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Switched from disc to drum lee powder problems

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by Gottcha, Mar 22, 2018.

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  1. Gottcha

    Gottcha Member

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    I have been using the lee disc powder measure but it varies by .1 to .3 at times for 9mm which is a lot. I was using CFE pistol powder and then switched to W231 the disk still varied a lot so I bought the Lee drum because my friend loading .223 has almost no variance between loads and it has great reviews.

    So the issue is the disc with powder through die that expands the case worked great for expanding the case for the bullet but doesn't through consistent charges. I set the drum up tonight which I set graphite through the first 20 throws to lube and destatictize the parts where more consistent but the expander part opens the case WAY too much. The bullet would drop all the way down. I thought no problem I need to adjust the die but the more I backed it out the less powder it dropped. once I got it some kind close to the right expansion it completely stopped dropping powder!!!!!!!!!!! Is there a special die i need or am i missing something??? below is a link to what i have. I don't see a special powder through die for the drum.

    help before I start smashing stuff!

    Edit: also while watching it with the graphite I notice the hole in the drum does not come back inline with the drop chute.

    https://www.midwayusa.com/product/803372/lee-auto-drum-powder-measure
     
  2. Gottcha

    Gottcha Member

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    I can confirm the hopper is open. The powder through die worked great with the disk but the drum it just flares out the case so much the bullet just drops to the powder:(:mad:

    Just check and the I guess you can call it the drop tube from the drum and the disk are the same size so that is not it. I also took apart the extension and cleaned it up but I didn't find anything that would cause a problem.
     
  3. Dudedog
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    Dudedog Contributing Member

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    Hmmm, no special die that I am aware of, I use the same dies with my drum as I did with my pro disk.
    I do use the powder riser but I don't think that should make a difference. If you have one and are not using it try putting it in even though you may not need to raise the measure.
    I don't see think that it will make a difference but if you have a riser it's worth a try.
    I do know that when I have the die backed out that sometimes there is less than full rotation on the drum. I just adjust the throw when I am expanding the cases to get it right. (9mm)

    Maybe something out of spec on the drum??
    Raining outside now, and getting ready for bed, but tomorrow I will go play with both and see if I can duplicate the problem.
    It should be workable because lots of us use the drum for 9mm.

    Take a deep breath, relax and may try adjusting it again.
    Sometimes the gremlins just like to mess with us.
     
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  4. bfox

    bfox Member

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  5. bfox

    bfox Member

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    If the link to youtube worked maybe it will help you .
     
  6. NWPilgrim

    NWPilgrim Member

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    It took me a while to get my Auto Drum set up properly, too. I smashed the mouth of several .223 cases before I got it set so it did a complete throw yet did not put too much pressure on the case mouth. I almost gave up on the damn thing but tried backing it out much more and then discovered the right setting.

    The press has a HUGE amount of leverage and a case mouth is fairly delicate in comparison. You don't want to be jamming it down like you are resizing. :) Start with the die backed out enough that it is not doing a complete throw. Then gradually screw the die in a bit at a time and check the throw and mouth expanding. I think if you creep up on the die setting you will find the sweet spot where it charge and slightly bells the mouth without crumpling it.
     
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  7. someguy2800

    someguy2800 Member

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    It sounds like you may have the screw for the drum too tight to allow it to freely rotate it. I've never had the problem you describe. I set the screw just tight enough to give some resistance on the drum.

    I recommend you empty the powder from the measure and set the die to give you the amount of flare you want and lock it down. Then tighten the drum screw until it just starts to stick when you raise the press handle. Back it off a bit until the drum moves freely and you should be good to go.
     
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  8. drband

    drband Member

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    ^^^^THIS^^^^
     
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  9. Gottcha

    Gottcha Member

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    Going to give it another try in a few minutes. if i can't get it i'll post a video of whats going on to better show the issue.
     
  10. Gottcha

    Gottcha Member

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    SOLVED!! I was more concerned with getting more accurate powder drops with the drum vs the disc that I was using fresh tumbled brass that had NOT been resized(still had the used primer so the powder would not fall out) turns out that unsized brass that goes through an expander die will always end up over sized:eek: causing the bullet to drop almost to the bottom of the case! I resized some brass and reset everything the way it was with the disk and it works perfect:what: (insert donkey emoji here)
     
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  11. kcofohio
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    kcofohio Contributing Member

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    It happens! I think most, if not all have had our duh! moments.
    A least you caught it before going through Lee and waited precious time to find the same results. :)
     
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  12. 1KPerDay

    1KPerDay Member

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    lol I was going to ask... were you using unsized brass just to get the drop set up? Glad you figured it out.
     
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  13. Gottcha

    Gottcha Member

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    Exactly what happen. Well I got a lot of good tips on the drum measure and won't ever do that again..
     
  14. splattergun

    splattergun Member

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    Now that you have that figured out I'msure you'll like the performance of it. I'm getting very consistent throws with W231.

    The drum measure can be a little bit persnikity to set up, but once you've figured out its secrets it becomes a little dream machine. ONe of the features I like best is simply changing a drum for a different powder charge while leaving the measure in place.
     
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