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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Here is what I have done to make my Dillon powder measures throw more consistent charges with all powders. Not just coarse grained powders like Varget, 4198, ect…

First remove the plastic hopper from the measure. If its yellow and cracked simply order a new one.

If you look inside you see how rough the inside of the measure is. Its just a aluminum casting.





I start by hitting the inside with some 440 wet/dry sandpaper to take off the high spots. I also break the edge where the hole is in the bottom. Then I fire up the Foredom (AKA Dremel) and start polishing. I use a small Scrotchbrite wheel for the majority of the work. After it starts looking better, I start up with the felt tips and polishing rouge. Once it looks like a good mirror finished feed ramp, I apply some car polish. Several coats just to make sure it stays pretty and more importantly, slick.





It is a royal pain to get inside the track where the adjustment bar slides, but it seems to help. Using a piece of flatbar, I just knock off the highspots with some 440 sandpaper. Then using a large diameter felt wheel, I polish the bottom and left (side away from lever linkage) side. Just polish, don’t remove any metal. Try as I might, my camera wont focus that close.

A big part of adjustment repeatability is the addition of the Uniquetek adjustment knob. With absolutely zero backlash, turning it to X.XX on the dial equals what it did the last time you used it there. Before installing the Uniquetek, I polish the powder bar also. I lightly break the sharp edges on the corners. Try not to remove much metal. Just get it slick. Don’t forget to polish the little notch where the square plastic washer rides. Once installed, consider adding a *very* small amount of grease on the backside of the washer. Probably cant hurt, might help. Here is what the measure looks like with the Uniquetek installed.






I have a grounding wire running from my 1050s to an outlet to keep the whole machine grounded. I also keep anti static spray close by if I see powder sticking to the side of the measure. Some guys tape a static cling sheet to the outside of the powder hopper, but then I cant see how much powder I have left…

I also polish the inside of the powder funnel that rides inside the powder die and also where the powder flows through the measure itself. If it is for 223 or another case where compressed charges are likely, I heavily polish the hole and make it as much of a taper as I possibly can. This allows the powder go in the case faster and keeps spilling down to a dull roar. With a good taper and polish job, I can throw 27.0 gns of Varget in a Lake City 223 case without occasional spilling. Before, 26.6-ish was about it.

Don’t forget to grease the outside rear of the measure where it rides up and down. That is the only place where grease/oil *should* be used.

After doing all this, I can throw 10 charges of Varget and only have a 0.2 (0.3 on a bad day) variance, 0.1 either side of the desired weight.

As a technique, I pull the handle down somewhat fast and smooth, stopping abruptly at the bottom of the stroke. Every time. This keeps the powder settled so even amounts get dropped. I go up much slower as I am using an auto indexing machine.

I don’t use any graphite or other dry lubes on the powder bars. It can build up and make the powder bar bind. Gunpowder has enough graphite-ish stuff in it to keep things moving.

Don’t leave powder in your hoppers, it attracts moisture and can klump up leading to powder “jams.” Fine grained pistol powders are really bad about this. Ask me how I know.

Lastly, I hate the Dillon low powder sensors and powder check dies and don’t recommend them.
 

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Nice work, but my 650 throughs that accurate without all the work, guess I got lucky on the consistency. I use Universal Clays, don't know if that is a hard powder to throw or not.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
bdavis385 said:
I use Universal Clays, don't know if that is a hard powder to throw or not.
Most pistol powders are very small grained and throw more consistently compared to the big extruded powders used in rifle ammo. The more powder you throw, the bigger the powder throw variation. Not many pistol caliber use more than 8-10 gns of fine grained powder.

Tweaking my measures like this made my extreme spread across the chrono drop to under 20-30 fps or so with N310 and N320 in my 40 and 45 ammo. That must be something like 0.05-0.1 of a grain...
 

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Tom Freeman said:
Tweaking my measures like this made my extreme spread across the chrono drop to under 20-30 fps or so with N310 and N320 in my 40 and 45 ammo. That must be something like 0.05-0.1 of a grain...
Tom,

Do you attribute an extreme spread to a variation in powder charge? That's an interesting thought. I always "assumed" (yes, I know what that does) that the ES was due to "tolerance" in the chronograph and other factors, such as variance in crimp, different headstamp brass, different depth of primer seating, etc.

When I first got a chronograph, I did a test (45acp), weighing each powder charge with a trickler set over the scale pan. When fired, the chrono still showed a typical (for my loads) ES in the 30-50fps range. The fact that I was so precise in getting identical powder charges, and still got any ES caused me to conclude that the powder charge (within reason) was not the main contributing factor to ES.

I wish I could figure out what was the main cause of ES. Why can we never get an ES less than 10, or even zero? :D

Good shooting.....Rod.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
The type of chrono can have a a little to do with ES, but sunlight plays havok with chronos. Thats why I put my screens in a box so there is no sunlight to toy with readings. And the CED IR screens are the goods.
 

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Tom, you said that you don't like the powder check dies. Are you referring to the powder check alarm that indicates if you have a large variance in a powder charge ? If so, I think they are great. Very cheap insurance and they do work. Just curious.
 

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TINCUP AL said:
Tom, you said that you don't like the powder check dies. Are you referring to the powder check alarm that indicates if you have a large variance in a powder charge ? If so, I think they are great. Very cheap insurance and they do work. Just curious.

I'm not Tom, but do use a 650. I MUCH prefer the RCBS Lockout Die to the Dillon Powder Check system. The RCBS is less expensive, mechanical, no batteries required, and is foolproof.

Another tip about the charge bars: Degrease them thoroughly and coat them with dry moly powder, like we use to coat bullets. Bake 'em at low temp for 20 minutes.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
TINCUP AL said:
Tom, you said that you don't like the powder check dies. Are you referring to the powder check alarm that indicates if you have a large variance in a powder charge ? If so, I think they are great. Very cheap insurance and they do work. Just curious.
I just think they make people lazy. Lazy/complacent as in, “Why should I look in there before I place a bullet if my powder check die didnt chirp telling me there was a problem?” Or when the battery in the low powder sensor dies and a buddy loads about 175 rounds with no powder at all.

The only gizmo I like it the low primer buzzer.

For what its worth, I loaded about a thousand rounds of 40 today. I pulled 10 charges and weighed them. 44.8 grains. I had the measure set up to throw 4.5 gns of N320. Looks like I averaged 4.480. I will take it.
 

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Tom,
That's an impressive upgrade. Thanks for sharing. I'm usually w/in a tenth of a grain...I know this because I've been measuring my drops due to ISSUES that I thought might have been static electricity related.

Turned out, I was using the small/standard powder drop bar and it was creating problems by allowing lots of powder to hang and fall on the shell-plate.

I was well within Dillon's 20 grain max. for the bar (12.3g of Blue Dot)...turns out that once I changed to the large bar...problem solved...it took a lot of learning to figure this out...Dillon customer service did not even get me an answer...another Dillon person on Brian Enos' website figured it out.

Bob
 

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Discussion Starter #11
major caliber said:
Will the Uniquetek fit the square deal B?
It should, but send Lee an email and ask to be sure.
 

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Thank you so much

Tom,
Thank you so much. Unfortunately, I have a RCBS Pro 2000 and I don't know what I can tweak with it. Wonderful lesson.

I clean my powder meter with Bounce dryer sheets and that has decreased my variation. I vary between 0.1-0.3 grains of Varget for 25.8 grain desired load.

Lester
 

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Dillon 550B

When using the small bar on my 550B for Unique powder, It throws within .2 or so grains of setting.

However, after switching to the large powder bar, problem solved as it is right on the money of setting everytime. :D
 

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very informative, I have been reloading with a 550 for a couple years and one thing I always watch is that little allen screw that holds the bell crank ect. against the machine, as if it gets just a little loose, the square nylon block that moves the powder bar back and forth will jump out of its recess in the bar and you won't be charging your cases any longer until you notice it! I spotted it jump out once on mine as soon as it happened so now I always watch that allen screw and keep it as tight as I can and still have the crank stuff work smoothly.
 

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Powder Measure

Ultona said:
very informative, I have been reloading with a 550 for a couple years and one thing I always watch is that little allen screw that holds the bell crank ect. against the machine, as if it gets just a little loose, the square nylon block that moves the powder bar back and forth will jump out of its recess in the bar and you won't be charging your cases any longer until you notice it! I spotted it jump out once on mine as soon as it happened so now I always watch that allen screw and keep it as tight as I can and still have the crank stuff work smoothly.
Yup, that happend to me once when I changed powder bars and didn't tighten down that dang srew all the way and had to use a bullet puller on 25 rounds, but now I just change out the whole powder measure since I've three of them.

I believe you can tighten that screw down tight and the powder bar will still function properly.

I have two powder measures set up with the big bar and one set up with the small bar so I do is swap out the powder measure, much faster than changing bars, although it's not that big of deal either.
 

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I'm currently using a 550B and love it. I may look into doing this mod on some of my powder feeders.
 

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Thanks

What a neat mod, I use a 550, and have noticed some powders will be more consistant than others, I think this might help.
 

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Travis Morgan said:
Just add a fishtank aerator to your powder measure. The vibration keeps the powder moving down into the chargebar.
Have any photos?
 

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Ultona said:
very informative, I have been reloading with a 550 for a couple years and one thing I always watch is that little allen screw that holds the bell crank ect. against the machine, as if it gets just a little loose, the square nylon block that moves the powder bar back and forth will jump out of its recess in the bar and you won't be charging your cases any longer until you notice it! I spotted it jump out once on mine as soon as it happened so now I always watch that allen screw and keep it as tight as I can and still have the crank stuff work smoothly.
My cure a Ny-lock nut.
Chief-7700
 
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