Sunday, April 03, 2016

Check your powder measures!

Always double check the charges thrown by your powder measures!

Today I wanted to load up some smokeless rounds for my .44-40. According to this manufacturer's chart (PDF), the Number 16 rotor for the RCBS Little Dandy powder measure throws 8.4 grains of Alliant Unique. Well, with my rotor and the particular can of Unique that I have, it throws only 7.6 grains, as checked on two different scales. That's quite a discrepancy. If it went in the other direction, i.e., throwing a heavier charge, it could damage my rifle.

I wound up putting together 50 rounds of .44-40 with 8.5 grains of Unique and a Lyman 200 grain RNFP with moly lube. 8.0 grains is a pretty standard CAS load, while 9.0 grains would be max. Splitting the difference should give me a good plinking round for the Uberti 1873 Sporting Rifle.

On the other hand, 7.6 grains of Unique under a 158 grain bullet appears to be a middle of the road charge for .357 Magnum. I'll load some up and see how they do in my Rossi 92 and perhaps one of my .357 revolvers.

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