Lee autodisk


May 4, 2008, 02:22 PM
Anyone use the Lee Autodisk with Hogdon Varget? I'm starting to reload for
.223. Picked up some Varget the other day, and primed 100 cases to try out a couple of different powder weights to see which one my bushy likes the best. Set up the disks, dump in the powder, and put in the first case. I weigh the charge and it's 25.2. Okay. I dump the powder from the scale back into the hopper, put the case back in to the shellholder, charge the case again, and weigh the second charge, just to ensure it's throwing a consistent amount of powder. 24.8. Is this normal for extruded type powders to not measure very consistently, or is that within tollerance for the powder dispenser?

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May 4, 2008, 02:35 PM
From my understanding the autodisk isn't a very precise powder measure/dispenser. Rather it's sole purpose is speed and ease of use. If your loading for volume/plinking you should be fine, but if you want precise reloads for accuracy you would be better served with a different measure.

The Bushmaster
May 4, 2008, 04:26 PM
I use the Lee Auto disk and find that ball powders DO measure quit accurately with a +/- .2 grains (mostly minus .2 grains). For low end powder charges and plinking ammunition that's close enough. With flake powders...Not so much...

Grandpa Shooter
May 4, 2008, 05:10 PM
I ran into the same problem when I started using Varget with my Lee disk measure. The Lee disks consistently throw a lower than expected amount of powder. If for instance I would be using two where the numbers would add up to 100, I will find two that add up to 102 or 104. That way I have compensated for the under weight throw.

Varget does not settle well in the disks, so to get a more consistent throw, I tap on the measure while it is in position to accept powder. This helps get much more consistent throws.

I think if you tinker, you will find where you need to be.

In addition, when you get up to where you want, it will look like the case is over full. Don't sweat it. If you tap on the case with a pencil, it will settle down. You are not in danger of an overpressure load. Now if you were to pack it in, that would be dangerous and not very smart.

Down South
May 4, 2008, 05:13 PM
For any type of drop measure you need to go through several cycles to let everything settle out. Then you need to be consistent in your reloading process. What I mean by this is donít be tapping on the powder measure and try to use the same stroke on your press each time. Any time you make a change such as adding powder youíll need to go through several cycles again. Powder can pack down in a drop measure and cause heavier charges. Once you have dropped several charges it will level off and give consistent charges of +-.1 to +-.2 grs. It just takes a little practice and getting used to.
Some powders meter better than others do to. Flake and ball powders meter much better than cylindrical type powders. What I do when using the latter is to set my measure a grain or so shy and trickle the last little bit (I weigh all of my rifle loads).

May 4, 2008, 05:37 PM
It has to do with the powder, most likely.

First, if you are using the double disk kit, be sure you are using a "Lee-approved" combination. Try to have very close disk sizes and use the smaller disk on top. Be sure the hopper is tight to the base. Make sure you are using the same stroke when charging the case.

My Lee Pro Autodisk is very consistent with ball powders and some flake powders. I've used Reloader 7 with it which is a short stick powder and my variation was around .2gr. I'm not sure how RL7 compares to Varget in terms of size.

evan price
May 4, 2008, 09:22 PM
I can second what Grandpa says re: Varget.

I like Varget in all my rifles, and the Lyman 55 does the best job measuring accurate repeatable charges.

For blasting ammo like .223 I use my AutoDisk, and I just picked a disk that lets me use either a single disk, then dump two charges, rather than a stacked disk, because it meters more accurately. Varget stacks up and blocks the orifice- if you tap on the measure you get more consistency.

With large cases like .308 I do stack disks, but I also tap on it to settle the powder and I reamed my disks to be more to what their nominal charge should be.

May 5, 2008, 10:00 AM
When dumping larger volumes of powder (mostly rifle cases) make sure you give the powder time to drop. Dropping a large charge through a 22 caliber neck into a .223 case takes a little more time. Just slow down a little at the top of the stroke. That's all it took to cure the variable drop on .223 cases for me. I use the double stack disk setup, and that makes for a fairly long measure hole. The pro disk has been very repeatable.

May 5, 2008, 03:24 PM
But my AutoDisk is actually very repeatable in the charges that it throws. It's just that that has little or nothing to do with what the Lee chart says it's gonna throw.

The cavities fill the same way each time, they're just not exactly the size they;re supposed to be. Which makes mechanical sense, if you think about it. It's a fixed hole. The dimensions won't change, and the fill density will be pretty consistent each time, with maybe some slow variation as the wieght of powder above the chamber decreases. It's just that precision manufacturing costs more money than Lee can afford, given what their products sell for.

So, I've had to learn by experience what charges the cavities I use throw with the powders that I use them for. But what it has thrown in the past it throws now, pretty much every time.

Oh, and a good tip... when changing disks, don't unscrew the hopper like the instructions say. Rather, take a small wrench, like the one that fits the locknut on the decapping pin on your die, and use it to operate the actuating lever on the side of the measure. If you move it down all the way, the disk comes out far enough to be lifted up and out of its slot. Insert the new disc, making sure that the little "pin" goes into the slot, and release the lever. That way, you won't strip out the plastic threads in the hopper.


May 5, 2008, 04:35 PM
FWIW, i used to use dippers and a scale for all my rifle handloads until I got the RCBS Chargemaster Combo. I like my all my rifle charges to be dead on, even my plinkers, and with powder throws, you can have variables. I love my uniflow and trust it for handgun calibers that I still load single stage (I have a couple of progressive presses for handguns that I shoot most often) but for rifle...I am too paranoid and it kinda takes the fun out of it if you are scared or worried about a surprise when you pull the trigger.

That's just my opinion and it don't mean squat to anyone but me.

Cheers, Mate.:cool:

May 5, 2008, 07:04 PM
2 words:
powdered graphite!!!


May 5, 2008, 07:25 PM
Try tapping the powder measure back and forth before dispensing. Doing that gives me less than +/- 0.1 grain variation.

May 5, 2008, 09:46 PM
If you do strip the threads on your hopper, lee sells them for $2.00

The Bushmaster
May 5, 2008, 11:41 PM
Or epoxy, drill and tap...I have one like that on my powder measure now and a new one in the drawer

evan price
May 6, 2008, 12:41 AM
Or, slightly longer, slightly fatter screws (wood screws are tapered and thus fatter close to the head). Got one like that, myself.

May 8, 2008, 01:36 PM
+1 on running several through before seating a bullet.

When I first started, powder drops were very consistent. After having down a few batches, it got more consistent from me getting better and the graphite coating.

I tend to hand-prime as well, even though I am using a progressive press.

I use H-Varget in Auto Disk on Pro 1000 for .22-250. I use the 45ACP shellplate. My drops are usually .1-.2 off at the most. The double disks offer more capacity, flexibility, but are more compromise on precision.

I usually take 1/5 or 1/10 test samples against a scale. Basically, I set my scale, drop the powder on it and see how far off the needle is.

I use the Lee Perfect Powder as well.

With Universal rifle charging die, you can measure out the powder from the Lee PP and drop through a funnel on a progressive. Not sure if you can put the PP on the Progressive press or not.

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