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Powder Measures For The Long Stick Powders

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Unread 01-09-2008, 04:05 AM
Silver Member
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: South Africa
Posts: 422
Powder Measures For The Long Stick Powders

So I finally broke down and bought a Harrells. The idea was that I could develop loads at the range and just weigh out the clicks at home. It was supposed to make life easier and enable me to throw everything I load with the one measure and it would be repeatable and I wouldn't need to weigh 10 times to get the charge right (as with some of the other more finicky micrometer adjustments). And do on and so on....

Well what a disappointment so far. What was supposed to save time and be a little more economical on laod development really just hasn't worked that way.

Admittedly I'm trying to meter an ugly stick powder (domestic S385), but I figured from all I saw that it should throw within about 0.2gr. I tried to get a fairly consistent action (despite the shearing of the granules) and really thought I was doing a pretty good job.... Well on 68-69 grains of powder variations run 0.8 - 1.0 grains over 10 charges.

It's the premium model with the "built in baffle" type design and I even kept the bottle filled about the same. Do I have totally unreasonable expectations (as usual), or is it operator error? Any recommendations that may improve performance? Is there a better alternative - some are saying the Lee Perfect and for the price difference I feel like throwing up....

Alternatively, if I could sell the Harrells, does anyone have experience with the Quick-Measure. I'm suffering some bad buyer's remorse....

I really don't need top of the line price, but was seeking top of the line performance! I don't shoot anything that isn't using a stick powder. So far I think my old Uniflow does better.

I'm not looking to criticise the product and it's wonderfully well made. I don't have any ball powder to test it with just to see, but with what I use this is dismal.

Thanks for any replies.
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Unread 01-09-2008, 07:42 AM
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Join Date: Dec 2001
Posts: 1,101
As you found out certain powders don't work with those type powder measures I've got a Bruno and have the same problems. What I do is load up a bunch of case at home with the long stick powder and turn the bullet upside down in the case. Since I use arbor dies I take the first powder weight case I want to try seat bullet fire take that case neck size prime and then dump what every powder weight I want to try next in that case seat bullet.

If your going to use other powders like R-19 or Hodgdon SSC powder depending on amount of powder you can be off by 1/2 gr or more. How fast or slow you raise handle can change volume or even if you tap handle on the upswing. They work the same as the uniflow I can set my uniflow using IMR-4007 and I'll get within one thenth of a gr when using the Bruno measure that cost over $300 what I'm paying for is repeatable click adjustment for one powder then say I want to switch powder I just dial in clicks and I'm ready to load and adjust clicks but they don't work with long stick powder. I weight powder say at 50 clicks then weight what 50.1 is record that then go to 50.2 and so on for each powder I use.

I wish I could be of more help but if you purchased it from Harrell I'd give them a call maybe they take it back. Well good luck
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Unread 01-09-2008, 08:29 AM
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Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 430
Originally Posted by LRHWAL View Post
So I finally broke down and bought a Harrells.
I don't have a reply for you other than to thank you for sharing your experience. This is the most accurate assessment I have heard regarding the high-cost measures. Usually the feedback runs along the line of, "Look what I own." You have told us what expectations we should have.

I hope you find a satisfactory resolution for your situation.
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Unread 01-09-2008, 08:31 PM
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Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Mouth of Hobble Crk Canyon, Utah
Posts: 630
Yep! Right on for assessements. I also have a Harrells Premium. Love it! Don't get to use it at the range for load development unless the powder grains are shorter or ball.

If you get a chance to read/buy Glen Zediker's book on loading for accuracy (not the acutal title) in it is a section he devotes to "throwing" powder. It will open you mind to the possibilities of these types of "meters".

The "Culver" type meters were developed for BR shooters who 1) load at the range and 2) predominately throw fine grained powders.

I love my Harrells! I use it to develop loads "at" the range when the powders involved are fine grained extruded or ball type powders. Such as H4895, R15, TAC, Magnum, etc. I've use my RCBS Uniflow w/ the micrometer insert to do the same thing. Harrells clicks are VERY nice.

I've thought about selling mine to finance a RCBS elec scale/thrower combo. Can't bring myself to trust an elec model in which I "CANT" see things moving.

If you ever get a chance, call Lynwood Harrell. He can give you some pretty good tips on "thowing". When you come up on the stroke, slowly, without banging it. Wait a few seconds, bring it back down slowly to the bottom. Now, many of the powders I throw will hang up about 1/2 way down. When that happens I smartly tap the handle to "break" the powder grain but I catch the handle before it hits the bottom. This has given me some pretty good consistency.
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Unread 01-09-2008, 09:39 PM
Platinum Member
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: MN
Posts: 1,219
admittedly I have not used many different powder measures. But I have not heard of anyone who had luck with volume measurement devices on stick powders. I can throw h380 accurate to .1 g with my old wore-out Lee measure (ball powder). But I weigh every load. If you want to develop loads at the range I suggest to purchase a batery powered scale and a cheap $20 lee thrower. Face it, if you are developing loads you need to be precise. Good luck, Mark
I used to re-load but now I "hand-load".
-- Well, at least I try --
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Unread 01-10-2008, 02:51 AM
Silver Member
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: South Africa
Posts: 422
Thanks for the replies...

I tried running the Harrells last night with some extruded pistol powder, but relatively fine grain. The Harrels did a lot better - 25gr load variance 0.1-0.2 (total range). It also runs smooth as anything with this. A 50gr load ran total variance range around 0.4, with the bulk around 0.2.

What has disappointed though is that my old Uniflow is measuring the stick powder at about 0.5-0.6 variance on the same quantity and the Harrells almost double that. I suppose operation may bring it in some, but the Harrells seems more inclined to "hook" than the Uniflow. Possibly because it's a longer "cutting surface" bacause of the design compared to the Uniflow.
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Unread 01-10-2008, 05:11 PM
Bronze Member
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: North Dakota
Posts: 73
Can you expect +/- .2grain w/ any measure? I thought my Lee was junk because it was throwing .2 low or high every other time. BL-C2 and IMR 7828. Thanks for the honest review. Looks like I will invest some money into a good trickler and call it good.


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