Time has come for a more accurate powder throw. I think.

Mitty38

Seeker of knowlege
Ok ..... you guys basically know what I am into, and where I am headed.
I have been getting by with a lee disc measure, thus far.
However.... I have noticed a bit of variation once I started working with flake powders and double discs for my rifle loads.
Thinking it just might be time for one of those bench mounted, or single stage press mounted, adjustable throws.
Keep in mind, that I have a Lee brand or used equipment type budget.
So since Fiver has got me into casting and loading for rifle now.:rolleyes: And you band of fellows have given me a taste of what can be done. Got to blame someone for my addiction.;)
My sights are changing from hitting a 6 inch gong at 50 yards. To making those bullets go closer together. I can see the entrance to the rabbit hole now, and I think it is already at my back.

So as far as a powder measure beyond my Lee disk capabilities.Where do I go from here. I have no issues as to dropping the powder in a separate step. As have already started with a scale and funnel on some of my o6. However, it gets a little tiring after 50 rounds or so.
Would like to get something that is going to cover a few steps in my future development.
You know, willing to spend a little more now, then double up on equipment and cost later.
Please educate me.
 
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Spindrift

Well-Known Member
I use the Lee "Perfect powder measure" a lot, but mostly with stick powders. It works surprisingly well.
The Lyman digital powder dispenser gets the nod if I'm loading 30 or more with the same powder.
If I'm only loading a few cartridges, with temperamental fast powders, I use Lee dippers with digital powder scale. The complete dipper set is very useful!
 

Mitty38

Seeker of knowlege
The Lyman digital powder dispenser gets the nod if I'm loading 30 or more with the same powder.
Was kinda looking at a Lyman #55. Stuff that says digital or has batteries, just does not seem to be my cup of tea. Actualy scares me a bit. Especially after having a hair raising experience with a Hornady Scale, and some resulting dislodged primers in my AR15.
I kinda like things manual and with dials and such.
I really do need to get one of those dipper sets and learn how to use them. Could come in handy.
Thanks for your input, Spindrift, always appreciated.
 
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Mitty38

Seeker of knowlege
Any one have a Harrell's Precision??? Does it stand up to the hype, is it worth the price???
 

Spindrift

Well-Known Member
For everything digital, I have an analog backup
I have the Lyman no55 measure as well. It does not agree with stick powders, but probably would work with spherical or granulated.
I prefer the Lee, as it is easy to empty, and has a meaninful scale that allows you to reproduce settings.
 
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Brad

Administrator
Staff member
I have a Harrels. Great measure. I got mine when shooting competitive high power.
They are great for charges of rifle powder over say 20 gr. Mine does very poorly wother light charges of flake powders. I use a Lyman 55 for those charges.

If on a budget a Lyman 55 is not a bad way to go. An RCBS Uniflow is never a bad choice either.
 

Rick H

Active Member
I have an old Herter's micrometer adjustable measure (back up now) and a Redding 30BR (?) another micro adjustable powder measure. The Redding is prettier but no more accurate than the Herter's, they both do the job. For handguns I like the RCBS Little Dandy, but the rotors get expensive if you are going to experiment with powders and loads.
I think any Lyman, RCBS, Redding, etc. with adjustable cavity will do well. Used should put any of them in your price range, with RCBS getting the nod because of an absolutely no nonsense, no questions asked warranty, if you are first owner or not.
 

Petrol & Powder

Active Member
I'm in the Redding camp and their measures are outstanding but not inexpensive. I've used other powder measures, including RCBS and most of them will get the job nicely. I am NOT a fan of the Lyman #55, I am probably an outlier in that regard.

A lot of the efficiency comes from how you set up your bench. When using a powder measure and a single stage press, the arrangement of the equipment plays a big role in your efficiency.
When using a powder measure, scale, powder trickler, loading block and powder funnel - You can achieve a fairly quick pace while maintaining accuracy and safety.
Set you powder measure to drop a charge of powder that is just below your desired weight. I drop that powder charge directly into the pan for the scale and then place the pan on the scale. With the powder trickler set up on a block so that it overhangs the pan, I add powder until I reach the desired weight. I then transfer the powder to a casing in the loading block, move the casing to another loading block, move the funnel to the next empty case and repeat the process.
If you arrange that equipment on your bench so that the movements are efficient, you can precisely charge a large number of casings in a short amount of time.

IF you are relying on the powder measure alone and NOT weighing each charge, you need a high quality measure and a very consistent technique. There's nothing wrong with that method and good results can be obtained but I'm reluctant to use a powder measure alone when loading to near maximum charge weights. Also, some powders are just far more "powder measure friendly" (they meter well), than others.

A low cost method is to make a powder scoop from an appropriate sized casing and file it down until it holds the exact amount of powder you desire. Again, technique is important but once the measure is fabricated, it's pretty quick.
 

waco

Springfield, Oregon
Several years ago my wife bought me an RCBS charge master. It dispenses powder onto a scale perfectly each time. Not cheap though. These really shine with big chunky powders like SR4759.
 

Ian

Notorious member
I think walter will also agree that when you work up your load into a flat zone you don't have to have quite the precision of charge to maintain tight groups.

I'd go with the Lee PPM if on a budget, or PM Brad about buying one of Paul's measures. Technique is everything when usung a drum measure. Hopper baffles are essential, too; make one if it doesn't have one.
 

RicinYakima

High Steppes of Eastern Washington
Any one have a Harrell's Precision??? Does it stand up to the hype, is it worth the price???
I have both the small pistol/schutzen and the large one. What you are paying for is the ability to use the micrometer adjustment that moves back and forth with repeatable volumes. The pistol will throw flake powders, but not well below 3 grains. They are well designed, even have built in baffles, and well made.

Throwing repeatable charges is more technique than a mechanical issue.
 

waco

Springfield, Oregon
I think walter will also agree that when you work up your load into a flat zone you don't have to have quite the precision of charge to maintain tight groups.

I'd go with the Lee PPM if on a budget, or PM Brad about buying one of Paul's measures. Technique is everything when usung a drum measure. Hopper baffles are essential, too; make one if it doesn't have one.
Very true.
 

John G

Well-Known Member
Well I'm a fan of the Lyman 55 with the tall hopper tube. I use all powders including stick in it, it gets a bit crunchy but if adjusted right it works well. There are three drum adjustments and what happens if your not watching when adjusting for a load is the fine adjustment blades that screw out extend the drum edge out. The trick is to get close with the first drum before adjustments are made to the fine blades. If you don't do it that way, you end up with a shallow powder drum opening with twice the "edge" to cut through the stick powders. Adjusted correctly you have no more edge then the RCBS, but you have finer adjustments. One trick I learned when I first loading was to tap the measure when the hopper is in the "fill" position and the dump position. The 55 has a tapper built in.

Having said that I also use the RCBS Uni-flo and the Little Dandy which I have set up to work with my LEE Clasic Turret Press. A simple set up which I learned from Ben on this Forum.

Never used a Harrels, I'm not a "bucks up" kind guy like Brad.

I distrust anything digital for working with powder or diameter. I've heard the occasional digital powder scales that would throw a charge that was just off a little and was in consistent. Well in the right cartridge coupled with the right powder, you have a bad combination brewing. I like my fingers and guns to much to trust digital. Just tru away a a digital mic because it would come out of adjustment, but only a little bit. So I kept checking it with my manual mic. Pitched it out. Use what you can trust. I'm old school and cheep. Can you tell?

Full disclosure I'm not a bench shooter, I'm a plinker and paper puncher when I run out of beer cans, golf balls and shotgun hulls.
 

Missionary

Well-Known Member
Good morning
When we were shooting steel critters I figured out real fast that if I really wanted absolute consistency I hade better check my measuring methods against a scale. Discovered two taps of the flipper gizmo and most rifle charges started dropping within .2 grains up or down.
Now for a rifle that is fine unless you are a bench rester.
But the powder best for my Dan Wesson revolvers is 296 / h110. That flacky powdery stuff is a pain. So through many different trials it dawned on me there was another way.
Dippers !! I remeber ready in some old shooting books the Schutszen guys were dippers. If it was good enough for them I thought.... We have a bag full of home made dippers. Even bought a set of Lee dippers. Walla ! The dipper rules supreme in my outlook if I want the absolute consistency with a revolver especially with those powdery flakey powders. But they have a learning technique also but it sure is not hard.
 

fiver

Well-Known Member
yep tap, tap,, up, tap, tap, down, tap, tap, up.
I got like 7 or 8 or 9? manual scales, the old pacific I have sucks worse than the best hoover ever invented.
conversely I got 2 red hornady scales which are the exact same that will both drop 19.3grs of 2400 with just a flick of the wrist.
I got a LEE plastic 1980 sumthin model that has dropped 24.0grs of IMR 4198 on every throw since it was put on the bench, even after being moved twice the first drop was 24.1.
some of it is powder choice for dump choice.

for my big game rifle stuff I rely on the Lyman dpms electric scale I just want repeatability and speed.
I use the crappy blue dump set the pan down and push the button.
seat the bullet in the last case.
dump the powder in the new case.
dump powder in the pan, set it down, push the button and seat the bullet in the last case.

I load much of my varmint rifle stuff on a Dillon 550.
I also load big bulk batches of cast bullet stuff on the 550 too.
it's quite often to hand dumping into a scale and trickling charges for stuff I care about or only want 50 of.
but once again I'm using an electronic scale for those charges.
I just don't want to wait for the DPMS to warm up, or change the powder in it.
 

Joshua

Active Member
I have Lee dippers, homemade dippers, and an older orange Lyman 55.

Here is the variation I normally see when using the Lyman 55 with a few different powders.
Herco: medium flake, target weight 13gr, high 13gr, low 12.7
Zip: small flake, target weight 5.4gr, high 5.4gr, low 5.2gr
AA No.2: small ball, target weight 3.4gr, high 3.4gr, low 3.3gr
2400: small short stick, target 16gr, high 16gr, low 15.8gr

I try to tap the same, I keep the hopper full, use a baffle, and cycle the handle the same. Powder binding up the measures barrel seems to be the most inconsistent thing about this measure. It never stops working, it just changes the harmonics and vibration of the throw, thereby changing how the cavity is filled, and the resulting weight.

As has been said, the dippers do seem to be a bit more consistent when using flake powders.

Josh
 
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CZ93X62

Official forum enigma
I use an RCBS Competition Powder Measure, and retired a vintage 1978 RCBS Duo-Measure when the newer CPM landed about 6 years ago. Ball and flake powders generally run well in both, though Bartlett's #7 refused to cooperate and IMR's 800-X is balky as hell. Long-cut stick powders like the 4831s and 4350s will hang up the drum rotation, so I short-measure those and trickle them up on a balance scale (Ohaus 505). I have the set of Lee spoons for time when all else fails. When you follow the maker's instructions, the spoons are amazingly consistent and accurate.