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  #1  
Old 12-01-2006, 11:47 PM
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Best powder measure?


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I've been using the Lee powder measure that came with my orginal single stage aniversery kit and would like to upgrade to something a little more accurate for use with Unique and Trail Boss powder. The max load for Uniuqe I'm using rite now is 7 grains, and 5.5 grains of Trail Boss. I wieght every charge, but would like to eliminate the constant "take a couple grains out with a Lee dipper, trickle a few flakes in thing" Wieghting every charge is no problem, but continualy fooling with it to get within .1 grain is time consuming. One reason I like black powder better!

Thanks,
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  #2  
Old 12-02-2006, 04:39 AM
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I've been using my hunting partners RCBS electronic powder dispenser and scale for about six months now and it's the most accurate powder measure I've ever used. It is on the other hand kind of slow. I believe that it is made by Pact for RCBS and I see there advertising that the newest model is much faster than the one I'm useing. They are pricy though.
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  #3  
Old 12-02-2006, 06:12 AM
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I can't claim it's the best cause I haven't used all the others but my Lyman 55 suits me just fine. We used my father's ancient one for many years and I replaced it with a new one not long ago because my brother got all our old shared equipment.

It does a good job measuring light loads of pistol powder or large loads of rifle powder. It can be cranky with big extruded powder.

IMO, weighing every charge is a waste of time and nothing I have read about the electronic scales/dispensors makes me want to own one.
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  #4  
Old 12-02-2006, 06:25 AM
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I'm not sure there is a powder dispenser that can handle the flake powders with accuracy. It will be hard to find a dispenser that can handle Unique. I've got a couple of powders of the powder that was given to me and I'm too cheap to get rid of it so I just live with it. Once it is gone I will switch my pistols to some that works. It would be a whole lot cheaper to change the powder you are using than buy an electronic dispenser. You might look at the FAQ's concerning the various dispensers. Here is Lee's...

"Lastly some powders do not meter well, Unique powder is one example that meters with "casual uniformity".
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  #5  
Old 12-02-2006, 09:43 PM
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Thanks, sounds like my measure is doing just fine then, it's the powder. I know a flake type powder is troublesome, but I like the way unique shoots, dirt and all.
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  #6  
Old 12-03-2006, 05:16 AM
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My plinker load fro the 44 mag is 5.5 grains of Bullseye. I made a scoop out of a piece of 45 ACP brass and soldered a handle on it. It's ALWAYS within .10 grain. I made one for the father-in-law for his Unique load for his .357 too.

RJ
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  #7  
Old 12-03-2006, 06:59 AM
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Now ya talkin. I use the Lee dippers for a rough charge and weigh each one for my hunting stuff. I use the powder measure some for blasting ammo. Just be sure to use a loading block and look at all the charged cases before you start seating bullets. You can tell if there is a dangerous difference just by comparing.
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  #8  
Old 12-04-2006, 02:34 PM
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In the early '70's I purchased an OHAUS Model 7200 DU-O-MEASURE with a Single Drum for Pistol and Rifle excellent with ball & flake powders but with extruded powders it cuts some.I bought another on ebay this year.This is the most accurate powder measure I've owned.It's mounted on my Dillon RL550B and with some extruded powders I weigh each charge for finite accuracy in my Sako 06 and 300wm.

Last edited by kiddekop; 12-04-2006 at 10:38 PM.
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  #9  
Old 12-04-2006, 02:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by recoil junky
… I made a scoop out of a piece of 45 ACP brass and soldered a handle on it…
Think of Jeff Foxworthy's voice as you read, "Now, you might just be a cheapskate if you're too cheap to even buy Lee scoops!"

.
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  #10  
Old 12-04-2006, 07:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gmd3006
Think of Jeff Foxworthy's voice as you read, "Now, you might just be a cheapskate if you're too cheap to even buy Lee scoops!" .
Now that is a good line!
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  #11  
Old 12-04-2006, 07:09 PM
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On Rocky Raab's recommendation, I've bought a Quick Measure. The design is unable to cut stick grains, though you can feel it hesitate slightly as it nudges one aside from time to time. Per specification it stays within 0.2 grains with even the larger sticks. With a small modification I got mine to throw small sticks (Benchmark) to within 0.01 grains on my lab scale for about a half dozen throws in a row, before one punked out at a tenth of a grain off, then went back to dead on the previous mean for three more throws. So the the potential is pretty awsome. If I can get time tomorrow, I'll put some Unique in it and see how it handles that flakey powder? Then I'll post back.
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  #12  
Old 12-04-2006, 07:31 PM
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Thanks guys, I'll look into them. I use a progressive press so looking down the case is a little difficult at times. One reason I like Trail boss for 45 colt plinking loads. Anouther reason I like to wieght each charge. And if there's the least dought just cycle the press and see if I already put powder in.

I mainly want to speed up the weighting process, I go from measure to scale, fiddle with the scale some, then rack the leaver on the press, dump powder, load scale again, finish the presses cycle and check my wieght. Put a bullet in the charged case and fress brass in the die plate and start all over again. It goes pretty quik. The thing slowing me down is the measure sometimes throws dead on, sometimes way low or high. The low I can trickle up too, the high has to be scoped out.
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  #13  
Old 12-04-2006, 08:03 PM
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I don't know which progressive you have, but the QuickMeasure is operated by vertical stroke of the measuring tube off the powder funnel (no handle) and has a Dillon adapter available.
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  #14  
Old 12-05-2006, 09:46 AM
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The Belding and Mull powder measure handles Unique and other flake (and ball) powders extremely accurately. .1 is no problem. It uses a small drop tube not a drum. Powder is dispensed into a secondary chamber before going into the drop tube, so no matter how much is in the hopper it always drops the same amount into the drop tube. I've got an electronic dispenser also and the B and M is so much faster and just as accurate. B and M is still in business and you can also buy them from Buffalo Arms, I think.
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  #15  
Old 12-05-2006, 10:48 PM
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The B&M looks interesting, but dang it's 200$+! I'm trying to save money here! I've got a Lyman black powder measure made of cast iron, it was sold as a smokless, I may give it a try. It's got a brass sleve for the hollow and a thumper to settle powder. I think it will shear grains, but with the consistant "thump" may through accuratly. I'll see how it does, I may be able to find a B&M on ebay.

Thanks for the suggestions.

BTW, I've got a Lee three position progressive, think it's the Lee 1000. I don't like the idea of putting the powder measure on it, and I use a good many cast and very greasy bullets so I don't use the optional bullet feeder, and on 45 colt I stop on the down stroke and clean the primmer pocket befor continuing. I don't on other rounds, but the 45 colt in blackpowder is my rifle match round, hunting, what ever.
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  #16  
Old 12-06-2006, 05:50 AM
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will52100,
You can find B&M's on Ebay but I think they still bring $70-$100. I think they have been made since the 30's so there are quite a few of them around. My Step Great Grandfather was Nathan Mull of the original B & M so I ended up with a bunch of old B&M stuff through the family, but I like the powder measure the best. They are awesome for throwing flake powder - it's what they do best.
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  #17  
Old 12-06-2006, 05:27 PM
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My old Lyman 55 powder measure will cut grains too. It works well with all types of powders if you stay below 60 grains. I mat inveat in the baffle kit for it if they'll fit.It works especially well with ball and the short grain poders like H335 and Benchmark. I can throw 50 rounds of 24,7 grains of Benchmark for the .222 and weigh 10 at random and none of them vary enough to matter. It really doesn't care for 7828 tho, so I use the scoop and dribble method like Chief Rid for it.

gmd3006, I'm not cheap, just creative I do have quite a few Lee scoops that came with various sets of Lee dies.

RJ
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  #18  
Old 12-06-2006, 07:45 PM
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Soon as I finish up the batch of 44 colt, using my lyman 55 for that with black powder, I'll give unique a try in it.

May be a dumb question, but what's the negatives of sheared grains? Or in my case split flakes?
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  #19  
Old 12-06-2006, 07:59 PM
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I tried four measures on Unique with the following resulting extreme spread:

RCBS Uniflow, +/- 0.42 grains. (Lots of jamming up and cutting of grains at the edge of the drum).

Dillon Progressive Measure (sliding bar type), +/- 0.25 grains.

Johnson's Quick Measure, +/- 0.11 grains

Lee Perfect as issued, +/- 0.31 grains

Lee Perfect modified with secondary baffle, plus tapping the measure twice with the powder tube rotated tip-down to accept powder, +/- 0.12 grains.

The experience says never use a drum measure. Where small flakes (like Bullseye or Red Dot) do OK in the Dillon measure, the big flakes are bridging. In the Lee they are also bridging, though the tapping (flicking my finger against the hopper twice) seems to break the bridge and let the powder fall. The addition of an extra baffle was useful. The Quick Measure was most accurate without modification or tapping. It is, however, the slowest to use for small charges becase a special funnels with a ball tip must be inserted and removed for each charge. It takes 1.5 to 2 times as long to get each charge as the Lee requires when pausing to tap it. However, it is still much faster than weighing each charge.

I will post a separate thread called on how to make your own powder baffle called "Are You Baffled?". I will come back and edit this to include a link when it is up.
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  #20  
Old 12-06-2006, 11:06 PM
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Two more measures with a 1999 lot of Unique. A 10 year old Lyman 55, orange body, with the top and middle slides even at 4 1/4 on the front scale, bottom slide closed, 20 dumps. Minimum, 2 @ 6.0 grains. Maximum, 4 @ 6.3 grains. The knocker was not used.

An old Ohaus Duo-O-Measure, small cavity, out umpteen turns, 20 dumps. Minimum, 5 @ 6.3 grains, 9 @ 6.5 grains.

Neither had any problems with bridging with their large drop tubes. Lyman I.D = .290", Ohaus I.D = .280". Both had slight binding due to powder grains getting between the drum and body, but it was minor compared to the binding with W296 on the Lyman. I haven't had W296 in the Ohaus, but I suspect it wouldn't be any better, and likely worse. Powder cutting force was negligible with the Lyman, minor with the Ohaus.

A dozen or so charges where thrown with each measure while adjusting them. I've found that dumping a dozen or twenty charges into a dish before I start filling cases settles the power and really improves uniformity. IMR PB is an exception as it's bang on from the start.

The PACT DPPS scale was acting up, due to power fluctuations. Electric heating and 14°F below. A second powder pan sure is handy for re-weighing charges. I shut down the computer and plugged the scale's power supply into the UPS. Better scale behavior, although it needed re-taring a couple of times. This run with the Ohaus had the same results, 6.3 - 6.5 grains. This weight of Unique is close to max with a 200 grain bullet in a .45 ACP.

I had similar results with these measures with a 4.0 grain charge of 700-X. There isn't any real difference between them with large charges of 3031 (36 grains) and 4350 (56 grains), Both can vary by 3-4 grains.

Bye
Jack
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