Powder drop variations

Auto Disk, Pro Auto Disk, and Auto Drum Powder Measures along with their associated charge bar, disks, and drums.

Powder drop variations

Postby JimT » 05 Jan 2018 23

I am loading with a Lee Load master, using Bullseye powder, I've checked my weights and am throwing 3.6 to as much as 4.0 grains. Any suggestions or help on this issue? Also when using the double disk measure for the 223 using CFE 223 I get powder slowly spread around and variations with that too. Note, I am using the powder measure that comes with the Load master.


Thanks JIM
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Re: Powder drop variations

Postby daboone » 06 Jan 2018 07

The Lee Auto Disk is a consistant PM. But like most PMs it's not perfect for every powder, especially extruded/stick powders.

I've never use CFE 223 but being one of the newer powder I bet it's not a long stick powder. Bullseye is a ball type powder. If Bullseye is giving you +/- .2 grains that is too wide of a margin. With a rifle powder loads +/- .2 isn't that bad.

I don't know your experience level so forgive me for these suggestions if they sound simplistic.

First I'd take the measure apart and stick it in the kitchen sink and wash it with the detergent that lives there. After drying, with out rinsing, lube it up with a little graphite and then run at least one hopper full of a powder thru it.

Secondly be sure to operate the ram in a smooth up and down motion with out jamming it into the stops. Consistency in operation of the press and the PM is mandatory for consistent powder delivery.

I've collected and used 10 different PMs. My favorites are all Lee's except for long stick powder like IMR4350. Not one of them (except the Quick Measure, think $$$) is perfect for every every type of powder. Most are great with ball powders, some with flake and some with sticks, up to a point. Learning for my methods of operation which PM works best with what powder type was a worth while learning curve. As said I've become fond of Lee's measure just because they work for most combinations of powders. For me the Auto Disk is measure is consistent with ball and flakes.

If anyone is thinking about the Quick Measure I have a few comments. It's expensive all by itself and the price doubles if the progressive option is added. Second it's kind of a pain to set up and adjust. But once that is done is is very Very consistent even with powders like IMR 4350.
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Re: Powder drop variations

Postby Ranch Dog » 06 Jan 2018 08

daboone wrote:I don't know your experience level so forgive me for these suggestions if they sound simplistic.

First I'd take the measure apart and stick it in the kitchen sink and wash it with the detergent that lives there. After drying, with out rinsing, lube it up with a little graphite and then run at least one hopper full of powder thru it.

Secondly be sure to operate the ram in a smooth up and down motion with out jamming it into the stops. Consistency in operation of the press and the PM is mandatory for consistent powder delivery.


I can only mirror what daboone has offered, not only should the disks be dried, and prepped as he explained but also the plug in the powder through charging die as it is oiled when packaged for sale. I actually place all this in case dryer now that I have one, and then it all goes into a clear plastic container where I use powder to condition it. I slowly shake/swirl the powder in the container until I see that it is not sticking to any of the parts.

Besides the powder types vs. a disk cavity, I've found through experience that it also depends on the size of the cavity. For instance, there is a lot of complaints about Unique, but I've found it to be very consistent once the charges exceed .5cc. What I'm implying here is that besides matching the powder to a bullet/cartridge combination you need to consider the Auto Disk, you must use something that it likes as well after considering the size of charge that needs to be dropped.

When it comes to the single vs. the Double Disk, I always try to max out the single disk first even though it might mean my charge will end up being slightly under to the desired charge before I switch to the Double Disk. The 223 slips out of the single range as it probably needs about a 1.85cc charge of the CFE223, I would try to match the two cavities as close to the same size as possible, but the smallest needs to be on top. Because of that required stacking, the "shelf" created under the top disk might be near to impossible for some powders to fill. Drop the charge to get a closer fit of cavities, and the deviations will reduce.

In that you are working with both pistol and rifle, consider upgrading to the Auto Drum especially if, after the above considerations, your choice of powders is still not working out. Whatever the powder or charge, it is going to reduce the deviation of the drop.
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Re: Powder drop variations

Postby JimT » 07 Jan 2018 19

daboone wrote:The Lee Auto Disk is a consistant PM. But like most PMs it's not perfect for every powder, especially extruded/stick powders.

I've never use CFE 223 but being one of the newer powder I bet it's not a long stick powder. Bullseye is a ball type powder. If Bullseye is giving you +/- .2 grains that is too wide of a margin. With a rifle powder loads +/- .2 isn't that bad.

I don't know your experience level so forgive me for these suggestions if they sound simplistic.

First I'd take the measure apart and stick it in the kitchen sink and wash it with the detergent that lives there. After drying, with out rinsing, lube it up with a little graphite and then run at least one hopper full of a powder thru it.

Secondly be sure to operate the ram in a smooth up and down motion with out jamming it into the stops. Consistency in operation of the press and the PM is mandatory for consistent powder delivery.
Thank you, I took your advice and pulled the powder assembly down and cleaned it thoroughly, it needed it. I often take the loaders down and clan them, but for some reason I neglected the powder measures. Thank you for helping.


I've collected and used 10 different PMs. My favorites are all Lee's except for long stick powder like IMR4350. Not one of them (except the Quick Measure, think $$$) is perfect for every every type of powder. Most are great with ball powders, some with flake and some with sticks, up to a point. Learning for my methods of operation which PM works best with what powder type was a worth while learning curve. As said I've become fond of Lee's measure just because they work for most combinations of powders. For me the Auto Disk is measure is consistent with ball and flakes.

If anyone is thinking about the Quick Measure I have a few comments. It's expensive all by itself and the price doubles if the progressive option is added. Second it's kind of a pain to set up and adjust. But once that is done is is very Very consistent even with powders like IMR 4350.
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Re: Powder drop variations

Postby JimT » 07 Jan 2018 19

daboone wrote:The Lee Auto Disk is a consistant PM. But like most PMs it's not perfect for every powder, especially extruded/stick powders.

I've never use CFE 223 but being one of the newer powder I bet it's not a long stick powder. Bullseye is a ball type powder. If Bullseye is giving you +/- .2 grains that is too wide of a margin. With a rifle powder loads +/- .2 isn't that bad.

I don't know your experience level so forgive me for these suggestions if they sound simplistic.

First I'd take the measure apart and stick it in the kitchen sink and wash it with the detergent that lives there. After drying, with out rinsing, lube it up with a little graphite and then run at least one hopper full of a powder thru it.

Secondly be sure to operate the ram in a smooth up and down motion with out jamming it into the stops. Consistency in operation of the press and the PM is mandatory for consistent powder delivery.

I've collected and used 10 different PMs. My favorites are all Lee's except for long stick powder like IMR4350. Not one of them (except the Quick Measure, think $$$) is perfect for every every type of powder. Most are great with ball powders, some with flake and some with sticks, up to a point. Learning for my methods of operation which PM works best with what powder type was a worth while learning curve. As said I've become fond of Lee's measure just because they work for most combinations of powders. For me the Auto Disk is measure is consistent with ball and flakes.

If anyone is thinking about the Quick Measure I have a few comments. It's expensive all by itself and the price doubles if the progressive option is added. Second it's kind of a pain to set up and adjust. But once that is done is is very Very consistent even with powders like IMR 4350.

Thank you that is what I did, got it cleaned up and running well.
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Re: Powder drop variations

Postby PBaholic » 29 Aug 2018 18

What are you measuring with?

I finally bought a triple beam scale, and found my electronic scale was not all that accurate.
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Re: Powder drop variations

Postby DaveTNC » 11 Mar 2019 20

PBaholic wrote:What are you measuring with?

I finally bought a triple beam scale, and found my electronic scale was not all that accurate.


This. I tried everything to get my Auto Disk and Auto Drum to drop Bullseye (and other powders) consistently, but in the end I bought a beam scale and found out the the Lee powder measures were very consistent, it was my digital scale that was not.
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Re: Powder drop variations

Postby Old Scribe » 15 Mar 2019 19

Been there, done that. Some powders are just "tricky" like that.
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