1911Forum banner

1 - 17 of 17 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
80 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hello everyone

I've been reading these forums for about two months now and this is my first post. I've been shooting for 20+ years, but I'm new to centerfire reloading. I'm having difficulties getting a consistent powder charge out of my Lee "Perfect Powder Measure"....the one with the micrometer adjustable charge bar.

I went to the range yesterday and chronographed a variety of different loads for my .45 and found that there was a great deal of variation in the velocity readings. Here are the velocities for one load:

bullet: 200 gr lead swc
bullet dia: .452
bullet oal: .645
loaded cartridge oal: 1.250
primer: CCI 300 large pistol
powder: 4.5 gr Red Dot
case: mixed


shot 1: 852.7
shot 2: 758.8
shot 3: 808.3
shot 4: 809
shot 5: 835.4
shot 6: 833.1
shot 7: 824.2
shot 8: 838.4
shot 9: 870
shot 10: 775.6

average: 820.55
max: 870
min: 758.8
stdev: 33.84

I'm using a Shooting Chrony model F1 and just to check the consistency of the Chrony I tested a batch of S&B factory hardball loads. They were wonderfully consistent with an avg velocity of 858 and a stdev of only 6.16. So, I went looking for other reasons for the variable velocity in my loads. When I got home, I threw 50 charges of Red Dot from my powder measure to settle the powder (I had to fill it prior to this test) and then threw 10 charges and weighed them all. Here are the results:

charge 1: 4.5
charge 2: 4.6
charge 3: 4.5
charge 4: 4.5
charge 5: 4.5
charge 6: 4.8
charge 7: 4.5
charge 8: 4.8
charge 9: 4.5
charge 10: 4.6

Hmmmmmm........I think I found the reason my velocities keep changing. So, on to the questions:

Lee's website says that "some powders do not meter well" but doesn't specifically mention Red Dot. Is this problem common to all flake powders or just Red Dot? Does anyone have any suggestions for ways to improve the consistency of the powder charge thrown when using flake powders?

I plan on getting some W231 to see if the metering is any more consistent with ball type powder (I'm pretty sure it will be), but I still have over half a pound of Red Dot that I'd like to use up. If I need to I can set up the powder measure to throw under the weight that I want to load and then finish each charge with the scale and powder trickler, but that will slow down the already slow process of loading on a single stage press even more. Granted, safety is more important than time, but I'd rather spend the time at the range. :)

Another interesting note: groups with this load shot from a bench with a "wrist rest" hold at 15 yards ranged from .70 to 1.35 measured center to center from my Kimber, so the velocity changes didn't seem to make a huge difference in the group size. Given the accuracy results, am I being to anal about my velocities?

Thanks in advance for any help or suggestions....

Len in Phoenix
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
21,720 Posts
Flake powder measuring with an extreme spread of 0.3 grain is not bad. About what my Dillon does with 700X. Your accuracy is ok, shoot what you got. No need to weigh powder.

Ball powder like W231 will meter +/- 0.1 grain, maybe an extreme spread of 0.1 gr. That does not mean it will be a whole lot more uniform in velocity. Ammo I have loaded shows a low variability in velocity when the charge is near max. If you like 800 fps, try a faster burning powder like Bullseye, Clays, or VV N310.

[This message has been edited by Jim Watson (edited 11-22-2001).]
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,409 Posts
Kermit - my pet load for 200 gr SWC is 5.2 grains of Red Dot. Anyway, I load on Lee equipment and use the Auto Disk powder measure that charges through the die. I always found that I had to be careful with the flake type poweders like Red Dot (and even 700X). I found that I had to make sure the powder in the hopper was kept level to keep the charges consistent (especially when the hopper level was getting low). The ball powders are easier to meter - but I hate W231 because it's just too dirty! Bullseye is good though, my second pet load is 4.9 gr Bullseye with a 200 gr SWC.

Best, NAA.

------------------
Colt 1911: Best damn "Government" in the World!
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
14,948 Posts
I too use a Lee Auto Disk Measure, and I can keep my charges to within 0.1 gr. Keep the hopper filled up, and let your lever on your press slightly jar it with each stroke of the handle. This will allow the powder to compact and result in more uniform charges.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
386 Posts
I'm on my first pound of Red Dot myself now and am getting variations in measure with my RCBS Uniflow about the same as you. W231 is the most precise-measuring powder I have tried so far, but with my light loads I found a lot of it just didn't burn. I'm using 4.1 grains of Red Dot (just above the recommended minimum to allow for the variations somewhat) because below that it was smokey and noticeably inconsistent.

If it's available, you could try a powder measure baffle. There's one for the RCBS, and it seemed to help significantly with the variations in measure I got with Clays (which tended to throw "under" a lot more than over). I haven't loaded enough of the Red Dot yet to see if it helps with it, too, but I suspect it will. I agree that a sharp movement of the powder measure's arm to the top and bottom of the stroke also is a good idea.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
194 Posts
Originally posted by NAA:
but I hate W231 because it's just too dirty! Bullseye is good though, my second pet load is 4.9 gr Bullseye with a 200 gr SWC.
W231 dirty....Bullseye good...that's a good one!
I've been looking for a fast powder for 45ACP and this is what I have seen:

Bullseye:...Well the dirtiest, but great SD's and accuracy.
Clays: The cleanest, does not meter well and large SD's.
700X: Remember as clean, cannot recall metering, but the BEST SD's I've ever seen with 230 FMJ loads (6.0-8.0)!
Titegroup: Real dusty....meters okay....REAL big flakey residue.
WST: Will try soon. Anybody got the scoop on this one?

Hope everyone's having a good turkey day. Tree Rat.



[This message has been edited by Tree Rat (edited 11-22-2001).]
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,133 Posts
I finally gave up on Red Dot in the 45. I was getting the same sort of variations mentioned above with an old Lyman 55. Switched to WST and am very happy. I load 4.0 of WST under a 200 grain cast SWC. Very soft shooter. Accurate, clean and functions perfectly.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
766 Posts
Your Results from Red Dot I would rate as almost normal for a Flake type powder. For a more consistant drops you might want to consider a Ball type power like WW-231. I am currently using Alliant Unique which is also a flake type powder but I have found that it does not vari as much as red dot does through the powder measure (I am using a Dillon SD). You might want to consider a faster powder like Bulleye for more consistant velocity reading.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
45 Posts
Thought you might like to hear from someone just starting a "love" relationship with Red Dot.

Just recently, I ordered my usual 8 lb jug of Bullseye but received Red Dot instead. To make a long story short, the distributor sent a jug of Bullseye later, and told me to keep the Red Dot as well. Too much trouble and expense to return it. So I'm working up Red Dot loads. My press is the Dillon XL650 and I use the RCBS 10/10 scale to weigh charges during setup. My procedure is to weigh the first few loads then the 15th and 25th load. If all is well, I crank it up untill I need to add primers. Ill check a load again. So far, I have seen no variance, to speak of. Every load appears to be the same.

For some time, I have searched for the "perfect" load and have used W231, Bullseye, TiteGroup, Clays, Clays Universal, WST and PB. I finally settled on Bullseye...UNTILL NOW. I found that in my Kimber SM, 4.6 GR Red Dot with the 180 gr LSWC gives me 890 fps and a 10 shot 1" ragged hole at 15 yards. The best I've been able to do before was 2 inches using 5.0 gr Bullseye. I still need to bump it up to the 165 power factor. Hope it stays tight.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
68 Posts
You can play all you want with getting flake powders to measure accurately, but the best, fastest bet is to switch over to a ball-type for more consistency.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
80 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
Thanks to everyone for the suggestions. I'm in the process of loading a bunch of test loads using Bullseye and WST. I'll post the results next week.

Thanks again.....this is a great group!

Len in Phoenix
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,409 Posts
Originally posted by chazecon:
Thought you might like to hear from someone just starting a "love" relationship with Red Dot.

Just recently, I ordered my usual 8 lb jug of Bullseye but received Red Dot instead. To make a long story short, the distributor sent a jug of Bullseye later, and told me to keep the Red Dot as well. Too much trouble and expense to return it. So I'm working up Red Dot loads. My press is the Dillon XL650 and I use the RCBS 10/10 scale to weigh charges during setup. My procedure is to weigh the first few loads then the 15th and 25th load. If all is well, I crank it up untill I need to add primers. Ill check a load again. So far, I have seen no variance, to speak of. Every load appears to be the same.

For some time, I have searched for the "perfect" load and have used W231, Bullseye, TiteGroup, Clays, Clays Universal, WST and PB. I finally settled on Bullseye...UNTILL NOW. I found that in my Kimber SM, 4.6 GR Red Dot with the 180 gr LSWC gives me 890 fps and a 10 shot 1" ragged hole at 15 yards. The best I've been able to do before was 2 inches using 5.0 gr Bullseye. I still need to bump it up to the 165 power factor. Hope it stays tight.

Try 5.2 gr Red Dot and a 200 gr lead SWC. I have found that this load combo has been very accurate in every 1911 I've seen it used in. Regards, NAA.



------------------
Colt 1911: Best damn "Government" in the World!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
80 Posts
Discussion Starter #15
Well I'm back after chrono testing a batch of loads using WST instead of Red Dot. Before I started loading I threw 10 charges of WST, weighed them all, and verified that WST will actually meter within .1 grains per charge out of my Lee measure. Woo hoo!

Here are the chrono results for two different loads:

Bullet weight 200 230
Bullet type LSWC JRN
Powder 4.5 WST 4.5 WST
Primer CCI LP CCI LP

weapon Kimber Kimber

shot 1 856.5 783.9
shot 2 822.2 765.4
shot 3 827.5 793
shot 4 855.7 776.2
shot 5 829.8 780.9
shot 6 859.5 774.6
shot 7 833.8 777.9
shot 8 819.2 770.5
shot 9 840 768.9
shot 10 842 778.6

avg velocity (fps) 839 777
energy (ft/lbs) 312 308
IPSC power factor 168 179
max vel 859.5 793
min vel 819.2 765.4
vel spread 40.3 27.6
std dev 14.65 7.97


I did a 'cut and paste' from the Excel spreadsheet that I use to keep track of my load data so I hope the spacing works out correctly.....if not I'll find a different way to post the data.

The velocity variation and standard deviation of all the loads I tried were substantially reduced after switching to WST, so I think I've found my favorite powder (for the moment....). I'll leave the Red Dot for target .38 loads so my kids can burn it up and stick with ball powder for a while in the .45. I'll probably crank up the velocity (carefully) for both loads and watch the accuracy and consistency before I decide which load to produce in mass quantities.

Thanks to all who helped me with the problem!!

Len in Phoenix
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
52 Posts
Loaded my first batch of Red Dot yesterday. Been shooting .45 snce '65. Everything from Bullseye, which Armond Swenson suggested when he worked over a Colt for me (I've always regretted selling that Colt - haven't sold a gun since) through Universal, 700X, AA#5, AA#7 (real accurate for me in my early Springfield behind 185gr Hornady Jhp's). That brings me to my first Red Dot loads. Fired best group ever using 5gr RD behind SureShot 200gr LSWC. My Springfield LOVED this load, but it was just so-so in my Ruger P97, but, hey, this is a 1911 site anyway, right. Have to play with the load some more to tweak it for my defense loads or maybe go back to AA#7 for these. Any suggestions. (Posting is new to me, so be gentle, ok?)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
52 Posts
Loaded my first batch of Red Dot yesterday. Been shooting .45 snce '65. Everything from Bullseye, which Armond Swenson suggested when he worked over a Colt for me (I've always regretted selling that Colt - haven't sold a gun since) through Universal, 700X, AA#5, AA#7 (real accurate for me in my early Springfield behind 185gr Hornady Jhp's). That brings me to my first Red Dot loads. Fired best group ever using 5gr RD behind SureShot 200gr LSWC. My Springfield LOVED this load, but it was just so-so in my Ruger P97, but, hey, this is a 1911 site anyway, right. Have to play with the load some more to tweak it for my defense loads or maybe go back to AA#7 for these. Any suggestions. (Posting is new to me, so be gentle, ok?)
 
1 - 17 of 17 Posts
Top