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Thread: Less Powder Has More Loft -Solved

  1. #1

    Less Powder Has More Loft -Solved

    I had 40 gr. of IMR 3031 loaded for testing with a new boolit. As I was heading out to the range another boolit arrived in the mail so I went to load up a few rounds to test also. This boolit would take 36 gr. of powder. The 40 grains of powder filled about 2/3 of the case. When I weighed 36 grains, it filled the case up to the case mouth. Something is definitely wrong here. The 36 grains was weighed with a single beam scale, the 40 grains were measured with an RCBS Chargemaster. So I dispensed the powder charge out of the Charemaster and weight it on the single beam scale. Now 40 gr. also fills the case up the the case mouth. My puzzler is puzzled. Then -epiphany! The palm slams the forehead. I had accidentally grabbed 700X instead of IMR 3031. We’re not supposed to post loads on this website but 36 grains of 700X in a .45-70 would have been lively and likely to have cause a catastrophic failure of the firearm. Wouldn’t have done my support arm any good either.

  2. #2
    Boolit Master

    kungfustyle's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Knoxville, TN
    That will get your attention quick. I usually take the bottle of powder that I'm working with and set it on the bench while I reload. Glad you caught it.

  3. #3
    Boolit Master

    Bent Ramrod's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Southern Arizona
    Nice catch. The equipment available today enables the shooter to crank out rounds of ammo like sausages. But inspection, at every step of the process, is still critical.

    I still use a single stage press, or an occasional turret, in all my reloading. I use a loading block and a flashlight and check every powder level. So far (knock on wood), I’ve managed to catch all the overcharges and undercharges of smokeless powders before seating boolits.

    I have gotten caught on occasion. After firing a large black powder cartridge, I saw a red-hot ceramic cleaning chip fall out of the case upon extraction. The case was large enough and the powder charge filled them all to a level that the one chip wasn’t distinguishable. Don’t know how it didn’t shake out of the case after cleaning, or how I missed it through the rest of the process, but I did. I have caught overflows of black powder caused by three chips wedged in the bottom of the case and not obscuring the flash hole. In that instance, I had just looked for the light from the flash hole rather than really looking at the bottom of the case. I shook the powder back out (yes; drop tubing does compact black powder), removed the chips, and reloaded. But I did miss the one, and really don’t like the idea of shooting ceramic chips down my target grade barrel.

    Trust nothing and nobody; check and recheck.

  4. #4
    Boolit Master
    bigted's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Sweet Home Oregon
    Reminds me of an old 7mm roller i got when in Alaska. Pristine shape and for sure a shooter ... when i picked it up at my FFL dealer there , he gave me some of his 7mm reloads so i could go check it out rite away. Make a long story short ... i took them home and pulled the powder and recharged them with my powder. He got upset at this but even tho i knew him and trust they were prolly good, it was not my loads.

    Moral ... i trust nobody with reloads and barely trust myself. I also keep the container in front of me while loading AND always double check my loads.

    Super glad you caught this. Could have done real damage.

    I have several stories but will not bore here, just a lesson for us all to be very very particular when at the loading bench.

    Thanks for sharing your experience. Refreshing to read a personal oops as a lesson to us all.

    Thank you very much!

  5. #5
    Boolit Grand Master Char-Gar's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Deep South Texas
    I think most reloaders have had near missed with a power mix up. This is why we follow some basic procedures no matter how long we have been at it.

    1. Only have one power on the bench at a time.
    2. Always read the label before loading powder and read it again, if you refill the measure.
    3. Don't leave powder in a measure, as you might remember wrong what it was.
    Disclaimer: The above is not holy writ. It is just my opinion based on my experience and knowledge. Your mileage may vary.

  6. #6
    I have found 9mm cases inside my .45 ACP cases when they came out of the tumbler. Personally haven’t fired a 9mm for decades but they do get picked up accidentally at the range and mixed in with my brass obviously. I’d hate to have a 9mm slip inside a .45-70 during tumbling not realizing it before loading and firing.

    This range session included testing of .45 ACP and .44-40 with 700X so I had 700X on my mind.

    The fallacy of my thinking was; oh, I’m just going to load a couple of rounds real quick.

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Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check