Question about powder dispensers...


February 25, 2010, 05:23 PM
Just as an example, this link is to an item on Midway which I am considering purchasing:

The item description states, "Measures from .5 to 50 grains of ball, flake and extruded powder."

Does that mean it measures in increments of 0.5 grains?

If I buy one of these, would I be able to set it to throw 4.7 grains, or 6.1 grains?

What about the accuracy of these (by accuracy, I mean the ability to consistently put out the same volume- I'm not talking asking about precision).

How do you work one of these in general? Measure out volumes by trial and error until you have the weight in grains you desire?

They don't list +/- error, is that info available?

Thanks for your replies. I'm new to reloading, and after getting a few new tools, my most time consuming step is measuring powder. I don't mind if my charges deviate +/- 0.1grain, but doing hundreds by hand on a balance is too time consuming.

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February 25, 2010, 05:28 PM
That type of powder measure is infinitely adjustable from zero to whatever the max charge it will throw.

You set it in conjunction with a scale to the exact charge weight desired.

Accuracy or repeatability depends on the powder type you use.

Ball or spherical powder will hold closer to the exact weight then large stick or flake powder.

Regardless, they are accurate enough to do the deed as close as the deed needs to be done.

And there is nothing to prevent you from throwing the charge into the scale pan and weighing every one of you want to be exact.


February 25, 2010, 05:42 PM
On a side not 50 grains you are looking at loading cases such as a .243, .308, .220 swift, .22-250 or smaller, or any of your pistol calibers. It would not dump enough powder for 30-06, 270, or the belted magnums.

February 25, 2010, 05:46 PM
Good catch! I failed to notice that!

The small drum measure you linked will be better for pistol calibers and smaller rifles like the .223.

You want the standard drum if you intend to load large rifle calibers.


February 25, 2010, 05:54 PM
Consistancy is a matter of both the powder type and user method. But few will drop charges to +/- .1 grain, nor do they normally need to do so. Few loads, especially those for handguns and normal hunting/target shooting need that level of consistancy.

For smaller volumes of truly precise loads - those for load development, varminting, bench shooting - may do a little better with charges to a tenth but that can easily be handled by weighting charges while using a trickler.

Take a look at Redding's 3BR and the Hornady powder measures. I think you would be better served with either of them if for no other reason than they include a great "micrometer" adjustment head that RCBS charges extra for.

February 25, 2010, 06:29 PM
To elaborate on Ranger's post. I use a Redding with the mic adjustment. I can write down the reading of exactly what I have to set that to to drop 25.x grains of H335 in one of my .223 AR-15 loads. The next day I can set it to drop the charge of N560 in my .243 or my H322 for another rifle... a month later walk up to it and on the ball powder or even the H322 I can set the dial to what I previously had it and with 99% certainty I can drop the exact charge I need. that 1% out there is it can be off +/- .1 or .2 based on atmospheric pressure. And that RCBS you are looking at is a good one, I just wanted to explain why the mic would be favored.

February 25, 2010, 07:12 PM
Birdhunter your experiance mirrors mine exactly

February 25, 2010, 07:24 PM
Thanks for the input everyone.

I know these (most at least) are all bench mounted, but could they simply be held over each round in a loading tray?

I'm currently loading for 45 ACP, soon will be 45 GAP, and I also have dies (as a gift) for 9mm and 300 Win Mag. I think which ever one I get will be geared for handgun and small rifle volumes. I think I'll be loading the 300 in numbers that I can handle doing by hand.

Any other advice?

February 25, 2010, 07:37 PM
Midway price:
Unflow $67.99

Micrometer Stem $35.99

Total $ 103.98

Redding 3BR $118.87

February 25, 2010, 10:37 PM
Krochus I'm glad you finally see me for the genius I am! :):):):):)

Sam what I do with my .223 stuff or even my 30-30 stuff where I am using a powder that meters very well and I drop directly to the case....

I will mount my powder measure in a way that it hangs over the side of the bench, then I will hold my loading tray in my left hand, move the case in the tray to the measure, and operate the measure with my right hand..

But a more efficient way for me is to hold as many cases next to each other between my thumb and trigger finger of my left hand (3-5 cases depending on caliber), and then operate the measure with my right hand. My loading block is 5 cases wide, if I do 5 cases at a time like that then knocking out 50 or a 100 goes pretty quick.

February 26, 2010, 12:00 PM
but could they simply be held over each round in a loading tray?No.

Well, I guess you could, but you would get nowhere near consistent powder charges.

All powder measures are sensitive to being used exactly the same way each time.
Powder packs down in the hopper more or less depending on vibration of operating the handle consistently each time.

The more consistent you do it, the more consistent the charges will be.

So holding it barehanded while you operate it is not a good idea.


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