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WTT: Need a RELIABLE Powder Measure and Scale!

Discussion in 'Reloading Classifieds' started by JackThompson, Sep 30, 2012.

  1. JackThompson

    JackThompson Valley of the Demons Well-Known Member

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    Ok, this is a two part thread and I'm so thankful Joe Link has seen fit to allow replies again!

    I bought an old used Lyman No. 55 ideal powder measure and a cheap digital scale at some minit mart (The kind drug dealer use I think) and when I couldn't get consistent measures I bought an old Lyman D5 powder measure hoping it would work better.

    The problem is I'm trying to measure out 8.6 grains of powder and the digital scale will read 4.6 grains, then I can lift the pan and set it back down and it will read 7.7 grains, then 6.5... it's all over the map, with the SAME measure of powder.

    If I take the same measure of powder and put it on the Lyman scale it will read 8.9, so I'll adjust the measure down a fraction and it will read 8.1 (After doing about 10 drops just to make sure it's settled), then I'll do another drop and it will read 8.5, then another and it will read 8.1...

    So I know the digital scale is garbage, but I don't know if my powder measure has a variance of .5 grains per throw, or if my scale is garbage.

    I've taken JohnH's reloading class and although I haven't reloaded with my own gear, I know how to do it, but I can't seem to get reliable measures.

    To that end, if you have some good advice I'd be happy to try it.

    If not, I'm offering to trade my iPad2 for a reliable powder measure and scale. (Or even a decent progressive press that includes a decent powder measure.)

    It's a 32 Gig model with Wi-Fi and 3G and ran about $700 new, but at this point I just want to load my darn bullets, so I'll trade it for the above.

    Thanks for taking the time to read this long winded trade!

    Jack
     
  2. rdt

    rdt SW Portland Active Member

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    what powder are you using? some powders meter *much* better than others, but .5gr is too much of a variation, especially with such a small charge (.5gr/8.9gr = 6%.) consider setting the measure low and trickling the charge up to weight while its on the scale.

    If your scale consistently reads the same weight as you reweigh the same little pile of powder its ok. you can use a batch of known weight bullets to book end "calibrate" the scale: 0gr reads 0, "230gr" bullets read approximately 230gr (+/- 1 gr depending on quality of bullets)
     
  3. jonn5335

    jonn5335 Longview Active Member

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    Has the powder measure been cleaned? you may want to hit it with some hornady one shot gun cleaner that would probably take care of inconistent powder drops. I would'nt rely on a cheap digital scale you picked up at a mini mart to start off reloading buy a decent digital scale made specifically for reloading or a beam scale.
     
  4. marcusp323

    marcusp323 Olympia, WA Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    That Lyman should be plenty consistent. I used one for years till I got a couple Harrells & it was always within 2/10 of a grain even with extruded powders. Trick is, be consistent in throwing the charge too. If you use the knocker, use it every time, throw at the same speed, etc, etc. I agree with the scale cleaning too, also check the knife edge on the beam to make sure it hasn't got rust. One of the few pieces of steel on the scale & that'll make it read funky too.
     
  5. JackThompson

    JackThompson Valley of the Demons Well-Known Member

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    I'm using Unique powder at the moment. It's (Trying to think of the term) platelets. Every so often the measure shaves a few in half as I'm throwing, but not too often. (I've been mindful of whether it's shaving during the throw so I can consider that in my weighing.)

    I'll experiment weighing 125gr bullets on the beam scale. (Ironically the digital will read them at 125gr every time, but when you get down to <10gr it simply flops all over the place.)

    Great ideas! I'll clean the powder measure. I'm using a beam scale now. It's a Lyman D5. I'll check the pivot point on it and make sure it's clean.

    I'm pretty consistent with the same motion for throwing, and I use the knocker once per throw just to be sure (Although I rarely even see a single grain drop with the knocker.)
     
  6. tlfreek

    tlfreek Vancouver WA Active Member

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    have the scales been calibrated?

    This isn't a powder measure issue as it is a scale issue.

    The problem is I'm trying to measure out 8.6 grains of powder and the digital scale will read 4.6 grains, then I can lift the pan and set it back down and it will read 7.7 grains, then 6.5... it's all over the map, with the SAME measure of powder.

    the scale should read the same or very close to it every time when you pick the charge up and off again.

    invest in a good scale and what Marcus said up above is also great advice. Do the same thing every time consistently - you will also have some variance in your loads - it just happens, but to the extreme you mention above is dangerous. What I do (especially when loading 45 acp and a few others) is visually check the powder height in the case to get a visual on what the charge looks like so that I know if I have some significant differences between charges.

    Also as some have indicated different powders dispense and weigh differently. For me flake powders are the hardest to get accurate (like red and blue dot). But doing things consistently and visually checking each load I am very close from charge to charge.

    all you need is scale I think or to truly calibrate yours.

    BTW keep your IPAD you get a scale for much less.