Redding model 3 powder measure: do I need the pistol micrometer?


April 6, 2011, 11:13 PM
I busted open my 'vintage' tin of Red Dot and tried weighing some pistol charges through my new old stock Redding #3... with the standard micrometer that goes from .5 grains to 100 grains in tenth-grain increments. I was aiming for 4.0 grains but after running a few charges through, then doing 10 charges, there's still a large range of charges between 3.9 and 4.5 grains. most are in the 4.2-4.3 range but then one will come out 4.0 and then 4.5.

The set screw is tight, I'm lifting the handle fully and trying to do everything the same each time... am I doing something wrong? I didn't expect that much variance from what is universally considered to be a stellar measure.

Ideas? Do I need to get the pistol micrometer that goes from 1-10 grains? If so, can someone explain how it would make it more accurate?

BTW I'm checking weights on an MTM micro reloading scale, which zeroed perfectly on the 50g check weight, and it returns to 0.0 with the empty powder tray on it.

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April 6, 2011, 11:23 PM
A micrometer really only helps you return to the same place. Try these ideas....

• Fit a baffle into the powder hopper, if there is not one there already.

• Always fill your hopper at least 1/3 full

• Never use the first 10 powder drops. Dump them back in.

• Bang the handle against the stop twice at the top AND bottom of each throw. Like: raise knock-knock, lower knock-knock. The vibration sets up a constant density in the powder and keeps flakes from hanging up on the inside of the PM chute.

Hope this helps!

April 7, 2011, 12:23 AM
it is 3/4 full. No baffles in there. I'll try the bangs... hold on a sec.

4.3 4.3 4.8 4.8 4.5 4.8 5.0 4.5 4.3

What do you make baffles out of?

April 7, 2011, 12:56 AM
Googled this up...

The one problem I had was that with the universal chamber the Redding didn't like light charges of Bullseye. That is to be expected actually as per the instructions. Small charges of Unique were problematic as well, but wasn't really any surprise. Unique is always fun anyway.
Anyway, I finally ordered the Pistol Chamber for it. The results were very nice. It doesn't choke on tiny Bullseye charges anymore and it's easier to hit the right amounts. It throws small charges Unique quite well also. Average spread appears to be less than 1/10th of grain. Quite a nice change.

Lesson learned: Order the appropriate part and things work better.

Maybe I should just bite the bullet, so to speak.

Or I guess I could set up my Lee pro auto disc and see how that does. I was hoping to do the "work up" loads with the redding so I wouldn't have to keep taking the Lee apart every 5 or 10 rounds.

April 7, 2011, 01:25 AM
Redding wants 75 bucks for the pistol doohickey. I'm in the wrong business. :eek:

April 7, 2011, 01:54 AM
Do the baffle and knock-knock thing.
Then let us know how it goes.

April 7, 2011, 09:21 AM
Here's what I did. Rather than switch back and forth between the universal and pistol chamber with my Redding #3 powder measure, I bought a Redding BR-30 powder measure that I use for rifle loads, and I leave the pistol chamber in the #3 for handgun loads. The pistol chamber in the #3 measure drops consistent weight charges with zero variance. IMHO, it is the only way to go if you want consistent powder drops with this measure.


April 7, 2011, 09:48 AM
The pistol inserts have smaller inner diameters so the charge to be dropped is a longer thinner column which equates to better metering with most pistol powders. Simply a matter of mechanics and physics.

I have a 10X and a BR-30, which cover all of my needs. I do not load any rifle calibers with any more capacity than .30-06.

April 7, 2011, 12:14 PM
Thanks guys. I'm seeing the pistol metering thing around the net for about $35ish plus shippping... looks like that's the way to go if I want to use this measure for pistol.

I'll add it to the bill... :D

My first box of .40 is going to end up costing me about 17 bucks a round... LOL

April 7, 2011, 12:33 PM
I bought my Model 3 shortly after the dinosaurs vanished and at the time I bought the rifle and pistol micrometers for it. Say what you want but the pistol micrometer does a decent job of metering Unique. I did add a powder baffle made from some thin sheetmetal.
OT - I'm loading some of Missouri's hard 358 SWC's in a 357. I found that 4.6gr of Bullseye and 5.0gr of 231 shoot equally well, and they're the same setting on the pistol measure.

Jim Watson
April 7, 2011, 01:34 PM
Long ago I had a pistol chamber for my Redding No 3. It was not much use because it did not fit flush with the drum and tended to smear powder into the gap and bind. Maybe they do better now.

But I now single stage pistol and small rifle rounds with an RCBS Uniflo which has a whole small port drum for light loads. The Redding got a metal hopper for use with black.

April 7, 2011, 01:51 PM
Just curious... why do you need a metal hopper for BP? Is it the static caused by the plastic?

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