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Load by volume or by weight?

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/17/2013 at 03:06
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I had an interesting chat with a guru in reloading. He shoots benchrest etc and knows his stuff. During the discussion he stated that loading powder by volume is more accurate then loading by weight.
His reasoning is that due to higroscopics etc the SG mass of powder can change from one day to the next, depending on weather conditions ie raining and cold, or Arizona hot and dry.
 
Now I weigh every charge and trickle in to the correct weight. During the initial charge which I do I use a RCBS dispenser. I find every load weighs differently and requires three to ten kernels to get to correct weight on balance scale.
 
This guy reckons that is OK and I need not trickle up. Just go by volume and accuracy will be good to go.
 
I do not feel comfortable with this.
 
Anyone with real life experience on this???
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Well he would love a Dillon press then.   Blackpowder is done by volume not weight.  I measure every charge with rifle powder and use a powder thrower on the Dillon for pistols because at 25 yds two tenths of a grain has little effect but at long range I prefer it exact.  The effects of powder due to heat and cold is its own special area and while I realize there are differences I would prefer to keep loads all at the same weight and practice at different temperatures rather than try to adjust the load because good luck telling them apart its hard enough if you run more than one bullet per caliber or have more than one rifle chambered in a particular caliber and even more complex if you run a semi auto plus a bolt gun in the same caliber its all enough to make a guy want to go back to rimfire and throw the brass away. Oh thats right  - YOU CANT FIND 22 AMMO NOW so you have to reload to shoot and good luck finding components.
WhackoI better go order some arrows.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/17/2013 at 07:54
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I load alot of my stuff by volume. I have still got extremely good accuracy. The Lee reloading manuals talk alot about volume reloading as well. Anyone who uses progressive presses goes by volume

I have a friend who has a reloading business. Been doimg it for 30 years, he always tells me volume reloading is the way to go as well.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/17/2013 at 08:00
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While I agree the SG of propellants can and will change with humidity more than temp I don't entirely agree with his logic and here's why.  I store my powders and reload indoors in a controlled environment that will take most of that variance away.  I always weight my rifle rounds and trickle to within 0.5grains (which can be one or two kernels with some powders).  Pistols, throwing reloads by volume is fine as Wes stated.
 
Oh I also tend to do most of my reloading at the same time each year in the fall before hunting season too.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/18/2013 at 00:44
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My wonderful Redding trickler sees very little use as I do almost all loading by volume. When using some dowel- rod powder like 7828, then I'll likely weigh each charge, or weigh everything if I'm dancing around the hot side of the fire.
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My wonderful Redding trickler sees very little use as I do almost all loading by volume. When using some dowel- rod powder like 7828, then I'll likely weigh each charge, or weigh everything if I'm dancing around the hot side of the fire.
The correct volume is determined by weighing, of course, and is checked every few rounds.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/18/2013 at 01:46
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What bothers me is that reloading on the same moment the weight various by throw. I accept that on the 3rd of Feb the same volume of powder may weigh differently then on the 10th of July due to weather conditions effecting the SG.
 
But if I am loading 50 rounds now, all at once, 3 loads may weigh 50gr, the next one 49,9, then one will be 49,5. Then just for fun one will throw 50,2gr.
Surely that cannot make for accurate shooting???
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/18/2013 at 01:51
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I probably wouldn't hand load anything after the torrential rain/hail we received this afternoon and evening. But overall, I doubt that powder stored in a stable environment will vary much. I don't fire enough high power to worry about it so weighing doesn't bother me. Yet I don't see why volume wouldn't work just as well if done precisely. Lot variation is probably a much larger factor.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/18/2013 at 06:26
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Lot variation is why you retest your load recipe when you change lots so it shouldn't really be a factor.  I, as a habit, invert the jug of powder a few times before I load the powder hopper in my Lyman 1200 auto dispensing scale.
 
Has anybody witnessed a noticable variance in performance of loads loaded with the same lot of powder?  Let me qualify that question further by saying the lot is used up within say 2 years or less of purchase and stored in a controlled environment.  This is basically a powder aging question.  I do know powders can and do go bad but haven't had it happen to me yet.  Course about the only powder I have large quanitites of is Varget.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/18/2013 at 08:23
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If you think about all factory ammo, it is all loaded by volume. You consider how good some of the match ammo is and volume dont sound so bad. Especially after you prep the brass and customize it all for a particualr rifle.
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The argument for volume is that powder burns from the outside through to the inside. Therefore exposed surface area is the important factor, or put otherwise, the volume.
 
Me, I dunno......
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I use a Redding BR powder measure for reloading.  I always test with a scale to set the chamber and then test every tenth load to make sure its within + or - .5 gr. I never dance on the hot side, don't want to risk it or weight everythings.  Thusfar  I'm lucky i can find scary accurate mild loads in all my rifles.   The Redding measures by volume.  I have exceptional accuracy with the redding as well, same if not better than before with the lyman dispenser that weighted every round.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/18/2013 at 13:05
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With my Hornady Progressive which is volume I have made ammo for both my .223 and .308 that will shoot .5 moa out to 600 yards.  Good enough for the girls I date.  And I have done the same with weighed charges. 

I now load everything I own on the progressive by volume, unless I am working up a load or just loading a few rounds then I still use the single stage.  I can load my ammo in a tenth of the time and it still shoots fantastic.  I just can't see the point in wasting all that time. 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/19/2013 at 23:45
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Originally posted by budperm budperm wrote:

Lot variation is why you retest your load recipe when you change lots so it shouldn't really be a factor.  I, as a habit, invert the jug of powder a few times before I load the powder hopper in my Lyman 1200 auto dispensing scale.
 
Has anybody witnessed a noticable variance in performance of loads loaded with the same lot of powder?  Let me qualify that question further by saying the lot is used up within say 2 years or less of purchase and stored in a controlled environment.  This is basically a powder aging question.  I do know powders can and do go bad but haven't had it happen to me yet.  Course about the only powder I have large quanitites of is Varget.
Bud, I;ve never had a problem with powder only 2 years old and same lot, but the only powder I've noticed with lot- to- lot variation big enough to change my load was Varget. I know that's not exactly what you were asking...
Several years ago, I found a box containing a few pounds of IMR powders which I'd misplaced many years before. Those powders were known to be over 30 years old and had been sitting hidden in a hot/cold Oklahoma garage for most of that time. That powder still looked ok and had some of the nitro- cellulose smell, but shot funky with way too much pressure and a closer examination showed that an orange dust was evident throughout the cans. It was definitely bad and the orange powder meant it was getting unstable. Turned those cans of powder into fertilizer before they turned me into fertilizer.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/20/2013 at 10:00
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I remeber that thread Alan just not who posted it or the details.  30 yrs old.  Orange dust telltail.
 
 
Oh and thanks for your observation about Varget.  I'm about to start a new 8lb keg...
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8 lbs. Varget = 1244 rounds (@ 45 gr. per)...I don't worry about lot variation. With that volume, it's a long time between load tests.
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I have worked up loads for all my guns in Varget.  .223, .270. .300WM, .308, 8mm.  8lb doesn't last as long as you'd think.  Even at 26.5gr per .223 Cool
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I buy 3 or 4 eight lb jugs of Varget Big Grinat a time and mix them all together.  
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/20/2013 at 11:05
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not recently you don't... Smile
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/20/2013 at 11:16
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Originally posted by budperm budperm wrote:

not recently you don't... Smile
No kidding.
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Very true, very true
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/18/2013 at 12:42
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let me begin by saying I am not a bench rest shooter and I reload mainly for economy with acceptable hunting accuracy. I have been reloading for over 40 years and have tried a lot of different approaches. I pretty much throw all of my charges these days using a simple set of Lee scoops. Only when I am loading to near max loading then I will scoop into a scale and trickle, but that is becoming less common in many of my rifles as I haven't found much difference in a 30-06 or 308 launching a 150 gr bullet at 2700 fps and one going 3000fps for the hunting I normally do.
I found that you can get very good accuracy using volume measuring in most of the medium and larger cases (22 hornet no). As an example I recently trade for a nice older 30-06 savage 110. I looked at my stash of components and found a can of AA4350 and a bunch of 150gr Remington pcl bullets. A quick look at my scoop chart and I found a load I thought would work. Got to the range rough zeroed the scope with some pulled bullets to get it on paper and settled down to work. The load averaged 2670fps with a high of 2711 and a low of 2638 for 10 shots . Of the 3 3shot groups I fired they averaged 1 1/8 inches. Load development ceased there and the scope was tweaked to shoot 1.5 inches high at 100 yds so now all I need is a deer to shoot at. That seems to be the norm for me using the scoops. I find it easy to match or beat factory loads and that is fine with me. it seems I can always get a silver dollar sized and usually less sized group just scooping the charge and given I don't shoot as much as I use to , my 58 year old eyesight and my jumpy nerves 1 " is about as good as I do with sporter weight rifle and a 4 x scope .
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/18/2013 at 13:07
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looks like this topic is making the rounds again. mostly you should do what ever makes you comfortable. If you don't think your Dillon can throw consistent charges, weigh them, but don't let those little things like checking your balance against a weight standard, or air currents change your mind. Or if you are one of those reloader/shooters who thinks they have control over every event in the process from loading until the bullet strikes the target continue on thinking weighing is more "accurate". Accurate here means what happens on the target, not, the statistical data obtained from comparing apples and oranges. (actually they are very close, both fruits contain almost the same amount and kind of sugars, and fiber, in type and weight). It's called random error. This is introduced into events regardless of steps taken to avoid it. With shooting the event of reloading, the event of conditions that day, the event of your blood sugar being low introduces random error exponentially. Thus a slightly overcharge may be offset  be slightly tighter brass neck on one case, or the round actually shoots to the left, but your low blood sugar pulled it right for a bullseye.  A low SD at the chrono doesn't guarantee good groups, while there is a degree of correlation so does adjusting the scope properly. Do you eat doughnuts while you shoot.. ??? Better check there sugar weight before shooting.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/23/2013 at 05:21
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Hi Dale,
Long time no hear (or should I say no post!!) Like always great pearls of wisdom...I have started eating donuts whilst shooting...works like a charm Wink
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/23/2013 at 09:40
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Its best to buy the doughnuts by the case with the same lot number so the type and weight of the sugar is uniform throughout the same batch. If one shoots a lot, then some special runs can be made by the local bakery and delivered just before shooting to prevent the hygroscopic effect of sugar pulling the water out of the air and changing the weight.
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