RepackboxTitan ReloadingLee PrecisionADvertise here
RotoMetals2WidenersInline Fabrication

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 23

Thread: Lyman 55 accuracy

  1. #1
    Boolit Master



    Join Date
    Feb 2018
    Posts
    1,304

    Lyman 55 accuracy

    The handle of my Lyman 55 that I’ve had for 35 years broke off. I bought a new Lyman 55 and was not paying much attention to the repeatability on the weights I was throwing, because I was dribbling more in to get to the exact weight.
    I started using it for BP doses and noticed it wasn’t always giving the same weight. How close should a Lyman 55 be each time? Is it less accurate with BP? My old one seemed to have better repeatability as I remember. Do they need a break in period? Is there anything you can do to tweak them up?

  2. #2
    Boolit Master

    kungfustyle's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Knoxville, TN
    Posts
    950
    Try this https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c6CAg2VEeKc At 11:55 sec's he puts a funnel and fills the hopper, leaving the funnel filled with powder. That was the bee's knees for me. Works very well. Don't know about the black powder aspect of it.

  3. #3
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Central VA
    Posts
    3,148
    Technique, technique, technique! The 55 is very sensitive to how consistently you move the lever, whether you use the knocker or not, etc ad nauseum. The use of some sort of baffle (funnel or whatever) will certainly aid consistency by keeping the same pressure head on the powder entering the measuring chamber... not a total solution, but it helps.

    Froggie
    "It aint easy being green!"

  4. #4
    Boolit Grand Master

    Wayne Smith's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Hampton Roads, Virginia
    Posts
    11,340
    Also consider that with BP you have a lighter weight powder and a larger cavity to fill. It should take a little more effort to make sure that cavity is full.
    Wayne the Shrink

    There is no 'right' that requires me to work for you or you to work for me!

  5. #5
    Boolit Grand Master


    Larry Gibson's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Lake Havasu City, Arizona
    Posts
    17,791
    As mentioned; how consistently you operate the lever and the consistency of the "knocks" with the knocker tells the tale. Mostly it is simply the number of knocks as that is what settles the powder consistently in the cavity. The number of knocks needed depends on the type of powder granulation, the size of the granulation and the volume of the thrown charge. For example; one knock is sufficient for .223 charges of ball powder. Two knocks most often for larger .308W - '06 size cases. With finer grained extruded powders up through IMR4895 in size two knocks for larger charges (28 - - 42 gr) with 3 knocks used for over 42 gr. With larger grained extruded powders such as Varget, the SC type and the RL- 22 I use three knocks. I flip the knocker pretty good so it knocks at the top and the bottom of each flip.

    I also knock it once after the powder is "thrown" which ensures there is no "bridged" part of the powder still in the #55.

    I, at one time, used the funnel trick but found with consistent knocks it was no longer necessary if the powder level was kept above 1/3.

    Also I adjust the slides to use all three if possible to create the deepest cavity with the lessor amount of "scrape" area for the drum to cut off.

    Using those techniques with the Lyman #55 powder thrower (I currently have and use 3 of them) with 41.5 gr of 4895 and 50 gr charges of AA4250 I can throw consistent charges within 1/2 of one tenth of a grain of powder. Throwing charges of 26.5 gr of H335 they charges will be spot on with little if any measurable weight variation.

    With the long grained extruded such as 3031, 4064 and 4831 I don't use the #55 but instead use the Lee powder thrower. I still tap the side of the lee measure after the handle is up in the fill position to settle the powder consistently in the cavity.
    Larry Gibson

    “Deficient observation is merely a form of ignorance and responsible for the many morbid notions and foolish ideas prevailing.”
    ― Nikola Tesla

  6. #6
    Boolit Master
    Markopolo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2017
    Location
    Remote island in SE Alaska
    Posts
    1,348
    I also have the 55, and I just felt like I could never trust it so I weighed every charge.. when I got my Lyman Gen 5, and got used to it, the 55 has been sitting in mothballs. for the way I reload, the Gen 5 is deadly accurate, and removed all of my tedious checking and rechecking with every throw. it works by trickling powder and stops the throw on a dime. its like having a super fast trickler on steroids....

    marko
    Any technology not understood, can seem like Magic!!!

    I will love the Lord with all my heart, all my soul, and all my mind.

  7. #7
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Location
    OKC , Oklahoma
    Posts
    1,261
    Quote Originally Posted by Larry Gibson View Post
    As mentioned; how consistently you operate the lever and the consistency of the "knocks" with the knocker tells the tale. Mostly it is simply the number of knocks as that is what settles the powder consistently in the cavity. The number of knocks needed depends on the type of powder granulation, the size of the granulation and the volume of the thrown charge. For example; one knock is sufficient for .223 charges of ball powder. Two knocks most often for larger .308W - '06 size cases. With finer grained extruded powders up through IMR4895 in size two knocks for larger charges (28 - - 42 gr) with 3 knocks used for over 42 gr. With larger grained extruded powders such as Varget, the SC type and the RL- 22 I use three knocks. I flip the knocker pretty good so it knocks at the top and the bottom of each flip.

    I also knock it once after the powder is "thrown" which ensures there is no "bridged" part of the powder still in the #55.

    I, at one time, used the funnel trick but found with consistent knocks it was no longer necessary if the powder level was kept above 1/3.

    Also I adjust the slides to use all three if possible to create the deepest cavity with the lessor amount of "scrape" area for the drum to cut off.

    Using those techniques with the Lyman #55 powder thrower (I currently have and use 3 of them) with 41.5 gr of 4895 and 50 gr charges of AA4250 I can throw consistent charges within 1/2 of one tenth of a grain of powder. Throwing charges of 26.5 gr of H335 they charges will be spot on with little if any measurable weight variation.

    With the long grained extruded such as 3031, 4064 and 4831 I don't use the #55 but instead use the Lee powder thrower. I still tap the side of the lee measure after the handle is up in the fill position to settle the powder consistently in the cavity.
    That is exactly how I use mine /\
    My favorite bench mounted measure .

  8. #8
    Boolit Grand Master

    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Northwest Ohio
    Posts
    11,243
    The lyman 55 was the base for the old culiver conversions. A very accurate measure. A added baffle may help as will a "bump" start and finish of stroke. But the most help is consistent operation of the measure every time. Same speed same bump same number of bumps and maintaining a set level of powder in the hopper. ALl of this helps but may vary with different powders.

    An interesting test is gill hopper gull and set a charge here an even charge like 25.0 grns works better. This way the .o show variance at a glance. Throw charges and write down in groups of 10. Watch as the hopper empties and you will see a point where the weights get better mark this with a piece of tape. then keep going till they start to vary again. mark with tape. this is the range your measure wants as to hipper pressure. A powder baffle may extend this some. Now keep going till measure is empty noting each charge as before. This gives you what to expect if the measure and your technique.

  9. #9
    Boolit Grand Master

    gwpercle's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Baton Rouge, Louisiana
    Posts
    5,027
    Technique and how good you are at consistent operation is critical. Haphazard operation results in haphazard weights . Keep the hopper at least halfway full of powder .
    Another trick is to set the 3 slides to form one narrow deep cavity ... this goes a long way along with consistent operation of the handle .
    Gary
    Certified Cajun
    Proud Member of The Basket of Deplorables

  10. #10
    Boolit Master



    Join Date
    Feb 2018
    Posts
    1,304
    Quote Originally Posted by gwpercle View Post
    Technique and how good you are at consistent operation is critical. Haphazard operation results in haphazard weights . Keep the hopper at least halfway full of powder .
    Another trick is to set the 3 slides to form one narrow deep cavity ... this goes a long way along with consistent operation of the handle .
    Gary

    That’s a good idea. I’ve tried most of the ideas, but not this one.

  11. #11
    Boolit Bub HP9MM's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2015
    Location
    Tallahassee, FL
    Posts
    45
    I found that filling the hopper then tapping it to settle the powder gives me very consistent amounts of powder. I have been surprised at how much the powder settles from tapping.
    Staring at the world through the bottom of a glass, all I see is a man who's fading fast.
    Merle Haggard

  12. #12
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Minnesota
    Posts
    2,606
    The Lyman 55 is the most overrated powder measure ever made. Just about anything else is more accurate, even my Lee. I'm not saying it can't be accurate, but if I have to count knocks, ever so carefully raise the lever, fiddle with baffles, etc. I would just rather use something else.

  13. #13
    Boolit Grand Master
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    South Jersey
    Posts
    5,388
    At 11:55 sec's he puts a funnel and fills the hopper, leaving the funnel filled with powder.
    And the first 11 minutes he is a complete bore
    Regards
    John

  14. #14
    Boolit Grand Master
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    South Jersey
    Posts
    5,388
    How close should a Lyman 55 be each time? Is it less accurate with BP?
    I charge 22 LR reloads with an Ideal No 5 (same as the Lyman 55) with 4.5grs of Swiss Null-B and loading 50 cases at a time - the weight never varies and once in awhile the weight will be 4.51
    Steady rhythm and consistent times between cranks on the arm = consistent powder drops
    Regards
    John

  15. #15
    Boolit Master Dan Cash's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Western North Dakota
    Posts
    3,096
    Quote Originally Posted by megasupermagnum View Post
    The Lyman 55 is the most overrated powder measure ever made. Just about anything else is more accurate, even my Lee. I'm not saying it can't be accurate, but if I have to count knocks, ever so carefully raise the lever, fiddle with baffles, etc. I would just rather use something else.
    Among the many different measures that I own and use, (Redding, Herter, Rcbs, Dillon and Lyman) the Lyman is the most accurate and consistent measure across a broad spectrum of powder types. For me, without fiddling, the Lyman will deliver consistent 1.5 grain Bulls Eye charges and 52 grain +/- .25 grain of Reloader 19 or 4320. At the heavier charge levels, a .5 grain deviation does not effect any demonstrable change in performance unless you are at the ragged edge of disaster.
    To paraphrase Ronald Reagan, the trouble with many shooting experts is not that they're ignorant; its just that they know so much that isn't so.

  16. #16
    Boolit Grand Master

    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Northwest Ohio
    Posts
    11,243
    I have and use many measures, from upper end Harrels and Neil Jones to home made dippers. I have belding and mulls, herters reddings lyman rcbs and a couple home made ones. Discounting the Harrels and Neil jones (high end measures competing with std production measures isn't really fair comparison). The belding and mulls are very good with most powders including black powder. Hoppers may be on the small size for larger cartridge's, but very accurate. Its also 2 hand operation. The homemade ones are a cross between the B&M and rcbs little Dandy. They are a lever actuated slide with bushing to measure powder. They also do very well especially with smaller pistol charges. Haven't tried them with stick powders. The Lyman's one 55 and a BP model are accurate and food measures I find them a little harder to set. I try to set with large main slide with in 1-2 grns then second slide with in .5-1 and to weight with 3 rd slide. Like this they run very well. The worse is to have one slide over hang the others. I have added a baffle to the BP measure made very little difference. The redding and herters are side dial adjust and while accurate are touchy to set to exact tenths of a grain. The Redding br 30 with micrometer adjustment is good and easy to adjust, throws accurate charges with few problems it came with a nice baffle. The rcbss Lil Dandy and uniflow Ill take seperatly the Lil dandy first a good measure for small charges accurate and easy to use. The addition of a lever to the rotor helps me a lot. You do need a assortment of rotors 1 for each charge. rotors can be fine tuned with tape or epoxy easily. nice sized hopper. Once you have the rotor for a load resetting is easy. The uniflow (2) is my least used measure One is stock and has both large and small rotors. the other was a complete overhaul with clearances held to .001 or less. The new drum was hardened with a carbide cut ring fitted in. It also has end plates to set end play. Its better than the stock one but not the equal of the others. The stock one suffers from large clearances and end play I believe. The overhauled one with the larger drum does good with larger charges but small charges get iffy. It is very smooth and operates easily.

    For a "over the counter " measure The Lyman 55 is a good choice. out of the box. disassemble it and clean with alcohol good let dry, dry lube and reassemble. then Learn to use it.

    For high end measure the Harrels, Neil Jones, B&M or a culiver conversion.

  17. #17
    Boolit Master 44magLeo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Lebanon, NY
    Posts
    580
    I like my 55's, I have 3 now.
    I do use a baffle in them This helps keep the measure consistent no matter how much powder is in the hopper.
    I used medicine bottles as baffles. Find one that is a slip fit in the hopper. Early versions have a different hopper than later versions. The early are thicker walled so a bit smaller inside. Cut the bottom off about an inch high. Drill a couple holes in the bottom. One on each side. A 1/4 inch holes seems to work well.
    I set the measure so it throws the charge I want, then throw ten charges into the scale pan. This should be ten times a much as your single charge. Make adjustments with the smallest slide to get ten charges that are ten times the single charge.
    I then fill a few cases and check the weights. If good I start charging cases. Check every tenth charge to be sure it's still right.
    I get charges to within less than .1 grs. Been doing this for years.
    I did some testing by weighing each and every charge. Then shot them. I could see no difference in accuracy.
    I have tried several electronic scales. I found the repeatability wasn't as good as my measure.
    Even on the most expensive scale I would set one bullet on the scale ten times and get 8 different readings. Not by a small amount, On cat a 265 gr bullet it could vary as much as two grs. On a 148 gr by over 1 gr. Jacketed were just as bad.
    Went back to the beam scale for weighing my cast boolits.
    Leo
    Last edited by 44magLeo; 12-23-2019 at 09:39 PM. Reason: typo

  18. #18
    Boolit Grand Master

    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Northwest Ohio
    Posts
    11,243
    A simple baffle can be made from a soda bottle pretty easily. You don't need a lot of fancy tools either.

    Tools required: dividers / compass to mark circles, metal ruler or straight edge, calipers to measure the ones in the reloading room should be fine. house hold scissors, hole punch leather or paper. Masking tape. a pencil wont mark on the plastic.

    Cut out the center of a soda bottle so you have a nice square piece. roll in reverse and et it as flat as possible. You can tape it to a board to work on also, this actually works good.
    Measure the hoppers inner dia
    Lay out a straight line 6" long along one edge half of dia + 1/4" and a center line of the 6" line
    Set the dividers / compass to 1/2 the diameter of the hopper +.005 Use the calipers here.
    measure 5/16" from each side of center line and mark a circle from each
    with the straight edge mark the outside of the circles together
    On each edge mark a circle centered on the centerline the dia of the punch. these are the openings for the powder to flow thru. start small and adjust as needed.
    cut out out side of baffle with the scissors following the line as close as possible. punch the 2 holes 1 on each end.
    remove tape and clean adhesive off
    fold in half
    sand to fit hopper
    Install and test

    This makes a Vee shaped baffle that feds from each end. You can open the end holes with the punch if desired

  19. #19
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Central VA
    Posts
    3,148
    My only complaint about using the average #55 (assuming it’s in good shape, clean, and properly dry lubed) is how slow it is for me to adjust it “just right.” I’m a big fan of the measures using predrilled rotors... I have a couple each of RCBS Little Dandy, Lyman Accu-Measure, and Pacific Pistol Measures with a full assortment of rotors for all but the last ones.

    For stick powders, I’ve never found any rotating drum to be but so accurate... the best I ever found for the old IMR4759 was an Ideal #5 Micrometer with its deep for volume cavity ratio. The B&M with its lever cutoff and deep cavity runs second, but I’ve never found any powder drop measure that really thrives on long stick powders.

    I’ve been collecting powder measures for about 30 years and none has ever struck me as perfect. The Harrell comes close, but even it has its limitations. JMHO, YMMV.
    "It aint easy being green!"

  20. #20
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    barry s wales uk
    Posts
    1,913
    got an orange one in 82 still throws +- a tenth of a grain with non flake powders.

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
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