Who makes a good powder measure?


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viking499
September 30, 2010, 11:57 PM
Who makes a good, reliable, accurate powder measure? One that can be mounted on a stand next to my single stage and used and used and used.

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juniustaylor
October 1, 2010, 12:02 AM
I'll probably get shunned, but I have been using the Lee Perfect Powder Measure for some time now with good results. Normally +/- 0.1 grain from what I want them to be at. It's cheap, somewhat flimsy, but has worked excellent for me for less than $20. I actually got it for free from a friend (for being a good friend). The important thing with any powder measure is consistency. Every time you raise and lower that handle, do exactly what you did the last time and do it exactly how you set it up. The Lyman 55 is another good one. Has a little knocker deal on it. I use a similar method with my Lee, I just tap it with my finger a certain amount of times every time I raise or lower the handle. Good luck.

RevolverDan
October 1, 2010, 12:17 AM
Hornady

jcwit
October 1, 2010, 12:26 AM
Lee Perfect Powder Measure drops as accurate as any, just doesn't have any bragging rights.

If you need bragging rights call Sinclare.

rfwobbly
October 1, 2010, 12:27 AM
There are several great powder measure available. Since the measure actually moves very little and is lubricated by the graphite on the powder, used ones are generally the way to go since they show little wear and are plentiful. Great measures have been widely available since about 1970.

Although Lee makes a great little measure, not all their models are infinitely adjustable and, being plastic, they can suffer from static electricity at certain times of the year. Your best measures are going to be metallic and fully adjustable.

Some measures, like the RCBS UniFlow, come with 2 cylinders to cover the wide range of delivery needs from small pistol all the way up to your larger rifle cartridges. Lyman makes a great measure by incorporating a unique 3-size sliding chamber design. Redding makes great measures, but (if I have my info right) you buy either buy a pistol or rifle unit. Hornady has a nice unit they supply with their presses. There are numerous other brands but those are the most common.

Lyman and RCBS both make universal stands for powder measures. Like so...
http://lh4.ggpht.com/_E3bV2jGIaSg/S3YunsjX_TI/AAAAAAAAAsM/qlF_WwG1RkM/Powder_Hopper.JPG

The swappable cylinders as found on RCBS and Hornady measures...
http://lh4.ggpht.com/_E3bV2jGIaSg/S3YuO-ripJI/AAAAAAAAArM/IiS8z667PNY/PowderHopper_Parts.JPG

Any of the older measures can be improved by the addition of a "baffle". You can get the plans for baffle free by CLICKING HERE (http://www.gabma.us/britbike/Powder%20Baffle%20Instructions%20and%20Templates.pdf).

So to answer your question, we need to know are you loading rifle, pistol, or everything?

;)

ArchAngelCD
October 1, 2010, 05:20 AM
If you want to spend some money buy a RCBS Uniflow (https://shop.rcbs.com/WebConnect/MainServlet?storeId=webconnect&catalogId=webconnect&langId=en_US&action=ProductDisplay&screenlabel=index&productId=2970&route=C07J030). If you want something that works very well for not a lot of money buy a Lee Perfect Powder Measure (http://www.leeprecision.com/cgi/catalog/browse.cgi?1285924742.4082=/html/catalog/powhan2.html) like I did. It feels cheep but it is very accurate. The money you save is considerable and can be put to better use for components.

firstater
October 1, 2010, 06:09 AM
I had no luck with the Lee perfect powder measure when using fine powders. It kept leaking all over the floor from around the drum. Charges were inconsistent. I made several attemps at fixing it and gave up in frustration. I purchased a metallic drum type from redding and have been very happy so far. Like rfwobbly said, there don't seem to be too many parts that would wear, I would look at used market as well for a metallic drum type.

ole farmerbuck
October 1, 2010, 06:31 AM
I have 2 RCBS and 2 Hornady for the LNL's. All 4 work great.

JimKirk
October 1, 2010, 06:40 AM
I have to say the RCBS Uniflow... Worked great for me for 41+ years now... I see no need to change.

Jimmy K

Dunkelheit
October 1, 2010, 07:51 AM
I use a Redding 3BR, very accurate with a tolerance of +/- 0,1 gr

Winston_Smith
October 1, 2010, 08:08 AM
I have a Harrell and Lee perfect. I like the Harrell better because of the discrete adjustment. With a little practice on my technique I have been able to get very consistent throws. The lee is more diffict to adjust and just feels cheap (it is)

Walkalong
October 1, 2010, 08:36 AM
Harrels, Redding, RCBS.......

ranger335v
October 1, 2010, 09:56 AM
Lessee...I've used and had good luck with Lee's "Perfect", Lyman 55, Redding 3BR, RCBS Uniflow, Hornady and an old Herters. Meaning, all of them work fine but some features vary. Actually, it's splitting hairs between them.

"Accuracy" comes from adjustment, consistancy comes from proper operation. All of them are capabile of good consistancy IF the user has the proper technique. And that comes from experimention and experience.

For ball powders, ANY measure works well except maybe the Lee's. For coarse tubular rifle powders Lee's plastic bodied Perfect may work the best of any but it's not so great with the ball powders unless it's carefully adjusted to reduce leaking. However it's so inexpensive some guys buy one just for tubular powders and use others for other powders.

Lyman's 55 has three adjustable slides; get them correct for the powder type and charge amount and it does well. At least RCBS and Redding sell both large and small chambers to allow us to better match the chamber size for the charge volume.

Fine flake powders don't work well in any measure. Thin flakes get between the drum and body to bind things so smooth operation becomes impossible.


The NRA tested most of the measures on the market many years ago. They found the Redding "Master" (forerunner of the current 3BR) to be slighly more consistant than others and I've found mine to be as good as I need. But I do trickle up charges of big tubular powders and just drop the rest.

James2
October 1, 2010, 09:57 AM
Lyman 55.

noylj
October 1, 2010, 10:45 AM
They all can work well and they all can have problems.
I really like the Hornady measure, the Dillon measure, and the Lee Pro Auto-Disk.

bigtony
October 1, 2010, 10:48 AM
I have a Uniflow with both cylinders and and old Bair model with a micrometer. Both work great.

Hangingrock
October 1, 2010, 10:57 AM
Powder measures there are the more popular that have been mentioned. One that I like is the Belding & Mull. The company was originally in Philipsburg (Centre County PA) but ceased business operations in the nineteen-seventies/eighties or there about.

The measure is unique with a stationary powder hopper that is over a horizontal sliding reservoir that dispenses powder into a removable measuring/volume adjustable drop-tube. Not as complicated as it sounds. The design principle was that the horizontal sliding reservoir always has a constant head/volume of powder no matter the stationary powder hoppers powder level.
I’ve used it exclusively with the IMR series of powders such as 4064, 4895, 4350, and etcetera.

There is or was a company that acquired the design and I believe made similar units with modifications.

noylj
October 2, 2010, 02:41 AM
They unit leaks if you do not have the tension set right.
You can not adjust the tension with powder in the measure, as the powder has leaked and it in between the two cones that are tensioned.
1) disassemble the measure and look at the parts. Inspect for any mold flashing left.
2) you HAVE to process it initially with powder containing graphite. What I did, instead of cycling a whole hopper of Unique, was the take the Frankford Arsenal Cast Bullet Mold lubricant (powder graphite) and very lightly sprayed the internal plastic parts. This both lubes and conducts static electricity.
3) Reassemble and adjust tension. Tension should be one pound or slightly more. If fine grain powder leaks, you can either put a paper or pan to catch the powder or you need to disassembly, clean the inside of powder, and reassemble with a higher tension (not to exceed 4 pounds). The use of conical sections means that the measure will wear into a tighter fit rather than wearing out.
So, the key is graphite coating the internal parts and adjust the tension of a clean measure.
It is a crappy piece of $%&# that can do its job wonderfully if the user will take the time to learn how it needs to be treated.
If I wanted a general powder measure and had the money, I would get the Hornady L-N-L measure. Great machine. Worked wonderfully on the L-N-L progressive and was easy to work with.

EddieNFL
October 2, 2010, 06:14 AM
http://www.neiljones.com/html/measure.html

bds
October 2, 2010, 06:36 AM
EddieNFL, for the price of that NJ powder measure of around $400, doesn't the Hornady L-N-L AP press (http://www.midwayusa.com/viewproduct/?productnumber=679228) come with "FREE" Lock-N-Load® powder measure? :eek: :D

ole farmerbuck
October 2, 2010, 06:50 AM
Yep! And a darn good one at that.:)

rockhunter
October 2, 2010, 08:49 AM
Current models In no order of quality all excellent, Redding, Hornady, RCBS a nice time saving addition to any of them is a micrometer metering assembly.

Hondo 60
October 2, 2010, 09:50 AM
I have the Uniflow from RCBS & A Lee Pro Auto-Disk Powder Measure.
Both measure very well.

Like rfwobbly, I have my RCBS on a stand & it works great for reloading .223.
I just put 'em in a loading block & charge. Then I can see everyone of 'em is correctly charged.

Offfhand
October 2, 2010, 11:18 AM
I think I have owned and used most powder measures. (Thinking back over the years I recall having 14 different models and I may be forgetting some.) Most of them have worked pretty well (meaning consistent) when properly used, so ranking their quality is largely matters of relative convenience such as ease of setting, smoothness, overall quality, etc. As to which has been the best I've owned, it has to be the Bruno, by a wide margin. This is because of its precision, consistency, repeatability of setting, uniformity, plus quality of materials and workmanship. I'm attaching a couple of photos (excuse my usual poor photography) showing the outside and inside of one of my Bruno measures, which gives some idea of the overall quality, especially the inside finish. (You learn more about the quality of a measure by looking inside than outside.) The Brunos sold for over $400. when last offered, but Bruno now says he's stopped production until he gets a handle on production costs in order to keep price in $300. range. Other excellent powder measures are the RFDodd, and Harrells. The Jones is good too but seems overpriced compared to the others mentioned here. But for what it's worth, I have pretty much abandoned manual powder measures and now greatly prefer the RCBS Rangemaster electronic measures.

Offfhand
October 2, 2010, 11:49 AM
Here is inside view of Bruno measure, omitted in above post. sorry

PO2Hammer
October 2, 2010, 11:51 AM
My Redding 10X (pistol, small rifle) has worked perfectly for years.
Micrometer settings for repeatable charges saves a lot of set up time.
Redding 3 for rifle calibers.

joed70
October 2, 2010, 02:02 PM
I like my Redding.....very accurate as far as repeatability.

ol' scratch
October 2, 2010, 07:32 PM
Hornady or RCBS. I have used other peoples RCBS powder measures and they are great. I now own a Hornady and it is on par, if not a little better than the RCBS I used.

I don't care for the Lee. In the instructions they say it is inconsitant until it 'breaks in.' Measuring all of my loads for the first 500 rounds before it settled was a pain. It could have been because I use Unique and it doesn't like to work with that powder, but it was annoying. It is also tough to clean. They mention that the graphite in the powder must lubricate it before it smoothes out, but mine never really did. It also seems to crush a lot of powder.

Don't get me wrong. It does work, but it took a long time to break in. I do own a lot of Lee equipment, but they can keep their powder measure.

juniustaylor
October 2, 2010, 08:34 PM
Well, I just loaded up 100 rounds of 9mm Luger ammo. I had my Lee Perfect measure set to do 5.5 grains of Power Pistol. I measured over 15 - 20 of them and all were 5.5 - 5.6 grains with the majority being 5.5. It's just important that you operate the measure the same time with each throw. I extremely like the the CC idea. It's so simple, you can't screw it up. I put the micrometer on 2 and got 21.8 grains on my scale. Divide the 2 by 21.8 and you get some long decimal, multiply that by the 5.5 and it came out to some number. 0.504 I believe. Set the micrometer on .5 and a smidgen over, perfectly 5.5 grains dispensed. That is why I like the Lee Perfect measure. I set the screw a bit tighter but below 4# from best I could guess. With Power Pistol I had no leakage from the drum.

I don't think I've used it with Unique yet. I would think it would still work well as it works good with Power Pistol and that stuff is real fine. I had done as another said and dumped powdered graphite like you put in automotive locks to lube them. Must have worked pretty good. I haven't chopped one granule of H4895 or IMR 4350 yet. The elastomer wiper does a good job, it's rubbery composition might help that problem. I don't think it's too hard to clean, you take once screw out and it falls apart. Wipe it out lightly, hold the parts together, and put the screw back in. Not very hard IMO. I think I'd like to buy another some day just as a spare for the future.

SuperNaut
October 2, 2010, 10:54 PM
One that I like is the Belding & Mull...
...I’ve used it exclusively with the IMR series of powders such as 4064, 4895, 4350, and etcetera.

Ever try it with 700X? I've been trying to find something that meters 700X well.

Sport45
October 2, 2010, 11:16 PM
I've been trying to find something that meters 700X well.


I gave up on that and never bought another can of 700X. ;)

700X was good, but not good enough for me to put up with the way it meters.

Who makes a good powder measure?

I think any reloading company you can name makes a good measure. I have Redding, Lee, Lyman, and Dillon measures. They each have their own "niche" for me.

alfack
October 3, 2010, 12:42 AM
http://www.quick-measure.com/

dodge
October 3, 2010, 07:56 AM
I have one of the Belding & Mull powder measures and a RCBS Uniflow. You can find a B&M at gunshows but you need to make sure that they have the measuring tube that goes with it. There is a chart that tells you what setting to use for what how many grains of powder that your using. This chart seems to get lost over time but if anybody needs one I can copy mine and send it to you. Just pm me and I'll give you my address and we'll make arrangements for you to get one.

sniper5
October 3, 2010, 08:16 AM
What color do you like?

Seriously, they all have pros and cons. And people who have one they like think theirs is the only one that's any good and the others are crap. Personally, I like Lee and have 3 Pro Disks and 1 Perfect. The 3 Pro Disks are pre-set on pistol die turrets for my turret press, and the Perfect is on a pop on mount so I can move it from turret to turret for the rifle dies. I can either load rifle by weight or volume on the turret press depending how I want it set up.

So economy is a factor along with accuracy, because that way I can have everything set up and just pop on a handgun die turret and go with no fiddling. That's why I go that route.

But that means I don't do that much adjustment with the measure, I just set it up and leave it alone. If I had one that I wanted to change loads on a lot or I was shooting matches with, or I was turning out massive amounts of ammo on a progressive, I would have different criteria. All brands will be adequate, but some will meet YOUR needs better than others. Think hard and look at the things that are important to YOU and make your selection with those things in mind.

Rico567
October 3, 2010, 08:19 AM
For a manual powder measure used as described (with single-stage reloading), I relied for years on an Ohaus Du-O-Measure that someone gave me. Then the powder hopper broke, with no way to replace it, since the Ohaus reloading side went to RCBS a long time ago, and the measure wasn't continued in production. I bought a RCBS measure (pictured in a previous post) on eBay used for around $35, and am very pleased with it. Even with stick powders, accurate ± .2 grain.
As a previous poster noted, what I actually use now for my rifle (single-stage) reloading is an RCBS electronic scale / measure separate combo that communcate via an infrared port. This equipment was made by PACT, and RCBS has superseded this unit with a different all-in-one model, I don't know who makes it. I get completely accurate powder measurement automatically......so there's seldom any reason to take the manual measure off the shelf.

ReloaderEd
October 3, 2010, 12:53 PM
Redding micrometer adjust works well for me and I can reset exact charge.

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