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Thread: Metering vs dipping BP charges

  1. #1
    Boolit Buddy
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    Metering vs dipping BP charges

    Any safety issues in using a stand type RCBS powder powder measure for BP? The charges will be going into paper cartridges. Thank you.

  2. #2
    Boolit Master


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    none.

  3. #3
    Boolit Master
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    I used my Lee powder measure for pyrodex. Put charges in plastic tubes. It worked good.

  4. #4
    Boolit Bub
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    I don't use an RCBS, I use a Lee.
    I have only just started loading Black powder so I may well be doing it wrong but I found that the Lee would not initially throw consistent charges with some up to 10% low.
    Anyway as a check I have been either throwing the charge onto the scales and/or physically checking the powder level with the powder compression mandrel with a line drawn on it. This way I can be sure that if the weights are not spot on at least there is no air gap.

    Anyway hope this helps

  5. #5
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    there are powder measures and then there are Superb powder measures. i've had a few each from lee, hornady, rcbs, and lyman. none of those hold a candle to a harrell's. this was a case of getting what you pay for, at least for me.

    for black powder and muzzleloaders, volume charging works best for me, there is no need to get super precise. for loading cartridges, it's dip and weigh only. if i were to use a powder measure, i'd throw a slight under charge, weigh and trickle to the target final weight - no precision powder measure required..

  6. #6
    Boolit Bub
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    I use the RCBS for all smokeless. For black, it's either the Lee or Lyman 55. The Lyman is a bit better than the Lee if you weigh each charge, but it's not way better. If I'm doing load development and want the nth degree of accuracy possible, I'll weigh out t charge and trickle up to the weight.

    The real key to getting good results is to be consistent in how you use the measure. When I'm using the Lee, it always stays half full or better, I maintain a constant pace- down, pause, up, pause, and I lightly thump it with a fingertip after every stroke. Doing this, the charges stay within .1g and that's not enough to cause problems in most black powder loads.
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  7. #7
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by LawrenceA View Post
    I don't use an RCBS, I use a Lee.
    I have only just started loading Black powder so I may well be doing it wrong but I found that the Lee would not initially throw consistent charges with some up to 10% low.
    Anyway as a check I have been either throwing the charge onto the scales and/or physically checking the powder level with the powder compression mandrel with a line drawn on it. This way I can be sure that if the weights are not spot on at least there is no air gap.

    Anyway hope this helps
    There must be something holding the powder from dropping. Maybe a burr or some other problem. Make sure the holes line up when the handles is in the up position. My Lee powder measure works great with black powder. The worst powder I've tried is 800x, and it will still hold plus or minus .4 grains at the very worst.

  8. #8
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    i have a few lee powder measures, and both leak fine powders like bullseye, w231, and 1-1/2f and 3f black powder. better quality measures from rcbs, hornady, and lyman rarely leak. my harrell's scheutzen powder measure hasn't leaked either for throwing BE or 231 in over 2 years after thousands of throws, and is precise to .05 grains at the most. precision and quality. worth the price tag.


  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by rfd View Post
    i have a few lee powder measures, and both leak fine powders like bullseye, w231, and 1-1/2f and 3f black powder. better quality measures from rcbs, hornady, and lyman rarely leak. my harrell's scheutzen powder measure hasn't leaked either for throwing BE or 231 in over 2 years after thousands of throws, and is precise to .05 grains at the most. precision and quality. worth the price tag.

    If it"s on Robs bench it is as good as it gets !

  10. #10
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    Your Lee leaks FFFg black powder? I'd send that back to get fixed, mine doesn't even leak with H110. Nothing wrong with Harrell's though if you want the best.

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    the holy black doesn't leak as bad as the BE and 231 but all powders leaked to one degree or too many, and though i still have 2 lee measures i had 4 at one time, each dedicated to a powder type. not worth my time, specially as ya get older and time ain't on yer side. if i need another powder measure i'll just pony up the 200+ clams for another harrells and do it right from the get-go. for sure some cheap stuff can work mighty fine, and i've got a bunch of such cheap stuff, but typically it's all a gamble of sorts. kinda like those henry s/s rifles, eh? .... to each their own and tallyho!

  12. #12
    Boolit Master
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    Yep, I would love to have a harrells, but, like many other things the extra money is not worth it for me. Probably why most of my reloading equipment is Lee stuff. It works for me.

    If I ever got to the point that .1" on a target was critical I would upgrade to things like custom made rifle, Wilson dies and Harrells measure.

  13. #13
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    Belding & Mull works for me.
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    Why don't I ever see Belding and Mull and Harrel's equipment for sale? I have never even heard of Harrel's!

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    Quote Originally Posted by megasupermagnum View Post
    There must be something holding the powder from dropping. Maybe a burr or some other problem. Make sure the holes line up when the handles is in the up position. My Lee powder measure works great with black powder. The worst powder I've tried is 800x, and it will still hold plus or minus .4 grains at the very worst.
    Yeah. I found some clumping in the powder. The next lot I threw the measure was throwing within less than I could be bothered measuring. Still check with the mandrel though

  16. #16
    Boolit Grand Master

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    You have to watch for used Belding and Mull equipment. Also who have it aren't parting with it. I have 2 measures and a bunch of tubes Ive made over the years. WIth Bp or stick powers they really work well. They were made in the transition area between BP and smokeless for quite a few years. The Harrels is a very good measure basically a copy of the culiver converted lymans, very accurate and repeatable. I have a shutzen size and standard of them. Never tried BP in them. I also have a lyman 55 I rebuilt with the metal hopper and drop tube. Works very well.

    In reality whether dipper or measure the charges are the same, both use a set cavity to measure the charge. Throwing a charge and then trickling to weight or weighing to sort would be a difference. The measure /dipper is more convivence and what your used to than any real difference in charges. For charging paper tubes or quick load tubes the measure is probably handier.

  17. #17
    Boolit Master



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    My Redding has been used for 30+ years no problem

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    Boolit Master



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    What makes the Harrells better? Closer tolerances or something else?

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by GregLaROCHE View Post
    What makes the Harrells better? Closer tolerances or something else?
    i don't know why it drops so consistently uniformly, i just know and like that it does. perhaps it is the tolerances, the materials, the build - whatever mechanism is employed, it's clearly Precise.

  20. #20
    Boolit Grand Master

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    I believe its a combination of things 1) the shape of the measuring chamber 2) the fine click adjustments, Harrels are repeatable on settings ie 55 clicks is the same every time. 3) the size shape and location of the baffle under the hopper. 4) the precision it is machined to and held to. 5) the bearings smoothness and smoothness of operation most stick powders you never feel a granule cut with them.

    The combination of the above and learning its wants make for a very fast accurate measure. No cheap by any means but worth every penny and then some. The finish is smooth and pleasing to the eye, fit is above normal. The Harrels measures are basically a copy or reproduction of the old culiver measures done in the 60s and 70s. Also a very good measure

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Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check