1 post
Joined June 2020

Emptying Powder

I've been reloading for a couple years now and have always emptied my powder measures. I have been told from the beginning that you should always empty cause the powder is acidic and could damage the measure. So my questions are is there truth to this or is it just something I was told and and figured it couldn't hurt and rather be safe than sorry. Second question is does this also apply to the Dillon powder measure. Thanks in advance.
3,222 posts
Joined July 2007

RE: Emptying Powder

The residual solvents in smokeless powders often react with the plastic hopper tube, darkening and discoloring it. Some of the darkening is also due to the graphite coating on the powder as well. Since some of this is due to a chemical reaction, it doesn't clean up very well.
Pariah Zero
Pariah Zero
7 posts
Joined January 2018

RE: Emptying Powder

Every reloading manual I have, and I think even every bottle of powder I have explicitly states powder measures should be drained, and powder returned back to the original container at the end of each reloading session.

Dillon’s manual states to always store powder in its original container — I assume that includes between loading sessions.

Safety is probably the most important reason, not cosmetics.

Powder measures are not airtight, which means additional oxidation vs. a closed powder bottle. Oxidation increases the slow speed of powder degradation. (As does temperature).

I was taught to always give powder a “sniff test” to make sure it hasn’t gone sour. I would need a stool to sniff test the hopper.

There also less chance of accidentally mixing different powders, and other forms of powder adulteration.

I haven’t even gotten into children ignoring warnings and playing where they aren’t allowed. I know I NEVER did that when I grew up. Nope. I was just practicing starting fires using hairspray and some cerro rod. I wasn’t playing with matches!

There are ways to dump the Dillon measure, though it’s not entirely elegant. Pulling off the whole toolhead and dumping is one way.

UniqueTek sells a powder drain charge bar, but it also requires tools and amounts to changing the powder bar while the measure is loaded - done right it works, but done wrong is one big mess!