storing powder from the measure hopper


April 3, 2006, 09:56 AM
How important is it to protect a powder like bullseye in between loading sessions?

I have a Lee Turret press set up for 45ACP with a Pro Auto Measure. After a loading session I have some powder left in the measure's hopper.

Its sort of a pain to remove the measure and return the surplus powder to the product container.

I load about every 2 weeks and have been leaving the excess powder in the hopper (the hopper lid is on but it is not sealed) with no realized problems.

Any thoughts or recomendations?


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April 3, 2006, 10:47 AM
No problems that I know of. When I fill my powder measure, I write the powder type on a piece of index card and put it in the hopper. That way, if I leave powder in the hopper at the end of the session, I know for sure what powder it is when I return. I keep these pieces of index card rubber-banded to each powder container so they're always handy.

April 3, 2006, 11:59 AM
I keep my powders in my measures. I have a dozen quick change kits, and it never occured to me to store the powder anywhere else.
My reloading room shares it's space with a 55 gallon community turtle tank which raises the humidity occasionally, but the furnace has been running so no problems intil it's warmer out.
Ever see the dillon powder measures for sale on e-bay?
The ones that are discolored yellow? That's right, most of them are.
From storing powder in them.
I'm prolly gonna get flamed for this, but it sure hasn't affected my accuracy or reliability in the least.
If I get enough grief, I'll mend my ways, but as I said before, it never occured to me to store the powders anywhere else until this very minute.

Jim Watson
April 3, 2006, 12:07 PM
I leave powder in my Dillon and MEC hoppers. Since I started covering them when not in use to protect the powder and plastic from ultraviolet, the discoloration has slowed down a lot.

April 3, 2006, 12:30 PM
Shoot, I have a high powered UVB source over the turtle tank. It's an overdriven, overballasted UV 10.0% 30 watt tube being driven at 40 watts. My guess is that it's boosting the UVB output by 35% over stock, and it's already too hot for a tanning bulb. It keeps the turtles healthy. They're sun worshippers. It's not meant for constant human exposure, it would prolly give you cancer if you spent a lot of time around it. Or wreck your eyes. Turtles thrive on that sort of radiation, it's unhealthy for humans.
There's lotsa UV in that room. It's on 24/7.
The funny thing is, the powder measures near the fixture aren't discoloring, but the ones on the opposite end are. I think it has more to do with the kind of powder it is, but I'm certainly no expert. I'm just repeating what I've seen personally. The worst discolored one currently has HS-6 in it, and has had HS-6 in it for as long as I can remember. Another badly discolored one is full of WSF.
I don't know how UV can get inside a room unless it's being generated on purpose. UV isn't very efficient at going through glass, even cheap glass. That was one of the first lessons I learned after I bought brand new hoods and fixtures for an aquarium I got just for turtles years ago, I had to break the glass out from under the fixtures because the UV wasn't making it through the glass. That sucked. Bulbs that generate UV are generally purchased for their ability to do so, incandescent bulbs don't produce UV. Standard fluorescent bulbs don't either. Mercury vapor bulbs do, but how many of you have a mercury vapor bulb in your reloading room? I speak as a long time reptile hobbyist, and my frame of reference is, of course, UVB, to promote calcium uptake through B vitamin generation in the keratin in their shells (Turtles, specifically.).

Dave P
April 3, 2006, 01:11 PM
Ya mean we can't levae it in the measure?!?

I leave w231 in the square deal in the garage for months (years?) at a time. Maybe it is time to cycle some more thru it!


April 3, 2006, 01:39 PM
I always empty the hopper when done reloading. Most times I run it until it's empty anyway but if there is some left I will drain it.

Now that I have 3 Lee autodisc kits set up (one for each round I reload) I shouldn't have to worry about emptying them out, but I still do.

The Bushmaster
April 3, 2006, 02:02 PM
I find it incomprehensive and bad house keeping to leave powder out and in the hoppers when finished reloading. To me this is not a good idea, besides you are not done reloading until you have cleaned up after yourself and that includes putting everything away. Neatness counts in my book and powder left out is not neat...:D

April 3, 2006, 02:08 PM
I NEVER leave powder in the PM hopper. It always goes back into original powder container after each loading session. Not only prevents mixups on which powder is in PM but also prevents compression or packing of powder in hopper. YMMV

Good shooting and be safe.

April 3, 2006, 02:27 PM
I thought that was the point of having multiple powder measures. I'd never get it mixed up because it's clearly labeled what's supposed to be in that measure.

Jim Watson
April 3, 2006, 03:07 PM
Interesting information on turtles and UV. Maybe it was chance and my choice of powder that reduced the discoloration of my measure hoppers when I started covering them.

If Dillon wants me to empty my measures between sessions, they are going to have to make taking them off the press more convenient. Now it is - back two screws way out, pry the spring clip off the return rod, lift off the measure, dump it, put it back on the powder die, tighten the two screws, look for the spring clip under the bench, thread the return rod through the measure arm and the spring clip, pry the clip back in place. Ick. I just leave my 1050 full of HP38 all the time and my 550 loaded with the powdre du jour until I change loads. Which is getting less and less often.

April 3, 2006, 03:48 PM
I tend to empty mine and clean it up after each session, but that's just my personal preference. As far as it being tough, I just loosen the failsafe arm, pull the two toolhead pins and pull the whole toolhead and measure assembly, dump it back into the powder container and put it back . . .the removal/replacement might take 60 seconds if I'm moving really slow. Cleaning out the measure, etc is just down to how through I am with the cleaning and if any static has accumulated in the reservoir.

Just my .02


April 3, 2006, 03:57 PM
Ahh, it's easy on a 550, but it's easier still to leave it in the measure. The downside is, of course, not containing it in the event of a fire. I believe the next time I'm down there I won't top off my measure, and let it run dry.

April 3, 2006, 04:03 PM
I thought that was the point of having multiple powder measures. I'd never get it mixed up because it's clearly labeled what's supposed to be in that measure.

My post was referring to MY method of operation and not anyone else's. Note the "YMMV" at the end which emphasized that point. My method only uses one powder measure per progressive press. YMMV

Good shooting and be safe.

April 3, 2006, 04:09 PM
thanks to all for their comments,

The Bushmaster
April 3, 2006, 04:30 PM
Mike...I have the Lee Auto Disc. I just have to unscrew it from the die, dump it and screw it back on the die. When not in use it is in the load bench tool box properly stored ready for use when needed...Couldn't be easier...:D

April 4, 2006, 12:03 AM
I think someone mentioned it here before, but some powders in some measures can be a problem. I left Bullseye in an RCBS Uniflow for several weeks (maybe a couple months), and it "etched" the measure. When I read the note about it doing that on THR and went to empty the measure, the inside of the measure had a "frosted" appearance, and the entire part that was in contact with powder had a coating of powder granules that were stuck to the plastic. They eventually came off with some scrubbing, but the surface of the measure was pock-marked from the granules.

April 4, 2006, 12:39 PM
Part of my after reloading tasks is to clean up and wipe down.

Return all powder to the porper kegs and clean with fabric sheet.

Although I have several powder measures (PPM and Pro AutoDisk) I generally never leave powder in them.

April 4, 2006, 04:29 PM
I've been seening YMMV in a number of messages for some time, including some above. What does it mean?

April 4, 2006, 04:58 PM
YMMV = Your Mileage May Vary, meaning you may get different results or prefer different techniques.

Good shooting and be safe.

April 4, 2006, 09:24 PM
Well, ain't I the smart one. You who always empty your measures, you were right.

I've been getting away with leaving my powder in my measure forever. Unique, no problem. AA #2? Just fine. But the other day I went to empty my measure and the powder was stuck to the plastic. Not just static, either. I had to use a cloth swab to knock the grains loose.

The culprit? TiteGroup.

You win. I'll be good and empty the hopper at the end of a session.

April 5, 2006, 12:02 PM
Bullseye etched my measure. No problems with any other powder though. I always put the can of what is in the measure next to the powder measure along with writing what is in the hopper with chalk, easy to erase. The rest of the cans are in a cabinet away from the bench.....chris3

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