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Thread: Belding & Mull "Visible" Powder Measure

  1. #21
    Boolit Mold Garth Dial's Avatar
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    Belding and Mull is now apparently nothing more than just another gun shop. There is nothing on their website which indicates that they are manufacturing any of the reloading equipment or gun cleaning equipment for which they became famous. They are just another gun shop specializing in modern black guns. Sadness.

  2. #22
    Boolit Master
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    Sorry to hear this. Back when I was actively acquiring gear for Schuetzen, I was in touch with the then-new owners of the name. They were building new measures and offered a complete line of parts to rebuild/maintain older units. I didn’t realize how long it had been... a danger when you get old! As for the window cracking problem, my earliest unit had little divots ground to accept the screw head, but it was old when I got it, so that could have been post-factory.

    On other ones I had, broken windows were a problem. I went to a little Mom & Pop hardware store and got a few replacement glass windows cut for spares and never broke another one! JMMV

    Froggie

    Quote Originally Posted by Garth Dial View Post
    Belding and Mull is now apparently nothing more than just another gun shop. There is nothing on their website which indicates that they are manufacturing any of the reloading equipment or gun cleaning equipment for which they became famous. They are just another gun shop specializing in modern black guns. Sadness.
    "It aint easy being green!"

  3. #23
    Boolit Grand Master

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    The 2 main castings, Body and handle probably became prohibitive in cost with the short runs. The block while a casting could be made from bar stock with out much trouble. The body while it could be made from bar stock would be a lot of chips and time machining from bar stock. Maybe one of the repro makers will pick it up with modern manufacturing and upgrades. Most of the parts are simple machining or off the shelf parts.

    I have worked with a couple of these measures for years and find them accurate and easy to use. The big drawback is getting the measure tubes set to replicate a given load. The slide versions can be slow and tricky to et set to .1 grn of a desired setting. The thread adjustable ones are a little better for this. I have a couple I made that have a true micrometer adjustment and should be repeatable. Also one that is "click" adjustable.

    With the c clamp mount I could envision one with a short hopper and baffle that uses powder bottles for the hopper, a slightly bigger "pre charge" chamber, and a accurate resettable measure tube. In this it would be both smokeless and Black powder like the originals were. Maybe 2 sizes one with the original 1/2" od measure tube and one that uses a 3/8" od measure tube for smaller pistol charges and small rifle cartridges. One would be in the 20-120 grn range the smaller in the 0-40 grn range.

    The biggest drawback to this measure is the 2 hand operation dosnt allow for holding a loading block and charging cases like the newer rotary styles.

  4. #24
    Boolit Master


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    I just revisited this thread and I'm glad to see the ideas for mounting my B&M powder measure. I bought my measure at a gun show this fall and it didn't take long for me to come to really like the thing. I wish I'd bought one 50 years ago.
    Chuck

  5. #25
    Boolit Master
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    I just bought my first B&M "Visible" powder measure at a local gunshow yesterday. From what I can tell it seems to be complete with glass and brass cap for the hopper(applied some Kroil to allow me to remove it). The measuring tube has a threaded and calibrated rod micrometer like ring... last number on rod is "35" so I am guessing that it actually will go to 40... I do have a couple questions for those of you who either have or do use this tool.

    1. A lot of force is required to move the lever, so much so that it will move even when clamped securely to the bench... could the previous owner have installed too heavy a spring, or should I just lube with some more Kroil, let it set and work it to see if it will loosen? I have no idea how much force it should take, but I'm guessing not much more than is required to return it to the closed position.

    2. Should there be any type of baffle inside the main powder hopper? Mine is brass and the only thing visible on the inside are the three brass pins that are used to secure it in place.

    3. As a lot of do, I am prone to take something apart before I ever use it... guess the little boy in us stays around til me take that dirt nap... Are there any suggestions or "aha! moments that you could share on disassembling, servicing and reassembling?

    Thanks in advance for sharing your experience and knowledge..

    Kindest regards,

    TheMoose
    Perhaps my learning skills have diminished in my senior years.. 50 years ago I could read something once and then "have it"... Now I read it about three times, do it a couple of times and then... "have it" only about half the time.

  6. #26
    Boolit Bub
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    I'm in a similar spot with some same questions as you, Themoose. I found a B&M Visible in a lot of stuff I bought a while back and got to tinkering with it a few days ago.

    Mine was gunked up from storage, so I took it apart and cleaned the heck out of it. It's still requires a bit of force to operate and, like yours, will move even when clamped. I cleaned and polished up the contact surfaces and its still tough.

    I'm not sure which measure I have, but it sounds pretty similar to the same one you do. I'd have to look again. I saw doing some research there's two different measuring tubes, but they seem hard to find.

    I'm at the point now of wondering if I should just see about rehoming it or if it's something I'll actually use. I'm not so much into the antique type stuff, even though it's cool and all, but I could see it having some potential using it to load my C&B revolver.

  7. #27
    Boolit Grand Master

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    Lever force is an issue mounted tight and pushed back against a flat edge (like a shelf) will make the spinning less likely to occur. A slightly lighter spring will help here, but make sure it completely returns the charge block when released.

    The baffle is already there when you drop measure a charge the block disconnects or shuts off from the hopper and the charge is weighed from whats in the charge block a st amount of powder. This was pretty much the original baffle.

    Disassembly is pretty straight forward and simple. as with all spring loaded mechanisms be careful of the spring tension. On mine I replaced the standard screws with allen heads both button and caps as needed. Pay attention to each part and how it goes together / came apart. I would recommend on the block body tube hole ( any where powder can contact) to use a good dry lube. not an oil or grease. On the lever pivots linkage spring and the pin guide rod in it a light grease. There just isn't a lot to go wrong with these measures and they require little maintenance. Once lubed with graphite to start the coating on most powders will maintain the lubrication.

    The measure tubes are also quite simple and require little. again dry lube and clean as needed. Which end does your tube have. flat or concave? There were 2 styles of tubes. the sliding standard tube with a sliding rod and lock screw. worked good but were harder to set. And the fine adjust with the threaded rod and graduated ring. I have made both styles. I have also made a true micrometer adjust for them.

    The B&M measures are a very good measure and were rated for both smokeless and Black powder

  8. #28
    Boolit Master
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    Thanks for the info. My tube has the flat end
    Perhaps my learning skills have diminished in my senior years.. 50 years ago I could read something once and then "have it"... Now I read it about three times, do it a couple of times and then... "have it" only about half the time.

  9. #29
    Boolit Master
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    I have acquired 3 of these unique little measures over the years. Mine all have brass powder hoppers, but one had a cracked view glass and 2 were missing hopper covers. I found an "unknown" brass cover that fit nicely, and turned a walnut cover that fit inside the hopper for the other one. I also have several measuring tubes including 2 micrometer adjustable ones. If looking for a tube, I suggest getting a Tedd Cash muzzleloading powder measure. They are just the right size. If too tight a slight bit of sanding at the top end will make things right.
    NRA Life
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  10. #30
    Boolit Grand Master



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    instructions here

    http://anhaica.net/arms/B&M.htm

    MVA still makes and sells their version

    https://montanavintagearms.com/produ...owder-measure/
    2nd Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. - "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."

  11. #31
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    I have eight of them, plastic hoppers, aluminum hoppers and brass hoppers. The stiff spring is normal as is the twisting on the shelf. Use two hands. With long stick powders it is the best there is. Maybe a little slow, but very repeatable and exact. Cracked glass is common, it doesn't hurt anything but looks tacky.

    Never, ever lubricate with Kroil. Use graphite lock lube under the aluminum slide.

    Ken
    Antique Reloading Tool Collector, Historian and Writer
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  12. #32
    Boolit Grand Master

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    FWIW, I remember reading about pyrodex after market powder measure hoppers https://www.google.com/search?q=glas...hrome&ie=UTF-8
    My Anchor is holding fast!

  13. #33
    Boolit Bub
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    I can't remember if it was eBay or where, but I've seen replacement glass for these things. I would think a guy could have pieces cut, as well. A glass shop or something could probably cut it out of scrap as small as it is, would just need to match up the thickness.

  14. #34
    Boolit Grand Master



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    Quote Originally Posted by mdi View Post
    FWIW, I remember reading about pyrodex after market powder measure hoppers https://www.google.com/search?q=glas...hrome&ie=UTF-8
    That would be Pyrex Hoppers. They work great on Dillon's. If you can find the proper size they would work great. You need 1 1/2" OD.

    They don't list sizes so you would have to call them. https://dramworx.com/products/
    2nd Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. - "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."

  15. #35
    Boolit Master



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    I was there a few years ago. At that time, they were talking about releasing a special edition, which I would have bought. Maybe they lost their machinist. Am guessing capital is also a concern. Too bad.

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  16. #36
    Boolit Master
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    Thanks again for all your input. Pressman, I won't use Kroil on the measure itself. I only used a small amount so I could remove the brass cap without damage. Right now, I doubt that it useable due the hard pull required to cycle it. I will try cleaning and using graphite or lockease.
    Perhaps my learning skills have diminished in my senior years.. 50 years ago I could read something once and then "have it"... Now I read it about three times, do it a couple of times and then... "have it" only about half the time.

  17. #37
    Boolit Master

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    The hard spring return is designed to snip stick powder granules in two rather than having to vary the return by hand in order to bump them out of the way as the “visible” block returns to drop the charge. If you try to double the fill and return stroke, you will get more powder into the measure, so any variance to the open-and-shut stroke will vary the charge delivered in proportion.

    I put a little shelf extension below the edge of my loading bench. It is just deep enough so the measure clamp yoke is pushed hard against the front of the shelf while the back of the measure is pushed hard against the edge of the bench top. As long as the clamp is kept tight, the measure can’t twist sideways. The end of the lever hits the edge of the loading bench as the powder drops, but this doesn’t interfere with the delivery.

    I’m never in a hurry when I’m filling cases with powder, so the B&M is the one I use for smokeless loads. If you can find a B&M Handbook, it will have approximate micrometer measure settings for various powders, a lot of them obsolescent, but some still current. If you record the settings you use for given charges, and check with a scale, (as you should anyway), you can get arbitrarily close to your last charges when you come back to them.

  18. #38
    Boolit Master


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    One accurate way to reproduce charger settings is to use the depth stem of a caliper, either dial or digital. A feller with just one plain charger and a lathe might make up depth inserts for quick setting his standard charges.

  19. #39
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