my typical prep steps for the measure and scale.

I do run Titegroup through my measures (a Hornady with the small chamber or an old Redding) and I do get fairly consistent results with it in both measures.
0.2gr deviation is acceptable for me using that powder.
I'm not charging with it mounted on a progressive press though, I just charge from measure into the cases in a loading block. That might cause an extra variable that I'm not familiar with.

Post back with more results and hopefully we can help ya get things squared away.
 

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i have a bottle of tightgroup on the shelf.. havn't used it yet. don't have any hs6 or blue dot.

ball vs stick referes to powder type. flake as well.

ball powders are sperical. stick are clyindrical.. etc. some stick are quite large and when run thru a powder thrower there is an uneven action as some sticks are being cut as the measure rolls around closed .. generally ball powders mweasure more uniformly and the measure movement is smoother than with stick.. etc.

if your scale is calibrating out and re checking good.. id look at the thrower and or technique next.

.1-.2 i wouldn't worry so much about.. .6? that can make a noticeable difference in a pistol load methnks.. especially a small caliber.. or a round at max.. etc...
 

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Soundguy,

I am pretty new to loading and still trying to understand ball vs stick, etc.

I have HS-6, Blue Dot, Titegroup.
Blue Dot is a flake powder.
Titegroup is a flattened spherical powder. It is almost like a flake, but the grains are a little thicker and have rounded edges. It meters fairly well for me.
HS-6...I don't know. Never used that one.

A stick powder is an extruded powder and the grains will be cylindrical in shape. Think of it like a piece of spaghetti cut into short little lengths...that's how it's made. Typically, you will see this type of powder in "rifle" powders but there are a few extruded pistol/shotgun powders too.
 

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I will agree with Soundguy and poser pilot. You need to narrow down the variables to determine where your problem is coming from.

It sounds to me like a variation from your powder measure, but it could be the scale too.

Start by checking just the scale.
For starters, make sure it's on a stable surface with no drafts blowing on or near it.
If you've got it calibrated with the checkweights, throw one charge (or use a bullet, empty case, whatever you have handy). Weigh that sample at least 10 times. Put it on the scale, take it off, put it on again, remove again, etc... See how consistent the reading is.
The same procedure applies to a beam scale too. Whether digital or mechanical, our scales are accurate down to 0.1gr or so and are all sensitive to bumps, breezes, unlevel surfaces, etc.

Next, move onto the powder measure...
-Hornady. Are you using the large metering chamber or small metering chamber for the measure? The large one is VERY tricky to get small pistol charges dialed in.
-Is this a brand new setup? If so, you will need to clean the measure's parts good first to remove any residual rust protectant from when it was manufactured. Also you'll need to wash the mold release agent from the plastic tube. Otherwise the powder will stick to the parts and drop at inconsistent times.
My preferred method is to wash all of the parts in HOT soapy water. Keep it hot and dry the parts on a warm surface to ensure all the moisture is gone otherwise the rust monster will pay a visit. :)
-After you know they're clean, you will need to do something about the static buildup that collects on the measure. Some guys wipe all the parts down with an anti-static dryer sheet. I don't, but I know it works.
-Next step, I like to use a bit of powdered graphite to coat the interior of the measure. You can also just load the measure up with powder and cycle a few dozen charges through it to let some of the residual graphite coat the measure. I like to speed up the process by using powdered graphite lock/zipper lubricant to speed the process along.
-After that, load the hopper at least half full of powder (and don't forget the baffle that Highboy mentioned). Set your measure to your desired charge using the scale. Then throw a couple dozen charges or so to ensure you're where you want to be and you're getting a consistent charge.

That's my typical prep steps for the measure and scale.

I do run Titegroup through my measures (a Hornady with the small chamber or an old Redding) and I do get fairly consistent results with it in both measures.
0.2gr deviation is acceptable for me using that powder.
I'm not charging with it mounted on a progressive press though, I just charge from measure into the cases in a loading block. That might cause an extra variable that I'm not familiar with.

Post back with more results and hopefully we can help ya get things squared away.
Darn good post, I agree. I get as much as a +/- .2g charge from both my Hornady powder measures, and my RCBS Little Dandy powder measure. Also, that +/- .o2g is with the large rotor in both Hornady powder measures. One of my Hornady powder measures has the powder baffle (the one on the progressive press) and the other does not. Even with all of that they will tend to run .2g either way.

My digital Hornady scale is the cheap-o scale, but because yours warmeed up I am going to assume yours in AC powered so it is better quality. What scale is it?
 

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Poser,

The Hornady digital comes with a 50 and 10g weight and the scale and I was able to get consistent weights using both...which means its probably operator error?

I counted out my cadence to ensure that I was "timing" things correctly.
If you're getting consistent and correct weights on the 50g and 10g weights, but inconsistent weights on the powders, then it sounds like it's your powder throws that are fluctuating, and not the scale.

Bindernut pretty much covered the troubleshooting in his post. By doing one throw and measuring that same amount of powder ten separate times, you should be able to determine if it's the scale or not. If the same powder throw measures the same weight (or very close) consistently through ten measurements, the scale is fine. If you measure the same amount of powder ten times and get wildly varied readings, your scale is being disagreeable.
 

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Titegroup is stated as a spherical powder when in fact it is more like a small flake and out of my RCBS Uni-Flow powder dispenser until I added a powder baffle in the drop tube would give me variances of .3 grains on a regular basis. Prior to the baffle I would drop the charges purposely lite and when the loading block was full I would drop each charge into the pan on my Chargemaster 750 and bring them up to weight with a powder trickler. Not putting more than an ounce or so of powder in the dispenser at a time tends to cut down on the powder wanting to stack and pack in the tube and helps as well. When using flake like 2400 I lash an engraving tool to the dispenser with rubber bands to vibrate the dickens out of it while keeping the handle at the top of its stroke to hold the powder chamber open so that it does pack the chamber for most consistant readings.

10 Spot
 

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OK Birnley, it just hit me like a ton of bricks. It may be a long shot, but lets at least discuss it.

When I use the small rotor, that is for when I am under about 5g of powder,,, give or take. So, if you have the large pistol rotor there is a chance the metering knob is close enough to the O.D. of the rotor that it is causing fluxuatiuons in the throws. In other words, if you were to screw your metering knob in, step-by-step and cycle the powder measure up and down each time you turned the knob eventually the metering knob will make contact with the rotor and begin scraping. You would feel that. It would feel as if the powder was "Extra" hard to cut when in reality the rotor and metering know are beginning to meet. I believe that is some where around 3-4 g depending on the powder you are running. So in theory, your metering knob could be coming a little too close to the rotor and what you are seeing is the deviation change in the rotor surface/ metering knob and it is showing in the inconsistent throws of the powder measure. The small rotor has a smaller metering knob end which makes it so you can sneak up on the rotor much closer getting smaller but accurate charges.

Try to run 2 to 3 g and I'll bet you your metering knob will drag on the rotor.

If I were a betting man I would bet your scale is measuring just fine. If you don't have a small rotor try measuring 10g and see if it throws consistently.

Call me tomorrow and let me know.
 

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CBirnley:

So far I think everyone has hit the nail on the head:

* Its not the scale, more than likely

* It probably needs the powder baffle installed an inch or so off the bottom of the powder reservoir (like my Dillon comes from the factory)

But getting the right technique on a progressive is not something you can do. You can be consistent but on a progressive you can not use a knocker or time the handle or all the other things recommended. When you operate the press the press determines all those things.

Variations of a couple of tenth of a grain (how in the world does 76Highboy get to 0.02 grains???) are no problem but a 0.6 grain error is a real problem. Maybe the baffle will help.

Here is an easier and faster way to test weigh charges for a progressive press. Pick an empty case (with the expired primer still in it). Knock out any loose residue inside it. Place it on the scale empty and zero it with the case rather than the powder pan (is that called TARE???). Throw your charge into the test case, put the full case on the scale, read it, and dump the case contents back into the top of the powder measure. This eliminate transferring the powder to the pan to measure it.

Finally and in general, small variation of a couple of tenths makes little difference in the accuracy of the ammo. It is a waste of time to dribble powder and get the charge to zero tolerance. That is because the things that affect the accuracy that you can not easily control create much larger effects on the accuracy. The inaccuracy of a few tenth of a grain of powder are in the noise and are difficult to even detect. So settle for powder measurement errors of no more than a couple of tenths of a grain and your accuracy will not be noticeably impacted. This is not my idea but that of experts like John Barsness, a leading gun magazine writer. He even did a video explaining it and more accuracy related issues.

LDBennett
 

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CBirnley:

So far I think everyone has hit the nail on the head:

* Its not the scale, more than likely

* It probably needs the powder baffle installed an inch or so off the bottom of the powder reservoir (like my Dillon comes from the factory)

But getting the right technique on a progressive is not something you can do. You can be consistent but on a progressive you can not use a knocker or time the handle or all the other things recommended. When you operate the press the press determines all those things.

Variations of a couple of tenth of a grain (how in the world does 76Highboy get to 0.02 grains???) are no problem but a 0.6 grain error is a real problem. Maybe the baffle will help.

Here is an easier and faster way to test weigh charges for a progressive press. Pick an empty case (with the expired primer still in it). Knock out any loose residue inside it. Place it on the scale empty and zero it with the case rather than the powder pan (is that called TARE???). Throw your charge into the test case, put the full case on the scale, read it, and dump the case contents back into the top of the powder measure. This eliminate transferring the powder to the pan to measure it.

Finally and in general, small variation of a couple of tenths makes little difference in the accuracy of the ammo. It is a waste of time to dribble powder and get the charge to zero tolerance. That is because the things that affect the accuracy that you can not easily control create much larger effects on the accuracy. The inaccuracy of a few tenth of a grain of powder are in the noise and are difficult to even detect. So settle for powder measurement errors of no more than a couple of tenths of a grain and your accuracy will not be noticeably impacted. This is not my idea but that of experts like John Barsness, a leading gun magazine writer. He even did a video explaining it and more accuracy related issues.

LDBennett
Oh WOW, that was a typo. Thanks for catching that Bennett. I meant 0.2g, not 0.02. I wish I could get 0.02g. Thay would be a dream.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Thankfully HIGHboy (must have visited CO) is not an accountant, those darn decimal points! ;). I just got the kids to bed and am going to try and sneak out to my press.

I cannot thank you all enough for your help and guidance. It is greatly appreciated!

I will keep you posted.
 

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Thankfully HIGHboy (must have visited CO) is not an accountant, those darn decimal points! ;). I just got the kids to bed and am going to try and sneak out to my press.

I cannot thank you all enough for your help and guidance. It is greatly appreciated!

I will keep you posted.
I will keep checking into this thread while I balance my check book. So far I only have .02 cents in it. How is that for accuracy?

Do you have the large rotor in, or the small?
 
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