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Thread: Pacific Pistol Measure

  1. #1
    Boolit Master
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    Pacific Pistol Measure

    OK, I'm saddling up my trusty steed to go tilt at windmills again. Come Sancho Panza, we must save Dulcinea!

    I have somehow been enchanted by the long produced and much varied powder measure made first by Pacific and called their Pistol Measure, then later continued in slightly altered form by Bair and Hornady. It was a dandy little measure using brass (usually) rotors before RCBS even existed as a company. They were made in one variant or another from about the 1930s until sometime after mid-century, perhaps as late as the 1960s.

    They may be encountered with black or blue bodies cast of iron or perhaps aluminum, with reservoirs of brass, tin, or brass again or clear plastic. The rotors varied in length and knob configuration, but AFAIK any variation of the rotors worked with any iteration of the measure.

    Initially the rotors were simply marked with a one or two digit number (such as 3 or 3,5 which was apparently calibrated to grains of Bullseye powder. Later rotors were marked for Unique and 2400 powders as well.

    Soooo, I would like to hear from any other quixotic types who are interested in or have information about the Pacific Pistol Measure. Saddle up your donkeys, grab your lances, and come along. Is that a windmill over there or is it really a giant?

    the Green Frog
    "It aint easy being green!"

  2. #2
    Boolit Master
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    37 views so far and no replies? I know they discontinued these things a long time ago... before a lot of the members here were even born, but doesn't anyone have any memory about them? I know we have some graybeards as well as newbies here, so let's dig deep into our fading memories (before the evening drink) and try to record what we know. Any detail, no matter how small, may prove useful.

    Froggie
    "It aint easy being green!"

  3. #3
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    Preacher Jim's Avatar
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    I have 2 Pacific pistol measures and the Pacific rifle measure culver type.
    Used them over 50 years have several rotors for pistol and made several of my own.

  4. #4
    Boolit Master

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    You've got me started down the rabbit hole now.....

    maybe this two members can help

    http://castboolits.gunloads.com/show...Powder-Measure



    Scott
    Scott

    You can easily judge the character of others by how they treat those who they think can do nothing for them.

  5. #5
    Boolit Mold
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    I have one of them from years ago. recently bought some 1/2 inch brass rod to make some more bushings for my pet loads.

  6. #6
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    Click image for larger version. 

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    There are 5 different models, for those who weren't born yet and then old guy, Preacher Jim
    Antique Reloading Tool Collector, Historian and Writer
    Newsletter editor: Antique Reloading Tool Collectors Association
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    email: herters@netins.net
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  7. #7
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by dsh1106 View Post
    You've got me started down the rabbit hole now.....

    maybe this two members can help

    http://castboolits.gunloads.com/show...Powder-Measure



    Scott
    Scott,
    I remember seeing that thread... mostly it refers to the later measure that uses a slide bar with interchangeable bushings. The measure in question uses rotors very much like those we see in the RCBS Little Dandy. Ken posted a picture of the known variations of this type in the post above (#6)

    Froggie
    "It aint easy being green!"

  8. #8
    Boolit Master

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    I see three of the 5 measures Ken mentioned are on the action site in one lot today....
    Scott

    You can easily judge the character of others by how they treat those who they think can do nothing for them.

  9. #9
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    I've got three of them, and 9 or 10 rotors. They're a handy little measure for small cartridges.

    Hope this helps.

    Fred
    After a shooting spree, they always want to take the guns away from the people who didn't do it. - William S. Burroughs.

  10. #10
    Boolit Master



    skeettx's Avatar
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    I have some of they and they really work well
    Mike
    NRA Benefactor 2004 USAF RET 1971-95

  11. #11
    Boolit Mold
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    The middle one of Pressman's collection is the one I have. It's 2.5 rotor has been a bit small for what I generally do, but a 32 has joined the flock, so... I do wish there were still rotors available.

  12. #12
    Boolit Buddy metricmonkeywrench's Avatar
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    Here's mine, the rotors run from 3 to 5 in .5 increments and are a simple machined brass rod. The one installed has more intricate machining and real stop pins and is marked 2.8 BUL

    Click image for larger version. 

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  13. #13
    Boolit Master
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    Don't have the Pacific measures but do have the one made by Forster/Bonanza that operates the same way. Bought mine new in the mid 70's with a selection of rotors and have collected additional rotors for it off E-bay. Rotors are brass and also calibrated for Bullseye and the measure included a chart for other powders as well. The Bonanza unit will stand on its base when you set it down and is the quickest way I have found for charging cases in a loading block. Picked up several off E-bay over the years for my son and SIL as well as rotors for the common BE loads (3.0-5.0). Also got a set of rotors from 3.0 to 7.0 for my self. These have a red powder reservoir with a lid, some of the older guys here might remember them.

    Only Pacific measure i have is an odd duck, there is a fitting that you screw on the old metal powder can and a tube with an adjustment screw, sort of like the adjustable black powder measures. There are numbers on the shaft that slides in and out and the instruction sheet with it tells you what number to use for various powder weights. Out of curiosity check weighed the charges on a scale and it was surprisingly accurate. Don't use it, was an impulse buy just for the cool factor.

    In the box with the measure above was a chart for rotors for Pacific measures which I suspect is for the OP's measures. If anyone wants a copy PM me address and I will copy it and mail it to you.

  14. #14
    Boolit Master
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    I have one I bought cheap at an auction in a box of loading gear. I haven't used it yet. It has one extra rotor with it.

  15. #15
    Boolit Grand Master

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    The Pacific Pistol Powder Measure I have is of a different design. Mine uses a slide with interchangeable bushings ("Pacific Tool... a division of Hornady Mfg". on the side). I'll dig it out and use it occasionally. It is surprisingly consistent and I have "customized" a few bushings to drop a specific charge. Hornady makes/made bushings for it and I purchased a few maybe 6 years ago and have seen some on ebay...
    Last edited by mdi; 04-02-2020 at 11:57 AM.
    My Anchor is holding fast!

  16. #16
    Boolit Master

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rich/WIS View Post
    Don't have the Pacific measures but do have the one made by Forster/Bonanza that operates the same way. Bought mine new in the mid 70's with a selection of rotors and have collected additional rotors for it off E-bay. Rotors are brass and also calibrated for Bullseye and the measure included a chart for other powders as well. The Bonanza unit will stand on its base when you set it down and is the quickest way I have found for charging cases in a loading block. Picked up several off E-bay over the years for my son and SIL as well as rotors for the common BE loads (3.0-5.0). Also got a set of rotors from 3.0 to 7.0 for my self. These have a red powder reservoir with a lid, some of the older guys here might remember them.

    Only Pacific measure i have is an odd duck, there is a fitting that you screw on the old metal powder can and a tube with an adjustment screw, sort of like the adjustable black powder measures. There are numbers on the shaft that slides in and out and the instruction sheet with it tells you what number to use for various powder weights. Out of curiosity check weighed the charges on a scale and it was surprisingly accurate. Don't use it, was an impulse buy just for the cool factor.

    In the box with the measure above was a chart for rotors for Pacific measures which I suspect is for the OP's measures. If anyone wants a copy PM me address and I will copy it and mail it to you.
    I would like a copy of the rotor chart. Send PM.
    Scott

    You can easily judge the character of others by how they treat those who they think can do nothing for them.

  17. #17
    Boolit Master
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    I have 10 of them plus the one made by Bair before Pacific bought them out. I use them mostly to fill n the gaps between the RCBS rotors. I have had no issues with any of them.
    NRA Benefactor Member NRA Golden Eagle

  18. #18
    Boolit Grand Master

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    Mine is the first picture Ken posted. It has a Bair sticker on it. I now have a bunch of rotors for it - including a couple cut for the stop but not drilled. I'm thinking the Lee cubic inch chart might be a useful chart for figuring hole size.

    I also have one of the slide varieties. The original slide was aluminium and broken where the hole was drilled for the inserts. Extremely thin sides to that. I got it back when Buckshot was still working. I sent him the broken slide and he reproduced it in steel - I got it and it literally took two swipes of a file for it to fit perfectly. Vast improvement in that little measure. I have drilled several holes through 1/2" brass rod 1/2" thick to make measures.
    Wayne the Shrink

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

  19. #19
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rich/WIS View Post
    Don't have the Pacific measures but do have the one made by Forster/Bonanza that operates the same way. Bought mine new in the mid 70's with a selection of rotors and have collected additional rotors for it off E-bay. Rotors are brass and also calibrated for Bullseye and the measure included a chart for other powders as well. The Bonanza unit will stand on its base when you set it down and is the quickest way I have found for charging cases in a loading block. Picked up several off E-bay over the years for my son and SIL as well as rotors for the common BE loads (3.0-5.0). Also got a set of rotors from 3.0 to 7.0 for my self. These have a red powder reservoir with a lid, some of the older guys here might remember them.

    Only Pacific measure i have is an odd duck, there is a fitting that you screw on the old metal powder can and a tube with an adjustment screw, sort of like the adjustable black powder measures. There are numbers on the shaft that slides in and out and the instruction sheet with it tells you what number to use for various powder weights. Out of curiosity check weighed the charges on a scale and it was surprisingly accurate. Don't use it, was an impulse buy just for the cool factor.

    In the box with the measure above was a chart for rotors for Pacific measures which I suspect is for the OP's measures. If anyone wants a copy PM me address and I will copy it and mail it to you.
    I'm at the "hunter gatherer" stage of this project now, so I would definitely love any such info I can get. PM inbound!

    Froggie
    "It aint easy being green!"

  20. #20
    Boolit Master
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    Something I have not found yet is any mention of factory marked rotors for Unique or 2400 powders, yet I have in hand what appear to be examples of both. Does anyone have any documentation of these? They will probably be late Pacific production or maybe into the Bair era.

    As always, thanks for all the help!
    Froggie
    "It aint easy being green!"

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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"
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GC Gas Check