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Reloading Podcast 482 – Pete won

Hello, and welcome to the Reloading Podcast here on the Firearms Radio Network.  

Tonight the gang is answering Pete DeWitt’s questions and putting a bow on SHOTshow2024.


  • How quickly does a powder’s burn rate, chemical energy or what ever it is called decline when exposed to the air?  Asking because I weigh all of my charges individually after they have been dropped from a stand alone Hornady powder dispenser.  I keep a small open dish with a powder scoop dish next to the scale to top off or remove a bit of powder to get to my target charge weight.  Every once in a while I forget to put my powder away at the end of a reloading session.   If it is just overnight (usually the case), I empty the powder dispenser (which is mostly air tight) back into the factory container and put the small amount of powder in the dish into one of my house plants.
  • How accurate of a powder measurement is accurate enough?  As noted above, I weigh each charge individually.   I use a Ohaus SPX123 Scout Analytical Balance which is reportedly accurate to .02 grains.  Example: 5.18 grains, 5.20 grains, 5.22 grains.  It will never report an odd number.  Example: never 5.19 or 5.21 grains.  How much variation in powder weight can I accept if I am chasing my “one ragged hole” groups?  Do I have to be “right on the money” (which takes additional time)?  Or can I allow some small variation?  Example:  19.98 – 20.02 for a target weight of 20.00 grains? How accurate / consistent is the powder measurement in higher end commercial ammo?
  • How much does variance in the bullet weight in individual rifle bullets matter?  I am generally using Hornady bullets.   I have not been weighing out and grouping my individual rifles bullets by weight.
  • For my 223 / 5.56 ammo, I load from Lake City brass that I bought in bulk as “once fired”.   I clean it on arrival with a wet tumbler, then resize and remove the spent primer, and then reclean it in the wet tumbler.   I inspect each case before loading, and touch up the primer pocket with a hand tool if needed.  I am not sorting this brass by date stamp or by weight.  I have heard comments from the group that Lake City brass may not be a great brass to begin with due to it possibly having been “once fired” from machine guns.  Conversely, I have heard from other sources that the Lake City brass is built stronger / thicker due to make it shoot more reliably through a machine gun then non-Lake City brass.  Your thoughts?



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