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Lee .223 Powder thru expander die!!

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by treebeard, Dec 20, 2006.

  1. treebeard

    treebeard Well-Known Member

    I just got all my stuff together to start loading .223. I purchased the Lee Powder thru expander die and it is giving me inaccurate measurements almost every other charge. Also, it seems the conversion chart (disk vs. grains) is not giving me what it is supposed to. Example: The 1.57 disk is supposed to give me 24.3 grains but I am getting 24.9-25.0 grains. The 1.46 disk is supposed to give me 22.6 and I am getting 23 grains. What's up? I don't have this issue loading .45ACP, the charge is the same 99% of the time. Yes my scale is zeroed. Is there a better way to load the powder because if there is I am all for it. Also, is it me or is seating the bullet a little more tricky because you are not expanding the casemouth like on .45ACP or .38Sp? Thanks in advance for any help/suggestions.
  2. SIRVEYR666

    SIRVEYR666 Well-Known Member

    I don't think it's the powder thru die that is causing screwy measurments, it's the charge disks. What brand of powder are you using? Each powder meters differently. I had the same problem with Lee's chart. I just used it as a starting point, and made my own chart through trial and error.

    I can't help you with the seating question. I haven't loaded .223...yet.
  3. treebeard

    treebeard Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the response. I am starting to wonder if the Lee conversion chart is screwy. It says that for Hodgdon 335 The 1.57 disk is supposed to give me 24.3 grains but I am getting 24.9-25.0 grains. The 1.46 disk is supposed to give me 22.6 and I am getting 23 grains. I think I may just move to a different type of powder charging system.
  4. lamazza

    lamazza Well-Known Member

    Thats the system I started with and chucked it for the same reasons. you are better aff getting an inexpensive scale.
  5. Lone_Gunman

    Lone_Gunman Well-Known Member

    You need a scale to check your weights every so often, but the Auto Disk system works, you just have to play around with it.

    The conversion chart should be thought of as kind of a guideline, and not a hard rule. Try what the chart says, and weigh the amount it dispenses, then adjust as necessary to get the weight you want.
  6. treebeard

    treebeard Well-Known Member

    I just ordered the RCBS RangeMaster 750 Electronic Powder Scale 110 Volt unit. It got reviews and I really need a more accurate one anyways. I guess it is time to upgrade after a year of reloading.
  7. Lennyjoe

    Lennyjoe Well-Known Member

    I use the autodisc and H-335 for range .223 loads and had the same issue. Like others said, the chart is a starting point. I drop powder, measure with a 5-0-5 and adjust until I get the charge I want. I went with the micro disc set up so I can double disc to get the amount of powder I want for my loads. Works better that way instead of using a 1.57 bushing
  8. db_tanker

    db_tanker Well-Known Member

    I have the auto disc setup on my little turret press for 38 spec...and I felt it prudent to get the adjustable charge bar...works MUCH better than the discs...much easier to use as you just dial it in like you would a standard powder thrower.

  9. treebeard

    treebeard Well-Known Member

    I wish I had the micro disks. I ordered the RCBS UNIFLOW POWDER MEASURE w/2 DROP TUBES so I should have that next week. I will just have to be a little more wary until then. :D
  10. Sisco

    Sisco Well-Known Member

    Another vote for the adjustable charge bar.
  11. treebeard

    treebeard Well-Known Member

    Man, that conversion chart is wacked! I am doing some 69gr. Sierra HPBT loads with AA 2230 and the 1.57 disk is not even close to what is says in the chart. It's a good thing we have this forum!:D
  12. cracked butt

    cracked butt Well-Known Member

    The odds that the lots of powders used by Lee to calibrate the discs are the same that you are using are astronomically not in your favor. Powder will vary somewhat from one lot to another, always check your measure with a scale when you change your powder lot. Then again, 1.57 cc of powder is always going to be 1.57 cc of powder, while the weight may vary.
  13. GooseGestapo

    GooseGestapo Well-Known Member

    Ditto what "CrackedButt" said.

    Always check the charges with a scale. The small variance in drop weight with the Spherical/Ball powders is not a big issue.

    I've seen considerable variances in Lot# to Lot#'s in the powders through the years. I've seen Bullseye and the 0.27 cavity run from 2.6 to 2.9grs with different lot's. That's over 10% by the way !!!

    As long as you aren't pushing maximum loads, (These should ALWAYS BE WEIGHED !!), you probably can't shoot the difference.

    I tried three different powders through a friends 14lb match AR15 to see if we could see the difference in weighed, and single loaded vs. the progressive loader (I was using a Lee Pro-1000).

    There was no discernable difference in accuracy. "Some" difference was evident in chronographing the ammo, but it didn't show up at the target. In fact, due to small statistical samples, the "average's" favored the "thrown" charges vs. the weighed.

    Extruded powders will favor weighed as they don't "meter" as well as the ball/spherical powders.

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