Posted: 12/28/2015 2:02:09 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/28/2015 2:02:50 AM EDT by mikeyanxu1]
Just step in the reloading and I am looking for some help choosing a powder measure. I am currently working on 223 remington. Powder is BLC2. I have setup the Redding T-7 press with various dies. Here is the picture of my press:
I have done several nights worth of research but still have not decided what powder measure to choose. Here are my considerations:
1. The powder measure needs to be accurate. Prefer to be within .1 grain of deviation between charges for 25 grains of load. If it is not realistic, how accurate can a powder measure generally be for a roughly 25 grain charge?
2. Prefer it to be versatile. I will load 40 SW and 308 Winchester cartridges later. The powder measure must have different inserts or accessories that can be converted to accurately measure under 10 grain and 40-50 grain loads.
3. Turret press mount vs bench mount. I will be nice to mount the powder measure on the Redding T-7 press so I don't have to remove the brass from shell holder (case activated is even more efficient). But, is it a good idea to mount the powder charger on a turret press? Does the shake and movement with every indexing cause the powder to settle and make the throw inconsistent? I have looked at the examples on the internet: RCBS uniflow and hornady LNL with case activation mounted to redding T-7 press. It is interesting that Redding does not have a press mounted powder measure. I will give them a call and ask for their opinion as well.
Any one has a turret press please chime in. What do you use to drop powder?
Thank you sir that is very informational.
I noticed that several of yours have hornady bushings on them. Do you have those powder measures mounted on a progressive/ turret press? Did the vibration affect the consistency?
I spoke to someone at Redding on the phone today and he is a true gentleman with a lot of good information. According to him, it is not recommended to mount the redding powder measure on the turret press. I understand the principle behind that vibration will cause the powder to settle thus affect consistency. However it is really hard not to notice tha, there are so many progressive presses with powder measure on top. In addition, I have seen that so many people had mounted the powder measure on the turret press. Is it really a good idea to mount powder measure on a turret press?
Of all the turret presses I have used, the Redding T-7 was far above the others in quality. It is like having 7 single stage presses. However- I really prefer to do 1 step at a time on batches, not rotating from die to die for each piece of brass.
I recently purchased a Hornaday Lock N load kit for my RCBS Rock Chucker "brass prep mule", and really like that system- swapping dies is a snap, reqires no tools, and they retain their settings very well. The Locknload also works on a Redding Big-Boss press IIRC- verify this before buying. I probably would not go with a turret press again, rather prefer the Big Boss and Locknload kit.
The Redding T7 will outlast most people! It is the only turret press to buy.
The RCBS sucks and is very loose!
The Lyman one would be okay for handgun use, but not rifle!
The consistency of the operator is the key to having good uniform results when using a powder measure. Extruded powders are always going to be the tricky ones, ball or flattened ball powders measure like water, and flake powders can be testy at times.
A clean powder measure is a key! And, dryflash has done tutorials on cleaning and such before with just about every brand!
I have the Lyman turret press, and have been using it for close to 7-10 years. Its been an absolutely fantastic press, and the only reason I don't use it much anymore is I have added a Dillon 550. I've yet to use a turret style press I liked any better.
As far as powder drops go, I have used and owned quite a few over the years. The key to finding a good, repeatable powder measure is more dependent on the powder type than anything else...at least in my experience. Ball powders are going to meter/drop much more consistently than stick or extruded powders, that is pretty much the norm across all styles. I have owned powder measures from the cheapest Lee measures, all the way up to an expensive Johnson that could be used with the Dillon, and none of them really like extruded/stick powders. Of course, the Johnson was the most consistent and accurate, but at a price...they are not certainly not cheap. I've also owned/used Lyman and RCBS drops, and the $12-15 Lee was just as accurate as any of them. In fact, the Lee was so much more consistent with extruded powders, that I have bought 3 and use them exclusively just for stick powders. I sold my Lyman and Johnson, and only use the RCBS for ball powder.
Keep in mind, none of the measures are going to give you 0.1 gr consistency...at least I have never owned one. With ball powders, I could usually stay within 0.2gr, and stick powders were 0.2-0.3 on the Lee. My 77gr 5.56 AR load is 23.6gr TAC, and the Lee is very consistent dropping this to within 0.2gr. I also load the same bullet with Varget, and usually see 0.2-0.3gr variation. Understand, though, that this minute difference translates very little in real world shooting. I've chronographed a lot of loads, and my ES and SD are very low. In fact, I've stopped trying to squeeze out that extra 0.1gr accuracy, and just load on the Dillon...I want to spend my time shooting, not loading!
I have a T7. I recommend, like another poster said, batch your operations. I run 50 cases through each step sequentially. The thought of using the T7 like a semi
progressive sounds more appealing, until you start hitting the detents back and forth. The press is absolutely rock solid, but those detents really click sharply.
I was always concerned about premature wear on them from going back and forth too often. I like using mine just by setting up an entire caliber on the turrets,
deprimer, collet neck die, body die, seater, and maybe a crimp die depending on caliber. The press is just as precise as a Forster Coax...I can get .002 or less runout
with Redding type S dies. If I use the Lee collet neck sizer, then bump shoulders with the type S die without a bushing (basically turning it into a body die) I get
40 cases out of 50 with .001 runout. My gripe with the T7 is the spent primer handling sucks. About 20% wind up spitting out of the groove on the ram that is
there to accommodate the priming ram. It drops primers all over the floor. I'd prefer a solid ram, since I prime off press. The tube the primers drop into is also too
angled where the adapter exits the ram. I have to remove the ram about every 1000 rounds and clear a primer clog. Overall, I'm very satisfied. It will make more
accurate ammo than most shooters need, but it's certainly not perfect.
I drop powder off press. Any misdrops could result in dropping powder all over it, which means lost time to clean up, disassembly and reassembly. Those hard clicks
will probably have the ram and shellholder coated with extraneous powder by the end of a reloading session, at least that would be my guess.
I got kind off onto a tangent- to answer some of your questions, you could go with a Lee case actuated or a Dillon. The Dillon would require some mods- the current Dillon measure requires a retraction rod and uses a 2 piece bellcrank- the earlier units had return springs directly connected to the charge bar and the retraction rod, which connected to a simpler bellcrank.
A later style Dillon PM could be modified to work in the same way as the early units using return springs and modifying the bellcrank, and you MAY be able to fabricate a bracket to attach the retraction rod to... I have a T7 and Dillon powder measures, and will look at this tomorrow. I may have a spare RCBS powder measure bracket that might work for that, too.
Thank you everyone for the help. It's very informational. I will get a Redding 3br and mount it on the bench to start with. Have a safe and happy new year.