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 Post subject: new to reloading and wondering how this happens
PostPosted: Wed Sep 16, 2020 7:39 am 
Tournament Grade

Joined: Tue May 26, 2020 10:12 am
Posts: 111
Location: Iowa
I reload with a Mec 600 jr. Just started and use the kiss method of only using one powder, Alliant Extra Lite, one primer, Winchester 209, and one wad, clay buster rtg12. I am loading Remington STS once fired shells. I set up using the Alliant data guide for a 7/8 ounce load using 15.5grains of powder. The data guide says it should be 1200fps at 8700 psi.

Here is my issue. I checked my powder drops and changed bushings until I was getting 15.4 - 15.5 grains consistently. I didn't reload any shells for a few days, however, when I sat down to reload some more shells, I did my test drops to verify weight and now I'm getting only 15 grains.
My first question is how can that happen?
The second question, should I go up a bushing number to bring it back to 15.5 grains?
I'm thinking I should go up a bushing, but wondering if -.5 grains is enough to worry about.




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 Post subject: Re: new to reloading and wondering how this happens
PostPosted: Wed Sep 16, 2020 7:44 am 
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john54 wrote:
The second question, should I go up a bushing number to bring it back to 15.5 grains?
I'm thinking I should go up a bushing, but wondering if -.5 grains is enough to worry about.


No, it isn't. Factory shotshells can vary by more than that.

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 Post subject: Re: new to reloading and wondering how this happens
PostPosted: Wed Sep 16, 2020 7:54 am 
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Joined: Tue May 26, 2020 10:12 am
Posts: 111
Location: Iowa
Thanks for the response.
This group is an amazing collection of knowledge and the willingness to share that knowledge makes it a fun place to hang out and participate when I can.


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 Post subject: Re: new to reloading and wondering how this happens
PostPosted: Wed Sep 16, 2020 7:57 am 
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When using a single stage reloader you must (1) only weigh powder drops during the actual reloading process (2) impart the same vibration each time you operate the machine.

Vibration on a single stage is king to getting consistent powder drops.

This is not a machine problem it is an operator problem.

I tend to run a single stage briskly, not particularly rough but brisk. I typically reload 200-250 rounds per hour on a single stage MEC......this is what works for me.

In my view trying to be gentle does two things, slows done the rate of production, leaves open the possibility for an errant vibration to mess up a drop.

Once you are familiar with the machine the drops should be within +/- 0.3 grains or less. Some powders drop more consistent than others. I don't have enough experience with Extra-Lite to know how well it drops.

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 Post subject: Re: new to reloading and wondering how this happens
PostPosted: Wed Sep 16, 2020 8:22 am 
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Joined: Sat Apr 20, 2013 7:43 am
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Wow Mark your sleight of hand is quicker than I thought at 200-250 per hr ?
I get just a shade more loading on my progressives !


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 Post subject: Re: new to reloading and wondering how this happens
PostPosted: Wed Sep 16, 2020 9:27 am 
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Location: Neosho, MO
I just set up my MEC Sizemaster to load 7/8 oz 16 ga loads and used my own method of selecting the proper bushing. I set up the powder bottle and no shot bottle on the press. I ran through a half dozen powder drops to stabilize the powder column. I moved the charge bar under the powder bottle and operated the handle 6 times and dropped powder into a cup. I repeated the same operation 4 more time and weighed the powder and divided that weight by 5. I repeated the routine a couple of more times and was getting within .2 gr consistency, so I considered the job done.

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 Post subject: Re: new to reloading and wondering how this happens
PostPosted: Wed Sep 16, 2020 10:23 am 
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Joined: Sat Mar 27, 2010 4:16 pm
Posts: 361
Location: Escanaba, MI
Regarding the OP, I've experienced the same thing and asked around here and elsewhere. I believe part of the issue is the evaporation of the volatile parts of the powder. It was definitely more noticeable if I left the powder in the bottle. Less so if I put it back in the powder jug.

dogchaser, 200-250 per hour? Wow. Brings to mind one of those videos that has been sped up to time lapse :)


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 Post subject: Re: new to reloading and wondering how this happens
PostPosted: Wed Sep 16, 2020 9:30 pm 
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200 an hour is easy......but you have to use a primer feed and you have to have everything ready to refill.

Those single stage MEC's are very nice to load on. Been using them since 1974.

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 Post subject: Re: new to reloading and wondering how this happens
PostPosted: Thu Sep 17, 2020 1:07 am 
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Joined: Tue Jul 14, 2020 4:02 pm
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DooFighter wrote:
I believe part of the issue is the evaporation of the volatile parts of the powder.


^^^^


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 Post subject: Re: new to reloading and wondering how this happens
PostPosted: Thu Sep 17, 2020 7:37 am 
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Ravenanme wrote:
Wow Mark your sleight of hand is quicker than I thought at 200-250 per hr ?
I get just a shade more loading on my progressives !

Same here! My best on my single stages was 4-6 boxes and that was moving, auto primer feed and boxed. More power to him!

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 Post subject: Re: new to reloading and wondering how this happens
PostPosted: Thu Sep 17, 2020 7:49 am 
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Once upon a time I was a machinist and production was important. The setup is the single most important part of being able to work efficiently. That means you have to first and foremost have the machine properly adjusted, so there is no fumble bumbling around. Next is to have hulls, primers, powder, wads and shot ready to be replenished. I am not working like a madman to run the machine at that rate, just nice and steady.

Also, since I KNOW the machine is properly setup I have confidence and I do not double check powder and shot drops every two minutes.

I like to shoot a LOT more than I like to reload, so I try to be efficient as possible at the reloading bench.

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 Post subject: Re: new to reloading and wondering how this happens
PostPosted: Thu Sep 17, 2020 7:57 am 
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Back to the powder drop question. It might be a function of when and how you are doing your powder drop checking. Once I pick a bushing and have the machine set up when I come back to another reloading session I put powder in the hopper and run about a dozen shells. Them I pull one from under the powder drop station and check it. Nothing affects the powder drop from a bushing as much as a concerted effort to check the powder drop. In this case making the measurement does truly affect the results.


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 Post subject: Re: new to reloading and wondering how this happens
PostPosted: Thu Sep 17, 2020 12:10 pm 
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Joined: Thu Aug 19, 2010 8:46 pm
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Location: SW Missouri
To add to what has already been said, I load with a 600 jr as well and the way I do it is this. Since the best and most accurate way to measure the powder drop is to operate the machine while actually reloading and you don't want to reload shells with an incorrect powder drop to get to that point, I decide on the bushing I am going to use by the following method. Start with the MEC bushing chart and use that bushing. I then simulate the process of loading a shell by pulling the handle about 5 times with the same amount of force I use when actually reloading before dropping the powder to weigh it. I'll do 5 drops with the 5 pulls of the handle between each drop. If it looks off I will go up one bushing or down one bushing depending on the result and repeat the process with the 5 pulls between each drop until I get fairly close to what I want. Now the 5 simulated pulls doesn't seem to settle the powder into the bushing as much as actually reloading so if I am wanting 15.5 grains, I like to be slightly under that when I choose my final bushing. So anywhere between 15.0 and 15.2. Then I start the reloading process. I don't check the first 5 but check the 6th one. I usually find that the drop will be slightly heavier due to the increased vibration and powder packing into the bushing with actual reloading. So my 15.0 to 15.2 is usually 15.4 - 15.6 by the time I check the 6th one. If it isn't, I'll do 5 more and then check again. If still light, I then go up one bushing and check again but that's not usually the case.

What I think happened in your case was that you measured the 15.4-15.5 when actually reloading and then checked when you started back up by just dropping powder without going through the reloading process and got a lighter throw due to less vibration and powder packing into the bushing. If not that, then I don't know. I have not experienced the evaporation phenomenon discussed above but I guess it can't be ruled out. Especially since I have never loaded Extra Lite.


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 Post subject: Re: new to reloading and wondering how this happens
PostPosted: Thu Sep 17, 2020 12:18 pm 
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I had my Sizemaster set up and was getting consistent powder drops until I started reloading a bunch of hulls that had been picked up after a rain. They are all dry now but the primers had set in the pockets with just enough corrosion to make them come out with a pretty good “thunk”. It was enough added vibration to raise the powder drops by as much as 0.5 gr. So, on a single stage all those little things can make a difference

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 Post subject: Re: new to reloading and wondering how this happens
PostPosted: Mon Sep 21, 2020 9:47 am 
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If you don't empty the bottles, as I do, when you sit down a couple of days latter the powder drops can change with different humidity levels. When I first set up I check the powder drops a couple of times and then normally never again till a new jug is opened. When I first started reloading shotgun shells after a 10 year lay off, the bushing were getting changed all the time chasing that ever changing powder drop. No more. Check it and forget it. JMHO

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 Post subject: Re: new to reloading and wondering how this happens
PostPosted: Mon Sep 21, 2020 10:38 am 
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Joined: Sat Apr 14, 2018 10:00 am
Posts: 48
One thing I do when I'm finished reloading is remove the bottles and screw on the caps. The idea of a bottle of powder exposed to ambient air doesn't appeal to me.

Maybe it makes a difference, maybe not. Probably not. After all, powder in a finished shell isn't exactly isolated from the atmosphere anyway. Surely its weight varies too, we just don't know about it.

Someplace on this site I seem to recall the volume of smokeless powder is a more important consideration than its weight. Whatever, all my shells seem consistent which is more than I can say for some factory loads I bought. As long as I point my gun in the right direction they break targets.


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 Post subject: Re: new to reloading and wondering how this happens
PostPosted: Wed Sep 23, 2020 10:40 am 
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Joined: Tue May 26, 2020 10:12 am
Posts: 111
Location: Iowa
Thanks for all of the information. After reading through your comments I am not going to get to excited over the .5 grain change in weight. I am going to change the steps I use to weigh my powder just out of curiosity to see if that was the reason. Thanks again to all that answered.


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 Post subject: Re: new to reloading and wondering how this happens
PostPosted: Wed Sep 23, 2020 12:02 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jun 15, 2004 11:55 am
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Location: Hemingway, S.C. 29554
I have never counted how many shells I have reloaded in an increment of time. Then, I don't reload great quantities of shells at once. 100 shells would be a big reloading session. I often load nontoxic & specialty loads that take extra steps you can't do on a high volume progressive machine. It takes as long as it takes! The basic rule for measuring things is you take the measurement one decimal place beyond the required precision. In other words, if you require a measurement to the nearest 0.1 grain, your measurement has to be carried out to the hundredths place & rounded back to 10 ths.. Obviously, if you measure a powder charge to the 10 th. of a grain with a decent powder scale, you are not going to be off a full grain but you could be off .5 grains & in most cases less than that. Powder is simply not consistent enough to meter to a accuracy of 0.01 grains which would require it to be measured to the nearest 0.001 grains & rounded back. Fortunately we don't require that sort of precision, most shotgun loads are safe withing several grains of the listed powder charge.




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