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Who makes a good powder measure?

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by viking499, Sep 30, 2010.

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  1. viking499

    viking499 Member

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    Who makes a good, reliable, accurate powder measure? One that can be mounted on a stand next to my single stage and used and used and used.
     
  2. juniustaylor

    juniustaylor Member

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    I'll probably get shunned, but I have been using the Lee Perfect Powder Measure for some time now with good results. Normally +/- 0.1 grain from what I want them to be at. It's cheap, somewhat flimsy, but has worked excellent for me for less than $20. I actually got it for free from a friend (for being a good friend). The important thing with any powder measure is consistency. Every time you raise and lower that handle, do exactly what you did the last time and do it exactly how you set it up. The Lyman 55 is another good one. Has a little knocker deal on it. I use a similar method with my Lee, I just tap it with my finger a certain amount of times every time I raise or lower the handle. Good luck.
     
  3. RevolverDan

    RevolverDan Member

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    Hornady
     
  4. jcwit

    jcwit Member

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    Lee Perfect Powder Measure drops as accurate as any, just doesn't have any bragging rights.

    If you need bragging rights call Sinclare.
     
  5. rfwobbly

    rfwobbly Member

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    There are several great powder measure available. Since the measure actually moves very little and is lubricated by the graphite on the powder, used ones are generally the way to go since they show little wear and are plentiful. Great measures have been widely available since about 1970.

    Although Lee makes a great little measure, not all their models are infinitely adjustable and, being plastic, they can suffer from static electricity at certain times of the year. Your best measures are going to be metallic and fully adjustable.

    Some measures, like the RCBS UniFlow, come with 2 cylinders to cover the wide range of delivery needs from small pistol all the way up to your larger rifle cartridges. Lyman makes a great measure by incorporating a unique 3-size sliding chamber design. Redding makes great measures, but (if I have my info right) you buy either buy a pistol or rifle unit. Hornady has a nice unit they supply with their presses. There are numerous other brands but those are the most common.

    Lyman and RCBS both make universal stands for powder measures. Like so...
    [​IMG]

    The swappable cylinders as found on RCBS and Hornady measures...
    [​IMG]

    Any of the older measures can be improved by the addition of a "baffle". You can get the plans for baffle free by CLICKING HERE.

    So to answer your question, we need to know are you loading rifle, pistol, or everything?

    ;)
     
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2010
  6. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Member

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    If you want to spend some money buy a RCBS Uniflow. If you want something that works very well for not a lot of money buy a Lee Perfect Powder Measure like I did. It feels cheep but it is very accurate. The money you save is considerable and can be put to better use for components.
     
  7. firstater

    firstater Member

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    I had no luck with the Lee perfect powder measure when using fine powders. It kept leaking all over the floor from around the drum. Charges were inconsistent. I made several attemps at fixing it and gave up in frustration. I purchased a metallic drum type from redding and have been very happy so far. Like rfwobbly said, there don't seem to be too many parts that would wear, I would look at used market as well for a metallic drum type.
     
  8. ole farmerbuck

    ole farmerbuck Member

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    I have 2 RCBS and 2 Hornady for the LNL's. All 4 work great.
     
  9. JimKirk

    JimKirk Member

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    I have to say the RCBS Uniflow... Worked great for me for 41+ years now... I see no need to change.

    Jimmy K
     
  10. Dunkelheit

    Dunkelheit Member

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    I use a Redding 3BR, very accurate with a tolerance of +/- 0,1 gr
     
  11. Winston_Smith

    Winston_Smith Member

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    I have a Harrell and Lee perfect. I like the Harrell better because of the discrete adjustment. With a little practice on my technique I have been able to get very consistent throws. The lee is more diffict to adjust and just feels cheap (it is)
     
  12. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    Harrels, Redding, RCBS.......
     
  13. ranger335v

    ranger335v Member

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    Lessee...I've used and had good luck with Lee's "Perfect", Lyman 55, Redding 3BR, RCBS Uniflow, Hornady and an old Herters. Meaning, all of them work fine but some features vary. Actually, it's splitting hairs between them.

    "Accuracy" comes from adjustment, consistancy comes from proper operation. All of them are capabile of good consistancy IF the user has the proper technique. And that comes from experimention and experience.

    For ball powders, ANY measure works well except maybe the Lee's. For coarse tubular rifle powders Lee's plastic bodied Perfect may work the best of any but it's not so great with the ball powders unless it's carefully adjusted to reduce leaking. However it's so inexpensive some guys buy one just for tubular powders and use others for other powders.

    Lyman's 55 has three adjustable slides; get them correct for the powder type and charge amount and it does well. At least RCBS and Redding sell both large and small chambers to allow us to better match the chamber size for the charge volume.

    Fine flake powders don't work well in any measure. Thin flakes get between the drum and body to bind things so smooth operation becomes impossible.


    The NRA tested most of the measures on the market many years ago. They found the Redding "Master" (forerunner of the current 3BR) to be slighly more consistant than others and I've found mine to be as good as I need. But I do trickle up charges of big tubular powders and just drop the rest.
     
  14. James2

    James2 Member

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    Lyman 55.
     
  15. noylj

    noylj Member

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    They all can work well and they all can have problems.
    I really like the Hornady measure, the Dillon measure, and the Lee Pro Auto-Disk.
     
  16. bigtony

    bigtony Member

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    I have a Uniflow with both cylinders and and old Bair model with a micrometer. Both work great.
     
  17. Hangingrock

    Hangingrock Member

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    Powder measures there are the more popular that have been mentioned. One that I like is the Belding & Mull. The company was originally in Philipsburg (Centre County PA) but ceased business operations in the nineteen-seventies/eighties or there about.

    The measure is unique with a stationary powder hopper that is over a horizontal sliding reservoir that dispenses powder into a removable measuring/volume adjustable drop-tube. Not as complicated as it sounds. The design principle was that the horizontal sliding reservoir always has a constant head/volume of powder no matter the stationary powder hoppers powder level.
    I’ve used it exclusively with the IMR series of powders such as 4064, 4895, 4350, and etcetera.

    There is or was a company that acquired the design and I believe made similar units with modifications.
     
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2010
  18. noylj

    noylj Member

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    Lee's Perfect Powder Measure

    They unit leaks if you do not have the tension set right.
    You can not adjust the tension with powder in the measure, as the powder has leaked and it in between the two cones that are tensioned.
    1) disassemble the measure and look at the parts. Inspect for any mold flashing left.
    2) you HAVE to process it initially with powder containing graphite. What I did, instead of cycling a whole hopper of Unique, was the take the Frankford Arsenal Cast Bullet Mold lubricant (powder graphite) and very lightly sprayed the internal plastic parts. This both lubes and conducts static electricity.
    3) Reassemble and adjust tension. Tension should be one pound or slightly more. If fine grain powder leaks, you can either put a paper or pan to catch the powder or you need to disassembly, clean the inside of powder, and reassemble with a higher tension (not to exceed 4 pounds). The use of conical sections means that the measure will wear into a tighter fit rather than wearing out.
    So, the key is graphite coating the internal parts and adjust the tension of a clean measure.
    It is a crappy piece of $%&# that can do its job wonderfully if the user will take the time to learn how it needs to be treated.
    If I wanted a general powder measure and had the money, I would get the Hornady L-N-L measure. Great machine. Worked wonderfully on the L-N-L progressive and was easy to work with.
     
  19. EddieNFL

    EddieNFL member

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  20. bds

    bds Member

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    EddieNFL, for the price of that NJ powder measure of around $400, doesn't the Hornady L-N-L AP press come with "FREE" Lock-N-Load® powder measure? :eek: :D
     
  21. ole farmerbuck

    ole farmerbuck Member

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    Yep! And a darn good one at that.:)
     
  22. rockhunter

    rockhunter Member

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    Current models In no order of quality all excellent, Redding, Hornady, RCBS a nice time saving addition to any of them is a micrometer metering assembly.
     
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2010
  23. Hondo 60

    Hondo 60 Member

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    I have the Uniflow from RCBS & A Lee Pro Auto-Disk Powder Measure.
    Both measure very well.

    Like rfwobbly, I have my RCBS on a stand & it works great for reloading .223.
    I just put 'em in a loading block & charge. Then I can see everyone of 'em is correctly charged.
     
  24. Offfhand

    Offfhand Member

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    I think I have owned and used most powder measures. (Thinking back over the years I recall having 14 different models and I may be forgetting some.) Most of them have worked pretty well (meaning consistent) when properly used, so ranking their quality is largely matters of relative convenience such as ease of setting, smoothness, overall quality, etc. As to which has been the best I've owned, it has to be the Bruno, by a wide margin. This is because of its precision, consistency, repeatability of setting, uniformity, plus quality of materials and workmanship. I'm attaching a couple of photos (excuse my usual poor photography) showing the outside and inside of one of my Bruno measures, which gives some idea of the overall quality, especially the inside finish. (You learn more about the quality of a measure by looking inside than outside.) The Brunos sold for over $400. when last offered, but Bruno now says he's stopped production until he gets a handle on production costs in order to keep price in $300. range. Other excellent powder measures are the RFDodd, and Harrells. The Jones is good too but seems overpriced compared to the others mentioned here. But for what it's worth, I have pretty much abandoned manual powder measures and now greatly prefer the RCBS Rangemaster electronic measures.
     

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  25. Offfhand

    Offfhand Member

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    Here is inside view of Bruno measure, omitted in above post. sorry
     

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