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Old March 11, 2013, 07:25 PM   #1
5 STRING
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Hello, And Here's An RCBS Question

First I'd like to say hello, and ask some of you a question if you don't mind. I had been looking for another RCBS Uniflow Measure for quite some time and found one on Ebay that looked good. After I recieved it I found that the small volume cylinder had a gouge in the powder hole, apparantly from someone trying to get it out with a screwdriver. Of course, the seller didn't show this gouge in the pictures on his for sale site.

I had used one of these measures many years ago, and liked it very much so I was going to use it for rifle, and pistol, depending on the situation. I am throwing reduced charges of Unique for 45acp and I noticed that the cylinder will rotate extremely smooth for 3 or 4 rotations (charges), and then it feels like the powder is jamming itself up and binding on the edge of the hole and the mating surface of the inside of the measure housing that the cylinder rotates in.

I can put a little pressure on the handle and "cut" through these sporatic powder jams, and keep right on throwing charges. I'm just not sure if these powder jams are due to the gouge in the cylinder, or if it is just "the nature of the beast"? I remember IMR 4895 doing the same thing, but that is a "Stick Powder", and Unique is a "Flake Powder".

I had just set it up today, and was going to run a couple of pounds of powder through it and see if it would throw light charges and yes it does...It will throw 5.5gr .. EVERY TIME .. even when it jams up it's only off a tenth or so.

I have a couple of pictures below, if you guys would be so kind as to take a look and tell me if you think that the "screwdriver gouge" in my small cylinder is the problem or not? And if I need to replace the cylinder $34.00 or so.. or just deal with it?

Thanks
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Old March 11, 2013, 07:31 PM   #2
oryx
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If you have a dremmel you can lightly buff that out to smooth it some. Don't cut into it hard and start removing too much, just smooth it out.
If not some very fine steel wool could remove some burrs that make it bind up and require more pressure
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Old March 11, 2013, 07:33 PM   #3
oryx
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It almost looks more like a redding color, than RCBS?...... Not that that has anything to do with your issue
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Old March 11, 2013, 08:28 PM   #4
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Thank you, and yes I do have a dremel. I wanted to get a couple of 2nd opinions before I did any polishing or smoothing it out. It is an RCBS II Series, and from what I can see it is one of the U.S. built models, and that was what I was looking for.

I had heard that some of the newer ones were imported in, and assembled in the U.S. or vice versa. Of course this is not meant in offense to anyone, it is just what I personally wanted for myself. The one I had before this one was also a Series II back in the early 80's and it was "dead on" accurate same as this one.

I wondered if the "flake" powder was part of the problem? Kinda like oatmeal bunching up as it rotates and gathering up or sticking to the burrs on the gouge itself.

I will get my dremel and some polishing rouge and see if I can work it smooth. Then I'll run some more powder through it and see if that helps straighten the issue out.
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Old March 11, 2013, 08:35 PM   #5
oryx
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Hope all goes well. Just go slow and try it out often. Vey difficult to put metal back. If there are burs, just knocking off partially will show improvement. Don't over improve!
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Old March 11, 2013, 08:40 PM   #6
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I wouldn't use a Dremel on that. The problem is the gap and making it bigger won't help.

Can you flip the measuring drum or otherwise set it up so that the clean edge trails when you are moving it to dump powde? It's okay to cut a few grains of stick powder. A chip missing from the drum on the trailing edge can form a small pocket where power can wedge between the drum and body.

If you use a Dremel, use it to open up the cavity leaving the top edges sharp and square.
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Last edited by Sport45; March 11, 2013 at 10:22 PM.
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Old March 11, 2013, 08:50 PM   #7
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Sport45 is right. I will add that if there is metal in the hole I would find a way to press/peen it back down before I started making the edge sharp. The metal is not gone its just been moved.
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Old March 11, 2013, 08:52 PM   #8
chiefr
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Looks like an earlier model. I have the same one and it has served me for well over 30 years.
If the cylinder slides OK in the measure without powder then you know the nick is not causing your binding. Thus I would deem the measure OK and use it.
Everytime I try to use the uniflow with long extruded stick powder, I get binding because I am actually breaking the logs to obtain a halfway uniform measure thus, I stick to ball, flake & smaller powders. Chargemaster is great for stick powder.
Also, did you know that the Uniflow came with both a small & medium cylinder?
Another option you may want to exercise is to contact RCBS, Their CS is exemplary. They have sent me parts for dies, lubamatic, press, etc at no cost.
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Old March 11, 2013, 09:20 PM   #9
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I have the newest model RCBS with the standard size cylinder. I know it is not optimal for small powder charges but it stays within 2/10 ths of a grain. Even when screwed down for 4.2 grains of Red Dot.

I have noticed with Red Dot, that is a flake powder, getting a bit of a drag on the downstroke on occasion. It does not seem to make much difference in weight dropped. But it is an occasional occurance like you describe.

I don't think that notch would cause the drag. But a good machinist could probably get it squared back up with some selective peening.
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Old March 11, 2013, 09:35 PM   #10
maggys drawers
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You might try filling the defect with a little JB weld or epoxy, then working the fill back down with a dremel or some really fine wet/dry paper. At worst, you might have to dig the filler out and try something else.

Additionally, welcome to the forum.
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Old March 11, 2013, 09:55 PM   #11
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Yep,...The machined edge is rolled back, and the heck of it is that .. all you have to do is read the instructions that came with it, and it tells you to loosen the lock nut that holds the measuring screw until you can rotate the cylinder and slide the screw out thru the hopper....DUHHH

Man, I can't believe the way some people abuse a nice piece of machinery. And.. yep...this one came with both cylinders, that was one of the reasons that I jumped on it, it's in excellent shape other than this issue, no rust at all, it cleaned up like new. Although I did have to order the stand for it from Midway, Natchez was out of stock.

They also have large and small replacement cylinders for it. Evidently, the newer ones use the same cylinder(s) as the old ones. I contacted the girl that sold it to me on Ebay, and she gave me $20.00 back for the damage. I told her that it would cost me around $40.00 or so to have a new one shipped to my house, but she wouldn't go for that. She told me to just send it back to her, and I said just give me the twenty bucks and I'll keep it....I wasn't going to let it get away...I know about these little boogers, they are very nice to have on the bench.

And,..Yes it rotates as smooth as silk without any powder in it. That is why I was concerned about the Unique / flake type powder. But Chief said that he uses his Uniflow with flake powder and has no issues with it "binding or bunching up"...So that tells me that the gouge is ...the... problem, unless I read the reply wrong. (please correct me if I did).

I don't know how in the heck I can peen this small material down without the material that's left around the edge either breaking off from around the wound and making a bigger mess, or end up being worse than it already is. That was why I was receptive of polishing the burrs down, but like Sport says, that would make the volume hole bigger.

Like I said, 3 out of 5 powder charges are dead on the money, double checking each charge with my 5-0-5 scale. Then the mix bunches up during rotation, and I have to cut through it, throwing the charge weight off a couple of tenths.

Unless someone else has had the same problem as this and can tell me that it is definately not going to be an on going headache, I think that I will give RCBS a call tomorrow and explain this problem to them. Maybe I'll get lucky and something good might become of the phone call.

Thanks so much for all help.

5
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Old March 11, 2013, 10:03 PM   #12
F. Guffey
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We are not in the same situation, I would just trade the rotor out as in remove one and replace it with another. Turning the rotor around would put the handle on the opposite side and, as we all know, there is a small hole rotor for pistols and a large hole rotor for larger volumes.

Cutting grains when cycling the rotor is something I accept, a solid mount helps when trying/attempting a smooth cycle of the powder measure. The Uniflow is not a new design, I have an old Hollywood Gun Shop powder measure that is massive when compared to other powder measures that use rotors. My favorite powder measure is the Little dandy, it is quite an investment with rotors at $11.00, and there are 28 of them (a guess).

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Old March 11, 2013, 10:15 PM   #13
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Thank you for the kind word Maggie. I hadn't thought about JBW, .. but to be honest with you it might be cheaper in the long run if I just order a new cylinder from Natchez or Midway, or whoever. By the time that I drive 30 miles to a machinest and pay him to put it on a lathe, or hear him say "it wont work" I could just bite the bullet (so to speak) and replace it with a new RCBS cylinder.

rlc323.... How Much Drag do you feel??? .. do you have to use "definate force" to cut through the powder jam...like you have a wad of grass bunched up in the hole that you are trying to cut through?? .. Or do you just feel a slight "drag" or maybe a slight change in smoothness of rotation??
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Old March 11, 2013, 10:19 PM   #14
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"We are not in the same situation, I would just trade the rotor out as in remove one and replace it with another. Turning the rotor around would put the handle on the opposite side and, as we all know, there is a small hole rotor for pistols and a large hole rotor for larger volumes"

That is my gut feeling as well......I will literally run myself to death, up and down the road and it will end up costing me more to "fix it" than it would to just replace the defective cylinder.

I agree 100%

Thanks.. 5
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Old March 11, 2013, 10:37 PM   #15
F. Guffey
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I have three RCBS progressive presses that use the Uniflow powder measure, I would suggest you contact RCBS, 1 800 533 5000, a rotor cost as much today as the Uniflow Powder measure with two rotors cost 25+ years ago.

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Old March 11, 2013, 10:49 PM   #16
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Was loading up a test series this Sunday; 42 rounds of 9mm with Unique powder. About every fourth to sixth throw, the cylinder would have some binding. I also loaded two other series. One using W231 and the other Power Pistol. Only had binding with the Unique powder. This is my normal Unique experience. The jamming caused by the large flakes is different from the cutting I feel with stick (extruded) powders.

I'd polish it (not grind) with the Dremil and not worry any more.
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Old March 11, 2013, 11:13 PM   #17
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Call RCBS
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Old March 12, 2013, 09:04 AM   #18
rlc323
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The drag I get with Red Dot is slight, right at the start of the downstroke. Also it is just an ocasional occurance and does not seem to have much effect on the powder weight that is dropped.

I attribute it to using the standard rotor turned in so tight for flake powder under 4 grains of charge. I may get the small rotor just to use for 9mm and 380. I load some Titegroup and the volume would be pretty small for the standard.

I forgot to add that I have used WSF with the standard rotor and did not get drag at the top of the stroke.
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Old March 12, 2013, 10:58 AM   #19
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Update

"The drag I get with Red Dot is slight, right at the start of the downstroke. Also it is just an ocasional occurance and does not seem to have much effect on the powder weight that is dropped.

I attribute it to using the standard rotor turned in so tight for flake powder under 4 grains of charge. I may get the small rotor just to use for 9mm and 380. I load some Titegroup and the volume would be pretty small for the standard.

I forgot to add that I have used WSF with the standard rotor and did not get drag at the top of the stroke."

I think that (some drag) would be apparent using flake powder, but not to the point of "binding the cylinder" or being to the point of having to use definate "force" to get it out of its jammed feeling condition.

"Call RCBS"

I just got off the phone with RCBS a few minutes ago. I explained the problem to the tech that I spoke with, and told him what was going on. He told me that he would get a new small cylinder sent to me under warranty ... TODAY ... What a blessing!!!

Thank you all for your help. I am SO glad I joined this group of people on this forum. I had been considering this forum for quite some time, and now I am glad that I did. It was the right choice.....good info, good folks.

5
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Old March 12, 2013, 11:16 AM   #20
A pause for the COZ
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I too recommend calling RCBS. You will be surprised.
They pretty much back any thing they have ever made no questions asked.
They have gotten more than one of my Ebay pick offs back into shape for free.

You got a good measure, I have two of them and have found nothing better for flake powders.
Both mine do Unique at less than a 20th of a grain variance.
Extruded powder, Thats another kettle of fish. Both mine act and sound like a coffee grinder with those powders.
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Old March 12, 2013, 03:47 PM   #21
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Yep, I'm a happy camper. I have always been very impressed with RCBS components, and my phone call sealed my confidence in that company. I use a Lee Turret Press for sizing, decapping, priming, seating etc, but I was a little disappointed in the sloppiness of the turret mounted Lee Pro Auto Disc with flake powder...at least... What a mess...when I finally got it set for the correct charge the Lee did pretty darned good, and was pretty accurate too. But good Lord what a mess it makes....it strews powder all underneath the disc assembly. Probably better for ball type powder. imho

The Uniflow does not do that strewing gig. It hits every time, and drops every time, even with a jam up like I was having with this defective rotor. I've got some Lee stuff, and I like it for the most part. I feel like Lee stuff is good for someone like me that doesn't shoot as much as some others, and on a budget.

But,....for safety, and accuracy.. as well as charging the cases with powder... my scales are an RCBS 5-0-5 and my go to measure will be this RCBS Uniflow II.

I have almost got my tools like I want them. They aren't as high dollar as some others that I have seen,..... but for a poor boy..... that likes to experiment with bullets, and loves guns.... I think that I am set up real nice. Now if we can just get our Country back to where it should be....(with goods on the shelves)

5
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Old March 12, 2013, 07:10 PM   #22
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5 String, I'd be willing to bet right now, that you could call RCBS Customer service and tell them your story, and they will send you a BRAND NEW one for nothing... bet.
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Old March 12, 2013, 08:20 PM   #23
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" String, I'd be willing to bet right now, that you could call RCBS Customer service and tell them your story, and they will send you a BRAND NEW one for nothing... bet"

Hey hooligan, thanks for the kind word. And, yep.....I called them earlier today and they have a brand new one on the road headed this way from Californy.
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