L-n-L CAPD Consistency?


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NavArch
February 25, 2008, 08:59 PM
Adjusting my L-n-L Case Activated Powder Dispenser for the first time.

I have worked up a really nice light practice load for .40 S&W using 5.5 gr of Unique. To get in the ballpark with the pistol micrometer measuring insert, I first measured out five loads in a row and weighed that total. I was searching for a group total of 27.5 gr. After a couple of adjustments, I got the following five-load totals:

27.8
27.3
27.7
27.8
28.0

Then, without further adjustment, I threw and measured 20 individual loads.
1 ea 5.3
2 ea 5.5
6 ea 5.6
7 ea 5.7
4 ea 5.8

Range 0.5
Median 5.7
Mode 5.7
Average 5.65
Skew 1.164
Variance 0.1526
Std Dev 0.12354

Obviously, I need to adjust the micrometer setting in just a tad. My question is - Is this the level of repeatability I should expect from the CAPD with Unique?

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Canuck-IL
February 25, 2008, 09:59 PM
I've never loaded Unique so I'm unfamiliar with its grain shape but, regardless of whether it's a stick, flake, extruded or in-between, .5 grains is way too much variation to be acceptable. With the powders I load regularly (on an L'n'L), I get a .1 total variation over 20 cases. With Clays semi-flake shape it'll be .2 - .3 over 20 cases - that's total error, not the average.
/Bryan

pinkymingeo
February 25, 2008, 10:21 PM
Unique is one of the worst metering powders around. I'm using powders known for good metering: AA2/5/7/9, Titegroup, Longshot, some 2400. With my LnL measure I don't get noticeable variations. Set it and forget it.

20nickels
February 25, 2008, 10:39 PM
I also load with Unique, the only powder I've used in my short time with the LNL press. I too get sweeping variations, but have not recorded the results as I just load mild target loads. I use the micrometer insert with the pistol rotor and the expander through thing.
Soooo, is it Unique? static electricity? dirty CAPD?

Canuck-IL
February 25, 2008, 10:58 PM
Is Unique as flaky as Clays? I found better repeatability by using the rifle insert for Clays while I use the pistol insert for BE, TG, V310, V320, WST, Ba-10. Also, a couple of fender washers riding on top of the powder column helped.
/Bryan

pinkymingeo
February 25, 2008, 11:03 PM
Dirty could be the operative word. Unless everything is de-greased with brake cleaner or equivalent when setting up, powder throws can be all over the scale.

Idano
February 26, 2008, 03:00 AM
In a word No. I use Unique for 9mm and .40 and the worst deviation I see is maybe 0.2 grs. Now I am using the RCBS Uniflow with a RCBS case activated linkage on my AP with Unique. The reason is I had the small rotor for the Uniflow and didn't want to buy the pistol insert for the Hornady. However, you should get the same results with the Hornady if you get the pistol insert , add a RCBS powder baffle, and clean up the Hornady Case Activated Linkage. I noticed that the Hornady Linkage has a lot of side to side slop compared to my RCBS so I filed down the shoulder bolts so they were just about flush with bars to take out the rotational slop. Since I have the RCBS Uniflow set up for pistol I use the Hornady for rifle which is nice since it has the larger reservoir. I am using DP2200 which is ball powder with the Hornady and it is set at 23 grs ; it never seems to deviate more then 0.05 grs since I installed the RCBS powder baffle; I check it every 50 -100 rounds or after I add powder.

My recommendation is make sure you have degreased it throughly, install a RCBS powder baffle, get the pistol insert and remove the rotational slop from the case activated linkage; then I think you will be happy with the results.

Virginian
February 26, 2008, 06:19 AM
I'm sorry, but I get better statistical control than that with the universal charge bar on my Mec, not to mention my Dillon SDB or my Ohaus powder measure. 0.5 gr. total variance is totally unacceptable. I think something must be wrong with this system.

Master Blaster
February 26, 2008, 09:56 AM
Unique is one of the worst metering powders around. I'm using powders known for good metering Funny I have used about 20lbs of it to load 9mm, .45 colt, and .357 mag target and midrange loads.
It always meters perfectly out of my dillon measure, and out of my lyman measure.

I also own a LNL been loading .45 acp on it for a year now. I returned the pistol rotor because of inconsistent charge weights, with unique, and trailboss.
The problem is the pistol rotor hole is too small and you get bridging with all but the finest ball powder, if you use it with a flake powder you will have a squibb load soon enough.

I use the micrometer rifle insert and the rifle rotor, and I have added a baffle I made myself, because Hornady doesnt make one for their measure. I am now within .1 for Trailboss and unique.

http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=60910&d=1184593825

20nickels
February 26, 2008, 11:26 AM
Idano, "My recommendation is make sure you have degreased it throughly, install a RCBS powder baffle, get the pistol insert and remove the rotational slop from the case activated linkage; then I think you will be happy with the results."

Done, done, and done, although I'm not sure what you mean about the rotational play.

jenrob
February 26, 2008, 02:43 PM
When you do you measure set up. Do you put a case in and pull the handle or do you put a pan under the drop tube and cycle the powder dispenser.

20nickels
February 26, 2008, 03:36 PM
Jenrob, I use a case because I measure as I load. I was pretty excited to get the .45 factory going so I've never gone about it scientifically as Navarch did, I just noted that load consistency kind of sucks. I've loaded less than 150 rds this way as it is a new toy for me and the loads are pretty anemic anyway.
I'll get some #'s tonight.

TooTaxed
February 26, 2008, 03:51 PM
Suggest you change to a smoother metering powder. I use #231 in my L-N-L and look for +/- 0.1 gr variation max. (I use #231 for everything from 9-mm MAK to .45 Colt.)

You could be having trouble with static electricity, measure passeges not totally de-greased, or, for some reason slightly "gummy" powder...

zxcvbob
February 26, 2008, 04:00 PM
I think the original rifle rotor will probably work better than the pistol rotor for Unique because the flakes are kind of big. (it'll be tough getting the rifle rotor adjusted though) I use the rifle rotor when I load .45 Colts with Promo powder. Promo is flakey like Unique but lighter. I got .1 grain accuracy, but it sure was hard to adjust.

I can't remember which rotor I used for Blue Dot (.357), but it's heavier than Unique.

I don't think the LNL measure is going to work very well with light charges of fluffy powder.

Shoney
February 26, 2008, 04:05 PM
NavArch
Did you disassemble the measure as the instructions state and thouroughly clean it????????????

I had the same problem until I read my instructions and washed the entire powder measure with Dawn and hot water. Once it was cleaned of storage oil and grease, it has been spot on with most pistol powders. With the larger flake powders and a baffle made from a pop can, and keeping the powder level low, the worst fluctuation I get is + or - 0.1grain.

20nickels
February 26, 2008, 06:08 PM
Mine was purchased 2nd hand. Does anybody know if the see-through tube comes away from the main housing/base rotor assembly? Threaded? Tks.

Roccobro
February 26, 2008, 06:08 PM
I saw one member here that had a pager vibrator strapped to their CAPD to make his throws consistent. I've planned for such a mod in case I come across a powder it doesn't like. But then again I'm trying to stay away from those powders too. :D

Justin

zxcvbob
February 26, 2008, 06:27 PM
Mine was purchased 2nd hand. Does anybody know if the see-through tube comes away from the main housing/base rotor assembly? Threaded? Tks.

The clear plastic hopper (don't worry, it'll turn ugly yellow-brown eventually :D) is just pressed into the base. It should come out pretty easy if you wobble and twist it as you pull.

Master Blaster
February 26, 2008, 07:39 PM
I am loading Trailboss in .45 acp with 230 rnl bullets. Trailboss is light and very fluffy, I made a baffle for mine with some plastic sheet I had lying around. Like I mentioned using the rifle rotor and micrometer insert. (not shown in old picture)

I found that if you place the baffle halfway or so it makes for consistent powder drops. I was using the belling insert but gave up on that and now I just use the belling die, it works much better for lead bullets. My powder check is a light and my eye, since trailboss fills the case pretty well and is light in color, is easy to spot an undercharge and impossible to overcharge.

20nickels
February 26, 2008, 11:00 PM
Washed clear tube thingy. Measuring directly into scale cup, less than 1/10th variance with Unique :)

Idano
February 27, 2008, 12:49 AM
I'm not sure what you mean about the rotational play.

By rotational play, I mean if you grab the powder measure how far does the linkage allow you to rotate entire assembly left to right? If you file down the excess shoulder on the shoulder nuts so that they are only slightly protrude above the linkage you'll greatly reduce the amount of play. IMO this rotational play translates into an inconsistent throw length since it allows the powder measure to rotate as it goes up. I got theory from my RCBS linkage that was very tight and did not allow the the powder measure to rotate as it went up and it has always been very repeatable.

NavArch
February 27, 2008, 06:44 PM
Point of clarification from my original post: I have the pistol rotor and metering insert, not the micrometer insert.

I re-cleaned all of the parts again, then re-assembled, tightening the linkage as best I could. No improvement with Unique. I called Hornady. The tech I spoke with said that their powder measure does not consistently throw Unique. He suggested I try Powder Pistol or Titegroup. Titegroup worked like a charm. I threw test 30 charges. 24 of them were within 0.05 gr of the sample mode, the rest were within 0.10 gr.

From Idano:
By rotational play, I mean if you grab the powder measure how far does the linkage allow you to rotate entire assembly left to right? If you file down the excess shoulder on the shoulder nuts so that they are only slightly protrude above the linkage you'll greatly reduce the amount of play. IMO this rotational play translates into an inconsistent throw length since it allows the powder measure to rotate as it goes up. I got theory from my RCBS linkage that was very tight and did not allow the the powder measure to rotate as it went up and it has always been very repeatable.

The powder hopper assembly rotates about the drop tube. I can see how that rotation could be an additional cause of weight variability. I'm afraid I don't understand what you mean about filing down the shoulder nuts, or how that would reduce the rotational play. Can you post a picture?

BTW - Note that the primer tube has an "UP" end and a "DOWN" end (small shoulder) Inserting the tube upside down will result in jammed primers. You can probably guess how I learned this interesting fact.

Idano
February 27, 2008, 10:27 PM
NavArch,

I tried to post a picture but it won't show up; just shows a box with a red X. Try this; unscrew the three hex head bolts that hold the CAPD linkage together. Notice there is a short screw that screws in to a shoulder nut that two pieces of linkage pivot on. When you remove the screw observe how the shoulder bolt goes through both pieces of the linkage and sticks up above the top piece by about an 1/16". I sanded the shoulder nut so that it was almost flush when it went through the second linkage so that when the screw was tight against the shoulder nut there was minimal play between the two linkages.

I hope this helps. it is the best I can explain it since I can't post a picture. Also get yourself a RCBS powder baffle; you will have to flatten it out slightly so that it stays in place at the bottom of the powder measure. Do both of these and you should have very repeatable results with Unique.

NavArch
February 29, 2008, 07:12 PM
The CAPD linkage consists of
a. the rotor arm screwed directly to the rotor
b. the free link that always parallels the rotor arm (includes the drive link pin)
c. a vertical link that screws to the upper clamp
d. a vertical link that attaches to the lower clamp by way of a knurled screw

Both of the vertical links are attached to (basically) horizontal link via short screws and shoulder nuts. I sanded both shoulder nuts flush with their respective vertical links. That eliminated the free play in the linkage.

Separately, as the CAPD operates up and down, there is a slight rotation of the powder measure with respect to the lower assembly. I would also like to eliminate this rotation, but have not figured how to do so.

Idano
February 29, 2008, 08:38 PM
NavArch;

Excellent job! Have you installed the RCBS powder baffle yet? I am very interested to see what kind of variance you are seeing now with Unique.

NavArch
March 1, 2008, 09:14 AM
I ordered the baffle yesterday from Graf & Sons. I'll report back.

Idano
March 1, 2008, 01:31 PM
NavArch;

When you get the baffle it will fit loose inside the Hornady powder measure, because it was designed for a RCBS Uniflow. To make it fit tight I slightly flattened out the bend ever so slightly so that it was a tight fit. The baffle fits way down in the bottom of powder measure against the metal and is tight enough that it doesn't move at all then the measure is turn up side down to dump. When changing powders once you dump it cycle it a few time because the baffle will trap powder behind it when the measure is turn over. I like how the baffle dampened the effect of the weight change as the powder level dropped or when you added more so much that I now have the baffles in all of my measures. Keep us informed as to what you end up with consistency using Unique.

20nickels
March 6, 2008, 02:58 PM
+1 on all this ^^. The baffle is very springy and it doesn't need much bending to fit. Well worth it IMHO.

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