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Old 09-30-2018, 06:05 PM
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This past weekend I reloaded ~8-900 rounds of .357s using N105 & CCI550s. I learned something that I had NOT considered previously.

Earlier, I used to reload ~100rounds or so at a time, and was VERY conscious about the accuracy of my Lee adjustable disc dispenser. If I bumped the dispenser inadvertently while going thru the 4-turret cycle, I would try to reset it and try again. What I found was that when I had "bumped" the press somewhere in the cycle, my powder loads were "higher". Hence, I had quite a challenge trying to "keep up with" said inadvertent bumps.

While doing this latest 8-900 rounds of reloads, I decided to find out and measure just "how much" those inadvertent additive bumps were costing me.

WHAT I FOUND OUT, was that the additive powder dump was +0.2grains of my N105 powder on my system. So I wondered, and measured, to see IF there was any consistency in this +over-powder-dump. I was quite surprised to find out that it appeared to be ~100% consistent. In other words, after the first powder dump, the following press actions (set. crimp sizing, before the next powder dump) would lead to a very repeatable powder dump measure. The somewhat rotational active actions tended to settle the powder dumps down to JUST +0.2grains, and it stayed there.

What I learned was that I was worrying about the WRONG powder measurement. What the "SET" powder dispenser setting DID NOT match what the actual powder drop WAS. When I set my powder dispenser at 12.2gr of N105, I actually got/get 12.4gr of powder. REPEATABLE?... After checking dozens of times during my latest round of reloading, this actual "powder dump load" was consistent to within less that the needle on my BCBS #505 scale every time! I was measuring the WRONG end of the powder dump range!

All I can say is that this has not only led me to more consistent reloads, it has also sped up my reloading sequence WITH more accuracy.

Can you say "Happy Camper", sure you can... just follow Mr Rogers and sing along...
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Old 09-30-2018, 06:46 PM
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How do you "set" a measure on a Lee Disc system? It is what it is.


The individual holes are volume and the "drop" will vary based on the form and structure of the powder. Some powders will be very constant others will not. Unique was all over the place, HP 38 was spot on as was others like H110, BE,

Keeping to powder hopper 3/4 full at all times with ad in keeping powder consistent as well (to some extent) a powder baffle.

The Lee Disc system is design with the slight "hang up" or "bump" when dropping the powder to "shake out all the powder in the disc.

The only thing that matters is what each and every drop weighs on a scale.

I no longer use the Disc, but still have MY charts of what each and every powder drops with every hole in each disc. Other lots or other peoples powder will vary, After verifying a a few drops I just loaded and periodically checked. even if a 0.2 grain variance it makes not real difference.
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Old 09-30-2018, 07:40 PM
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Simple Rule3, I DO NOT use the "discs" included in the Lee System.

I use the Lee Adjustable Charge Bar instead.
Adj Charge Bar - Lee Precision




I don't mess with things I cannot control. No guess work with this...

And YES, I noted any variations between hopper FULL/EMPTY... there were none. Very consistent.

FWIW, I eventually learned to use that powder dropping "bump" to my advantage. I tried to search this anomaly/occurrence on this forum but to no avail, hence my post, aka discovery.
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Old 09-30-2018, 11:46 PM
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With any powder measure, its consistancy in operation. Why I think dillon added a return rod to their powder measure. It snaps the measures bar into place each stroke.
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Old 10-01-2018, 12:24 AM
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When I used to use my RCBS Uniflow powder dispenser I found, when I raised the lever to re-fill the drum, if I tapped the lever several times against the body the powder stayed packed better & gave more consistent weight drops.

I switched to a RCBS ChargeMaster 1500 & I don't have to worry about that anymore.

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Old 10-01-2018, 07:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HorizontalMike View Post
Simple Rule3, I DO NOT use the "discs" included in the Lee System.

I use the Lee Adjustable Charge Bar instead.
Adj Charge Bar - Lee Precision




I don't mess with things I cannot control. No guess work with this...

And YES, I noted any variations between hopper FULL/EMPTY... there were none. Very consistent.

FWIW, I eventually learned to use that powder dropping "bump" to my advantage. I tried to search this anomaly/occurrence on this forum but to no avail, hence my post, aka discovery.

A hole is a hole. I have many years of experience with the Charge Bar, Dippers, Micro Discs, Double Discs etc
It is worth every penny it costs


You can "set it" but the end results are the same as a pre drilled hole. There are MODS for the Disc system of tapping the hole on the side and inserting a brass set screw. You can make multiple "Charge Bars"



Spend the BIG money ($39)and get the Lee Auto Drum Powder measure and ditch the discs.


Lee Auto-Drum Powder Measure - MPN: 90811
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Old 10-01-2018, 08:32 AM
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Originally Posted by Rule3 View Post
A hole is a hole. I have many years of experience with the Charge Bar, Dippers, Micro Discs, Double Discs etc
It is worth every penny it costs

You can "set it" but the end results are the same as a pre drilled hole. There are MODS for the Disc system of tapping the hole on the side and inserting a brass set screw. You can make multiple "Charge Bars"

Spend the BIG money ($39)and get the Lee Auto Drum Powder measure and ditch the discs.

Lee Auto-Drum Powder Measure - MPN: 90811
And your point is... ...?

I am having success with my Lee adjustable bar and all you can say is "...A hole is A hole..."

Boy do I see that truth!
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Old 10-01-2018, 12:12 PM
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I would think the variation is in the method rather than the tool. If I merely raise then lower the handle on my powder measure(s) I can get one weight charge. If I raise the handle, tap the powder measure, lower the handle, I will get a heavier charge (how much depends on the powder used). The way I've found to get consistent powder charges is consistent use of the powder measure. Do the exact same motion, speed, method (taps/no taps), etc, every time...
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Old 10-01-2018, 01:58 PM
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I never had any luck with the adjustable charge bar. I'm sure the issue was probably caused by me but, for my preferred powders (titegroup and longshot) the auto-disc seems to stay dead on. With some other powders my results have varied.
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Old 10-01-2018, 02:13 PM
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And your point is... ...?

I am having success with my Lee adjustable bar and all you can say is "...A hole is A hole..."

Boy do I see that truth!

No I said more that just that.


If you are happy than carry on. The Lee Charge Bar is not as wonderful as you seem to think it is. If it works for you with your powder, fine and dandy, other powders and charge weights not so much.
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Old 10-01-2018, 04:26 PM
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No I said more that just that.

If you are happy than carry on. The Lee Charge Bar is not as wonderful as you seem to think it is. If it works for you with your powder, fine and dandy, other powders and charge weights not so much.
I have to apologize. I have had a hard time following all your/the grammatical errors.

Bottom line is that the Lee Charge Bar IS working very well for me, so why do you take such an offense to my success with that particular piece of equipment? I posted this thread to celebrate my success in improving my own reloading skills, NOT to be dinged.

Am I supposed to fail because of my choice of equipment that I use? This just not make sense to me Rule3, no sense at all.
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Old 10-01-2018, 05:24 PM
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I make sure to hit the stops consistently on my antique Herters powder dropper, and I never get as much as .1 grain variance with my preferred handgun powder--HP-38. It's almost "Set it and forget it."

Courser stick rifle powders are a bit trickier, requiring setting the drop slightly under desired weight and trickling up. Usually takes only a few granules of powder to hit the mark. A bit mor work, but no biggie.
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Old 10-01-2018, 05:38 PM
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Quote:
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I have to apologize. I have had a hard time following all your/the grammatical errors.

Bottom line is that the Lee Charge Bar IS working very well for me, so why do you take such an offense to my success with that particular piece of equipment? I posted this thread to celebrate my success in improving my own reloading skills, NOT to be dinged.

Am I supposed to fail because of my choice of equipment that I use? This just not make sense to me Rule3, no sense at all.

No need for you to apologize. But please do not read more into it or assume things I did not say.

I should not have posted any comments in your threads.
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Old 10-01-2018, 06:05 PM
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Quote:
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No need for you to apologize. But please do not read more into it or assume things I did not say.

I should not have posted any comments in your threads.
I wholeheartedly agree. And please check your grammar because it makes much easier for me to attempt to understand your posts. Thank you Rule3.
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Old 10-01-2018, 10:32 PM
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I wholeheartedly agree. And please check your grammar because it makes much easier for me to attempt to understand your posts. Thank you Rule3.

Check my grammar? Well excuse me!


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Old 10-02-2018, 12:32 AM
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Default When I use Lee scoops....

.... i don't believe what the chart says for the type of powder used. When I weigh the charges they are often way off from the chart. Every time I fill a row my loading block, I check the last load. If something is hinky I only have to recheck that one row.
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Old 10-02-2018, 06:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rule3
A hole is a hole. I have many years of experience with the Charge Bar, Dippers, Micro Discs, Double Discs etc
Worse, the charge bar, like any adjustable powder measure I'm aware of, has a non-circular cavity. Now, sometimes that doesn't matter, but depending on the powder and charge weight/volume, it can produce huge irregularities. I've also found it's more variable day-to-day than the discs. That is, it's more prone to needing adjustment to drop the same weight as a previous session. I also find it takes a little longer to "settle".

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I never had any luck with the adjustable charge bar. I'm sure the issue was probably caused by me but, for my preferred powders (titegroup and longshot) the auto-disc seems to stay dead on. With some other powders my results have varied.
The viability of the adjustable charge bar boils down to what your charge is. Below .40cc, it just doesn't work in my experience. And it's sort've hit-and-miss around the 4-grain range.
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Old 10-02-2018, 08:21 AM
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Thumbs up Accuracy Range of Lee Charge Bar

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...[snip]...

The viability of the adjustable charge bar boils down to what your charge is. Below .40cc, it just doesn't work in my experience. And it's sort've hit-and-miss around the 4-grain range.
I will tend to agree with you, though I have/will not ever use such a small load because of the calibers & powders I load.

I am reloading .38 Spec and .357 Mag cartridges. With the powder I use on my .357mag (N105). Since N105 has a VMD of 0.0900 and I am loading the max load of 12.4gr, I end up with a powder capacity of 1.116cc or 278% more than the small load capacity (0.40cc) you reference.

FWIW, common sense would tell us that the variance/error of say +-0.1gr in a 12.4gr load would show up as an error of just 0.0008%, and yet that same +-0.1gr error in a 4.0gr load would = 0.0025% and that error would be 3.125 times larger in the small load you reference, as compared to my max load (12.4gr or 1.116cc).

So, the bottom line as I understand it, is that the Lee Charge Bar is most accurate in large capacity/grain loads and least accurate in small capacity/grain loads.

This makes sense to me. That has been one of the reasons that I chose a powder with a higher VMD (0.0900). Plus, this lowers any likelihood of accidental double loads, particularly since my load volume above of 1.116cc nearly fills the .357 Mag's useful volume of 1.36cc.

Thanks Wise_A, this has given us all a useful error range of the Lee Charge Bar, depending on the load. I am sure that the type of powder would/will also affect this accuracy range somewhat.

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Old 10-02-2018, 10:49 AM
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.... i don't believe what the chart says for the type of powder used. When I weigh the charges they are often way off from the chart. Every time I fill a row my loading block, I check the last load. If something is hinky I only have to recheck that one row.
The chart with the fixed measure is purposely short of what you get for liability reasons. Lot to lot powder variations will raise or lower exact charge wt/volume. It is the biggest problem with fixed measures, you get what you get not what you want. Every fixed measure should be verified/set with a goid scale (not lee beam).
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Old 10-02-2018, 12:46 PM
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When you think about it, the amount of "settling" of a powder in a powder drop cavity, whether it is an powder measure, a fixed disc cavity or a shotshell loader busing will be greatest on the initial drop followed by a bump. The next bump will have an effect, but it will be less and so on.

If you determine that after 3 bumps or taps or however many, you are not increasing the variation of the dropped powder by a significant amount (determined by you), you are now good to go.

On my Lee PPM, 2 taps is all it takes to keep my variations to +/-0.1g or less so that's the rhythm I use. On my LnL AP with a big flake powder like Green Dot, I return the handle quite forcefully and give a tap to it which causes the powder to settle into the PM cavity to the same consistency.

Some folks use an aquarium pump to put a constant vibration on the powder measure. I know of one reloader who zip tied an adult toy to his powder measure (with pictures) and got great results with 800-X which is a notoriously poor measuring powder.
To each his own.
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Old 10-02-2018, 02:25 PM
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WHy I always toss back the 1st 2-3 drops, then start loading.
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Old 10-02-2018, 02:30 PM
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+10 rsrocket1... sounds like a plan!

I figure my 4-position Lee turret cycles 4-times by the time I get back to dropping the next powder load. Keeping the powder dispenser centered over the turret seems to act as a spinner, 1/4 spin at a time, that helps settle the powder for the next drop.

However, I thinks I will skip trying out the electric banana idea to settle my powder... if 'ya knowz whut ah meanz...
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Old 10-02-2018, 03:25 PM
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This makes sense to me. That has been one of the reasons that I chose a powder with a higher VMD (0.0900). Plus, this lowers any likelihood of accidental double loads, particularly since my load volume above of 1.116cc nearly fills the .357 Mag's useful volume of 1.36cc.
I use it a pretty fair amount in .44 Magnum, heavier charge weights but around the same volume. I also use it to dispense 4.2 grains of WST for my 200-gr LSWC .45 ACP loads, and it meters just fine.

I haven't tried it with any of my heavier 9mm loads, and there's just no point to it with the .38s. The discs drop exactly what I want anyway.

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WHy I always toss back the 1st 2-3 drops, then start loading.
2-3? I toss six or seven.
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Old 10-02-2018, 03:31 PM
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I used the auto disc hopper with adjustable charge bars for many years loading H4227 in .38 Spec (10.5 gn) and 44/40 (15.5 gn). Every time I changed charge bars, in fact every time I refilled the hopper (I empty it after every loading session) and went to load more of the same caliber, I had to fiddle around for 10 minutes to get the “right” charge drop.

The auto drum is much better. As a closed system there is very little powder spill (a bit around the rotary mechanism if not tightened correctly) unlike the open auto disk. But the auto drum spring is not powerful enough to return the drum back to full battery. Yes, it can be set so that the drop occurs with the required weight without the drum returning fully, but I prefer to reach up from the handle with my right hand and turn it fully back while placing the projectile onto the case mouth with my left hand. It works for me.

I also pause the handle at the bottom of each stroke momentarily to allow the full powder drop. I found if I do not pause the powder charge can vary a bit.

As I mainly use a progressive press it is one drop for each pull of the handle. Sometimes I do use my old 3 hole Turret press (44/40, 38 S&W, .32 Auto, any small case or where the mouth can be easily damaged) but I still use the same auto drum powder measure.

My Perfect powder measure (for rifle loads) is something else again. Turn the handle too fast and the full powder load does not drop, so I turn the handle, tap the rotating drum once with my finger and then turn the handle back again.

Whichever system I use I always start every loading session by filling the hopper, making 10 drops, then weighing the following 5 drops until either I get 3 consecutive drops of the same selected charge or the 5 drop average is right, + or - no more than .2 gn of my selected charge.

I have found while chronographing load development that except for working at top end loads .1 or .2 of a gn does not make much, if any, difference in velocity. If my load is too low I generally will raise the charge weight by .5 for the next time (unless again working at the top end) and adjust downwards if my targeted is overreached.

In my experience it does not matter which press or powder measure someone uses. If you can get it to work for you that’s all that is required.
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Last edited by Kiwi cop; 10-02-2018 at 03:33 PM.
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Old 10-03-2018, 10:52 AM
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When I started loading it was recommended to adjust the powder measure then throw 10 drops to get the average, then repeat. This always gave me the the consistency I needed. I use an RCBS measure I bought in the mid 80's, and it will normally throw as little as 1.7 gr 231 within .1 gr. Most loading manuals I have read indicate powder +/- .1 gr to be within acceptable limits.

I have found that my Dillon 550 powder measure one of the most consistent and equal to my experience with my RCBS or better.
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