Looking for a better powder measure

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Looking for a better powder measure

Post by Armyofdarkness » Tue Dec 01, 2020 3:20 am

Currently using RCBS measure, but it's sometimes off by over .5 grains on some charges. Some people say Lee makes a really good one, and some say they make the worst. Is there a good measure for stick powder even available?
Even my loads for blackout with H110 are never that accurate.

Any ideas other than weighing every pour and trickling in?


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Re: Looking for a better powder measure

Post by Regaj » Tue Dec 01, 2020 7:10 am

Powder measures are as much about technique as anything. All of them are going to give you trouble with extruded powders. And all of them should work just fine with ball powders, like H110. Flake powders like Unique or Bullseye work pretty well, but you'll have a fair number of charges that "stick" and need to be tossed back in the hopper.

You might revisit where you've got your powder measure located. I've seen a lot of bench setups where the measure was set up way in the back, or off to the side, making for awful ergonomics. You need to have a degree of finesse over both the upstroke and the downstroke.

If you're running a single-stage press the better answer is to bite the bullet and buy one of the combo digital scale / digital dispensers out there. Every charge gets weighed, but it's fast enough not to matter. And you'll never again choose a powder based upon how well it flows through your powder measure.

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Re: Looking for a better powder measure

Post by cdl » Wed Dec 02, 2020 3:17 pm

I have an RCBS ChargeMaster 1500 (0.1gr) and an Acculab VIC-123 (0.02gr) sitting on a 4" thick 12" x 18" granite slab and fed power by a Regulated Linear Bench Power Supply. I top off the charges with a Dandy 2 Speed Electric Powder Trickler.

Windows need to be closed and in Summer the Air Condition vents get shut off and in winter it's the heat. Even nearby foot traffic and movement needs to be avoided.

I get drift free stable readings on the VIC with this setup.

So, I under dispense with the RCBS, throw it on the VIC and push the button on the Dandy to trickle a few kernels. Actually goes pretty fast. One kernel of IMR 4064 can move 0.02gr.

I mention this since I weigh every load twice when I'm in single stage press loading mode, I get to see a lot of numbers. I wanted to warn that those auto dispensing scales produce a lot of pretty wild charges. Maybe 1 in 6 subjectively go over and no two in a row drop the same when weighed on the 0.02gr scale.

Now normally, I just let them fall in my Dillon, but some loads I take seriously. I doubt most would notice the difference unless you told them. But 0.5gr would worry me because H110 flows like water. I've seen static charges make it cling or drop slowly though. Especially with plastic like cheap plastic funnels and dishes. They can be a pain. Also the powder needs to be well settled before you start dispensing. I weigh in batches of 10 drops to get another digit of average accuracy and probably drop a 100 charges before I start loading and seeing that consistency.

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Re: Looking for a better powder measure

Post by rlandry6 » Fri Dec 04, 2020 12:47 pm

All rifle rounds on my bench get loaded with a RCBS Powder Measure throwing slightly light, then trickled to the correct weight. The trickle is done with the powder in the scale cup, then funneled into the case. It takes longer, but my time is cheap and the loads are accurately weighed.
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Re: Looking for a better powder measure

Post by TRshootem » Fri Dec 04, 2020 2:22 pm

Easily the simplest method is a under charge throw into your scale pan and then trickle in the final few grains for accuracy. This was pointed out above. For load development of 50 or less rifle or pistol charges with any powder, I use the simple plastic LEE measuring scoops to get close and tap the final bit on the Pact scale to finish the charge. No setup needed, just a little practice to finish the "trickle" on the scale or a trickle unit. Large volume stick powder rifle loads I use the Pact electronic powder measure that 'speaks' to my scale. This unit has worked well for many years and certainly drops within a tenth.
Last edited by TRshootem on Fri Dec 04, 2020 2:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Looking for a better powder measure

Post by plant.one » Fri Dec 04, 2020 2:24 pm

which RCBS powder measure are you using?

there are currently 3 different models of their chargemaster available, the uniflow and the competition dispensers.

and thats not counting their digital scale or balance beam.

before we can help you better, knowing which specific unit you're using will be important.
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Re: Looking for a better powder measure

Post by Blowout » Sat Dec 05, 2020 6:28 am

For extruded powders, the Lee precision PM works pretty good and it's cheap.
https://www.amazon.com/LEE-PRECISION-90 ... 155&sr=8-2

I did tune the PM up some to get it to dispense repeatably. Disassembled and cleaned up the edges on the rotor and stator with fine sandpaper.



Washed out any debris with soapy water, then rinsed and dried. Shook powdered graphite in the reservoir and dispensed some to eliminate static before taking measurements. I did 3 sets of 20 throws/set and recorded all the weights on a tuned up balance beam scale. Got reproducibility of +/- 0.1gr with IMR4895. Much better than the +/- 0.2-3gr with the Redding PM i have.

Surprising how this cheap little PM works so well with extruded powders. Doesn't work good with ball and flake though.
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Re: Looking for a better powder measure

Post by VinnAY » Fri Dec 11, 2020 3:56 pm

Technique makes a lot of your drop-to-drop accuracy, swing the handle up and down the same way for some added reliability. Watch your scale too, flourescnet lights and breezes affect scales. For my SANITY when dropping charges I tolerate +/- .2 of a grain. An electronic scale has an a =/- accuracy rate, too. When I'm doing mine I tolerate that variance and then when I consider that difference its literally a few kernals of powder, that's it.

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Re: Looking for a better powder measure

Post by cwlongshot » Fri Dec 11, 2020 4:47 pm


I have five on my main bench. One is a Dillon, three RCBS and one Redding. I have three setups in that bench. Two single stages with two measures each then the 550 has one. A second bench has two stations and one thats changeable. Thats another Dillon with a Dillon measure a d a Hornady and another RCBS measure.

As you can read, I do like the RCBS measures.

A good cleaning and use of dryer sheets can nullify static. Static can be a problem. Esp with some kinda of powders.

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Re: Looking for a better powder measure

Post by Hogbuster » Fri Dec 11, 2020 5:21 pm

I have been using a Lyman powder drop since the 80's and am very happy with it.
It handles extruded and ball powders better then my Hornady Micro drop.
No discs or other stuff to mess with. Adjustment is easy and stays within a tenth to
a tenth and a half. Yes I scale every drop for rifle but not pistol. Sliding scale three
tier adjustments for large or small cartridges.
I like manual as most electronic drops leave a lot to be desired when it comes to
accuracy. Plus I'm to old and cheap to buy one.

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