Auto Disk or Auto Drum w/ RCBS Rock Chucker

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

Auto Disk or Auto Drum w/ RCBS Rock Chucker

Postby DMShag514 » 12 Feb 2020 23

Got a Rock Chucker and am looking for an auto charging powder measure. I'm torn between the Auto Disk Pro and the Auto Drum. I like the ADPro because it's relatively easy to change the charge disks but I've read that they tend to leak powder. Also, the disks do not provide for very precise metering. I like the ADrum because of it's infinite adjust-ability but am not a fan of the dis-connector. I've also read that the ADrum has parts that tend to wear out prematurely.

So.. With the ADPro, is there a way to prevent the leaking powder and/or increase the metering precision?

With the ADrum, can the dis-connector be removed or made to reset with each pull? Are replacement parts readily available and/or easy to install?

Just a few opinions or some advice would be appreciated..
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Re: Auto Disk or Auto Drum w/ RCBS Rock Chucker

Postby farmerjim » 13 Feb 2020 04

I would use the Lee perfect powder measure. The Auto disk and drum work better on a progressive or turret.
On these, I find the Auto drum to drop more consistent loads.
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Re: Auto Disk or Auto Drum w/ RCBS Rock Chucker

Postby GasGuzzler » 13 Feb 2020 07

ZERO debate on those two choices. Get the drum. The bad stories are rumors and mostly involved the very very first units.
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Re: Auto Disk or Auto Drum w/ RCBS Rock Chucker

Postby Ranch Dog » 13 Feb 2020 07

So, you reloading pistol, rifle, or both?

I lived with the Auto Disk and Auto Disk Pro for a lifetime. I did not care for the Auto Drum when it first arrived but soon fell in love with it. I do not miss the AD(P) at all. I think I had about six of them, and they are not around anymore. My feeling is that I made do with the Auto Disk and Pro as there was not anything out there as easy to use. The main problem with them is accepting a load within the limitations of the closest cavity, rather than what your firearm would shoot better, and then always having a slight variation in the charge. That variation is, typically, +/- .1 grain on each side of the selected load. With "double disking" for rifle cartridges, the difference can move out to twice that of the single disk, and matching a charge to your firearm is twice as tough.

With the disk system, you need to learn about "Volume Measure Density" and use it. The comment you see most about the disk is "the charge dropped doesn't match that indicated in the chart." Well, yeah, there is a lot of variation in the powder's bulk density when it manufactured (I've read and heard, up to 16%). So, with each new bottle of powder, you are better off determining the actual VMD of what is on hand. I write the VMD on the container. If not, you end up chasing your tail, trying to understand what charge is being dropped, given the variation of the drop.

I got excited when Lee introduced the Adjustable Charge Bar, I thought it might be the fix for the Disk system, but it has more error and variation than a disk on its worst day. I've got a box full of them.

I quickly overcame my objection to the Auto Drum and now have six of them. I bought the first as soon as they were introduced. I do use the "Auto" part of the device, one on a Classic Turret, one on an Automator (a weird little Pro1000), and four on Load-Masters. I cannot speak with any experience with it stand-mounted or using it on a single-stage. I'm willing to bet I've cycled as many rounds as anybody through these things, and I've not had any problems with them that weren't user induced to include what lead to my initial disklike of them. I have not had anything fail or nor have I wore anything out. Besides, Lee has free replacement parts.

One area to address, in that you did not mention it, is that both the Auto Disk and Drum is based on using the Lee pistol and rifle charging dies. If you plan on sharing a none-cartridge specific charging die; as an example, a Lee Long or Short Rifle Charging Die, across several cartridges, the setup each time you change to the next cartridge will drive you crazy.

If you are going to load "single-stage," I would go with farmerjim's recommendation of the Perfect Powder Measure although, I would up the antie to the Deluxe Perfect Powder Measure. The difference between the two other than price is the lower (might not drop the small pistol charges) and higher limits of the delivered charge, accuracy (not as bad as the Auto Disk system), and leaks (the DPPM does not leak). The leaking with the PPM can be minimized somewhat by lapping the drum, but I never honestly stopped it with very fine powders such as TiteGroup or BL-C(2).

The difference in price is a stretch, though, as the price through Titan is $23 for the PPM, which includes a simple stand or a total of $75 for the DPPM ($48) and the separate stand ($27).
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Re: Auto Disk or Auto Drum w/ RCBS Rock Chucker

Postby Ohio3Wheels » 13 Feb 2020 09

I like my drum, enough that I have 8 drums set for my most used charges. I don't use the charge through expander and the drum is actually sitting on my RCBS powder measure stand, they get along fine :D . I have a older PPM that gets used for some specialized reloading.

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Re: Auto Disk or Auto Drum w/ RCBS Rock Chucker

Postby larryw » 13 Feb 2020 12

I will whole heartedly agree with everyone above. AD, Deluxe PPM, PPM.
My Auto & Pro Auto Disc throws are all now display only.
I use the AD on turrett & progressive with the Lee powder through
expander die, & PPM when batch loading single stage or working up
A new load. How well thought of are they? I have many different
throws, including one VERY expensive throw designed for pro long range
bench shooters. I used all of my throws & still do now & then just for
Old time sake, once in a very great while. The AD gets 95% of the work.
Best of luck & keep us updated.
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Re: Auto Disk or Auto Drum w/ RCBS Rock Chucker

Postby DMShag514 » 13 Feb 2020 13

So, a little more information seems warranted. I’m loading 38 special, 148 grain .358 DEWC over 3 grains of Bullseye, for use in my S&W 15 and Taurus 82 that I shoot in our clubs Vintage/Bullseye match. My only press is a Rock Chucker and my only Powder Measure is an RCBS Uniflow. The UF has the large rifle cylinder and so doesn’t handle small charges well. So, I’ve been loading pistol rounds with a dipper. I’m planning to purchase either a turret or progressive press later this year, but would like to go ahead and get a dedicated pistol powder measure. An auto measure would help speed things up a bit, even though I’ll still be batch loading for awhile longer.
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Re: Auto Disk or Auto Drum w/ RCBS Rock Chucker

Postby Ranch Dog » 13 Feb 2020 16

Are you using a stand with the Uniflow?

I would say, get the Auto Drum and figure out a stand for it. The good think about the ADrumis that you can buy additional drums and assign them to a specific load. I have a bunch of firearms and the "inventory" load for each has its own drum. No need to adjust anything, just verify the charge and get to work.

I personally like the drum adjustments, which correspond to a cc increment. In that I've spent a lifetime working with cc's and VMD's (the Lee system), I can hit a load within +of a 1/10th of a grain in seconds.
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Re: Auto Disk or Auto Drum w/ RCBS Rock Chucker

Postby DMShag514 » 13 Feb 2020 20

Ranch Dog wrote:Are you using a stand with the Uniflow?


Yes.. It came with a stand in the kit that I bought (second hand). I don't use it for pistol reloading. I do 50 round batches. Size and de-prime, followed by expanding (on the rock chucker) then charging with a Lee dipper for pistol round or with the Uniflow for rifles rounds. Then back on the rock chucker to seat and crimp. The whole process is pretty smooth but time consuming. I don't mind it on rifle rounds because I'm usually double and triple checking every aspect of the loading process so as to produce as repeatable results for shooting 300/600 yard matches. But for pistol rounds at 25 yards on an Army "L" target, a couple of tenths off, up or down, won't cost me a match. And so an auto measure that will help speed up the process by flaring and charging all at once would be nice. Eventually I'll get a Brass Smith turret or a Lee Load Master progressive and will just transfer the auto measure to that press..
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Re: Auto Disk or Auto Drum w/ RCBS Rock Chucker

Postby Ranch Dog » 13 Feb 2020 20

For a 38 Spl, I'd go with the Pro 1000. If you get it with the dies, it will have the Auto Disk Pro. Honestly, given what you explained above, the ADP would meet your needs.

If you added a collector to the multi-tube case feeder and a multi-tube bullet feeder, you would have a heck of a setup. Titan has a couple of 3D printed products that improve case ejection, spent primer drop, and a tube harness for stabilizing the bullet and case feeders.

I have an Automator, which is a Pro1000 mounted on a Challenger press. I use it to load 38 Spl. The only difference I have made from when I was using the Load-Master is to seat and crimp in the same stroke with the bullet seating die. The three station press, with the feeders, is 40% faster than the Load-Master.
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