Lee Auto Disk Powder Measure


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WhoKnowsWho
February 2, 2003, 11:17 PM
Hey, a Lee Turret Press kit comes with this powder measure along with a scale. How well does it work? Worth keeping? Or should I replace with something like the Perfect Powder Measure? I know I will be double checking the powder charge with either powder measuring system, but I would like to see some opinions. Thanks.

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Sisco
February 3, 2003, 12:10 AM
The "Perfect" won't work with the turrent press, you'd have to charge the cases off the press. The auto disk works really well, you'll need the Lee powder - through die or a universal charging die.
I've never used the disks that come with the measure, I bought an adjustable charge bar that takes their place. Lots easier to change powder charges with it than the disks.

WhoKnowsWho
February 3, 2003, 02:21 AM
Sounds pretty pointless to get the "Perfect" measure then. I'll add the powder through die to the shopping list. Thanks!

bfox
February 4, 2003, 02:06 AM
Get the Adjustable charge bar to,
like Sisco said.
Good Luck . Bill

Mike Irwin
February 4, 2003, 11:50 AM
I'm here with a vote against the adjustable charge bar.

When using the disks, my charges for 231 were so repeatable that it was annoying. I would have ZERO weight variation across as many as 50 powder charges.

When I put the adjustable bar in, however, it was a LOT worse. Wide swings in charge weight.

I pulled the bar out, and haven't used it since.

Sisco
February 4, 2003, 12:39 PM
I'm not one to strike up an argument, especially with Mr. Irwin, but...
I loaded 300 rounds of 45acp with W231 this morning, randomly weighing the charges. 5.0 grains on the nose from start to finish.
I used to weigh the charge of every tenth round but they've always been so consistent I only weigh every 20-30 now.
I do have a problem with the charge bar with light loads, say 3.0 grains of Bullseye in 38 special HBWC loads, I would get empty cases now & then. I use my Lee Perfect measure on those now. Slower, but a squib sure can ruin your day at the range.
Which also answers a part of the original question; is the Perfect measure worth keeping? Yes, I use it for the above mentioned rounds and when charging large rifle cases.

GooseGestapo
February 4, 2003, 01:00 PM
I have to second Mr. Irwins opinion. My results are the same as his. This phenomenom appears to only occur at lower charge weights, but happens with Win231, Bullseye to a lesser extent, much worse with Unique, RedDot, Universal, ect. It has to do with the assymetrical shape of the cavity and sharp corners at low charge weight settings. It will probably be unnoticeable at higher charge weights with ball/sperical powders.
Just my experience and observations.

Mike Irwin
February 4, 2003, 01:19 PM
No argument at all, Sisco.

I'm right, you're wrong. :D

Goose may have hit on the reason, though. I was loading 4.2 gr. of WW 231. Why 231, a fine-grained ball powder, would give any problems with the adjustable bar is totally beyond me.

I'm loading some heavier charges of 231 for .44 Spl. and .41 Mag., so maybe I'll trot it out again and see if I get better results.

I stopped using Unique because it was so variable in metering. I was loading .32 Long, and I was getting variations of up to 50% of the stated charge weight.

That's a little too much for rounds going through a circa 1917 S&W I-frame.

RobW
February 4, 2003, 01:21 PM
The only bad thing with the auto disk powder measure that comes with the turret press kit is, that the hopper (brittle plastic) is fixed to the body with SHEET METAL SCREWS!!! To change the disks, you have to screw them out and no matter how careful you are, the threads in the plastic crack.

I bought the upgrade-kit from MidwayUSA (~ $ 13). It has a bigger hopper, attached to the body with brass to brass nuts/threads, and it has the adjustable cavity with it (I never used that).

Look up at www.midwayusa.com its worth it!

Sisco
February 4, 2003, 01:40 PM
I thought I was wrong once. Turns out I was mistaken. :D

bogie
February 4, 2003, 01:54 PM
Yeah, get the "deluxe" version. I use both the disks and the charge bar, depending.

The one thing to remember with a powder measure is to use it the same way EVERY time. If you're loading progressively, toss the first few back in the bin, and let the powder get used to the agitation. ANY powder measure is only as good as its environment.

In a rather anal-retentive test (benchresters are that way...) it was determined that the only real difference between low-end (such as the Lee Perfect, RCBS, etc.) and high-end (such as Harrell, Jones, etc.) was in how they are used. Given the proper use, they all measure just fine.

I own a Lee perfect, a Lee autodisk (with double-disk upgrade/charge bar), a modded RCBS Uniflow, and a Harrell.

Monte Harrison
February 4, 2003, 02:12 PM
Been using an autodisk for a while. I don't do Bullseye competition, so I don't weigh charges. I'm using what the sheet that came with the measure says is 4 grains of Bullseye under a 200gr LSWC; a pretty light load. The measure works quite well, certainly fulfilling my needs. I have no complaints.

WhoKnowsWho
February 4, 2003, 02:30 PM
Information overload...

I seem to continually improve my choices for what I am ordering, at this rate, I will never order. Originally, I was just going to get the dippers, that probably wouldn't have worked too well.

I'll try the disk, and upgrade it if it works as annoyingly as RobW said.

And I haven't even asked which powder I should start with... I'll post that question later! :)

Mike Irwin
February 4, 2003, 05:44 PM
The dippers work just fine.

Often, if one dipper doesn't give you the load you want, using two smaller dippers can.

When you get right down to it, though, the disk measures are simply dippers with a powder hopper on top.

WhoKnowsWho
February 4, 2003, 07:18 PM
Hmm, never thought of it like that.

A friend of mine has never even touched any sort of powder measure or scale, he only uses the one dipper that came with his .45 acp Dies. And he hasn't had any problems.

I'll be using the scale a lot in the beginning just to make sure of everything.

Standing Wolf
February 4, 2003, 10:11 PM
I use the disks with small charges of Bullseye. They're accurate within about 2/10ths of a grain. That's not my idea of very good accuracy; conversely, between my aging eyes and arthritic joints, I'm not remarkably accurate, either.

Mike Irwin
February 4, 2003, 11:27 PM
Wolf,

Remember, the measure's accuracy in weighing the charge is affected by the properties of the powder.

Bullseye is a flake powder, meaning that it may not pack into the disk hole the same way all the time.

That's one of the reasons why I really like using ball powders.

dfrog
February 5, 2003, 12:47 AM
I never used the auto disks that came with my Lee loader because I couldn't get the charge I wanted with them. I bought the adjustable charge bar. It works great for me. However, the lowest I have ever loaded a round was 4.8 grains. It has worked well with HP38, W231 and AA #5.

Freedom in theSkies
February 5, 2003, 02:23 AM
Ditto on Siscos' first reply.
I have found though, that IMR700 and 800 (fine flake powders)will not meter very well at all thru either the fixed orfice disks or the adjustable charge bar...

keano44
February 5, 2003, 02:03 PM
I use the Lee Auto Disc. I have never had to unscrew the hopper to change the disc. Does anyone else do it that way? (Like RobW)
I've used the disc's and the adjustable charge bar, and always check several throws first to see how a particular powder works with the hole size which gives me the proper charge weight. Sometimes it is accurate, sometimes not, depending on the powder. I usually set up to consistently throw just under my target charge weight, and trickle the rest on my PACT scale.

MoNsTeR
February 5, 2003, 03:33 PM
I have a Pro Auto Disk and I love it. The only flaw is the poor adjustability with certain powders, due to the limited number of cavities. The solution would be the Adjustable Charge Bar, if it didn't totally suck. If you can find a good load from what's available though, it's fantastic, especially since you can always come back to that load and never have to bother finding the same adjustment.

Pendragon
February 7, 2003, 02:38 AM
I have the Lee Turret Press.

I now have 2 turret discs - one for .45 ACP and one for .38/.357

I have an auto disc mounted on each so I do not wear out the plastic by unscrewing it all the time.

For me, I just load lead target loads for both calibers and I go nowhere near a maximum load.

The Power Pistol (for .45) has never varied enough for me to notice using the cheap Lee scale and I figure I have close to a grain of margin before my load is too hot so I only measure like 1 or 2 percent.

I have a .45 loading I like and I see no reason to change it right now so it stays setup.


I am going to load some 2.8gr loads of Bullseye for my .38s and I intend to do a lot more measuring since thats a hot powder.


I pre-prep all my brass (decap, clean, prime) and then do a quick flare+charge, seat, factory crimp while indexing by hand.

So far I have loaded almost 500 rounds of .45 this way and have had no problems at all.

RobW
February 7, 2003, 12:13 PM
In my experience the cracking of the threads are not only affected by changing disks, but also by the harsh shake the hopper gets by the "resistant" backstroke of the lever to clear the powder through expander die.

Nevertheless, to have a powder measure for every caliber is a very good idea, especially because the Lee stuff wil not cost a king's ransom.

As I use only ball powders with the disk measure, I just have to check the 1st throw (after 5 throws to settle the powder in the hopper) and the last of my regular 50 pcs batches. Occasional random-checks had NEVER more variety as 0.05 grains!

Fatelvis
February 9, 2003, 01:44 PM
That powder dispensing system worked great for me, for years! Especiallly with the adjustable charge bar. The deluxe version is worth the extra cash, too.

Strings
February 10, 2003, 06:18 AM
... about going with the "Pro" upgrade, especially if you want to only use one powder measure...

I never had any luck with the adjustable charge bar, but have found you can get almost any load you like with the double disk kit. I've gone through about 1000 rds of 45acp (4.85 gr Titegroup behind a 230gr), and a few hundred 44AMP (14.35 gr Blue Dot throwing a 240gr) and the listed cavities (.43 and 1.36, respectively) always throw the proper weights (note: I've noticed appearant mistakes in their "charge weight/volume" charts. Double check ANY new load!)...

YMMV

ATAShooter
December 1, 2005, 09:37 PM
Here's a trick for all the folks that remove the hopper on auto disc to change discs... Don't...

1 Remove return spring.

2 lift up on it as if it were being pushed up in cycle.

3 at this point you can lift up on it enough that the arm that moves the disc clears the disc and you can slide it out without removing hopper.

4 to re install, reverse... just make sure you look underneath that the arm is going into proper slot.

At this point you are now going "Duh" to yourself. That's what I did when I figured it out ( I'm lying, my brother showed me )

:banghead:

The Bushmaster
December 1, 2005, 09:57 PM
ATAShooter...Which Auto Disc do you have...The return spring on mine is a tough little sucker. I wouldn't even attempt this for fear of breaking the plastic parts. I only have to remove one little screw and Wha-la. It's out and the next one is in and re-install one little screw. How is your way easier then that. Pray-tell...It takes me less then a minute if I have the next disc located and ready to install...:rolleyes:

AnthonyRSS
December 2, 2005, 12:26 PM
I had to order a new hopper for mine the other day cause of the stripped threads. I didn't know about the pro upgrade, reckon I should have done that. Other than that it measures consistantly with Titegroup, but I had problems with it and the double disk with Lil' Gun. May have been my fault, but I try to be as consistant as possible.

Strings
December 2, 2005, 01:09 PM
The upgrade is VERY nice! Haven't played much with the double disk, but the "Pro" hopper is MUCH easier to work with...

ATAShooter
December 2, 2005, 04:33 PM
Bushmaster... I have the lower line one that came with the turret press, the spring on mine doesn't attatch to any plastic parts.

The Bushmaster
December 2, 2005, 09:19 PM
ATAShooter...Nor does mine, but my hands do...:D

AnthonyRSS...I stripped the threads out on my hopper years ago. I just carved away the broken area and used an appoxy to reform the area that stripped. Drilled and tapped new threads. I believe that was ten years ago...:scrutiny:

ATAShooter
December 3, 2005, 07:23 PM
Now, I experemented a tad this week... I've always been told that having a powder baffle is great...it meters better. Others ( few ) have said otherwise... So, I ordered a couple new hoppers from Lee ( I figured at 2.00 each, I could afford it ). On one of them I cut out the baffle.
Here's what happened:

Same disc hole used for both tests
With the baffle 5 drops were ( 2.8 wanted ) 2.9 - 3.1 - 3.4 - 3.2 - 3.0

No baffle ( again 2.8gr wanted ) 2.8 - 2.9 - 2.7 - 2.8 - 2.9

So what the heck is up? I made sure that I jar the loader around like I always do so that each stroke ( ha ha I said stroke...) was about the same.
I think I'm going to leave the baffless one on it. Only reason I thought of it, is that I do not run a baffle on my MEC 9000, and it does great.

The Bushmaster
December 3, 2005, 07:40 PM
ATAShooter...You are talking about that little bridge over the powder vent (port) inside and at the bottom of the hopper are you not? Hummmm Interesting....:cool:

ATAShooter
December 3, 2005, 08:00 PM
Yea, I clipped it out with some bull nips and I was suprised... I thought for sure I'd find the results the other way around. Hey, 2.00 give it a try...

cropcirclewalker
December 3, 2005, 10:13 PM
I use the double disk and the adjustable all the time. The only powder I have had trouble with is A1680 (tried some in a 30 carbine). The powder is so fine that it gets between the disk and the plate and bungs up the smoothness of the lever pull.

On my other powders, like working up a load, I just make sure the cavity is full by watching it drop into the cartridge. Yes I know, you gotta watch close, since it drops fast. If I don't see it drop, I dump the cartridge back into the hopper and do it again.

The adjustable disk is so dependable for me (with blue dot anyway) that I don't weigh the charges (when developing a load).

For instance, today playing with .303 and a Lyman 311466 gas checked, I load 5 with the adjustable set on 1.0 cc, shoot them over the chrony, record the velocities (1500 fps avg) then load and shoot 5 rounds at a target at 50 yards, record the group size, (1.32"), crank the knob out and repeat for 1.1cc (1653 fps, 1.88" group).

Tomorrow I will try it at .9cc to see what happens. If the group size goes below 1.32" then I will try .95cc and like that.

When I get all done then I might weigh a few charges just to see what they come in at. The way it is now though, I turn the knob and clock the bullets.

Why weigh?

To me it's more fun to shoot and clock than to weigh. The chrony is outside the basement door and all set up. I located it under a light so that I can even clock bullets at night. (I shoot the bullets into a stump on the other side of the light) Not to worry.

Yes, I agree, the consistancy is important. When I pour the charge back into the hopper I still rotate the turret, pull the lever like I was seating a bullet and go back to repeat. I figger every little vibration of the turret is helping to pack the powder into the cavity. Consistancy, yes, consistancy.

wrangler5
December 4, 2005, 12:54 AM
Now, I experemented a tad this week... I've always been told that having a powder baffle is great...it meters better. <snip>

Interesting data. I just wrote Lee this week to ask if they could PUT a baffle in the Pro hopper (the round one.) Reason being, there's a baffle in my Redding bench mounted powder measure, about 2 inches above the metering cylinder. That measure is DEAD consistent as long as there's powder above the baffle - doesn't matter how much above, if there's powder above the baffle then the powder in the area below the baffle is always the same height above the metering cylinder, and so puts the same weight on the load going into the cylinder each time. I thought it would be nice to add something like that to the Lee hopper

Rico567
December 4, 2005, 08:05 AM
I reloaded for the better part of 20 years with two Pro 1000s with the Auto Disk measure. Neither measure gave me the least trouble, and both were completely reliable and accurate. As for breaking something while changing the disks, that is simply accomplished the way "ATA Shooter" describes in an earlier post....there is no need whatever to remove the powder hopper to change the disk. When I desired to change a disk or use another aperture in a disk, I removed the action spring with a pair of needle-nose pliers, moved the actuating arm to the point where the disk just slides out, either reposition the disk or put in another one, and reinstall the spring.

The Bushmaster
December 4, 2005, 11:04 AM
Cropcirclewalker
In an earlier post in this string I explained how to stop the powder from getting between the hopper and the disc. I don't know if it would help you because I have never fiddled with the double disc Lee.

I'm also not sure which Lee Auto Disc Powder Measure you people have, but mine is the one that screws into the LEE expander die and has a spring that rivals the coil spring in a car's suspension. Yes. You can remove it with a needle nose pliers as I have done to clean or repair the unit, However I would not remove the spring everytime I wanted to change discs. We are talkin' 'bout work here just to get the spring off not to mention gettin' it back on...:D

cropcirclewalker
December 4, 2005, 11:55 AM
Mr. Bushmaster, I looked up through your posts on this string and can't find it.

Next, I think some of us are talking about different autodisks. Mine, like yours has a hellferstout spring. My original was rectangular red plastic with a little baffle (maybe 1/2" above the hole in it's bottom). What makes me think we are talking about apples and oranges is that my original red hopper had no on/off switch.

The only way I coulda changed disks was to remove the whole device, pour out the powder from the top of the hopper and then dissassemble the hopper from the top of the disk.

Otherwise, when I removed the disk (even if I could overpower the spring) the powder would all fall out.

The new upgrade I just bought like a year ago has a round red hopper with no baffle, an on/off valve and is attached to the mechanism with a couple of brass knurled knobs. The adjustable disk came with it.

To use my double disks on the upgrade, I hadda scrounge up some longer screws and re use the little metal spacers that originally came with the double disk kit.

So there you have it. Newer models must have a weaker spring. My setup consists of the original hellferstout spring and the new hopper without the baffle and the on/off switch.

Make sense?:confused:

The Bushmaster
December 4, 2005, 01:13 PM
Cropcirclewalker...That answers that question. I have the "old" (oranges) model with the "tougher then he++" spring...I'm stuck with emptying the powder forever...

My appologies...:) The string is not this one...It's "Lee Disc(k) powder Stoppage". If you can hand machine and fit. This did solve my problem with certain powders from causing my Lee single disc measure to hang up...As I have never had a double disc I don't know if it will help...

tube_ee
December 4, 2005, 03:51 PM
The only bad thing with the auto disk powder measure that comes with the turret press kit is, that the hopper (brittle plastic) is fixed to the body with SHEET METAL SCREWS!!! To change the disks, you have to screw them out and no matter how careful you are, the threads in the plastic crack.


Not so. My shootin' bro figured out a way around that problem. A small ~10 mm wrench fits over the end of the actuating lever. Press down on the lever and the disc moves forward. Press down a little farther and the upper part of the actuator slips out of the slot in the disc. You can now slide the disc out of the loader. When you put the new disc in, just make sure the "hand" of the actuator goes into the slot on the bottom of the disc.

Don't do this with the hopper full... You'll dump powder all over your bench.

--Shannon

edited to add that we have the red rectangular hopper, and a stiff-as-he11 spring. You're using the wrench as a lever to operate the acutating lever. It works.

The Bushmaster
December 4, 2005, 04:00 PM
Tube ee...Welcome the best site on the internet...Have you read the above posts? This is not always true. It depends on whether you have an apple or an orange. There are two different Lee Auto discs. One with a wimpy spring and one with a spring from hell...:D

And the cracked thread area can be repaired with a file, some machinable epoxy, a drill bit, drill motor, a machine tape and two machine screws. Or you can spend around $2.00 and order a new one from Lee...:rolleyes:

ATAShooter
December 4, 2005, 08:34 PM
This is the one I've been referring to:http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v326/ATAShooter/powdermeasure.jpg

The Bushmaster
December 5, 2005, 09:24 PM
Yup...!! That's the one...And that spring under the base is not the wimpy one. You have the same one I have and I still find it easier to unscrew one screw and swing it out to change discs. I no longer have the sheet metal screws. I repaired mine and tapped machine threads and use 8-32 X 1" philips head S/S machine screws instead...:cool: It aint pretty (well, not too bad), but it works and for the last 5 years, too...

rick_in_lb
December 5, 2005, 11:33 PM
Yup I have to agree with Bushmaster, one screw out and rotate, get your mind out of the gutter. I have 2 setups and have to fight with my son which disk to use. I think I will break down and buy another setup. Machine screws mmmm good idea, maybe I will use it with my spent primer catcher:D Yup that is one brutal spring!:cuss:
Reload Safe
<><

The Bushmaster
December 5, 2005, 11:48 PM
Rick_in_lb...I cut off the threaded area after it cracked years ago and using machinable apoxy rebuilt the area and drilled and tapped for the screws...I no mess with spring...:D

Lennyjoe
December 6, 2005, 10:48 AM
I use that measure for all of my pistol ammo.

Also use it for .223 and H-335 for range loads. I have to use the double disk set up for the rifle loads.

For that matter, I use the same press too. :)

So far so good.

1858rem
December 5, 2008, 03:44 PM
ok so i know the thread is like 5 or 6 yeas old, but has anyone successfully mounted the perfect powder measure next to there lee turret press so you dont have to deal with changing it to different dies like the autodisk, if anyone has done this could you post a pic of how so? i just got the turret press (4 hole) but have not ordered the auto prime(have the hand prime and a single stage press for deprime/size) but am thinking of advancing from dippers to something quicker to utilize the presses potential, as i am only using it to flare/dip charge and drop, and seat/crimp for now.

SSN Vet
December 5, 2008, 04:06 PM
you can mount the PPM with the unniversal charging die and then swap it from one turret to another easy enough.

you can't do case activated charging with it though.

you'll have to raise the ram and then manually cycle the PPM

1858rem
December 5, 2008, 04:12 PM
so the universal charging die mounts it ontop the die??? super cool! i totally thought i would have to remove every shell after flaring to drop the charge, and since i mentioned that im currently only using the two dies that would be totally ridicules!! deprime size, switch to hand prime, switch to turret press. switch to ppm, and back to the turret to seat/crimp.... welll that is a little bit simpler with the ucd!

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