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powder measure

Old 09-20-2004, 12:37 AM
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Default powder measure

what is the most accurate way to consistent powder measure, i am currently using the powder measurer that came with my rcbs rock chucker, i have it set on the light side and the use my dribbler to get where i need, the reason i'm doing this is my powder disspenser seems to crush some of the powder and one cycle may be light the next heavy, so i've just been setting on the light side and adj. with the dribbler and weighing. i have not bought any new loading equipment in quite some time, other than dies and case lube, have not really looked either , was kinda wondering what out there..

thanks in advance, mt
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Old 09-20-2004, 04:38 AM
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Default RE: powder measure

thats a very common problem, the only way you will ever get an accurate charge weight is with a trickler. you could have the most expensive powder measure money could buy and you will still have the same problem. I trickle my rifle loads but my pistol loads im not to picky and just use the powder measure. good luck
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Old 09-20-2004, 08:56 AM
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Default RE: powder measure

thanks high desert, i kind of thought that, but i have been out of the loop for a while and was wondering what everbody else did, i guess i've been stuck in my own little world.
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Old 09-20-2004, 11:15 AM
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Default RE: powder measure

The RCBS uniflow measure works great, if you know how to use it correctly. Unfortunately, most people don't, probably because of inadequate instructions from the manufacturer, specifically the lack of a key part and a few important details.

The first thing you need is a powder baffle, I don't know if a baffle comes with the measure when you buy it these dyas, but the meausre I bought about 10 years ago didn't. I struggled with it and gave up on it until someone told me to get a baffle for it. A baffle is a round piece of sheetmetal that is bent with a couple of holes in it. You place the baffle into the empty measure with the pointed end up before you add powder. RCBS baffles cost about $4.

The next thing you need is a solid mount for the powder measure. The Uniflow comes with a strip of metal that the measure screws into and what looks like it can be screwed under a die on you rpress. Throw this part away- its too springy for the purpose of having a solid mount for the measure.

Notice the bottom of the measure is threaded? Coincidentally, it will screw right into the top of your press, if your press is solidly mounted, this will suffice for a good mount for it, until you get a stand for it (or better yet a second press- a cheap Lee press would be far more versatile than a powder measure stand, and cost about the same. Tighten down the locknut on the measure to the press, so the meausre is nice and tight.

Throwing charges- use the same stroke every time. I use a sharp upstroke with a sharp downstroke, I do it the same way everytime. Taking an hour to practice and develop a routine while weighing the charges will help you find what works for you.

Adjusting the charges- when you adjust a charge, throw 3 charges before taking a weight. it usually takes 1 or 2 charges for the measure the 'settle in' , If you simply adjust the meausre, throw a charge and weight it, then adjust it again, you'll be chasing your tail. If I get an odd charge that doesn't feel right (such as if I get a cut grain) I'll discard that charge along with the next 2, before going back to charging cases, while weighing the first charged case to confirm that everything is OK.

Keep the powder hoper at least 1/2 full and top it off often. When you top it off, discard the first 3 throws of powder before charging cases again. I keep a plastic cup on my bench for discarding charges when the measure is settling in so that I can easily dump the powder back in the hopper on the next recharge.

I weigh every 8th charge. My loading block has rows of 8, so I weight the case at the end of each row as I go. If I'm less confident, I'll weigh more often.


to recap:

1. use a baffle
2. use a solid mount.
3. practice and perfect a consistant charging stroke.
4. discard the first 3 charges after setting the measure, discard at least the first 2 charges every time you top off or some irregularity occurs.
5 keep the hopper topped off.
6. check your charges every 5th to 8th charge.

If you do all of this, you should be able to keep charges to 30-06 sized cases withing +/- .2 gr or better which will make no difference in accuracy, with pistol cases you should be able to stay within +/- .1gr, which is within the accuracy tolerances of your scale.
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Old 09-20-2004, 12:08 PM
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Default RE: powder measure

thanks briman, +/- .2 would be fine, but with the measurer w/o the baffle i'm getting very wide swings, i have tried the snapping type motion, and after adj. i always burn 3-5 cycles, if the baffle will get me this close that will be great, at 4$ it can't hurt to try, i was already doing most of the other items you mentioned, mine has been mounted solid for years, the little tab was a joke, on my hopper i have tried different things what i've been doing is filling up and re-filling when i've cycled about 1/3 out. thanks for the help and i'll report back
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Old 09-20-2004, 01:59 PM
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Default RE: powder measure

The baffle makes all of the difference in the world. I use alot of IMR powders and cutting grains with the baffle in place doesn't happen very often.
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Old 09-20-2004, 10:07 PM
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Old 09-21-2004, 12:30 AM
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Default RE: powder measure

BTW, exactly where is your mind in the UP?
We have a little place 20 miles s.e of Iron Mountain, on the menomonie river.
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Old 09-21-2004, 12:32 AM
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Default RE: powder measure

Wow! 30 years of reloading and I am still learning. Guess you can teach an old dog new tricks.
Yeah, the Uniflow measure sat in a drawer for about 5 years because I gave up on it, until someone tipped me off to using a baffle.
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Old 09-21-2004, 04:37 AM
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Default RE: powder measure

Wow that rcbs powder measure without the baffle must throw some very inconsistant charges, more inconsistant then what i was thinking. I have a lee powder measure mainly bought it because of some article that was on a web site a few years ago that stated in comparison to other higher priced powder measures the lee was the most consistant in the test that they did, and the lee was in my budget at the time. I like it and have no reason to use anything else. without doing all those things briman says to do to get consistant measures with the rcbs measure, My lee measures within .3 grains with extruded powders, .2 with flake powders and .1 with ball powder. I trickle my precision 308 rifle loads because I've become anal like that , but my 308, 30-06, 30-30 hunting loads and all pistol loads I just use the measure.
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