Mechanical Powder Measures

The Ideal, Bond and Belding ic Mull powder measures are very convenient and useful devices for measuring powder charges rapidly and with sufficient accuracy for any purpose excepting long range target shooting and for maximum charges- The method of using these measures is described in the literature of their respective manufacturers so there is no need of repeating that here, but it is pertinent to explain the principles underlying their operation and their limitations.

The Bond and Ideal measures work on much the same principle. They have powder reservoirs, below which arc rotating parts that can be adjusted to provide a measuring cavity of variable capacity, the cavity being adjusted according to the kind and volume of powder desired. The measuring devices arc provided with graduations that serve as reference marks for setting the measures and the manufacturers furnish tables by means of which their measures may be set for any desired charge of any kind of powder.

The Belding & Mull measure differs from the others in its operation, although it is the same in principle. It has a measuring device that takes the form of an adjustable cup or measure entirdy separate from the rest of the apparatus. The capacity of the measure proper can be adjusted for the charge desired and after it is charged, the powder is dumped into the cartridge case with the aid of a funnel.

228 This is somewhat similar to the old-fashioned dip measure, but is much more accurate and convenient.

The two questions that arise in regard to mechanical powder measures are, how accuratdy may they be set by their graduations and, how uniform will the charges be thrown after the measures are set? There is no definite answer to either question. Much depends upon the way the measure is operated, the kind of powder, the quantity used in each charge and the shape and dimensions of the measuring cavity. If the measure be not operated smoothly and uniformly, the charges can not be uniform, although with the most cardess operation of any of these measures, the charges thrown will not vary more than those found in the ordinary run of factory ammunition.

The kind of powder makes a difference in the uniformity, because some powders have smaller grains than others and consequendy flow more smoothly. Coarse grained powders do not measure as uniformly as the finer grained ones. Even the humidity affects the way the powder flows and as a general rule, powder will not flow as smoothly in damp as in dry weather, even though the moisture in the air has no effect on the burning of the powder after it is loaded, at least no cffcct that the rdoadcr can detect.

The shape of the cavity also affects the uniformity of charges. If one were to select a certain kind and charge of powder and adjust all three measures to throw the same weight, it might be found that one measure sejemed to measure that charge a litdc more uniformly than the other two, but if the kind of powder were changed and the measures set for a greater or smaller volume, the advantage would very likdy switch to one of the other measures. A noteworthy example of the effect of the dimensions of the measuring cavity on the uniformity of powder charges is found in the Ideal Micrometer Powder Measure. This measure has one rather thick measuring slide, by means of which the cavity size is governed. The depth from front to rear and from top to bottom of the cavity is fixed by the

229 width and thickness of the slide. The width of the cavity is controlled by the amount that the slide is drawn out When this measure is set for small charges of pistol powders, the cavity is so narrow that the powder can not flow into it uniformly and used in this way the variations in the weights of successive charges are greater than are considered permissible, therefore the manufacturer does not recommend this measure for use with pistol powders. The Ideal Universal Powder Measure provides a broad, shallow cavity for pistol powders and handles these charges very nicely.

Assuming that we have one or another of these measures, let's look at the successive steps in setting and using it in order to get the most uniform results, for the accuracy of die ammunition will depend more upon the uniformity of the successive charges thrown than on the precise weight of the charge.

Powder Measure Graduations and Settings.

Bond and ideal Powder measures arc graduated in grains weight of Black Powder, but in using them with smokeless powder the graduations should be considered merely as arbitrary reference lines. The Belding & Mull measure has arbitrary graduations that have no particular relation to any one kind of powder. This is just as good a system and perhaps better than trying to tie the graduations up with one kind of powder. I think that this idea of trying to explain and reconcile black powder graduations with the settings for smokeless powders is one of the most confusing things ever put forth for the beginner at reloading and I would suggest that anyone not loading black powder forget all about the hlack powder graduations on the first two measures mentioned. As a matter of fact, all the different granulations of black powder bulk differendy in a measuring cavity of any given volume and charges of fine grained black powder will be heavier than charges of coarse grained black powder when measured in the same volume, which doesn't make any difference as Black Powder should be measured by VOLUME and not by WEIGHT.

The principle of any of these mechanical powder measures 230 is simple and satisfactory. They all have adjustable measuring cavities. They all measure by VOLUME and not by weight. The larger the cavity is made, the larger the volume of the charge it will measure and consequendy the greater the weight of the charge. Tables for setting the measures are furnished with them. In all of these tables there is a column for each kind of powder. To measure any charge, select the column representing the kind of powder you are going to load, select the weight of charge you want, and set the measure on the graduation indicated by the table for that weight and kind of powder. That's all there is to it.

The graduations on powder measures are evenly spaced and doubling the number of graduations of the setting will double the volume and the weight of the charge, regardless of the kind of powder used. Powder measure tables are usually computed on this basis, the results being checked by setting the measure at different volumes and actually measuring and weighing the charges thrown. Jhc average weight of several charges is the weight shown in the table for the particular setting given.

Due to the difference in densities of different lots of the same kinds of powders, mechanical powder measures can only be depended upon to throw approximately the weight of charge desired when set according to a fixed table. Actually, the charge may be slighdy lighter or heavier than is indicated by the table, but it will not be enough different to worry about as long as it does not excced a normal full charge. Maximum charges should never be measured; they must be weighed. Where it is desired to get the greatest degree of accuracy of charge, scales or balances must be used, but the mechanical powder measures will, when used properly, throw charges with all the uniformity necessary for extreme accuracy with all but the coarsest grained powders. Even with coarse grained powders they do surprisingly well if the ammunition is judged by its performance rather than the mental contortions of a novice handloader who has been *3*

misguided into believing that any powder charge that varies more than one tenth of a grain in weight is inaccurate. No one can be criticized at all for taking all the pains and time necessary to get uniform charges of powder into reloaded ammunition, but the average reloader has an exaggerated idea of the degree of uniformity necessary to get first class accuracy. Our present day factory ammunition is pretty fine stuff, but how do you suppose the powder charges are loaded. By weighing? Not by a dawgone sightl They are measured by volume, in gravity powder measuring dcviccs that work very much on the same principle as the measures used by handloaders. The latter, however, has a iitde the advantage because he can take more time and care with his loading and by careful use of a mechanical measure, can get a greater uniformity of charge than is possible on a loading machine. Naturally, the question arises as to how to use a powder measure to get this extra accuracy. Granting that the nature of the powder, as well as the very principle of bulk measurement, imposes some limitations on the accuracy that can be obtained with certainty, any mechanical powder measure is subject to certain conditions and if these are observed by the user, he will get all the accuracy and uniformity of charges that his powder measure is capable of.

Hints on the Use of Powder Measures.

The Ideal and Bond Powder measures work on the same principle but the Belding fic Mull measure is a litde different. We will consider the first two together and the latter by itself.

When powder is emptied from a canistcr into the reservoir of a powder measure, the grains fall in a hap-hazard manner and the powder column is "loose" and of an uneven density. If the measure is used with the powder in this condition, the jarring incidental to the operation of the measure will cause the powder to settle and increase in density and the charges will increase in weight, from one to another, until the powder reaches its maximum density. By maximum 233 density is meant that the powder has settled as much as it possibly can.

Therefore, after emptying powder into a measure, the measure should be tapped or jarred until the powder will setde no further, before the measure is used to load any ammunition. But jarring the powder column to its maximum density is not enough to insure uniform charges from the start.

Most of us have at some time in our lives played with a funnel and sand. When the funnel is filled with sand and the sand is allowed to flow out of the spout, the sand flows in toward the center, or dirccdy over the oudct, forming a moving column down through the mass. The sand at the outside of the mass does not move down appreciably until the widening cone in the center reaches the sides of the funnel. In moving in this way, the sand particles slide one upoo another and arrange themselves into what may well be called "lines of flow." If the sand be coarse and rough or if it be damp, it will not flow with the ease and freedom of fine, dry sand.

Powder works the same way in a powder measure. True, it does not flow unrestricted through an opening in the bottom of the measure, but its principle movement down ward is through the measuring cavity and after a varying number of charges have been thrown, lines of flow are established in the powder just as they are in sand when passed through a funnel. With a measure set for a small charge of pistol powder, it may be necessary to throw quite a considerable number of charges before the lines of flow are established, while dumping only a few heavy rifle charges may do the trick. Once these lines of flow are established, the powder will measure at its maximum uniformity. The coarseness of the grains, the character of the grain surfaces and, to a lesser extent, the moisture in the atmosphere, will affect the uniformity of the flow; fine, smooth powders will always flow smoother and consequently measure more uniformly than thoce with coarse or rough grains and there is nothing that anyone can do about k— 253 unless it is to weigh them.

To summarize: the proper way to adjust a powder measure is to put the powder in, filling the hopper or reservoir nearly to the top and then up or jar the measure, setding the powder until it will settie no further. Then, with the cover off, throw enough charges rapidly into any suitable box or container so that a depression begins to fohn in the upper surface of the powder, over the measuring cavity. It is immaterial whether the measuring cavity be adjusted before or after the powder is put in. The powder that has been taken from the measure in doing all this can be dumped in on top without affecting the charges.

It is commonly recommended that the powder measure be kept at least half full of powder so that the charges will be uniform and not be affected by the reduced or greater weight of the powder column. Well—that won't do a bit of harm, but is surprising how litde difference the weight of the powder column makes with the charges thrown. With the lines of flow established, the charges will run uniform until the powder in the reservoir of the measure is nearly exhausted. Once the measure is in operation, loose powder added will not affect the charges, unless the powder level be very low. Try it sometime. In fact, if reloaders would do a bit of experimenting to sec how little difference some things like this make, instead of letting their imagination run wild over theoretical details, they would load a lot more and better ammunition and get much more enjoyment out of doing it.

The Belding & Mull powder measure has two reservoirs and a detachable measuring device. The operation of the measure is such that when the operating lever is pushed over, a quantity of powder passes from the upper reservoir to the lower one and loose powder from the lower one flows into the measuring device. The powder available for charging the cartridge is always loose and it is claimed that this makes for greater uniformity of charges. It certainly provides a uniform condition from one charge to another and possibly offers some slight advantage as compared with the Bond and Ideal measures, provided these last mentioned measures are used improperly. I have used them all, and have used them correctly, and I honesdy can see no advantage in any one over the others that is of practical consequence. As previously mentioned, one or the other of them may show a litde better uniformity with certain charges and powders, but they are all equally-good and I mean, good when they are used with proper care. Charges of some powders can be thrown with any of them to limits that there is absolutely no need of, nor advantage to be gained by using a scale. Scales are useful for setting any of these mechanical measures to throw exactly the charge desired, provided that the scales are as accurate as the measure. Scales are a necessity for weighing maximum charges, as these charges arc dangerous in that they encroach considerably upon the factor of safety of arms and allow litde or no leeway for ordinary variations on the plus side. There are so many other things that can cause pressures to rise besides the powder, that the use of maximum loads can not be recommended; at least they should only be used by reloaders who know more about ammunition than just weighing powder charges to a small fraction of a grain. However, when these overloads arc used it behooves one to use every care with the powder charges. That at least is one step in the right direction.

In operating a powder measure, one should be methodical. The handle should be raised and lowered uniformly, both as to the force employed and the time. This is not important with the Belding ic Mull measure, but it is with the Ideal and Bond measures if one wishes to get the finest degree of accuracy that these measures arc capable of. The litde knocker on the ideal measure should be flipped the same each time but it is immaterial whether it be flipped hard or easy, so long as it is done uniformly. Leave the operating lever down after throwing a charge. Time is a *35 factor in the way that the powder setdes in the measuring cavity and if this cavity is exposed to the powder in the reservoir for varying periods of time, the powder will scttic a whisker more one time than another. If the handle is left down between charges, raised to the charging position and held there for about a second and the charge then emptied; and this procedure kept even and uniform, the best accuracy will be obtained. Naturally, the powder measure should be used on a table or bench that is free from vibration. Powder measures that are mounted on reloading presses can not throw charges as uniformly as those that arc divorced from any jar or vibration.

The moving parts of some measures will work very nicely if they arc taken apart, oiled and as much of the oil as possible is wiped off with a dry cloth before they are put together again; but the use of oil can not be recommended as a general rule. Often the dust and fine particles of powder will adhere to the oily surfaces, building up in streaks and causing the measure to stick. This will sometimes happen with a measure that has never seen any oil. The best remedy is to put a box under the drop tube to catch the powder, then work the lever up and down, forcing it if necessary, until it works freely. This working will polish the surface of the powder that has been caught between the moving surfaces of the measure and its presence will prevent the entrance of additional powder dust. The thin flake pistol powders are particular offenders in this respect.

Bridging. Bridging is a condition that may occur with any mechanical powder measure where the powder must pass through a drop tube before it enters the mouth of the cartridge ease. It is obvious that any such tube must have an oudct orifice which is not larger than the caliber of the cartridge being loaded, although the opening may taper upward to a considerably larger diameter at the top. Sometimes, and especially with powders having coarse or long grains, the powder will drop from the measuring cavity in such a way that the grains will jam in the drop tube. This is known as "bridging" the grains; in effect, forming a bridge across the inside of the drop tube. When this happens, only part of the charge drops into the case whereupon the succeeding charge usually dislodges the bridged powder, causing an overload in the next cartridge. This is a condition which has to be guarded against very carefully in factory loaded ammunition, bridging being by no means limited to the mechanical powder measures used by hand-loaders.

It is therefore desirable to have the inside diameter of drop tubes as large as possible, so as to avoid this condition. The Ideal and Bond measures use drop tubes and as they are used for all calibers of cartridges, it would be necessary to have the exit orifices in these tubes small enough for .22 caliber cartridges, if only one tube were available. Therefore, both manufacturers supply two different sizes; one handling .22 to .25 caliber cartridges and the other handling everything above .25 caliber. Bond furnishes both tubes as standard equipment with their measure but Ideal only furnishes one; the standard or larger tube, if no caliber is specified. However, the smaller size will be furnished with the measure if requested. The operator should always use the largest possible size for the cartridge being charged. As the CLi HiPower and many of the .25 caliber cartridges utilize some of the coarse grained powders, special care is necessary to prevent bridging when loading these calibers —which is just one of the many reasons for inspecting all powder charges before seating bullets.

Drop tubes fit into a counter-bored hole, against a shoulder in the body of the measure,' and are held in place by set screws. The jarring due to operation of the measure, may and often does cause this screw to loosen, permitting the drop tube to work down a little. This makes a gap between the outlet of the measure proper and the top of the drop tube. The top edge of the drop tube is too narrow to form much of a resting place for grains of the coarser powders, but it will catch some of the fine grained ones. It is, therefore, advisable to check the drop tube once in a while to make sure it is firmly up against the shoulder in the measure and to be certain that the set-screw is holding it there tight.

The Ideal measure has a little swinging knocker on its front, which should be flipped up against the body of the measure to jar all the powder out of the tube. The Bond measure lacks this knocker, but the operating handle may be knocked against its stop several times to accomplish the same result. Neither measure should be jarred when their handles are in the upward or charging position, as this can not be done uniformly and will cause variations in the charges. Even with jarring, bridging will occur once in a while; also if the drop tube is not up into its seat fully the amount of fine grained powder that catches on top of it may not be dislodged completely each time.

The Belding and Mull powder measure uses no drop tube, but as the powder is fed into a separate charger so that the height of the charge is plainly visible before emptying it into the case, bridging is no factor in this measure. But drop tubes must be kept clean and clear and all measures watched closely in the interests of both accuracy and safety.

Factory Measuring Practices. Factory loaded cartridges are charged by three different means, all of which would be unsatisfactory without inspection of the charges after they are thrown.

One method is to "shake" the primed cases into a loading plate having a scries of holes in rows, regularly spaced. This plate, filled with cases, is slid under the charger, the bottom of which is another plate with a similar series of holes bored on exacdy the same centers as the plate holding the cases, these holes being beveled at the top. The upper holes are therefore direcdy over the mouths of the cases and are of a diameter smaller than the caliber of the cartridges being loaded, so that any powder falling through them will drop into the cases. On top of the upper plate

238 is still another, with a similar series of holes on the same centers; this is the charging plate and it can be slid back and forth by means of a lever. The thickness of this charging plate and the size of its holes governs the volume of the powder charges. When this charging plate is slid to one side, its holes are off-set from those in the plate it slides on and their bottoms are closed by the solid metal between the holes in the lower plate.

In operation, the operator throws a scoop full of powder across the charging plate, employing a sweeping motion so that the top is covered with powder and all of the holes arc filled, after which the excess powder is scraped off with a rubber edged scraper. In doing this, powder is scraped over any holes which were not filled with the first "swipe." The charging plate is. then slid over the holes and those charges drop down into the cases, the operator striking the apparatus a couple of good raps with a mallet to jar all the powder out of the holes. Naturally, the corner holes do not get quite as dense a dose of powder as the holes in the center of the plate, but the operators of this type of loading machine become quite clever at throwing the powder and the variations in the weights of the charges are not great, although they would give heart failure to some of these theorists who can think only in tenths of a grain. In a loading machine of this type there is no opportunity for bridging of the powder, or at least the chances of a bridged charge arc very slight. Nevertheless, the cases are inspected as they are passed on to the next operation. This method of charging cases is in common use for pistol and revolver charges and occasionally for some rifle cartridges.

Another method is to use a plate holding a smaller number of cases, 7x7 being a convenient arrangement of holes. These plates locate the mouths of the cases under a series of tubes leading down from the mechanical measuring device at the bottom of the powder hopper. The tubes originate from points in the charging mechanism which are more widely separated than the cartridge cases, 10 they are not all of the same length and some of them must curvc consider- 239 ably in carrying the powder charges to the cases. The operator of the machinc uses a substantial mallet to rap the steel block in which the tubes terminate, to jar the powder out. When the plate of charged cases is taken from the machinc, a jig or plate carrying a series of plungers, T shape in cross section, is placed over them so that a plunger will drop down into each case and rest upon its powder charge. The cases and plungers together are slid along to the next machine, but in so doing must pass through a template with profile cuts in it conforming roughly to the shapes of the plungers. The cross bar of the T in these plates is higher from top to bottom than the T heads of the plungers, so there can be a little variation in the heights of the charges and still let the cases and plungers pass through the slots. But if the variations in the height of even one charge in the block raises or lowers a plunger too much, the plate will not pass through the gate and the loading can not be completed until the offending charge or charges are corrected. Beautifully shooting ammunition is loaded by this method every day in the week, which makes it look as if it wasn't altogether necessary to fool around with tenths of a grain to get good accuracy.

The third type of loading machinc is the one most similar to the powder measures used by handloaders of ammunition. This type utilizes a cavity in a sliding block, or a rotating member with an adjustable measuring cavity, which successively chargcs from a hopper and discharges into a cartridge. All the charges are measured by the one cavity. These machir.es arc always equipped with mechanical or electrical detectors for checking the heights of the chargcs after they are emptied into the cases, and some of them will automatically throw out cases which are over or under charged. There is naturally an appreciable tolerance in the heights of chargcs and the function of visual or mechanical inspection of charges is for safety only. The check for finer degrees of accuracy in charges is accomplished by taking charged cases from the machines at intervals and weighing 240 their charges. It is common practice to weigh three charges at a time from each machine, and to take the average weight of those three charges as a check on the machine setting.

Any reloading tool or machine—past, present or future —that chargcs cartridge cases and which will not permit them to be inspected before the bullets are seated, is dangerous and not worth the powder to blow it to hell— no matter how ingenious it may be otherwise.

The Accuracy of Powder .Charges.

Accuracy is a relative term. If we want to lie on our bellies and dump bullets into a ten inch bullseye two hundred yards away, our powder charges may vary as much as 5% in weight, without putting us out in the white and our ammunition is accurate. On the other hand, if we are in pursuit of the elusive one inch group at cne hundred yards or the best accuracy we can get at a thousand yards, such a variation would make the ammunition inaccurate for our purpose. To generalize, pistol chargcs should be kept within a variation of 3% of the weight of the charge and rifle chargcs within 1%. These variations arc satisfactory from a safety and accuracy standpoint, with chargcs up to and including normal full loads. If one is loading maximum chargcs, the variation should be kept as small as the Great Jchova and the Continental Congress will let it be. Mechanical measures, properly used, will keep most chargcs of powder well within the limits above mentioned but where the requirements are exacting an accurate scale or balance should be used.

Dip Measures.

The mechanical powder measures are by far the best for measuring any kind of powder charges with all the uniformity ncccssary for obtaining good accuracy. These measures arc especially valuable for use with smokeless powders, as these powders arc of such a nature that anything more than small variations in the weights of charges may cause 241 a considerable change in their behavior. This is particularly true with full loads for any cartridge, but the differences in burning caused by variations in the weights of charges decrease as the charges are reduced. One can have quite a little variation in the weights of reduced chargcs and still get pretty good accuracy up to two hundred yards or more and herein lies a boon to those who can not afford to pay from seven and a half to ten dollars for a powder measure.

Dip measures are perfecdy practical for measuring black powder, as in loading black powder, the case must be filled up to the base of the bullet. There is therefore, no chance of loading an over load with a dip measure. These dip measures are also satisfactory for use with semi-smokeless powder, provided that the proper granulation of powder is used and the scoop holds the weight of chargc recommended. Scoops are not ordinarily recommended for use with smokeless powders, as the variations in weights of charges that will be obtained with a scoop are sufficient to cause dangerous pressures if full loads are used. If, however, the load is enough below a full charge, scooping smokeless charges is permissible and, with care, good results can be obtained.

Belding & Mull or Lyman will, on special order, make up powder scoops to hold any specified charge of any kind of smokeless powder, or one can make one of these for himself if he has a scale available to check the charge measured by the scoop, A fired cartridge case, cut off or filed down so it will hold the proper amount of powder, with a wire handle soldered on is all that is necessary. In ordering a dip measure for smokeless powder, you should at least specify the kind of powder, that is, the manufacturers designation of it, and the weight of charge desired. It is also well to state the caliber of cartridge and weight and kind of bullet that will be used. These scoops are, for the most part, ordered by those with little or no experience with reloading and if all the information is given, the manufacturer may be able to set you straight if you have selected 342 a powder unsuited for your purpose or an improper charge.

When you get one of these dip measures you will probably find the handle soldered onto the side about half way down; you can improve on this by re-soldering the handle near the top. This should also be done if you make your own dip measure. A combination of measure and dipping box that is very satisfactory and that will give you the most

satisfactory and uniform results you can get with a dip measure can be made ¡n the following manner:

Solder the handle on the scoop near the top and in such a way that the little gap between the side of the cup and the handle, where the latter bends away from the cup, may be filled with solder. The placement of the handle should be such that a straight edge may be drawn along the handle and across the top edge of the cup without catching. A dipping box can be made from any suitable container; a tin baking powder or similar can, cut off so it is about two or two and a half inches deep will do. Now, solder a strip of brass across the inside of the can, near the top, so that the brass strip will form a chord of the circle of the top of the can. The strip must be at least the diameter of the dip measure away from the side. This completes the apparatus.

To use it, pour enough powder into the can so that the scoop may be passed through it and filled without touching the can. A good way to fill the scoop uniformly is to press its base down into the powder until the powder flows over the edges of the scoop, filling it. When die scoop is buried, 243 raise it with the handle under the brass strip and draw the scoop toward you, scraping the powder off level widi the top of the scoop. The slight jar of doing this may cause the powder to sctdc a trifle, but do not refill the scoop. What you want is uniform weights of charges, rather than uniform volume, and you won't get either if you do not do this dipping uniformly and systematically. You can dip charges much more uniformly with a box of this kind, than by holding the scoop in one hand and scraping it off level with a straight edge held in the other.

Some kind of a funnel will be needed to pour the powder into the cartridge cases. A convenient and inexpensive one made from a small aluminum funnel and a drop tube for a powder measure is described at the end of the section on "Powder Scales."

Bullets should never be seated in cases without firsr inspecting the charges. If charged cases are put into a loading block, the block can be tipped toward a good light, without danger of spilling the powder, and the heights of the charges observed. Having all the cases together in this way, any irregularity in the heights of charges will be observed at once, by comparison.

In the manufacture of commercial ammunition, electrical 244 or mcchanical gauges are employed to verify the heights of the powder charges before the bullets are seated and with some cartridges the powder charges are again checked after the ammunition is completed. This final verification of the charge is accomplished by weighing the complete cartridge. This weighing will not show up minor variations in charges, because of the variations in the weights of bullets and cartridge cases themselves, but it does serve to eliminate cartridges that are seriously overloaded.

Pistol and revolver cartridges can not be checked by weighing, becausc the permissible variations in the weights of bullets and cases sometimes exceed the total weight of the powder chargc. if the manufacturers of ammunition must take such pains to insure the safe loading of their ammunition, the handloader certainly can not afford to be less careful. Always inspect your powder charges before seating bullets.

Loading Blocks.

A loading block is a great convenience when charging cases, when charging them with smokeless powder it is almost a necessity. These loading blocks are merely blocks or boards with a series of holes bored nearly through them, so that the charged cases may be set in them without danger of their being knockcd over. A loading block can be easily made by boring a scries of holes through a board, then tacking or gluing another thin board to one side to form bottoms for the holes. The holes should be large enough in diameter to receive the heads of the cases easily. Loading blocks can be purchased from Bond or Belding fic Mull if desired.

Illustrating poor sensitivity in a powder scale—a condition where the beam "sticks". Scale appears to be alright when charge is first weighed, but it scale pan is touched with the tip of a pencil it drops and will not return to original position. The only solution is to return such scales to the manufacturer for adjustment and correction.

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