LNL Powder Measure Not Consistent


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kingmt
February 19, 2012, 12:37 PM
My drops with measure are +/- .5gn which seems way out there using WC 846. I assume a baffle would help but I have never had to use one in my Lee measure. There is no oil where the powder can get to. I don't know what I can be missing.

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Mike 27
February 19, 2012, 01:15 PM
I have not used that particular powder in mine, but how is the static in your reloading area? I also use the baffle and with flake and spherical powder I am dropping within a tenth and usually spot on. I read a post from RCModel and he talked about several techniques that I use now. Fill the measure, and do not put the powder back in or refill without running several charges, and weighing. Stay consistent with every drop, and if you change anything up (add powder, change meter, ect...) run several charges and check weight. Hope this helps. Also which meter assembly are you using and how much are you dropping? I have stuck to the smaller meter and it works well, but I am not loading for rifle or big bore on my LNL.

Blue68f100
February 19, 2012, 01:44 PM
Not familar with that powder. Is it a ball, flake, or extruded?

What load are you shooting for?

What Rotor (rifle or Pistol), what cylinder (rifle or pistol).

What you explain normally happens when you have the pistol cylinder in the Rifle Rotor, 5/8" id with a 5/16" pistol.

Static can cause spread to but normally not that much.

kingmt
February 19, 2012, 06:00 PM
I was going for 26gr using the large drum & small rifle drop tube. Any adjustment I throw the first 2 back before weighing. i said +/- .5 but I started at 26gr checked after 10 & was at 26.2 20 more I was at 26.6 & went as high as 27gr. I never got over 27gr in 200 rounds. I did readjust for the last 50 rounds to 26.2gr & by the time I was to the end it was back to 26.6gr.

WC846 is a ball powder.

I know by all the even numbers it sounds like a cheap scale but it isn't. The scale measures to 1/.1 & is very sensitive.

My only guess is it seems a little sticky when the neck first touches the drop tube. Maybe I'm cycling it to hard & packing the powder also.

cfullgraf
February 19, 2012, 07:01 PM
I am a fan of baffles in my drum style powder measures. In my Hornady L-N-L I have installed a second baffle oriented 90 degrees from the lower one and about an inch above it. I believe it is something about the vibrations the measure sees when sitting on the press.

But, other folks have good success without any baffles.

You need to cycle 15 or twenty loads through the measure before the powder column settles down. I find i frequently have to tweak the measure adjustment a little when I move it from the stand where I preset the measure to the progressive.

Finally, try to stroke the progressive the same way every time so that the powder column in the measure does not change density.

Muddydogs
February 19, 2012, 10:21 PM
This post is a bunch of lies, see my new post about 4 down from here.I have been messing around with my measure on the LnL AP. I have been getting 3 to 4 grain variation when throwing Unique in my pistol cases. I cleaned the measure, ran graphite through it, rubbed it down with a dryer sheet and rubber banded a dryer sheet to the measure with some sheet hanging in the hopper. Well this really didn't do much. Next I tried the aquarium air pump to get some vibration and low and behold this did help. I now throw a 6.8 grain charge keeping it between 6.7 to 6.9 and when it throws a .1 grain off the scale fluctuates between 6.8 and the next tenth weight which in my scales case means that the weight is just on the line. When the scale has a solid weight there is no fluctuation.

I am using a Tetra 5 to 10? gallon air pump that I picked up from Wal Mart for less then $7. Don't go to big, I tried the air pump I had for my 45 gallon tank and it packed the powder to tight and after 10 throws the measure started to throw very light charges.

200 rounds loaded with the air pump and it appears to be good to go.

kingmt
February 19, 2012, 10:42 PM
I think I found the problem. When I took it down & dumped it there was powder stuck in the meter. It is as dry as can be. I might try cleaning it with alcohol to see if it gets better.

rsrocket1
February 20, 2012, 11:24 AM
You say it's as "dry as it can be" and "there is no oil in it". Did you clean the entire powder measure and all parts when you got it with degreaser? Just because it looks dry does not mean it was shipped without the anti-corrosion grease. The parts are steel and will rust when exposed to air so they coat all their parts before they ship. Otherwise if it sits on the shelf for any time, a customer might open a brand new box and find a powder measure, box of dies or press covered with rust spots.

Glad you found the problem. You should be able to stay within 0.1g with all your drops.

kingmt
February 20, 2012, 03:10 PM
I bought it used & found it full of powder & oil. I wiped it dry like I do all of my steel parts. Must have not been enough. I should have taken it apart & seen before posting a question I should have knowen.

Muddydogs
February 20, 2012, 05:24 PM
All right to follow up on the aquarium air pump and vibration helping I have to call bull on myself. Loaded some more rounds this morning and started to get 6.5 grain throws when shooting for 6.8. I didn't get the high ones like before but still getting .3 grains short about every 5 or so throws. My powder measure was only 1/2 to 3/4 full at the time but we can't always keep a full hopper.

So I was going to get some Pistol Powder and try it out thinking that I need to get away from Unique as everyone says its the devil. I have been shooting Unique for years and like the wide range of versatility. I load all my handguns with it as well as shotgun trap loads, I do use H110 for mag 44 rounds. Well anyway there is no Pistol Powder to be had in town and I just don't like the lack or versatility in W231, Titegroup or others so I knew of one last ditch effort and decided it was time to try it as I don't want to switch powders anyway.

I took the measure apart and with the help of a Dremel tool and round sanding drum sanded the red paint inside the hopper base as well as the neck of measure. I didn't sand below the rotor where the powder drops into the case as I figured that the powder is falling at this point and not getting hung up. After removing the red paint and smoothing as many casting flaws and both the seams as best I could without sanding through the measure I put a cloth disk on the Dremel with jewelers rouge and polished the hopper and neck to a mirror shine. Going against all my better judgment I also spent $8 on the little can of Hornady one shot. Figured I might as well go all out at this point to save the Unique. I really don't think one shot is worth it as except for the dust and rouge in the hopper I didn't get anything new on the cleaning patches when cleaning the drop tube, rotor and PTX die. When I took the measure apart there was no powder stuck anywhere to begin with so I think the bore cleaner I used 3 times so far on the measure had cleaned it up well.

So did it work? Don't know yet, was letting the one shot dry like instructed but I am now going to go put the measure back together. I will run some graphite through the outfit and see what we come up with. Will report back later today.

AE3007H1
February 20, 2012, 05:31 PM
since it seems the tend was up ie:each time you checked it was throwing more. i have to ask, are you sure the locking feature was tight and it was creeping up?

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Mike 27
February 20, 2012, 06:10 PM
I sucked up the 10 bucks for the Hornady cleaner and used it pretty much like their videos and have had no problems. It was very painful at every squirt at that price but it worked well I guess as I am staying within a tenth of a grain.

kingmt
February 20, 2012, 10:16 PM
since it seems the tend was up ie:each time you checked it was throwing more. i have to ask, are you sure the locking feature was tight and it was creeping up?

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Yes.

AE3007H1
February 21, 2012, 01:21 AM
figured that you had tightened everything down but i had to ask any ways. we all can forget things or overlook the obvious . just the other night i was draining the unused powder from my Hornady powder thrower and turned the handle the wrong way and instead of all of the powder going neatly into its original container that i was holding in just the right spot in front. ..... it all went out the back and onto the floor!! can't tell you how many hundreds of times i have performed this with no problems.. . oh well. haha

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Muddydogs
February 21, 2012, 08:30 AM
Well I put the measure back together and ran graphite through it noticing that it seamed to stick to the plastic hopper. Loaded powder, tapped it down and noticed powder clinging to the plastic hopper. Ran 10 charges into the scale pan and when I went to pump the pan I noticed a large amount of flakes clinging to the pan. What do all these parts have in common you might ask? I used Hornady Junk Shot on all them, followed the instructions to the letter.:cuss: Messed around with the measure for a few throws but in the end I had to tear it down again and clean the Junk Shot out of it with bore cleaner. Not sure how I talked myself into buying a over priced can of junk.

Reassembled the measure, graphite, dryer sheet and my charge weights are much better. Most throws are 6.8 now with a little variation. I am getting some funky charges after about 50 or so rounds which I think is due to the powder not flowing past the baffle. Not sure if I need to open up the baffle holes or remove the baffle all together. I did find that if after every 20 rounds or so I tap on the hopper a couple times that a lot of powder flows down. Tried the air pump again to see it it would help move the powder past the baffle but it doesn't seam to.

Master Blaster
February 21, 2012, 09:36 AM
After years of screwing with the LNL measure to get it to throw consistant small charges of flake pistol powders and trailboss, here is how I solved the inconsistancy and Squibb load problem:

http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=617417&highlight=Dillon+Measure+hornady+LNL

Note the attacks, as I dared to question the superiority of the LNL measure. The funny part is the chief attacker of my idea, and defender of the LNL ,quietly sold his and went to an RCBS 2000 sometime thereafter:

Bowfishrp
February 21, 2012, 11:50 AM
My LNL powder measure is about 3 years old and didnt come with a baffle. I rub the outside of it with a clothes dryer sheet and it seems to help get some of the static cling out of the plastic bottle. I can drop titegroup very consistently but have noticed that after 30-40 drops it starts walking...but it is a consistent walk. :)
I did have a problem with the pistol meter though...the screw worked its way out and while I was turning the knob to make the load bigger or smaller it was not actually doing anything. I added a touch of loctite to that allen screw and havent had a problem since.

Striker Fired
February 21, 2012, 05:35 PM
I've been using a Hornady measure that came with my LNL AP,it's always stayed to within+/- .1gr but after 50 or so it would be up another .1gr(yes the locknut was tight,its always done that)after another 50 or so it would maybe be up another .1gr. Then it usually stayed there. I always figured it was from the powder settling and uping the charge. I don't run the baffle.

So far for rifle I have only used my RCBS uniflo(I run single stage with rifle)so I can't say how the Hornady is for higher charges.

My only thought would be if you can run the other drum and rotor,see if the charges vary with that setup.

kingmt
February 21, 2012, 06:01 PM
The powder is getting packed down it the bottom of the meter. I wonder why it is convex instead of flat.

DaveInFloweryBranchGA
February 22, 2012, 02:29 AM
"The funny part is the chief attacker of my idea, and defender of the LNL ,quietly sold his and went to an RCBS 2000 sometime thereafter:"

Since you're somehow implying there was something wrong or I'd found something wrong with my LnL or it's powder measure, I'll address your comment.

I sold my press because it was a very early LnL, pre-ezject and had many upgrades and I was tired of the press. The same way a man gets tired of a particular rifle and buys a new one. At the time I sold it, I didn't want to sell the powder measure or the case activated powder drop, but they came with the press, so I sold it as a unit. I still miss that powder measure and CAPD.

And if you've been paying attention, I've had reason to miss the press as well. The fellow who bought it is very happy with the press and everything I sold him with it. He'll be the first to tell you so, as he got a press in "like new" condition because the press is a great one to start with and I was meticulous in the maintenance.

I currently have several powder measures and plan to add another CAPD and Hornady LnL powder measure to my current press. While the RCBS version of the CAPD is ok, I preferred the Hornady version as well as the larger capacity of the Hornady.

You might want to get your story straight. But then, that's never been anything you've worried about.

As far as that Dillon powder measure you've been bragging up, I picked up a couple in a trade deal for free and I've been using them with milsurp ball powder to load .223. Tried them out again because they were free and larger capacity than the Lee or Uniflow measures I currently have. They are "ok," but nothing special like you've been implying and definitely NOT superior to the Hornady I'd been using.

I'll have to polish the interiors to get them to where I want them, but the processes to do this are known at this point. They aren't as accurate as the Lee Pro Auto Disks with the same powder I'd been using at the current time. Should be after polishing/tuning. But still not as good as the Hornady I had was.

To you guys using the Hornady measure:

I have noticed, reading this thread, Hornady is now painting the interior of the powder measures. They were not doing this when I bought mine. I suspect this may be some of the problem. Mine was not painted and the interior casting was polished smooth, not as I've seen it described in this thread. Probably polishing the interior of the powder measure will resolve most problems.

Muddydogs
February 22, 2012, 08:25 AM
Well I was at it last night loading more .40's with Unique. I do believe that removing the paint and polishing the metal hopper was the best thing to do. My throws are way more consistent with very little variation from 6.8 for over 200 rounds. I did tap on the measure every 20 rounds or so to make sure the powder was flowing and every time I did there was a large amount of powder that would move down. While tapping on the measure is no big deal I did weight the next 2 charges after the tap as the first charge would be a couple tenths over due to packing so I think its time to make a new baffle with bigger, more or both holes. I'm thinking that the powder is getting jammed up going through the baffle holes and this is what is causing the charges weights to go funky after 20 to 50 rounds loaded. Might just loose the baffle all together and give it a try but first I need more bullets. Might have to shoot a few also before the floor collapses from the weight of all this lead.

DaveInFloweryBranchGA
February 22, 2012, 09:30 AM
Muddydogs,

There is a long sticky over at AR15 dealing with tweaks for a Dillon, including their powder measure. It's a real good thread and very useful for Dillon owners. One thing it advises is to polish the interior metal of the Dillon powder measures. Another thing is using a small electric motor to provide vibration to keep powders than tend to jam flowing.

These modifications work with any brand of powder measure, so you'll likely to find your fix for your measure in them, unless you want to spend money for additional measures, which may or may not correct the problem.

Add to that the various manufacturers, such as RCBS, have been selling powder baffles for years and you'll find the resolution to any problem you are having. Uniflow owners have added baffles and polished interiors in the past to solve powder flow/sticking issues.

Sticking powders isn't usually a fault of the brand name of the measure, it's part and parcel to problems all measures have handling certain powders.

Various measures handle various powders better or worse. Manufacturers cut corners to keep within a certain price range. Add the two up and you'll find you may have to do some tweaking and tuning for any brand measure you buy.

There is a high end measure, the name of which escapes me, that is basically a modified Bell and Mulden measure. It handles extruded very well, is made of brass and steel and comes polished. But it costs about as much as a Hornady LnL or Dillon 550 if you order it complete ready for case activated powder drop on a progressive press. But doesn't offer powder through expansion last I knew. Might now though, for a price.

Muddydogs
February 22, 2012, 09:54 AM
Muddydogs,

There is a long sticky over at AR15 dealing with tweaks for a Dillon, including their powder measure. It's a real good thread and very useful for Dillon owners. One thing it advises is to polish the interior metal of the Dillon powder measures. Another thing is using a small electric motor to provide vibration to keep powders than tend to jam flowing.

These modifications work with any brand of powder measure, so you'll likely to find your fix for your measure in them, unless you want to spend money for additional measures, which may or may not correct the problem.

Add to that the various manufacturers, such as RCBS, have been selling powder baffles for years and you'll find the resolution to any problem you are having. Uniflow owners have added baffles and polished interiors in the past to solve powder flow/sticking issues.

Sticking powders isn't usually a fault of the brand name of the measure, it's part and parcel to problems all measures have handling certain powders.

Various measures handle various powders better or worse. Manufacturers cut corners to keep within a certain price range. Add the two up and you'll find you may have to do some tweaking and tuning for any brand measure you buy.

There is a high end measure, the name of which escapes me, that is basically a modified Bell and Mulden measure. It handles extruded very well, is made of brass and steel and comes polished. But it costs about as much as a Hornady LnL or Dillon 550 if you order it complete ready for case activated powder drop on a progressive press. But doesn't offer powder through expansion last I knew. Might now though, for a price.

Thanks for the info. I have checked out the ar15 thread as well as goggled anything I could. One thing that gets me is as I remember, but its been almost 20 years since I loaded pistol with my uniflow, the uniflow would throw Unique charges in 45 cases without a baffle with less then .2 grains of variation all the time no matter how full the hopper. Maybe I am dreaming but I loaded a lot of 45's this way with no problems.

I think polishing is defiantly a help but the vibration is not. When using the aquarium pump to vibrate the hopper it seams to pack the powder and cause more bridging on top of the baffle.

For right now I am happy with the throws I am getting. I will need to load more but for the time being I'm out of bullets. I do think I am going to try a different hole configuration on a baffle or maybe a second baffle as I think the powder is bridging on top of the stock baffle.

beatledog7
February 22, 2012, 10:55 PM
There are two LNL powder measures on my bench, one usually set up with the pistol insert/drum, and other rifle (though I can set them up both pistol or both rifle). I use the factory baffle, set it like a doghouse roof, in both. All I ever do to keep things flowing cleanly is occasionally rap the hopper near its base with a knuckle.

Both throw charges +/- .1gr consistently with every powder I've tired once I get them set. That's based on a frequently calibrated, mid-priced digital scale. It doesn't seem to matter whether the hopper is topped off or almost empty.

The large (rifle) drum/insert is a little trickier to get dialed in.

cfullgraf
February 22, 2012, 11:37 PM
Based on some of the suggestions above, I spent the morning smoothing the bottom of my Hornady L-N-L powder measure. Not to a mirror finish, but I took out all the roughness and smoothed with 400 grit sand paper. Sure glad i have a lathe.:)

I will give it a try in a day or so to see if it improved the metering of the measure although I was getting good results anyway.

I have two baffles in my L-N-L measure turned 90 degrees to each other and one about 1 inch above the other. That helped alot in stabilizing the powder throws.

Striker Fired
February 23, 2012, 09:04 PM
There is a Teflon or Moly spray paint that I use on my lawnmower deck and tractor bucket. It is super slick and very little will stick to,even wet snow. that would be something else to try on the bottom of the mesure(maybe even the baffle and bottom inch of the plastic hopper tube).It should end any static cling also.

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