A Different Question About The Lee Auto-Disk Powder Measure


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Foto Joe
March 31, 2011, 08:48 PM
I didn't want to hijack the "CONFUSED: Lee PRO vs Non-pro Auto-Disk Powder Measure (http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=584522)" thread, but I too need some education on these things. I'm subscribed to that one but it's not pertinent to my question.

I'm thinking about adding a Lee turret press this summer, currently I use a single stage Lee and the Perfect Powder Measure. I'm hesitant simply because I'm not sure that I want a powder measure (Auto-Disk), that I can't adjust. Do those holes in the disks provide for +/- adjustments down to tenths? Or exactly how fine can you adjust the powder charge?

I understand that they are extremely consistant, but consistancy doesn't mean much if you can't get the exact charge that you want.

Educate me on the Auto-Disk please:)

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ClemBert
March 31, 2011, 09:14 PM
Joe,

It's my understanding that you do get the 1/10th capability if you purchase the double-disk set that lets you stack disks on top of each other. If I'm wrong then someone smack me upside the head.

p.s. I'm not convince that with BP you get the kind of volume you need with a pro auto disk....i.e. 20 to 60 grains of BP. :)

suzukisam
March 31, 2011, 09:14 PM
well you can get pretty specific with the "holes"... or you can just buy the adjustable disk..

psyshack
March 31, 2011, 10:07 PM
You can get a double disk kit, micro disk and or the charge bar. Charge bar is better with some powders than other some folks claim. Some say the disk also preform better with some powders than others.

I've ran h-110, 2400, herco, titegroup and clays through 3 each Pro Auto Disk with no problems. And have been able to get my exact charge.

tkcomer
March 31, 2011, 10:34 PM
You probably won't get the exact charge you're looking for with the disks. Nature of the beast. You will get a serviceable load. But the adjustable charge bars will get you what you're looking for in most powders. For me, the disks do just fine in some calibers. In others, I use the adjustable charge bars. They are cheap. I have two for the two calibers that I need them for.

dtsdave
March 31, 2011, 10:44 PM
If you really need to tune your charge a little you pick a smaller hole on an extra disk and ream it out a little. My titegroup load for 147 grain needed this and I now have the perfect throw. The adjustable charge bar is good on high volume charges but very inconsistant on low volume stuff. I modified one to move the hole further in with JB weld and it works better but I still tend to use the standard holes unless I am really tweaking a load for maximum velocity.

I have a turret and it was a great press for me to start on. Now I may be ready for a progressive. I have developed my loads and mass replication is now my goal.

Seedtick
March 31, 2011, 10:46 PM
You probably won't get the exact charge you're looking for with the disks. Nature of the beast. You will get a serviceable load. But the adjustable charge bars will get you what you're looking for in most powders. For me, the disks do just fine in some calibers. In others, I use the adjustable charge bars. They are cheap. I have two for the two calibers that I need them for.

I pretty much just use the adjustable bar myself. But you can pick up some extra disks and modify them by enlarging the holes. I've seen several on the different forums talk about doing this. Just come up with a way to catalog them so you can go back to them when you want to.

Seedtick

:)

bds
March 31, 2011, 10:48 PM
For usual pistol charges running 4.0 - 5.0 gr for 9mm/40S&W charges, I had problem getting consistency out of the adjustable charge bar. I have thought about reshaping the chamber/slider shape using bondo to form more "rounded" shape that some threads suggested but have not tried it yet.

Instead, I have been recommending this:

My Pro Auto Disk drops small ball/flake powders with extreme accuracy, often less than .1 gr variance. I buy extra disks at gun shows or order the double disk kit (about $10). I carefully drill out the holes in .1-.2 increments.

Now I have disk set that I can adjust in increments of .1 gr.

Ta-da! :D

1SOW
March 31, 2011, 10:58 PM
It depends on 'what' powder and cartridge you're loading.
The discs measure volume not grains.

For pistol, one hole may give 4.0 grains of Win 231 and the next hole may give 4.2grs. With n320, one hole gives 4.0 grains and the next may be 4.4 grains.

My solution for a preferred load is to modify an unused hole to get my exact prefference. I have two modified to give a volume 1/2-way between two of the disc holes. Discs are $5 each from LEE.

With bigger loads/rifle, you can do as said above and get accurate loads for most powders.

I didn't get consistent results with the adjustable charge bar with light pistol loads, but get great results with the Pro Powder Disc system.

The Pro-Powder system has three big improvements over the basic system. The hopper can be "shut off" when you need to remove it to exhange discs, the hopper has a 'seal' between it and the discs to stop powder leakage and the Pro hopper is held on with two knurled brass nuts-removable without tools while the basic system has two 'screws' that screw into the plastic hopper that is easy to break.

Hope this makes sense.

ArchAngelCD
April 1, 2011, 01:27 AM
While modifying extra disks is a good idea and works I see no reason to do it because the Lee Adjustable Charge Bar (http://www.midwayusa.com/viewproduct/?productnumber=150005) costs under $10 and works very well except on very light charges. For very light charges I use the Lee Micro-Disk (http://www.midwayusa.com/viewProduct/default.aspx?productNumber=441523) which also works very well. (also under $10)

1SOW
April 1, 2011, 02:40 AM
I see no reason to do it because the Lee Adjustable Charge Bar (http://www.midwayusa.com/viewproduct/?productnumber=150005) costs under $10 and works very well except on very light charges.


I shoot 'a lot' of light 9mm loads at 130PF. It's way more convenient for me to slip in a modified disc and get the exact same load everytime. The neat thing thing about modifying a disc hole is that it's 'volumetric' just like the other holes.
If hole #46 is too light and hole #49 is too heavy, I modify a hole and make a hole #47 1/2. This modded hole is accurate with "any powder" just like the original holes.

I'll sell you my charge bar if you want another one.

ArchAngelCD
April 1, 2011, 03:58 AM
1SOW,
My post seemed to bother you a bit, it wasn't meant to.
I did say modifying a disk was a good idea and it works.
It's just not for me so I gave the OP another option.

Smaug
April 1, 2011, 10:11 AM
I have all of them too, and find the pre-set holes to be better than the adjustable one. I load mostly smaller cartridges; those are the killers. 9 mm and .380 are especially tough to get just where I like them.

I wish they made finer increments of dippers too. I could really use a 0.4cc, 0.45cc, and 0.35cc dippers.

Foto Joe
April 1, 2011, 11:38 AM
p.s. I'm not convinced that with BP you get the kind of volume you need with a pro auto disk....i.e. 20 to 60 grains of BP.

Ahh...Here's the beauty of this whole idea. The single stage will still be my Black Powder press. I'm not sure how I'd load BP on a turret, powder, wad, filler, bullet. I'm comfortable doing them one step at a time.

My main reason for wanting a turret is for 9mm, 38 Special and 44-40 smokeless. Surprisingly enough, a Schofield will each ammunition almost as fast as a semi-auto.

The information that has come in is very helpful. Since what I'll be using this for will be small charges, it looks like the disk will be the way to go. I'll probably get the double-disk to start with just so I have it.

rodregier
April 1, 2011, 11:56 AM
The disk set allows say 5% increments by selection or mixing and matching. The newer generation design that uses a chain to reset rather than the spring is a big improvement.

amlevin
April 1, 2011, 12:45 PM
For years I have been "adjusting" my various powder bushings to get the exact load. On my MEC and Pacific Shotshell loaders I'd just take a bushing that dropped a slightly larger charge and "adjust" it smaller by putting a small piece of mylar packing tape on one side of the bushings inner circumference. If it was too large, an X-Acto knife made the adjustment.

This also works for LEE Autodisks as well. If you have a particular favorite load, as I had for my 9mm pistol loads, take the closest hole size that ALMOST gives you the powder weight you want and then enlarge it with a twist drill. Don't put the bit in a drill, just use it like a hand file. I find that a couple of strokes through the opening will open it up enough to give you an exact measure of powder.

Just mark the disk for that load. The little buggers are cheap.

Dudemeister
April 1, 2011, 12:48 PM
I have recently started loading myslef, and after some trial and error, I've zeroed in on Trail Boss powder for my .45lc loads, but the disc holes are not giving me what I need. First they are always light: The 1.26 hole is supposed to throw 5.8gr, but with Trail Boss is consistently throws 5.3, .1gr, the next one (1.36), throws 5.8gr, but what I wanted was 5.5gr.

So I bought the Auto Disc Pro Upgrade kit mainly for the adjustable bar, thinking I can simply adjust it and weigh it until I get what I want. Well, not exactly. For whatever reason, maybe the type of powder I'm using, the bar is extremely inconsistent, it will vary from 5.2 to 5.7 on nearly each throw. I measured dozens and dozens of single, double, 5 and 10 load throws, and it's all over the place. Not only that, but it seems to always have some powder flakes still stuck to the inside, so I have tap it for each load, to make sure there's nothing hanging on it.

So I went back to the disc. It may not be throwing the exact measure I want, but at least it's very consistent, and no tapping required. If I decide that I'm not really happy with the 5.3gr load for whatever reason, I might consider drilling the hole out as mentioned in a few posts here, but the adjustable bar was a major disappointment for me.

On the bright side, I do like the new hopper with shutoff, and the thumb screws which make removing the hopper so much easier, and I also like the swivel adapter, which lets you attach/remove the powder measure without having to remove the other dies around it.

RidgwayCO
April 1, 2011, 01:17 PM
I've often wondered why Lee doesn't make any disks with the cavities .01cc apart (and NOT included the cavity sizes that they already supply with their powder measures), and sell them as an optional part or set. It would only take an additional four disks to completely cover the range from .32cc to .66cc. It shouldn't cost that much to produce, and they'd probably sell a million of them to anal reloaders who want an exact throw weight (such as me)...

ClemBert
April 1, 2011, 01:53 PM
Ahh...Here's the beauty of this whole idea. The single stage will still be my Black Powder press. I'm not sure how I'd load BP on a turret, powder, wad, filler, bullet. I'm comfortable doing them one step at a time.

My main reason for wanting a turret is for 9mm, 38 Special and 44-40 smokeless. Surprisingly enough, a Schofield will each ammunition almost as fast as a semi-auto.

I agree that having a single stage process is useful to have regardless of stepping up to the Lee Classic Turret press. Like you said, use it for the BP stuff or put your universal decapper/deprimmer die in it and use it for removing the primers out of dirty brass.

I'm think that the Lee Pro Auto-Disk measure could be used with BP on the single stage press if it has enough volume capacity for half loads. That is, if you want 30 grains in your casing you might be able to set the Pro Auto-Disk to drop 15 grains of powder. Pull the lever twice and viola...30 grains. Just thinking out loud here because with the Lee Perfect Powder measure I typically dump the powder in the scale pan then manually pour it through a funnel sitting on top of the Expander Powder-Thru die.

I need to load 9mm, 40 S&W and 50 AE in addition to 45 Colt with heathen smokeless powder too. This is the origin of my other thread asking about the other powder measures. I'd probably start off with an upgrade to the Pro Auto-Disk on the single stage press then eventually move into a Class Turret press.

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