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i have lee turett with auto drum measure thinking of go to lee pro disk measure
? would i gain or lose efficiency.
thanks
 

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Need more information. Why would you switch to the LPDM? What do you mean by "gain or lose efficiency"? What kind of loading are you doing, large batches of a single load or small load development runs?
 

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i have lee turett with auto drum measure thinking of go to lee pro disk measure
? would i gain or lose efficiency.
thanks

I will step out and assume, by "EFFICIENCY" ,... you mean, ACCURACY.

I also have a tendency to question the accuracy of many mass production powder measures, but, I have loading OCD, so, take my words with a grain of salt.

My primary reason for starting up loading for myself, was, info I received from my reloading mentor, at that time. To make a long story a little shorter, he explaining how the inaccuracies of reloading are compounded by every step I take, and, therefore, being as accurate as possible in every step should produce a most consistent cartridge, I can.

So, since I rarely take any opinion at face value, I started measuring factory ammo. I found greater inconsistencies in case size and powder/bullet weight than I thought was acceptable. Hence my starting up reloading for myself.

So, with that laid out up front, I'll get to your question, ... I strongly feel most of the systems of PRODUCTION measuring powder don't quite reach the level of accuracy I like to achieve when the end result is, igniting explosives, in close proximity to my head! :giggle:

Sooo,... with all that bluster,... all I can say is,... I start charging cases by calibrating my balance beam scale with a Lyman weight check set,...FIRST,... BEFORE EVERY POWDER CHARGING SESSION! Then I UNDER measure out every charge within a fraction of a grain with a Lee Powder charger into a marlin444 case. Then, I pour that powder into the scale pan,... and then bring the weight up to what I want with a trickler.

I do this procedure with every case I charge,... every one!

Why,... because as I have been taught, and as I have found, many years ago,.... consistency in powder weight charges goes a long way in contributing to consistent point of impact, WHILE TRYING TO FIND, that specific load, for that specific weapon, with a specific bullet.

I believe there are a multitude of aspects in reloading that requires consistency to achieve what I like,... CONSISTENT ACCURACY,... and powder weight is just one!

Sooo, I believe, each and every step I take, has to be consistent, and, I need to use consistent components, to achieve my end goal. Probably not a direct answer to you question, but, I would guess you get my point!


All the best!
 

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Sooo,... with all that bluster,... all I can say is,... I start charging cases by calibrating my balance beam scale with a Lyman weight check set,...FIRST,... BEFORE EVERY POWDER CHARGING SESSION! I then I UNDER measure out every charge within a fraction of a grain with a Lee Powder charger into a marlin444 case. Then, I pour that powder into the scale pan,... and then bring the weight up to what I want with a trickler.

I do this procedure with every case I charge,... every one!
I do mainly the same thing. When shooting competition, I used an RCBS uniflow measure to throw about 1/2 a grain light and then trickled up to exact weight on a balance beam. Now, I use a Lee dipper to measure out light loads and then use the dipper to trickle up to exact. This can be a surprisingly quick procedure when you get used to doing it.
 

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I agree with Shooter444 in regards to the way I shoot rifle (read not high volume of rounds). 9mm and 45ACP on the other hand I drop them using a Lyman powder drop and stomp a bullet on top of them. I am not sure that the accuracy of those rounds effect my ability to hit an IDPA target at 7, 15 or 25 yards a whole lot. And trickle measuring 250-500 rounds of those is not what I consider a good time. My 327, I trickle those. Smaller case, so volume difference make a bigger difference and I generally am shooting 25 yards to 100 yards with that pistol.

I have had others tell me that normal powder variance of +/- .2 gr makes little difference in accuracy on rifle rounds. Not sure I buy into that.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Need more information. Why would you switch to the LPDM? What do you mean by "gain or lose efficiency"? What kind of loading are you doing, large batches of a single load or small load development runs?
loading large batches, auto druim varies from .5gr -1.0 gr this is checking every 10th rd.
am wondering if the pro disk is closer than that.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
loading large batches, auto druim varies from .5gr -1.0 gr this is checking every 10th rd.
am wondering if the pro disk is closer than that.
 

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I have had others tell me that normal powder variance of +/- .2 gr makes little difference in accuracy on rifle rounds. Not sure I buy into that.
That is something you can easily test for yourself, you do not have to take anyone's word for it. Load ammo both ways and go shoot some groups. I mean I could tell you volume is more important than tiny weight variation, but you sound like you would not believe me anyway. FWIW, The benchrest guys throw their charges. I have not used a powder trickler in over 15 years. Empirical evidence is what it is and it does not lie. But do not take my word for it. ;)
 

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If you are getting 1gn variation, you are loading bombs. My measures stay with +/- 0.1gn. My Dillons will very occasionally throw a charge 0.2gn from target charge. Not sure what efficiency means, other than the cavity with disks is always the same, so there is no adjusting charge weight, just verifying measure is throwing stable charges
 

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I agree with Shooter444 in regards to the way I shoot rifle (read not high volume of rounds). 9mm and 45ACP on the other hand I drop them using a Lyman powder drop and stomp a bullet on top of them. I am not sure that the accuracy of those rounds effect my ability to hit an IDPA target at 7, 15 or 25 yards a whole lot. And trickle measuring 250-500 rounds of those is not what I consider a good time. My 327, I trickle those. Smaller case, so volume difference make a bigger difference and I generally am shooting 25 yards to 100 yards with that pistol.

I have had others tell me that normal powder variance of +/- .2 gr makes little difference in accuracy on rifle rounds. Not sure I buy into that.

Yah, I don't buy that either!
I have seen POI open up, and tighten up, with a just .10 variation in weight.
 

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357 - Strange way to make an entrance on your 5th post. It doesn't really mater what you think I may or may not believe. I would guess that neither one of us have the data to support either of your views. I know I don't.

I also know that I have never seen a loading manual say to load your 30-06 with 2.83CC of anything. I use Lee dippers and powder drops. I believe both vary more in volume on some powders a lot more than my beam scale will vary. I don't intend to test that for myself and present the data either.

I do enough engineering at work. Real data and testing take way more time than I am willing to put into it at the bench. It is hard work.

Welcome aboard.
 

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The Shadow
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loading large batches, auto druim varies from .5gr -1.0 gr this is checking every 10th rd.
am wondering if the pro disk is closer than that.
I have a sticky you should read, about using a volume device as intended.

Extruded powder has a moving bulk density by design, to control burning rate. A volume device doesn't weigh, and so can't overcome this moving weight. If you want consistent weight, then use a scale. If you want a consistent volume, use a volume device.

I also know that I have never seen a loading manual say to load your 30-06 with 2.83CC of anything. I use Lee dippers and powder drops. I believe both vary more in volume on some powders a lot more than my beam scale will vary. I don't intend to test that for myself and present the data either.
Then you just aren't old enough. 😉 It didn't used to be uncommon to see volume info. But as you know, most volume based devices aren't actually a stated volume measurement; Simply dashes or arbitrary numbers. Whereas just about everyone since the roman empire has had access to accurate and inexpensive scales.

I'm curious what other volume devices you've used to reference and see how much variation your Lee products have?


Cheers
 

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The Hog Whisperer (Administrator)
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Yah, I don't buy that either!
I have seen POI open up, and tighten up, with a just .10 variation in weight.
If a 0.1 grain variation in charge weight had a substantial effect on group size, then odds are that you need to work up your load again. It clearly isn't hitting an 'accuracy node' if it is that sensitive. Worse, any variation in local conditions (temp, humidity, air pressure) are likely to make groups go down the tube.

I've broken down factory ammo that was surprisingly accurate, for something like at least a grain variation + or -. This was 6mm Rem. Bullets were crappy and not performing as needed, so I broke the ammo down and re-weighed the charges with a different bullet. It shocked me how much the powder charges varied, but my re-weighed (to plus or minus a tenth of a grain) charges were no more accurate. Both loads well under 2 MOA, for a barrel that had substantial rust pitting, and that was certainly minute-of-doe. Not really bench-rest bragging groups, but that the factory ammo didn't group any worse than the precisely weighed charges, tells us that sometimes we're picking fly specs out of the pepper......

Getting consistent charge weights with volumetric devices (ie. powder measures) is mostly a function of the powder geometry, and partly a function of the device, and partly a function of the operator skill level. With ball/spherical, it is no great feat to charge a loading block full, with every case plus or minus a tenth of a grain. With short-grain extruded powders, MOST of my 'throws' with my old RCBS powder measure (with the small drum) for rifles, are plus or minus two tenths of a grain. If they aren't, it is faster to dump the powder back in the hopper and try again, than to trickle. With long grain extruded powders (ie. most of the IMR rifle powders), lucky to be plus or minus a full grain.

But in the end, I suspect, that with most hunting rifles and loads, plus or minus a grain will get Bambi home. Our late moderator, James Gates, had long experience in the firearms industry, and in one of his posts many years ago, listed powder charge tolerances for factory ammo. Kind of appalling, at the time, but for most folks, doesn't make much difference in the end result. Can't remember his numbers, exactly, but it was more than a grain plus or minus, for rifle ammo.
 

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Darkker - You are probably right about the age thing. I am not as old as some, probably older than some others. My oldest reloading book is probably 1988 vintage.

In regards to checking volume. The short answer is I have never checked my powder drop or lee dippers to see if they are giving a consistent volume. I could pull out my graduated cylinder and measure it somewhat accurately, although that is really made for liquid not powder and would only give me a reading of +/- a cc. The other issue is, it could measure the volume, tap it on the bench and measure it again and shake it up and measure it a third time and most likely get 3 different volumes.

From experience and discussions, I have never really though as volume of any powder as being fixed.

But if I was really going to get down to the biggest reason I trust weight compared to volume. I can use a check weight or zero my scale. I don't have a way I trust to verify volume, other than to weigh it.

To get somewhat scientifical, powder burning is a chemical reaction. Density of powder can change as noted above. The mass of the material has a much closer relationship to how much material is available for the reaction and for all intents and purposes is fixed for a given 1 or 8 lb can of powder. I do not remember any calculations off the top of my head for any change of state of a material that uses volume for the amount of material being reacted (it has been a long time for in depth chemistry).
 

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Elk Whisperer (Super Moderator)
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A tenth to half a grain over or under in a pistol load depending on powder can have a big impact if you're close to the bubble anyway. Like say with Bullseye in a semi auto or H110 in a revolver.

Technique plays a big part in operating a powder measure as does type and size of powder. I prefer "stick" powders which as a rule are harder to get to work in a powder measure of any kind so technique of operation plays a huge part in getting powders like IMR4350 to measure uniformly. I won't bore you with the tapping and banging I do, but I do have it figured out and I'll throw a couple dozen loads weighing each one to make sure I'm right.

The smaller the kernel the easier it is to measure (by volume) , hence H4350 measures much easier than IMR4350 for instance. Now, I'm not sure just how the Lee measures are set up so I am referring strictly to my Lyman #55 (with added 7000 grain hopper and baffel) in my references. When I set up my measure to measure 60.5 grains of IMR4350 I move the bottom (bigger) slide to get to about 50 grains by weight, the use the middle slide to get closer to 60 grains and the top (smallest) slide to find tune the powder drop the last little bit. By doing this, the "cutting" of grains is less frequent and consistency is never more or less than a tenth of a grain and often much less once I get my technique down. adjusting the #55 for a smaller grained powder like Benchmark is done the same way with consistency much closer to a "couple line widths" of zero on the antique Redding beam scale.

Now, I didn't learn this all by myself, I had a couple of great teachers along the way, but I did "perfect" their tutelage with tinkering of my own, mostly the addition of the bigger hopper and baffle which keeps.the powder column more consistent above the drum.

Powders like RL19, RL22 etc are impossible to measure so, like others described, I "dip and trickle" those.

For small volume powders like Bullseye for revolver loads I have made dippers (or scoops) cut to the throw the desired weight which is way faster than setting up the measure. Again, technique plays a big part in how accurate I am with each "dip". I don't use them like a shovel, but slide the scoop straight up into the powder and let the powder fall into the scoop so it doesn't "pack" then scrape off the "head". Weighing charges done this way are within the width of the "zero" line on the scale. Even H110 and 2400 measure quite well using my hand crafted scoops 😉 The opening of a new can of powder often necessitates the making of a new scoop, but they are simple to build so it's not really a big deal and I am not such a great shot that I can shoot the difference if I'm off .05 of a grain anyway.

Speaking of being off a tenth and how it doesn't matter? That tenth over or under is a BIG deal when your rifle is a finicky snob as in the case of a certain 300RUM, .243 or 17 Hornet. "Oh but RJ, that tenth is only a miniscule amount when compared to the 94.5 grains of Superboom you use in that 300RUM!" Well, maybe it is, but that .278 moa 500 yard group means a vaporized prairie dog 😁 or headless whistle pig 😲 IF I do my part. Knowing what my rifles are capable of puts more pressure on me to do my part, especially if there's a bystander ready to mercilessly ridicule me. 😠 Maybe, probably that particular tenth is all in my head, but the tenth in the case of the 17 Hornet? That's a big deal when the charge is only 8.8 grains to start with.

Anyways

RJ
 

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The Shadow
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1) The other issue is, it could measure the volume, tap it on the bench and measure it again and shake it up and measure it a third time and most likely get 3 different volumes.

2) From experience and discussions, I have never really though as volume of any powder as being fixed.

3) But if I was really going to get down to the biggest reason I trust weight compared to volume. I can use a check weight or zero my scale. I don't have a way I trust to verify volume, other than to weigh it.

4) To get somewhat scientifical, powder burning is a chemical reaction. Density of powder can change as noted above. The mass of the material has a much closer relationship to how much material is available for the reaction and for all intents and purposes is fixed for a given 1 or 8 lb can of powder. I do not remember any calculations off the top of my head for any change of state of a material that uses volume for the amount of material being reacted (it has been a long time for in depth chemistry).
👆This is why I asked, you are confusing some things.

1) If you have no way of confirming volume, then it isn't "most likely" or unlikely to get 3 different volumes; the probability is unknown. If you saw a difference, that was in the number of kernels, or the density of the pack. neither of which have anything to do with the consistency of the volume. Shaking and tapping doesn't change the volume of a volume device(assume it's not made of tinfoil). If you shook and tapped on your scale while trying to weigh, would it change the weight? ;);)

2 & 3) That's because people rarely understand volume, and it's really the crux of the matter.
Volume is the area available to put something in. It isn't the weight in the area, it isn't the number of kernels in the area, and it isn't how densely packed things are. It's just the area. If you got an empty amazon box that measured exactly 2 cubic feet internally. Then sprinkled in packing peanuts until it was full and level, and happened to count that that was 100 peanuts. Then if you took those 100 peanuts out and squished them and repeated the sprinkling. You may find that in the end it now holds 200 peanuts. You never changed the volume of the box, so the number of the peanuts is irrelevant to the boxes volume. Similarly whether or not the weight changed or the density of the product found within the volume, is also irrelevant to the volume of the box.

So for the consistency piece, and the point I believe you were chasing.
If you were trying to accurately weigh 55gr of powder, would you: Weigh it on an unlevel table. Tap on the ballance beam randomly while trying to take a reading. Turn on a leaf blower aimed at the scale. While doing all of those things, you decided that you had the correct weight you wanted. To be sure, would you then dump it into a volume device like a teaspoon to verify the weight; which your uncle told you held exactly 55gr? The answer is quite clearly, of course not. So if you wouldn't do those obviously ridiculous things for accurate and verified weight, then why in the world would you do such things to a volume device to judge it?

4) Yes, but no. The thing most folks forget or don't know, is that the density of powder is never a fixed thing(talking extruded specifically). The people who design and manufacture powder, do so with volume in mind. The bulk density, which is the volume, for a given weight; is constantly changing. If you take a couple kernels their weight will vary, as will their volume and porosity; which is by design to control the burning rate. The more an individual kernel weighs(nitroglycerin content), the longer and more porosity it will have; with the inverse also being true. This can be seen in many applications. As Mike said, some of the most accurate factory ammo, has rather large weight fluctuations; because they don't load by weight. Similarly if you read some of the ad fluff on Nosler ammo, they tell you that they very carefully and precisely weigh each and every charge when loading. Uh-Huh... Go take the factory tour, they load by volume; the same as every other manufacturer that puts out more than 20 boxes per month.


So to try and circle the wagons back around to the point I believe you were trying to get at, which is consistency; how do we accomplish that?
I agree that without a reference, you can't know how accurate you are in either system(weight or volume). That is a perfectly reasonable, and well thought concern. Short of another calibrated volume device, we honestly can't know how well it works. I would posit, that not that many folks actually regularly calibrate a scale; especially when starting out. I know I didn't for many years. However what most people do when trying volume, is use what is only a reference, as a fixed unchanging thing to determine another system. So when they realize that the two systems don't reliably interchange, because they don't really understand volume; they tend to default to thinking that the volume system is faulty and unreliable. Of course this is a mistaken line of reasoning, and ignores some very basic principles of a handloader.

For example:
If you open the Lee manual, or the data on their dies, or look-up the data on their website. You can easily still find VMD's for just about any powder that exists. However, just like the data found in any other source; the actual important data is missing. No one lists a lot number, a date tested, whether or not Hodgy or anyone else has silently swapped suppliers, etc. So the prudent reloader will simply determine the VMD of HIS bottle of powder. He will remember that the VMD is a refernce point only, it is not a direct translation, to data that is listed in grains. At that point, he would discover what everyone who handloads has discovered(regardless of the system used). That their gun essentially never produces EXACTLY the same velocities per charge, as listed in the load data. They know that because of the unlisted lots and dates, and how powder ages, that their lot and gun is simply different than what is shown in the data.

So if he were a weight guy, he would test and watch working up; and stop when the evidence tells him to. Volume would be no different. If his REFERENCE for the load range listed in grains, into 3.00cc - 3.65cc. He knows that in fact, he may likely not be able to precisely do such a thing. And just like when weighing, he will take caution to be as consistent as he can. Meaning, if he is OCD and tapper, then he should always tap the same amount, places and times while laoding. If he does not, then he shouldn't randomly start doing it.

In the end, if he doesn't think that volume is his cup O tea; that's perfectly fine. For me personally, I found that my group sizes and ability to shoot at extreme distances became much easier when I changed to volume. Again personally, I found that less meticulous care in the loading process; proved out to have less impact on groupings; compared to when I was weighing charges.

That may not hold for everyone, but has been my experience.

Cheers
 
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Elk Whisperer (Super Moderator)
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Darrker, try and get consistent volume(s) of a large amount of a large kerneled (sp?) powder (like RL19 for instance). By weight is the only really consistent way to measure such wheat sized kernels. The bigger the kernel, the harder it is to be consistant.

Now if we all used the slowest ball powders then they would still be "making" H870 wouldn't they. Instead we hafta use wheat sized Superboom, heaven help us if we need to use corn sized Atomicthunderboom.

How we keep our Superboom stored (and my way isn't perfect) has a lot to do with how long the acetone and nitroglycerin stays in the mix, hence it's measureable reliability. I have no way to go measure that except by shooting it with either a volume set by weight or the actual weight. My group will tell me.

RJ
 
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The Shadow
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Naw, because cutting kernels doesn't matter. When I started volume, was loading the original 4831. Sounded like someone eating cereal. 😁
Still have some very long URP I load by volume.

I only moved to ball powders, relatively recently. Using volume with them, can get you into trouble pressure wise rather quickly. It's only the chains controlling things there.

Cheers
 

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Elk Whisperer (Super Moderator)
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You ought to hear RL19, sounds like some one cracking nuts!

RJ
 
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