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Lee Auto Disk Powder Measure

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by WhoKnowsWho, Feb 2, 2003.

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  1. WhoKnowsWho

    WhoKnowsWho Member

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    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.
     
  2. Sisco

    Sisco Member

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    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.
     
  3. WhoKnowsWho

    WhoKnowsWho Member

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    Sounds pretty pointless to get the "Perfect" measure then. I'll add the powder through die to the shopping list. Thanks!
     
  4. bfox

    bfox Member

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    Get the Adjustable charge bar to,
    like Sisco said.
    Good Luck . Bill
     
  5. Mike Irwin

    Mike Irwin Member

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    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.
     
  6. Sisco

    Sisco Member

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    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.
     
  7. GooseGestapo

    GooseGestapo Member

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    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.
     
  8. Mike Irwin

    Mike Irwin Member

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    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.
     
  9. RobW

    RobW Member

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    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!
     
  10. Sisco

    Sisco Member

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    I thought I was wrong once. Turns out I was mistaken. :D
     
  11. bogie

    bogie Member

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    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.
     
  12. Monte Harrison

    Monte Harrison Member

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    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.
     
  13. WhoKnowsWho

    WhoKnowsWho Member

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    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! :)
     
  14. Mike Irwin

    Mike Irwin Member

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    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.
     
  15. WhoKnowsWho

    WhoKnowsWho Member

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    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.
     
  16. Standing Wolf

    Standing Wolf Member in memoriam

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    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.
     
  17. Mike Irwin

    Mike Irwin Member

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    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.
     
  18. dfrog

    dfrog Member

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    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.
     
  19. Freedom in theSkies

    Freedom in theSkies Member

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    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...
     
  20. keano44

    keano44 Member

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    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.
     
  21. MoNsTeR

    MoNsTeR Member

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    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.
     
  22. Pendragon

    Pendragon Member

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    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.
     
  23. RobW

    RobW Member

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    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!
     
  24. Fatelvis

    Fatelvis Member

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    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.
     
  25. Strings

    Strings Member

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    ditto what has been said...

    ... 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
     
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