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Discussion Starter #1
In browsing back into a "Hand Loader" magazine, Feb 2013, Page 34, I found an article by John Barsness entitled "The 'Exact' Amount of Powder".

The article points out the fallacy of weighing every charge for both 100 yd Target shooting and hunting out to 400 yds. In summary, he found thrown charges from common powder measures of common errors as much as + and - 0.2 grains to have little to no impact on the accuracy of most guns. He did point out that shooters that shoot at 600 yds and more may need to weigh powder charges.

This is an interesting article well worth reading and heeding. John has expressed this opinion in other places, like on his reloading video. He offers some test data to support his position on this matter.

LDBennett
 

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I agree. Once I get the charge where I want it I will check every 10th load for proper charge. I can not remember ever having to re-adjust for more than one, or two, tenths of a grain.
 

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I weigh every charge just because it's fun to load my rifle rds-handgun-I just depend on my Dillon to keep them+-.2.....If you really want to raise a stir-Read the Mike Dillon interview in SAR-he had a bench rest shooter employee load 100 rds of 5.56-4 different ways-from weighing every case,bullet,powder,etc,etc to just throwing a bunch of brass and bullets together and pumping them out-sent 25 of each to natl testing labs-BEST GROUP?????....the thrown together,who cares batch:)....
 

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I have always said that a batch of ammo, mixed with different brass manufacterers, and with powder that is +/- .02 variances and even mixed primer brands will still shoot better then I can off hand. I say just load and go!!!
 

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i'm only making up small batches of rifle ammo at a time.. so it costs me nothing to weight each charge.

on pistol ammo... I wouldn't mind throwing it.

IMHO..pistol distance will be in a low # of feet.. and not the many many many yards of a rifle.

more accuracy issues with where your hand is aiming than what the powder is doing.. IMHO..
 

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I weigh every charge just because it's fun to load my rifle rds-handgun-I just depend on my Dillon to keep them+-.2.....If you really want to raise a stir-Read the Mike Dillon interview in SAR-he had a bench rest shooter employee load 100 rds of 5.56-4 different ways-from weighing every case,bullet,powder,etc,etc to just throwing a bunch of brass and bullets together and pumping them out-sent 25 of each to natl testing labs-BEST GROUP?????....the thrown together,who cares batch:)....
Some times when I want to kill an hour, I'll head off to the reloading table. When I know I don't have the time to spend more than an hour, I don't even bother with setting up the dump, I just weight each charge.
 

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Many times I ask myself what a mentor would reply to

a given topic. My dad would have said:" Well, now,

if every other reloader jumped off a bridge..."

More germane to the issue, my powder measure doesn't

really "throw" a charge, it's more like it "barfs" one.

Until I get a better measure, I'm going to trust it as far as I

can throw my gun safe.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
There are reasons to weigh every charge: extremely low volume, no measure, bad measure. But for general reloading, wasting one's time weighing each load probably will gain you nothing in the accuracy department. That is the theory of the article.

I myself weigh each load of only one caliber: 50 DTC. 50 DTC is a 50 BMG case and bullet reshaped just enough to skirt the California ban on 50 BMG. I weigh those because I don't have a powder measure that will throw 220 grain loads of powder. The reloading equipment for 50BMG is big and very expensive and I don't reload enough of it to go for progressive or volume reloading. It is just as easy to weigh each load.

But every other cartridge (of 30+ cartridges) gets its loads thrown by either my Dillon powder measure or my Redding BR30 powder measure on my RL550B Dillon progressive press.

LDBennett
 

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I weigh the first five charges and then I will load 50-100 cases into reloading trays. When that is done I look in each case with a flashlight to check level. After that I randomly pull 5 cases and check the weights.
 

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I don't weigh each powder charge for accuracy reasons. Normally, when working up a load, I'll weigh each charge for consistency, so I can determine how the particular load works in my gun. How can I obtain reasonable results if powder charges vary .3 gr.? I'm not looking for 1 MOA from a .44 Magnum revolver or 9mm pocket gun, but consistent functioning, and "reasonable" accuracy.
 

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Reloading is fun and relaxing. like Soundguy I measure rifle and throw pistol. My pistol loads are all midrange loads for shooting paper. the rifle loads are used to ring a gong at 565 yards. Fun stuff.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
mikld:

If you read the article you will see that Barsness' premise is that all other variable of reloading swamp out powder measurement errors in the + and - 0.2 grain range. You can make the powder loads perfect and the rest of the statistical errors will swamp out the accuracy you might obtain by perfect weight loads.

But we all do what we feel is comfortable. The article is worth the read just to see Barsness' viewpoint. He's not a light weight in this arena. He is a regular staff writer for "Hand loader" magazine and has been for years.

LDBennett
 

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if i get one of those electronic scales and powder measures built in for christmas.. then I might start not had weighing charges. :)

usually when i relaod. I only am making up a handfull. that takes me too long to setup and clean my powder charger.. so that's why i typically do it by hand.. if i did bulk cartridges.. or had a LOONG time to set and do it. it might be different. but small batches are just faster for me to ballance beam them..
 

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I weigh each load, because I like the process, the assurance and the satisfaction of making exactly what I set out to load.
 

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when I started reloading years ago, I had a mentor, a very smart man tell me that those guys who weigh every time and sit and pick out flakes of powder with tweezers were wasting their time.
He said that uniform neck tension is much more important when you only have minor powder variances like some have talked about here.
 

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My Hornady powder measure has proven to be so accurate that the charge weights rarely vary more than about 0.1 grains. Once I get it set I check about 1 in 50 charges. I use to check 1 in 10, then went to 1 in 25 now it's 1 in 50.

I also keep my loads fairly light so if there is some overweight charge I'm not likely to hurt the gun or myself. I'm more concerned about squib loads than I am about over weight loads or double charges. That's why I started using the RCBS lock out die, and it works great.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I set up my Dillion measure and run for many rounds before I randomly check it again. I have never found it more than a tenth off if I use spherical powders or short cut extruded powders.

I did buy a Redding BR30 and an adapter to use it on the Dillion powder die. I have used it for one cartridge with an extruded powder. I was hoping to avoid huge errors in the powder load do to bridging that might occur with the extruded powder. I have not seen a hugh jump in accuracy though. The Redding unit is very nicely made and works well enough but the expense was probably wasted and I probably should have just moved over to a spherical powder. But hey, experimentation is fun, to a certain extent.

LDBennett
 

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I used to use a Scale to check every 10 Loads thrown by my manual RCBS,,,because thats the way I was Taught,,,It,s a good habit ,,,nowdays I have an electric RCBS and as long has I check to make sure it stays Calibrated I just load some powder and key in the Amount and trust the scale
 

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Read the article, as well as just about all of John's work for years. Doesn't deter me one bit from weighing all of my low production rifle rounds. I work mostly with medium to large bores (US) and extruded powders and I don't mind taking the time at all.

To be continued..............
 

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Read the article, as well as just about all of John's work for years. Doesn't deter me one bit from weighing all of my low production rifle rounds. I work mostly with medium to large bores (US) and extruded powders and I don't mind taking the time at all.
i agree.

while there may be no or negligible benifit. there is also no downside other than time. and for low # of loads. it may be faster to weigh 5 charges than set up a thrower etc.. etc.
 
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