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Thread: 5744 bridging issues

  1. #1
    Boolit Bub
    Join Date
    Nov 2016
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    61

    5744 bridging issues

    I'm wondering if I am the only one who has had this powder bridge on him in the powder measure. Recently I have had a serious mishap in a Krag using 21 grains with 311284. The first shot seemed (sounded, felt) a trifle off, but not enough to raise any flags. The shot after that felt like a 300 magnum, the bolt stuck and had to be pounded open. The primer was gone and pocket enlarged. the shot printed a foot or more high. I checked the bolt lug and there was no crack. The bore was leaded stem to stern. I have used this powder a lot (among others) and never had an issue. After i got home, I took the remaining rounds apart to see if there was some repetition and discovered that the next cartridge in line had seven or eight kernels of powder inside the case. The balance were normal.
    I have had trouble with 4759 the same way, but i always caught it and learned to weigh each dropped charge before dumping the powder into the case. Yesterday i loaded more Krags with 5744 and weighed each charge. It may have been that my powder can was very nearly empty recently and the column of powder in the RCBS measure didn't have enough volume/weight to supply the force to move the powder downward. Anyone care to comment? i will say that over the years i have gotten some very tight groups with five krags with 5744. Indeed, just prior to pulling the trigger on the grenade load four out of five shots touched each other at a hundred yards. This with a receiver sight. yesterday i took the measure apart and wiped out the interior surfaces but found it virtually clean to start with.I think i may have isolated the trouble with the powder column, but your thoughts are welcome.

  2. #2
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    WNY
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    1,622
    You can't change the nature of the powder, but you can change the way you reload. I shoot several types of powder that can bridge or meter poorly (worse on some measures, but not accurate enough on any of them to suit me). You've either got to put them on a tray before bullet seating and look at each one, or use a dipper and trickle up to charge the case. This isn't very practical for high volume shooting, but for several of my guns it's not a problem. For high volume shooting, use a different powder that meters better. You're not alone with this problem, it's pretty common. Again, look at the tray of charged cartridges and make sure they all look to be at the same level in the case. DON'T TRUST YOUR POWDER MEASURE WITH THESE POWDERS. Be safe.

  3. #3
    Boolit Master 15meter's Avatar
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    Feb 2017
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    I use a lot of 5744, my powder measure is the Redding BR-30, I ordered an extended drop tube from the old Sinclair's when I started loading the 204 Ruger, it has interchangeable orifices. When dropping 5744 I put in the largest orifice that came with the extended drop tube.

    As an added benefit, the drop tube is clear and I mount a small LED light behind the tube so I can visually check every powder drop. I typically weigh the first five throws then every tenth throw plus the last throw.

    My cases are placed in a wooden block, usually 20 at a time, before seating the boolit, I take a small flashlight and check every case for consistency.

  4. #4
    Boolit Master
    Sig556r's Avatar
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    Feb 2014
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    I sparingly use 5744 on 300BLK since it's dirty, but provided accurate range results. 1680 is my go-to.
    I use RCBS powder drop & check each 25-round tray for powder level before seating.
    I load subs, so even if I miss a tad high, wouldn't probably result in pressure spikes.
    ...Speak softly & carry a big stick...

  5. #5
    Boolit Master
    swheeler's Avatar
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    Mar 2005
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    Montana
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    Running a powder baffle helps but some powders just bridge, being safe rather than sorry is always worth the extra step to me. I hope the Krag is still in working order, maybe a little scared up on the bolt face? Be safe
    Hell, I was there!

  6. #6
    Boolit Buddy
    FredBuddy's Avatar
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    Jan 2013
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    I have to watch out for spider webs
    in the first few drops.

  7. #7
    Boolit Master
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    Feb 2007
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    Communism closing in!
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    2,925
    I have not tried this but other loaders use it: Rig up a small motorized vibrator placed such that it minimizes bridging. Tell the store owner it’s for your girl friend if it makes you queasy when you buy it. (They won’t believe the gun powder story). Tell your wife it’s for reloading, she will not understand but if you have been together long enough she will at least take the time to see where it is installed before she does you in.

    Three44s
    Socialism works great until you run out of zoo animals to eat!

  8. #8
    Boolit Buddy
    FredBuddy's Avatar
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    I have to watch out for spider webs
    in the first few drops.

  9. #9
    Boolit Master 15meter's Avatar
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    My setup:
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	br30 measure.jpg 
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    Tried to find it on Brownell's site, I think this is gone.

    But this is the top half:https://www.brownells.com/reloading/...prod34383.aspx

    Then apparently you order different drop tubes.

    I like mine with the 3 different interchangeable orifices.

  10. #10
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
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    I've found 5744 will bridge about one out of fifteen throws in my Redding measure. I set my measure to throw the exact amount but verify by weighing each charge. When you're throwing small charge weights in a big case, it's hard to eyeball the right powder level.

  11. #11
    Boolit Bub
    Join Date
    Nov 2016
    Posts
    61
    I'm just going to revise the way I meter 5744 from now on: weigh each dropped charge, the same as i do for 4759. I shoot five shot groups using a lot of different lead bullets for five Krags, and the tray won't work for my application. i drop the charge directly into the case. At least i used to. Live and learn.
    i had a bitch of a case of leading, as you will appreciate. Getting rid of it caused me to shoot the only jacketed bullets I have ever fired through a Krag. The first was .312' diameter, and the other .309", this to get to the bottom of the grooves and get the lead out. I scrubbed most of it out with a copper Chore Boy, but there was still a wash of lead here and there. I shot it today and i'll have a better idea if this was successful when I get it good and clean.

  12. #12
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
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    A long time ago when I was taught how to reload rifle cartridges I wastold to ALWAYS look in the cases to make sure the powder load were all the same or at least close to the same. Probably why I prefer using single stage presses over progressive presses. This catches most if not all of the oops.

  13. #13
    Boolit Master

    Uncle Grinch's Avatar
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    I use the Lee dippers for any powder that doesn’t dispense well in my Lyman 55. It’s a little slower, but I can see every charge as I dip it out.
    Shoot Safe,
    Mike

    Retired Telephone Man
    NRA Endowment Member
    Marion Road Gun Club
    ( www.marionroad.com )

  14. #14
    Boolit Master 40-82 hiker's Avatar
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    My thoughts on your RCBS powder measure:

    Whenever I use my RCBS powder measure (late '60s 'till now), whether 5744 or other powder, I never let it go below 1/2 full, and I "tap" the handle at the top of the stroke and at the bottom of the stroke to settle the powder with each charge. I get very consistent results that way. I use 5744 with my Lee CTP since 2012, and the resultant shaking seems to mitigate any bridging, but I keep an eye on what's going on.

  15. #15
    Boolit Master
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    Aug 2006
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    Not discounting the powder can bridge but am amazed that your reloading method is such that consecutively loaded cartridges are fired in order. I am not that precise.

    Kevin
    Knowledge I take to my grave is wasted.

    I prefer to use cartridges born before I was.

    Success doesn't make me happy, being happy is what allows me to be successful.

  16. #16
    Boolit Master waco's Avatar
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    I use an RCBS Chargemaster for weighing all rifle loads. A very handy tool to have for powders that meter like gravel...
    The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.
    Proverbs 1:7

  17. #17
    Boolit Master
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    May 2013
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    I have not had bridging of 5744 in my Lee Perfect Powder Measure, but it is just good practice to keep a flashlight handy and look into EVERY case before bullet seating to check powder level. I do use 5744 in the 308 weekly(20-50 rounds), 18.5 gr under a 311332, but I do look into every case under a strong light.

  18. #18
    Boolit Master
    Mr Peabody's Avatar
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    You should look at the powder levels in all your cases before you seat a bullet; I use a little flashlight most of the time.

  19. #19
    Boolit Master
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    I use a tray and check the powder level with a light ,but I try to use powder that meters well .Lyman 55 for fine powders Lee ppm for awkward ones it seems less of a problem in the Lee.

  20. #20
    Boolit Buddy
    Join Date
    Aug 2015
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    Tacoma,Wa.
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    I run 5744 thru Lyman 55 powder measures and haven't had any problems with bridging.The Lyman 55 does have the knocker on it so maybe that helps.I also visually check powder level in the cases after charging.

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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