Morne wrote:I do 99.8% of my shooting in my backyard ringing my steel gongs. No cacophony of gunfire save my own. The only squib I've ever had was with Wolf ammo back when I had to use a public gun range and I caught it at the time.
You are living the dream! Jealous.
You're right, ES & SD are very different. A five (5) shot string gives ES only, not SD. In order to even approach statistically significant numbers for SD you'd need at least 20+ data points and then MAYBE we could talk. Of course, I'm not going to load 20+ rounds of something unless I already know it has a chance of being in the ballpark. Thus, you may have given me the idea that my current crop of "favorite loads" arrived at with 5-10 shot strings need to be validated with 20+ shot strings and some real statistical analysis. That sounds like a good idea.
The Chrony brand and its math doesn't matter to me. I'd put my 20+ data points into an Excel spreadsheet and crunch the numbers with mathematical formulae therein anyway. I only have a college minor in math as part of my engineering degree, but that'll do.
We agree 100% here on the SD and how taking a load that "looks promising" really deserves a serious data set with 20+ shots (I've always dreamt of more more more...) but we will have to part ways with the Chrony's limitation not mattering. To do what you say you should or ought to do means that you would have to enter each and every single shot in to your Excel sheet. This would work of course, but that's a -LOT- to enter when most other brands of chronograph will do this for you. If we can agree that 20 shots is a decent look-see for SD, could we not agree that 35 or 50 shots would be easy to do and make our SD result far more statistically relevant? Would our conclusions not be stronger for doing it? The little box does math easily, but the guy who programmed the Chrony brand chrono just hampered it with that 10-shot limit.
I can't believe that you would enter 20... 35.. 50 shots in to an Excel sheet by hand. And that is for just -one- load!
While I am crapping on the Chrony, I also have to insert the idea that this little box could seemingly control the US nuclear arsenal... but you would have to execute WWIII with -three- clicky buttons and a cutting edge LCD display circa 1979... certainly, this little unit has it's good points and a handloader from 1962 would wet himself at how good we have it these days but I'm sorry, the year is nearly 2017 and there are better options on the market. I can honestly say that while my Chrony works, I regret purchasing it over other brands.
This is NOT a "huge case, small powder charge" load. The MOST that can fit into this case with this bullet and Trail Boss powder is 12.6-grains without compression (something I have no desire to experiment with). Thus, even my 10.0-gr load fills the vast majority of the space.
Definitely missed by me, goes to show ya how much I use Trail Boss. Bought one little can and it's probably not half gone yet and that was years back.
I share your aversion to those "huge case, small powder charge" loads because it makes detecting a double-charge much harder. I shudder every time I throw Bullseye into .38 Special cases for just that reason. My only salvation on that point is that my .38 Special reloads get shot exclusively out of .357 Magnum rated revolvers so even if I did goof up the gun would likely take the abuse.
We'll part again just a bit here -- we share the aversion but for much different reasons. I have had numerous troubles with airspace and erratic performance but I don't share the shudders with accidentally doubling or tripling a case. In fact, with .38 especially and some light .357 loads, and most anything in .44 Special or .45 Colt... unless you are using that Trail Boss (stuff just ain't for me...) then you will always
have this space to deal with. I simply roll with the method of charging an entire tray of 50 rounds and then closely inspecting that full tray for even levels of powder. Spot-checking one in a tray gives you the charge and looking across all the pieces ensures that they are all the same. Yeah, you can't see a 0.3 grain variance with the naked eye but you can absolutely see a missed charge or a double or triple for certain. This method has served me extremely well since my first powder measure in... heh, 1992.
I don't "light crimp" ever. The Lee die set for .500 S&W Magnum actually doesn't come with an option for a Lee FCD but I bought a custom collet crimp die anyway because I am a HUGE believer in a sturdy crimp. Having seen even .45 ACP factory ammo get longer in a S&W 325 I can only imagine what a serious magnum cartridge might experiece. Thus, I CRIMP every cartridge I load. With the Lee FCD I START with a full turn in and sometimes go even more than that (provided they still drop into the cylinder chambers without issue, naturally).
Excellent, and will serve you very well! But just to make sure that my point isn't missed... the variance of crimp (in the case of a revolver round) or simple case mouth tension or bullet pull has shown to be a factor, sometimes a large factor in chrono results. It has to do with how long the bullet resists movement as the pressure builds. This seems to be far more prevalent in slower burning powders and "magnum" rounds... in simple terms, the combustion space obviously grows MUCH larger when the bullet begins to move... so keeping the bullet still allows MORE pressure to build as the powder burns. Of course, this all happens so quickly and it's difficult for even professionals to get a clear handle on exactly what is happening, but my basic point remains -- if the handloader isn't building ammo where the case mouth tension is very similar with each round (in this case, the case mouth tension is greatly controlled by a roll crimp) then the chrono results can vary, sometimes wildly. You could believe that one load is "the best" when in reality, one of the other loads may be far better, but it turns lousy ES/SD because of case mouth tension... which can vary because of a few different reasons, not just the roll crimp.
I weigh EACH CHARGE with a (admittedly crappy) digital scale. I only use my single-stage press for magnum loads so there's plenty of time to be very careful. I am willing to hear recommendations of a good quality digital scale that I might upgrade to.
Sorry, I can't do it -- it's beam scale ONLY for me. It's just always going to be that way. Very simple and gravity works and it isn't dependent on Chinese manufactured load cells or battery current or an overhead fluorescent light or God knows what. A quality beam scale is a tool that will last forever. I applaud your effort and attention to detail to hand weigh each charge but 2016 has seen me run off 13,000 loaded rounds and I simply couldn't even begin to consider doing that.
I am willing to hear about alternate brands of chronograph than my old green Chrony.
I want to say that it's the ProChrono Digital, the latest version... and it will shoot information directly to my iPhone via Bluetooth, and while I haven't researched it further, that's the one that interests me. But the truth is that I'm just not all that motivated to chase another "fun sucker", but trust that when I do... someone will get a fine deal on a totally functional and reliable Chrony Beta Master, as annoying and obnoxious as it is.
Any time you want to come ring my steel gongs you are welcome to do so. I've learned more from our interchanges hereon than anywhere else in my handloading journey.
Pick me up in the plane?! Probably a limit of how much ammo we can haul in a plane, hmmm?!
Appreciate the compliment! I seem to reply to a lot of stuff in our little corner of the handloading world here on OFCC but if you ever desire a place with far better minds, far more experience and just an all-around great place to dig up handloading discussion, definitely visit my go-to place... the H&R area on TFL Forums: https://thefiringline.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=9