Lee PPM Leaks a bunch - any fixes?


March 21, 2010, 07:48 PM
So I bought a new Lee powder measure tool (the red plastic with the pull handle. My old one works ok, but I replaced the center screw and it is loosy goosy and just cracked the powder housing, so thought I would replace. I know my original one must have been 10 years old, and when I would load a shell, there would always be about 5-15 single grains of powder that spilled out of some mystery hole. My NEW from the box powder kit drops what must be a tenth of a grain of powder out loose that doesn't get into the shell (from some mystery hole again). It is so bad, I am loading on a piece of paper so I can put the spilled powder back in. What adjustment does this need to not spill so much loose powder?? My repeatability of loads is still not too bad (0.1 grain or less), but loosing that much random spilled powder seems like something is very wrong. how do i adjust this thing? thanks!

If you enjoyed reading about "Lee PPM Leaks a bunch - any fixes?" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!
March 21, 2010, 08:24 PM
how do i adjust this thing? thanks!

you do like I did and give the darn thing away and replace it with a REAL powder measure made from metal

March 21, 2010, 08:50 PM
+ 1.

You'll never regret buying a good quality measure made from metal. Harrells, Redding, RCBS, etc...

Not knocking Lee guys, so at ease. ;)

March 21, 2010, 09:22 PM
Could it be static? I noticed the same thing when I 1st got my lee ppm. A few flakes of powder would cling to the plastic inside the spout and would fall out if I tapped it. I wiped the outside of the whole powder measure down with a used dryer sheet which seemed to help. I also wiped the outside of my plastic funnel which really made a difference with static cling.

Hondo 60
March 21, 2010, 09:32 PM
I had a problem with my Lee ppm & finally just bought an RCBS.

I haven't regretted it.

March 21, 2010, 09:40 PM
I had a RCBS and gave it away...couldn't get used to that crunching sound.

I now have Lee PPM. It hasn't leaked but I seem to recall the instructions or Lee's web site saying you could tighten the screw on the side. Also, I recall you should run powder through it when new.

Are you using ball powder?

March 21, 2010, 09:42 PM
Assuming PPM means Perfect Powder Measure, you adjust the "Rotor Tension Adjustment" screw, per page 4 of the instruction manual.

You can get the manual here:

My experience is that certain powders (like H110) will always leak a little, even with the screw tightened. Don't over tighten the screw, though!

March 21, 2010, 10:52 PM
You need both:
Lee for extruded powders and most flake powders = no crunch, no leak

RCBS Uniflow for ball powders and flake powders = no leak

The Uniflow will do it all, but the crunch with extruded powder affects consistent operation and the throw weights will be a bit erratic.

March 21, 2010, 10:54 PM
I run some powdered graphite through mine every couple of weeks and so far that is the only thing that leaks enough to notice. I use Power Pistol, HP38, 2400 and Accurate #2 & #5 and I spill way more than ever leaks. :banghead:



March 21, 2010, 11:07 PM
The Uniflow will do it all, but the crunch with extruded powder affects consistent operation and the throw weights will be a bit erratic.

That has not been my experience in the slightest

If you'll operate the handle like a man and cut the effecting granules instead of trying to crush them with a limpwristed milktoast throw you'll find that a uniflow with a micrometer stem will throw charges of extruded propellants with more accuracy and importantly repeatability than the PPM could ever dream of. You can be a great deal more manly using a metal measure than you can lee's toy unit that's made from the same material as your child's lunchbox. A cleanly cut powder granule doesn't crunch or impede the motion of the throw in the slightest.

Setting your unifow up to dump and therefore cut on the downstroke helps greatly.

March 21, 2010, 11:40 PM
Yeah ya gotta be a real man's man for that RCBS :rolleyes:

March 22, 2010, 05:09 AM
I opened up the lee and removed any obvious flash from the original manufacture. I then lightly lubed with some silicone grease. Put it back together and carefully adjusted the tension screw. This helped a lot.

I still had some leakage so I repeated the process. Watching carefully the whole operation. I noticed that the powder chamber didn't quite match up with the stem end so more trimming with the pocket knife. Then polished the trimmed areas with 400 grit sand paper. Cleaned the whole thing up with paint thinner.

Lightly lubed with silicone grease and carefully adjusted the tension screw. The lee measure worked really good. All problems corrected.

The fact is, once it is tuned up properly, the lee is more accurate than the RCBS measure. The lee feels cheap but works really well and does the job it was designed to do. For small charges of red dot (2.5-3 grains) it works better and is more repeatable than any measure I have used.

The only way I have been able to beat the accuracy and repeatability of the lee is with a hand made dipper and using very careful technique. This slows down the operation of reloading pistol ctgs. so much that it was only useful as a test.

Tune up the lee measure carefully and with a lot of thought in small steps and it will work well. It is like a lot of things in the gun trade, a good kit to be finished by the owner. If it was really tuned up at the time it was built, the cost would sky rocket. Another example is the 1911 pistol. An O.K. 1911 can be purchased for $400 or a highly tuned model $6500. How much are you willing to pay in hand labor?

The lee feels cheap in use but works really well once it is tuned up. I can't complain about a product that is designed to do a job at a price point and meets the design criteria. The lee does this really well and has the extra feature of being able to turn off the powder flow and remove the hopper to put the extra powder back into the original container. What is not to like?- D

dagger dog
March 22, 2010, 04:35 PM
My PPM leaked from day one also, if you tighten the screw that the drum turns on to the point where it doesn't leak, it's very hard to turn the drum. Mine only leaks with ball(Win 748) or flake (Bullseye) powders, the extruded types (RE15, Varget) flow and don't leak.

So guess what? I use the Lee with the extruded types, that's 'cause I don't like the crunching herky jerky noise and sticking of the extruded powder in my RCBS powder measure, but when I'm loading ball or flake I go with the RCBS, 'cause I don't like powder all over the bench and floor.

March 22, 2010, 05:11 PM
I have and prefer the Redding measure to the Uniflow but for most coarse powders I prefer the PPM for consistancy.

If you enjoyed reading about "Lee PPM Leaks a bunch - any fixes?" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!