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Thread: Drop Tube or Vibration

  1. #21
    Boolit Master
    bigted's Avatar
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    Kurt, follow up question ... when NO compression is used ... is the charge dropped thru your drop tube or just poured into the case direct? Also you mention "darker fouling" please expound on this as well?

    Thanks.
    WHEN ALL IS SAID AND DONE...MORE WILL BE SAID THEN DONE

  2. #22
    Boolit Master


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    i would always drop tube from a reasonable height as this compacts the bp. vibrating the case is also a form of compaction. doing both would seem the best of both worlds.

  3. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lead pot View Post
    I see larger spreads in the ES when using a drop tube and then vibrating the charge. I think vibrating the charge breaks the granules down and creates more dust or the dust gets over the flash hole.
    I can't say for sure but I see a lot of verticals vibrating the charge.
    I get a lot better results just filling the case with very light or no compression. Yes the fouling is darker but what does it matter when you wipe between shots fired?
    With the exception of not trying vibration much because I had a good system with loads not using any compression, just drop-tubed, my experience is as yours. The sweet spot for accuracy has always been powder to the base of the bullet and then adjust one or two grains down or up to find max accuracy. These are always drop-tubed loads with maybe 97 to 103 percent load density of available space.
    These loads produce ES in the 12 to 15 FPS range and SD numbers are best for the longer yardages at 3-4 FPS variation.

    This has worked well with the really good lots of Swiss powder and until this last lot of Swiss that was fluffy and did not behave. Now I am at a bit of a loss on getting anything to work with this lot. I need to buy more powder and hope I get a new lot that is like the stuff from the good old days.

    I will stick with the drop tube only because is has worked so well and I am set up.
    Last edited by Chill Wills; 12-12-2019 at 12:35 PM.
    Chill Wills

  4. #24
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    My experience is the same as Kurts'. Drop tube and no compression or drop tube and compression, depending on the rifle/caliber always gives me the best results. Add vibration to the mix, and numbers and accuracy go south.

  5. #25
    Boolit Master Lead pot's Avatar
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    Ted,
    I drop tube my loads. I have 12", 24" and a 36" tube as well as a 6" and I use the 24" the most.
    I checked vibrated loads and found a lot of dust on the bottom of the case by carefully lifting the powder to the bottom and the flash hole was filled as well as the bottom of the case. Now I don't know if the dust was in the powder or if the grains were damaged through vibrating, but having uneven amounts of dust at the beginning of the burn could increase the burn.
    I have posted these pictures of what a compressed powder ends up in the case. Starting with .050" to .400" When you get past .05" the powder starts to be a solid mass that cant be good for a consistent burn. I feel the reason the fouling is less is because the hard mass that starts between .100" and .200" compression scrapes the bore and it does not completely burn. I went a step farther checking this out. I took two 20' foot lengths of 4" PVC pipe and fired compressed rounds through the pipe and collected the results after every shot with different compressions and this really opened my eyes on the amount of unburned powder. This cant be good even when the velocity does increases, but in my opinion this is why I see higher verticals.
    The compressed loads are mentioned in several old books from the 1880's that compressed loads are not favorable for long range shooting.

    Kurt

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Last edited by Lead pot; 12-13-2019 at 12:08 PM. Reason: edit forgot the 20'

  6. #26
    Boolit Master
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    Thanks Kurt. I have always compressed my powder charges even tho when beginning this route, compressing powder ran against my judgment ... I still do it and this has inspired me to run some loads of uncompressed ... or very lightly ... powder under the boolits ... both in my revolvers and rifles. Now wondering about my cap n ball revolvers.
    WHEN ALL IS SAID AND DONE...MORE WILL BE SAID THEN DONE

  7. #27
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    I have never tried vibration as I generally haven't found problems getting my 10-15 shot SD's down to 3-4 FPS. I will try it one day probably, but I haven't needed to so far.

    Chill, everything happens slower up here in Canada so I haven't tried any of the really new Swiss yet. I'm about done my supply of lot 010.213 which is the best I've ever used. I have enough some 270.613 to keep my silhouette rifle going for a few months. After that it's stuff with the new date code system ( 18/01/2016). I hope that stuff works well.

    Chris.

  8. #28
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    Thanks for all the brain power that has been put forth in this topic.

    Tomorrow I will be emptying some 45-70 cartridges of powder and lead. Range trip.

    Looking forward to using my new drop tube setup. Will keep good notes and report back with what I find out what works for my rifle and my style of shooting.

    chuck40219
    When I speak of:
    45-70: that is a 45-70 Uberti 1885 High Wall Rifle
    357 Mag. Rifle: that is a Uberti 1873 Carbine

  9. #29
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    Good luck Chuck. Have a pleasant range trip. Look forward to reading about how it went.
    WHEN ALL IS SAID AND DONE...MORE WILL BE SAID THEN DONE

  10. #30
    Boolit Master Lead pot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chuck40219 View Post
    Thanks for all the brain power that has been put forth in this topic.

    Tomorrow I will be emptying some 45-70 cartridges of powder and lead. Range trip.

    Looking forward to using my new drop tube setup. Will keep good notes and report back with what I find out what works for my rifle and my style of shooting.

    chuck40219
    Chuck a range trip is always the best way to find what works. What works for you might not, mostly not, work for others.

  11. #31
    Boolit Grand Master

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    It all depends on how consistent YOU are. If I vibrate I put the case in the same spot every time and vibrate for the same amount of time and I have gotten good results, but a drop tube has done just as good for me. I tap the measure and then the tube the same every time. I am now using a drop tube as I have one fitted on each measure and both are permanent set ups for one calibre.

  12. #32
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    With a 3 ft drop tube I couldn"t get 80 gr 1 1/2 F OE until I attached a Walmart electric trimmer with duct tape and then it all came together/Ed

  13. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lead pot View Post
    Ted,
    I drop tube my loads. I have 12", 24" and a 36" tube as well as a 6" and I use the 24" the most.
    I checked vibrated loads and found a lot of dust on the bottom of the case by carefully lifting the powder to the bottom and the flash hole was filled as well as the bottom of the case. Now I don't know if the dust was in the powder or if the grains were damaged through vibrating, but having uneven amounts of dust at the beginning of the burn could increase the burn.
    I have posted these pictures of what a compressed powder ends up in the case. Starting with .050" to .400" When you get past .05" the powder starts to be a solid mass that cant be good for a consistent burn. I feel the reason the fouling is less is because the hard mass that starts between .100" and .200" compression scrapes the bore and it does not completely burn. I went a step farther checking this out. I took two 20' foot lengths of 4" PVC pipe and fired compressed rounds through the pipe and collected the results after every shot with different compressions and this really opened my eyes on the amount of unburned powder. This cant be good even when the velocity does increases, but in my opinion this is why I see higher verticals.
    The compressed loads are mentioned in several old books from the 1880's that compressed loads are not favorable for long range shooting.

    Kurt

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Kurt
    My picture of compressed powder loads looks like what you posted - much more so in the bottle necked 45/75 case than in my 45/70 (something to do with effort versus area I guess?) I drop tube and use a reasonable depth of compression - ES is good - around 10FPS if I am careful with the other parts of the process, and burn is clean - homemade powder though and I cant quite get the density equal of commercial. I am of the view that amount of effort (weight) of compression is a better measure than depth - so when I am setting up a load I use a luggage scale on the handle of the small press (non compound linkage) that has my powder compression die.
    All this stuff is pretty subjective - accurate load + low ES + clean burn = end of problem

  14. #34
    Boolit Master
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    I think that my endeavors with compressed powder ... both droptubed and have done some vibration ... has been in the endeavor to be able to get the same amount of powder as the old balloon style cases.
    WHEN ALL IS SAID AND DONE...MORE WILL BE SAID THEN DONE

  15. #35
    Boolit Master Lead pot's Avatar
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    Ted if I feel I need more power I just fill a larger case. I don't try to make a 2.4 into a 2.6

  16. #36
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    I did 2 different samples vibrating the powder from 2 different KIK FFFg cans: One straight out of the can and the second from a can that I had "socked" the powder
    Results:
    .... "Unsocked" vibrated drop = some fines but not much
    .... "Socked" vibrated drop = No fines
    Regards
    John

  17. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Boy View Post
    I did 2 different samples vibrating the powder from 2 different KIK FFFg cans: One straight out of the can and the second from a can that I had "socked" the powder
    Results:
    .... "Unsocked" vibrated drop = some fines but not much
    .... "Socked" vibrated drop = No fines
    This whole discussion has prompted me to rethink everything I thought and read on loading BPC. When I started this BPC thing, reading that BP needed to be compressed to be effective. Now I see that might not be so.

    And I will ask, what is socked vs unsocked?

    chuck40219
    When I speak of:
    45-70: that is a 45-70 Uberti 1885 High Wall Rifle
    357 Mag. Rifle: that is a Uberti 1873 Carbine

  18. #38
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    Chuck, I've found that many of the "black powder loading rules" you hear and read about are misleading at best. I've shot some pretty good scores by not paying a huge amount of attention to any hard and fast rule I've heard.

    Chris.

  19. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gunlaker View Post
    Chuck, I've found that many of the "black powder loading rules" you hear and read about are misleading at best. I've shot some pretty good scores by not paying a huge amount of attention to any hard and fast rule I've heard.

    Chris.
    Amen.
    Chill Wills

  20. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by KCSO View Post
    It all depends on how consistent YOU are. If I vibrate I put the case in the same spot every time and vibrate for the same amount of time and I have gotten good results, but a drop tube has done just as good for me. I tap the measure and then the tube the same every time. I am now using a drop tube as I have one fitted on each measure and both are permanent set ups for one calibre.
    major secret revealed here !!!!!!!!

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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