Tap or not (powder measure)?

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To Tap or not to Tap (powder measuring)

  • Tap

    Votes: 29 40.3%
  • No Tap

    Votes: 40 55.6%
  • Weigh

    Votes: 3 4.2%

  • Total voters
    72

Toneloc

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I know consistency is the key...just curious what most guys do when measuring out BP.

Do you tap your measure to settle the powder first?

Or do you just pour into measure?

Or non-traditional and weigh out your charges?
 
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In my notorious study of powder measures, I found that tapping the load gave a result with the lowest standard deviation.

Always using the same measure was the best.

Setting and resetting my adjustable powder measures made small changes. Probably not enough to adversely effect on target accuracy.

Settling and tapping are the same process.

Weight of powder | Page 3 | The Muzzleloading Forum
 
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I know consistency is the key...just curious what most guys do when measuring out BP.

Do you tap your measure to settle the powder first?

Or do you just pour into measure?

Or non-traditional and weigh out your charges?

I carefully pour into the measure. Black powder is measured by volume, not weight. I would never weigh the charge but if I chose to tap the measure, I would do it the same every time. Consistency is the key. JMHO.
 

jdw276

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I wouldn’t call it a full settling tap. Just a light tap of my index finger against the side if the measure to level the slightly mounded powder even with the top. It’s been a habit for decades.
A little less messy spillage as well.......
 

Loyalist Dave

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My charger often ends with what folks would call a "rounded" measure, and then I tap it and it settles and then is level with the lip of the charger. If it's not I remove the tiny bit of excess. Just an anal habit. Likely wouldn't change the drop that much even out to 100 yards if I used a "rounded" load.

LD
 
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From my point of view, and given the shooting I typically do (informal/semi-formal match shooting), this ain't 1,000 yd. bench rest shooting and we're not dealing with anything like fine-grained smokeless powder like Bullseye. So I just use spouts directly attached to my powder bottle and don't measure what they throw. I have of course taken pains to ensure what they DO throw, and that they throw it consistently -- which led me to discover that one of my manufacture-etched 20-grain spouts in fact throws 25 grains. :rolleyes:

One of the things I really like about BP shooting is that it is more primitive and simpler -- so I don't have to carefully weigh my powder, and my cases, and my bullets, and measure my case lengths, and turn my case necks, and make sure my primer pockets are uniform ... (Did I leave anything out? Probably.)
 
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i pour the measure over full and strike it level with the finger. In the tests i ran decades ago that method gave the lowest standard deviation.
 
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i am old and shake like i am waving goodbye, so i don't tap the measure to settle the powder, it just naturally happens through handling.
i am always meticulous in pouring to the same level on the measure. I use the old cva clear measures just so i can see exactly the same level.
then when i pour, i spill a bunch so none of the above matters a spit! :rolleyes:
 

Erwan

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For a large part, I do exactly like Deerstalker (I'm older of one year than yesterday since this morning)... :D
I put the powder in my old Pedersoli dosing measure, I turn the conical nozzle and I put the powder in the barrel: the vibration is quite natural and constant, I also never tap on the bullet with the ram...
 
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For those who think that "BP is measured by volume and NOT weight: a grain is 1/7000 of a pound... and a pound is a unit of weight, not volume (aka: a grain is a grain is a grain, doesn't matter if it is 1 grain worth of flour or powder- Think: a pound of feathers vs a pound of bricks). You can volumetrically meter out any type of propellant or explosive, and if it is uniform in dimensions (spoilers: BP isn't), it can be pretty accurate. BP of a particular formulation gives off the same amount of gas, per it's weight, every time. I've had "100 grain" volumetric measurements be off by as much as 10 grains, it just depends on how the granules fall in (upon testing that, I stopped using volume to meter powder other than to get it close on a scale before trickling the rest in, accuracy improved quite a bit).

As far as deer hunting/plinking/field emergencies are concerned, volume is close enough to work, and it's what most people were using historically (because it's convenient). Just do it the same way to minimize the margin of error.

Another issue with using commercially bought powder measures is that they are marked to meter out modern commercial powder, which has been generally standardized to a density of roughly 1.72-1.80 grams per cubic centimeter. If you have anything outside of that, those measures are not going to meter out close to the marked weight (one of the biggest reasons why "homemade powder (often hand granulated) is less powerful" than bought).

I still often carry a small flask (one of the small pocket flasks) and volumetric measure in my bag, in case my cartridges get wet (I wouldn't know how, but Murphy's law, right?), because I know it'll be kinda-close-enough with the volume (so long as I mark out on the measure where my charge's weight is).
 
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Yeah, or do like @Wildrangeringreen does and carry a powder trickler with you. 🤣
I don't carry a trickler, I just pre weigh my stuff (what else you going to do when it's 10 out and windy? 🤣). A grape fruit spoon works well as a trickler, btw; just make sure you dry it off when going between your morning grapefruit and the powder. Now a giant shooting bag with a years worth of patching, 100's of projectiles and a pound+ of powder; that makes sense to carry🙃
 
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It matters not to me how much it weighs. I just work with the volume quantity until I get the results that I want. The only time I weigh is when I do get to that spot I weigh in case I need the weight to make a fixed measure.

Like two other members mentioned above, I have done the tapped vs not tapped experiment and had the same results. Nevertheless, I don't tap because the difference was not enough (for me) to warrant the extra step.

I still have those tapped vs tapped numbers somewhere and I'll try to post them.
 
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For a large part, I do exactly like Deerstalker (I'm older of one year than yesterday since this morning)... :D
I put the powder in my old Pedersoli dosing measure, I turn the conical nozzle and I put the powder in the barrel: the vibration is quite natural and constant, I also never tap on the bullet with the ram...
happy birthday Erwan! probably a day late now, but congratulations anyway!
joyeux anniversaire Erwan! probablement un jour de retard maintenant, mais félicitations quand même!
 
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