powder metering question

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Jeff H

Jul 9, 2009
Cincinnati, OH
So, one of these days closer to winter I'm planning on picking up a Lee classic turret press and all the associated other stuff. I have read that there is a specific powder dispenser used that loads by volume and I have read that some powders don't meter all that great so The question is what are the better metering powders for the various loads I want to reload. considering some or most are out of stock from time to time, input on all powders would be valuable.

9mm, .45 and 38sp -W231, Unique, Pistol Power, Others?
.357 - 2400, W296, H110, Others?

way way down the road I might consider reloading 308 and maybe 7.62x39 if our Overlord makes things real difficult, but I have no ideas on powder for those.


Feb 22, 2007
So. Florida
From my experience (not all that much)
W231/HP-38 ...very small ball powder, spills out of some meters.
W296/H-110 ...very small ball powder, spills out of some meters.
Universal........grainy powder, meters well in most meters.
Blue Dot.........really big grains, jams in some meters, works well in the lee not so perfect powder measure.



Ruger Guru
Sep 18, 2002
Lake Lure NC USA
Well, I don't use Lee presses or powder measures,,, I use RCBS & Dillon. I use a LOT of Unique, 231, H-110, & many others. I've never had metering problems enough to cause concern.
Now,,, I USED to use a Lee Load-All for shotgun,,, and noticed a lot of spilled powder from the charge bar area. I guess the tolerances for their plastic parts isn't as precise as the metal powder measures I use.


Sep 24, 2008
San Diego, CA
Just from my limited experience:
I've only used RCBS powder measures, my dad had 'em when I was growing up, never had problems with them, so I never tried any others.

I use a lot of 231, 296, 110 and 2400 as well as the Win 748 and 760 powders for '06 class cartridges. Smallest I load is .380 and largest is 45-70 and the RCBS has met my needs without ever leaking and those powders have all metered very well with that measure. I've always been able to get very precise loads with the Winchester ball powders.

Only issue is with Blue Dot as Jimbo mentioned. It never gets completely stuck or jammed, but you do have to give it a little extra muscle compared with the ball powders. I also need to top off the measure more frequently than the ball powders.


Oct 19, 2007
Strum, WI
I've used 231 in a Lee powder measure, and the only adjustment I had to make was to tighten the screw on the side a bit. It tightened everything up, made it a little harder to move the handle, but kept powder from working through the crack. It meters very well through that Lee measure now.


Mar 12, 2003
Parkersburg, WV USA
I use the Lee powder measure a lot. The Auto Disk is nice, the Perfect PM is junk and should be avoided at all cost.

Both versions of the auto disk will meter most powders well, and the larger grained powders fair. It depends on the powder, cause the measure is definitely up to the task.

Of the powders I've used (just off the top of my head),....
Herco, 2400, Unique, IMR4227, WST, 231, H110, 296, Clays, measure great, and would work for some of your loads.

Powders like Green Dot, Red Dot, Blue Dot, and longer stick rifle powders will measure well enough, but not as accurately as above powders.

There are those who scoff at Lee products, and I must admit that their Perfect PM and Safety Scale are two of their products that I avoid like the plague. I've read good things about both, but they didn't work at all for me. Aside from those two items, I use almost all of the other stuff they make. I have a Turret press and a Breech Lock press, and I use the auto disk and zip trim and case trimmers, all great products. I've fired more rounds over 35 years of reloading with Lee tools than any other and I've owned them all over that time. These are what I've kept that gets the job done.

Rick Courtright

Mar 10, 2002
Redlands CA USA
slippingaway":2mtkwkmv said:
I've used 231 in a Lee powder measure, and the only adjustment I had to make was to tighten the screw on the side a bit.


Same experience running 540 (discontinued by Winchester, Hodgdon's claims HS-6 is identical. They say that, not I!) and 296 thru the Lee PPM.

The instructions claim the measure is set up to take one pound to move the handle. I weighed one pound of shot, tied it in a bag to the handle and tightened the screw until the handle would no longer move on its own. The handle was MUCH tighter afterwards!

Problem solved.

I've loaded pretty fair amounts of several powders thru my Lee PPM. It sits next to an RCBS Uniflo on the bench. Ball powders measure almost dead nuts in either, "fluffy" powders like the Unique and Green Dot measure "within tolerance level" w/ either. Stick rifle powders seem to work better in the RCBS.

My favorite powders:

Pistol: Unique, Green Dot, 540 and 296 (covers the range of 9mm, .38 Spl, and both light and heavy versions of .357 and .44 Mags. Those four powders cover my shotshells, as well: .410 bore, 28, 20 and 12 ga)

Rifle: Rel 15 and 748 (covers .30-30, .303 British, .30-06 and 7.62 x 54R)

Well, at least for now... ;)

Rick C

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