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Discussion in 'Long Range Hunting & Shooting' started by Ernie, Mar 29, 2003.
Want to get a good powder measure for extruded powders.
What are the best in your opinion?
Not trying to be funny, but in all seriousness the best measure is a scale. You really need to weigh every LR load.
I use a RCBS electronic measure and scale and a Harrels Culver measure. My rcbs will not calibrate now and has to go back to Pact. I had to do it by hand. took a set of lee dippers and electronic scales and old trickler and it was faster than the electronic dispensing system. but with my system I used to seat and check runout while the pan was loading.
For precision reloading the Harrels culver measure is the top of the line and it is about $225 but last measure you will have to buy. It's settings are 100% repeatable which is the real time saver with measures.
However all measures will "Cut" large grains and your weights will vary. Set for lower than desired load and trickle in exact amount.
[ 03-29-2003: Message edited by: BountyHunter ]
No offense taken.
Will the Harrel accurately measure H-4831SC without having to use a scale?
Where is the best place to purchase a Harrel?
I have an old AMT Autoscale which I have used for a number of years. Just looking for a quicker way of accurately measuring extruded powder if such a bird exists.
Do yourself a favor, pick up a 90058 Lee Perfect Powder Measure. Natchez has em for $19 on sale now. It WILL NOT cut extrusions, will not jam, and for 1/11th the money, will weigh as close or closer than anything else you can buy at any price. You simply will not beleive how nice they work and how simple they are. If you don't want to weigh powder, I'd say this is as close as you're gonna get to +- .1g
If you think it's just too cheap to be true, think about Lee selling collet dies for less money than any other Mfgr selling conventional ones. Lee's dies are round, straight, have real nice lock rings that adjust by hand and don't come loose, ...
I weigh powder, My brother does not. He shot 3 groups so far from his gun at 1K, 10, 11 & 12 Inches. All 3 wider than high, in wind. After seeing My measure, He said, "As long as I have to trickle anyhow, I'm getting a cheap measure." Turns out, with a cheap measure, he doesn't trickle, I did.
We both shoot SCut.
How does the Culver achieve more consistancy than say, my Redding? I've heard they're nice but the Redding does all I ever need, slices long grain powder with ease, as it's super sharp, it is within a couple to a few tenths every time too. I trickle, or my RCBS dispensor does I should say, so I dump another charge while it's doing the trickling on the first, by then it's already done and so on. I've never seen a dispensor that has come close to .1 tenth accuracy "consistantly", and that's the key, so I weigh all mine too. I've owned RCBS, Lee's Perfect POS, IMHO, and now the Redding, and the Redding is the sharpest for cutting powder, most consistant and the Lee was the absolute worst for stick powder or any for that matter, you get what you pay for as in most cases. No disrespect 4mesh, I just disagree it's the best, I used one for a long time. Very frustrating to use with stick powder of any kind because of it's design... adjusted correctly they can work OK with ball powder, that's it though.
I know I don't need a Culver, as I'll always weigh each one, but have always been interested in why they are the "cream of the crop" so to speak? Thanks
Let me second the recommendation of the Lee El cheapo. My culver would jam up and cut grains of RL25. The Lee with its flapper design throws it without doing this, right into my pan where I can trickle the last 1/2 grain quickly. Being that is an all plastic construction, a wipedown with a drier sheet will negate the static problem.
I never owned an RCBS so I can't say on that. My Redding has been apart so many times I cant tell ya in order to put graphite on the barrel so it wouldn't stick. It "cuts" grains allright. It needs a bigger handle! I remember using mine to set up a ladder test of .3g each. Man, I had to set up for about 1.5g under and trickle up cause any time you touch it, it throws a different charge.
As for the Culver being the Cadillac, (at least the Harrels) it's because it works much like the redding you have except it has ball bearings on the shaft so it works a whole lot nicer. Smooth as glass. More accurate than the Redding by a longshot. Probably because you don't have to use a mallet on the handle!.
If you had a Lee, and didn't like it, was it just because it looked to chinsy? I love the super cheapo Lee. I'm gonna get another one for trips to the range so I can leave my stuff at home set up. Actually, that's why I started buying Lee stuff a while back was because I wanted my rockchucker at work for case forming, a turret press at home for loading, and portable stuff for the range. I figured, for the price, I'd get the cheapies.
I'm gonna get one of their scales as well. Not that there's anything wrong with my Redding, just for <$30 if I loose it at the range or leave it lay and it gets run over by a truck, I won't be out the big $.
I like the Lee
Interesting how different guys have varied opinions on measures etc. I have gone thru a few measures, have everything from Lee scoops to the entire RCBS electronic dispensing, trickler, scale setup. For the shooting that we do I have found that weighing every charge is just burning time - do it if it makes you feel good, part of the sport. I hardly ever do that anymore.
Nowadays I want ammo to shoot, ammo that hits into 3/4 or less at 100 yards so that I can shoot a bunch at 700 and longer. Have gone back to a 10-10 to set the measure on a big progressive press and once it is about on, I just crank rounds. We can easily make five boxes in twenty minutes, then we go shooting.
No doubt a Culver would be sweet to own, I like nice toys as much as the next guy. But for what my buddies and I are doing the RCBS measure with the micrometer attachment, topped off with Varget, on the big old Pro-2000 - keeps us doing a lot of shooting.
Important to remember that reloading is only a means to an end - pulling trigger.
end of sermon
I don't like them for the same reason I don't like the Dillon measurer, nothing to do with "lookin" cheap. The Dillon is quite nice, but for stick powder it don't work worth a ---- either. I gave mine to my dad. They all work if you trickle up, some are less consistant and some don't cut the stick powder, beats trickling the whole charge no matter what one you use.
I've never had sticking problems with my Redding like you have, I did have with the Lee, but as August said, the static sheets keep it to a minimum. As far as leverage to cut the powder, I just lay my thumb along the top of the arm, squeeze and push down with the heal of my hand on the roller, no problem.
I also tend to gravitate toward an investment that will last a long time working the way I want it to, buy once type deal. Comparing the Lee measurer in this sense to another so called cheap item, the Chrony brand chronograph, on a scale of 1-10, the chrony gets a 1, the Lee measurer gets a 6. The Redding measurer a 9, the Oehler chronograph a 9. You get the idea, I hate wasting my hard earned cash on stuff that don't work the way it's claimed, that's all.
I have 3 Redding BR measures - a BR-3, a BR-30, and one of the new BR-10X measures. They have worked well for me, and when I was having an "anal" moment for match ammo, I would use a trickler to be right on (mostly for my Rem 6BR).
I had wanted a Culver measure for a long time... I guess cuz they're so ---- pretty, and everyone says that they are more accurate.
... but my best friend just got a Culver (he also has several other measures), and he said that while it's very nice, it throws with the same errors as the Reddings.
The thing about the Culver is that the calibrations in the dial are accurate with ALL other culvers, and people that use these measures refer to their loads, not in grains, but in Culver "Clicks"... so when one guys asks what load are you using, the other guy says "16.5 of H322", meaning that he is using a Culver set at 16.5 and throwing H322.
Well... that's very nice, and shows a dedication by Mr. Culver to mechanical repeatability... but it DOESN'T help with throwing Varget or H4350-SC.
My friend also has a Niel Jones, and said that it's was very superior to the Culver, and looking at the two, I would have to agree, the Neil Jones is a WAY better measure... but at $375 each, it ---- well ought to be!!!
But the jist of this post is that all of these rotating drum measures suffer the same problems, and all the needle bearings in the world is NOT going to help.
The problem is not the measures, it's the powders... from a rotating drum measure, you will get +/- 0.1grain, or more in errors, and often it's closer to +/-0.2 gr errors., which means a 0.4 gr spread
The spread on the measure of my Dillon 1000 (set up for .308 Match) is about 0.3 gr wide (+/-0.15), and I think that's about as good as it gets.
That's because of the powder, not the measure... you can't get stick powder to fill a chamber (ANY chamber) the same way, each time, with a powder that is made of long sticks. It refuses to settle the same way each time. The stuff is like pick-up sticks
I wish ball powder wasn't so temperature sensitive (or so dirty), but until there is a better ball powder, I'd rather deal with the slightly increased SD with Extream stick, than have to deal with the wide velocity changes of ball... and I'm not gonna weigh 10,000 charges a year
[ 03-30-2003: Message edited by: CatShooter ]
I heard someone say the new Harrel Culver they bought didn't throw consistant charges, with stick powder I didn't see how it could be any more accurate than it was though. +- a couple tenths wasn't too bad I thought. I figured they must really be somethin special if they don't need a scale and are using stick powder!
Appreciate your comments and observations.
Neil does have some nice equipment from what it looks like. I'll be hittin him up for my dies in the morning, he suppose to be back from vacation on the 1st.
The only reason I said the Harrels is tops, because its settings are so repeatable and the measure is so smooth. I reload many calibers and quite a few I no longer weigh anything, just go to my logged settings, throw three charges to warm it up and start dropping into the cases.
However, with the stick powders I have found none that are accurate enough for 1k shooting. All still have to be weighed in my opinion. Now some guys will say no need to weigh and I am not going to argue. Just hope they are on my relay. I have run enough tests to convince myself of the need to weigh, but then it depends on your accuracy level desired.
There are lots of measures that work very good and repeatable more or less. I have not used the Lee so it might work well for many people. However, after going through 2-3 others to include the reddings with micro add on. I have never looked back since I bought the Harrels.
Now some guys will say no need to weigh and I am not going to argue. Just hope they are on my relay.
Thanks for sharing your observations.