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With any good quality powder measure (aka - powder thrower) the technique of the per person using it can to a large degree determine it's accuracy and precision.... In this case I will use accuracy to mean how close the measure can be set to the desired weight of powder charge, and precision as to how close to that weight it will throw each charge. Good technique will result in at least a +/_ 0.1 grain for a spread of 0.2 grains, which is well within the range needed to acquire a load within one of the many "sweet spots" of a barrel load combination.

There has long been a debate about thrown charges versus weighted charges. For NRA HP, in the guns used, especially service rifles, I will say that thrown charges from a high quality measure using proper technique will shoot as good a long string average groups and scores as will weighted charges if the load is developed properly.

I will not paste it here but I encourage you to read the writing of Creighton Audette regarding "Determining the Best Load". Creighton Audette talks about the "ladder technique" of load development and has written about it in several publications to include the "Manuscripts from the NRA Highpower Rifle Shooting Clinics", Camp Perry, Ohio in the early 1980's.
You can find it by searching Google for Creighton Audette. It is a good read.
 

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Discussion Starter · #23 ·
Thank to all, I purchased a rcbs chargemaster. Paid 332 at bass pro, Hey gotta spend some of that social security for convenience Still going to try my lyman powder measure on my 9mm.
So great to have this forum for help,
 

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I believe all commercial powder measures works reasonably well after the operator learns to throw the charge with the same cadence every time.

In my opinion the Harrel is THE most repeatably precise (believe it to be the most-oft used used by bench-resters for a reason). Have also used a RCBS Uniflow and currently use a Hornady Lock'n Load. Don't have baffles installed... maintaining the powder level approximately the same serves as well.

Although I have electronic scales (a Dillon and one branded by Cabelas), I still rely on a nearly-antique (1970's) O'Haus beam scale for powder charges... I personally believe beam scales are more accurate. The electronics serve better in weighing/sorting cases and/or cartridges. In lieu of a trickler, a shot glass serves to add a few particles of powder to the charge when needed. Or... a reshaped spoon is employed to remove a few grains if needed.
 

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I don't use the powder measure with stick powder at all. Just ball. I use my Chargemaster for stick powder and I find it fits perfectly my procedure for loading cases. I dispense the charge and load the case, seat the bullet and measure all the while the next load is charging and repeat. There is no wasted time or effort and goes very smooth and am done before you know it. I adjusted my procedure to the Chargemaster and I like the way it has turned out. Any electronic scale is only accurate to +/- .1 grain and this unit is equal to that task. You'd have to spend a ton of money to get one like the accuracy of some lab scales.
 

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I'll third or possibly fourth the vote for the charge master 1500. I will be honest and tell you I only started reloading last winter. I recently reprogrammed mine and I'm happy with the results. The recommendations rcbs give you are still a little on the slow side, I went a little further with the numbers. Initially, it was tossing an overthrow every six or so rounds. I then made the rcbs and fellow forum members recommendation to insert the McDonald's straw into the pipe and never looked back. I know it sounds rediculous but it works. I've been tossing IMR 4895 and 8208. Well worth the money. You can find them under 300. The speed I have it set up on now is perfect. I seat the bullet and 60-70% of the time it is done. I found out some interesting info from rcbs. When it's done tossing the charge, it dings and displays the value that you set for the charge. It then shows the count and then again displays the charge you set. The first display is the charge you set and the second weight display is the actual charge on the scale. I'm not an expert regarding scales, this is the info I received from rcbs tech support.
 

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I'll third or possibly fourth the vote for the charge master 1500. I will be honest and tell you I only started reloading last winter. I recently reprogrammed mine and I'm happy with the results. The recommendations rcbs give you are still a little on the slow side, I went a little further with the numbers. Initially, it was tossing an overthrow every six or so rounds. I then made the rcbs and fellow forum members recommendation to insert the McDonald's straw into the pipe and never looked back. I know it sounds rediculous but it works. I've been tossing IMR 4895 and 8208. Well worth the money. You can find them under 300. The speed I have it set up on now is perfect. I seat the bullet and 60-70% of the time it is done. I found out some interesting info from rcbs. When it's done tossing the charge, it dings and displays the value that you set for the charge. It then shows the count and then again displays the charge you set. The first display is the charge you set and the second weight display is the actual charge on the scale. I'm not an expert regarding scales, this is the info I received from rcbs tech support.

Warren,

Where have you been?

Where is your PII? Do you want me to call Brand for you? I regret selling my PI


nez
 

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i use the hornady powder measure, with a tickler, it varies by .3 or 4 either way with 4895. i throw a light charge then top it off with the tickler, takes time but its exact accurate.
This is also what I just learned to do for the same reasons.
 

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This type discussion could go on and on. I guess the bottom line is that whatever you feel comfortable with and have the greatest level of confidence in is what you need to do. For long range shooting and for loading the big stick "pulp wood" powders, throwing a little light and trickling may be a good thing as you are probably not loading many rounds.
If you are loading lots of ammo for across the course type shooting - I am of the opinion that weighing each charge precisely is not needed.
I have personally done the testing, back when I shot, to give me the confidence to make that statement. I have loaded 223 and 308 ammo using a Dillon 550B progressive pre4ss with Bonanza Bench Rest Dies and shot extensive groups against 223 and 308 ammo loaded with the same lots of powder, same lots of brass prepared the same, same lots of bullets and same lots of primers --- only difference the powder charge was thrown by a Dillon powder thrower for the progressive --- for the non progressive loads, charges were thrown short with a Redding and trickled to be exact.......me nor the match rifles used for the test and my M1A, could tell the difference on the target. I recall that years ago Bob Jenson loaded all the ammo used by the US Palma team on a series of Dillon 550B's ......throwing the powder.

If you have a powder thrower that your technique can deliver +/- 0.1 grain for a spread of 0.2 grains....I encourage you to throw charges into 100 cases and check with a flash light to be sure you have charged them all and re-throw any that may look odd (although some times what makes one look odd is that the internal volume of that case is significantly different from the others ... I will replace the case when it looks way off from the others) then seat bullets ...((ballistic people smarter than me have told me that powder burns by volume, that is why bench rest shooters spend so much time preparing cases and sorting cases by weight and internal volume, and then load with a precise dispenser such as the Harrell or Jones throwers))....Next load 100 cases weighing each charge - seat bullets (use the same lots of all components if possible) Then shoot the ammo in as controlled a test as you can.......I would be willing to bet that after doing so, you may not be as inclined to weigh every single charge. When I shot the NMC (NRA Master with an M1A) I used thrown (with good technique) loads for standing and rapid fire and most of the time for 600. All the years loading I really have to admit, for my gun with a 1:12 twist Douglas/Barnett barrel I could not load ammo that would shoot much/if any better scores (if any) than LC 852NM.....and LC852 had thrown charges. I shot cleans at 600 several times with that ammo.
Enough about this --- Again ---This type discussion could go on and on. I guess the bottom line is that whatever you feel comfortable with and have the greatest level of confidence in is what you need to do.
 

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I've probably said this a lot by now....

Anything that's not electronically tied to a scale will depend heavily on how you operate it. Spend an hour and drop 50 charges. If it feels funny, make a note, then weigh it. Weigh each one. When you look back at your notes, I have found that you'll see some very very strong correlations. Armed with that you'll be able to tighten up the tolerance a lot by simply discarding the ones that you would expect to be "outside."

Finally, consider this... There's value in knowing what your variation is and what the impact is on the target. Moreso, IMHO, than knowing what you can get when the stars align perfectly. When I find a prospective load, my final test is then to drop 10 charges--half of them I trickle to the bottom end (0.3 grs light for extruded powders), and the other half I trickle heavy (0.3grs heavy). I mix the assembled rounds together and fire all into a single target. If it still prints a decent target, I know I don't need to sweat it, and from there on out, I only weigh as necessary for safety purposes.

The only time I will weigh each charge is for my 600yd load, and even then, it's only about half the time. This is for NRA highpower targets and all of my top scores and tightest groups have been fired with charges that weren't trickled. Go figure.


I mostly use a Harrell measure that I got as a Christmas gift. The thing I really like about it is the ability to dial it to a number, dump a handful to settle the stack, then bang away.
 

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