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Old September 8, 2012, 12:55 PM   #26
Jimro
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Some powders don't do well in the auto disk. With the rate you are reloading, it sounds like you would be happier with a Lee Perfect Powder Measure. I use one for my bottleneck rifle rounds larger than 223, and it does well with both ball and stick powders. Can't comment on flake powders as I have never run them through the Perfect.

Now I may be confused, but as long as the charge range is in the "safe zone" between your known starting point and tested upper limit, why worry about variation? If you are competing in bullseye pistol competition I completely understand, but for normal "minute of bowling pin" or steel plate plus or minus half a grain of powder isn't going to cause a miss. So I guess it depends on what you are shooting whether or not you can sacrifice reloading speed for on target accuracy.

I hope you work the bugs out, you know I ran an auto disk with double disks and forgot to put the support risers on the side? God loves young boys and fools, for he surely made enough of us.

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Old September 8, 2012, 01:08 PM   #27
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You may be able to spot any problems if you remove the hopper, and run a case into the charging die. While you're doing this stand over the press and watch the disc from above. When the ram is at TDC you should be looking straight through the disc and into the case.

I really wish I lived nearby so I could help. This type of thread really frustrates me. I hate not being able to help a brother out.
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Old September 8, 2012, 01:11 PM   #28
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It shouldn't be this hard for anyone, new to reloading or not. Constant tweaking to make a powder measure work isn't ok either...unless you like to fidget with gear to make it work. Call the mfg and ask them to send you a replacement unit.

bc
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Old September 8, 2012, 01:12 PM   #29
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Quote:
as long as the charge range is in the "safe zone" between your known starting point and tested upper limit, why worry about variation?
In purely practical terms, you are absolutely correct, but it is partly the principle: it should do what it says on the tin!! I just find it unnerving that there should be such differences

There is also the problem of when I decide to meter measures closer to max, or when I decide to buy and make up some hotter 300gr cartridges.

It also means that one round may feel quite different to the next when at the range...

Can you explain how the perfect powder measure would improve the situation?

What is the difference in function?
It may be a simple, cheap solution: I'm not planning to put out hundreds at a time: I usually reload for my next trip to the range...

I still hope I can work out what I'm doing wrong with the AD, though.
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Old September 8, 2012, 02:47 PM   #30
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The perfect powder measure is an adjustable drum type dispenser. So instead of a fixed disk you have a cylinder to adjust. In my experience with exactly one example of the auto disk and perfect powder measure the PPM has tighter tolerances, but I've never used a flake powder (or any of the VV powders you are using).

I normally get +/- .1 grain accuracy with the PPM, and that is using ball or stick powder. I recommend it, and even if you get a +/- .2 gr accuracy, then you still have less work to do with the powder trickler.

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Old September 8, 2012, 02:55 PM   #31
the led farmer
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you should not be spilling powder! something is amiss and you need to correct that problem-it can be this simple: auto-disk-leaking

i don't know what kind of powder you are using but if it's cylindrical in shape you will have a very hard time with consistency in a volumetric powder measure, which is why i say a ball powder works best.

in any case, fix the powder spillage problem first and then see if the other steps you took even you out
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Old September 8, 2012, 03:28 PM   #32
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Thats the fix I was talking about earlier^^^^ to fix leaks.
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Old September 8, 2012, 03:59 PM   #33
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Could it be the powder? That is to say, the Lee does not work well with extruded "stick" powders in small volume loads?

If we had included a poll asking powder type being used with minimal problems in the Lee measure, what percent would be using extruded pistol powder? Ball powder, yes. Flake, yes. In my RCBS Uniflow, N320 and N340 feel significantly "harder" that ball and flake powders. Could the powder be binding the measure causing the variations?
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Old September 8, 2012, 04:44 PM   #34
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N350 is stick powder: it looks like micro rabbit feed.

Seems that the only powder manufacturer locally make powder that doesn't play well with my measure.... ain't that always the way!

Well, the PPM is not a bank breaker, so may be an option. It would still be nice to fix the auto-disk, but if the powder type is an inherent problem, then perhaps I'm flogging a dead horse.

Maybe I should just keep it in case other powders become available in the future

I read that link about lowering clearances. If that problem could cause granules to fall from the die opening later in the loading cycle, then I'll investigate it, but when I shone a torch light through that space between hopper base and disk, it really looked to narrow for even the powder to get through.

I may experiment tomorrow before reaching for the wet'n'dry: if I take sand too much off, it might bind.
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Old September 8, 2012, 04:54 PM   #35
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I've just read the bumph on the PPM from the shop that sold me my stuff in the first place.

Apparently, the PPM does not work with the through expander die. I need a Lee Universal Charging die.

If this is the case, then already my costs would go up beyond the cost of just the PPM.

However, I am now more concerned with how the case flaring would be achieved.

Can anyone clarify?
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Old September 8, 2012, 05:32 PM   #36
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Quote:
Pond, James Pond
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I've just read the bumph on the PPM from the shop that sold me my stuff in the first place.

Apparently, the PPM does not work with the through expander die. I need a Lee Universal Charging die.

If this is the case, then already my costs would go up beyond the cost of just the PPM.

However, I am now more concerned with how the case flaring would be achieved.

Can anyone clarify?
Hinted in the last paragraph of post #10 is that measures other than Lee's Auto-Disk can be made to work with the Powder-Through Expanding die, but you have to fabricate a mount for it and you will almost certainly lose the automatic powder dump ability. The same caveats apply to the Lee PPM (Perfect Powder Measure) equally as much as to other makers' devices.

Case flaring is accomplished exactly the same as with the Auto-disk as without the auto-disk. You just use the powder funnel adapter (which is just a collar) in place of the auto-disk. The die will work exactly the same.

Using the universal charging die should work, but will occupy one of your die stations (so if you are crimping in a separate operation from the bullet seating, you will be wishing for a 5-station turret instead of the 4-station that you have).

I still think you can get the A-D measure to work. But considering that you are stuck with a stick powder (sorry for the pun) I may be too optimistic. So, in your shoes, I would switch to using dippers and a funnel mounted on the powder-through die. (At least, I would try it as an experiment to see if I could be happy with the procedure.)

A dipper can mete a stick powder as well as any volumetric measure and you can SEE the powder and detect if the granules have stacked in such a way as to leave large voids, then re-dip. Speed is not so fast as the auto-disk, but no slower than dropping a charge from a bench-mounted powder measure into a cup for transfer into the funnel. A full set of dippers are about $15 U.S. or one can be made from an empty cartridge case (of appropriate size, cut down to measure or filled with wood glue to measure).

So sorry to hear that your powder selection is limited.

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Last edited by Lost Sheep; September 8, 2012 at 05:39 PM.
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Old September 8, 2012, 05:44 PM   #37
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Someone already makes the adapter: http://www.uniquetek.com/site/696296/product/T1370

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Old September 9, 2012, 01:01 AM   #38
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Yes, only having one brand of powder is a bit annoying but looking on the bright side as my wife often advises it is a good brand and it made choosing a powder that bit easier!

Too much choice can be a bad thing!!

I will persevere with the A-D for now to see if a system can be worked out to make those variations less great.

It may still be me messing some aspect up: after all it seemed to work for my .38s, which were the preceding batch I made up.

Otherwise a combination of dippers that will meter out my chosen charge would be great. Not so quick but at least accurate

Thanks for the patience with my questions and the pointers in your answers!
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Old September 9, 2012, 09:53 PM   #39
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http://leeprecision.net/support/inde...o-disk-leaking

The above link shown in post #31 relates to the Lee Auto Disk, not the Pro Auto Disk. I have been presuming we are talking about the Pro. Is that correct.
The Pro has a white round soft plastic like removable piece in the bottom of the hopper that contacts the disk to keep powder from leaking. Make sure this piece is inserted correctly. This is the reason for not over tightning the brass nuts. You do not want to distort this piece.
Sorry I can't remember the correct terminology.
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Old September 9, 2012, 09:58 PM   #40
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James,

I've never had any N350—just N310 among VV's pistol powders—so I was surprised by your photo to see the grains were not black, which suggests no graphite (some powders don't have it these days). Graphite powder provides conductivity to bleed off static and also lubricates the press, but running N350 through it doesn't look like it will provide any. If you can get some, that would be best.

Meanwhile, any computer store should have some kind of anti-static screen cleaner. That will fix the inside of the hopper. Here, an anti-static spray is sold for clothing as an anti-cling spray for the ladies dresses. That would work, too, if you have something similar. Powdered graphite substitutes for lubrication purposes would be powdered Teflon and motor mica powder. Unlike graphite, these materials are both insulators, so they won't help with static, but they will lubricate. Motor mice used to be commonly used for electric motor brushes, if that fact helps you find any.

Did you notice if there was a relationship between how full the hopper was and how heavy the charges were? If so, the baffle I suggested earlier should help.
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Old September 9, 2012, 10:01 PM   #41
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I used to use v-N340 with Lee's Perfect Powder measure..... worked fine, though pretty slow.
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Old September 9, 2012, 10:07 PM   #42
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If I was stuck anywhere in the world with only one choice of powder, I'd want it to be Vihtavuori. In some places in the states, they're selling it for $50 a pound! I'm paying $32 or N320, but my IPSC Production loads are pretty light so it still goes a long way. VERY accurate and consistent measurement in the Dillon Powder thingy, always spot on the 10th of a grain I set it to.
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Old September 10, 2012, 01:11 AM   #43
Pond, James Pond
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Quote:
I have been presuming we are talking about the Pro.
Yes. That is what I have.

Quote:
Did you notice if there was a relationship between how full the hopper was and how heavy the charges were?
Honestly, I didn't. Initial load checks, when the weights were fluctuating, I would put a charge back in the hopper, so I can't say that the level of the hopper changed at all even though the charges wer changing somewhat.

Tapping the hopper seemed most effective.
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Old September 10, 2012, 09:22 AM   #44
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Some folks actually take a fish tank aerator pump and engage it to the side of the hopper with heavy rubber bands, then rig a switch that runs if for a second every time the powder is charging the disk. That vibrates things down pretty well. (BTW, take a look at a catalog photo of a Lyman 55 measure and you'll see a built-in tapper like a mini-door knocker on the front below the level of the metering drum.)

I would not toss charges back in unless you go to an extra baffle. That can actually pack the powder slightly at the bottom like extra tapping. Just set them into a cup until you're done setting up.

FYI, you can get graphite powder in the UK, though I am taken aback by the asking prices, with the exception of the 1 kg and 2 kg tubs of powder, here. It sounds a bit coarse, but a mortar and pestle will fix that easily, or maybe its good to leave it that way and let the measure work on it as it goes through like powder. It's more than you'll need, so finding some fellow reloaders who want to go in on the purchase with you might be productive.
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Old September 10, 2012, 10:58 AM   #45
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I had the perfect powder measure and or a while it did fine. However I think after a while the repeated use wore the parts more than they could take. It would flex way to much and could no longer throw a consistent charge.

I bought a used Uniflow on ebay and it has been great so far. I have also since purchased a Hornady measure and it also works just fine. Both meter the so called worst powder to meter (Unique) without any issues at all.

Stick powders are another thing altogether. But I can get them to consistently under charge so I can trickle up to my desired charge.

I know the Lee fan club and Anti Unique club is going to tell you what B.S, I am spewing but it is what it is.
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Old September 10, 2012, 11:41 AM   #46
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James, I scanned through most of the replies and your explanation of what you are experiencing with the measure. I dont believe anyone asked as to whether you have correctly installed the hopper - front to back. It only works well in the correct position. Please see the following threads and the following video, simply for orientation. Flat part of hopper towards charge die opening. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xxtXbpnG1P0
http://thefiringline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=483000

http://thefiringline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=399347

I also dont believe anyone has referred you to a previously identified issue with the drop tube piece at the bottom of the measure assembly. http://leeprecision.net/support/inde...powder-measure

Also, your description of powder on the bench and the disk going past the charge hole could be a misadjusted die or improperly located disk as previously mentioned.

Sorry if these are a repeat and have already been covered.

Last edited by j357; September 10, 2012 at 12:42 PM.
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Old September 10, 2012, 11:53 AM   #47
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One more tip that might help you (it sure did me) is to "double-tap" the handle at the top and bottom of the stroke. Just a bit, maybe enough to jiggle the ram a 1/2" or so. Brian Pflueger gave me that tip on this board a while back and my powder drops went from not quite satisfactory to excellent. I can hold a .1grain spread with N320 all day long now (in the 4 grain charge range). Same with HP38.

Between that tip, and running enough powder through the measure to get a nice graphite buildup you will find the Lee powder measure will perform as well as any product on the market (yes, even an Dillon, valleyforge)
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Old September 10, 2012, 02:33 PM   #48
Pond, James Pond
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Thanks for the further responses.

OK, so the disc alignment/drop tube link.

As it happens I had seen a small gap in the drop tube assembly and had considered tapping it all the way home, into the hopper base, until the Voice of Reason whispered
"Don't be stupid! That is exactly the sort of thing you usually try only find you break it!"

So now I say:
"Shut your pie-hole, Voice of Reason!!"

Seems the idea was spot on!!
One for tomorrow!

Graphite: Well, today I spent a lot on a small can of graphite spray. This stuff coats the object with a graphite suspension. The media evaporate and leave a black layer behind that is conductive, thus allowing static to dissipate, or at least not accumulate.

That should address the static in the hopper, but will make the walls opaque.

It also feels quite smooth, but I may resort to just rubbing the moving parts with a soft arts-pencil instead!!

However, if members feel that I can give the white rubber bung a squirt too, then why not?
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Old September 10, 2012, 09:32 PM   #49
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James Pond said, "I am perfectly happy with my Lee gear."
Since your thread is called, "Exasperation levels reaching critical," you will hopefully understand why I don't believe that you are "perfectly happy with...Lee gear".

Well, good luck. I meant it when I said that there are VERY many people who buy the Lee equipment because it is less expensive and then fight with it for a while before giving up on it, buying a Dillon, and then wondering why they wasted their money and time on the Lee stuff. But I also meant it when I said, good luck.
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Old September 10, 2012, 09:50 PM   #50
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Oh wow, the VERY is in all caps so it MUST be true!

Valleyforge- have you ever OWNED a Lee Classic Cast Turret, a Lee Auto-Disk Pro, a Lee Safety Prime, a Lee Safety Scale and a Lee Deluxe Carbide die set?

Poster after poster after poster has relayed to you their own first hand experiences time and time again indicating that the above tools are of exceptional quality and produce safe, accurate ammunition, yet your personal anti-Lee crusade continues. At what point might you understand that what Lee produces today might be different than what Lee produced way back when your iron-clad opinion was forged?
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