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Old October 28, 2012, 03:14 PM   #1
brigond
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Lee auto disk power meeasure

Hi, I'm new to the forum. I have a question for those of you who use lee safety auto disk. I'm using 115 gr lead round nose bullets with Winchester 231 powder. The minimum and maximum load are 4.3 to 4.8 gr. when I use the .40 cc disc hole , I get a reading of 4.5 or 4.6 gr. this is a good mid range load. The question is how do I achieve the minimum load ? The next hold down is .37 cc , and this gives me a 3.8 gr load. This is under the minimum (4.3) gr minimum that winchester 231 recommends.
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Old October 28, 2012, 03:28 PM   #2
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Welcome to the Forum.

I assume you are loading 9mm? 3.8 grains is below the usual starting load, but those starting loads are not functional minimums. Also, one seldom sets a measure up to throw starting loads. The normal practice is to weigh those charges on your scale, as it only takes one of each charge weight to work up, checking for pressure signs and functionality at the same time.

If you have the measure but not a scale, then you have a problem in that the VMD charts do not include the tolerances for the powder's density. Many spherical powders have bulk densities that can vary over 5% from one lot of powder to the next. You always need to check what your measure is actually throwing by using a scale.
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Old October 28, 2012, 03:28 PM   #3
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I too have had problems with the auto disk. Mine used to throw out quite variable charges, and all of them below the stated charge for that powder in that disk.

I finally got it to work consistently, although still below the stated volumes for that disk aperture.

There are a couple of suggestions I can offer based on what some said to me. Firstly, there is simply the case of using the smaller charge then topping up with the missing 0.5gr via a dipper.

After that there is the Lee perfect measure system that I believe is infinitely adjustable, but you may want to check that.

Finally, there is the cheapest and most convenient option: take your .37cc disk aperture, get a needle file and careful ream it out until it delivers the charge you require. The downside, of course, is that that particular aperture is then permanently altered.

I imagine others will follow with more ingenius ideas, but in the meantime.... good luck!
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Old October 28, 2012, 04:41 PM   #4
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Thank you, I am loading 9mm and yes I'm using a scale. I'm also checking the throws at short intervals to make sure nothing varies, and it doesn't. The disc is very consistent.
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Old October 28, 2012, 04:53 PM   #5
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At less than $8, you might want to take a look at the Lee adjustable charge bar to use in place of the disc on your measure. It is continuously adjustable from 0.28 cc to 1.6 cc.
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Old October 28, 2012, 06:01 PM   #6
brigond
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Thank you, I am loading 9mm and yes I'm using a scale. I'm also checking the throws at short intervals to make sure nothing varies, and it doesn't. The disc is very consistent.
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Old October 28, 2012, 06:36 PM   #7
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The adjustable charge bar is nice but you will be lucky to see good results using that powder at that low a charge. The ACB works better at 5gr and above in my experience. It is a good tool though and well worth owning. You might well get it to work better for you in the 4.3gr range than I do.

The good news is the disks are extremely inexpensive so the idea of reaming/filing one out to the charge you like is entirely feasible.

I would not bother to do this for the sake of throwing a few starting charges though. I would dip/trickle the starting charges and wait to dial in a disk until you have found the ideal charge.

The nice thing about modifying a disk is you get several shots at it. If you screw up the .37 hole you can always drill out the .34 hole and start again. Reloading is a lifetime hobby- extra parts in the tool box often come in handy.

Last edited by tkglazie; October 28, 2012 at 06:44 PM.
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Old October 28, 2012, 06:50 PM   #8
brigond
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Great, I'm going to see how the mid range charge that I'm getting with the .40 fairs ,when I get to the range. If I need to reduce the charge I will go the route of reaming the .37 cc hole. I always seem to get powder leaking on to the surface of the disc. It's not a big deal but its annoying since it gets messy. I tried tightening the screws to the hopper. Is this normal?

Last edited by brigond; October 28, 2012 at 07:29 PM.
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Old October 28, 2012, 07:01 PM   #9
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It is not normal if you have the "Pro" version with the wiper. A well broken auto disk pro leaks very little. It is more expected if you have the original version.
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Old October 28, 2012, 07:43 PM   #10
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On the Lee website under FAQ product support they have the instructions for fixing it.The pros aren't supposed to leak but I had one that did. Doing what they show fixed it right up.Its under powder handling and it down the page a little.
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Old October 28, 2012, 09:53 PM   #11
the led farmer
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you can make your own adjustable charge bar by drilling a hole and inserting a bolt into the cavity of the disk.

pretty ez.

[IMG][/IMG]
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Old October 28, 2012, 10:07 PM   #12
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from what I have read, charges under 5gr will not be as consistant as those over... I load my 9mm with 5.3gr of power pistol (124gr bullet) and its very consistant. mine is just the normal, not pro version.

as for the drop being low, thats done on purpose (read the directions) so that it will NEVER charge more than stated, and for those that done use a scale, just trust the chart....
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Old October 28, 2012, 10:07 PM   #13
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I found the instructions on Lees website. They basically say to file sand the risers. I just finished doing this and it seems to have worked. Its clear that the space between the bottom of the hopper and the disc is now tighter. It was fast and simple. I went about it a different way. I'll describe what I did now so others can read it andpass it on. The instructions say to use scotch tape but I didn't feel it necessary. I simply removed the hopper via the 2 screws . I placed a piece of 150 grit sand paper on a hard, flat surface . Turn the aluminum portion of the unit upside-down on to the sandpaper and rub it on the sand paper keeping it even and flat. This evenly files down both risers. The risers are the only parts in contact with the sandpaper (with the screw holes in them). I only sanded for very short intervals and tested it by replacing the hopper and pushing (sliding) the disc by hand. It took 2 tries and very little sanding to get the clearance between the bottom of the hopper and the top surface of the disc, nice and tight, but still able to slide. I dont have the pro version ether. Thanks for the help.

Last edited by brigond; October 28, 2012 at 11:18 PM.
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Old October 28, 2012, 10:19 PM   #14
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Wow! that screw idea is great. Is it very acurate? I would think that some of the powder would not sit on top of the screw and not always drop. Also I would have to find a larger hole and experiment from there.
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Old October 28, 2012, 10:36 PM   #15
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If you are using the "doubletap" technique, where you jiggle the ram handle a bit on both the upstroke and downstroke, you will not have to worry about powder resting on top of the screw. This is a good technique in general, modified disk or not.
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Old October 28, 2012, 11:31 PM   #16
the led farmer
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Never had an issue
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Old October 29, 2012, 06:17 AM   #17
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Quote:
you can make your own adjustable charge bar by drilling a hole and inserting a bolt into the cavity of the disk.

pretty ez.

[IMG][/IMG]
Now that Sir is a good idea.
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Old October 29, 2012, 06:35 AM   #18
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Adj.

The screw idea is very clever.
About the Lee adjustable. I have two of them in use on two different presses. One is set to drop 4.0 grains of Bullseye and the other to drop 4.2 grains of W231. Both of them drop their respective charges very consistently.
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Old October 29, 2012, 10:49 AM   #19
brigond
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Ok, this is important. I have been taking measurements of the grains with the .40 cc hole . After I fixed the powder leakage as described above . I am now getting a different reading . Previously , before the fix, I was getting a 4.5 to 4.6 grain reading from the .40 cc hole. Now, after the powder leak fix I'm getting a consistent 4.3 grain reading from the .40 cc hole. The good part is that the powder is no longer leaking from under the hopper. Now I have to start over in recording the measurements from each disc hole. The important part is that the fix has changed the grain readings of the disc holes.
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Old October 29, 2012, 11:03 AM   #20
the led farmer
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The disks will throw different weights based on several things such as powder type (ball powders work best in my experience), amount of powder in the hopper, how hard you pull the handle, etc. consistency is key.

Simple things that will help: create a baffle inside the hopper. I use a pice of paper rolled into a funnel so the opening is maybe 1/4" about 1 inch above the bottom of the opening. Pour the powder in funnel and now the amount of powder above the opening is constant, and more consistent charges should follow.

Strive for consistent pulls, each time you throw a charge use the same technique and things should even out. This is where the screw in the cavity comes in handy. Instead of changing disks screw in or out to dial in a charge.

Overall strive for consistency
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