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Thread: RCBS Little Dandy Powder Measure

  1. #1
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    RCBS Little Dandy Powder Measure

    I am considering getting one of these and would like to know your opinions as to quality, function etc. Thanks in advance.
    Russ

  2. #2
    Boolit Grand Master Char-Gar's Avatar
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    I have been using the Little Dandy for many years for 95% of my handgun loading. As with any measure, the weight of the charge thrown will vary with how the powder is compacted in the measure and the technique used by the operator. So, you must weight a few charges to see what they are. Most often they will be close to the printed material, but if you are dealing with top end loads where .1 grain would make a difference then you need to know.

    I throw ten charges into the scale pan, weigh it and divide by ten. That will give me the average weight for that powder in that rotor. I then write that number down and proceed. I never load to the red line, so minor differences in charges don't make a difference, but I want to know the number anyway and write it down in my record book by rotor number and actual charge weight. I have a record of every round loaded since 1958.
    Disclaimer: The above is not holy writ. It is just my opinion based on my experience and knowledge. Your mileage may vary.

  3. #3
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    I have one, I got it from am member on here a while ago.
    I have never used it,

    I only have one drum for it,

    I my only issue with the little dandy, is in order to change powder charges, you need to change rotors,
    and I load for more calibers than I can think of, so the money I would spend on rotors, I might as well
    buy a powder drop that is adjustable..

    perhaps when I start learning about machining, I will make my own drums for my little dande so I can use it.
    hello.

  4. #4
    Boolit Master
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    The Little Dandy™ and others of the fixed rotor design have the advantage of consistency without need for adjustment. The disadvantages are lack of fine adjustability and the cost of buying many rotors. If you can find a rotor and powder combination you like and use it to load a bunch of ammo, it can be a wonderful concept. RCBS markets 28 rotors for the LD and the discontinued Lyman Accumeasure™ had 15, several of which had two different sized chambers.

    BTW, a sometime poster on this and other boards has developed an adjustable rotor for the Little Dandy™ and although I have no personal experience with it, the concept is interesting.

    Froggie

  5. #5
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    I have the Little Dandy, and after seeing the price of extra rotors, bought the adjustable rotor from Bailey Boats. Little over 40 bucks (price of three rotors from RCBS), prompt delivery, complete with directions and the tool to adjust it with. Dial it in and load.
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  6. #6
    Boolit Grand Master Char-Gar's Avatar
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    I like the Little Dandy and over the years have accumulated 17 rotors (I had to go and count them), that cover all of my handgun loads and many cast bullet rifles loads with 2400 powder. I like them because once I have determined the actual charge weight, I don't have to mess with resetting the measure and checking it against a set of scales. I put the primed cases in a loading block and move the measure from case to cast. I then check the powder level in each case with a strong light to check for no, low or double charges, seat the bullets and away we go.

    Yep, the rotors cost some money, but they do away with the time consuming task of setting the measure against the scales.

    I DO make certain I am using the right rotor and right powder.
    Disclaimer: The above is not holy writ. It is just my opinion based on my experience and knowledge. Your mileage may vary.

  7. #7
    Boolit Master kenyerian's Avatar
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    I've had one since the mid90's and have used it a lot. It's very consistent and accurrate.

  8. #8
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    Go to measure for small charges. I bought all the rotors back when they were less than $3.00 ea.
    "Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety".
    Benjamin Franklin

    Where an excess of power prevails, property of no sort is duly respected. No man is safe in his opinions, his person, his faculties, or his possessions.
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  9. #9
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    I too have had one since the early '80's. Rotors haven't gotten cheaper but twenty years from now what will they be?

    It's great for putting together a bunch of your old favorite loads without a lot of fiddling around. Maybe not the best for up against the firewall loads but great for those plinking, target, rock busting loads that are 90% of what I shoot.

  10. #10
    Boolit Master
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    "I am considering getting one of these and would like to know your opinions ..."

    I'll not venture an opinion for fear of offending for no good reason but it's a fact the Lil' Dandy was dropped from production and it wasn't because RCBS couldn't keep up with demand. Ditto the very similar Lyman Accu-measure, with a full set of rotors, which I have because it once seemed like a great idea but seldom use because I find it's a bigger PITA to mount and swap the rotors around than simply adjusting and using my standard Redding powder measure.

  11. #11
    Boolit Master detox's Avatar
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    The Redding 10x Pistol/Small rifle powder measure is probably the best, but expensive $180.00

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1hole View Post
    "I am considering getting one of these and would like to know your opinions ..."

    I'll not venture an opinion for fear of offending for no good reason but it's a fact the Lil' Dandy was dropped from production and it wasn't because RCBS couldn't keep up with demand. Ditto the very similar Lyman Accu-measure, with a full set of rotors, which I have because it once seemed like a great idea but seldom use because I find it's a bigger PITA to mount and swap the rotors around than simply adjusting and using my standard Redding powder measure.
    I believe your right, it is/was a niche tool. If the market gets saturated there's no point in making them just to sit on shelves. I'd also agree that it's not a tool for everyone and probably not for most. If there was only one best tool for any one purpose there probably wouldn't be much of a selection out there. Mine is one of three different measures I own.
    "Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety".
    Benjamin Franklin

    Where an excess of power prevails, property of no sort is duly respected. No man is safe in his opinions, his person, his faculties, or his possessions.
    James Madison



  13. #13
    Boolit Buddy ROGER4314's Avatar
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    I have the Lil Dandy with about a dozen rotors. I have no problem with it. For the accuracy obsessed, you can modify a rotor with epoxy to provide a specific charge weight but powder charges aren't the MOST significant factor in round consistency. It's good at what it's supposed to do. Throw reasonably accurate charges quickly and easily.

    I prefer the Lyman 55's as they have three different chambers that you can adjust to get an accurate volume.

    Regarding accuracy, remember....the new fluorescent type bulbs will upset an electronic scale. I had one in a desk lamp and if it got too close to my scale, the weight measurement went bonkers.

    Flash
    You Gotta Die Of Something........It May As Well Be Something That You Like!

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  14. #14
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    I have half dozen Little Dandies and three of the Accumeasures with complete sets of rotors.

    I collected them from people here and second hand in gun shops over the years so not a big investment.

    I like fixed cavity powder dispensers including the Lee Pro disc, I have three of these. They are not as flexible as an adjustable powder measure for developing loads but once you have a load and an appropriate rotor then they are very good and consistent dispensers so long as your operation is consistent.

    Mine are set up for different loads that I use a lot it is just a matter of mounting, filling and loading.


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  15. #15
    Boolit Master

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    I also at one time used a Lil Dandy pm it worked fine but all of the rotors you have to buy makes the set up expensive if you load for alot a calibers ! the measure is $34.00 and the rotors $9.72 each. a option i would recomend is the oversized rotor knob that attaches to the factory rotor knob , avalible from rcbs $4.99
    At some time someone made a adj charge weight rotor for use in the Lil Dandy pm. i cant remember who or if there still avalible ?

  16. #16
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    There is also a guy roaming around the net that makes an adjustable rotor for the Lil-Dandy. He goes by the name of Bailey Boat on several gun forums.
    My hero's have always been Cowboys!

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by 44Vaquero View Post
    There is also a guy roaming around the net that makes an adjustable rotor for the Lil-Dandy. He goes by the name of Bailey Boat on several gun forums.
    Hi,
    This? http://castboolits.gunloads.com/show...e-Dandy-Rotors
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  18. #18
    Boolit Master
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    Yup! That's him. The thread you posted a link to has both his address and phone number listed. I think it's a cool piece of kit to have.
    My hero's have always been Cowboys!

  19. #19
    I've been using a Little Dandy measure for over thirty years, I like it for loading handgun. As Char-Gar mentioned, once you know what a rotor throws with a given lot of powder, there is no wasted time setting up the adjustable measure.

    Like several folks I have an almost complete set of rotors, Mine were purchased when they were around $3.00 each back in the late '70s. That is equal to about $11.00 in today's Phony Reserve Notes. When adjusted for inflation the rotors are no more expensive than they were thirty years ago.

    There are a few drawbacks, if you want to call them drawbacks.

    First off, the Little Dandy just seems to dislike some powders. There are certain powders, such as Unique, that just don't meter consistantly in my measure. I have found, by actual testing, that the little dandy will consistantly hold plus or minus 0.2 (two tenths) of a grain or better with flake and ball powders that it likes.

    Secondly, you are stuck with the charge that a rotor throws with a given lot of a particular powder. If you want to mess with adjustable rotors you may as well just forget about the Little Dandy and use and adjustable measure.

    Thirdly, if you insist on maximum loads the Little Dandy rotor selection may not coincide with your desired charge weight or throw a large enough charge of powder. The largest rotor, #26, throws 21.8 grains of 2400 according to the RCBS data supplied with my measure. If you need more 2400 than that you will need another measure or throw multiple charges with a smaller rotor (not recommended practice).

    I can't remember the last time I loaded handgun ammunition and didn't use the Little Dandy.

    PB

  20. #20
    Boolit Master
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    I have 4 of the Little Dandys and all but one of the rotors.
    The facts of life are you will probably never use but 3 or 4 rotors.
    Many of my rotors came from gun shows and second hand shelves. I paid as little as $.50 each for some of them and $1.00 each for many. I think I bought only 2 at retail prices.
    I have used it to charge shot shells, hand gun ammo and reduced load rifle ammo.
    The largest rotors work well for some BPCR smokeless loads.
    The fact that they are not adjustable bothers me none at all. Once you have a standardized load for a handgun there is little need to monkey with it for the rest of your life.

    With the small cavities they are much more consistent than a huge adjustable rotor in a standard measure.
    EDG

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