Has anybody used the Harrell Bros.,or the Neil Jones
powder measures? They are both very costly, are they worth it? I am in the need for a new powder measure, and I like
the 6-120 grain range on the Harrells. Thanks
Thanks for the link Ka6otm. It was nice to see a comparison
with the Harrells. My other question is about the ability to
measure Black Powder. I know it's not recomended with
either Redding or RCBS cast iron bodys. The Harrells has
aluminum and brass, (non-ferrious and non-conductive?).
Aluminum and brass are non ferrous, but they are highly conductive. In the 70's or 80's they started wiring houses with aluminum wire, which led to all sorts of bad things....like house fires. Don't know if they still do this or not.
Anyway, the relevant thing is that Aluminum and brass are non-sparking, which is a very good thing when dealing with Black powder.
Having said that, I'd check with the manufacturer before seeing if they recommend a particular measure with Black Powder. I think it's possible they also do something to eliminate crushing the granules as pressure can also cause Black to detonate.
I could be wrong about this, though, as I don't reload Black Powder cartridge.....I only pour it down the barrel of my Hawken.
FWIW, the back scale on my not so old iron Lyman 55 is calibrated in Drams. It throws 61.5 grains of Goex FFFg when set to 2 1/2 Drams (68.34 grains) which is as close as the smokeless scales are.
I suspect that the major issue with modern powder measures is the plastic parts (which will build up static electricity and can lead to a spark, not good!).
All metals are conductors, at least better conductors than plastic. No, aluminum is not good for house wiring, but it's a lot better than plastic for measuring black powder in that respect.
I suspect that aluminum wiring would work out fine, if the gauge was heavy enough. But it didn't work out at the time and you can be no one is going to be in a hurry to bring it back with the memories of past problems.
As far as crushing grains of powder goes, I'd be surprised if this was the major issue (but I certainly could be wrong). Black powder is compressed all the time in loading, anyway, and some granules are bound to be crushed or broken.
Sparking shouldn't be an issue if you don't have two steel or iron pieces that can hit together and make a spark. Short of dropping an iron powder measure on a concrete floor, I don't see this happening. But, surely someone has in fact done it and suffered the consequences. I've dropped a powder measure full of smokeless onto a carpeted floor and that isn't fun either.
Well, I scraped most of it up (the carpet is pretty short) with some sort of rudimentary tool, I forget what exactly. Most likely a piece of heavy paper or cardboard, or something that was handy.
Then I vacuumed the remainder. I know, I know, you're not supposed to do that! But I did it anyway. There wasn't much left at that point.
There is some danger of the kernels of powder being ignited in the vacuum cleaner by static electricity or impact I suppose.
I would NEVER have vacuumed up black powder that way!!!! Maybe with some sort of wet carpet shampoo machine? Don't know if there really is any truely safe way to handle black powder once it's spilled in a loose surface like carpet.
Anyway, not recommending anyone else do it, but honestly that's what I did. Just couldn't think of any other way to clean up the mess.
Maybe it would have been safer to pick up with one of the really low-powered 'Dustbuster' type vacuums?
If I had blown up the vacuum cleaner, it wouldn't be the first household applicance that got ruined through hunting/shooting related activities around my house, LOL.
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