Reloading Podcast 125 - powder and load questions

Hello, and welcome to the Reloading Podcast here on the Firearms Radio network.  

Tonight the guys are answering more questions.

  1. Curious on minimizing standard deviation in FPS. I use a charge master to drop loads and notice that that multiple pieces of powder comprises a grain weight. This question is about rifle loads using cylindrical powders. Do any of you short drop the powder in the auto charger then trickle up to the desired weight manually to just hit the grain weight number you are looking for? If so will this help standard deviations in velocity spread cartridge to cartridge?  Keith C.

  2. Thanks for the podcast and your investment of your time. Recently I purchased a older firearm and found myself in a new situation, I was trying to keep chamber peak pressure at a minimum while trying to maintain acceptable velocity. Previously I always try to maximize speed and accuracy. I would appreciate information on how to maximize velocity while minimizing peak pressure. An interview with an internal ballistician would make for a great episode. I'm particularly interested in the relation to burn rate and barrel length, and chamber size to bore diameter.

    1. Hello Mike
      Sure, glad to assist.  This is a relatively easy question to answer.

      We can’t change physics, maximizing velocities while minimizing peak pressure is not possible. Since this is an “older” firearm I suggest that Justin first get it inspected by a competent gunsmith. Depending if the firearm is in good condition that can withstand smokeless powder pressures we recommend starting loads(check the Hodgdon Reloading Data Center website or try using Trail Boss or H4895 reduced loads. Feel free to contact us if we can be of further assistance.


  3. I hate to disagree with you guys, but I just thought I'd mention that it IS possible to start on a progressive press successfully.  Generally, I agree with the statement that beginners should start on a single stage press, but I started with a Dillon XL650.  The reason being was I wanted to shoot more pistol ammo than anything else.  I do now use a Forster Co-Ax for my precision rifle ammo, but 9mm, .223 Remington(blasting ammo) and case prep for the .308win is done on the Dillon.  I attribute my success and lack of issues to two things however.  1: I worked previously in a wood shop setting up molding machines and CNC's so I have some conceptual knowledge of complex operations like a progressive press as well as mechanical skills.  2: I had a friend with a Dillon 550 to help walk me through the finer points while I was setting it up.  I guess there's a 3rd:  I read the manual.  haha!    Anyway, I generally agree with that statement and I understand why you guys say that on the podcast all the time, but there are exceptions.  If I had thought I couldn't handle a progressive I don't think I would have gotten into reloading because the loading pistol ammo on a single stage press makes me want to jump in front of a train.  Thanks for the show and great interviews!  Cullen




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