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Old July 14, 2000, 07:30 AM   #1
Dave P
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Join Date: August 16, 1999
Location: North Florida
Posts: 1,127
Just loaded some 308 with the basic Lee hand press; try them out later today.

I gotta' comment on the powder measure: it came with with a 2.8 cc measure, which, if it was exactly full, should appearantly be 37.1 gr.

But I'll tell you what, that thing has no accuracy or repeatability to it!

So it looks like I need to buy a decent scale and some other powder measure device. Any suggestions?

Thanks
Dave
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Old July 14, 2000, 01:57 PM   #2
Paul B.
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Join Date: March 28, 1999
Location: Tucson, AZ
Posts: 2,633
Dave. I agree, the Lee scoops are a bit erratic, regardless of which way you work them. Maybe it depends on the powder. I have a full set of the scoops, but use them only when working up a load, and for only a few rounds at that. Even then, I weigh each charge. I dump the charge onto the scale, and trickle the rest to achieve the load I'm trying for. Sometimes it is easier to do it that way than trying to readjust the powder measure every 5 rounds. Quicker, anyway, for me. I have 3 powder measures now. An old Pacific I got with my first loading set-up and 2 RCBS Uniflows. One is set up with the small insert for handgun and small rifle rounds, and the other with the large insert for regular and magnum rounds. I found it to be a pain in the butt changing that insert all the time, depending on what I wanted to load. Marked one "small" and the other "large". I seldom use the Pacific anymore. None of them handle the large grained powders like the 4831's and 4350's very well. With those, I throw the charge, weigh it, and trickle the difference. I much prefer the "ball" type powders for that reason.
If anyone knows of a powder measure that works well with the log type powders, please let me know.
Paul B.
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Old July 14, 2000, 03:42 PM   #3
JackFlash
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Join Date: July 8, 2000
Posts: 107
I've been using a Uniflow for ball pistol powders and get consistent loads for hundreds of rounds without adjustment.

One tip for loading some powders it to tap the hopper a couple times before throwing the charge. When you toss the lever to the up position, ensure that it again taps the end of the range and shakes the hopper a bit. Then tap the other end of the range when throwing the lever down to release the charge. This impact should settle extruded powder.

When measuring powder, it's important to follow a consistent procedure: Two taps on the hopper, toss up, toss down. Two taps . . . etc. That way you should get a consistent charge.

Weigh your charges every ten rounds or so. When setting up the Uniflow, I weigh a charge maybe five times before loading just to see how consistenly the measure is working.

With ball powder I estimate that my charges are within +/- 0.01 gr. thoughout the loading.

Buy a quality scale. I haven't tried the electronic scales, but I like the mechanical beam RCBS. I keep it boxed when not in use and treat it like the precision tool that it is. Set it up on a stable, level surface.

I loaded for a while without a micrometer -- revolver ammo. When I moved to semi-auto reloads I discovered a need for a good verneer caliper (micrometer). Don't skimp. Get the stainless steel model, not the plastic. Pawn shops that deal in tools often have used calipers, but you need to check them for wear and nicks in the jaw faces. They need to be kept in their case and stored in a secure location. Treat it like a good gun or a nice watch.

Reload equipment lasts forever if cared for. Think of whatever additions you make to your gear as lifetime investments. Fine tools.
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