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Thread: Powder weight

  1. #1
    Boolit Buddy
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    Powder weight

    I load 79 gr. of Swiss 1-1/2 in my .45/90 below a 480 gr. bullet. My Uniflow powder measure drops it then I weigh it on my 505 scale. I just started a new lot of powder and my powder measure threw 82 grains so I cut the measure back 3 grains. I am assuming to maintain my same load I need to be more concerned about weight than volume

  2. #2
    Boolit Master Dan Cash's Avatar
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    I set my Lyman measure to drop 69 grains of 2F Old Eynsford for .45-70. I then tweaked the volume until I was happy with the grouping. I have not changed the measure since establishing my load but did weigh some charges when I last loaded. The scale showed 72 gr of powder. The lots have changed over time as have the weights but the volume remains the same. Group sizes don't seem significantly different. I would recommend you stay with the volume rather than the weight and do what the target and chronograph tell you works.
    To paraphrase Ronald Reagan, the trouble with many shooting experts is not that they're ignorant; its just that they know so much that isn't so.

  3. #3
    Boolit Buddy
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    Volume and compression is more important than weight with Black Powder.

  4. #4
    Boolit Master
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    I would have to agree with Dan. I believe volumetric fill of BPC's is more critical than whether the charge weighs 79 or 82 grs. I've been shooting Shiloh Sharps Montana Roughrider in 45-90 since 1995. The original charge weight of the old GOEX Cartridge when filled to the powder column height I wanted came to 80 grs. on the button. I've not changed the volumetric setting since but have used Schuetzen Ffg and am now shooting either it or Old Eynsford Ffg. Never changed the volume setting and haven't checked the weight since '95. I do think OE doesn't come as high in the case so maybe I should revisit the setting with that powder. If I do I won't care what the weight is other than to be able to repeat the setting.
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  5. #5
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by jednorris View Post
    I load 79 gr. of Swiss 1-1/2 in my .45/90 below a 480 gr. bullet. My Uniflow powder measure drops it then I weigh it on my 505 scale. I just started a new lot of powder and my powder measure threw 82 grains so I cut the measure back 3 grains. I am assuming to maintain my same load I need to be more concerned about weight than volume
    Shoot it and see . I weigh charges to get better consistency but I am using ungraphited stuff that doesnt run freely into measures - the target is the ultimate answer to this question - however when transferring information (joe asks fred what his load is) measure numbers dont cut it for me because your 65 grain measure could easy be 77 grains for me - tell me grains weight and I know exactly what you talkin about.

  6. #6
    I'm loading by weight, not volume. But loading by MV would probably be the best, IMO.

  7. #7
    Boolit Master


    rfd's Avatar
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    BP for cartridges, I weigh. BP for muzzleloaders, I measure (volume.)
    The only government I trust is the .45-70 ....

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by martinibelgian View Post
    I'm loading by weight, not volume. But loading by MV would probably be the best, IMO.
    100% agree. But don't say it so loud. I am just as happy anyone I compete against think anything else.
    Chill Wills

  9. #9
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    Winger Ed.'s Avatar
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    Sort of like measuring wet or dry dirt:

    Relative levels of humidity in the powder can change the weight to volume measurements.
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  10. #10
    Boolit Master

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    Only if you leave the lids off your powder cans. And that is a maybe.
    I've put that myth to bed with my own testing for it. Your millage may vary.
    Last edited by Chill Wills; 05-06-2021 at 07:51 PM.
    Chill Wills

  11. #11
    Boolit Buddy
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    I have found one change changes other things. The weighed 79 grains of the new batch left the powder column level lower in the case. As a result my bullets were no longer compressed. To bring my powder column back up to where it was I had to go to 82 grains and that brought back my C.O.A.L. It is nice having a forum like this for fools like me to get good answers.

  12. #12
    Boolit Buddy
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    Remember the old joke: “What weighs more, a pound of feathers or a pound of coal”.
    Black Powder density changes with the quality of the ingredients, the skill a whim of the manufacturers. Weigh your powder charge.
    Even your volumetric dispenser was originally calibrated against a known mass weight of propellant fuel. Volume dispensing is just a tool to quickly dispense an amount of fuel that will weigh quite close plus or minus to the weight it was calibrated too.
    The powder represents energy in solid form and the amount of energy it can release relates directly to the mass density of the powder which equates to its weight and certainly not to the degree of compression placed on it in a cartridge case.
    Last edited by greenjoytj; 05-27-2021 at 05:35 PM. Reason: Spelling & grammar

  13. #13
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by greenjoytj View Post
    Remember the old joke: “What weighs more, a pound of feathers or a pound of coal”.
    Black Powder density changes with the quality of the ingredients, the skill a whim of the manufacturers. Weight your powder charge.
    Even your volumetric dispenser was originally calibrated against a known mass weight of propellant fuel. Volume dispensing is just a tool to quickly dispense an amount of fuel that will weigh quite close plus or minus to the weight it was calibrated too.
    The powder represents energy in solid form and the amount of energy it can release relates directly to the mass density of the powder which equates to its weight and certainly not to the degree of compression placed on it in a cartridge case.
    Yep I will back that 100% Even chrono tested it
    36 grains of corned powder in a 44/40 gave me close to identical velocity to 36 grains of screened from the same raw materials. It took some ingenuity to get the screened in the case as it is only about 65 % the density of corned.
    Was not setting out to prove a point at the time just curious and definitely surprised at the result.

  14. #14
    Boolit Buddy
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    Quote Originally Posted by beshears View Post
    Volume and compression is more important than weight with Black Powder.
    It seems as though the Sharps rifle company expressed that compression was the most important function of an accurate load. This is from one of their brochures in the mid-1870s. "Two things that are of vital importance to be observed are, first that every shell should be filled with powder to exactly the same height and if the pouring through the tube does not carry it to the right point, a gentle tapping on the sides of the shell with another shell may do it. If not, reject that shell. Different batches of powder of same brand often very so that it is found impossible to get 100 grams in such a case, use one to three grains less as it may be found necessary taking care not to crush the powder. The second vital point is to see that the paper patch does not get torn while seating the bullet in the shell and when inserting the cartridge in the rifle be careful and not catch the patch on the rifling. Observe before inserting that bullet has not gotten loose in the shell. If it has moved away from the powder, it will fall short of the mark". The Sharps rifle company went on to express that a hot powder was not necessary but the best 1F powders from Laughlin and Rand and the Oriental Powder Company we're all that could be desired.
    I've stuck with this for most of my BPCR days and it seems to work quite well. I find my overall length and then fill the case to that point and use minimal compression (.050-.070") This is using Swiss powder with GG bullets and not paper patch .

  15. #15
    Boolit Buddy tmanbuckhunter's Avatar
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    I've had very experienced BPCR shooters tell me they've seen powder column/volume vary from lot to lot as far as up or down, and weight. With that being said, I just prefer to go ahead and drop a grain or two and re-work the load. I'm shooting for score, not fun. Don't want to leave any stone un-turned.

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