1911Forum banner

1 - 15 of 15 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,776 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I shoot IDPA and IPSC. Would a guy like me notice a difference between a normal powder thrower and a "match" quality measure with micrometer adjustment?
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
14,941 Posts
I don't think you'd notice a difference. I have a little experience with a micrometer type adjustment (think it's the MicroTek brand). It came on the powder measure that came with the Dillon 650 I bought used. I have the "standard" powder measure adjustment on my other 550's.

I do not think the micrometer adjustment is any more accurate, it's just a little easier to find your previous setting(s) when you're using several different powders and/or charge weights. The normal Dillon powder drop adjustment may take a little more trial-and-error to get the weight you want, but once both are set to drop a certain charge, I think they are both equally accurate.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,444 Posts
I shoot IDPA and IPSC. Would a guy like me notice a difference between a normal powder thrower and a "match" quality measure with micrometer adjustment?
No, but not for the reason(s) you might expect.

First, it's not clear what a "normal" powder thrower might be. With Winchester Super Target and Bullseye, my Dillon powder throwers drop charges with a Standard Deviation that is about equal to the Probable Error of my powder scale, i.e., ~0.05 grains.

That means about 66% of my charges will be within +/- 0.1 grains of the nominal value. At least with those powders, a .45 ACP round won't show the difference.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
7,806 Posts
Cant hurt, might help.

What kind of measure/reloader are you using now?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,776 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Cant hurt, might help.

What kind of measure/reloader are you using now?
I'm using the Lee Pro Auto Disk. It has always kept my loads within .1 grains, but I was just curious if I was missing out on anything.


Nate
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,836 Posts
The powder measurer on my new 550B does not have any micrometer adjustments, just an adjustment nut. Considering the large number of USPSA or IDPA shooters that drink Dillon koolaid, that says something...
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
12,388 Posts
I'm using the Lee Pro Auto Disk.
If you're asking about the Micro Adjustable Charge Bar for the Pro Auto Disk, it isn't there for 'match quality'.

It is adjustable. Your current disks contain 6 fixed cavities. You do not have the ability to adjust infinitely between cavity volumes. But the Micro Adjustable Charge Bar is adjustable. That is its sole reason for being on this earth.

In my experience the Micro Adjustable is equally consistent as the fixed disks. Except when the charges get small (about 4 grains or less). Then you have to modify it to keep it consistent.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,776 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
If you're asking about the Micro Adjustable Charge Bar for the Pro Auto Disk, it isn't there for 'match quality'.

It is adjustable. Your current disks contain 6 fixed cavities. You do not have the ability to adjust infinitely between cavity volumes. But the Micro Adjustable Charge Bar is adjustable. That is its sole reason for being on this earth.

In my experience the Micro Adjustable is equally consistent as the fixed disks. Except when the charges get small (about 4 grains or less). Then you have to modify it to keep it consistent.
No, I understand that it's not match quality. I was wondering if it would be worth $150 to buy a "match quality" powder thrower instead of using the Lee auto disc. What modifications have you needed to keep small charges consistent?


Nate
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
12,388 Posts
OK, I understand your question, Nate.

Match quality powder measure: If you really need to get it that accurate, you weigh every charge on a scale (they also make digital scale/trickler combo units for that purpose). If you don't need to get it that accurate, a standard powder measure works just fine.

Lee disk measure: The big problem is that the cavities are fixed and you can't measure a charge between two cavities.

Lee Micro Adj Charge Bar: Fixes that problem and it measures powder charges large and small, but it compromises small charges by placing its adjustable cavity too far toward the back of the bar. For small charges you can increase consistency by 'shimming' the cavity at the front (filling it with card stock or something) so you force the cavity to be farther back. Then it works just fine. With good powders, it is consistent within 1/2 of one-tenth of a grain. Flake powders and large stick powders are difficult on every powder measure, not just the Lee disk.

Rotary measure (like the Lee Perfect Powder Measure): Every manufacturer makes one, they all have their own special design. You have to inspect each one to see how it works. Generally very reliable and generally good over a large range of powder charges. Very useful device to have on a bench if you load a large variety of cartridges on single state presses. Some of them (like Lee) can be adapted to their own press. You'll have to look it up for your particular press manufacturer.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,444 Posts
I was wondering if it would be worth $150 to buy a "match quality" powder thrower instead of using the Lee auto disc.

Nate
For .45ACP ammunition, no way. For a high power shooter loading their long-line (600 yard) ammunition or a benchrest shooter, yes.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,837 Posts
I have a Lee Pro Auto Disk with the adjustable charge bar, and I seriously doubt you'll get more accurate charges from a more expensive measure. I put a powder baffle in mine and use it on my Lee Classic Turret Press and moving it around the positions shakes things up. It is very, very, very accurate. More expensive measures still use similar technology--fixed volume cavity moves somehow in a way to move that fixed volume to the case.

I'd say get an adjustable charge bar and spend the dough you might have spent on a different measure on something else. YMMV, of course.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,179 Posts
I don't think you'd notice a difference. I have a little experience with a micrometer type adjustment (think it's the MicroTek brand). It came on the powder measure that came with the Dillon 650 I bought used. I have the "standard" powder measure adjustment on my other 550's.

I do not think the micrometer adjustment is any more accurate, it's just a little easier to find your previous setting(s) when you're using several different powders and/or charge weights. The normal Dillon powder drop adjustment may take a little more trial-and-error to get the weight you want, but once both are set to drop a certain charge, I think they are both equally accurate.
I'd go with the bolded statement. I use a Lyman measure without the micrometer adjustment and kind of wish I'd gotten the micrometer adjustment just so I could switch between caliber throw weights more quickly. I load .45 ACP, .45 Colt, 9mm, 10mm, .357 mag, and .308 and going from one to the next is time-consuming without the micrometer adjustment. If you load multiple calibers, the micro- adjustment would be the most expedient choice.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,908 Posts
For popular pistol loads for IDPA and USPSA I can't imagine a difference.

For popular pistol loads for IDPA and USPSA I can't imagine a difference.

As a practical matter, given an otherwise satisfactory progressive setup I'd be more inclined to change powders to suit a measure than to change measures to suit a powder. Many popular powders for pistols are popular in part because the powders meter well.

Of course Dillon emphasizes having extra loaded tool heads so the measures can be set and left alone and the spendy Redding (or equivalent) micrometer adjustable dies are handy in a Dillon because the micrometer makes it easy to adjust them from above with visible markings - but there are tradeoffs just as a highly accurate and repeatable adjustable sight for a firearm may be more fragile but inveterate sight crankers can't do much with fixed sights so too there is a place for micrometer adjustments when loads are constantly varied

I might make an exception for shooting Trailboss in cowboy action or something of that sort - but I'd sure try exisiting measures and have a clear idea of why the existing measure was unsatisfactory. Then too I'm still using up a good deal of 452AA for plinking handgun loads from the days I shot clay birds and I'd want a measure to work if I didn't have one.

That said, in a rifle with bulkier powders there are real differences in measure design including baffles, metering chamber shape action including fit and bearings if any - some folks will use a ladder loading style to develop loads where some irreducible variation in charge has only a tolerable effect on ballistics internal or external - that is where the charge variation +/- doesn't matter because the shot will be in tolerance.

Bearing in mind that for most people most of the time bench rest techniques are a snare and a delusion even for short range over the course shooting - use a charge of a powder that with a measure works well enough and load up - producing lots of adequate loads is much much more useful than producing a small number of expensive in time and money loads - still if a nicer measure by pride of ownership or regularity of action makes the experience more enjoyable it's cheap amortized over hours and days and weeks at the bench.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,322 Posts
Lee powder measure

Many years ago I purchased a Lee Pro 1000 to reload .38super. The powder measure had a plastic disk, and unfortunately, the powder I used at that time, (I think it was AA#7) would gall the plastic disk and cause erratic powder charges. Since that time, I have never had confidence in any powder measure that uses a plastic or nylon/polymer disk as part of the charging bar. I prefer to use charging bar parts made from metal.

I have several Dillon progressive presses, and the Dillon powder measure works fine, and throws charges for pistol within +/- .1 grain. I use a large charging bar in my Dillon powder measure for .223, and this still drops charges within +/- .1 grain also. For precision rifle loads, as in my .300 Win Mag rounds, I measure each round and trickle the powder to get an exact weight. I use a long grain extruded powder, which doesn't meter well, so using a trickler is best for this load combination. I only load about 20 rounds of the .300 Win Mag at a time.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
57 Posts
I'm using the Lee Pro Auto Disk. It has always kept my loads within .1 grains, but I was just curious if I was missing out on anything.


Nate

I use a Pact system for rifle powders and other measures for finer powders. Maybe if you not get the accuracy you need you might consider an RCBS Little Dandy. Right still a chamber type measure, but the same chamber every time.
 
1 - 15 of 15 Posts
Top