I've been stocking the shelves today, making sure I have a good supply of essential items...It's not a simple matter of unpacking shopping bags though, not when it comes to these supplies anyway...With this stuff...Well, I make my own!
I've made just over 200 rounds today and whilst it's very time consuming because only make precision ammunition for my rifles, it is rewarding; I get a sense of achievement as I lock up my workshop knowing there's a couple hundred more freedom pills in the safe. It's also quite relaxing; Country music on the speakers and the repetitive task of reloading ammunition.Today I made 6.5mm Creedmoor ammunition which is what I use for my long range shooting...Out to just over a mile.
Whilst working away I was thinking about a conversation I had with a user here, @zacknorman97, about the measurement used to weigh gun powder when making ammunition. We were talking about different ammunition and I'd done a post on some of the types I use which you can see here.
It was difficult to explain the measurement in a way he would understand, other than saying it's a small measurement, and so I decided to do this post as a follow up.
I'll keep it pretty brief ok? So, you don't get bored but first a couple pictures to show you a little about what makes up a rifle round.
Above left are the components that make up a rifle round. At the bottom of shot from left to right: The case, primers, gun powder and projectile. You can see the completed round to the left of shot.
Above centre shows a closer view of the projectiles, primer and gun powder and above right shows the completed rounds. These are .243 rounds with an 87 grain vmax projectile. You will note the projectile also uses the grain as its weight measurement, in this case 87gr.
OK, so now...The weight thing.
One grain is a measurement. It does not refer to one granule like a grain of rice. Savvy?
One grain = 0.00228571oz
It's a small measurement. But...What does that actually mean? Keep reading.
Below you can see some images of my beam scales which is what I use to precisely measure out gun powder. I have weighed a few common items.
Toothpick, match and earpod
Toothpick 1.5 grains, match 1.8 grains, earpod 52.8 grains. As you can see the weight of 1 grain is small - The toothpick is 1.5 grains!
A grain is indeed a very small measurement and when used to measure gun powder it allows me to very accurately load the ammunition with exactly the right amount as determined during my load development phase which I will talk about some other time.
Let's apply it to gun powder
Below you're looking at exactly 1 grain of gun powder; AR2209 to be exact. (There are many, many different types. Again, that's a different post altogether.) It's not much huh?
In my 6.5mm Creedmoor rounds I load 43.4 grains of AR2209, the optimal load which I determined after load development. Each different gun will be generally different - I won't get into that here though.
So, when I'm loading I often use a pair of tweezers to drop a single granule of gun powder into the measuring thing to get the weight exact. Again, I want precision loads as they do the same thing each time I shoot them...Known results are important when firing at live targets and especially in long range shooting.
These granules make up 1 grain of AR2209 - There's 37 granules there.
Here they are a little closer up - This is 1 grain of gun powder.
Loading ammunition is a skill...It's not simply a matter of throwing them together and hoping for the best.
If too much is added the excess pressures involved could cause damage to the firearm, serious injury like the loss of a hand or eye and certainly also death. Too little gun powder and it won't send the bullet down the barrel and out of the muzzle...A follow up shot will almost certainly destroy the gun and very likely injure, maim or kill the operator.
A lot of concentration is required and a lot of knowledge and understanding around what is actually going on also. Getting it wrong is not recommended.
I've been shooting for a long time, close to 30 years in fact; I haven't reloaded my own ammunition for all of that time though. One doesn't always go with the other. Many of my friends do not reload as they are hunters only, and don't do long range shooting. I hunt, cull and compete around the country in practical long range shooting so need precision ammunition...Besides I'm slightly OCD and this sort of goes hand in hand with that condition.
Here's a single granule of gun powder on the tip of my finger, the pointy end of a toothpick and a match to demonstrate the size of a single granule of gun powder (2209).
So, there you have it. A fairly basic demonstration of how much a grain weight actually is, and a little stuff about why it's so important to get it right when reloading ammunition.
Like anything with guns there's always more though and just in this post there's many other offshoot topics I could elaborate on...I'll do so at some stage, but not right now.
If you guys have any questions don't hesitate to ask and if you don't want to do so publicly you can hit me up on Discord, my user name thingy is below.
Design and create your ideal life, don't live it by default - Tomorrow isn't promised.