Quantcast
  1. Sign up now and join over 35,000 northwest gun owners. It's quick, easy, and 100% free!

Best Powder check die

Discussion in 'Ammunition & Reloading' started by Righthandlefteye, Feb 24, 2013.

  1. Righthandlefteye

    Righthandlefteye Beaverton, Oregon New Member

    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hello folks

    I am about to start reloading .45ACP with a Hornady LNL progressive loader and after seeing all the pics of firearms destroyed by double-charged or squib rounds I will not even start without a powder check die.
    -I know the Hornady Powder cop die is a simple and effective die.
    -I have seen a you tube video of sombody who mounted a Dillon powder check die with the audible alarm. That sounds like the best option but this guy was drilling into the frame of the reloader and I don't want to that just to install it
    -I have heard good things about the RCBS lockout die as well which is what I'm leaning towards

    These are the three dies I know about for powder check. If there are other, better ones please share.

    Thanks!!!
     
  2. M4 AR

    M4 AR Ridgefield, Wa. Member

    Messages:
    132
    Likes Received:
    18
    I run the hornady powder cop. Works well, only compliant is that some powders stick to it. Starts showing a heavy load, just pull it out blow it off and resume.

    It's easy to use, easy to adjust, and @ $25-30 it's not expensive. I have 2, one for pistol, and one for rifle. Saves time not having to adjust anything.
     
  3. XSubSailor

    XSubSailor SW WA Active Member

    Messages:
    248
    Likes Received:
    50
    I have two LnL AP presses and each is equipped with the RCBS lockout die. Once adjusted, they are pretty much foolproof and reliable.
     
  4. Old506

    Old506 Northwest Member

    Messages:
    63
    Likes Received:
    5
    I have had a Powder Cop. I sold it and bought a Lockout Die. The RCBS Lockout die is foolproof and you don't have to pay attention to it. With the Powder Cop you have to keep looking at it, you will glance away at some point and then you will wonder......

    As far as I am concerned the Lockout Die is the only way to go.
     
  5. Righthandlefteye

    Righthandlefteye Beaverton, Oregon New Member

    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    0
    Guys, thanks for the great feedback. I have priced the powder cop and the lock-out die and the difference is only about $20-$25 (more for the RCBS). I think I will go with the RCBS for the hard stop it provides.
     
  6. Misternt

    Misternt Salem Area Active Member

    Messages:
    130
    Likes Received:
    42
    I like my dillon powder check on my xl650 but I hear good things about the rcbs die. I also have strong light shining on my press and look into each case.
     
  7. iGun

    iGun Pacific NW Active Member

    Messages:
    164
    Likes Received:
    49
    +1 for the RCBS lockout die.
     
  8. Janes

    Janes Enid, Oklahoma Member

    Messages:
    147
    Likes Received:
    9
    After reading a lot about the RCBS lockout die and just now order one. I have a Dillon 550B press and found out that I can use it on that press. I have always woried about a double charge of powder and didn't know anything about the lockout die.
     
  9. techiej

    techiej vancouver, wa Active Member

    Messages:
    271
    Likes Received:
    80
    In addition to using a powder cop (I use the Hornady on my LNL) I try to use powders that will fill over 1/2 of the case...that way a double charge (haven't ever had that happen to me - so far) would result in spilled powder as well. Also +1 on a good light...I use an LED light strip mounted on the press which makes it very easy to see the powder level.

    FWIW - I take a lot longer than most people in order to reduce the chance of an error. For example, when loading 9mm I will usually only get about 300 done over a 2 hour period. But, that includes loading primer pickup tubes, checking EVERY finished case (case gauge) and cleaning the press when I'm done. The slower pace also lets me visually check the powder level + the level of the powder cop before the next stroke is completed.
     
    P7id10T and (deleted member) like this.
  10. P7id10T

    P7id10T Cedar Hills Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

    Messages:
    1,219
    Likes Received:
    1,254
    Good thing you ordered one.
    Like Techie, When I'm loading on the LnL I am not in a race, and also don't watch TV. Technique and routine is everything.
    Loaded a squib round once, caught it at the range and realized where I had made my mistake in loading. Changed my practice and haven't done one since. I've always caught the double charges, but they would fail my COL check anyway.
    Rifle rounds for me are a different story. I load in stages and batches, and NEVER leave a batch step in an unfinished state (i.e. 12 out of 20 cases filled with powder). Drives my wife nuts when she wants me to come help out with something, but as I explain to her, "If I make a mistake, it could easily kill me." Besides, she prefers it when I reload to when I play Black Ops Zombies.
     
  11. Janes

    Janes Enid, Oklahoma Member

    Messages:
    147
    Likes Received:
    9
    I ordered a lockout die last night and got thinking. Do you have to order them for certain size, or does one fit all?
     
  12. iGun

    iGun Pacific NW Active Member

    Messages:
    164
    Likes Received:
    49
    It comes with two tips. One for large cases and one for small.

    Adjustment is tricky for some people, and the instructions could be better. Let me know if you want help.
     
  13. Janes

    Janes Enid, Oklahoma Member

    Messages:
    147
    Likes Received:
    9
    Thanks for the help. If I cant get it adusted I will get back with you. Be glad when this weather lets up so I can get to the gun range. Right now we are have a snow storm
     
  14. iGun

    iGun Pacific NW Active Member

    Messages:
    164
    Likes Received:
    49
    Okay--I found my notes on the RCBS Lockout die so I might as well post them now.

    This thing is a bit of an intelligence test, and it may be more useful to understand how it works than to try to follow the instructions blindly. Re-read the instructions after my message.
    http://www.rcbs.com/downloads/instructions/LockOutDie_Instructions.pdf

    There are two moving parts: the case lock ring and the plunger. The ring is what touches the case mouth when the case is raised into the die. The plunger's length can be adjusted by holding the bottom end and twisting the the knurled top piece.

    The ring won't move unless the plunger is in the middle of its range (white ring just above the top of the die). So you need to load a case with powder and then adjust the plunger length up or down so all of the following are true: 1) the case mouth touches the case lock ring, 2) the tip of the plunger is on top of the powder, 3) the white ring on the plunger rod is just visible on top of the die.

    Then, if all is done correctly, when you raise the case into the lockout die, the plunger will touch the powder first, raise just enough so the ring is visible, and UNLOCK the case lock ring. If there's too little or too much powder, the ring won't unlock, hopefully preventing a squib or double charge.

    This die has saved me from a few squib loads, and an unexplained change in my powder measure (darn kids?). But don't rely on it blindly. You still have to pay attention when reloading.
     
  15. deadshot2

    deadshot2 NW Quadrant WA State Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,407
    Likes Received:
    537
    Powder Check dies are good and I have the Powder Check on my Dillon. However, for those that are trying to use the smallest charges possible to save money, you're probably using a powder that doesn't fill the case much at the desired charge.

    I prefer to use a powder that fills the case at least to the point that a "double charge" overflows. Messy but a sure sign of a problem. I also use an LED light over the seating station. Doesn't take long for your eye to get used to what a proper charge looks like.

    Relying totally on a powder check die might not be as safe as one thinks.
     
  16. AMProducts

    AMProducts Maple Valley, WA Jerk, Ammo Manufacturer Silver Supporter

    Messages:
    2,805
    Likes Received:
    1,860
    Couple things... Powder checking dies do help, especially when loading one of the long revolver cases with small charges and there's pretty much zero hope of seeing a normal charge without standing on top of the machine. However, something like 45, 40 and 9mm are so short you should have no problem seeing the charge. Also, when it comes to powder selection, the fluffier powders do work better... HS6, Hi-Skor 700x, clays and some of the others it's pretty easy to spot a double charge, or even a slightly higher/lower charge.

    I like the dillon "alarm" check die, but it's not terribly accurate, and can really start to irritate you if you're running a lot of mixed brass. (much like the nextel chirp, the dillon primer and powder alerts haunt my nightmares)

    Another thing... when you are getting powder sticking to the test punch, keeping these things meticulously clean tends to prevent this... before starting to reload, wipe off the probe with alcohol, or spray it off with carb cleaner and allow to dry. Applying a little bit of talc or powdered mica also prevents sticking.
     
  17. Janes

    Janes Enid, Oklahoma Member

    Messages:
    147
    Likes Received:
    9
    Thanks for all of the good information. I have been watching Youtube on how to use a lockout die, hoping that will help. I am suppose to get my die Thursday so I will find out. On the powder sticking do you think that it is from static electricity, if it is do you think that you could use a Bounce dryer sheet to wipe it down, just a thought.
     
  18. iGun

    iGun Pacific NW Active Member

    Messages:
    164
    Likes Received:
    49
    Glad to help. I don't have powder sticking to my lockout die tips, and have never cleaned them. Maybe Titegroup and Solo 1000 don't stick to Teflon?
     
  19. Janes

    Janes Enid, Oklahoma Member

    Messages:
    147
    Likes Received:
    9
    Be interesting to see if certain powders will stick or not.
     
  20. deadshot2

    deadshot2 NW Quadrant WA State Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,407
    Likes Received:
    537
    Static might be a cause but a bigger cause is the failure to clean the case neck of all lube or crud. On necked cases lube is almost always used for sizing, neck turning, expanding, etc. If it isn't properly cleaned out it can cause powder granules to stick and in turn the powder check "plunger" will stick. What AMProducts mentions about cleaning the plunger holds equally true for any cases where lube was applied inside the neck.