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powder measure consistancy

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by bender, Nov 27, 2006.

  1. bender

    bender Well-Known Member

    the measure I am using now is a Lyman #55. It is extremely consistant with some of my powders, for example win231 and Accurate 1680.

    With some other powders, such as 2400 and H322, it takes a lot of fiddling to even get it to throw what I want, and once I get it thowing correctly, it is not very consistant. For example, one charge might be 22.3gr and then the next charge might be 22.7gr.

    I am thinking that most measures use the same technology (sliders) to measure powder, so I would think that any of these type of measures would be about the same.

    Or are some measures more consistant than the lyman 55?
    I'm wondering if I should buy another one.
  2. Firehand

    Firehand Well-Known Member

    I've got a Hornady that 2400 flows through like water, never a jam or hangup; Unique and Bullseye can be a pain in the arse to get consistent measures.

    If you find one that works smoothly with all of them, I want to know what it is. Especially one that will work with stick powders for loading rifle ammo.
  3. Grumulkin

    Grumulkin Well-Known Member

    Inconsistency in powder measures is why the majority of the time I weigh all my charges.
  4. Duckbill

    Duckbill Active Member

    I weigh all of mine regardless. I drop, then trickle to exact weight. Generally your ball powders meter well, but stick powders are a pain. You get the big "crunch" most of the time.
  5. JA

    JA Well-Known Member

    Last year VHA magazine had a article on powder measure consistancy. The most consistant was the $310 Harrel measure used by benchrest shooters. The most consistant of the cheaper common brands was the RCBS Uniflow. The article did stress that a smooth technique when operating the handle of any powder measure made a real big difference in the charge to charge consistancy. Bumping the handle at the end of it stroke into the stop which you would think would allow the powder to settle into the measuring chamber the most consistanly really resulted in the most inconsistant charge to charge weights.
  6. Sunray

    Sunray Well-Known Member

    "...more consistant..." It usually has to do with the shape of the powder granules. Extruded powders, looks like wee sticks, tend to get stuck in some powder throwers. Flake and ball powders don't as much. Sometimes technique can make a difference. Tapping the thrower can help. Sometimes. Mind you, some throwers just don't like extruded powders. Having more than one thrower isn't a bad idea.
  7. JackOfAllTradesMasterAtNone

    JackOfAllTradesMasterAtNone Well-Known Member

    I've had a #55.. Years ago I switched to an RCBS Uniflo and my Dillon measure. The Dillon throws flaked powder more accurately than the Lyman or the Uniflo. Or any other measure I've used over the years. For tubular powders the Uniflo is best in moderate price ranges.

  8. cracked butt

    cracked butt Well-Known Member

    I've been using a Uniflow for extruded powders like 4895 and 4064 for several years, it works and is fairly consistant as long as you have a consistant routine while using a baffle and keeping the hopper full. I recently bought a $20 Lee Perfect measure and as absurd as it sounds, it far less finnicky and much more consistant than the RCBS at least on the stick powders I've used it on so far- RL-22, 4064, and 4895.
  9. Idano

    Idano Well-Known Member

    I am in agreement I think the RCBS Uniflow is very consistent. In fact I just bought my second one so I have one set up for pistol and one for rifle on my Hornady progressive. I couldn't get the Hornady power measure setup so it was as repeatable as my Uniflow so now it is on the stand for when I load on my Rock Chucker.
  10. bender

    bender Well-Known Member

    I have been using someone else's Lyman #55, and I like it pretty good. I was just wondering about the inconsistancy with a few powders. I will need to buy one for myself when I start reloading in my own house. I may buy the RCBS Uniflow.

    If I end up buying a Hornady LnL progressive, I assume it will come with a Hornady measure... ? I'd still like to have a separate Uniflow even if I have one on a progressive.
  11. JackOfAllTradesMasterAtNone

    JackOfAllTradesMasterAtNone Well-Known Member

    Yes, you'll find that there are lot of reloaders that have a progressive press with that vendor's measure mounted. But there are a lot of us that -even though I love my Dillon press and measure, I have an RCBS Rockchucker mounted on the bench with a Uniflo mounted separately.

  12. db_tanker

    db_tanker Well-Known Member

    I guess I am just a Lyman junkie...

    I use the #55 for most of my short runs...I have a Lee Auto disk on the turret press for loading out 38 spec. for the girlfriend...and a Lyman DPS 1200 for most of my rifle loads...I have gotten quite fond of my technological terror there...easy to clean up (IMO that is) and it gives pretty dang good accuracy on throwing both ball and stick loads...all it is really is an automated trickler with a big reservoir and scale.

  13. bender

    bender Well-Known Member

    "cracked butt" mentioned that the Lee Perfect Powder Measure was consistant with his stick powders. Does anyone else have any comments on this cheapo measure?

    If this is a good measure, I'll have to get one, since its only $19 !


    How is it with pistol powders? I mostly use win231, which meters perfectly in a Lyman #55. Rifle powders I'm using now include AA 1680, which also meters perfectly in a Lyman #55. I'm using my buddies #55 measure, so that's why I'm interested in getting a measure for myself.
  14. shadowalker

    shadowalker Well-Known Member

    I use a RCBS Uniflow and once it broke in I haven't had any trouble with Unique.
  15. Waddison

    Waddison member

    Lee Perfect measure

    I have the Lee Perfect measure, a RCBS Uniflow and RCBS electronic dispenser/scale gizmo. The uniflow pretty much stays in it's box unless I am loading large granule extruded rifle powder enmasse.

    I use the Electronic PM/S primarily for load development where precise load charges are more important than volume. I do use the Lee PPM for pistol loads nearly exclusively. (.38 Spec., .357 Mag., .41 Mag, .44 Mag - I'm a revolver guy. What can I say?) It performs very well with Bullseye, Blue Dot, and Unique. Also does well with W748, W760, AA2230. Consistently within .1gn. It's not as good with extruded powders like IMR 4064, IMR 4350 and larger granules.

    Only thing I complain about is it tends to leak slightly at its seams. makes a mess if you're loading any volume.:(

  16. SIRVEYR666

    SIRVEYR666 Well-Known Member

    Have you tried "Lee Powder Dippers"? My brother has used them for years and swears by them. He says that they're very consistant.
  17. Idano

    Idano Well-Known Member

    Okay I have to ask why:

    The first thing I did on my Lee Load Master was toss the Lee Power Measure and add a RCBS case activated linkage to my Uniflow just because of the leakage issue. You do need both the large and small drums for the Uniflow, but I never seen it throw a charge that wasn't within a 10th of a grain. Even though I use a progressive I still randomly weigh the powder drops, you can't be too careful.

    However, I have heard that Lee's Power Disk Measure is very accurate works very well with ball type power.
  18. bender

    bender Well-Known Member

    yes, I have the whole set. They would be nice, except for the fact that there are extreme gaps in the sizes. For example, lets say that dipper X holds 13gr of 4195. The next size dipper may hold 21 or 22gr of 4195. If you are wanting to load 18gr, then neither dipper is helpful. One is way to small, the next size up is way too big.

    I'm just guessing at these numbers, I'm at work now... :)
  19. Waddison

    Waddison member

    I need to clarify, I load exclusively on a Rockchucker single stage. Time is not of the essence when I load. Economy is important to me, yes, but the handloading is a satisfying hobby unto itself for me. Therefore I like my single stage press and have for 22 years.
    I rarely load large rifle cases "enmasse", so to speak. If I do, it is for marksmanship practice and not compettition. Therefore I would be practicing the mechanics of shooting rather than the precision and would be using non-competition components. I will load practice ammo (and pistol ammo, too) by "batch" method. Accordingly, I will set the powder measure and will throw the powder charges, checking each 10th charge for consistency. In a large volume case like a .30-06 or .300 win. mag., a .1 or .2 variation is relatively unnoticeable for practice ammo, for the most part.
    For competition, I will use volume matched brass, match grade primers and bullets and will precisely weigh each powder charge. Therefore the RCBS techno-marvel powered measure/scale combo. Nothing quite like digital pecision, huh?:D

    I don't know why it (Lee PPM) leaks at the sides of the drum, but it does. (Mine does.:( ) It is particularly noticible with ball powders and flake powders like Bullseye. It's not a lot, but enough to make a mess. If you tighten things up enough to stop the leakage, then it starts to bind and is difficult to rotate consistently, the key to consistent charges, of course.

    I find the Lee measuring volume tube to be very repeatable if you record the setting numbers in a notebook with the powder you are using. It makes it easy to set up and start throwing accurate (relatively) charges. Fine tuning for batch runs is a snap. Though the RCBS is probably just as accurate once adjusted, accurate changes to charges and when changing powders is a lot of unneecessary tedium. I just got used to the LPPM's calibrated system. It's very cheaply made, but the darn thing works! :scrutiny:
    Can't speak for the Powder Disk, tho. I don't have one.

  20. HSMITH

    HSMITH Well-Known Member

    The best manual powder measure I have used that costs less than $175 is the Redding 3BR, it is a good bit better than the Lyman, RCBS, Hornady and everything else I have tried no matter what powder is used.

    A smooth stroke on the measure isn't critical, what is critical is that the stroke used is CONSISTENT. If you want to bang the handle like you borrowed it from a brother-in-law you hate go for it, just do it that way every time and you will have all the consistency that measure will offer. If the measure doesn't have a baffle in it get one, it makes a HUGE difference. If you won't use a baffle keep the measure full, it will help.

    The Lee PPM is good with stick powders, I don't know how but it works. It sucks with flake powders and fine powders will probably leak. Is it worth $20? Yes, it is. Is it one you can do everything with? No, I wouldn't.

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