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Discussion Starter #1
I'm having problems with consistancy with my Lee Powder measure. It does great for 6 or seven rounds and then will throw a slightly heavy charge. I go back and empty the offending charges and start again without changing anything and it starts trowing good charges again. These are hunting rounds and I could be OK and probably am but am I expecting to much out of this inexpensive measure? Should I just keep my reservoir filled and keep loading and let the range decide(still checking every 10 rounds juat to make sure a major change has not taken place) and just weigh charges when I want to be more accurate?
 

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Chief Rid -

Which Lee measurer do you have and what is the difference in grain weight between your regular throws and the heavy throw?  If the weight difference is more than 1/10 of a grain, I'd send it back to Lee for replacement or repair.  My Pro Auto Disk is very consistent and accurate.  I randomly pull two charged cases out of 50 for safety checks and they are always dead on or 1/10 over the desired charge.
 

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The Hog Whisperer (Administrator)
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Sounds to me like a classic case of static.

Have you de-staticed (?) the measure per some of the other suggestions that have come up on the board?

By the way what powder are you using?
 

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As a suggestion, instead of wrestling with the Lee, you might try out a Culver Type powder measure.  They are not cheap but their consistency is terrific and gives one extreme peace of mind.

I use a Bruno powder measure for not only loading magnum handguns but for benchrest competition.  It measures short grain extruded powders or ball powders to withim + or - 1/10 grain.  However, you do need to practice your technique.

Unfortunately, Lester Bruno does not make his powder measures any more.  I paid &#36300 for mine.  One of the most popular and available Culver type powder measures are made by Harrell Precision.  they make several models.  Their address and phone are:

Harrell Brothers
5756 Hickory Dr.
Salem, Va 24153
540-380-2683

They are terrific people to deal with and stand behind their products.  I just bought a 6mm PPC die from them and I get less that 1/2 thousandth runout on a full length resized case.

Harrell's also have a website: <a href="http://www.harrellsprec.com/

Good" target="_blank">http://www.harrellsprec.com/

Good</a> luck.

Mike
 

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I had a Lee powder measure and was having problems with it.  About every 5 rounds I had to reset it.  I switched over to RCBS and a Lyman measure and never had that problem.  Once I set up those two measures to the weight I needed they stayed put.  The Lee prowder measure did not impress me at all.  I reload between 2000-3000 rounds a year.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I believe a better measure is in my future. I think all the responses are correct and agreeable. I'll just measure each load for a while or use a dipper.
 

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Yes Chief, I had one of these a couple years back and had the same kind of problems with it. It is really a shame as the measure is a very good design just made out of the wrong materials.

If they made the drum and body out of even a good aluminum alloy, it would work very well.

Being that Lee is very good with aluminum at times, I think it's very doable. Too bad Dick Lee isn't still running the show.

Regards, Ray
 

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I find this all very interesting, as I have used Lee Perfect Powder Measures (2 of them) and an Auto Disk for many years and have found them to be much more consistent than either the RCBS or Hornady equivalents I purchased before. The first Perfect Measure is still churning out rounds for my brother, while I bought a new one two months ago for my own reloading bench.
Furthermore my best friend has switched to the Perfect Measure after having a great deal of trouble with a Hornady and Dillon when used with Varget powder.
 

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I don't want to get "wrapped around the axle" on this topic, but there are lessons we must re-learn about mechanical powder measures. Some twenty years, or more, ago there was an excellent article in Gun Digest covering all the popular measures. As I recall, the C-H Armory measure turned out as the most consistent (design was later bought out by Hornady, I believe). Now....The best mechanical powder measure... whether drum type, bar type, or hand dipped measure...is one that has the smallest diameter of the hole the powder is measured in. This reduces the area of the powder the cutoff drags across....period! Other considerations are..does the device have good powder baffles, does the drum (or bar) fit close, and above all, does the user understand the need to do the same motions each time they work the lever! The measures that have an alum drum are prone the scalding. The addition of a dry graphite on the drum helps a great deal and will not hurt the powder. Flake and stick powders are always a problem. Many loaders look down their noses at those of us that use dippers, either factory or home made, and never realise they are doing the same procedures with a powder measure...the powder fills a space, the drum scapes it off, and the powder is dumped.
Oh well.....it's time to feed the bulldogs!
Best Regards, James
 

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Yessir James, I have a set of Lee Dippers always on my reloading bench. With a consistent technique they're just as good as the best measure, albeit slower and with much less adjustment. But for a number of applications they're hard to beat.
 

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Bill....I first started using dippers after seeing Benchrest shooters using them. I don't use a mechanical powder measure anymore for the reasons stated in this topic's posts. If there is no Lee measure close to what I what, I make one. Out comes my scale and case trimmer. For special dippers up to 30 grains of powder, I use 30 Carbine brass because of the small diameter opening. After triming it to the length, I scribe the load on the side. I have proven to many new shooters that I can dip and scrape more accurate than they can use a mechanicl measure that has a changing powder head and multiple viberating motions to it. I also assure you that on flakey powders like 800X, the dippers are more accurate. If I'm going right up to the top end pressures, I weigh the charges. I also do my load development in the summertime and check pressures then.
Well, I suppose this has been enough to start one h*ll of an arguement!
Best Regards, James
 

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No argument from me that's for sure! I'll have to try the custom-made dippers. For handles, what do you use? Brazed-on wire perhaps?
 

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Bill...Down at the hardware store you can buy soft iron wire
(bailing wire?) that runs .063"+/-. Two tight loops around the extractor groove in the case, in the vice, and about 4/5" of nice tight twist-after I have trimed the case to the weight of powder. Simple and quick! I have not noticed static build up on these dippers like plastic does. Scribe the powder weight in grains and type on the side of the hull/dipper.
Best Regards, James
 

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I heartily agree about the dippers. In a pinch, I've used a smaller capacity dipper and throw twice to get the larger "in between" charge weights. This I only do in a case and charge weight that will show an evident over or under charge in case a triple dip or single dip is thrown accidentally.

However, the best bet is to make one like suggested above after you settle on a good load through experimentation.

Works out very well and is a lot quicker than you think to use. One dipper and one business card is all you need.

Regards, Ray
 

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Ray...You are quite right. We handloaders get hung up on things like min. ES, powder weights to the 1/10th of a grain, etc. much to often. I have seen the most accurate load as having ES out the window. What people don't realize is the factories load most of their ammo to the closest 3 grains...1 1/2 gr up to 1 1/2 gr down. I've seen the loading machines with spilled powder piled up on it, waiting for down time to be cleaned off. Tests on match ammo always showed the first order for accuracy was quality of bullet and the last was uniformity of powder weight. If we are loading to pressures that 1/10 of a grain of powder could put us in the danger zone, it's my opinion you are already there! This is not to be taken as I condone sloppy or careless loading....far from that. I only say that maybe we should that a hard look at our priorities sometime and use common sense.
Well, enough of this........Best Regards, James
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Thanks guys. Excellent info. I think I may have been putting a little too much emphasis on powder measure accuracy looking for an excuse for my poor shooting.

Being a new reloader, who knows just enough now to be dangerous , I have been going back through my notes looking for ways to improve accuracy and powder measure consistancy was something I came up with.

How about a little info on crimp and it's effect. I assume as long as you have a consistant crimp you should be consistant. I have a 44 die that I use for mag and special and several different bullets so I am constantly making adjustments for the different loads. I use dummys to set up and this promotes some consistancy but the crimp pressure I have not settled on.

Is there a better crimp pressure for jacketed vs lead?

Again I think my main thing is to continue to shoot and develope that skill. My ammo is probably accurate enough.
 

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Chief,

I use a crimp to varying degrees on all revolver and most rifle handloads. With light loads such as .38 wadcutters I use just a kiss of a crimp using the standard seat and crimp die in a 3-die set. On heavy handgun rounds I use the heaviest crimp those same 3-die sets will allow. This is regardless of cast or jacketed bullets. With rifles I use the Lee Factory Crimp Die, set to it's heaviest for ammo used in heavy recoiling guns like my 444 and about halfway with rounds like the .308, .303 Brit, etc.
 

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Bill Lester nailed it down tight!....One thing to add. Be sure all cases are trimed to the same length. Best Regards, James
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Thanks Bill and James. I have another question. At present I do not crimp at all on my .308 and 30.06 rifle rounds. The accuracy is good and I am pretty much loaded for the season. If I am careful with the ammo should thet be ok? The bullets are fairly tight and I do not shoot heavy loads in either one. The .308 is a single shot and the 30.06 is a spring magazine for my Rem. slide gun.
 

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Both should be fine. I wouldn't start tinkering with ammo of known accuracy this close to the hunting seasons. Afterwards when you have some time, try
crimping these loads to see how they are affected.
 
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