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Old April 11, 2007, 06:45 PM   #1
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Powder Charge Variations

How critical is it, for one not into competing, when you cannot get consistent
powder drops. When you are trying for say 7.0 grains, and using both an Adjustable Charge Bar and a Disk, you see swings of 6.6 to 7.2 ? It takes time, but I weigh every charge just to be sure that it's within an acceptable range. Tried the graphite powder routine, didn't seem to do much for me.
Is there more accurate equipment than Lee, when it comes to powder drops?
Personally, I'd rather pay more and have equipment that was very accurate, is that why RCBS and others are more money?
Suppose it's like the Chevy vs. Ford stories, but what is the most accurate powder thrower on the market?
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Old April 11, 2007, 07:11 PM   #2
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I have tried the Hornady powder drop and was pretty disappointed. I went with the RCBS Uniflow powder measure with the micrometer adjustment and have found with Bullseye & Clays Universal powder it is extremely accurate.

I actually sold the dillon powder measure on my 650 and replaced it with the RCBS Uniflow with a case linkage unit and have had great results. I do check weights every 10th load and have not had an issue
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Old April 11, 2007, 09:26 PM   #3
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These are supposed to be good -
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Old April 11, 2007, 10:11 PM   #4
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At that charge volume you should be getting better than +-0.1 gr variation. There is something amiss. The Auto Disk system is very accurate and reproducible so long as you are at cavity volumes greater than about .4 cc for flake powder. For ball powder they are good at even smaller volumes.

I load all types of flake and ball powders with Lee Pro Auto Disk and just don't see variation to amount to anything.

Is that auto disk making a complete cycle? If it does not move out over the charge-drop hole in the measure when you insert a case into the powder through exapander die you can get short charges. You must have that die set deep enough to make sure that happens. Usually people have a problem here when they are trying to flare the case to a minimum, not realizing they are interfering with a critical part of the charging operation.

If the Adjustable Charge bar comes up short of the drop hole it is even worse considering its design--that slit just isn't really a good fit over a round drop hole.

Occasionally someone puts the hopper on backwards--that can happen--and you will then get very erratic charging. Check to make certain it is on properly.
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Old April 12, 2007, 05:46 AM   #5
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+1 benedict. I use the stadard auto disk, I use titegroup, Unique, and 231. I load 296 in my magum rounds, but have a pro disk for that due to the fact it is a fine powder and it leaks. The autodisk throws 231 and titegroup beyond consistent. I check once and go. Unique, as long as in bigger cavities is pretty consistent too, but is a flake powder, so it tends to not be as accurate (+/- .1-.2). 296 is a different story, it is so fine, with the stadard disk it leaks everywhere. On the plus side it is pretty consistent though, and needs to be with 25 grains of powder
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Old April 12, 2007, 05:52 AM   #6
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Thanks, I will check those things out.
Part way through loading, I did back out the die a little, as it seems the 155
LSWC where setting into the case mouth to easily. A "loose" seated bullet is not good either is it? So far, I see no damage to the casings due to over flaring. Between flaring properly, and getting the full powder cycle, it sounds as if one has to hit the happy medium.
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Old April 12, 2007, 12:31 PM   #7
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I've used the AutoDisc for over 25 years and found it to be as accurate as any measure out there ----IF

you make sure you load every round exactly the same. Every movement of the press lever has to have the same force, tempo, etc. If you stop and do other operations on the press like adjusting a die etc. then check your next couple of loads. When the measure has dropped a couple of loads again, uniformity will return. Just like when using a dipper, you have to do it the same every time or the loads will be off. Powder settles more when alllowed to pack due to vibration. Also, keep the measure hopper at least 1/4 full.

I have loades several thousand 223 and 9mm on my Lee Pro 1000 using the AutoDisc and find that any variance in powder weights to be less than .1 grain, once I have dropped 3-4 loads. I check every 20-30 rounds for QC.
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Old April 12, 2007, 02:11 PM   #8
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Is there more accurate equipment than Lee, when it comes to powder drops?
Sure is! ALL of them!
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Old April 12, 2007, 02:13 PM   #9
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+ - 0.1 of a grain is the maximum variation I would allow in a pistol cartridge typically - with max and min drops usually varying by only 0.4 grains or so.

Personally, I'm happy with the Dillon XL 650 press and powder drop system. For pistols, I've used the older RCBS system - and I was never that impressed.
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Old April 12, 2007, 02:17 PM   #10
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I've been using the Dillon measure on my 650 for pistol powders for years. I use a "powder checker" as well. Every 100 rounds, when I have to refill the primer magazine, I check a charge on the scale.
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Old April 12, 2007, 02:17 PM   #11
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You are all probably holding closer powder charges than the factories.
Motor on.
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Old April 12, 2007, 03:24 PM   #12
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Sounds to me like you are using a low bulk powder. The Lee powder measures work well with most flake powders and almost all ball powders. Mine give +/- .1 gr accuracy as long as I keep the hopper filled properly.

And like Jim Watson said, even at +/- .5 gr, you are still holding tighter tolerances than most factory ammo.
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