New to reloading and need some advice.

Discussion in 'The Ammo & Reloading Forum' started by Thatreloadinguy, Sep 16, 2020 at 12:41 AM.

Lee Precision Auto Drum Powder measure worth the money?

  1. Yes

    62.5%
  2. No

    37.5%
  1. Thatreloadinguy

    Thatreloadinguy New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2020
    Messages:
    3
    My set up is a Lee turret the 4 hole variety. I am using the Lee Auto Drum powder measure and it is the most finnicky thing of the whole process. I have never loaded my own ammo. I have very little experience with loading. The dies I have set up are measuring out fine length and neck sizes. Bullet seating is fine and even primed about 10 cases first.
    This powder measure is locking up then I get it free and working and then it dumps so much powder it is all over the bench. I have the screw all the way in and it is still dumping an entire case of .223 plus enough to spill all over the bench. I took off the unit and checked it. threaded in the adjustment all the way in and it still dumps powder. ??? any help on this thing because I have spent about an hour with it and I want to use it for the next clay at a skeet shoot.
     
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  2. noylj

    noylj Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2007
    Messages:
    454
    Never had any issue. Call Lee. Something is very wrong with the measure or your use of it.
    The measure works by aligning a cavity with the powder hopper so the hopper can fill the cavity, and then the cavity drum rotates down to the dispenser. The hopper and dispenser are never aligned are open to each other so powder can't drop straight through. So, unless there is missing piece or you assembled it wrong, there is no way that the measure could dispense a case full of powder if the cavity is set for 0 cc. Maybe the part that acts as the "base" of the metering assembly to control the cavity depth is missing? Inspect the drum/metering assembly.
    I can only suggest that you verify that the metering adjustment is NOT set for full open and is really set of zero cc.
    You can put a cup below the measure and hand cycle it.
    Make sure you have the right drum installed for the targeted powder charge.

    Per Lee:

    Adjusting charge using adjustment key
    Each of the quick change drums includes a key that you insert into the adjusting screw to make your adjustment. Each facet of the 10 sided key represents .01cc or about a 1/10 grain for the average powder. Light, fluffy powders are going to be less and more dense powders are going to be slightly more. On average, it is 1/10 of a grain per facet.

    Use Lee Dipper or Safety Scale
    Before installing the drum, you can roughly preset the measure using a weighed charge or a charge from an appropriate dipper

    Adjust Charge

    Charge is Light
    Each key facet is about 1/10 of a grain. For example, if you are 3/10 of a grain light, rotate key counterclockwise 3 key facets to increase the charge. This will back out the metering rod, increasing the chamber size to drop more powder.

    Charge is Heavy
    If charge is heavy, rotate the key clockwise to decrease the charge.

    Large Capacity Quick Change Drums
    NOTE: when you dispense large charges, allow enough time for metering drum to empty. Cartridges like the 300 Win Mag can take up to 3 seconds to fill.

    Rule of thumb: allow 1 second per cc for charging and dispensing the powder charge.

    Inconsistent powder charges: The powder measure hasn’t been conditioned adequately. Run a hopper full of powder through the measure to coat surfaces with powder or dust the metering surfaces with powdered graphite.

    Check powder through expanding plug, drop tube and Powder Measure riser for oil residue. Push a clean tissue through to remove any residual oil (Personally, I degrease all metal parts with aerosol degreaser or brake cleaner).
     
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  3. Pustic

    Pustic Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2008
    Messages:
    408
    Location:
    Western Kentucky
    I use the Lee dippers along with an RCBS M1000 beam scale. No mess with the powder and I get it right every time.
    Lee Dippers.jpg RCBS M1000.jpg
     
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  4. noylj

    noylj Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2007
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    Pustic: slow, but it gets the job done, provided scale never is "moved" by accident or one of poise weights doesn't get bounced to a new groove.
     
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  5. Thatreloadinguy

    Thatreloadinguy New Member

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    Sep 4, 2020
    Messages:
    3
    This was very very helpful! Thank you!! I had the wrong drum size in. I read it twice and followed your advice. I am making it spit charges that are within .2 +- (22 grains) It is no longer spitting out extra powder....what a mess it made on my bench. Gotta fire up the shop vac tomorrow since everyone is asleep in the house and I stayed up late to figure this out. Much appreciated!
     
  6. ms6852

    ms6852 GUNZILLA Supporting Member

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    Nov 15, 2008
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    5,862
    Location:
    San Antonio Texas
    Only time I've had minor issues was if I used stick powder and it had to cut it. Other wise the Lee powder dispenser works good. I load well enough below max pressures and weigh every 5th charge so if it is off it normally is .1 to .2 grains + or - which is not a big deal for handgun plinking ammo. For rifle charges I prefer more precision and trickle charge to the desired load.
     
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  7. sparkyv

    sparkyv Well-Known Member

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    Jan 1, 2013
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    Location:
    Deepinnaheartta, Texas
    I have the same experience and opinion as ms6852, but I will add that the LADPM did not work well for me no matter what I tried with fine ball powders such as #9 and H110.
     
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  8. Clipper

    Clipper Well-Known Member

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    Location:
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    Pleased that you found the problem and solved it. I have several Lee Auto Drum measures, three on Dillon blocks for .380, 9mm, .38/.357, .40 /.45 acp, and they all drop charges within a tenth of a grain. Some users have had leakage with finer powders, I haven't..and I don't use any stick powders.
     
  9. gdmoody

    gdmoody Full Time Moderator Moderator Supporting Member

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    I only have one of the Auto Drum measures, it is also sitting on a Dillon tool head and it has never given me one problem at all. I voted yes it's worth the money.
     
  10. hunter29180

    hunter29180 Well-Known Member Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2011
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    Location:
    Kingsport TN
    Tip for the Auto Drum Measure .. coat the drum and the drum whole LIGHTLY with Graphite powder, this allows the drum to slide easier and helps stop the fine powders from leaking by. (Allows you to tighten the drum tighter to help prevent leaks also!)
     
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