measuring out powder 11/28/2008 post

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colimr

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I was just reading some old posts and came across this one. basically tap or not and will it change your powder charge. Another post pertained to change in powder density as the powder gets lower in the container. My question is a combination of both these posts if you tap your charge in your measure it does change the amount on an average of .63 not tapped to .25 tapped average grain deviation ,not really alot of deviation less then 1 grain. As your powder level changes some believe powder near the bottom of the container is finer now if that is correct how much does if any does the charge change? is 45 grain from the top of a new can by volume the same as 45 grain by volume the same from the bottom. I understand the old joke which is heaver a pound of feathers or a pound of bricks but looking at it this way 45 grains of 2f is absolutely different then 45 grains of 4f in power being 2f grains are larger then 4f grains. Am I wrong in this thought ? Should I shake my container before measuring? Just looking for an interesting conversation and gathering of opinions
 

Uncle Miltie

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Volume is volume, and is different than weight. Pour your charge from a container that is no less than half full. Pour into the measure in a steady stream, allowing a small pile to remain on the top of the measure. Tap the measure lightly a couple times, then strike the excess with one swipe of your index finger. Don't pack or push any of the powder in, just strike it level.
 

colimr

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exactly volume is volume so you saying 50 measured grains of 2f will have the same power as 50 measured grains of 4f or should we be aware of weight also because 50 grans of 4 f weighs mor then 50 grains of 2f. There must be a chart somewhere .My hawken ha 2 charge tables one for 2f one for 3f just wondering about consistence in velocity because some say finer grain powder settles in the container will there be a velocity change
 
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Brokennock

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I was just reading some old posts and came across this one. basically tap or not and will it change your powder charge. Another post pertained to change in powder density as the powder gets lower in the container. My question is a combination of both these posts if you tap your charge in your measure it does change the amount on an average of .63 not tapped to .25 tapped average grain deviation ,not really alot of deviation less then 1 grain. As your powder level changes some believe powder near the bottom of the container is finer now if that is correct how much does if any does the charge change? is 45 grain from the top of a new can by volume the same as 45 grain by volume the same from the bottom. I understand the old joke which is heaver a pound of feathers or a pound of bricks but looking at it this way 45 grains of 2f is absolutely different then 45 grains of 4f in power being 2f grains are larger then 4f grains. Am I wrong in this thought ? Should I shake my container before measuring? Just looking for an interesting conversation and gathering of opinions
I can't really answer your question fully. I think you might be overthinking it for muzzleloading,,, it isn't the same as cartridge reloading for precision.
But I did want to say that I appreciate the way you posed your question in relation to those old topics. Well done.
 
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Well, the "tap or not to tap" part of the question was addressed well by @oldwood above.
Just do it the same each time,, volume measure is an individual thing,, meaning it's how each individual does it,, and it only pertains to that individuals load.
As long as an individual does it the same each time, he gets a consistent load,, get it?
Traditional BP loading charges are very forgiving when considering all the other "hand variables" of an individual,, +/- up to 2-3 grains matters little.
(UN-like loading CF, when a 10th of a grain is make or break)

When it comes to the fining at the bottom of the can,, Yeah, there's a difference. there's a bit more boom.
Again, it's all about the individuals care and handling of his powder supply, there is no universal rule applied when Dennis keeps his powder in the trunk of his car and Bubba keeps his in a vault.
And you'll find it, it's usually not until you get to the very last inch or so in a can and in my experience it's more prevalent in the subs than with BP.
When you get to the bottom of your second can, you'll remember.
The fix is easy, just use your usual loading technique,, but pour a little short
✌️
 

Brokennock

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As a few have mentioned, regardless of tap or don't tap, do what you do the same way every time.

I've always thought an interesting side "stage" at a woodswalk or other muzzleloading event would be a "powder drop" test.
Have a table with a few guys or gals to work it with a few powder scales.
Contestants use the method of powder carry (i.e. horn, flask, or whatever) and powder measure they will use on the trail walk. They pour and have weighed 3 (5 would be better if time allows) charges which are charted.
At the end, the shooter with the least standard deviation (most consistent pour) wins.
The scales are just to compare the amount of powder in each pour,,, not to compare powder weight to powder volume.
 

Loyalist Dave

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exactly volume is volume so you saying 50 measured grains of 2f will have the same power as 50 measured grains of 4f or should we be aware of weight also because 50 grans of 4 f weighs mor then 50 grains of 2f. There must be a chart somewhere .My hawken ha 2 charge tables one for 2f one for 3f just wondering about consistence in velocity because some say finer grain powder settles in the container will there be a velocity change
Um no....,

50 gains of 2Fg weighs 50 grains
50 grains of 4Fg weighs 50 grains

When you use a volume measure calibrated to one size powder, then switch to different size powder OR even in some cases to a different brand, you get a different weight when using that measure.

Most of us don't use a calibrated measure, and have never actually checked if our adjustable measures are accurate at any setting for an actual weight of powder... Mine was set at "70". My rifle shoots that load very well. It goes through the deer, broadside. So I made my fixed measure to throw that same amount. For all I know it's actually throwing 63 or 74 grains by actual weight.
:dunno:

So what should be done is a person making a fixed measure, should actually weigh out the powder, then fashion the charger (a fixed measure is often called a "charger") to throw that amount that was previously weighed... and when making the charger, be sure to tap the side of it so that the powder settles, and then finish it. After that it will be rather consistent, so long as the user remembers to pour powder into the charger, tap the side to settle it, and be sure to top it off if the settle powder does not rest level with the lip of the charger.

In the great scheme of things, meaning for most BP shooters, the velocity variation won't really matter all that much out to 100-150 yards. A 1.5" cloverleaf pattern at 70 yards vs. an open pattern of 2.75 inches isn't going to be the difference between a wounded deer vs. venison in the pot. You're still going to ring the steel in a woods walk too, at a friendly, casual shoot.

A target shooter who depends on getting 10's and X's... that's a different matter, and even more different when one goes out past 150 yards. The old traditional 40 rods target shooting distance (220 yards) might really show a problem between pouring and tapping of a 3F powder load, and then trying the same load in 2Fg and not tapping the side of the charger....

Which is probably why those guys used either pre-weighed loads, OR were very picky on calibrating their measures.

LD
 
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This is a very interesting conversation. In my mind it stands to reason that switching from "X" volume of 2F to 3F, the same weight of 3F would occupy less volume in a volumetric measure. I've never studied up burn rates of the different granulations of black powder, so this is where I would start low and work up using a chronograph to guide me along the way as I switch from a 2F load and find the pet load using 3F.

My guess is that it's possible achieving the same velocity with a faster burning black powder may be yielding a higher peak pressure, but I would also guess that it's not likely to be a huge increase as one could encounter with the plethora of burn rates available with smokeless powders.

Also, I would guesstimate that most powder measures available for rifles these days are likely "calibrated" for 2F being that the majority of the muzzle loading market and their accessories are geared toward big game hunting in which many states have at least a 45cal minimum for taking deer and such with a muzzle loader?

Again, these are guesstimates on my part and in no way am I implying that this is fact. When I get my hands on some 3F to try in my 50cals, my intention is to work up from a mild charge using my chronograph and common sense as a guide
 

new2bp

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Yes. It is possible to get more powder in a given measure. A couple possible ways.

But, I bet almost everybody pours to fill the measure and doesn't worry about getting even more in. Otherwise you are making a 50 gr measure into a 53, 54, 55, etc.

Do it however you want.

That is the thing about muzzleloders that I both like/get a giggle out of and at the same time hate.

First, since it is volume we are all about we should be discussing CCs or MLs and not grains. But that is the part that I hate.

What I like and get a giggle out of is ... so what if your "50 grain" measure is really 51 or 54 or whatever? As long as you aren't dealing with a fixed chamber length like a revolver (and then you'll know pretty quick if it is too much) and as long as you are at least consistent in your measurement, it really doesn't matter. Big difference compared to reloading centerfire stuff where a 5% error in either direction has the possibility of a kaboom (yes, CF stuff can kaboom with too little of some types of powder)
 
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The "top of can vs bottom of can" variation is probably nitpicking a little unless you're shooting serious competition. It matters, but other factors matter as much if not more... brand (or even lot) of powder, consistency in loading practice, projectile weight, patch thickness, etc... all contribute to variation in the final result.

Concerning the part being discussed though, it's more than just weight at play. A given measure volume of a finer powder would throw slightly heavier, but also the finer powder will have more surface area for a faster burn rate.

Is there a difference? Most certainly. But unless you're at the top of your game and trying to tighten that 1" group into a 1/2" group, there are probably other factors that affect most of us more.
 
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If you are a guy with multiple brass powder measures , for grins, measure the actual charge you are throwing , and see if it is what's on the measure. I had 5 powder measures , 'cause I would loose them and buy , or make another. I had one measure that was correct , and the rest were 3 to 5 gr, of powder in error. Over the years , it didn't make a flip's difference in the accuracy , of any rifle in use. The bigger the caliber , the less the error.
 
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Since the powder cans or horns are tipped over to pour out the charge any finer powder is constantly getting mixed into the rest. The only way it would matter is if you hauled a can in your truck and the first charge poured might have less finer powder in it. After the first pour you are mixing the powder again.
 

yonderin

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I don't recall right off the top of my head who standardized wheat at 7000 individual grains of it in a pound. I believe it was a Roman ruler and IIRC Durum was their most common. Hence the 7000 grains in a pound.

Anybody in a position to see if you can get approx 50 grains in that volume of measure? Or whatever you prefer. If so, that would seem the basis of grains in a volume measure.

Just for grins and giggles, some time ago, I weighed a few different grades of BP, all Goex and it was close to 1 grain weight for each grain of volume. My measure, yours may vary.

Previously in another thread, a pound of pure BP is a pound of pure BP with the same total energy. It's how fast the different grades can release their power by being fully consumed. Smaller grains faster, faster and possibly higher pressure spike.
 
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Back in 2001 I did a study of my powder measures. I recorded both simply poured and tapped and settled measurements.

Here's a link to one of my postings. Keep following the links to get to the table.

 
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What I should have included in my entry above is that tapping and settling the powder charges in the measures may have added a few grains, but most importantly made the loads more consistent. Tapping and settling may improve consistency and accuracy on target. For most of us that small improvement in consistency will have little effect on our performance.
 

new2bp

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I don't recall right off the top of my head who standardized wheat at 7000 individual grains of it in a pound. I believe it was a Roman ruler and IIRC Durum was their most common. Hence the 7000 grains in a pound.

Anybody in a position to see if you can get approx 50 grains in that volume of measure? Or whatever you prefer. If so, that would seem the basis of grains in a volume measure.

Just for grins and giggles, some time ago, I weighed a few different grades of BP, all Goex and it was close to 1 grain weight for each grain of volume. My measure, yours may vary.

Previously in another thread, a pound of pure BP is a pound of pure BP with the same total energy. It's how fast the different grades can release their power by being fully consumed. Smaller grains faster, faster and possibly higher pressure spike.

One of the English kings stanardized 1lb==7000 grains of wheat. One of the Henrys IIRC
 
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