View Full Version : Uniflow charges for Unique are not Uniflowing -- How about the Lee Dippers?
My RCBS Uniflow powder measure doesn't uniflow too well with Unique. I was throwing loads for .45 Colt at 6.0 gr, 6.7 gr, 7.3 gr, 8.0 gr, and the variation was so bad that I ended up throwing all loads short and trickle charging them up to exact weights. Some would throw exact and others would take as many as 10 or 12 turns with the trickler to bring them up.
This is the first loading I've done in 7 years, and the Uniflow measure has some minor corrosion from sitting on the loading bench all that time. The bench doesn't look that great either. Getting a new roof during that time didn't help keep things neat-- I keep finding pieces of the old roof everywhere.
I don't know if my problem is that since 1998, I forgot how to throw loads, or if the powder thrower is defective, or if Unique doesn't measure out very well in those small loads.
I've been reading my old books, and in Richard Lee's Modern Reloading, 1997, he says that all ammo companies charge their cases by volume, not weight. So it makes sense for us to load cases by volume, not weight.
I was thinking about that while I was trickle-charging each of 90 cases ... what if I could just dip a small spoon of powder out and drop it in each case-- I could go 10 times as fast.
In the thread on Lee products, The Good The Bad and The Ugly, Junior42 mentioned his Lee Dippers on his list of Lee Products he really liked ... what do you all say-- are there powders, like Unique in small amounts, where it makes more sense to dip than to throw charges?
07-05-2005, 11:52 PM
VP--I keep hearing about different types of powders that don't meter well in one type or the other measure. I have yet to find a powder that doesn't meter well in a Belding & Mull powder measure. I went through leaking roof,new roof ,etc on my reloading room too.
07-06-2005, 03:14 AM
I suggest disassemble clean and lightly lube your measure. Unique flows quite well especially at the weights of your charges. I bet it wasn't that inconsistant 8 years ago.
Just throw 10 charges with the dippers and weigh them. The powder measure will do a better job. I remember using a trimmed down 32 acp case with a paper clip soldered to it for a handle. It worked, but my Redding powder measure works better.
07-06-2005, 03:43 AM
This might be a dumb question, but you ARE using the small drum in the uniflow right ??
That said I think the little dandy measure is more geared to small charges of flake powder.
the Lyman #55 powder measure works well with said charges UNTIL you got down to less the 2 grains, then it gets "flakey"
The old pacific measure that used bushings should work real nice for what you are doing, and you can buy plastic bushings at lowes and customise them to throw the charge you want, Hornady sells bushings for the pacific measure, they did make it for awile. they do show up on ebay from time to time.
07-06-2005, 04:47 AM
I am with you on the fustration adjusting off of single throws. That's why I didn't use Unique for many years. I'm with David on the 10 throw deal. It gives great repeatability between loading sessions. While you may have a few 0.2 gr or so off I promise you, it will not matter. Throwing charges is as much a function of VOLUME than weight. Learnt that shooting benchrest. I can see where using the Lee dippers would give tremendous variation in powder weight depending on how forceful you are in scooping. That comment, is of course, made without my ever using them.
07-06-2005, 06:26 AM
VP, Let me add to what Beau said re: Lee Dippers. Being the cautious sort that I am, I'd throw four sets of 10 dipper charges into my scale pan and average the results (Use a calculator for this.). That way you can be fairly certain of the cc-to-grain ratio or throw weight for a given powder. I'd resample (10 charges will do.) if you purchase a second can of Unique, etc. Btw, for some hard-to-meter powders, e.g., IMR 5010 (very chunky) the Lee Dippers are faster than a powder measure and just as accurate or should I say inaccurate?
07-06-2005, 10:24 AM
I run a lot of Unique through my Redding measure, which is quite similar to the RCBS. I have both the large and the small measure tubes, and the small one works much better for Unique. Also, if you will tap your handle twice against the stop when filling, then dump, you will get more uniform charges. This will require a slightly different setting than for a single tap.
07-06-2005, 10:28 AM
Boy I'm glad I have a Belding & Mull. On most pistol powder and fine rifle powders it cuts them to 0, even though the company says 1/10 gr. Even on large granual rifle powders it cuts some of them 0. It will even do 5010 quite close.
07-06-2005, 06:20 PM
My uni-flo works fine with Unique, but I also tap the handle twice when dumping the powder into the case, once to dump, and once to knock loose the flakes that didn't fall all the way, maybe its static electricity, or the 25 years of pitting and rust. Try putting some thing under the spout after the first dump, then bumping the handle again, to se if anything, comes out, I once had a dead critter in the nozzle, that really screwed my wieghts up. D.MACK
07-06-2005, 10:16 PM
..........D Mack brings up a good point, and that's why Lyman hangs the knocker on the front of the body casting. Vern, you might wanna check for spider webs or mud dauber nests in that measure :-) I have a RCBS Uni-Flow, but am currently using a Lee Perfect measure. It does okay. I've used the Lee dippers and have gotten some very consistant charges. I've mainly used it for WC820.
I always scree off the powder in the measure. I have a plastic container about 3.5" in dia and 4" deep which I hold in my left hand. With my left index finger I have a CCI 22RF box, plastic lid held against the top of the container. The measure is pushed through the powder, brought up and dragged back across the bottom lip of the plastic lid. This will deliver charges to .1gr. If you leave the powder mounded, it's .4gr more and still accurate. The tiny powder grains pack very consistantly so that's one of the reasons it charges remain very close.
07-06-2005, 11:38 PM
I had a problem with my Uniflow years back.
I had a spider web that was under the baffle .
After removing that I had no problems.
07-07-2005, 05:52 AM
Consistency in operation is the key, once you're certain that everything is kosher with the guts of the measure. "Lightly lubing" is a mistake, unless we're talking about DRY lubes like Motor Mica or graphite. Spray graphite works well here if the measure is disassembled; otherwise, a couple teaspoons of powdered graphite run through the measure several times will work....but it can be messy. I find that my over-thirty-year-old Uniflow does fine with no lube whatsoever.
My routine calls for tapping the handle lightly against the stop three times, at both the top AND bottom of the charging stroke. Tap-tap-tap-DUMP-tap-tap..... it gets a nice funky rhythm going, and very rarely do I get much variation (except with 4759...I do NOT like that stuff in my measure, and weigh every charge.) Using multiple CONSISTENT-force taps settles the powder well in the measuring chamber, and using multiple taps at the bottom of the stroke generally assures that the entire charge has dropped down the tube to the case, particularly with the normal run of pistol powders.
I use the small cylinder for everything these days, including large rifle charges which I measure in TWO drops...if I need 70 grains per charge, I drop two 35-grain charges and check-weigh the total, trickling as necessary.
07-07-2005, 06:49 AM
My Uniflow is old enough to run for President and has never been lubed. My measuring rhythm is two short reverse bumps of the handle and delivers good consistency. The only trouble I ever had was a decomposed and unidentifiable bug in the delivery spout. For pistol powders I prefer to use the Hornady sliding bar pistol measure because it is much faster. The only powder I have ever found to be of nervous-making inconsistency in either measure is IMR 800X.
07-07-2005, 11:32 AM
BruceB----You should put your powder measuring procedure into a song and have Waksupi play the music and Felix"Marty"Robbins sing it. (He'd put on his white sports coat and get a pink carnation)
Tap three times on the measure if you want me.
Twice on the bottom and once on the top.
07-07-2005, 02:06 PM
I had trouble getting Unique to feed accurately in my Hornady LNL powder measure that I have on my LNL AP progressive press. When loading single stage on my R.C. and using my old Pacific powder measure with the "pistol" insert, I was able to throw fairly uniform charges using the "double knock" method after each dump to settle powder. No luck at all when using the progressive. The charges just varied too much. I live in a very low humidity area and I think static in the hopper hurt a bit. (Yes, I tried the various things mentioned to eleminate this). To solve the problem, I went to Power Pistol. It measures very accurately in the LNL powder measure.
07-07-2005, 08:15 PM
Have an old Lyman 55 I got in a trade. Very consistant with most pistol powders (plus or minus 1/20th grain, no worse than a tenth) except Unique which is hopeless to throw (also any of the old Alcans). 4759 rifle powder gives trouble too. the best way to throw it is to put a pretty firm grip on the handle and make a firm smooth throw. If it ever bumps during the throw it will throw 4 to 5 tenths light, so dump the load and try again for a firm smooth STEADY throw. I never use the shallow slide, only the deep one (it works for me), and KEEP A RECORD of the scale marking for each of my favorite loads. Put them on 3x5 cards and keep in a safe place. Most rifle powders throw no worse than a tenth off, usually less. Consistency is the key. Ball powders throw great. my 55 needs bushing though. I have plenty of time, Im only 62, half blind, and 2/3rds crazy. After looking at the 'Rogues gallery of pictures on this site, I feel I'll fit right in. Castboolitpreacher
You all have been great in helping me on my question about throwing Unique with my Uniflow.
Willbird you may have solved my problem-- I read your post and thought: "What small drum?"-- I need to climb waaa-aay up in the rafters in my garage and look for the Rockchucker box kit and see if there is another cylinder in there.
That should be fun as it is already 80 degrees here on the ground floor in the house. At least I won't have to scoop up maggots by hand, like yesterday in my attic-- I wish I had checked those rat traps a little more often.
07-08-2005, 06:40 PM
The small one as I recall is 1/2" or so.
I can measure if you would like, save you the heat stroke, dead serious stuff, we used to only 30 minutes in an attic when doing cable work.
This might be a dumb question, but you ARE using the small drum in the uniflow right? Bill
Bill I found my Rockchucker box from 8 years ago; no spare cylinders in it for the Uniflow Powder Measure; I also found my factory RCBS box for the Uniflow measure, with instructions; no extra cylinder, and no reference in the parts diagram to multiple cylinders. My default cylinder has the same throat diameter as the powder drop diameter. I will look on MidSouth and Midway for extra cylinders.
07-11-2005, 03:41 AM
I will measure mine today :-)
07-11-2005, 08:16 AM
I measured mine today, the one in my measure is .685" dia, and I KNOW I have the small one, but need to dig it out from moving, I see rcbs webpage shows both large and small
My Uniflow measure came with the standard 11/16" dia cavity (0.6875" - Ammomaster press - 10 years ago). Bought a small cylinder for it, 1/2" diameter. RCBS order #09004 since I reload for pistol.
They also have two different micrometer screws, one for the small cylinder and one for the large (standard) cylinder.
07-11-2005, 10:07 AM
VP---Call RCBS 1-800-533-5000 and let them know which cylinder you are missing. Even if it is your fault it is missing and you prefer to buy it---they'll most likely send it free. That's how they are. But you know what? I just gave them some free advertising so it all works out.
VP---Call RCBS 1-800-533-5000 and let them know which cylinder you are missing. Even if it is your fault it is missing and you prefer to buy it---they'll most likely send it free. That's how they are. But you know what? I just gave them some free advertising so it all works out.Thanks Carpetman but I just ordered up one from Midsouth for $25.
07-11-2005, 02:09 PM
I seem to remember back in the day when Dad bought that measure that it came with 1 drum, and we had to buy the other.
that would have been about 1979
07-11-2005, 08:21 PM
I seem to remember back in the day when Dad bought that measure that it came with 1 drum, and we had to buy the other.
that would have been about 1979
Mine came with both, 1975-76 !
In the old days I lubed the drums with graphite, then sometime in the late 80's i switched to moly.
07-16-2005, 03:52 AM
On the small Uniflow drum: available from any of catalogs like Midway. Same thing with the Redding I use. On static electricity: Wipe the measure down, inside and out, with a dryer sheet. It works, but I don't know why.
07-16-2005, 06:28 AM
I did find my small drum yesterday, as I remembered it is 1/2" for referance.
Myabe for unique one even smaller would be better, Richard Lee said they found a cavity that was twice deep as it's dia to be the most accurate.
07-17-2005, 06:39 AM
I meant to add to my former post that I've had complete sucess with the Lee dippers. I have both the old red style and the new yellow in cc's. Once you learn to be as consistant as possible in your scooping methods, the charges will be very close. I found that even with tiny scoops of Bullseye and Red Dot I was within 1/10 of a grain for 10 scoops. The only downside is the same as for any measure- you have to have the powder resevoir as full as possible. Not a big deal with Hogdon type cans, but the old style cardboard Unique and Red Dot cans with their tiny spouts mean resorting to a paper funnel to get the powder back in the can.
07-17-2005, 08:38 AM
A lot of dittoes to much of the above......my RCBS measure is approaching 30 years of age, and came with two cylinders and mic assemblies at the time of purchase. I think it was called the "Duo-Measure", IIRC. Mine handles Unique and other flake pistol powders very well in its smaller cylinder.
I haven't lubed mine with anything. Ever. There is a small amount of graphite in most powders, and I think this does the job lube-wise. A little powdered graphite couldn't hurt, though.
Anomalies.......Bullseye sticks to the hopper's plastic sidewalls for some reason. I twist up a paper towel and auger out the flakes with a soft swirling motion. The measure is none too fond of 4350 or 4831, and these require trickle-up to weight. The measure is SCARY accurate with ball powders--60 grain throws using the large cylinder are within 0.1 grain extreme spread using H-380, 748, 760, WC-852's, and WC-860. The ChiCom #7 I got from Bartlett's will absolutely choke the cylinder into immobility. Too bad--it's a great fuel for the 30 Mauser and 32 Magnum, and the Lee spoons are a little slow to use.
07-17-2005, 08:31 PM
Al I think the problem with 107 is the square raised edges. I only bought 1 lb but it is a dipper only powder for me. Gianni
12-31-2012, 12:07 PM
:)if you can't duo it then mull it or is it mullet
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