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 Post subject: Powder Measure?
PostPosted: Wed Dec 05, 2018 12:31 pm 

Joined: Thu Apr 06, 2006 8:42 am
Posts: 14933
Location: Washington State
Powder measure...

My 30+ year old RCBS "uni-flow" powder measure is giving me fits! I used to be able to just drop charges, like 45 grains of Varget into a 308 case time after time with very little variation... Not anymore!

Took it apart, cleaned and inspected everything, re-assembled. It's "better" but not by much. I've used this thing to load literally tens of thousands of rounds.

Ideas?

Yes, I have avoided getting an electronic powder measure so far. HOWEVER, am very interested into input on which ones work well, and which ones don't work so well.

Thanks!


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 Post subject: Re: Powder Measure?
PostPosted: Wed Dec 05, 2018 1:23 pm 

Joined: Mon Feb 20, 2017 12:42 pm
Posts: 197
Location: MI
Guy Miner,

I can't really help on the powder measure... I have one, but haven't used it in years... An initial thought is that a part has worn-out or more specifically developed some play. I think the drum or volume adjustment can require replacement. I very well could be wrong, but an email or phone call to RCBS might be worth your time.

Historically the RCBS 1500 has been considered the cream of the crop when it comes to electronic dispensers - http://www.accurateshooter.com/gear-rev ... -part-one/ and http://www.accurateshooter.com/gear-rev ... -part-two/.

Like many electric devices, my RCBS 1500 has some issues due to static build-up, temp (does not like below 65-67 degrees F) and humidity. Mine looks to generally runs lighter than my target weight by 0.1-0.2 grains - this is a calibration / check scale issue. Usually 55.4 grains of IMR 4831 on my M5 scale or Gempro 250 will display as 55.2-55.3 grains on the RCBS 1500. On a good day with powder it likes it will stay within 0.05 grains plus or minus of the target weight. On a really bad day with powder it doesn't like, it will over charge by 0.5 grains. It lets me know on 0.1+ grain overcharges via a beep and a visual indicator. A reducer nozzle / McDonalds straw helps with overcharges but it isn't a cure all. It is pretty easy to clean and change powders. It is fairly quick at dispensing and instructions on how to change the programing to adjust the dispensing motor speeds is online.

The Hornady dispenser and RCBS Lite can be good or bad; a lot depends on the individual unit and your environmental conditions.

The RCBS Lite was marketed as being better suited for the average re-loader than the RCBS 1500 when I talked to Doug at RCBS. The main differences were that the 1500 is designed with a higher weight limit to accommodate 50 bmg rounds and other heavy hitters. The Lite has a mono body, and the 1500 uses separate dispensing and weighing units. The separate bodies on the 1500 can get out of alignment and or pinch causing the weighing unit to read incorrectly.

Hope that helps.


Last edited by Nimrod84 on Wed Dec 05, 2018 1:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Powder Measure?
PostPosted: Wed Dec 05, 2018 1:37 pm 

Joined: Thu Apr 06, 2006 8:42 am
Posts: 14933
Location: Washington State
Thanks!

In the meantime - I removed the Varget, and broke open a new 8 pound jug of Varget. Interestingly, it's flowing more smoothly. Fewer problems. Wonder if I managed to contaminate the other Varget somehow?

Also, I think I'm going to replace the plastic drop tube. I should be able to pick up a new one today.

Then we'll see. It's actually working pretty well now, after taking it apart, cleaning everything, and changing the powder. Not as smooth & sure as in the past, but much better than before I did all that.

Just an old machine, needing some TLC I suppose.

Guy


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 Post subject: Re: Powder Measure?
PostPosted: Wed Dec 05, 2018 1:45 pm 

Joined: Mon Feb 20, 2017 12:42 pm
Posts: 197
Location: MI
Almost sounds like the powder took on a static charge rather than the dispenser.

Year+ old powder can clump up on me as well. Not sure if it is from humidity, static electricity or cleaning solvents... For example Ammonia vaporizes easily and is still active when it condenses / is deposited.

Good luck and shoot straight.


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 Post subject: Re: Powder Measure?
PostPosted: Wed Dec 05, 2018 4:20 pm 
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Joined: Mon Mar 11, 2013 6:02 am
Posts: 7531
Location: East Coast
Mine must be older then yours Guy since my dispenser is all metal except the hopper with large and small metal drop tubes.
It does get sticky now and then and I use a piece of 3M scotch brite to polish it up and cut the oxide off the drum.

Edit to change material used to polish drum, had brain f$rt (:-)


Last edited by truck driver on Thu Dec 06, 2018 8:08 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Powder Measure?
PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2018 6:46 am 

Joined: Wed Apr 29, 2015 1:31 pm
Posts: 294
Guy, In regards to the drop tube, use a laundry static guard sheet. This will eliminate any problems with static electricity. No need to replace the tube.


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 Post subject: Re: Powder Measure?
PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2018 9:39 am 

Joined: Tue Mar 28, 2017 7:27 am
Posts: 232
Harrell’s Precision is the solution to powder measure issues. And they send you a hand written receipt along with your order!


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 Post subject: Re: Powder Measure?
PostPosted: Fri Dec 07, 2018 8:08 am 

Joined: Thu Apr 06, 2006 8:42 am
Posts: 14933
Location: Washington State
diverdown wrote:
Guy, In regards to the drop tube, use a laundry static guard sheet. This will eliminate any problems with static electricity. No need to replace the tube.


You know - I'd forgotten that trick! (y)

Disassembled, cleaned everything, used the dryer sheet, got rid of the old Varget... And guess what? The powder measure is working as well as ever, which is pretty good. Loaded another 50 rounds of 308 Win last night.

Guy


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 Post subject: Re: Powder Measure?
PostPosted: Fri Dec 07, 2018 9:30 am 
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Joined: Thu Dec 22, 2011 5:39 am
Posts: 2064
Location: Northern Maine/New Brunswick Border
Interestingly enough Guy, I recently had a similar problem
with my ancient Ohaus Du-O- measure. (1977)
Attachment:
ohaus 06.jpg
ohaus 06.jpg [ 195.56 KiB | Viewed 145 times ]
Trying to load RL25 for my 25/06...... And it was throwing charges all over the place, the powder acted " sticky" Almost drove me nuts. So out of frustration, I dug out my Dads old Lyman 55 with knocker, 1958)
Attachment:
s-l400 (1).jpg
s-l400 (1).jpg [ 31.17 KiB | Viewed 109 times ]
and that was even worse! I think it was certainly the humidity or something??? And I wound up ordering a new Hornady one just out of frustration.
Attachment:
reloading_powder-measure_feature.png
reloading_powder-measure_feature.png [ 382.21 KiB | Viewed 110 times ]
Lol
Bet a good clean up and new can of powder would have solved the problem, as it did for you.
Attachment:
s-l400.jpg
s-l400.jpg [ 21.74 KiB | Viewed 111 times ]

E

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 Post subject: Re: Powder Measure?
PostPosted: Sat Dec 08, 2018 5:06 am 

Joined: Thu Apr 06, 2006 8:42 am
Posts: 14933
Location: Washington State
I've got one of those little Lyman Ideal #55 powder measures too! Mostly I just use it for loading handgun cartridges, though I bet it would be fine for my 204 Ruger or other rifles too.

Ya, I was shopping for powder measures before I just did a good job of getting mine back in action.

It's working now!


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 Post subject: Re: Powder Measure?
PostPosted: Sat Dec 08, 2018 2:58 pm 

Joined: Sat Dec 11, 2010 10:13 pm
Posts: 1452
"And I wound up ordering a new Hornady one just out of frustration."
Change the color on that Hornady to blue and it would match my first powder measure, a Pacific. Came as part lof the kit when I went from Lyman tong tools to a loading press and powder measure.

On the RCBS Chargemaster, I'm not sure how long I've had mine but it has to be close to ten years, possibly more. The only thing I can say is if this one turned toes up, I'll have another within the next 24 hours.
Paul B.


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