Powder Measures?

Discussion in 'The Ammo & Reloading Forum' started by Josh Smith, Oct 31, 2011.

  1. Josh Smith

    Josh Smith Member

    Nov 10, 2009
    Wabash IN

    I load one pistol round, the .45acp, and two rifle rounds, the 7.62x54R and the 7.92x57J.

    For the .45, I use a Lee Autodisk. It charges just fine and weight variance is not more than +/-0.1grn, I've found. Still, I check it every 10 throws.

    Now, I've been looking at powder measures for the rifles. Currently I use some of those Lee scoops and a Lyman (I think) powder trickler to measure each charge (46.5grns Varget for the 7.92x57J and 47grns for the 7.62x54R).

    It takes a few seconds to a minute to get each charge right.

    Now, I'm wondering if the powder measures are worth it? I have several hundred pulled bullets for the 7.62x54R and shoot it a lot. The 7.92x57J hasn't gotten shot a lot yet, but that's going to change soon.

    Do you use powder measures, and how do you like them?


  2. howlnmad

    howlnmad Well-Known Member Supporting Member

    Nov 26, 2008
    Harriman, Tn
    I have the RCBS ChargeMaster 1500 combo, the RCBS Uniflow, a PACT BBK II, Lee Perfect Powder Measure, RCBS 5-0-5, Lee dippers and a RCBS trickler. I use them all for different purposes. So... yes, I use the dippers.

  3. flintlock

    flintlock Well-Known Member Supporting Member

    Aug 14, 2007
    Upstate NY
    I have used a Lyman #55 powder measure for a ver y long time, and have no problems with it. Very easy to set a charge weight, and it is very consistent. I have also ocassionally used Lee's dippers, and they mostly worked fine also.
  4. JLA

    JLA Well-Known Member

    Feb 26, 2007
    Heart Of Texas

    I love my 55
  5. CampingJosh

    CampingJosh Well-Known Member

    Sep 25, 2007
    I also use the Lyman 55 powder measure, though I'm not loading any rifle cartridges yet.
  6. myfriendis410

    myfriendis410 Member

    Mar 30, 2011
    Lompoc California
    I have the Lyman 1200 DPS, which I use for all of my rifle loading. It's very fast if used with a Lee dipper to "start" the charge in the pan.

    For pistol I use the supplied Dillon measure on my SDB and it holds right on charge weight.

    If you are going to dispense stick powders you would be advised to get as good a measure as possible to avoid large variance in powder charge.
  7. 312shooter

    312shooter Well-Known Member

    Mar 17, 2008
    Las Vegas NV
    A powder measure is a must have item, I can also vouch for the Lyman 55 as a solid, reliable, accurate measure. Also, Hornady makes an outstanding measure with the case activated metering setup typically used on their progressive press, you can charge 100's of cartriges in short order. Sounds like a powder measure is something you should look at getting soon if you are into reloading and want to load more than 20 rounds in a session.
  8. res45

    res45 Member

    Sep 21, 2007
    I use and RCBS Lil Dandy and about 10 rotor to throw all my pistol charges,works with some rifle loads as well. For rifles I mainly use my RCBS DUE Measure,I use my Lyman D-7 scales to verify what the measure throws and check ever 10 rds. or so.

    I haven't used a trickler in years,a tenth or two of a grain +/- either side especially as the case volume goes up want make that much of a difference in real world accuracy. The sweet spot in many rifles is much wider than most people would like to think or believe.
  9. gdmoody

    gdmoody Moderator Supporting Member

    Sep 7, 2007
    Athens, Georgia
    I have been using the RCBS uniflow measure http://www.midwayusa.com/Product/752260/rcbs-uniflow-powder-measure-with-standard-cylinder for years and it works fine. It, of course, works better with the ball type powder such as Winchester, but it is OK with extruded powder too. I enjoy the time I am out reloading so much that I have found that even though I have the RCBS, more and more, I have been weighing every load so I have not used it for a while.
  10. noylj

    noylj Active Member

    Jul 27, 2007
    Why are you spending so much time with powder charges? Are you in long-range competition and trying to hold sub-1 MOA at 500 yards?
    For any normal rifle, accuracy in much more dependent on quality bullets that are the same diameter as the barrel's groove diameter (or 0.001" larger), case concentricity, minimal headspace, and the COL that the barrel and bullet want.
    For rifles, even benchrest, a ±2-3% variation in powder charge weight has no impact on target, and particularly not at ranges less than 200 yards.
    Run you own tests and prove to yourself exactly what is critical with your rifles.
    The quickest way to determine an near optimum powder charge is running a "ladder" test. The whole point is that at and around the optimum charge weight, all the bullets will impact at almost the exact same location out at 300 yards. Since that is generally a ±1.0-2.0 gn charge weight variation, you will prove that a smaller charge weight variation will NOT have any impact at distances out to 300 yards.
    I know the OCDs get their enjoyment from controlling everything, even when they know it has no impact, but what would you rather do--spend time doing unimportant stuff or getting out there and shooting and getting better?
  11. Josh Smith

    Josh Smith Member

    Nov 10, 2009
    Wabash IN
    Hi Folks,

    After asking advice from different folks here and elsewhere and reading up on my own, I figured the Lee measure had the best chance of doing what I wanted from a measure. I like stick powders, namely Varget, and it seems this works the best with them.

    So, I got it and mounted it up. I was getting +/- 0.5grns. I consider that unacceptable. After I had run a couple hoppers through it and it was still doing it, I took it apart.

    I wiped down the insides with a used dryer cloth to kill the static and get any oils that might be in there. I also snipped a bit off the elastomer piece that was left over from molding it. Powder had been getting trapped on it.

    Following advice from a Lee manual, I took off the upward stop. Seems a lot of folks like to smack these around, but Lee says not to bump against the hard stops top or bottom, and so I followed that.

    Much improved, but still had the odd charge.

    I went looking for a baffle. Nobody makes one for Lee, so I got to looking around.

    Guess what? The cap from a Varget bottle fits in there perfectly! I dented the center in a little bit, drilled four holes, turned it upside down with the lip facing up, and pushed it into the hopper.

    Problem solved!

    I'm now throwing 47.2 +/- 0.1grn, with the deviation being the exception. Usually it throws right on.

    I'm using my electronic scale, but I found an old Redding that's oil dampened -- I never liked the magnetic dampening on the old Lee I had.

    We'll see how that thing works! I'm looking forward to going back to a beam scale.

    Pictures to follow later.


  12. Squeak

    Squeak Member

    I make my own dipper measures from various size brass cases with a piece of bronze welding rod soldered onto the case for a handle. These bronze rods are commonly available at most hardware stores ( so ya can buy just one instead of a whole bundle ).

    For example: I use a .380 case FILED DOWN TO THE CORRECT LENGTH so it holds the right amount of powder for whatever brand stuff you're using when I load .45 ACP.

    Of course ya gotta use a scale to set the dipper length up. Works for me!
  13. reynolds357

    reynolds357 Former Guest

    Oct 24, 2011
    I am using a 30 year old RCBS measure that I have absolutely no idea what the model number is. It is as accurate as anything else I have tried. I load pistol on a progressive press and I load all rifle ammo on a single stage press. I weigh every rifle charge so I am really not overly concerned about accuracy of the measure. Lets face it, I do not care who makes the measure, it is not going to accurately throw IMR 4350 or RL22 and those are the powders I use 95% of the time.
  14. reynolds357

    reynolds357 Former Guest

    Oct 24, 2011
    If you seriously think a competition bench rest shooter is going to vary charge by up to 3%, you are badly mistaken. I shoot with a world record holder and he literally will pick one piece of powder out of the charge pan with a tweezer.
  15. sliclee

    sliclee New Member

    Jun 5, 2011
    Miami Beach Florida
    357-with a tweezer, gimmy a break.I buy the cases with Ok to send back the ones that arnt perfect. I weigh each case and put them together by weight, they are all trimmed to the exact length up to .001-.003., the bullets also bought so the weight of each is within 5 or so grams, I use my finger to get the grain of powder but truth be known a few grains more or less doesnt mean much, when I light that primer the only variable is the wind.
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