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First Failure - First Success

Discussion in 'The Ammo & Reloading Forum' started by Over The Hill, Dec 21, 2009.

  1. Over The Hill

    Over The Hill New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2009
    Messages:
    25
    Location:
    Virginia
    Just got my Lee Delux Turret reloader and I'm loading 9MM Lugar for use in a Beretta 92FS. Following Lee's instructions, I should use 5.3 Gr of Unique with a 115 Gr bullet and minimum length of 1.12in. Further, they say that the Lee .5 dipper or the number 53 hole in the Auto Disk Powder measure will provide the correct load. Well, I measured the weight of the dipper (full but not packed down) and the Auto Disk device to be about 4.5 Gr. I tried this in a couple of bullets. They auto loaded well when fired "behind" an American Eagle round but when fired they would not cycle the gun into another American Eagle round. In other words, I sandwiched my reloaded bullet between factory loads. The reloads sounded and felt weak. Bullet length 1.15.

    So I loaded a couple of rounds at a measured weight of 5.3 Gr and the bullets fired normally. Alliant says to use 6.3 Gr of Unique for a 115 Gr bullet so I felt safe with my 5.3gr of powder.

    Question #1 is does anybody have a similar experience with the Lee dipper and Auto Disk load relative to amount of powder being dispensed?

    Question #2 - I want to increase the hole size on the Auto Disk load to whatever size gets me about 5.3 Gr of powder. Will I blow myself up with this approach?

    Any other tips or suggestions for safety's sake? New to reloading so I know just enough to be dangerous.
  2. res45

    res45 Member

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2007
    Messages:
    185
    1. Lee dipper weight by volume not by grains although you are measure in grains on your scale what you dipper is doing each time,you have to dip the powder and swipe the powder off level on the top the same way each time to get a similar and consistent charge.

    2. Get the Lee Double Disk Kit http://www.leeprecision.com/html/catalog/powhan1.html
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2009
  3. RandyP

    RandyP Member

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2009
    Messages:
    458
    I upgraded to the Lee adjustable charge bar and have not looked back. Turn the dial till the throw weighs what you want and start making ammo.

    The Lee dippers make charted weight only for specific density powders. Same for the holes on the charge disks. Usually you have to go up a size dipper or next hole size up with different powders. I think Lee made them that way as a safety to prevent customers from overcharging regardless of powder used if they use the supplied dipper.
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2009
  4. mikld

    mikld Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2009
    Messages:
    908
    Location:
    Oregon
    All the loads from Lee dippers I have used weighed light. I usually use the dippers to get close to my intended load, and trickle up, measuring each load.
  5. warnerwh

    warnerwh New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2009
    Messages:
    7
    The holes in the Auto Disks are light also. I commonly go up 2 sizes or more than what's listed to get the amount of powder I need.
  6. TheGunClinger

    TheGunClinger Well-Known Member Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2008
    Messages:
    2,824
    Location:
    SW Florida
    I have found on my Lee Auto disks and the adjustable charge rarely provide what the Lee manual says. For example if say I want 5.7 gr of Bullseye or a 200gr FMJ .45 acp it will tell me to use the .61 disk or use .61 in volume. It will almost never deliver that load. I have to try different disk and or readjust the incrementle charge and weigh each throw. Usually I have to go larger. When I get the 5.7 I desire, I will do 5-10 more just to make sure it is a consistant 5.7. I weigh with a digitital scale . It does this with many other powders as well. But alls well that ends well. Kinda what makes this fun. Just check check and recheck.
  7. Over The Hill

    Over The Hill New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2009
    Messages:
    25
    Location:
    Virginia
    Thanks everyone for the replies. I think I have a lot of experimentation ahead of me to get this right. But as one of you said, that's what makes this fun! I have a lot to learn.
  8. jim brady

    jim brady Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2009
    Messages:
    1,614
    I also use Unique in my 92FS. My favorite practice load is almost identical to what your Lee guide calls for - I load 5.2 grains Unique with 115 FMJ bullets, and 5.5 grains with JHP bullets. My Beretta has never had a failure of any kind with this load (I've shot thousands of rounds thru it). I also use the same FMJ load in a WW1 Luger and a WW2 P-38 because they are not too abuseive in power level for the older guns.

    I've been told by other shooters that Unique is a 'dirty' powder. Could be - I've used it for so long and in so many pistol calibers that I'm just used to it and don't know any better!

    Good luck getting your powder measurer system worked up. Sounds to me like you are on the right track. I just retired my old RCBS Uniflow system for the new Lyman DPS-3, but I still have a really old Lyman No.55 on stand-by.
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