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  #1  
Old 05-04-2007, 02:43 PM
NickStone NickStone is offline
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Anyone have problems with the Lee micrometer charge bar




not throwing consistent weights? I took everything a part and made sure there was no gunk or anything in there. Is it possibly static or could it be Power Pistol powder?

I'm trying to get 6.6 grains and I get anywhere from 6.4 to 7.0. Usually 6.6 - 6.9 and that's just not good enough. I haven't had this problem before.

Thanks,

Ed
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  #2  
Old 05-04-2007, 03:06 PM
herd48 herd48 is offline
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Nick- is the setting "drifting on you? I bought one of those after market micrometers for my Dillon powder measure. I like the thing very much. But I have to keep my eye on it. It has a tendency to move over a couple hundred rounds. Thankfully it always lightens the load. And not by much. I'm going to have to figure a way to keep it in place. Maybe wrap a small amount of teflon tape around the threads. BTW- I do have a Lee micro set up also. I don't reload on the Lee that often. But it has never moved. And gives consistent powder throws.
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  #3  
Old 05-04-2007, 03:09 PM
NickStone NickStone is offline
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No, it's less consistent than that even. Say I throw 10 charges, I'll get something like the following:

6.6
6.9
6.8
6.8
6.5
6.5
6.5
6.7
6.5
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  #4  
Old 05-04-2007, 03:13 PM
Nick A Nick A is offline
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No, mine doesn't change its setting. But I have had a small problem with static electricity when using certain small-flake powders in the Micro Adjustable, but I have no experience Power Pistol itself. Try the usual anti-stat remedies.
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  #5  
Old 05-04-2007, 03:16 PM
NickStone NickStone is offline
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Quote:
Try the usual anti-stat remedies.
Ok what are they? I remember something about graphite but that's about it.


Thanks, Ed
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  #6  
Old 05-04-2007, 03:25 PM
kevins_garage kevins_garage is offline
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Wipe down anything that touches powder with a dryer sheet to reduce static.


I never had much luck with my Lee micrometer charge bar at small charge weights (under ~4 grains or so) because the opening is oval and not round like the disks. When I did try charges of 4.5+ grains though, it seemed to be about as consistent as your reports of + or - .2 grains or so. For all intents and purposes, that is close enough for action pistol work. Keep in mind that you are dropping charges by volume, so the actual weight will vary. Depending on how you store your powder, you could see some differences in weight if the humidity levels change dramatically from one session to the next.

What I have found has worked better for me is to just by some extra disks and custom make my own openings to drop the approximate weight I want. Find a hole size that is just a little less, but close to the charge weight you want and open it up slowly until you get it exactly where you want.
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  #7  
Old 05-04-2007, 06:44 PM
st_albert st_albert is offline
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I have recently purchased a Lee Classic Turret Press setup, including a Pro autodisk powder measure and the adjustable charge bar. So far I have not used the adjustable charge bar, so I am watching this thread with considerable interest.

My previous experience has been with the Lyman #55 powder measure. For those who are not familiar with it, the Lyman is also a variable-capacity device, with three movable bars of various sizes to give coarse, medium, and fine adjustments of the measuring chamber volume. None of which are micrometer adjustable, and there is only a crude scale provided to set the volume. It is something of a hassle to get it adjusted to exactly the charge you want, but once this is done, and the set screws are all tightened thoroughly, it does not drift over several hundred throws. (I check at least every 15 throws, just to be sure.) I get +/- 0.1 grains usually.

With the Lee Pro Autodisk, I have been using the fixed-capacity disks so far, and I see the same roughly +/- 0.1 gr variability. Having developed some confidence in the Lee measure, I don't need to check so often, and this speeds up the loading process considerably.

Bottom line is, if the measuring chamber is incapable of changing volume, you can expect charge weight accuracy on the order of +/- 0.1 gr range (not standard deviation, which would be less than that figure).

If you're getting drift of the chamber volume, the deviations would not be expected to be randomly distributed +/- the target throw weight, but instead would trend higher (or lower) with time. If you're getting wide variations, but the average is still close to what you want, then the problem is probably with how densely the powder is packed into the measurement volume, not that the volume itself is changing.

How reproducibly you can fill the measuring chamber probably depends on the type of powder you are using, among other things. I've used Power Pistol without notable problems, and Winchester 231 as well. Unique has a bad reputation in many powder measures, but I have not noticed significant problems with it either.

So, to sum up, I wonder if you're seeing widespread random variablilty, or does the throw weight follow a trend (increasing or decreasing over time)?

If the former (wide variation but no trend over time), maybe you should try a powder baffle in the powder feed hopper of your measure. Or, try tapping lightly on the powder measure with the handle end of a screwdriver to settle the powder before it is dispensed.

If the latter, (i.e. a trend is observed), then the adjustable charge bar may be drifting. Or, maybe it's getting packed differently due to the height of powder in the hopper. I try to keep mine at least 2/3 full all the time, since I have no baffle.

Sorry for the long reply! Hope some of this helped, but in any event keep us posted.

Albert
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  #8  
Old 05-04-2007, 07:26 PM
Captain Chuck Captain Chuck is offline
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I had the same problem with the Lee Charge Bar while using Win231. Charge weights would vary from one charge to the next. I played with it and could not get it to be consistent, so I want back to the fixed disks. I love my Lee Classic Turret Press and the other equipment that they make. I do believe that the charge bar needs some additional engineering on Lee's part.
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  #9  
Old 05-04-2007, 09:30 PM
benedict1 benedict1 is offline
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Almost always when there is a problem with the Adjustable Charge bar, even with such great metering powders like Win 231, it has to do with incomplete movement of the charge bar because the expanding die is not set low enough. Everybody gets all worried about too much case mouth flare and forget that the die setting is responsible for sliding the charge bar over the drop hole in the powder measure.(Admittedly, the Adjustable Charge Bar does not work well with cavity volumes less than about .45 cc--Lee even warns about this in the directions and in their literature.)

Go back and make sure you are flaring enough so that charge bar cavity is intercepting the drop hole adequately.

At the grain weights you are trying to drop, even with flake powders like Unique, you should be getting 0.1 gr accuracy.

Let us know what you discover.
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  #10  
Old 05-05-2007, 08:54 PM
RustyFN RustyFN is offline
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I have used the charge bar and not had problems until I tried to throw 3 grains of Titegroup. It has worked fine with larger charge weights. I have gone back to using the normal disks unless I want to throw somewhere in between what the disks will give me. It is easier for me to write down the disk number in my log and return to that when I want that charge again instead of having to adjust the charge bar.
Rusty
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  #11  
Old 05-06-2007, 09:12 AM
Glock'N'Load Glock'N'Load is offline
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I agree I like the disk bettter myself. I just received my Classic turret kit from Kempfs Friday yesterday was my first time loading. I played around with the adj. charge bar and did not like what I was seeing. So I went to the Disk and got very reliable results. I am using Unique for my first powder and have not had any troubles with it at all.
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  #12  
Old 05-06-2007, 11:21 AM
herd48 herd48 is offline
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My Classic turret is presently set up to load 32acp. The new micro bar set up was set once at 2.5grs of 231. That was 600 rounds ago. It's still dead on. It throws very accurate weights. Even very light ones. I'm impressed. Of course, 231 is one of the better flowing powders.
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  #13  
Old 05-06-2007, 08:21 PM
st_albert st_albert is offline
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Thanks, you all, for sharing your experience. I have the charge bar, but have not used it yet since the disks have happened to give me a charge I can live with. All things being equal, of course, I'd prefer a fixed disk that cannot change its volume vs. the adjustable charge bar that, in principle, can drift. But soon I'll be loading some rounds that fall exactly between what's available with the fixed disks. That's when the adj. charge bar will come into its own, and the rubber will meet the road.

From what I've read, the odds are better than even that the charge bar will work as well or better than the Lyman #55 measure. We'll see.

Albert
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  #14  
Old 05-06-2007, 09:13 PM
herd48 herd48 is offline
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The disks work great, but...they are very limiting. Certain powders change a load completely by just increasing 1/10th of a grain. I know my Clay loads are like that. 3.8 and shots are all over the place. 3.9 is better. But 4.0 is perfect. Now where would I be if I were dependent on discs only?
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  #15  
Old 05-06-2007, 10:18 PM
MaxSteel MaxSteel is offline
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Has anyone used Titegroup with the adjustable charge bar and if so, what range of weights worked well with it? I'm very interested in using it for dispensing into .45ACP and 9MM. A low of somewhere around 3.4 grains in the .45ACP. Don't know about the 9MM, haven't worked up tihe loads for the new cast bullet yet.

Thanks,

DAVe
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  #16  
Old 05-06-2007, 11:55 PM
Nick A Nick A is offline
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Dave, that's a pretty dang light charge for the Micro Adjustable, but I've done it before (380acp). I had to be very careful with static, keep the powder loose in the hopper, be sure it strokes fully (as benedict advised, up above this post somewhere) and go slowly to give it time to fill and empty. If you don't own one yet, it's cheap enough to give it a try. If you don't like it for sub-4g charges, it's still useful for fine tuning heavier charges. What weight bullet you using over 3.4g TG? Is it a practice load?

An alternative is to hog out one of the smaller cavities in a fixed disk, preferably one you never use. Keep the hole round with straight sides and keep it centered on the existing hole.
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  #17  
Old 05-07-2007, 07:32 AM
MaxSteel MaxSteel is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick A
Dave, that's a pretty dang light charge for the Micro Adjustable, but I've done it before (380acp). I had to be very careful with static, keep the powder loose in the hopper, be sure it strokes fully (as benedict advised, up above this post somewhere) and go slowly to give it time to fill and empty. If you don't own one yet, it's cheap enough to give it a try. If you don't like it for sub-4g charges, it's still useful for fine tuning heavier charges. What weight bullet you using over 3.4g TG? Is it a practice load?

Yes, it's a practice load for plinking and paper punching. 200 grain tumble lube semi wadcutter (.45ACP) in once instance and 105 grain truncated cone in another (9MM).

An alternative is to hog out one of the smaller cavities in a fixed disk, preferably one you never use. Keep the hole round with straight sides and keep it centered on the existing hole.
Thanks for the information,

Dave
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  #18  
Old 05-07-2007, 08:37 AM
WalterGC WalterGC is offline
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While I'm not a Loadmaster fan, I did successfully use the Adjustable Charge Bar when loading with my now-86'd Loadmaster. I'd make sure everything was really clean and I did employ used dryer sheets for static control. I also fabricated a powder baffle for the powder "holder."

Never used Power Pistol; almost always used AA#5 or #7, with great accuracy, when using the Adjustable Charge Bar.

I even employed a double-stack kit and modifed an adjustable charge bar so that I could stack it with another adjustable charge bar. Had talked with the "brains" at Lee and was told that adjustable charge bars couldn't be stacked. Just made sure that the larger opening was on bottom, and it worked fine.

When I realized that the design of the Loadmaster's shell plate precluded the proper bumping of bottleneck cases' shoulders, even when using Lee dies, I gave up on loading bottlenecks with my Loadmaster. If you think that your Loadmaster is properly bumping .223 shoulders, get a Wilson case gage and check it out.
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  #19  
Old 05-07-2007, 10:44 AM
MaxSteel MaxSteel is offline
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Yes, Walter, we get that you were not happy with your Loadmaster. That said, thanks for the information about the auto disk.

Regards,

Dave
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  #20  
Old 05-08-2007, 02:28 PM
WalterGC WalterGC is offline
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Yeah, Max, just wanted to be sure that it's understood that I do use and recommend some Lee products, just not their presses. I use Lee dies, almost exclusively.

FWIW, also don't like their pot metal hand priming tool.
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  #21  
Old 05-08-2007, 03:06 PM
1Blue 1Blue is offline
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I've noticed some problems while loading Clays that I didn't have with 231 also. My story is very similar to much that is mentioned above. Seems to me that the flake based Clays was not flowing as well as 231 in smaller cavities/settings. I too was getting some wild variances, all to the lighter side. So I started making darn sure to throw the charge with a complete throw and adjust the flare of the case.
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  #22  
Old 05-10-2007, 05:43 PM
NickStone NickStone is offline
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Sorry I haven't been back sooner. My concern was that I last used the press and charge bar back in the Fall and had excellent results. Now getting back to it after being laid up awhile it wasn't as consistent. I've loaded about a hundred rounds since I first posted and it eventually settled down. I think it may have been a static issue.

Thanks,

Ed
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