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 Post subject: Powder drops varying
PostPosted: Tue Sep 15, 2020 7:52 pm 
Utility Grade

Joined: Mon Sep 14, 2020 8:19 pm
Posts: 10
I'm totally new to reloading. I have a new Mec 9000. I'm using green dot and the #33 Powder bushing. The drops are 18.8 to 19.2gn on average and once in a while it drops 20gn. Am I doing something wrong?

Remaining recipe, 1oz shot, Remington GC, cheddite primers and cb4100-12 wad.

Thoughts?




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 Post subject: Re: Powder drops varying
PostPosted: Tue Sep 15, 2020 9:18 pm 
*Proud to be a*
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Joined: Sun Dec 19, 2010 1:27 am
Posts: 8147
Location: Silicon Valley
GET A POWDER BAFFLE.

Most larger "flake" powders will "clump" and RedDot is no exception. A powder baffle helps a lot. You can make your own if you cannot find one by funneling one powder bottle into another. (Seriously, I think just having the longer throat adds enough extra "wiggle" at the powder bottle on the strokes to settle the charge better.

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 Post subject: Re: Powder drops varying
PostPosted: Tue Sep 15, 2020 9:36 pm 
Tournament Grade

Joined: Fri Dec 27, 2019 7:22 pm
Posts: 189
Location: NE South Dakota
Make sure you are operating it exactly the same each time. Wipe down for static. Baffles can help. Keep the bottle over half full.


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 Post subject: Re: Powder drops varying
PostPosted: Tue Sep 15, 2020 9:39 pm 
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Posts: 7443
Location: Central ND
682Shooter,

Honestly, you are chasing ghosts. 18.8 grains to 19.2 grains powder variation is just fine. You won't hurt anything by getting less variation, but you aren't going to solve anything either.

There are just too many other variables in a shotshell and +/- 0.2 grain powder variation gets lost in the sauce.

Both the Multiscale and PC powder baffles are no longer being made. So that means you have to make one......personally I wouldn't waste my time.

If you don't believe me, disassemble 5 premium target loads from any manufacturer and weigh the powder charges.

YMMV

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aka Mr. Tactful. Common sense no longer appears to be common.
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Last edited by dogchaser37 on Wed Sep 16, 2020 8:01 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Powder drops varying
PostPosted: Tue Sep 15, 2020 9:45 pm 
Limited Edition
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Joined: Sat Aug 01, 2020 11:50 pm
Posts: 363
Location: The wilds of rural central California
^^All the above.
This is completely different than metallic where we do worry about such things.

tp

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12/30" Browning Citori CX White
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 Post subject: Re: Powder drops varying
PostPosted: Tue Sep 15, 2020 10:36 pm 
Field Grade

Joined: Wed May 04, 2016 8:54 pm
Posts: 90
I found that consistency and a rhythm helps with a more stable reloading session. Otherwise, your drops will be more erratic. Having said that, .02 is not a bad variance. Since I am very particular, for me, anything more would need to be looked at.


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 Post subject: Re: Powder drops varying
PostPosted: Tue Sep 15, 2020 11:09 pm 
Crown Grade
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Joined: Wed Feb 20, 2008 4:41 am
Posts: 5580
Powder baffle will help, but will bank that either your bench, or your machine bolted to the bench, are less then stellar in regards to be rock solid, and the machine is jolting all over the place to begin with.


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 Post subject: Re: Powder drops varying
PostPosted: Wed Sep 16, 2020 7:01 am 
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Joined: Wed Nov 30, 2016 6:04 pm
Posts: 431
All of the above are good advice - make sure the reloader is secure, make sure the powder bottle is more than half full, use the same rhythm so the loader is shifting the same way every time. And +/- 0.2 is completely normal.


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 Post subject: Re: Powder drops varying
PostPosted: Wed Sep 16, 2020 7:44 am 
Tournament Grade

Joined: Tue Jul 14, 2020 4:02 pm
Posts: 154
682Shooter wrote:
The drops are 18.8 to 19.2gn on average and once in a while it drops 20gn. Am I doing something wrong?


I get twice that much variance with big flake powders like, Red Dot, Promo, Unique.

Red Powder Baffle doesn't help with big flake powders.


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 Post subject: Re: Powder drops varying
PostPosted: Wed Sep 16, 2020 8:03 am 
Diamond Grade

Joined: Mon Sep 06, 2004 6:08 pm
Posts: 1790
Location: Minnesota
What dogchaser37 said.


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 Post subject: Re: Powder drops varying
PostPosted: Wed Sep 16, 2020 8:07 am 
Crown Grade

Joined: Thu Jul 31, 2008 11:12 am
Posts: 5529
Pull the brass ring/washer from under the powder bottle and see if it throws better. I have never used that ring/washer with powders like Clays, Clay Dot, Red Dot, Green Dot, Universal, 20/28 or 700X. Leave the black grommet in. The 20 grains would bother me. Make sure the scale is zeroed out and calibrated. Load slow and deliberate starting out. Don't short stroke because of fatigue.


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 Post subject: Re: Powder drops varying
PostPosted: Wed Sep 16, 2020 10:28 am 
Limited Edition

Joined: Tue May 03, 2011 1:25 pm
Posts: 347
Location: New Mexico
Your 20 grain drop may have come from the very first shell you load after emptying the press, waiting a few days, and loading up the press. Progressives require 5 to 10 strokes on partially filled shell plates during empty/reload-plate process before the first shell makes it to the powder drop station. Each of these packs the powder slightly in the bushing that most folks will not drop until a shell is present.

For example, I load on Hornady/Pacific 366 progressives. I leave the powder shutoff slide off until the leading shell gets to #4 station (powder), then I open it. I have a cutout on the machine so I can take a powdered shell off the plate and weigh the drop. My bushing drops 18.1 (between 17.9 and 18.3) grains on average of a flake powder (Red) during normal operation. But FIRST SHELL ONLY, I get between about 19.5 and 20.3 grains. I manually adjust the powder amount in the scale pan until I get back to 18.1 grains, and dump that back in hull and return hull to shell plate. The next one will be back to normal weight, since only one cycle stroke was done to fill the powder bushing on the SECOND shell to be filled.

Another way I could solve this is to use a small pan to catch the powder on the cycle BEFORE the first shell makes it to the powder station, and dump that powder back into the hopper. Of course, that would require opening the powder slide valve one cycle earlier than I do. I'm sure that would also hold the accuracy on the first "real" drop to the same as my normal operation.

Good luck, garrisonjoe


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 Post subject: Re: Powder drops varying
PostPosted: Wed Sep 16, 2020 12:14 pm 
Crown Grade

Joined: Tue Nov 15, 2005 9:33 pm
Posts: 6344
Location: Mascoutah IL
I wouldn't worry too much about that level of variance but there are a couple of things you can do that might reduce the variance.

1. Powder baffle will reduce the variance in powder drops, but primarily the variance that is based on how full the bottle is. Before I started using the powder baffle, I would get significantly lighter drops with a bottle that was below 1/4 full than I did with a full bottle. The baffle completely eliminated that variance.

2. At the bottom of the reloading stroke, for each shell give it a full "one, one thousand" count before lifting the handle. It is possible to run the press quicker than the time it takes for all the powder to flow out of the bushing. The automate helped alleviate that issue for me.

I currently have the 28 gauge loader (with powder baffle and automate) on the bench using 20/28 (same flake size as Green Dot) and just weighed 6 consecutive charges. 4 of the 6 were 13 grains and the other 2 were 12.8 grains.

It was interesting to confirm my charge was exactly where I wanted it to be since been 10 years and probably 80 lbs of powder through this press since I last weighted a powder charge.


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 Post subject: Re: Powder drops varying
PostPosted: Wed Sep 16, 2020 1:14 pm 
Field Grade

Joined: Sat Apr 14, 2018 10:00 am
Posts: 48
682Shooter wrote:
Am I doing something wrong?

No.

The best I have been able to accomplish with the MEC has been about ±0.5 gr at the extremes, although most of them are better than that. I have no explanation for the 20g "outlier". I surmise there's a reason, but I don't know what it could be (see * below though).

Strive to use consistent strokes with consistent speed: smooth on the downstroke, smooth on the upstroke. That will help to minimize power drop variation as well as differences in primers dropping into place.

I use both a MEC 9000G and an Auto-Mate. An Auto-Mate obviously helps with consistent powder drops and everything else. Every stroke is identical whereas you might hesitate pushing the handle down if one of the stages gets hung up a bit. For example, a primer that's harder than usual to dislodge or insert would get your attention whereas an Auto-Mate just powers through.

Out of curiosity I also weighed every single powder drop as the bottle emptied from about half full, all the way until the only powder remaining in the bottle was in its neck. The usual variations never changed. Am I suggesting you ignore MEC's "minimum powder level" printed on the bottle? Absolutely not. I encourage you to do your own experimentation though, and I wouldn't make it a habit. But I've done it. Absolutely nothing special happens below the bottle's minimum powder level all the way to empty, at least with Extra-Lite.

I don't use a powder baffle either. If you come across one and want to try it, I suppose it wouldn't hurt.

* Once, and only once, I noticed a fairly large glob of white "stuff" become visible in the powder bottle as its level dropped. I emptied the powder into a pan and discovered that contaminant resembled white adhesive often used to seal corrugated cardboard boxes. It was dry, I picked it out, poured the powder back into the bottle and continued without incident.

It did cause me to become more observant as I pour powder from the keg into the bottle though. Maybe I should have kept that glob and contacted Alliant about it, but I shrugged it off.


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 Post subject: Re: Powder drops varying
PostPosted: Wed Sep 16, 2020 1:46 pm 
Utility Grade

Joined: Mon Sep 14, 2020 8:19 pm
Posts: 10
dogchaser37 wrote:
682Shooter,

Honestly, you are chasing ghosts. 18.8 grains to 19.2 grains powder variation is just fine. You won't hurt anything by getting less variation, but you aren't going to solve anything either.

There are just too many other variables in a shotshell and +/- 0.2 grain powder variation gets lost in the sauce.

Both the Multiscale and PC powder baffles are no longer being made. So that means you have to make one......personally I wouldn't waste my time.

If you don't believe me, disassemble 5 premium target loads from any manufacturer and weigh the powder charges.

YMMV


Thank you for the wisdom!


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 Post subject: Re: Powder drops varying
PostPosted: Wed Sep 16, 2020 1:48 pm 
Utility Grade

Joined: Mon Sep 14, 2020 8:19 pm
Posts: 10
v35 wrote:
682Shooter wrote:
Am I doing something wrong?

No.

The best I have been able to accomplish with the MEC has been about ±0.5 gr at the extremes, although most of them are better than that. I have no explanation for the 20g "outlier". I surmise there's a reason, but I don't know what it could be (see * below though).

Strive to use consistent strokes with consistent speed: smooth on the downstroke, smooth on the upstroke. That will help to minimize power drop variation as well as differences in primers dropping into place.

I use both a MEC 9000G and an Auto-Mate. An Auto-Mate obviously helps with consistent powder drops and everything else. Every stroke is identical whereas you might hesitate pushing the handle down if one of the stages gets hung up a bit. For example, a primer that's harder than usual to dislodge or insert would get your attention whereas an Auto-Mate just powers through.

Thank you so much for you imput. The 20gn is typically the very first shell in a series.

Out of curiosity I also weighed every single powder drop as the bottle emptied from about half full, all the way until the only powder remaining in the bottle was in its neck. The usual variations never changed. Am I suggesting you ignore MEC's "minimum powder level" printed on the bottle? Absolutely not. I encourage you to do your own experimentation though, and I wouldn't make it a habit. But I've done it. Absolutely nothing special happens below the bottle's minimum powder level all the way to empty, at least with Extra-Lite.

I don't use a powder baffle either. If you come across one and want to try it, I suppose it wouldn't hurt.

* Once, and only once, I noticed a fairly large glob of white "stuff" become visible in the powder bottle as its level dropped. I emptied the powder into a pan and discovered that contaminant resembled white adhesive often used to seal corrugated cardboard boxes. It was dry, I picked it out, poured the powder back into the bottle and continued without incident.

It did cause me to become more observant as I pour powder from the keg into the bottle though. Maybe I should have kept that glob and contacted Alliant about it, but I shrugged it off.


Thank you for all the guidance. The 20gn measurement seems to occur in the very first shell in a series.


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 Post subject: Thoughts on this recipe
PostPosted: Wed Sep 16, 2020 1:58 pm 
Utility Grade

Joined: Mon Sep 14, 2020 8:19 pm
Posts: 10
A friend offered this recipe to me. For now I'm using it for 16yrd trap, 5 stand and sporting. But loading is still new to me but I likely will refine recipes for each scenario including handicap loads.

Remington GC hulls
Cheddite cx2000 primer
Green Dot 19gn
CB 4100-12b wad
1oz #8 west coast shot


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 Post subject: Re: Powder drops varying
PostPosted: Wed Sep 16, 2020 2:30 pm 
Field Grade

Joined: Sat Apr 14, 2018 10:00 am
Posts: 48
682Shooter wrote:
The 20gn measurement seems to occur in the very first shell in a series.

Ah! Problem solved. In that case just pour the first drop back into the powder bottle. Be sure to catch the shot drop on the next pull. That's a lesson hopefully you only have to learn once.

I usually weigh the first drop to check for an obvious problem, after that I keep going and going and going... Kinda hard to stop once you get the rhythm down :P

Nice to see someone new get into reloading. I counted my empty kegs (nine) which makes for over 30,000 shells so far. So I'm a newcomer too :lol: but I'm learning every day. Everything I know about reloading and the MEC I've learned from this site. Curly N and Steve Y already answered every question before I could ask it.


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 Post subject: Re: Powder drops varying
PostPosted: Fri Sep 18, 2020 12:21 pm 
Crown Grade

Joined: Sun Mar 03, 2013 11:01 am
Posts: 6069
Location: Newton Kansas
T-Pee wrote:
^^All the above.
This is completely different than metallic where we do worry about such things.

tp

Yep, that variation means one heck of a lot more to my 9mm's than it does to a 'gauge, ANY gauge.

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 Post subject: Re: Powder drops varying
PostPosted: Mon Sep 21, 2020 10:16 am 
Crown Grade

Joined: Mon Mar 28, 2005 11:25 pm
Posts: 2260
Location: Attica, Mi
I have a well used 9000H with tall bottles for powder and shot and the bracket for them. When the 200 primer tray needs refilling the bottles also get refilled, but the powder bottle is never near empty. There's still plenty of powder in the bottle pushing down. I don't empty anything when I'm done for the day - just leave the bottles part filled and resume whenever. If someone could show me a good reason to empty the bottles I might consider it. This is just my opinion, but once I check powder drops a couple of times it isn't checked again till a new jug is opened. Ain't nothing going to change except the powder picking up some moisture in the air and changing the drops a couple of tenths. With a progressive press the powder bushing is only under the powder bottle for as long as you hold the handle down. You get going too fast and the bushing won't have time to fill. I know. I found out the hard way. That's one part of the reloading operation you don't want to rush. Good luck, you picked a fine machine to start out with.



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