Powder Measure

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GDLT31

Bearcat
Joined
Apr 26, 2008
Messages
16
Location
Lady Lake,Florida
I had gotten a Rock Chucker Supreme Kit and I want to upgrade my present powder measure.Is there anything I can attach to the exsiting measure or should I get another brand.I don't want a 300.00 dollar unit.The one that came with the kit does not like the keep the same weight.(I measure every powder drop)Thanks.
 

Cherokee

Single-Sixer
Joined
May 21, 2003
Messages
472
Location
Medina, Ohio, USA
I am surprised the RCBS measure does not give repeatable weight. How much variation are you seeing ? +/- .01 would be normal. What powder are you using ? Some measure better than others. I have the RCBS "Uniflow" that has worked fine for many years. Give RCBS a call and tell them your problem and they will fix you up-good customer service.
 

810wmb

Single-Sixer
Joined
Dec 29, 2008
Messages
140
i have the uniflow also - it throws pretty consistent after getting it set.

hijack question - in the directions, it says not to leave powder in it. it will ruin the plastic? is that true?

i have had some powder in mine since i have had it set up..around christmas...do i need to dump it every time?
 

GP100man

Buckeye
Joined
Sep 13, 2006
Messages
1,386
Location
Tabor City, NC.
you can get different size drops for your rcbs dropper.

I load revolver mostly & am very happy even when droppin HERCO & 800X [largeflakey bulky powders]
I have the small drum installed.

I think there shipped with the large .
 

badchris

Bearcat
Joined
Dec 30, 2008
Messages
11
Location
Ohio
810wmb":x2cl60jj said:
hijack question - in the directions, it says not to leave powder in it. it will ruin the plastic? is that true?
I would reccomend dumping the powder back into the approved powder container after each loading session.
 

contender

Ruger Guru
Joined
Sep 18, 2002
Messages
21,756
Location
Lake Lure NC USA
If you got the powder measure from RCBS,, meaning a Uniflow,, you should not be having a serious issue. To get repeatable powder charges,, you will have to rotate the handle/drum exactly the same way each time. I can vary my charge by simply changing the amount of force, or tapping etc of my handles when loading.
And as asked above,, what is the amount of variation you are seeing? What caliber? Pistol or rifle? Type of powder?
If you are loading match types of rifle loads,,, where weighing each & every charge is normal,, then most competition shooters throw a slightly light charge,, then "trickle" the rest into the scale with a powder trickle.
If you are just reloading hunting or target shooting rounds,,, a small variation in the charge isn't a problem,, unless you are already maxing out the charge.
More details will help!
 

810wmb

Single-Sixer
Joined
Dec 29, 2008
Messages
140
badchris":1i1ov8nn said:
810wmb":1i1ov8nn said:
hijack question - in the directions, it says not to leave powder in it. it will ruin the plastic? is that true?
I would reccomend dumping the powder back into the approved powder container after each loading session.

first - thanks much for the reply.

second - is there a reason? just a good practice?

believe me, i'm not being a smart ass, just wondering.
 

GDLT31

Bearcat
Joined
Apr 26, 2008
Messages
16
Location
Lady Lake,Florida
Here goes,I load .38 or .45Colt,the powders are Unique for the Colt and Bullseye for the .38.It varies after each drop between .4gn to .9gn I use a digital scale.I use the.38 in my S&W 66 for target shooting,and the .45Colt in the Blackhawks for hunting.Maybe I'm being anal but I want to be safe.Oh yeah I don't keep powder in the uniflo I always put it back in the container and keep that in a wooden box under my bench off the floor.
 

badchris

Bearcat
Joined
Dec 30, 2008
Messages
11
Location
Ohio
I read this elsewhere regarding the material that powder containers are constructed of. The response below was from Hodgdon. Hope it helps.

Our containers are made from a proprietary plastic. They are designed to eliminate IR and UV light and they are conductive, much like velostat. So, the answer is yes, our containers are more than just a dye to turn them black, so are designed to control static.

Mike Daly
Customer Satisfaction Manager
The Hodgdon Family of Fine Propellants
Hodgdon Smokeless Powders
Winchester Legendary Propellants
IMR Propellants
Pyrodex
Triple Seven
Goex Black Powder


The hoppers that hold the powder are not IR or UV resistant, nor will they protect against humidity (or so I've been told). I dump my hopper back into the original container everytime. I don't want to find out the hard way :wink: .
 

Chief 101

Hunter
Joined
Feb 14, 2007
Messages
2,189
Location
Idaho
I dump the powder back in the sealed container for a few of reasons but for the sake of this discussion I will mention that I don't know the effects of ultraviolet rays on powder nor do I know how much moisture is picked up from the humidity in the air. Those two alone could give you the variance in thrown charges you are seeing. If you are a "benchrest shooter" you already know this, if not it will not vary enough to make a difference anyhows.
Contender says "
If you got the powder measure from RCBS,, meaning a Uniflow,, you should not be having a serious issue. To get repeatable powder charges,, you will have to rotate the handle/drum exactly the same way each time. I can vary my charge by simply changing the amount of force, or tapping etc of my handles when loading."
Take heed.
also, keep the powder level as full as you can, don't allow the powder dispenser to empty before filling, just keep it full, or at least at the same level.
That is what I have to say on the subject.
Chief aka Maxx Load
 

Sharp Shooter

Single-Sixer
Joined
Nov 24, 2005
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110
Location
MCCammon,Idaho,USA
GDLT31":d2qsxn7j said:
Here goes,I load .38 or .45Colt,the powders are Unique for the Colt and Bullseye for the .38.It varies after each drop between .4gn to .9gn I use a digital scale.I use the.38 in my S&W 66 for target shooting,and the .45Colt in the Blackhawks for hunting.Maybe I'm being anal but I want to be safe.Oh yeah I don't keep powder in the uniflo I always put it back in the container and keep that in a wooden box under my bench off the floor.

Others may disagree, but worrying about a .4 grain - .9 grain variation in powder charge weights when you're talking Bullseye or Unique is hardly what I'd call being "anal" GDLT31. Heck, there isn't THAT much difference between minimum and maximum charges of Bullseye in a good many .38 Special loads.
Some of the others have also given you some good advice about moving the handle on you powder measure the same every time, and keeping the hopper full. But seeing as how you're using a single stage press, and you're going to weigh every charge (at least for now) I'm going to suggest that you really don't need to use a regular powder measure at all. Just go buy yourself a set of Lee powder dippers and a RCBS powder trickler. You can get the whole set of dippers for less than $20.00 probably, and a trickler shouldn't run more than $10.00 - $12.00.
All you do then is pick out a dipper that holds a charge slightly lighter than
what you want (the Lee kit comes with a sliding chart) dump the charge on your scale, and then trickle powder onto your scale until it comes up to weight. Trust me, after a little while you'll get really good at it, and you'll be able to have 25 or 30 cases precisely charged in the time it would have taken you to set up and adjust your powder measure.
You could also build your own set of powder dippers by soldering wire handles onto old cases, and filing the cases down or putting epoxy in the bottom of them until they hold the amount of powder you want them to. I've built a few powder dippers that way for my favorite loads. But even though I'm pretty frugal, I have to admit building my own powder dippers was never worth my time when I could buy a whole set of them for around $15.00. :)
 

Divernhunter

Single-Sixer
Joined
Mar 4, 2004
Messages
263
Location
Denair,Ca,USA
I use Unique but not bullseye in my RCBS unit. I also load many other powders and have never had that big of a swing in weights. As stated before. Constant actions with the throws is most important as well as having the correct drum for the powder charge in place. I got tired of changing drums so picked up a second unit and now have one set up with the small drum and one with the large drum.

Other things to do/consider. To keep a uniform pressure on the powder collum(sp) here is what I do. I took a funnel(4") and cut off the spout about .5-.75" from the base of the funnel. I now fill the powder measure with the funnel in place on top of the unit. Then I throw a few charges until I get a reverse V shape to the powder collum(sp). Then I start chargeing the brass in my loading blocks and never let the funnel get empty. I make sure I use the same motion and force(and number of taps) for each powder charge. I also throw some into a cup before charging more loading blocks after seating my bullets as the powder measure is on the same bench as the press and the vibration from the press will settle the powder and change the amount thrown for several throws when starting to use it again.
If you have a static problem hanging powder charges just rub and then rubberband a couple of dryer anti-static(cling) fabric softner dryer sheets to the outside of the unit.
Just like accurate ammo and shooting. You need to be as uniform in materials and methods as possible to get the best results.
I throw charges that are less than .1gr from the setting I want with my units. But it requires practice and paying attention to details to do so.
 

GDLT31

Bearcat
Joined
Apr 26, 2008
Messages
16
Location
Lady Lake,Florida
Thanks for all the different views It sounds that the dipper is the way to go for the S&W 66 cause I want those as close as possible for paper punching.Now for the .45 Colt Blackhawks those don't need to be exact,cause if I can hit a paper plate at 50yds it's pork in the freezer.Again thanks for your intrest in my problem I knew someone had the answers.And I will try them all.
 

contender

Ruger Guru
Joined
Sep 18, 2002
Messages
21,756
Location
Lake Lure NC USA
As always we try to help.
Giving us more info about what you are loading helps a bunch.
Divernhunter has given good advice. I too use 2 different Uniflows for powders in that I change a lot of calibers,, so I have a small drum & a large drum set-up. He hit the nail on hte head when he talks about consistancy in methods. Plus,, keeping a full hopper helps keep the weight of the powder dropp-in*g consistant charges
I'd say a lot of your variances have to do with the method of how you throw a powder charge. I've tried several methods over the years to get consistant loads. I found for me that a steady consistant feel of just raising the handle once, pause, lower it w/o bumping, tapping/banging it seems to be the most consistant.
I use a lot of Unique powder in my Dillon 650 and I load match ammo on it. I get very consistant loads in their measure,,, and it is just a matter of keeping the hopper at least 3/4 full.
Try getting a smooth consistant rhythm in dropping charges,, say 20-30 or more at a time,, THEN check them with the scale for consistancy. Dropping one at a time, weighing it, then dropping another breaks rhythm.
 

Bucks Owin

Hunter
Joined
Mar 22, 2004
Messages
3,190
Location
51st state of Jefferson
Thing with any measure IMO, is don't pussyfoot it's operation. Firmly operate with a light "knock" to settle the powder. I still use an old Redding from the 50's and it'll drop very consistent charges when operated as described, even if it's cutting a few grains of large grained tubular powders when cycled. eg 4831...It's "the touch" :wink: (Oh, and keep it at least 1/3 full or else have a baffle in the hopper)
 

Yosemite Sam

Hunter
Joined
Mar 18, 2002
Messages
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Location
Cape Cod, MA, USA
I recently saw an old powder measure at a gun show, and it had a little metal "knocker" attached to the face. The idea was you threw your charge, then lifted the knocker and let it drop, as a sort of built-in tapping device.

Apparently this consistency thing has been an issue for a while. ;)

-- Sam
 

islander

Bearcat
Joined
Feb 5, 2009
Messages
25
Location
Coral Gables Florida
I suppose consistency in the throw is something you gain with experience, but yet there is an inherent problem in a measure so sensitive to the slightest incosistency of a throw.

So, I've been racking my brain thinking of either a gravity-driven "thrower", some gizmo you flick and a weighted arm drives the powder thrower and then returns upright; or a small electric motor throwing the measure arm with the flick of a switch. The idea is that the force and motion is mechanically identical every time. Anyone ever seen such a gadget? Similar concept as a case-activated powder thrower on a progressive but for use with the stand-alone measure.
 

Yosemite Sam

Hunter
Joined
Mar 18, 2002
Messages
2,113
Location
Cape Cod, MA, USA
If you're going to that extreme you could just get one of the electronic scale and thrower combos. Someone was selling a Pact setup earlier this week in the Classifieds for $150. I've used that exact setup, and it's precise, but a bit slow. The good news is that you can be doing something else (eg, seating a bullet in the last case you filled) while the Pact is grinding out the next load.

My Lee Auto Disk is precise to within .2gr, depending on the powder, but is similar to the case-activated system described above. You could use it on a single stage, with a Power-Through expander die.

-- Sam
 

Bucks Owin

Hunter
Joined
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Messages
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51st state of Jefferson
islander":159wt9q6 said:
So, I've been racking my brain thinking of either a gravity-driven "thrower", some gizmo you flick and a weighted arm drives the powder thrower and then returns upright; or a small electric motor throwing the measure arm with the flick of a switch. The idea is that the force and motion is mechanically identical every time. Anyone ever seen such a gadget?
Yep, a human arm that's been calibrated by experience! Using the firm knock technique, one can stay within a tenth or so with most powders and if you are "redlining" loads, you should be weighing every charge anyway IMO...But FWIW, I've seen "spring loaded gizmos" on measures, just never paid much attention as to make, model etc, didn't see a need for one myself...As was mentioned, you can get an electronic "robot" to throw/weigh the charges for you. (And are about as slow as weighing them yourself anyway!)
 

MEWERT

Bearcat
Joined
Feb 28, 2009
Messages
11
Location
Southeastern WA.
I had the same consistency problem with my Uniflow when I bought it 35 years ago. My method for consitent throws is to tap twice up and tap twice down. I keep the hopper around 2/3 full. I usually powder 50 cases at a time and get a good rythum going. This has worked good for me all these years. However, I'm just a plinker and don't need match ammo.
 

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