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  1. #1
    Plinker

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    Shotshell Reloading: Should I be concerned?

    This is the recipe I'm reloading from the Lyman 5th edition book:
    7/8 oz. target loads
    Remington Premier STS Cases
    #9 lead shot
    Red dot powder
    Win. 209 Primer
    Win. Waa12L replacement wads
    17.5 grains of powder
    1250 fps
    8,500 psi

    I'm aiming for 17.5 grains of powder. With a #30 bushing, I was consistently not even getting 17 gns. I switched up to a #31 and most of the time am getting between 17.2 and 17.5. Every once in a while, when I take a reading, it will be 17.6 and have seen 17.7 once.

    Just now, I stopped after 10 shells and saw 18.1 on the scale (which I bought from cabelas for reloading). I then took another reading right after that and it was 17.2 again.
    So let's say I really did drop 18.1 grains in one of my shells. Would nothing happen, or should I scrap those shells and start over with a #30? What is a safe level of deviation over the charge limit?


    (I'm using the same empty shell to collect powder for test readings as I am for collecting shot for dumping back in the hopper. One possible explanation of the 18.1 is that a single bb was still in the shell when when I did the 18.1 test reading. Don't know for sure tho.)

  2. #2
    Marksman

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    https://www.alliantpowder.com/reload...eid=3&gauge=12

    One has to consider the recipe linked is using Rem 209P primers which don't exist in my inventory. If you want a plethera of opinion on this, consult Shotgunworld.com

    Interesting, I see the link doesn't take you to the actual recipe..... it shouldn't be too hard to find at that location.

  3. #3
    Master Twangbanger's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris387 View Post
    This is the recipe I'm reloading from the Lyman 5th edition book:
    7/8 oz. target loads
    Remington Premier STS Cases
    #9 lead shot
    Red dot powder
    Win. 209 Primer
    Win. Waa12L replacement wads
    17.5 grains of powder
    1250 fps
    8,500 psi

    I'm aiming for 17.5 grains of powder. With a #30 bushing, I was consistently not even getting 17 gns. I switched up to a #31 and most of the time am getting between 17.2 and 17.5. Every once in a while, when I take a reading, it will be 17.6 and have seen 17.7 once.

    Just now, I stopped after 10 shells and saw 18.1 on the scale (which I bought from cabelas for reloading). I then took another reading right after that and it was 17.2 again.
    So let's say I really did drop 18.1 grains in one of my shells. Would nothing happen, or should I scrap those shells and start over with a #30? What is a safe level of deviation over the charge limit?


    (I'm using the same empty shell to collect powder for test readings as I am for collecting shot for dumping back in the hopper. One possible explanation of the 18.1 is that a single bb was still in the shell when when I did the 18.1 test reading. Don't know for sure tho.)
    Question: why is it essential to hit that 1250 fps objective? (Ie, if your #30 bushing drops 17 instead of 17.5...why is that specific deviation a problem?)

    (I assume you're shooting clay targets)

    Sometimes the answer isn't as important, as whether you're asking the right question. So answer this first...then we'll go from there.

  4. #4
    Plinker

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    Quote Originally Posted by Twangbanger View Post
    Question: why is it essential to hit that 1250 fps objective? (Ie, if your #30 bushing drops 17 instead of 17.5...why is that specific deviation a problem?)

    (I assume you're shooting clay targets)

    Sometimes the answer isn't as important, as whether you're asking the right question. So answer this first...then we'll go from there.
    It's not, I just wanted to provide all the info I could.

  5. #5
    Expert t-squared's Avatar

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    Not sure what you're reloading on, but when you take a measurement be sure and "work" the machine through what would be a complete cycle. On my MECs if I simply worked the charge bar back and forth my powder drops would be lighter than if I pulled the lever enough times to make a complete shell.
    Another thing that helps with consistancy a bunch is to get a powder baffle.

  6. #6
    Plinker

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    If the same powder drop measured 18.1 gr. and then was 17.2 when remeasured, you have a scale or technique problem. Stray ai currents can cause this sort of inconsistency.
    We have met the enemy and he is us. ~ Walt Kelley

  7. #7
    Master AmmoManAaron's Avatar

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    MEC bushings are notorious for throwing light. With fluffy powders like Red Dot, all of the gravity fed volumetric drop systems have quite a bit of variability in charge weight. Six-tenths of a grain variability high or low is a bit much, three or four tenths is more common. Certain powders will do a lot better than others. Fortunately for you, your load is only doing 8,500 psi which is pretty far from max pressure. If your the recipe was calling out a pressure up near 10,000 psi, I would be worried.

    Rather than go by "seat of the pants" experience, I checked a couple of sources. Alliant's website shows 3 similar loads using Rem-209P primers. The charge weights start at 16.5 gr (1,200 fps @ 8,000 psi) and go up to 18.5 gr (1,300 fps @ 9,100 psi). This looks pretty good, but Rem-209P primers are known to be mild, while the Win-209 is a "mid-intensity" primer - not a deal breaker, but something worth examining.

    On to another source - My Lyman 4th Edition shotshell manual has the following load on Page 183: 18.0 gr Red Dot, Win 209 primer, WAA-12SL wad with 20ga .125" nitro card in bottom of shot cup (takes up space), 1,313 fps @ 8,800 psi. The WAA-12 series of wads are all pretty much the same except for the length the leg sections. Yours is longer and will give more cushioning. The load from my 4th Ed. was from a time before the WAA-12L wad - which was created so you didn't have to mess with 20ga nitro cards to get 7/8oz loads.

    Based on the pressures from the above selection of loads, I would say your shells are safe, even if one now and then goes up to 18.1gr of Red Dot. If you want more confirmation than just a guy on the internet, call the Alliant Powder tech line and they will probably tell you pretty much the same thing. If you read much on the shotgun reloading forums, you will find many comments about Alliant being helpful with situations such as yours.

    Powder baffle and working the machine - The advice given by t-squared is right on the money on both counts. From your comments, I suspect you are working your machine, but if you don't have a powder baffle, definitely get one. It won't totally eliminate variability, but it will help quite a bit.

    Your thought about a stray pellet in your powder - it's a possibility with how you are checking your charges, especially if it still has the spent primer in place rather than a new live one. A single pellet can easily get caught in the spent primer flash hole - ask me how I know, lol.
    "2016: The year that hackers became more trusted than government or reporters."

  8. #8
    Expert

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    Quote Originally Posted by AmmoManAaron View Post
    With fluffy powders like Red Dot, all of the gravity fed volumetric drop systems have quite a bit of variability in charge weight. Six-tenths of a grain variability high or low is a bit much, three or four tenths is more common. Certain powders will do a lot better than others. Fortunately for you, your load is only doing 8,500 psi which is pretty far from max pressure.
    Right there.
    I've loaded exclusively for target shells (1 oz - ish) for years. I don't give it a second thought. You will make yourself crazy.

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