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Thread: Dillon 550b powder measuring Constancy?

  1. #21
    Boolit Master

    georgerkahn's Avatar
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    I wish to first THANK ALL the posters to my query!!! I am once again reinforced by the number of really both knowledgeable and helpful persons on this forum! I have, indeed, learned quite a bit from all the most helpful to me posts.
    Interestingly, I finished my run using Bullseye, and last eve switched my Dillon 550b over to start a run of .45LC, using Unique powder. THANKS for the headsup re metering challenges with this powder; I can't recall any snafu's I've experienced in past, but surely will keep my eyes open!
    M-Tecs provided me a wonderful set of resources, and I read them all (thanks again for your time/effort in posting these for me/others!) -- however, one of the picture-links does not seem to function for me. "Murphy Law", eh? It is the post by Spotshooter, with:
    "Take the plastic cylinder off of your powder measure, take some emery cloth and polish the heck out of it (this helps all measures throw more consistently BTW)

    Before
    [Linked Image]

    After
    [Linked Image]"

    ... and neither picture appears. I am intrigued re collar-polishing; mine have been in measure, and quite used, for over 25 years!
    Thanks you again to all -- as a start, I will endeavor to polish things up! My measure is the old style with plastic body epoxied to aluminum, but I may be able to get in there with my Foredom. (I hope )
    geo

  2. #22
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by 6bg6ga View Post
    The problem seems to be getting the progressive press to throw consistant charges or charges that can be relied upon. No progressive press that I've ever run loading rifle calibers has less than a .002 gr difference thus me mentioning if they wish to throw maximum charges to do it on a single stage press. I'm not going to tell someone that is having problems throwing charges on their Dillon 550 or 650 hey go ahead maybe you'll get lucky and not blow your head off. If its throwing .001,.002,.003 difference in charges it doesn't make common sense to trust it. At least I won't. I will back the charge off a bit and check about 50 powder throws before I would even think of loading and then I personally will be checking each 10th case to see how its doing.
    I’ve gotta ask which scale you use that resolves at .001grains (is that .0005grams?), and what tools do you use to shave a grain of powder to achieve such consistency in your loads?

  3. #23
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    garandsrus's Avatar
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    There have been numerous “tests” of various powder measures over the years. None are “perfect”, but most are “really good” and can be relied upon. They all operate pretty much the same way, filling a space with powder and dumping it. Many spaces are round, Dillons is rectangular. Works great.

    Benchrest guys don’t even weigh powder charges!

  4. #24
    Boolit Grand Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by JimB.. View Post
    I’ve gotta ask which scale you use that resolves at .001grains (is that .0005grams?), and what tools do you use to shave a grain of powder to achieve such consistency in your loads?
    The always has to be a smart alec one tenth of a grain is that ok? I made a mistake..is that ok? Arthritic fingers and joints and I didn't check before posting. Please accept my humble apology.

  5. #25
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by 6bg6ga View Post
    The always has to be a smart alec one tenth of a grain is that ok? I made a mistake..is that ok? Arthritic fingers and joints and I didn't check before posting. Please accept my humble apology.
    Apologies for coming across as a smart Alec about it.

  6. #26
    Boolit Buddy Burnt Fingers's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 6bg6ga View Post
    The problem seems to be getting the progressive press to throw consistant charges or charges that can be relied upon. No progressive press that I've ever run loading rifle calibers has less than a .002 gr difference thus me mentioning if they wish to throw maximum charges to do it on a single stage press. I'm not going to tell someone that is having problems throwing charges on their Dillon 550 or 650 hey go ahead maybe you'll get lucky and not blow your head off. If its throwing .001,.002,.003 difference in charges it doesn't make common sense to trust it. At least I won't. I will back the charge off a bit and check about 50 powder throws before I would even think of loading and then I personally will be checking each 10th case to see how its doing.
    Most reloaders don't have a scale capable of weighing out to three decimals. .001 grain is NOTHING.
    NRA Benefactor.

  7. #27
    Boolit Master

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    Re weighing possibility to the one grain, or one zillionth of a grain, to be frank, has been a second order variable to me and my loading. Fred Huntington (RCBS) used to wager re his repeatability of measuring charges -- and his "tool" was no more than one of his paper business cards drawn across a Lee-type powder measure! Word had, no matter whomever he challenged, or was challenged by -- Mr. Huntington always came out the winner. MY total concern is that when, say, I load 200 cartridges, while I DO NOT CARE if they're, say, 4.637523 grains -- or, even 4.8135626 grains -- but that whatever they may be, that they are all pretty much the same exact weight. A writer whose name I cannot recall, years back wrote that it is VOLUME by which powder should be measured, but -- for reloading manuals, guides, etc. -- the volume is translated into weight. Upon reading, the reloader may then translate the given weight back to desired powder volume. Again, whatever any of this may be -- the focus of my OP remains: to get all powder drops to be as close to "exactly the same as all others"!
    Thank you again for all follow-posts; I've truly been learning a lot!
    geo

  8. #28
    Boolit Buddy
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    I really don't see an issue with the OP's drops, it's not enough to detect at the target.

    ---------

    Just for the sake of argument here,

    The Dillon Powder Charge THROWER is a VOLUME measurement.
    Volume measurements are usually used for Liquids, not solids.

    There is an open hole, the propellant falls into the hole,
    The excess is scraped off.

    The SOLID PROPELLANT will NOT fall into that hole exactly the same way each & every time, changing the WEIGHT of the throw.

    The biggest factor will be compression weight of the powder in the bin, stacked up on the powder that falls into the volume hole. Since this is constantly changing as you load, the loads will usually be lighter as the bin empties since the powder isn't being packed into the hole (orifice) as much.

    ----------

    Depending on the propellent type (flake, ball, short or long extrusion 'sticks'),

    Common washers wrapped in tape, with a string to recover them, on top the powder in the bin has evened out throws for me.

    A cell phone vibrator motor (off eBay, $5) taped to the side of the bin has evened out throws for me, particularly with flake propellants.
    It's effective for 'Sticky' or static prone propellants (like 'Tight Group')

    Leaving a wide mouth funnel in the top of the propellant bin and filling the funnel helps keep the bin topped off longer and makes for more consistent throws.
    (Cover the funnel! No exposed powder in case of primer explosions!)

    I've found these three methods faster, easier and more consistent than hours of polishing charge bars...

  9. #29
    Boolit Buddy Burnt Fingers's Avatar
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    I put a Prairie Dog baffle in both of my measures. I can run the measure almost empty with no affect on consistency.
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  10. #30
    Boolit Master
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    I was having trouble with Red Dot/ Promo and Bullseye in my 550. I took the measure apart and cleaned it and polished all the powder pathways. The interior of the powder funnel/ expander was the source of most of the problem. The baffle(?) in the hopper doesn't do much. Making one out of sheetmetal is the trick. Make one with stiff paper till you get it to fit correctly and use it for a pattern on the sheetmetal. Extreme spread with those powders went to .1 gr checked against a Denver Instruments MXX-123. The extreme variations went away.

    Now, if we could figure a vibrating/ratcheting setup like the Star Universal powder measure, it would be the deal.

  11. #31
    Boolit Buddy Burnt Fingers's Avatar
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    A proper baffle will keep a constant pressure on the powder going into the measuring cavity regardless of the amount of powder in the hopper.
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  12. #32
    Boolit Master
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    Kydex might be easy to form a baffle from I have some around here might give it a try.

  13. #33
    Boolit Master
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    I’m confused about what you guys want in a baffle design. I suppose that you could double baffle and offset the holes, but the differences are gonna be tiny. Powder selection plays a roll, I doubt that sticks and balls compress as easily as big flakes at the pressures in a powder hopper.

    Anyway, is there a design that you believe works better than the standard that comes with the hoppers from Hornady and Dillon?

  14. #34
    Boolit Master jmorris's Avatar
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    [QUOTEBenchrest guys don’t even weigh powder charges!][/QUOTE]

    “Benchrest guys” fall into different groups 100/200 yard guys throw volume and shoot for the smallest one hole group. Ability to judge and compensate for wind is far more important that close than ES/SD.

  15. #35
    Boolit Master jmorris's Avatar
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    [QUOTEBenchrest guys don’t even weigh powder charges!][/QUOTE]

    “Benchrest guys” fall into different groups 100/200 yard guys throw volume and shoot for the smallest one hole group. Ability to judge and compensate for wind is far more important that close than ES/SD.

  16. #36
    Boolit Master
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    The only powder measure I have I think would benefit from a baffle is my rcbs my Lyman 55 has the knocker and works well and as much as many here hate to hear it the lee pro auto disk and pro auto drum work great on the LCT and ABLP but I do refill when 1/2 to 2/3 low.

  17. #37
    Boolit Buddy Burnt Fingers's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JimB.. View Post
    I’m confused about what you guys want in a baffle design. I suppose that you could double baffle and offset the holes, but the differences are gonna be tiny. Powder selection plays a roll, I doubt that sticks and balls compress as easily as big flakes at the pressures in a powder hopper.

    Anyway, is there a design that you believe works better than the standard that comes with the hoppers from Hornady and Dillon?
    https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

    There ya go.
    NRA Benefactor.

  18. #38
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by Burnt Fingers View Post
    I should have known that it already existed!

  19. #39
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    2nd Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. - "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."

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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
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GC Gas Check