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Thread: Powder measure question

  1. #1
    Boolit Master Bazoo's Avatar
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    Powder measure question

    I have 2 lee perfect powder measures that I love. I can't do the math to set them as lee suggests so I adjust them with my scale.

    Often times I'll leave one set for a powder charge and use the other whenever I pause during a batch. I rubber band a slip of paper to the measure with the charge and powder written on it. When I go to use it again I check it with my scale to verify it's still on, and it always is.

    I normally check the measure at every 50. It's never off. With the way it adjusts I don't see how it could go out of adjustment. I'd be comfortable with just a preliminary check even on a run of hundreds. So, how often should I check for safety?

    The Lyman manual suggest checking every 10th charge? Does other measures go out of adjustment easier than the lee ppm?

    If I had a lee measure dedicated to a charge I'd guess it would never go out of adjustment.

    Bazoo

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    Boolit Master poppy42's Avatar
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    I had A perfect powder measure and hated it. It leaked,I couldnít get consistent throws, And if I did get a consistent thorough it didnít seem to last. I switch to an auto disk for my pistol loads and either a rcbs uniflow or A Lyman 55 for all my rifles. With a Lyman 55 Iíve even got consistent drops of unique. If you use unique, you know itís not the easiest powder to get consistent drops. As for stick powers such as 4895 Iíve never found a measure that gets consistent enough for me I always weigh each drop when using those stick powders
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  3. #3
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    Kevin Rohrer's Avatar
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    Lee products do not enter my home (except for their hand primer, which is made of junk but works ok until it breaks). I check my other measures occasionally (Dillon, Q-M, B&M, Hollywood), but they never change.

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    [QUOTE=Bazoo; Does other measures go out of adjustment easier than the lee ppm? Bazoo[/QUOTE]

    Its not the adjustment moving so much as the thrown volume can change its weight--- depending on the powder---
    as the level comes down or it settles like corn flakes in the box,
    and sort of packs itself from the shaking/vibrations of dumping charges.

    With my Hornady measures, ball and flake seems to never change after the first few dumps.

    IMR stick powder sometimes varies a little with almost every time the drum rotates.
    For rifle ammo, I tend to weigh every charge and have a trickeler close at hand when using it.
    Last edited by Winger Ed.; 02-06-2020 at 09:01 PM.
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  5. #5
    Boolit Master Bazoo's Avatar
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    Thanks for the replies.

    I have a consistent up stroke "knock" when using the measure which seems to help a lot. Both of my measures leak fine powder, it doesn't bother me.

  6. #6
    Boolit Master
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    I have Lyman , Rcbs , and Lee powder measures for bench mounted measures I prefer the Lyman I like the knocker but many do just as well with the RCBS and Lee all can be helped with a powder baffle and consistent operation it can also help to not let them get more than 1/2 to 2/3 empty.

  7. #7
    Boolit Master
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    The Lyman manual suggest checking every 10th charge? Does other measures go out of adjustment easier than the lee ppm?
    My 55's are boringly accurate and consistant. Lyman is just being overly cautious. I have a couple that are set on a single load that I use in 45 ACP and 9mm. They may sit for a couple weeks or more between sessions and when I drop in the pan to check are dead on. I literally could check my scale with drops of TG and HS-6 from my 55's

  8. #8
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    The Lee VM's never worked for me they were a starting point. Nothing wrong with the powder measure, the one I used to own leaked with ball powder (ACC #5, H110 etc.) If it works for you great, use it. Your best bet is to find your load/powder combo and wright it down. You'll be very close next time you go to use it. If I remember correctly the You'll want the number on the long spindle (Black one) then on the fine tune. Wright those down. Testing every 10 rounds because the powder settles, uses up, less weight and that can affect the volumetric amount dispensed. If you are reloading pistols 45 ACP, 38 special or 9mm aka small cases you don't use much powder, but still one every 10 is a good idea. 1 every 5 if near max. 357, 44 mag and larger you will use powder quickly and its a good idea to keep an eye on what is going into the cases. One way to help is to pour powder into the powder measure with a good size funnel, leave it in there and refill the funnel when it gets low. This will maintain a constant pressure and you should be right on.

  9. #9
    Boolit Master kmw1954's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bazoo View Post
    I have 2 lee perfect powder measures that I love. I can't do the math to set them as lee suggests so I adjust them with my scale.

    Bazoo

    I use 3 Lee Auto measures, 2different Disk measures and 1 Drum measure. I weigh check as you do even with the Disks. Cannot speak for anyone but myself but I use these on top of a Lee Pro1000 that I also prime on and everyone has heard how leaking powder effects that press. Creates a disaster!

    Well I only use fine ball powders such as AA#2, AA#5, Ramshot Silhouette and HP-38 and even from my cheap Auto Disk with the rectangle hopper I get barely any leakage. I get more spillage from the shell plates turning than I get leakage from the measures.

    From working up many, many pistol loads I have found I cannot differentiate two rounds that are only different by 3 grains of powder or less. Yet with these 4 powders I find I can maintain a drop within .1gr of my target weight with any of these measures. Most of my loads I have found a disk cavity that works very well with a bullet and powder combination to where I mark my ammo boxes with the disk number instead of a weight.

  10. #10
    Boolit Bub Big Wes's Avatar
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    I don't have any issues with any of the Dillons I have or the two Harrell's schuetzen-pistol-measure or the premium measure
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  11. #11
    Boolit Master Shawlerbrook's Avatar
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    I use the Redding for most and have a couple Lyman 55’s for small charges. For rifle loads I check every drop on my scale.

  12. #12
    Boolit Grand Master

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    I have an RCBS Uniflo, a Dillon and a Harrell's. I usually check the 10th charge after its set up and then roll with it. I have used all 3 of these long enough to know that they can be trusted.

    If I'm not loading on a progressive I throw charges 50 at a time in a loading tray and visually check all 50 before seating a bullet. If I have a throw that feels different I will dump it back into the hopper. After you throw enough charges you develop a feel for it and become pretty consistent.

  13. #13
    Boolit Master Bazoo's Avatar
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    Thanks for the replies.

    Lightman, I do that too. If something about a drop is inconsistent to the others I toss it back. Often I'll check it on the scale first and it will be a couple tenths light.

  14. #14
    Boolit Master
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    Each one of the manufactures have products that are unique to them and work very well. Dillon seems to have a great powder measure for their progressives. Bonanza had a great measure for small cartridges, but was difficult to get zeroed in. Once set, it worked well. I have Lachmiller, Uniflow,
    Dillon, etc, but do not have a Lee powder measure. I have several Lee products that I use regularly. I just ordered a new press as of yesterday from Titan.

    Each company, for the most part, makes some pretty good products. One has to know the idiosyncrasies of each one to get the best results. By the same token, everyone sometimes has something that "slips through the cracks". Use the best tool for the job and get to know it thoroughly. What works for one doesn't mean it will work for all.

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    Boolit Buddy gumbo333's Avatar
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    Kevin Rohrer, the Lee hand primer is pretty good especially the old round tray model. Too bad some one hasn't copied it in real steel. Particularly the inside 'dog bone'. If always been going to make a steel one, getting too old. I've got several Lee products that I like a lot. Everyone has their own ideas, glad we have choices.
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  16. #16
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    The majority of my stuff is anything but Lee. I will admit to have a hand primer that I haven't used in over 30 years. I also have a universal decapping die which works fine after breaking the Lee decapping pin and replacing it with a hardened pin. I recently purchased a 357 Sig Full length sizing die to make some 40 cal snake loads for my neighbors. I can't say I've ever tried a Lee powder measure I started with an RCBS unit which I still have. in addition I have a number of Dillon powder measures that work with the Dillon 550 and 650 presses. Recently I purchased several really nice Hornady micrometer type barrel powder measures that I believe are either stand alone units or work with the Hornady progressive press. I absolutely love the Hornady units even more than the Dillon. I guess to each his own.

    With respect to checking your ammunition ... most say to check every 10 rounds or so when you are starting out and generally some of us start to let the 10 rounds go out to 30,40, or more. Its partially dependent on your equipment and your experience level. I've been reloading for a long time and I weigh out every 22-250 and 308 that I make simply because I want no mistakes that can turn a good day into a bad one. On pistol stuff I generally check the first 10 and check another ten and so forth and determine if there is any fluctuation beyond .1 of a grain and if there isn't I may check every 50-75 moving batches aside that I know are good. You have to look at this with several things in mind. Safety and precision. The last thing you want to do is sit on your butt unloading ammunition you just made because of an error you made in either the setup or not checking your ammo.

    I had to come back and edit this. Thinking back I think the best powder measure for me has been the Hornady. I've adapted that to work on the dillons and with difficult to throw powder it seems to excel.
    Last edited by 6bg6ga; 02-07-2020 at 07:16 PM.

  17. #17
    Boolit Master 44magLeo's Avatar
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    The way Lee's measure has the shut off valve it acts as a powder baffle. This keeps the same amount over the charging chamber of the measure. This helps with consistency.
    I have one. It has a bit of a learning curve to the adjustments, but is very consistent. It does leak fine grain powders so I don't use fine grain powders with it.
    I have 3 Lyman 55's. These are easier to adjust and very consistent also. I did make powder baffles for them. I take a several prescription and OTC meds. I found a bottle cap that is a snug slip fit inside the hopper. Drilled a 1/4 inch hole on each edge. With this dropped down to the bottom of the hopper it helps the same as Lee's shut off valve.
    Improves consistency by a fair amount.
    Leo

  18. #18
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    My Lee Perfect Powder Measure is very consistent load to load, but their VMD numbers appear to be way off.

    I used their VMD of .1092 for Unique, and for a charge of 10gr of said powder, I set the measure to 1.09.
    The measure consistently dropped 8.50gr. of Unique. That kind of error could get you in some trouble.

    I did some adjusting and now I get my 10grs consistently...but I check the charge every 10 thrown...just what I have done for years.
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  19. #19
    Boolit Master
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    Use the VMD no. For a starting place to get close . Cycle the press a few times to settle the powder then throw a few charges and weigh to verify .

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by onelight View Post
    Use the VMD no. For a starting place to get close . Cycle the press a few times to settle the powder then throw a few charges and weigh to verify .
    Yep, read all that in the instructions many times but c'mon, Lee is off by 15% with their VMD
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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
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LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check