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Old January 26, 2013, 10:05 PM   #1
fishhead1
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Powder Measures

OK, I'm a little confused. After years of reloading using only a powder scale, I'm finally considering trying a powder measure. Which would be a better powder measure for loading mainly handgun ammo, the RCBS Uniflo or the Little Dandy (or one of the Lee models which would be a bit cheaper)? The RCBS Little Dandy looks to be a bit problimatic with all the different rotor combinations etc., but then I don't know really anything about the RCBS Uniflo either. Any good words to help clear up the confusion?
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Old January 26, 2013, 10:08 PM   #2
shootniron
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I have both and prefer the Lee Pro to any I have used except the Dillon for handgun loads.JMO
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Old January 27, 2013, 01:27 AM   #3
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I first bought the Lee Perfect back in '92. It was pretty good and on my shoestring budget, I was happy. In the mid-90s, I shelled out like $60 for the Hornady, which was made of MUCH better materials and I was fairly happy with that.

Some 4 or 5 years ago, I came across a Lyman 55 at an outdoor gun swap meet. I didn't think I needed a measure but I had heard good things and the price was right -- it was obviously a few years old and had seen a bit of use but looked like it was in decent shape. For the low price, figured I couldn't go wrong.

Took it home, checked it over and set it up.

Never -- not once ever did I use the Hornady again. The Lyman 55 was better in every possible way that I could look at it or test it. The Hornady stayed there in it's stand...probably for a year before I took it off my bench. It's packed away.

If there is a manually operated powder measure that is better than my Lyman 55...I'd have to say that I simply don't need it. This measure is probably my most coveted handloading tool.
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Old January 27, 2013, 01:48 AM   #4
Lost Sheep
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My goodness, what took you so long?

When I started in 1975 on a single stage press it only took me one loading session to get a powder measure.

Now, I use the Lee Auto-Disk (Standard model or Pro) on my turret press for mid-range loads for the speed of processing in continuous mode.

When I loaded on a single stage press in batches I used a funnel and powder measure (or dippers) to fill 50 cases at a time. I eventually got rid of all my powder measures other than the Auto-Disks and dippers because when I need more accuracy than the Auto-Disk or dippers can give me, I weigh each charge.

Those are my choices. Everyone has their own which I cannot fault. Once you figure out what works best for you, go for it.

The Auto-disk (except for the Adjustable Charge Bar, which is limited in capacity) is not easily adjusted. They work well mounted on the Lee Powder-Through die, but not on other dies and while it will work hand-held, it not designed for it. It would work mounted in a stand, though the Lee Perfect would work better, but if you go that way, any other measure would do as well. The Auto-Disk's forte is mounted on a turret or progressive press.

If you are continuing to use a single stage press, I suggest making a dipper that metes your desired powder charge (or Lee's powder dippers for $14). Second choice, Lee Perfect Powder measure mounted in a stand.

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Old January 27, 2013, 02:10 AM   #5
Marco Califo
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Lee PPM

I have a Lyman #55, and it is all it is supposed to be. However, I use my Lee Perfect Powder Measure more, for one very important reason: Lee includes volumetric data for a specific value in cc's for each powder. This allows me to accurately, and very importantly, QUICKLY dial in the measure of powder that I intend. I check them with a scale, but they have always been very, very close to what they were supposed to be. Some ball powders seem to leak a bit, but I don't consider that to be enough of a problem to make me get out the Lyman 55,
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Old January 27, 2013, 04:52 PM   #6
twice barrel
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I used an RCBS Duo-Flo for years but once I discovered the Lee Auto-disk for handgun loads I never went back. Sure, I have to live with powders that will fill the cylinder offerings for the load I wish to build but so far I've always been able to do so satisfactorily. BTW; I find the Pro model to be well worth the price difference.

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Old January 27, 2013, 05:08 PM   #7
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I like dipper cups. The Lee Powder Through Expander Die is a perfect fit for the Lee Funnel so I just dipper and drop every charge using this simple combo. Works great and I know every one is properly charged.
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Old January 27, 2013, 05:09 PM   #8
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I've had an RCBS Uniflow bolted to my bench for 30 yrs now but sometimes my Lee dippers fill the bill perfectly. My Dillon press has a Dillon measure, of course. I'd probably be just as happy with the Lyman as a stand-alone measure. Don't go cheap here, you'll pull your hair out.
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Old January 27, 2013, 05:26 PM   #9
Shane Tuttle
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If you're thinking one of the cheaper Lee powder measures like the ones that come in the Anniversary Kit, I wouldn't even spend two seconds considering.

I've used Midway's, Lee's (model as described above), Hornady's, and RCBS Uniflow measures for the most part.

Hate the Lee.

I liked Midway's Indispensable powder measure. It was very accurate to my memory with rifle extruded powders for my taste and fairly accurate with spherical pistol powders. It was overpriced for the results it gives.

The Hornady I'm using is provided with their progressive press. I've used it for pistol only and it's insanely accurate. I love the setup. They have provisions to quickly change out powders without hassle. That's a biggie for me. I couldn't be happier with it.

I use the RCBS Uniflow mainly for rifle and some pistol. It's pretty darn accurate for pistol, say, within .2gr or so at worst. It's good for loading mid range plinking loads. I get within 1gr for rifle and trickle charge from there. But when I did test to see just how accurate RCBS would load for extruded powder on rifle cartridges it stayed spot on. I merely prefer to trickle charge my rifle cartridges.

As Sevens and others have noted, I'd take a look at the Lyman #55. I saw a used one at a Gun Show some time back. From the quick look-see, it appears it was a more robust measure compared to others. Whether it's a better one? I don't know. One thing I do know is I should have bought it. IIRC, the asking price for it was $35 and it was gone by the time I was ready to leave 2 hours later.
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Old January 27, 2013, 06:12 PM   #10
lee n. field
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Quote:
the RCBS Uniflo or the Little Dandy
I've got both.

For the Little Dandy, buy the rotor you need based on the charge of powder you need and the rotor chart. I have rotors that are spot on for the .38 and .45ACP loads I use. You won't be using this for rifle loads.

The Uniflow is more finneckey to adjust, but can be micro-adjusted over the whole range. Note --- the Uniflow has 2 different rotors, one with a narrow cavity and one with wide. If what you have is the wide cavity you won't be able to adjust for the smaller pistol charges. It just won't go that low.

Mostly I use the Lee Pro Autodisk right now. It integrates with the Pro 1000 and Classic Turret systems, which are what I mostly use. (You can mount a Uniflow on the Classic Turret, if you're willing to spend the money on the auto linkage.)
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Old January 27, 2013, 06:18 PM   #11
Sevens
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If you look at the design of the Lyman 55 the first thing you'll notice is that they skin the same cat as many of the others -- but they do it with the chamber rotated 90 degrees.

Is this better? I don't know. I wouldn't be surprised if someone could put together some kind of a physics argument contrasting the two methods.

But I can tell you that the Lyman 55 works tremendously well, and most of the other variable chamber manually operated powder measures on the market don't do it the same way.

Lyman may be on to something.
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Old January 27, 2013, 06:24 PM   #12
Shane Tuttle
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Good point, Lee. Mine's the narrow cavity setup and it is a bit finicky to adjust. Once dialed in, though, it's good to go.
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Old January 27, 2013, 06:25 PM   #13
Sevens
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When I was using the Hornady... there were simply some powders that seemed to meter more consistently when I used the larger "rifle" cavity than when I had the small "pistol" cavity in place. And I'm talking for handgun loads.
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Old January 27, 2013, 06:33 PM   #14
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Just gonna throw another good word in for the Lyman 55.

Once it settles in, mine will throw Power Pistol powder within .1 grain for hundreds of rounds.

Even IMR4895 comes out usually within .5 grain.
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Old January 27, 2013, 08:12 PM   #15
Jimro
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There is nothing wrong with the Lee Perfect Powder measure as a stand alone. For 20 bucks it is the best upgrade you can get for a basic reloading setup, even if you still weigh every charge. It works, but as others have chimed in, you'll have to pay more to get something better.

The Autodisk and Autodisk Pro are great for Lee indexing turrets and progressive presses (you'll find them on progressives made by others as well).

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Old January 27, 2013, 09:23 PM   #16
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all i know is the lyman 55 and i have had no problems with it even when using unique,just gotta be consistant with the routine. pull handle then lift knocker all the way up and let her drop.
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Old January 27, 2013, 09:34 PM   #17
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The Lee perfect powder measure is far from perfect. I use it as a stand alone to get close to the amount I need and trickle from there for precise loads.

For plinking rounds and mid weight charges, I use the Lee autodisk pro on the press when not loading close to max rounds(that is what the trickle method is for), I have seen .2-.4 variance with some powders, but when loading volume range rounds this is not an issue for me.
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Old January 28, 2013, 08:12 AM   #18
Mike Irwin
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"If what you have is the wide cavity you won't be able to adjust for the smaller pistol charges. It just won't go that low."

I've thrown as low as 3 grains of WW 231 with my Uniflow using the large rotor.

I'm not even sure where the small rotor is these days.

I normally use my Lee Auto Disk Pro, though. I'm very happy with it, but the older it gets the more it leaks. I need to replace the wipers to see if that makes things better.

I've also throught about getting the set up that would allow me to use my Uniflow on my Lee Classic Cast Turret. $55+ seems to be a bit expensive, though, for a couple of pivoting pieces of metal.
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Old January 28, 2013, 08:14 AM   #19
Mike Irwin
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"I have seen .2-.4 variance with some powders, but when loading volume range rounds this is not an issue for me."

ANY volumetric measure can give variations in powder charge based primarily on the type of powder being measured.

Fine ball powders measure most accurately because of their ability to flow and pack uniformly.

Large flake powders like Red Dot or Unique normally have the highest variation because of the powder size and shape.
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Old January 28, 2013, 09:35 AM   #20
serf 'rett
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Uniflow with small cylinder for pistol. In my experience, it dials in quick and drops consistant. Couple of bumps when powder is first put into the measure, then we're off to the races. No beating, banging, bumping or strapping on fish tank aerators.

+/- 0.1 grain with Unique when I do my part. Batch loading on a single stage.
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Old January 28, 2013, 11:04 AM   #21
fishhead1
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Thanks for all the good inputs, guys. Lots to digest
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Old January 28, 2013, 04:46 PM   #22
rajbcpa
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i've use hornady, RCBS, and dillon powder measures.

the hornady and RCBS powder measures are designed the same and each will throw accurate charges with some powders but not with others. The Dillon is consistent with most powders.... clearly it is the winner.
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