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Steve's Rifle Cartridge Reloading

These are the techniques and equipment that I use to produce reloaded cartridges for bolt and semi-automatic rifles. Other techniques and equipment may be: better/worse, cheaper/costlier, safer/more dangerous or whatever. Read this stuff and use it or not, at your own risk!

Dispensing Powder

with a

Powder Measure

The fastest way to dispense powder charges is to use a Powder Measure.

The measure consists of a powder hopper sitting above a volumetric chamber that fills from the hopper and dumps through a tube on the bottom. A handle on the side of the chamber controls the filling and dumping of the chamber. A plunger actuated by a screw with a lock nut sets the volume of the chamber.

The volume of the chamber is set to the correct charge weight by trial and error. The hopper is filled and a charge is dumped into a scale pan and weighed. If the charge is under weight, the volume of the chamber is increased by withdrawing the plunger, if too heavy, the plunger is inserted. After making an adjustment, a charge is dropped, dumped into the hopper; another charge is dumped and weighed. The dumped and discarded charge is just to insure that the adjustment of the plunger has not compressed the material in the measuring chamber. The dumping, discarding, dumping and weighing is continued until the dumped charges are at the desired weight.

Once the measure is set to provide the desired charge, the cases are placed under the dump tube and the handle is worked up and down firmly and with some "bang" at the end of each stroke. That is, it is moved upward and a "hit" is made against the upper stop. Pause. It is moved downward and a "hit" is made against the lower stop. Pause. The next case is brought into position and the sequence is repeated. These gentle bangs provide some impetus to settle the powder into the volumetric chamber.

Some things to keep in mind:

A Measure is a volumetric device; it doesn't dispense charges by weight.

The drop tube can become clogged, static electricity can be a problem, and powder can be held in the tube and dropped on the next movement of the handle, resulting in one case with an undercharge and the following case with an overcharge.

The WEIGHT of the dispensed charge can vary with the amount of powder in the hopper.

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