The Firearms Forum banner
1 - 8 of 8 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have been doing some research on reloading brass. I have been leaning towards a dillon 650 press. I have been reloading shotgun shells for five years on a mec 9000g with automate. I load around 15K shells per year so I am quite familiar with the process. The pressures are quite a bit higher on the brass and I am wondering how accurate the powder drops have to be and if the dillon powder dispensers are that accurate. I know from loading with the mec that different powders drop differently and none of them will drop the exact amount every time. In my shotgun shells the powder drop will vary +/- .3 of a grain one way or the other on an average. Do the powder drops vary when loading brass? If so, how much of a variance is allowed or considered safe when loading brass?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
502 Posts
I've been using a 650 with Dillon powder measures for 17 - 18 years now.

The accuracy of the measure depends on what powder one uses. With ball or spherical powders like WW231, 2400 and such, I get a variance of =/- .10 grains during the initial set up and shake down, then it usually drops to less during production.

For rifles, I use IMR 4895 a bit in several cartridges. In .308 Winchester loads, I will get repeatable throws of .5 grains variance or less. In a 40 grain charge, that's just over 1% variation and it doesn't seem to give me any problems. With ball powders, the variation is negligible.

Unique is one of the harder powders to meter, as it is flake shaped and does not 'flow' like smaller ball type pieces 'flow'. Still, I find good repeated charges, usually less than .2 grains. Since I seldom run 'maximum' loads with Unique, the accuracy is consistent and I don't have any problems with overcharge loads. That is in the 3% range and seems to be tolerable.

It's sort of like loading for shotgun, a bit of variance is allowed. I'm not sure if there is a set rule. It also depends on how close one loads to an overload condition.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,284 Posts
I have been doing some research on reloading brass. I have been leaning towards a dillon 650 press. I have been reloading shotgun shells for five years on a mec 9000g with automate. I load around 15K shells per year so I am quite familiar with the process. The pressures are quite a bit higher on the brass and I am wondering how accurate the powder drops have to be and if the dillon powder dispensers are that accurate. I know from loading with the mec that different powders drop differently and none of them will drop the exact amount every time. In my shotgun shells the powder drop will vary +/- .3 of a grain one way or the other on an average. Do the powder drops vary when loading brass? If so, how much of a variance is allowed or considered safe when loading brass?
I use an RCBS Uniflow and the Dillon measures and with pistol brass usually drop charges below 5gns. There is only a +/- of .1 gn and that is my max allowed tolerance. Tolerance all depends upon charge weight; if I'm loading rifle charges, then .2 isnt going to worry me. As Archie stated, the type of powder makes a big difference, so weigh often as you're starting new loads with new powders. Then you will feel confident in the measure you're using, that's the key. You will most likely find loads that work for you within the mid range, so if you do happen to load a few at .1 or .2 gn+, you will still be below max.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
70 Posts
The Dillon is a Excellent Drop but so are many others Lee.RCBS an Etc
As previously stated, The Powder is usually the culprit with the variances .
With the right Powders you get good results with ery low variences
I load Smokeless and a Black Substitute in my Dillons and Mecs on a regular basis
with no issues.
Old 2 Cents
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
122 Posts
This is a cut and paste (with the author, Rocky Raab's permission) about powder measures.

"There are several facts and truths about this issue - some of which nobody believes.

One: Most measures are better with one type of powder than another. Be it flake, extruded or spherical, some measure are liable to choke on at least one. It's just the way it is.

Two: Operator technique is at least as important as mechanical factors when it comes to dispensing consistent charge weights.

Three: The water content of the powder changes, and that affects the WEIGHT of a given charge, but not the actual amount of powder IN that charge. So a measure that's set to dispense 50 grains of powder one day may dispense 49 or 51 grains on another day. BUT IT IS STILL DELIVERING THE SAME AMOUNT OF POWDER! If you change the setting to get the "right" weight, you are actually changing the charge.

Four: It is NOT always that vital to get a charge weight down to the exact tenth of a grain. It can be important in very small charges for very small cartridges, but not in most rifle rounds. Instead, what you want to achieve is ±1% of the desired charge weight or less. For a 50-grain charge, that means anything less than a half-grain either side is not only acceptable, but you probably cannot tell the difference on target. (And that's one that hardly anybody believes, but it is true.)

Five: The only way to get exact weights is to - weigh. That means weigh every charge. You can use a trickler, a spoon or even tweezers, but if you insist on getting right to dead-nuts on, that's the only, uh...way. Or get a digital dispenser which does the weighing for you. (But read #4 again. Really.")Rocky Raab
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for the replies.

I understand different powders will drop differently. I also understand there are other factors that determine drop accuracy such as technique and moisture content. My main question is how much variance is allowed in loading brass. For instance, in one of my shotgun loads I load 17.5 grains with a pressure of 9200 psi. The max pressure on a 12 ga is 11500psi so I am well below the pressure range and if I drop a little heavy it won't have any damaging effects. Now some of the pistol loads I have been looking at only use 5 or 6 grains of powder and I am wondering how accurate I will have to be to maintain a safe effective load. I am really not interested in weighing each load for accuracy. I would like to spend more time shooting than reloading if you know what I mean.LOL
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,284 Posts
As far as technique goes, I try to maintain consistency in my stroke. If I'm using the Uniflow, I make sure I am full up and down against the stops.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
158 Posts
I started my reloading journey with a Mec 600jr in 12ga. I never ever weighed a charge for them, just looked up the powder and the charge, then put the bushing in it called for. Now that I have been loading rifle for a while, and pistol for a few years, I only weigh when setting my measure up, and then every 5th or so charge after that. As others have said, the type of powder has an effect, ball powder is really easy to throw consistent charges. Extruded powder is doable, but not as consistent. I throw light charges when using extruded powder, and trickle the rest to get my target weight. I know it is a bit moe time doing so, but I load my rifle cases in batches of 20. I also stay in the mid range too. Also a baffle in the measure helps greatly. I do know that how I work the handle on my measure has an effect on consistency. If I work it a little harder, it throws a bit heavier charge. I try to work the measure the same each and every time. I like to see the charge weights vary less than .2 grains.
 
1 - 8 of 8 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top