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powder measure quandary

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by Wilfirt, Mar 24, 2013.

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  1. Wilfirt

    Wilfirt Member

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    Hello all,
    I'm new here, and pretty new to reloading. I have got myself in a quandary and was hoping someone here could give some recomendations. I have a Lee turret press with one of their auto disk measures on it. I don't like it. It leaks all over the place, hard to set up those disks, on and on.
    I intend to replace it, and I have come to 2 options. Option 1 is to get one of their kits to upgrade it to a pro disk measure. Simple enough, but is that good enough?
    Option 2 is to get another brand measure (rcbs, lyman, etc?) and set up with it. The way I have put my equip together it would be a simple matter to build an overhead for the other brand so it can be over the whole press and run through the powder thru expander die. It would be separate and not rotating with the turret. I do like that, as the powder hopper going roundie round with the turret somehow bothers me.
    I am reloading primarily because my go-to gun is a Marlin 94 in 357. I want to have large enough quantities of hunting loads so I can afford to practice with them.
     
  2. jim243

    jim243 Member

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    Yes it is, the Pro Powder Measure uses what is called a "Wipe" at the bottom of the dispenser (foam rubber gasket). This will help in keeping fine powder from leaking. (you must be using Power Pistol or AA #5 for powder).

    Or you could just change your powder to Win 231 or H-38.

    Jim
     
  3. hentown

    hentown Member

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    Or, you could get a real powder drop, like an RCBS Uniflo or Hornady, along with the Hornady case-activated kit. That'd be my choice.
     
  4. kingmt

    kingmt Member

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    The RCBS & LNL are almost alike & both suck compared to the Pro Auto Disk. I have no idea about the conversion kit tho.
     
  5. James2

    James2 Member

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    I have sure enjoyed the Lyman 55 Powder Measure. It has 3 slides and can accurately meter any quantity you want. Not one complaint here.
     
  6. Lost Sheep

    Lost Sheep Member

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    Welcome to the forum and to reloading. Thanks for asking our advice.

    Where does it leak from?

    The Auto-Disk powder measure (and nearly every other powder measure on the market) "likes" some powders better than others. Inconsistency and leakage are the symptoms of such dislike.

    However, leakage can sometimes be cured by tightening up the hopper. But be careful, the standard hopper has the mounting screws simply threaded into the plastic hopper and will strip out easily.

    If the problem is too much clearance between the hopper and the top face of the disk, one person posting in another thread suggested removing a few ten-thousandths of an inch from the sides of the measure the hopper sits on. A piece of emory cloth or fine sandpaper secured to a flat surface, and he simply rubbed the (upside-down) Auto-Disk base on the sandpaper. This solved the problem he had of too much clearance between the disk and the hopper's bottom. Frankly, before I did that, I would remove material from the hopper's sides (leaving the center portion where the powder's outlet hole is) alone. The hopper only costs a couple of dollars if you ruin it.

    Yes, changing disks/holes is a pain. It is easier on the Pro because you can turn the powder flow off and remove the hopper more easily.

    Lost Sheep
     
  7. Wilfirt

    Wilfirt Member

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    Leaking around the bottom of the hopper with Win 296.
    If I tighten it down a bit then it sticks.
    I have some background in machine design. When I saw that they had actually designed this gadget so that you have to screw and unscrew steel screws into plastic I lost a lot of confidence. That is just breakage waiting to happen.
    The groups I am shooting are not as good as with factory ammo. I am wondering if the powder measure may not be throwing as consistently as I would like.
     
  8. Fire_Moose

    Fire_Moose Member

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    You should for sure be using a scale to check throws. You cannot trust the auto disk tables.

    Sent from my CZ85 Combat
     
  9. hentown

    hentown Member

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    Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha! Enough said! :cool:
     
  10. Wilfirt

    Wilfirt Member

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    definitely double checking with a scale. with Win 296 I'm getting a variance of around .1 - now that I look at my notes it is either high or low. In other words, from .1 below what it should be to .1 over. Around 60-70% are spot on. I checked this by filling 10-20 cases and dumping each one on the digi scale. I did this several times and then checked every 5-10 rounds as I was loading. It seems to me that measuring each and every load would defeat the purpose of a turret mounted measure. I would prefer to make the measure throw accurately.
     
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2013
  11. kingmt

    kingmt Member

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    I've used all three & the Pro is by far the best. I'm glad the other 2 are gone. I bought them new and was so happy that they resold. The other 2 cost way more then they are worth. I'm sorry you pay too much in your ego is hurt.
     
  12. tcanthonyii

    tcanthonyii Member

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    Wow. I'm in love with my auto disk. I have VERY slight leakage with TightGroup. After a few thousand rounds there's some flakes of powder around but nothing I'm concerned about. it's dead on every throw every time. Adjust-ability does leave a little to be desired. You're kinda stuck with small loads to what the disks have to offer unless you buy extras and experiment with a few mods which I will be doing the in short future. Still after using my dad's dillon and seeing it be off +or- .2 grains with TG No way would I trust something like that. In rifle I would. but not not on a small cartridge.

    How much leakage are we talking about? I have no experience with others except the Lee and dillon.
     
  13. KansasSasquatch

    KansasSasquatch Member

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    I'll second that idea. I have no experience with the Lee Auto Disk, or Pro, but I know the Lee PPM leaks like crazy, feels flimsy as hell, won't hold 1lb of powder, and it doesn't operate too smoothly. It did meter right on the money but it also leaked as much around the case as it put in the case. If the Auto Disk is anything like that I'll never get one. I don't load anything close enough to MAX that .1gr is going to blow up a gun or make any difference in performance. I like my 2 Hornady powder measures and wouldn't hesitate to buy a 3rd if I needed one (or an RCBS). I got lucky and found someone that wanted to trade a Hornady for a PPM.... DEAL!!!
     
  14. grubbylabs

    grubbylabs Member

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    I am right there with you. I have an RCBS, and a Hornady, both work really well. I bought a Lee PPM and was all to happy to give it away. I am not sure why some people are so die hard Lee that they completely discount any thing else. I think they make some good stuff, but some of their stuff should have never left the drawing board. I know that the stuff of their that I do have is great and I think they do it well, but their is a reason there are several different brands of reloading equipment.

    Personally I think that the LNL with an appropriately sized rotor (rifle or pistol) on their case activated linkage is a great idea. I use their case activated linkage with my uniflow on my ProJector press. It is a pleasure to use.
     
  15. KansasSasquatch

    KansasSasquatch Member

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    I'm definitely not bashing Lee. I know that their stuff is generally priced so that virtually anyone can afford it. And the PPM would probably be a great little powder measure....if they could stop the leakage. What you save on the powder measure you're going to lose 20x over in powder loss. I'm not a fan of scooping up powder that is potentially contaminated, with debris or other random powder, and putting it back in the hopper. Decent for a beginner but anyone that sticks with reloading for an extended period should definitely upgrade sooner or later....maybe even to the Auto Disk Pro??
     
  16. tcanthonyii

    tcanthonyii Member

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    The Lee PPM hasn't leaked for me so far but I've only run RL 22, and 4831 though it. I could see where a small flake or ball powder could cause a problem though. I'll have to try it out just to see. From what I've read though is that it can be aleviated.

    Smooth? Oh no. I wouldn't call the Lee PPM smooth but it's plastic and 20 bucks. I'm sure I'll try something else someday but for now it works for me. And I have something else to test out now!!
     
  17. GT1

    GT1 Member

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    Yep, the PPM doesn't like fine ball, and I think it doesn't get much finer than 296/110. The PPM can be polished up to take the leakage down to nothing with most ball powder, but that powder is very fine. I doubt there is a measure that won't leak a little using it.
     
  18. greybeard57

    greybeard57 Member

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    I have the pro model auto disk and use the charge bar. I've had some good luck with it but I have not used anything else so I can't offer up a comparison. The pro style has a silicone seal under the hopper that the disk or bar slides against which prevents most leakage. Before I used the measure for the first time I ran my fingers over it to find any nubs or high spots and worked them down with a hobby knife using a scraping motion. The same thing could be done with a safety back razor blade. I would hesitate to use sandpaper on the plastic because it comes with a shiny finish so I wanted as much of it to stay shiny and wear in together with all the other sliding surfaces as possible.
     
  19. Lost Sheep

    Lost Sheep Member

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    Please note that when I suggested sandpapering down the edges of the hopper, I purposely avoided sandpapering down the center where the powder comes out (the shiny, very smooth part).

    The shaving down is only appropriate if there actually is too much clearance between the surface of the disk and the bottom of the hopper, which is kind of rare.

    The "fitting" of parts by shaping is not to be attempted lightly. Usually it is better by simply wearing in. Or contacting Lee for replacement under warranty. Whatever works.

    Lost Sheep
     
  20. dickttx

    dickttx Member

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    I have an Ohaus Duo-Measure, an RCBS Uniflow, a Hornady that came with my LnL AP, and a couple of Pro Auto Disks. The PAD's are by far the easiest to use and most consistent. I use the PAD's on my LnL, as well as my LCT.
    If you have the LCT, NO OTHER measure will work nearly as well. Trying to use something else will negate a great deal of the usefulness of the LCT. I have not used the regular auto disk but from what I have read and heard I would just buy a PRO rather than trying to convert. Even with the conversion I don't believe you would have a complete PAD.
     
  21. david_r

    david_r Member

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    My pro powder measure leaks a little with AA powders which are very fine. My standard powder measure also sticks with the fine powders if I tighten it enough to reduce leakage. I rotated it so that the disk is towards me on powder drop and pop it all the way back while I'm looking in the shell for a full charge. I don't know if that sticking would be eliminated with the pro conversion as the conversion kit doesn't give you the teflon coated body.

    Interesting idea you have there of hanging a powder measure over the turret. I think the measure going around the turret helps settle the powder in the disk and provide consistency throw to throw as the powder volume drops.

    You can pull the spring off the arm to change disks so you aren't wearing out the screw holes. A key ring makes this a tool less affair. Of course with the regular one, you do need to dump the hopper first.

    .2 grams of that powder is about .013 CC if my math is correct or 0.13% variance on a 15 grain load. I think your expectations are a little high if you expect any powder measure to be more precise than that.
     
  22. germ

    germ Member

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    Reading this thread it would appear that you have the auto disk and not the PPM as some have asserted. That being the case, just get the auto disk update from Lee and your problems are virtually solved. I did this for mine and it works pretty darned well. It also eliminates the screws-into-the-plastic-hopper. I also use a modified adjustable charge bar with great success, even with small charges.

    And for what it's worth, my Hornady PM works great (admittedly not so great with stick though). Just have to make sure you clean it very well to start with and use the pistol and rifle rotors where appropriate.
     
  23. Wilfirt

    Wilfirt Member

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    Listening to people who have a lot of experience with many types of powder measures, and taking into account what my reloading goals are, I decided to get the upgrade kit. This will make my Lee auto disk into something almost exactly like an auto disk pro. Apparently the only difference will be the lack of a teflon coating. Not sure how I can ever live without a teflon coating, but I'll muddle through somehow.
    Thank you all for your advice on it.
     
  24. Hondo 60

    Hondo 60 Member

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    I don't know what you mean by that!

    I have a Uniflow (RCBS) and its head & shoulders above any Lee measure.
    It's much sturdier, & I haven't tried a powder that doesn't measure perfectly with it.
    But I do have problems with a LOT of the powders I've tried with a Lee Pro Auto Disk Measure.

    I don't want to sound like I'm bashing Lee.
    I use a lot of their dies & the Breechlock single stage press. - They work GREAT.
     
  25. twofifty

    twofifty Member

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    Finally, someone's stuck in a real honest to goodness quandary.
    ;)
     
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