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Old May 8, 2007, 06:54 PM   #1
millers5285
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Lee Perfect Powder Measure

I currently have the Lee Pro Auto-Disk Powder Measure and it is a bit erratic at times, but not a real bid deal cause I weigh each drop. I load 5 calibers and heard that the Lee Perfect Powder Measure is a little more accurate. I'd like to know the pros and cons with the Perfect Powder Measure. The powder I use is H110, AA5, 2400, and W231.
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Old May 8, 2007, 07:51 PM   #2
benedict1
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The Pro Auto Disk should be far more repeatable than the Perfect Powder Measure.

How are you using the Auto Disk? What type of press? What volumes are you trying to throw and with which powders?

Flake powders will not meter well below cavity sizes of about .43cc. Ball powders such as Win 231 should meter well at the smallest cavity sizes. All this assumes--

You must allow the disk to go through a full cycle and intercept the powder drop hole in maximum fashion. What most people are doing who have trouble is that they do not flare cases sufficiently to cause the disk to run completely to the end of its cycle to drop the powder. Is the disk going over the drop hole when you put a case into the expander die? If not, that is your problem.

I get zero variation from one weighing to the next with ball powders; with flake powders above about 4 gr it is ±0.05 gr.

We need lots more info to help you. But check out the things I asked above before you get back.
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Old May 8, 2007, 08:09 PM   #3
Fiddler 5.56
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I don't like the perfect powder at all and bought the Auto disc, which I used previously. It seems the Auto disk is more reliable (for me at least). The "Perfect" Powder measure had me checking every charge, just about,---made me paranoid, so stopped using it.
I use the double disk kit add on for rifle caliber.
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Old May 8, 2007, 08:45 PM   #4
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I have never used the PPM but I own a PAD and find it to be very consistant. I can throw Titegroup and HS-6 all night without any change.
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Old May 8, 2007, 09:24 PM   #5
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The PPM is great for single stage. And rifle stuff. Benchrest.
Set it and go.
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Old May 8, 2007, 09:27 PM   #6
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I'm getting a little worried about all the comments I am seeing about the Pro Auto Disk and the problems it has with small amounts of powder. I am planning to load .38 special in the next few days (will be my first reloads) and starting loads for HP-38 are in the low 3 grains in most manuals.

What should I do? Will it just not work? I'm not comfortable using it if I am going to have to measure every bit of powder anyway.

I'm probably going to buy the microdisk since I will want to load 32 long at some point in the future, but the catalogs say that it only goes up to 2.5 grains so that's no good for me.
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Old May 8, 2007, 09:43 PM   #7
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Get the micro disk!
The adjustable disk, does not go to 3.0 gn Titegroup.
But, the micro disk was close.
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Old May 8, 2007, 09:45 PM   #8
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Just checked. 3.0 Titegroup. 148 LHBWC. Light load.
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Old May 8, 2007, 10:07 PM   #9
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Yeah I was originally going to buy Titegroup but my local shop did not have it, so I ended up picking up HP-38. But either one has a starting load of around 3.1 give or take a tenth (don't have my manuals in front of me), since the Lee site says the micro only goes up to 2.5, I don't think that would cut it for me.

Maybe I should just look to buy another pound of powder in a different type? Most of them were in the 3 or so range for .38spl tho

Also I should have mentioned, I'll be using 158 grain Rainer bullets, which are supposed to match cast lead for loading purposes.
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Old May 8, 2007, 10:38 PM   #10
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The disk I got, indicates .12, .15, .18, .21, .24, .27.
158 gn LCSWC 3.1-3.7 gn. Disk .30 or.32.
http://data.hodgdon.com/cartridge_load.asp
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G17, S&W 686, G22C, Colt H-Bar, Marlin, Savage 10FP. Be safe. Be happy
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Old May 8, 2007, 11:03 PM   #11
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I'm not sure I follow. What does .27 signify? And are you saying that there is a disk numbered .32 that would be able to do 3.1 grains with no issues?

Sorry I'm new to all this.
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Old May 9, 2007, 12:13 AM   #12
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The Lee Micro disk, I got, indicates .12, .15, .18, .21, .24, .27 holes/cavities.
158 gn LCSWC 3.1-3.7 gn. For HP-38 Powder came from http://data.hodgdon.com/cartridge_load.asp
Disk .30 or.32. Is the recommended cavity, that came from, The Lee Reloading Book. That you should have bought. And read.
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Old May 9, 2007, 05:14 AM   #13
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The .27 etc indication on the Lee disk system indicates volume by cc.

If you know the density of the powder and know the weight you want to drop the volume can be computed. the Lee manual lists the volume. also of you buy the Lee dipper set it has a "slide rule" to do the computations for you. The Lee perfect powder measure adjuastment is also calibrated in this manner. I have noted that the values listed in Lee manual turn out to be on the light side. I always verify weight using a scale.
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Old May 9, 2007, 08:27 AM   #14
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OK I bought the Lee manual, to go with the 6 (ABC, Hornady, Lyman, 3 Loadbooks) others I have bought. I didn't realize the Lee one was a must have if you get Lee equipment.

I just looked at the disks my PAD came with and it has holes for .30 and .32. So back to my original question - everyone seems to be saying that the PAD is unreliable at low weights, is this true only for high density powders, or am I going to have trouble using those low hole sizes? The last thing I want is inconsistency during my first batch - I'll weigh every charge if I have to.
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Old May 9, 2007, 09:06 AM   #15
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Let's get back on track--

1. The holes, ie, 'cavities', in th disks are measured in cubic centimeters--"cc"
2. The holes work very well with ball powders at even the smallest volumes because ball powders flow well and have less tendency to pick up static charge.

Example: I use the Micro Disk with cavity .21 cc to throw 2.2 gr Win231. I have weighed many charges--they are all 2.2 gr, I see no variation.

3. Starting around cavity size .40 to .43 cc, you will have problems with ALL flake powders, eg., Unique, Red Dot, Green Dot, etc. Any charge weight around 4 gr or less may cause problems with these powders. THIS IS NOT UNIQUE TO LEE PAD. ALL POWDER MEASURES ARE TROUBLESOME IN THIS RANGE.

Example: I use the regular disk to throw 4.7 gr of Unique using the .61 cc cavity. It throws 4.7 gr, ±0.05 gr.

I can actually throw down to about 4.0 gr of Unique consistently. Below that the powder will clump, bridge and flow erratically, often giving charges .2-.5 grains light.

Flake powders like Clays will meter better--the flakes are smaller and don't seem as prone to static charge buildup. I load 3.0 gr of Clays with a .46 cc cavity, very consistent, ±0.05 gr, and have no problem.

I load Green Dot for .45 ACP on my Load Master. The disk throws 5.1 grains--every time--I have not been able to detect any variation with my Lee Safety Scale or Frankford Digital Scale. Set it and forget it--until you open a new can of powder--then check what the cavity throws with your scale--powder lots vary in density and can be off by 10% or more--Lee warns of this in the instructions for the PAB

If you pay attention to the type of powder you should have no problem. No, you will not have to weigh every charge! The PAD is the most consistent powder measure I know of--you just have to use it with the right powders at low charge weights--if you need to go there, use ball powders.

Last edited by benedict1; May 9, 2007 at 09:47 AM. Reason: More info.
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Old May 9, 2007, 09:44 AM   #16
benedict1
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Quote:
OK I bought the Lee manual, to go with the 6 (ABC, Hornady, Lyman, 3 Loadbooks) others I have bought. I didn't realize the Lee one was a must have if you get Lee equipment.

I just looked at the disks my PAD came with and it has holes for .30 and .32. So back to my original question - everyone seems to be saying that the PAD is unreliable at low weights, is this true only for high density powders, or am I going to have trouble using those low hole sizes? The last thing I want is inconsistency during my first batch - I'll weigh every charge if I have to.
Having the Lee manual is fine. But if you take the time to read the directions that come with the PAD you would have seen the warning about flake powders. As I said above, it's not just the PAD. I got in trouble trying to drop 3 gr. of Clays for .38 Special with a Dillon powder measure when I first started--didn't work for beans! 2 squibs in the first 12 rounds I made!

The PAD is just fine for low weights, and better than many powder measures, if you use the right type of powder!

Did you read the part in ABCs of Reloading about powder types? Flake, extruded, rods, ball, etc? For those small charges pick a ball powder--Win 231 is perfect for most of them and as I noted above, meters in excellent fashion.

What's not to like about the Micro Disk throwing 2.2 gr Win231 with no measurable variation, every time?

In the unlikely event that you pick a load and just can't find a disk cavity that will throw what you want then you just have to find another load. I load five calibers with at least 10 different bullet weights and styles between them and have had zero problems finding suitable loads for Unique, Green Dot, Win 231 or Clays.

Sure, at the start you'll want to weigh charges to make sure a disk cavity is throwing what you need. EVERY TIME YOU CHANGE POWDER LOTS, OR TYPES OF POWDER YOU MUST CHECK WITH A SCALE. POWDER LOTS VARY IN DENSITY. THAT IS WHY THE TABLES WITH THE LEE EQUIPMENT ARE ONLY APPROXIMATE--THEY ARE A GUIDE, NOT THE ANSWER.
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Old May 9, 2007, 10:14 AM   #17
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Ah ok, that's fine then. I specifically stayed away from flake powders because of what you are talking about. HP-38 is a ball powder, as is Titegroup which I was originally going to get (store didnt have it). So I shouldn't have much trouble. I didn't realize that the problems people were talking about with low powder weights only pertained to certain powder types.

Of course, as you pointed out, I will triple check it when I start out, and probably periodically throughout.

Thank you very much for taking the time to make this clear to me. I appreciate it!
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Old May 9, 2007, 10:48 AM   #18
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You are most welcome! Please keep us informed on your progress.
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Old May 9, 2007, 12:34 PM   #19
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I've got the Lee Classic Turret, Pro Auto Disk and other items on order (might be in Friday). From what I'm reading, I will probably need the micro disk or the adjustable charge bar to load what I intend (9mm, .38spl, .40S&W and .45acp). I'm leaning toward the micro disk after reading reviews talking about flow problems with the charge bar. This might be self explanatory after reading the instructions but does the micro disk replace the included disks or do I use it in conjunction with the included disks? If it is used in conjunction, do I need the double disk kit riser? Excuse my ignorance, I might be able to figure this out after looking at the equipment but I'm trying to get as much advance knowledge as possible.
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Old May 9, 2007, 12:57 PM   #20
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Dennis, I don't think you'll need the micro disk, depending on what powder you buy. The 9mm might need it, but the rest definitely don't.

The micro disk just has smaller measures than the 4 that come with the PAD.
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Old May 9, 2007, 01:48 PM   #21
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If you go to light loads for the .38 Spec. you will need the Micro Disk. It replaces the existing disk--it has an adapter that fits on the powder measure tab that pushes the disk back and forth--very simple to use.

Some people also use it with the stacked disks--it can be done, but you must be careful to always have the smallest hole disk on top--if reversed you can get bridging and light charges.

I am not a big fan of the adjustable charge bar except for ball powders that flow well. It will work fine with that, but be cautious below about 2.5 grains of anything.
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Old May 9, 2007, 03:27 PM   #22
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Thanks. After I posted, I re-read Zippy06's post again. I didn't understand it the first time (thought he was talking only about the micro disk) but now I see that the included disk allows the "standard" charge to be thrown. I've got the Lee manual coming with the rest of the order so I should be good to go. I can't access the Hodgdon site right now (must be down) but if I recall corectly I can get a powder that will work for the 9mm also.

Thanks agin
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Old May 9, 2007, 05:08 PM   #23
benedict1
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Win 231 works--for all bullet weights from 95 gr up to 147 gr.. Lots of loads.

Try here--

http://handloads.com/

and here--

http://www.reloadammo.com/

You'll find loads for every caliber of handgun you ever heard of and for just about every powder too!
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Old May 9, 2007, 08:17 PM   #24
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Thanks for the links. Very useful!

231 is one of the powders I was leaning toward, second choice was Tightgroup.
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Old May 9, 2007, 09:04 PM   #25
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PeteQuad, I have found even the smallest cavity to be consistant with the powders I use. The adjustable charge bar is not good with small charges. That might be what you remember reading in other threads. My experience with the PAD has been nothing but good.
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