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Discussion Starter #1
Hi All! I'm new on this forum. I've been away from reloading for a while and recently started back up. I have a MEC Jr and just did something silly today. I took a shell out after dropping the powder charge in order to weigh it. Put it back in, and forgot to put the wad in before dropping the shot! (sigh... I'm so embarrassed!)

My question is, how do I separate the powder and shot? I dumped them into a container. I know there should be a way to do t his but I can't think of it. This is twice I done this right at the beginning of a reloading session.

Thanks, folks!
 

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For the amount of powder in one or two shells I would just scrap the powder. Pour the shot/powder in your hand and just blow the powder into the lawn.

If I wanted to save the powder I might lay a handkerchief on a plate and pour the shot/powder to one side of the plate. Then tilt the plate and coax the shot to the other side. Once separated the handkerchief could be lifted in the middle separating the two.

If the shot/powder was dumped back into the hopper, then I would probably try the above on a larger scale.
 

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Welcome to the Shooter's Forum.

I was thinking one of those screen colanders like used for draining pasta. The tea strainer should work fine if you have one.
 

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You aren't the Lone Ranger when it comes to doing this. Luckily because it is so painful, it seldom happens more than once during a reloading session.

I just put the shell aside until after the reloading session then pour the mix into a shallow bowl and break out the tweezers to get the shot. Once the powder and shot are separated, the components are returned to their respective containers. If it wasn't that powder is so hard to find nowadays, I'd separate by gently blowing off the powder into the flower bed.

My days of just dumping the mixture are long gone.
 

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Not likely he was loading steel, but if so, the magnet would work. Mr. Mainspring has the best approach. I'm a true scrooge and even I won't mess with saving that 16 or so grains of powder. Shot, at todays prices, that's worth saving. Or just go back and forth slowly hand to hand a few times. Most of the powder will stay when all the shot is in the other hand; put the powder somewhere, do it again a few times and you will save both.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Nope, not loading steel. For the record, the napkin trick worked perfectly. I did it with a paper shop towel. I have the reloader mounted to a small piece of plywood and clamped to the bench inside a cookie sheet that I bought just for this (wouldn't dare use one of my wife's).

That keeps the stray powder flakes mostly contained. I dumped the shot/powder onto that and tapped the cookie sheet while tipping it to one side. The powder stayed on the paper towel and the shot rolled off to the side and both were salvaged.

BTW, I live in Las Vegas and have all xeroscape, no lawn. I'd worry about dumping even tiny amounts of powder in the yard. I've heard that it doesn't break down anymore like it used to. The heat hasn't started yet, it was only up to 80 today, but it's coming. It's actually quite nice all the way up to 100 here unless you're in a parked car because the humidity is so low. After it gets to 110, it's just hot!!!

Cheers!
 
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