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jlow
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Posted: 7/8/2010 6:48:43 PM
[Last Edit: 7/8/2010 7:20:59 PM by jlow]

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I got another Lee Pro Auto-Disk Powder Measure today. I brought it to help me speed up the loading of Varget for my setup involving LC brass/CCI400/77 grain Nosler CC BTHP. The powder weight that works best for me is 22.5 grains of Varget. I understand that this setup does not measure the extruded Varget powder well, but that is OK since I only intend to use it to get me close, with the idea that I will hand adjust the powder on a digital balance.

Since Varget was not one of the powders listed on the Lee instructions, Can someone suggest a combination of Lee double disk that would get me close to 22.4 grains? BTW, I just need to get close, am willing to do some trial and error testing.
223Pitbull
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Posted: 7/8/2010 10:47:12 PM
The VDM for Varget is .07310
benny57
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Posted: 7/8/2010 11:25:49 PM
My experience with the double disk was terrible, very inconsistent. YMMV, but I had to weigh every charge. The Lee disk powder measure is great for pistol charges. I finally broke down and bought a Redding powder measue, loaded 1000's of rounds of 223 and it's never off over 1 tenth of a grain. 97-98% its dead nuts.

Benny
hokeyplyr48
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Posted: 7/8/2010 11:30:38 PM
Originally Posted By benny57:
My experience with the double disk was terrible, very inconsistent. YMMV, but I had to weigh every charge. The Lee disk powder measure is great for pistol charges. I finally broke down and bought a Redding powder measue, loaded 1000's of rounds of 223 and it's never off over 1 tenth of a grain. 97-98% its dead nuts.

Benny


Which one did you get? the 3BR?
azlester
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Posted: 7/8/2010 11:52:44 PM
Well if the .07310 VMD is correct... according to the Lee instructions...charge in grains XVMD = Volume CC. .07310 X 22.5= 1.63744 1.64 CC you need 2 of the .82 openings(double stack) The 1.57 opening will get you about 21.47gr (CC/VMD= gr)1.57/.07310=21.47gr
That's kind of close. Make darn sure you weigh your charges! And feel free to double check my math....
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Gee_Wizz
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Posted: 7/9/2010 8:41:44 AM
I have not had good luck using the Double Disk kit with Varget, it is extremely erratic. Even if you are hand weighing every charge, there are very large weight variations. The Lee Perfect Powder Measure is probably one of the best to use with Varget. I can generally get within .2 gr or less, using the PPM. It feels cheesy and fllimsy; but it works.

G
jlow
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Posted: 7/9/2010 9:17:10 AM
Thanks everyone for your input, for the VDM and starting double disk - much appreciated!

Yes, from reading the post here, I got the general feeling that the Lee Pro Auto-Disk setup with double disk is not a good way to go to get accurate measures of Varget. I am only hoping that it will get me close i.e. within one grain and my intent is to use the digital balance give me accurate weight for each charge before bullet seating.

My intent is to start with the two 0.82 as azlester suggested and see what comes out with my digital balance and adjust the disk as needed.

If this does not work, will try the Lee Perfect Powder Measure as suggested.
benny57
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Posted: 7/9/2010 11:03:58 AM
If you weigh your charges with the Lee double disk you would be good to go. If you go with the Perfect Powder do not over tighten the lever. I did and it wore it out. To the other poster asking about the Redding it was the 3BR.

Benny
JavaDan
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Posted: 7/9/2010 11:16:35 AM
I, too, found the Lee double disk to be seriously lacking for my 5.56 loading. I sold it to somebody else.

Get the RCBS ChargeMaster and smile.
jlow
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Posted: 7/9/2010 1:56:39 PM
OK, so I took the info you guys supplied and did some testing. What I basically did was tried a number of disk combination with the Varget powder and weight two sets of 10 powder throws, and calculated average powder weight and standard deviations.

I started with the two 0.82 disk as suggested and it was quite close with the two averages being 21.99 and 21.90 grains and SD = 0.11 and 0.09 respectively. Good close start and so good advice. Since I was shooting for 22.50 grains, I also tried the two next higher double disk combinations i.e. 0.95/0.71 and 1.02/0.66. The second combo was a winner with an average throw of 22.52 and 22.51 grains and SD = 0.09 and 0.12.

Overall, I am very pleased with the performance of the Lee Pro Auto-Disk Powder Measure in the double disk configuration. For example, out of the 20 throws in the “optimal” disc configuration, the highest throw was 22.66 grains and the lowest being 22.38 grains. Being an extruded powder, I am doubtful that any powder thrower could do significantly better as I am sure most of the deviation was due to uneven packing of the powder which I think is intrinsic to its shape. I only had one “powder leak” from the measure (red square) but I am sure that was because I did not wait for the powder to drop completely into the cartridge before lowering the ram. All operation was smooth and I did not feel any grittiness or “cutting” of powder.

My plan is to use this to do the “starting throw” for each cartridge and adjusting up or down by hand to get the exact powder weight I need.

Thanks again!


azlester
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Posted: 7/9/2010 5:44:43 PM
By the way. According to Lee... to get the VMD for any powder take an even hole and throw 1 measure of the powder. Then weigh it on a scale. take the weight of the throw and divide it by the number on the hole you used. the result is the VMD for lot of powder. Lee recomends that you do this with every lot of the particular powder. some mfg's have up to plus or minus 16% difference from lot to lot.
Father of four great sons. Soon to be Granddaughter! I have a woman who loves me and puts up with my BRD. What more could a man ask for?
jlow
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Posted: 7/9/2010 5:58:58 PM
Thanks for the useful info on the VMD. I would also say that the number you get is really approximate, regardless of whether it is a calculated or published one and one must verify using a good scale.
dnix
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Posted: 7/9/2010 7:10:49 PM
Top disk should be the smaller cavity of the two. If the larger cavity is on top, a shelf is created by the lower disk with the smaller cavity. Would not lead to an over charge but would (could) cause inconsistent drops. This from Lee.
jlow
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Posted: 7/9/2010 8:33:14 PM
Yes, thanks! That instruction is pretty clear from Lee and I followed it.
1911smith
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Posted: 7/9/2010 11:08:01 PM
[Last Edit: 7/9/2010 11:20:43 PM by 1911smith]
Using double disk with Varget I find the disks pick my charge. Back(ass)wards. The disks are nice for loading turret in progressive mode. Or loading progressive in progressive mode. Not a consistent way of loading rifle anyway. Consistency as we all know translates to repeatability. Have experimented with various powders just to experiment. Found using two like disks have consistent drops, provided I did my part with consistent stoke rhythm. Consider it reloading ram-masturbation.

Ok.... that said. If your loading blaster ammo for .223, Varget's the wrong powder I think. A2230 is better in progressive mode on turret. If your loading precision I drop to within 2/10ths and trickle single stage. When experiencing conversation with Lee reloaders, find majority to be on a reloader budget or hard headed salty dogs like myself. For blaster I use A2230 single disk, progressive turret . Precision using hopped up PPM. Forster. You can as someone suggested in another thread, " drill " your charge in.
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dnix
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Posted: 7/9/2010 11:17:10 PM
Originally Posted By jlow:
Yes, thanks! That instruction is pretty clear from Lee and I followed it.


Okay. The table you showed had the opposite.
jlow
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Posted: 7/10/2010 8:57:44 AM
I should clarify, I am not loading “blasting” or “plinking” 223 ammo, I am interested in precision shooting and brought the second Lee Pro Auto-Disk Powder Measure to help me speed up the initial powder weighing i.e. weigh first with the Lee and adjust with a digital scale.

223Pitbull, you are right, I forgot that I labeled the two disk “top” and “bottom”, but just put the two numbers in without putting them in the right location in the table. They were correctly placed in the measure.
Maryland_Shooter
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Posted: 7/10/2010 3:49:15 PM
Originally Posted By dnix:
Top disk should be the smaller cavity of the two. If the larger cavity is on top, a shelf is created by the lower disk with the smaller cavity. Would not lead to an over charge but would (could) cause inconsistent drops. This from Lee.


Even then you often have to tap the drop to get all the powder into the case. I am trying the "charge bar" maybe today.
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jlow
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Posted: 7/10/2010 4:46:03 PM
I did not have any luck using the Lee Auto-Disk Adjustable Powder Charge Bar for small amounts of powder i.e. around 3 grains using Titegroup.
1911smith
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Posted: 7/10/2010 7:44:28 PM
There is only one way I would use Lee's disk, double disk for precision. Assuming we are talking plus or minus one tenth a grain to be precision. That would be if drop were set stationary in single stage set up. If there is movement it allows for compaction and unacceptable variances.


Lee Auto and Pro disks are all I have used, except for Lee PPM that I gave my son that he uses to load 1000 meter precision .308 loads. I moved up to the Forster a few months ago and to be honest. With exception to ball powder I miss my PPM. Forster doesn't leak like PPM did with certain powder. PPM meters Varget well.

If your insistant on using Auto Disk you might try using a baffle. For the smaller charges you mention I used PPM for .32acp.
Building 45acp is like building 350 Chevrolets. It can be the end all, be all, do all round. You can build it to be anything.
jlow
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Posted: 7/10/2010 8:27:28 PM
OK, I am going to have to call a time out! LOL!

I do appreciate the desires from everyone to help me load accurate ammo with Varget, but I think some of you have missed what I have written a number of times already in this thread – so one more time, I am not trying to use the Lee Pro Auto-Disk Powder Measure in the double disk configuration to get me to accurate ammo in a single step.

What I am trying to do is to load accurate ammo faster. Previously, I have been using a scoop and a digital scale to get me close to 22.5 grains of Varget, this is then followed by using a Redding #5 Powder Trickler and a pair of very fine tweezer to get me to exactly 22.5 grains.

The new plan is to use the Lee Pro Auto-Disk Powder Measure in the double disk configuration to take the place of the scoop to get me close to 22.5 grain, once the approximate weight of grains is dispensed into the brass, I will weight it to figure out how close I am to 22.5 grains and adjust it again with the powder tricker.
1911smith
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Posted: 7/10/2010 9:09:55 PM
[Last Edit: 7/10/2010 9:15:40 PM by 1911smith]
I think I'm following you fine and using some very low key hints. Please keep us posted. I'm most curious to see and try your finished product if it can be duplicated.

<eta> I basically recommended what you describe in my last post. You can powder drop in single stage. Then trickle up. That's the way we do it with any type of drop. Except when loading blaster ammo in progressive mode.


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jlow
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Posted: 7/10/2010 10:38:48 PM
Hey thanks! Glad to see that we are on the same page.

To be honest, I am not totally convinced of this method one way or another at this point, but wanted to give it a try. There is probably a number of ways to do this, some of them I am sure I have not yet thought off.

One would be to just dump the powder out onto the digital scale and adjust after the drop – this is the most direct way, but I am not sure how much more efficient this would be?

Another would be to pre-weigh the brass (which I always do anyway) and have the spreadsheet automatically calculate the proper target weight, and see how close it is. If it is short, tickling powder in might be possible although I would probably have to shim the tickler. The tricky part would be if it is over as getting powder out without dumping it all out might be hard…well perhaps I could tickle out of the brass the excess; perhaps not...

About the only way to know what would work or not is to try it and see what gives good efficiency and weights that are close. Will keep you posted one way or another. I figured I have little to lose since I only have a few pounds of Varget but brought some of that TAC that is now on sale at Midway that you guys alerted me to, and since that stuff is modified spherical powder, I figure it would meter reasonably well in the Lee. Even if it does not work, I could use it as “parts” for my Titgroup metering which I know does work well.

Thanks again!
1911smith
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Posted: 7/10/2010 11:14:27 PM
[Last Edit: 7/10/2010 11:14:59 PM by 1911smith]
Suggestion: Being's how the Lee Auto disk is case actuated. Powder drop into case. Then drop into pan that''s been zeroed on scale. Meaning with empty pan on scale, empty case with powder into pan to weigh. Weigh, then empty pan back into case using funnel.

I zero scale again after each weigh with empty pan. Your idea with case will work too if you zero empty case placed on scale, powder drop, weigh loaded. Either way works. Case weights differ by at least tenths, so it's important to zero each case. I find trickling into pan easier than trickling into case.
Building 45acp is like building 350 Chevrolets. It can be the end all, be all, do all round. You can build it to be anything.
jlow
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Posted: 7/11/2010 8:43:22 AM
Was thinking about the same thing this morning, and I am leaning towards your first suggestions. The good thing about this setup is that you can really get close to the target weight fast and pouring it out on the scale/trickling/pouring it back allows me to do the double check after the whole thing comes back together.

The only hitch comes when the dispense powder weight is significantly over the target, say greater than 22.70 vs. 22.50. When this happens and I have to remove quite a bit of powder off the pan, the resultant powder weight, even though it says it is what I want on the scale, is usually a bit more than what I am happy with when I weight the powder+case combo – could be something like 22.56 grains which I don’t like to see. When I manually dispense powder by hand onto the pan and this happens, I usually dump the the whole thing back into the bottle and start again. In this case, I suppose I could dump it back in the hopper and do another throw using the Lee…

Trickling directly into the case with powder already in it would be a bit tricky due to the small opening. I suppose I could fix that with a small paper funnel that I hold over the opening with a small clip and stand. The one thing I don’t like about this setup is that it does not give me a second weight check– that always makes me a little nervous….
1911smith
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Posted: 7/11/2010 11:57:33 AM
Most of us drop our charge to usually within 2/10ths of grain short of desired weight. Taking an empty pan from a zeroed scale we drop charge and place pan back on scale. Let's say we're loading 40 grains of RL15. Your drop is set for 39.8 grains. Dropping 39.8 into pan and placing pan on scale to a reading of 39.8. We then trickle to 40 grains. There really is no need to double check. I get where your coming from with need to double check. When using balance beam scales I check, recheck and re recheck. That's a common paranoia associated with use of balance beams. You can buy a cheap digital scale from Midway and alleviate some of the paranoia. Balance beams are more accurate than most reloader digital scales. You'd need to move up to pharmaceutical grade scales to get + or - 1/10thgrain repeatability on digital scales. The truth of most digital reloader scales from my experience has been closer to + or - 2/10 grain repeatability. Just some more thought for fodder to digest. Your over thinking this to some degree but all of us are guilty of same. Acculabs is my next soon to be scale. See, your in good company.
Building 45acp is like building 350 Chevrolets. It can be the end all, be all, do all round. You can build it to be anything.
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