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Old 04-28-2017, 11:55 PM
Qc Pistolero Qc Pistolero is offline
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Default Easy metering powder

One thing that pops often is :that powder doesn't meter easily''.I know,after using many powder measurer after all these years that sometimes,when you actuate the powder measure,it will somewhat hang up.We all(I guess)presume that the powder grain being coarse,that some of it hung up interfering with the normal path of the slide's mechanical process.
While I've searched the phenomenon by measuring the actual amount of powder while the measure would vs wouldn't hang up on a ''grain''of powder,I was wondering if my findings are based on some wrong basis since the only fact that the difference was not accuratly detectable with a balance scaled to 1/10 of a grain.

I've pushed my test further(keep in mind that we're looking at handgun handloads being shot at between 20 to 35 yards)and I haven't found any difference between(hang up loads and no hang up loads at these distances.
I'm beginning to think that ''not easy to meter powders''are as good as ''easymeetering powders''.
Anybody tried anythng similar?
Qc
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Old 04-29-2017, 12:07 AM
OKFC05 OKFC05 is offline
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The sensitivity of the tests at 35 yards and under is too little to measure the variation. In checking 115 and 124 gr bullets loaded both under and over minor power thresholds in 9mm ammunition shot in an M&P 9Pro 5", the difference is only about an inch at 50yd, using different bullets and 100 fps variation. In that sense, you can safely say that getting obsessive about minor variations in MV and bullet weight "does not matter" until you get sufficiently far along the ballistic parabola. Certainly not at usual pistol distances with a hand-held service pistol.
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Old 04-29-2017, 01:19 AM
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I use both an RCBS 1500 and Hornady manual powder measure.

My current favorite is Bullseye for 38SPL. Wow is it consistent! Next would be titegroup 9mm. Excellent powder I need more of.

PowerPistol is my go to powder for 9mm, very consistant and a cheap locally.

HP38 was pretty good, so was AA#5. Variations were slight, and since I don't generally load max loads, it's still OK.
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Old 04-29-2017, 01:41 AM
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I'm as guilty as anyone of obsessing over perfect powder weights, but I'm trying to get over it. I'm in a club with a fair number of benchrest shooters who are NOT trying to get over THEIR powder weight obsession.

But I've also seen a report of some experienced long range rifle shooters who were contracted by a military unit to work up an accurate load for 308 that was going to be used by the unit in particular rifles. IIRC the cases and bullets were specified, but they could pick the primer, powder type, powder charge and bullet seating depth that worked best. The working ammo was going to be produced on progressive presses (Dillon, IIRC) using the standard press mounted powder measures - so individually weighed charges were not allowed.

The surprising result, after much experimentation with the variable components, was that the most accurate load turned out NOT to be the one that used the most-consistent-weight powder charges, or that had the lowest standard deviation across the chronograph. The report could not explain just why this was so, but the results on the ground were unmistakable.

I try to remind myself of this when I start to get hung up on consistent powder charges in my 32 H&R Magnum and 38 Special loads. (But I still like the Accurate powders for their uniform metering qualities - which is probably why I'm still in therapy. )
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Old 04-29-2017, 07:02 AM
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I cannot disagree that many of us are probably too concerned about consistency. However the science of statistics is quite well proven and if one can observe a variation of +/- 1/10 grain statistics will show that the outliers at the very edges of the Bell Curve can be 1/2 grain or a bit more. With some powders and calibers a 1/2 grain deviation can be something to be concerned about.

It's why I've taken the time to run capability studies on the powders I load with and have noted the Standard Deviation for each powder used in my RCBS Competition powder measure. It really isn't that difficult because nearly every scientific calculator today features statistical functions, all you have to do is note the weight of each charge throw to the nearest 1/20 grain. Throw 30 to 50 charges, run them through your calculators Stat function and you can then record that SD for future reference. BTW if you want to know the extremes considered "normal" multiply the SD by 6 and you'll have the spread of that bell curve for 100 throws. In other words a deviation of +/- 3 x SD will capture 99.73 % of the total potential range of weights thrown. If you want to go a bit overboard using 4 x SD will capture 99.994 of the total potential range. what it boils down to is that out of 10,000 charges thrown you'll have 27 charges that exceed 3 x SD or 1 in 370 thrown charges will exceed 3 x SD.

So, suppose you have a powder that produces a SD of 0.17. That doesn't sound like a lot at first blush. However when you multiply that number by 3 you have 0.51 grains. This means that if you load 370 cases it is nearly certain that one of those cases will have a powder charge that is 1/2 grain light or heavy. Think about it. If you are loading 38 special with a powder charge of 2.7 grains of Titegroup what could happen with that 2.2 grain powder charge. Might be at risk for a squib.

BTW, in my powder measure both Unique and Longshot produce a Standard Deviation of 0.17. Which is why with these powders I hand check every single charge thrown. It's also why nearly every handgun powder I have in my possession features a Standard Deviation of 0.05 or less. The only reason I have Longshot is because it performs so well in the 40 S&W and allows me to produce a practice ammunition that matches the ballistics of the 165 grain Speer Gold Dot I carry. BTW a 165 grain bullet moving at 1150 fps isn't something I would call Short & Weak.
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Old 04-29-2017, 08:51 AM
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Without starting a whole hoo-hah about statistics, the statement " This means that if you load 370 cases it is nearly certain that one of those cases will have a powder charge that is 1/2 grain light or heavy" cannot be supported with such a small sample. Couple of reasons, one of which being that the outcome of a throw of powder is not a true "independent sample" but is highly correlated to samples adjacent in time, which means the charges tend to drift off calibration, not suddenly throw an isolated 6 sigma error. Automatic monitoring of high-speed loaders takes advantage of this, sounding an alarm when the drift reaches a limit and requiring operator intervention.


I ran into this same phenomenon in testing a prototype wind system in 1981. Simple statistics of independent samples predicted 10 digital samples would give a true mean, but the fact is that wind samples in time are NOT independent, being highly correlated in wave motions that can be devolved into a Fourier analysis, and interact with the resonant modes of the physical wind vane producing serious errors called data aliasing. Don't feel bad if this sounds arcane; it took me (test director) and the contractor 6 months of data collection and analysis, assisted by a PhD wind specialist on contract to the military, to identify and verify the problem. The system was scrapped, and a new integrated digital wind sensor system developed and manufactured to replace all older wind sensor systems; it is still in use at all military airfields and other locations wordwide.


Bottom line is that simple statistics are great IF AND ONLY IF the assumptions are met. For correlated samples, it gets much more complicated.
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Old 04-29-2017, 11:04 AM
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I recently encountered a incompatable combination of powder and technique. I'm using the Lee Pro Auto-disk and was trying to use Red Dot for light .32 S&W loads but the amount of powder was very inconsistent, from 0.9 to 2.1 Note that Lee mentions that Red Dot is inconsistent using smaller than the 0.40 disk and I was using 0.34 as I recall

Edit: I switched to Bullseye and had very consistent charges.
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Old 04-29-2017, 01:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wrangler5 View Post
The surprising result, after much experimentation with the variable components, was that the most accurate load turned out NOT to be the one that used the most-consistent-weight powder charges, or that had the lowest standard deviation across the chronograph. The report could not explain just why this was so, but the results on the ground were unmistakable.
This is not news to bullseye shooters. When chronographs were introduced, it was found that the most accurate 50-yard pistol loads, more often than not, didn't develop consistent velocities at all.
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Old 04-29-2017, 02:15 PM
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It depends on the powder measure but usually Ball powders (spherical powders) will meter very well.
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Old 04-29-2017, 02:16 PM
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The only powders I have trouble with in my RCBS Uniflow are the IMR "stick" powders because they feel like I'm having to "cut" some of the sticks to get the cylinder to move.

Years ago, I used the powder measure on my Lee Load All shotshell loader to dispense powder for .223 Remington. Since it was all gravity driven, it worked great until the abrasion of the sticks wore enough of the bushing away to start to interfere with the loads.
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Old 04-29-2017, 02:21 PM
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I kind of stopped worrying about this in the context of accuracy. My Dillon powder measure doesnt seem to throw Unique very consistantly. At the range those Unique .44 loads sounded like bang, pop, boom...but they all went in the same place at ten yards.

Where I do get concerned is inconsistant drops with very fast powders. The easy answer is to stay away from the top of the load range, I suppose. This is how I approach Clays, and it has been very good to me as a bullseye propellant.
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Old 04-30-2017, 09:55 AM
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I use the Harrel pistol measure. I drop into the scale pan on a electronic scale. I can't tell much in accuracy difference between my Lyman 55 and the harrel.
But I do notice both measures will drop a lite change every now and then. Don't know why but it happens. Some powders seem to be more consistent like AA 5 or Power Pistol compared to Unique.
The Harrels micro adjustment is 1 click to a 1/3 of a 10 th of a grain. This allows some really fine tuning.
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Old 04-30-2017, 07:46 PM
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For over 45 years I have used only the Lyman #55 powder measure, in fact I have two of them. The key to high consistency in the use of the #55 depends on (1) NOT using the powder knocker, and (2) having a baffle inside the powder cylinder to ensure there is a relatively constant powder column height above the measuring chamber. I always set the powder weight by throwing and weighing at least five charges, then dividing by five. For very light charges, say 3 grains or less, I often throw 10 charges in the scale pan to weigh. For long stick IMR rifle powders that tend to stick in the powder measure, I usually weigh every charge individually.
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Old 04-30-2017, 08:24 PM
Qc Pistolero Qc Pistolero is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wise_A View Post
This is not news to bullseye shooters. When chronographs were introduced, it was found that the most accurate 50-yard pistol loads, more often than not, didn't develop consistent velocities at all.
I'm a bullseye shooter and that's exactly this fact that was the main drive behing my original post.
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Old 05-01-2017, 02:58 AM
Wise_A Wise_A is offline
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There's a thread (well, a few, actually) up on the Bullseye-L forum, QC. Fortunately for us, all of the powders we'd use commonly, with the exception of perhaps Hodgdon Clays, are very fine-grained.

The other thing is how sensitive the velocity is to .1-grain variations. A powder that gains 100 fps over a 1-grain increase is more sensitive than a powder that gains 50 fps. To the extent that a 50-fps swing is even relevant to short-line or even long-line accuracy.

Personally, I'm more concerned with easy-metering powders because, statistically, it means I can get closer to the will-not-cycle point at the low end. And, of course, a powder with a lower standard deviation in charge weights is (again, statistically, anyway) less likely to produce a squib due to bridging.
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Old 05-01-2017, 09:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Qc Pistolero View Post
One thing that pops often is :that powder doesn't meter easily''.I know,after using many powder measurer after all these years that sometimes,when you actuate the powder measure,it will somewhat hang up.We all(I guess)presume that the powder grain being coarse,that some of it hung up interfering with the normal path of the slide's mechanical process.
While I've searched the phenomenon by measuring the actual amount of powder while the measure would vs wouldn't hang up on a ''grain''of powder,I was wondering if my findings are based on some wrong basis since the only fact that the difference was not accuratly detectable with a balance scaled to 1/10 of a grain.

I've pushed my test further(keep in mind that we're looking at handgun handloads being shot at between 20 to 35 yards)and I haven't found any difference between(hang up loads and no hang up loads at these distances.
I'm beginning to think that ''not easy to meter powders''are as good as ''easymeetering powders''.
Anybody tried anythng similar?
Qc
This has more to do with whether the powder measure aperture on a smaller loader is wide enough to allow the powder to flow freely. Very small loads require smaller, more free-flowing granules.
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Old 05-02-2017, 10:05 AM
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If having trouble metering powder , switch to Western Powders ie: " Accurate Arms / Ramshot " both co's owned by Western and their powders meter like water .
Metering powders has never been a problem as I use dippers for everything . I started out yrs ago with the LEE Loader kits , ( pound everything together ) and I never got away from dippers . I have over a dozen custom made dippers besides 2 lee dipper kits , the old red one and the newer yellow set . Western Powders are great , you might give them a try .
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Old 05-02-2017, 12:30 PM
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If you've tried to use 800X in a 9mm, you'll clearly see that some powders may perform great, but meter terribly and don't work well with powder measures. That powder can vary by more than +/- 1/4 grain which translates to a 1/2 grain spread. When hand trickled, it performs great with single digit extreme spreads and low single digit SD's.

Other powders such as Titegroup meter very well with metallic powder measures, but I've found that it bridges in my Mec 9000. After hand weighing a few box loads and getting great performance in skeet and trap, I loaded a few boxes with the proper charge bar bushing and wound up with alternating bloopers and near double charges. Fortunately with only 3/4 oz of lead to push, the really hot loads just felt like a 3" magnum load. I disassembled the rest of the loads and will now only use Titegroup in hand weighed shotshell loads.

I've never experienced bridging before but with a super dense powder that clumps in a long tube powder drop, now I have.
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Old 05-08-2017, 07:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OKFC05 View Post
Without starting a whole hoo-hah about statistics, the statement " This means that if you load 370 cases it is nearly certain that one of those cases will have a powder charge that is 1/2 grain light or heavy" cannot be supported with such a small sample. Couple of reasons, one of which being that the outcome of a throw of powder is not a true "independent sample" but is highly correlated to samples adjacent in time, which means the charges tend to drift off calibration, not suddenly throw an isolated 6 sigma error. Automatic monitoring of high-speed loaders takes advantage of this, sounding an alarm when the drift reaches a limit and requiring operator intervention.


I ran into this same phenomenon in testing a prototype wind system in 1981. Simple statistics of independent samples predicted 10 digital samples would give a true mean, but the fact is that wind samples in time are NOT independent, being highly correlated in wave motions that can be devolved into a Fourier analysis, and interact with the resonant modes of the physical wind vane producing serious errors called data aliasing. Don't feel bad if this sounds arcane; it took me (test director) and the contractor 6 months of data collection and analysis, assisted by a PhD wind specialist on contract to the military, to identify and verify the problem. The system was scrapped, and a new integrated digital wind sensor system developed and manufactured to replace all older wind sensor systems; it is still in use at all military airfields and other locations wordwide.


Bottom line is that simple statistics are great IF AND ONLY IF the assumptions are met. For correlated samples, it gets much more complicated.
Powder measures rely on a fixed volume metering chamber and this means that the metering chamber doesn't "drift". What causes variation in the metering from throw to throw is how the particles of powder "stacks" in the metering chamber and it is quite predictable that large particle powders can produce more variation in that "stacking" than a small particle powder. It's why Corn Flakes used to carry the notice "Contents may settle during shipping" and it's why many reloaders use arcain "double Knock" or some type of vibrator when throwing charges. Unfortunately while these measures may help it's not a certainty. It is also why I firmly believe that this is a case where Statistics does provide good guidance. Because the only factor that can cause your stated "drift" is changes in the properties of the powder itself and my experience has shown that those properties are quite stable within the same lot.

As for your example, it's apples and oranges. Airflow variances and system responses for a wind driven vain are extremely complex systems which can best be analyzed with the use of higher mathematics and super computers. In comparison measuring a powder charge thrown is so basic it can almost be classified as Arithmetic even though it is actually very basic Algebra.

BTW, I am currently attempting to convince the Company Owner and QC Manager where I work to do some capability studies of our new Swiss Machines. Every one admits that as the tool inserts wear the "offset" for the cutting tool needs to be changed. What they don't seem to grasp is that rather than use small lot sampling and manual re-programming when this "drift" is observed why not use a series of good capability studies to build a program that corrects for tool wear automatically until the torque monitoring system indicates the cutting tools have hit the replace parameters. Yeah, it is about 2 weeks of research and programming but currently every time we need to do a correction it's about 1 hour of down time while the offset correction is determined. BTW, it's a 7 year program and those hours of down time will add up. So I can really sympathize with what you went through with your wind speed measurement systems.
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