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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am new to reloading and was wondering how the humidity would affect the charge. I was thinking of reloading today, but since I live in a humid area and it is a wet day, I hesitate to do so. Would this affect my load?
 

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Thanks for the links. I emailed hodgden and they said it would not affect it. I know that it will affect black powder, since I do a lot of black powder shooting. I did not know about smokeless powder.
 

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Yeah black powder is a different animal for sure.

I am glad to know about the non effects of humidity on the smokeless kind any how.:usa:
 

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I'm not an expert, but our instructor at the Hunter's Safety Class said that smokeless powder absorbs water from humidity. He said it doesn't hurt the powder, and you can't keep it dry anyway. Sounded logical to me, but I've also noticed that military rounds are sealed around the primer and the ball.

Let me tell you a little story...
When I first got my blackpowder pistol, 'twas at the range on a cold and rainy day. We had a cover and the wind was blowing rain in, but not enough to make me pack up. So I'd dump some powder in a fold of cardboard and measure it for a cylinder, load the cylinder, and fold over the cardboard to try and keep water out. Then I'd load the next cylinder and try to keep the remaining powder dry. This was starting to be fun, 'cause I could almost imagine what it was like for a soldier or a hunter in bad weather. I decided to keep shooting and loaded powder that was moist enough for some grains to stick together. They all fired, no problem. I kept trying sticky powder with some dry powder and couldn't tell the difference between all dry powder. But I was shivering by then and prob'ly couldn't be counted on for ac'rate shootin' anyways. When the pyrodex got wet enough to change color, it didn't fire.
I was totally amazed that it would shoot under those conditions. Then I got in the car and turned on the heater full blast. On the drive home, I tried to imagine what it was like 150 years ago for the hunter out in the rain. It must've been a tough life.

KC
:) :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I hunt with black powder in all kinds of weather, but I don't use anything but black powder. I don't like pyrodex. Never had a problem, but I use speed loaders that are water tight and load at home. But if you don't keep it sealed, it will absorb water from the humidity and will not fire. I was at the range once with some old powder that was damp from not being sealed. 3 of 6 rounds fired, tried the other 3 with magnum primers without success. Had to pull the ball on 3 cylinders. Opened a fresh can and it worked fine.

The reason military rounds are sealed is that they might be submersed in water. Makes them more dependable. At least that is what the ordinance people told us in Nam. I am certain that if the cartridge partially filled with water, they would not fire.
 

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Unless it is raining on your reloading bench while you are reloading, I wouldn't worry about humidity. I reload all year and I have never had any problems from humidity, never met anyone who has.
 

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I've noticed that after a loading session if I leave the powder in the hopper for a couple / few days, when I come back to load more the scale shows the charge weights to be heavy as compared to the setting I had. I concluded humidity to blame.

I empty my hoppers now after loading just to be sure no suprises. I've started taking temp. and humidity reading at range when trying out new loads, and reconfirming established (for me) loads. Nothing conclusive so far has fell out of the recordings I've made but time may show something.
 

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Thanks Edward for the info. I guess it IS important to seal the can. It sounds like if the powder absorbs water from humidity, the charge will weigh more and you'd put less powder in the round.

Could this cause bullets getting stuck in the barrel?

I can't help believe that powder with absorbed humidity would burn less efficiently than totally dry powder. By my reasoning, that should affect velocity. Could it throw the bullet in a different arc?

But my hunter safety class instructor said you can't keep powder from absorbing humidity anyway, so don't worry about it. Since you're keeping records, could you post results after your next shoot?

Thanks,
KC



:sniper:
 

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I have noted some problems with my powder measure when it is very humid. Powder tends to bunch up with certain brands so I hand weigh the charges. I always leave the hopper empty after a reload session to prevent mix up of powders.
 

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The Humidity readings I've been taking at the range have to do with possible different points of impact at extended ranges with varying humidities. Maybe. Another shooter I know who shoots High Power (and is trying to get me in it) says that it makes a difference. Since I have the equipment cause I'm into HVAC, I figured why not? I used to just take one of those digital pocket/probe type thermometers but lately have taken the humidity sensing stuff also. It might be awhile before anything could be gleaned from this info cause it means many trips to range with same load for different humidity days. Probably really needs machine rested to be valid. Which I dont have, but every little bit of info helps and its just one more thing to write down..

Temperature is important also. There's a temperature / pressure relationship that says if temp goes up, so does pressure (Basic a/c stuff.) I had a close call with this once, I loaded up some pretty hot 44 Mags for my Redhawk and tested them at 40 deg F. (ambiant) and they were great with no pressure signs and gravity ejection of empty cases. My father in law was visiting and was out of ammo so I gave him some of that ammo. His Redhawk was identical to mine so I figured it would be OK, his being a Ruger also and that they werent absolutly max anyway. He took the ammo to chicago but before shooting it he moved to Florida and took it shooting in 90 to 95 deg weather down there. He had seriously hard extraction of the first 6 shots. He didnt shoot no more. I immediately realised what it was and got the rest of the ammo back from him. I dont leave ammo in the vehicle anymore either. Oh I did shoot the rest of it up here in the cool mountains and no problemo... :2guns:
 
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