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Discussion Starter #1
I am a newbie going through my first batch of 9mm. I know there is alot of opinion about which is better, accurate and consistent. I am more concerned with safety at this point.

I am using the Lee 50th anniversary kit with the balance scale ( I will be getting a digital soon) and the perfect powder measure. The powder is Winchester autocomp with a 115 RN Hornady bullet.

From the directions and tables. I have determined that I need 4.4 gn charge. The VMD shows as .0787 which comes out to .35 cc. When I use that volume the charge comes out significantly less than 4.4 gn. From what I have read it should be close and it's not going to be exact Everytime. But to get it close I adjusted the volume to .48 cc and a VMD of .1090. that's a 37% increase. I know the batches of powder can vary but that seems to be too much.

My question is should I go with the original volume of .35 or with the weight of 4.4 gn?
 

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Trust your scale, not the powder measure. I ignore the marks on my powder measures.
I weigh the charge that they drop and screw the adjuster in or out, repeating as necessary until it weighs exactly what I want. Then I repeat weighing it at least three times to make sure.
I have a Lee perfect powder measure as well as an old RCBS uniflow. I only use the Lee for bulky powders, because it tends to shave and leak powder. (works fine with some powders though)
 

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What he said.

Lee has been pushing that nonsense for years. "Easy setup. X load is 4.3 cc of powder, so screw the thingy out to 4.3 and you're good to go!"

Uh huh.

Set it to 4.3. Run ten charges through it. Dump them back in the hopper. Throw another one.

Weigh it. Adjust thingy in or out to bring "thrown amount" to the right weight.

Once you have your measure throwing the right weight, set your scale UP ten times.

You say you're after 4.4 grains? Set your scale for 44.0 grains, then throw ten charges in the pan and weigh that.

It's purt-near impossible for the measure to throw the EXACT SAME CHARGE every time. But if the weight of ten charges runs between 43.8 and 44.2, I'd say you're good.
 

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When running TrailBoss through it, my Lee powder dump works just fine. But H110 in it makes a bloody mess. It sprays powder everywhere.
The RCBS that I've used for over 30 years doesn't have that problem, and it''s VERY consistent. Even when checking the charge periodically while loading 100 to 300 round batches, I've never had to re-adjust it once. The RCBS has some sort of graduation marks on the screw too, but I've never paid any attention to them.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thank you for actually answering my question. I am only at entry level and want to fully understand the manual process before I start investing more money. And relying on equipment to do the process. The instructions say the powder can vary as much as 16%. Since this was over double I wanted more opinions. That was the solution I came up with as well, set the volume to the correct weight and use it to charge by weight.
 

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Trust your scale, not the powder measure. I ignore the marks on my powder measures.
I weigh the charge that they drop and screw the adjuster in or out, repeating as necessary until it weighs exactly what I want. Then I repeat weighing it at least three times to make sure.
I have a Lee perfect powder measure as well as an old RCBS uniflow. I only use the Lee for bulky powders, because it tends to shave and leak powder. (works fine with some powders though)
That's about what i do too. the heck with the numbers on the powder measure. I also have a rcbs uniflow.
 

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Thank you for actually answering my question. I am only at entry level and want to fully understand the manual process before I start investing more money. And relying on equipment to do the process. The instructions say the powder can vary as much as 16%. Since this was over double I wanted more opinions. That was the solution I came up with as well, set the volume to the correct weight and use it to charge by weight.
You are off to a good start. Reloading does require some investment in tools, but it doesn't have to cost a small fortune. Some guys won't touch anything other than the most expensive Dillon they can find, then there's guys like me that are still loading on the same press they started with. I do have a progressive press somewhere. In a box. Gathering dust. Haven't mounted it to a bench in years.
I just prefer a single stage press.

If you have any questions, or want opinions, suggestions, and honest reviews before you buy more tools this is the perfect place to be. We've tried nearly everything, and will talk about reloading until you are tired of listening.
Welcome to the forum!
 

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Welcome to the rewarding, addictive, and most importantly, confusing world of reloading:D.

I'm loading for 10mm, .40 S&W, an .380, using the Lee 4-hole Turret Press, Perfect Powder Measure with Unique, Blue Dot and Titegroup, and an old RCBS 10-10 beam scale. I have no complaints with my setup at all.

I've never liked Lee's VMD/cc scoop method of measuring powder. I set the powder measure setting to ball-park my weight, then tweak it until I get 10 consistent, consecutive throws, then re-weigh every 10 rounds.

I think 99.9% of us would say go with the weight. Some will say beam scales, others will say electronic scales, but I don't think any of us will say just use the settings on your powder measure.

You've come to the right place. I took a 30 year break from reloading, and when I started again, I came here, and got a lot of opinions, and a lot more excellent advice that could be verified as accurate.

Just remember to take your time, and be safe:)
 

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forget the perfect powder measure! get the Lee drum powder measure, it drops a much more consistant charge. I gave away my perfect powder measure after using the drum for a week!
 

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The lee Perfect Powder Measure is a drum...are you thinking the disc?
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thank you all. I have finished the first 50 rounds checked every third then fifth. All came out the same. Very consistent throws.

My next question is how far is too far to seat the bullet? The first one I seated came out at 1.110 oal. I have been looking for the oal minimum length. I can only find the oal max length. I am pretty sure it's to deep and unsafe.
 

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VDM is useful but only after the powder(s) you are using have been verified for it's actual VDM. The VDM published in Lee's manual are NOT the VDM of the powder you're using but of the test samples used at the time of publication. The usefulness of a VDM is limited to a PM that is capable of CC measurements like the PPM, Lee Classic or the Deluxe. Then the PM can be dialed in to abbreviate the time to dial in the desired charge weight. Do not expect the values in the Lee manual to be accurate but merely approximate. A scale is necessary to determine the actual charge weight. Powder measures like the Auto Disk and Auto Drum only allow approximate VDM values even though the Lee manual list them.
 

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Thank you all. I have finished the first 50 rounds checked every third then fifth. All came out the same. Very consistent throws.

My next question is how far is too far to seat the bullet? The first one I seated came out at 1.110 oal. I have been looking for the oal minimum length. I can only find the oal max length. I am pretty sure it's to deep and unsafe.
This part get a bit tricky because there is no easy answer. The exact measurement changes depending on what bullet you are using. Basically the ideal situation is to have the bullet seated at least as deep as it's diameter. As close to touching the powder without compressing it as possible.
That's all well and good, but it doesn't take into account that different powders take up different case volume for the same amount of pressure.
When you charge the case, look at the level of powder. This is a good habit to have anyway, as it's a good safety check to insure there are no volume errors. You can hold the bullet next to the case to get an idea of how much bullet should be exposed. Too deep can cause unsafe pressure, not deep enough won't chamber.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Thanks. I was just trying to make sure it didn't go over the max of 1.169. the rest I sat were consistently around 1.167. do they need to be pushed more? I figured as long as it chambers and is not passed the max length it will be safer than too deep with the pressure concerns.
 

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Thanks. I was just trying to make sure it didn't go over the max of 1.169. the rest I sat were consistently around 1.167. do they need to be pushed more? I figured as long as it chambers and is not passed the max length it will be safer than too deep with the pressure concerns.
That's correct. Some bullets have a more rounded nose than others and need to be set deeper. But as long as you don't exceed the max. length ou should be fine. If they chamber, they a deep enough.
 

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Probably OK if they are not loaded to the max load, .06 shouldn't hurt much.
If you are worried about it, a kinetic bullet puller is a good tool to have on hand.
 

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For a new reloader; K.I.S.S. You are using Hornady bullets, so use Hornady data. Hornady manuals will have the exact bullet you are using and have determined the best OAL.

There's nothing wrong with your Lee equipment. All powder measures will vary in charges depending on the powder used (my Lee PPM will hold +/- .1 gr. of W231 quite easily, but my C-H 502 varies .2+ gr. with the same powder). The markings on the drum are very rough measurements (a lot of variation in volume depending on humidity), and I have only used them to repeat a charge by using the same settings.

I've wondered, since I've been reading about volume powder charging over many years, if volume charging is better, then why do all the reloading manuals (or all 11 I have) list powder charges in weight?

FWIW; I don't think I'd try the rounds seated sixty thousandths short (.060"), which seems to me to be quite a bit...
 
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