View Full Version : throwing/weighing H4350 observations.

12-20-2008, 05:47 PM
Since my 6X47L is up and running I've bulk loaded the 150rd set 4 times now with every charge weighed to the kernel of powder. That's a small data set, but still 4 separate runs of 150rds each four different days. I've made some surprising (to me) observations. Observations of things that I don't normally see as I'm most often just loading 5-10, up to maybe 25rds at a time.

I've loaded from 80degree days down to yesterday was 25degrees outside and 65 in my temporarily heated reloading room but DRY.... like static problems.

#1- H4350 does not throw well. In my previous three load cycles I've noted a variance of as much as 4/10gr or "plus or minus two tenths" if you prefer. I set my thrower to throw just under target and trickle to fill to the kernel. Yesterday, DRY conditions, my loads varied SIX TENTHS of a grain depending on my throw technique and THREE TENTHS with any given technique.

#2- The Harrel measure throws heavier loads the slower and gentler you work it...... !!! ..... this makes no sense to me! It also throws more consistently with this particular powder when cycled slow. Here's the problem, I'm not a slow guy. Once I've got a cycle going I hustle and bustle. The SatRad's jammin' and I'm slammin' and it's HARD to slooow down and stroke the hannle..... So I've played with all sorts of taps and slaps and various faps in order to maximize efficiency. Note that with this powder one MUST slap the handle smartly on the drop stroke because if you don't, this powder WILL HANG UP and not drop. My measure is grounded with a wire AND I've got dryer sheets close to hand. H4350 WILL NOT DROP without you rap it.

#3- The MMX 123 scale is a perfect work of art, a joy to use.

#4- The Harrell measure seems unaffected by height of powder column with H4350. I refill it when it gets down to 1/2inch and the next throws (full) are right in the ballpark.

#5- Setup is critical to performance and I just yesterday found a flaw in mine. I have my setup spread out and basically centered under the Harrell thrower. The thrower is set high, like 14" above my bench. To use it I drop the powder directly into the scale pan by capping the drop tube with the pan..........it's not a perfect setup and if my arm gets tired or I burp it's possible for a grain or two to "splash out". Not the end of he world EXCEPT, yesterday I noticed that I had my block of filled cases setting nearly under the thrower, not more than 4"-5" off to the side, and once when a kernel or two splashed out the kernel landed on the loading block.


Here I am weighing to the bleepin' kernel and I might be just randomly feeding extra powder into my loaded cases??? So I moved my loaded cases further away from the powder supply.

After weighing several thousand rounds now after dropping them from the high end Harrell, I'm totally convinced that at least with stick powders of appreciable size (like 4350) loads absolutely MUST be weighed for long range stuff. I've thrown dozens of pounds of powder since Frank L Murphy made us all aware of he inconsistencies inherent to throwing powder charges and I don't believe that anyone can do better than two or three tenths with ANY stick powder let alone the longer stuff. And DAY-TO-DAY variances make this spread much larger. In any given run of throwing I now expect and account for at least 4 tenths of variation. Day to day throwing changes can add another 3-4 tenths. I remember that when testing 322 and 133 back in the day I could get to within +- one tenth ON A GIVEN DAY but remember that this was "testing" and doing small runs of 10-25rds at a time. Then shoot, and go back to do it again. Also, I was using a beam scale, a Lyman electronic and a Dillon which weren't as user friendly as this Denver Instruments unit. Setting down to grind out 150 loads over the course of an hour-hour and a half WHILE WEIGHING is an entirely different proposition, weighing to the kernel adds a sense of urgency that's lacking when one is just throwing/weighing/writing results. Trying to use the thrower to hit a target weight right on for 150rds is much harder than setting down and stroking the handle 25times to fill a load block.

So, nothing new to see here...... just reaffirming what the late great FLM told us all ten yrs ago :):) But also endorsing the MMX 123 scale. A JOY to use.

And every time I use it I dream about a ChargeMaster :D My little arms get SOOO tired.



brian roberts
12-20-2008, 06:07 PM
that when I was throwing charges of H4350, it went best if I rapped the handle at the TOP(when the cavity was filling), & came down to dump firmly. I also found that when a kernal "bridged", the charge was heavy. I use one of the AMT electrics now when I load 100 or more, but as I found on manual measures, the less there is in the hopper, the heavier the charge will be(????). if I'm loading 40-50 for testing, I usually load the hopper up about 6"(depending on cart. capacity) but if I'm loading, say, 200 6Rems., I fill a chemistry flask about 1/2-2/3 full, it puts a concentrated weight on the column, & the charges are more consistant.;)

12-20-2008, 10:32 PM

Interesting that you got that large of a spread. Now I'm going to have to go and run some rounds through to see what my Harrell's does w/ H4350. I recently did some testing of nearly every setup I have with .223 Rem sized charges of Varget (24.5gr) and strings of 30. The two surprises were how far off the little Lee PPM was (normally reputed to be da schnizzle w/ extruded powders) and how bloody accurate my un-tuned Redding #2 was. I like the added precision of my AccuLab VIC-123, but it's given me some real headaches in terms of getting the 'environment' to its liking - no drafts, mounted on a solid bench, filtered/regulated AC power, etc.


Larry Elliott
12-21-2008, 02:02 PM
Al, I hope that Santa Claus brings you a nice green Chargemaster for Christmas, I just got one and it seems like it'll do everything I want and need.

As for operating the powder measure slowly producing heavier charges, a long time ago when I was trying to perfect my technique, such as it is, it occurred to me that the measure cavity couldn't possibly fill instantaneously. I've found that when I fill the cavity slowly, stop on the end of the fill stroke (removing my hand from the handle was the only sure way to do this for me), then slowly threw the charge that things were a lot more consistent. I also overdo with 20 charges thrown back into the powder cannister before throwing charges to settle the powder in the measure's reservoir. Throwing charges like I do is SLOW and tedious if a lot of rounds are being loaded.

Somewhere I read that with sufficient practice a person could learn to throw charges of ANY powder to 0.1 gr, including 4350 and 4831. I may be more gullible than average, but even I couldn't believe that one. Your variances seem to be about what I've found with long grained powders. The only ones I've found that will produce 0.1 variation or less are very fine ball type powders that flow and fill more like a fluid than an irregular solid. Even then I do NOT believe that powders are consistent in density even from the same cannister.

12-21-2008, 05:14 PM

Myself and another poster here have been comparing techniques for a couple yrs and I've tried rapping, (once, twice, thrice) top and bottom. "Scraping the top off" with double/triple loading strokes. All sorts of different things.....what surprised me was that a GENTLE and slow load stroke and a GENTLE and slow discharge produced remarkably heavier charges. I'd established prior, at least to my own satisfaction, that THE HARRELL BRO'S ARE RIGHT :) their measures are most consistent when worked SLOWWW with no taps. What I HADn't connected was the consistently heavier charge.

Interesting idea, weight-loading the powder column.


I agree that setting up the scale is a bit of a pain. Luckily my loading room has three dedicated feeds and I'm able to take a clean electrical feed right from the box. And right now there're no drafts because we're in the middle of a record storm here....I've got the doors sealed up tight on the room! :)

That said, this 123 scale is completely pain-free once I learned to keep it warmed up and leave it on.


I've done the same as you when loading for SR Bench Rest, even my 30cal HBR stuff I do a block at a time, just throwing. I'll throw and dump for 10-15 charges and then do the whole load block in one run. For short-range stuff this has been adequate but for long range loading NOTHING equals weighing to the hundredth of a grain. My ES is down in single digits now with ease.

Also, 322, 133, 130 is much easier than 4350 or 4831, even VARget or the short cut stuff. I don't believe that ANY technique will produce spreads of less than 4 tenths for the coarse stuff. BTST, ball powder is really easy but I don't use it. I've still got maybe 4-6 lbs of Win and AA stuff that I used to use for .243AI/22-250 varminting but it's just languishing now. I use some H380 every time I work up a new load or test a new cartridge but I've never found it to excel in anything. I have some .308 loads which use it, hunting loads. But since I don't really hunt with a rifle...........


You long range and XC guys all find this to be old hat but for me, I've spent the last ten years loading as I go with blocks of 10-25rds at a go. I've not had to preload. Now that I AM preloading it's a whole new ball game to throw-weigh-charge each and every case. And I MIGHT take this regimen over to 6PPC and 30X47L stuff because I'm going to be playing with some tuners and I feel that loading weighed charges right to the center of a tuning window just might make it easier to stay on top of tune even for SR stuff.

I sure don't look forward to making 300 PPC or 30X47L cases though! That's gonna' be a week long project. Right now I've got these nifty little boxes of 25rds ea for each barrel and the 25rds will generally last a whole barrel. (Without I get stupid :rolleyes: or drop one on the concrete floor)

BTW German, you've GOT to try a good 6X47L up against that there 6XC :)

You're gonna' LOVE THIS CASE!!!!



12-21-2008, 06:31 PM

Nice setup. Almost EXACTLY like I'm setup :) except I've got a little more side room.

I'll try to get a pic up.

STILL and all though......after 3-4hrs of reaching up to that handle on the thrower I KNOW that my stroke is a little different!

BTW I now trickle only with my fingers! Like pinching salt. I keep a little tray of loose powder and for me it's 'wayyy faster and less fatiguing than using a trickler. The only unbreakable rule is this.... if (when) I trickle a charge too heavy, NEVER just pinch out of the tray on the scale. I keep a plastic tweezer close and otherwise pick up the scale-pan and pinch out the powder and GENTLY replace it on the scale.

It's perty cool though, using my fingers I get to the point that I'm just throwing 1-10 kernels at a time and many times I'll dribble a "3/4 pinch" and settle right on 40.04 TO THE KERNEL :)

I put the trickler aside.

Also, when I was using the trickler I built a little stand for it (my scale doesn't have the handy flat!) and using a rolled up towel as you're using the pillow bag I got pretty good. Might be worth a try for you, the pinching thing. What it also did for me is eliminated those dreaded "kernels in under the pan"..... I HATE that! And blowing it out or tipping around seems to bugger the scale for days......sometimes.


Big Al
12-21-2008, 06:48 PM
I have posted many times that I get the 4/10ths with 4350 in my Harrels measure and that I have called and told them it was the best measure I have ever used with 4350 and 4831. I go through anywhere between two to three kegs a year of 4350 and Harrels measure is the delight of my loading.

I do a handle rap at the top of the lever stroke and slow lever fall to the stroke bottom, and I have found this to work best for me. Most of the charges I'm throwing are in the 76 grain range with 4350.

12-21-2008, 07:31 PM

Ever consider one of those English seed planter hoozits?

Hamilton Pro-Seeder (http://www.parkseed.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/StoreCatalogDisplay?storeId=10101&catalogId=10101&langId=-1&mainPage=prod2working&ItemId=6528&PrevMainPage=textsearchresults&scChannel=Text%20Search&SearchText=Hamilton%20Pro-Seeder&OfferCode=W1H)

They do work pretty well for extracting single kernels if you are trying to get the weight 'right on' w/ the milligram scales.

I'm surprised you fellows are able to trickle into yours... mine usually starts going batty when I try trickling into it. Normally I use a plastic spoon (one of my team mates about had a crud about just using my thumb-n-finger) and pick up the pan, dribble a little in (its amazing how well 'calibrated' your eye can get after a few hundred charges), set it back, let it settle, repeat as necessary.

What cracks me up is the folks that swear up and down that their Harrell's throws Varget (or H4350, or whatever) within +/- 0.1gr... 'all day long', of course. They *really* get upset when I tell 'em mine did too... until I got a more accurate scale.


12-21-2008, 08:18 PM
Nope Monte, never seen one of those!

German, Here's some pix of my setup.

And some extras just cuz it's Christmas and I'm really happy with my heated reloading area :)

Just braggin' I guess. :D



12-21-2008, 08:21 PM
More random shots around the room.

My cool die rack :)

Might even be repeats, I get all confused.



12-21-2008, 08:44 PM
I just went back and checked the pix........giggled. I AM a Westerner...... inadvertantly my coffee cup's in EVERY non-staged picture! I can just see myself:

Ok, howsa'bout a shot of THAT......hmmmmm, set down the cup......clik......



12-21-2008, 09:16 PM
Hey, I'm proud of this part.....

The bench in pic three (and below) shows wheels on the bench........ That bench is 8ft long and it is wheeled, it fits into the other benchtops flush on both ends but when I don't want to walk all the way over to my shooting bench (15ft away.....) I can roll it over and load/shoot without even resetting the gear!


MOST of the time though I just roll the office chair over to the shooting bench....



And some more pix....... The shooting area. These were taken a while back when we were set up for our Hunter Ed class. I have to give up my indoor bench for a week and shoot outside. :(

Also my latest project, the stock in the rough. The metal's on the way to Borden's....maybe lost in the mail.

12-21-2008, 09:22 PM

Now THAT'S what I'm TALKIN' About!!!

Merry Christmas :D


Bill Wynne
12-21-2008, 09:50 PM

Back to your power throwing problem.

Try this and see how it works for you. It works for me:

1. Fill your powder measure up to about 3/4 and don't let it get below 1/2.

2. Five taps on the upstroke and five taps on the downstroke.

3. Repeat 3 or 4 times before you start weighing your charges for the load you want.

This works for me + or - about 1 grain. Good enough for hunting loads.

Just a point of information. 3 pellets of 4831 weights 1/10 of a grain (more or less). Check it out.

Concho Bill

12-21-2008, 10:04 PM
And ONE pellet of H4350 weighs .02gr :)

Honestly, since FLM brought this to our collective attention in about '97 I believe I've tried every combination imaginable. One time, 5-6yrs ago, I was talking to Lynnwood about fitting some dies and he said......sloowly.....

"Y' know, if you'd follow the instructions that came with that thrower and just work it slowly and gently it'll treat'cha fa'r".........

I figgered then that The Harrell's read the board some too :)

It still took me ten years to BELIEVE them.



12-21-2008, 10:17 PM
Ok, so a pic out the window of the range.......since't I'm braggin'... :D

I took these one day to show how the Gene Beggs Wind Probe was showing a crosswind component while my Hood Flags were lagging....

Also shot the mirage at 350

And my rifle setup as I was getting ready. I'm trying here to learn to shoot left-handed.

Stephen B Moore
12-22-2008, 11:46 AM
Case prep center by Neilson? Stock by Skip? [ Just being a smart A$$ ] I'm not able to take pictures AND post 'em yet, and I'm not sure there is room for me and a camera in my gun room. I think I need to move about six of my presses out to the shop. [only one is set up on the loading bench]. Weather here may get down to the high fifties today, with a 40% chance we may get our OTHER 1/4" of rain for the year!!
Nice pic's! Thanks German and AL !

Happy Holidays To ALL!!

Steve Moore

12-22-2008, 12:33 PM
Case prep center by Neilson? Stock by Skip? [ Just being a smart A$$ ] I'm not able to take pictures AND post 'em yet, and I'm not sure there is room for me and a camera in my gun room. I think I need to move about six of my presses out to the shop. [only one is set up on the loading bench]. Weather here may get down to the high fifties today, with a 40% chance we may get our OTHER 1/4" of rain for the year!!
Nice pic's! Thanks German and AL !

Happy Holidays To ALL!!

Steve Moore

"Green Guns Shoot Better" ....... but Jim Borden put this one together ;)



Boyd Allen
12-22-2008, 01:13 PM
It would seem to me that if one is going to trickle, that measure quality and technique are irrelevant, except as they relate to ergonomic considerations. On the other hand, my next little time waster will be to design a system that dumps measured powder directly into the pan of my 1010, without letting any bounce out. I want to build this into a scale wind box that has the trickler on the inside, with its handle accessible when the box is closed. (for those who want to load develop with coarse powders, at the range (and don't shoot out their loading room windows).

brian roberts
12-22-2008, 07:38 PM
those rooms, cluckin' & bustlin' & DUSTin' & arrANGIN', like a herd of hens until.............you couldn't FIND a damned THING!!!!!!! It'd take y'three weeks to find ANYthing!!!;)

12-22-2008, 10:58 PM
Any of you 4350 guys tried these powder dispensers to see what kind of throws you get with 4350 powder.


The Chargemaster dispenses what it's programmed to. In my cases, I use 39.5gr H4350 for my 6x47L. I've used the Chargemaster a *lot* to get the charge close and then finished off on the AccuLab (probably overkill, but it works). After a couple thousand rounds (literally) of 46.5-46.8gr Varget, for example, I feel pretty comfortable saying it throws +/- 0.10gr the vast majority of the time. Actually, until recently when doing some tests and calculating statistics on the results, I'd never seen it *ever* dispense outside +/- 0.10gr. It did it twice - both on lighter charge weights (24.5gr Varget). This is of course, disregarding the occasional 'over throw' where some powder clumps up around the discharge tube and comes out all together when the scale is trying to trickle the last couple kernels. Those are blatantly obvious (the scale reads 0.1-0.3 heavy after the count) and you can either pinch 'em off and re-weigh, or toss it back and just do it over. My Chargemaster 1500 has the setting tweaked to speed up the cycle - at the expense of a few more over throws now and again. Its still a net gain in speed, if using just the Chargemaster to dispense with. If you use a powder measure to throw 1/2 grain light and put the pan on the scale and hit 'Dispense' it'll finish it off right quick like. A person could probably dial back the settings a bit if using it that way and still move right along.