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Old May 27, 2013, 03:50 PM   #1
VolusiaJ
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Lee Dispensing Problems

Hello all,

I have a new Lee Precision Auto Disk Powder Measure that I was using to dispense power directly to the brass. Unfortunately I was getting varied results. I thought (ok - blamed) the charging disks/static electricity for the varying amounts of power that was dispensed so I ended up buying the Lee adjustable charge bar hoping to be able to get consistency and then dial my recipe in.

I am using SR-4756 powder and Lee states that the min load for 9mm is 4.5 and the max is 4.9 so I was hoping to be able to load 4.5 gn at .5 CC, 4.6 gn at .51 CC, etc. and get differing grain amounts for testing. Unfortunately, I am still getting the same results as I got with the charging disks. I just produced 10 cartridges dialed in at .5 CC and here is what I came up with:

1. 4.78 gn
2. 4.86 gn
3. 4.84 gn
4. 4.84 gn
5. 4.82 gn
6. 4.88 gn
7. 4.76 gn
8. 4.74 gn
9. 4.84 gn
10. 4.84 gn

For my methodology, I am weighing the brass and primer using tare to get zero charging the brass and then reweighing.

All of these loads fall with in the range however 2 of my charges were over the 4.9 max load so I dumped the powder and recharged it. I could always reduce the CC on the charge bar but that defeats the purpose. Any thoughts on why I am dispensing everywhere from 4.74 to 4.88 gn when I should be getting 4.5 grains? Thanks in advance.

VolusiaJ
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Old May 27, 2013, 03:59 PM   #2
kimbers rule
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I have a lee auto disk on my pro 1000. I used it to load about 4200 45 acp rounds with Bullseye with no prob at all. Well, I ran out of that powder and cant find anymore so I went to the 7 lbs. of Unique that I've been holding onto. Now I'm running into all kind of metering problems. Out of 6 or 8 rounds that are perfect, I get one that will be a squib load. I'm about ready to toss the whole press in the garage and buy a Dillon.
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Old May 27, 2013, 04:02 PM   #3
m&p45acp10+1
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The adjustable charge bar does not do very well with the smaller setting. It works better at a higher setting. Also I am not familiar with the powder you are using, nor its metering properties. If you are getting charges that are within one tenth of a grain of eachother then that is as good as you are going to get with most volumetric measures. If you want exactly the same you will either have to set the measure for slightly under the weight you want, and trickle up. Or buy an auto powder dispenser. Also many digital scales are at best able to get a weight of +/- one tenth of a grain.

Oh and do not use the case. Use the pan. Look at the weight when you take the pan off. It should be the same every time. If not to withing a tenth of a grain of the proper weight then you will need to recalibrate, or get a beam scale.
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Old May 27, 2013, 05:16 PM   #4
Jimro
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VolusiaJ,

My guess is you are suffering from "artificial precision" in your measurements. Balance beam scales measure to the tenth, because that is really all the precision you need. Unless you have a lab grade scale that measures in grains (something I've never encountered in a lab, they were all metric) your scale is giving you artificial precision.

1. 4.78 gn = 4.8
2. 4.86 gn = 4.9 *
3. 4.84 gn = 4.8
4. 4.84 gn = 4.8
5. 4.82 gn = 4.8
6. 4.88 gn = 4.9 *
7. 4.76 gn = 4.8
8. 4.74 gn = 4.7 *
9. 4.84 gn = 4.8
10. 4.84 gn = 4.8

So you are right at 4.8 grains with the volumetric charge with a standard deviation of less than a tenth of a grain. That is pretty good for volumetric dispensing.

I recommend not using a digital scale, go back to a balance beam scale and do a load workup from 4.5 to 4.9 grains. If your pistol is happy with a 4.8 gr charge, by all means use the volumetric dispencer to load more rounds quicker.

Also, the volumetric density conversion chart that Lee provides is a great place to start, but by no means is it the correct answer. I challenge you to weigh a 20 grain charge of powder, then leave it exposed to damp air for three or four weeks, then weigh that same charge again. I did that with rifle powder and my charge weight (unchanged in volume) had gone up a grain.

Jimro
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Old May 27, 2013, 05:33 PM   #5
PA-Joe
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It is imporatant that you learn how to double tap on both the up and down strokes. This makes certain that the measure gets a full charge and that it drops the full charge.
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Old May 27, 2013, 07:15 PM   #6
dickttx
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From your post, all you need to do is adjust your ACB down a little and, as stated above, use a beam scale to weigh your results. The first sentence on the back of the PAD instructions says that the settings in the table are estimates only. That would apply to the ACB settings also.
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Old May 27, 2013, 09:19 PM   #7
Jim243
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The adjustable charge bar is extremely accurate, but like all things, Lee powder measures DO NOT LIKE flake powder. Most likely the results you are getting is from powder that has a higher water content and you are having flakes stuck together. This even happens with ball powder or stick powder, but less often.

Be sure to shake your powder in it's container to separate it prior to pouring it into the measure.

Jim
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Old May 28, 2013, 07:24 AM   #8
Don P
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Quote:
Well, I ran out of that powder and cant find anymore so I went to the 7 lbs. of Unique that I've been holding onto. Now I'm running into all kind of metering problems. Out of 6 or 8 rounds that are perfect, I get one that will be a squib load. I'm about ready to toss the whole press in the garage and buy a Dillon.
First I'll take all your Lee equipment off your hands when you buy the Dillon. Lee states on there web site that Unique DOES NOT METER WELL. I'll attest to that. I no longer use Unique. I have had great success with Titegroup and Clays metering consistent. Let me know when you are going to dump your Lee stuff, I just like great deals
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Old May 28, 2013, 07:24 PM   #9
wpsdlrg
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The adjustability on the "adjustable" charge bar is for exactly this purpose - when you don't get the charges you want with the recommended setting (which can be, at best, only an approximation) - you tweak the setting, until you get what you want. It's that simple.

"Defeats the purpose" ??? That IS the purpose (of that bit of kit) !
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Old May 28, 2013, 07:43 PM   #10
dickttx
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Their table lists 86 powders and 24 different hole sizes, for a total of 2064 loads. It would really be amazing if they were all on the nose.

Their statement at the beginning of the start:

"This chart is a guide to determine the APPROXIMATE CAPACITY of all popular brands for each cavity. Actual charges may vary due to manufacturing tolerances of the cavities, powder and method of use."
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Old May 28, 2013, 10:53 PM   #11
Pond, James Pond
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I'd had a lot of problems getting to grips with my own auto-disk. I used the "double-tap", graphite paint, pencil lead and finally I used the storage cupboard where it now resides. I've been opting for dippers since then. True, some of the problem is the powder I use, but

Working up a load is a bit tedious as I have to measure it all by little increments into the beam scale. However, once I've found a load that suits (eg my .44 Mag), I cut down an old case to suit and now use that as a dipper, checking every ten or so on the scale.

I like my Lee equipment, but not unconditionally. That is one aspect that I could have done without.

I hope you sort it out as it should make life easier, but personally I've opted out of the metering machine method. If the dipper is the right volume, from a narrow case, I can't imagine it being much slower or less accurate than a turret press in action...

There is a baffle system that can be made from old drink cans that another member (Unclenick) once posted for me, but I didn't end up using that: perhaps you might want to have a look...

Post link is HERE.
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Last edited by Pond, James Pond; May 28, 2013 at 11:00 PM.
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Old May 30, 2013, 06:40 PM   #12
VolusiaJ
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Thanks to everyone who replied. Like everyone else, I am learning as I go. One of the things I have learned this week is to document in my reloading log what the ACB is set at. This allows me to see what loads I am getting at a certain setting (i.e. 4.8 gives me an average of 4.74 - or whatever.) The best part of this is that as I begin loading other calibers, I can always go back and reference what the ACB was set at (all other things being equal) and quickly get the same results.

Thanks again!
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Old May 31, 2013, 08:02 PM   #13
Constrictor
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Those are pretty good variances for a lee. They are not known for being very consistent.
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Old May 31, 2013, 08:20 PM   #14
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Jimro has the right idea. Plus, not every powder will drop through any powder measure with any consistency...
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