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# Figuring out Grains on a Lee 1000 progressive

2
0
Jun 11, 2014
Hi all,I have a Lee 1000 progressive with the auto disk powder measure. It comes with round disks that measure the powder but does it using values such as "0.42" I understand you have to get some sort of "VMD" sheet and do some math to figure out how many grains of powder is being dispensed.

Can someone tell me if that is true and also any tips on what powder, etc you use?

Thanks!

2. ### fredj338

22,307
1,254
Dec 22, 2004
so.cal.
You just need a scale. Throw 5 charges, weigh them divide by 5, repeat, that is what that fixed measure throws for one powder only. Still you must have a scale to do it right. The lee chart is never correct.

Last edited: Jun 12, 2014

3. ### WeeWilly

4,134
735
Nov 12, 2011
Idaho
The Lee Auto Disk comes with a chart from Lee that correlates cavity size to drop weight for a lot of the popular powders. As Fred points out, it is not precise. Many think Lee just cuts a tenth or two off the number to be conservative, but that conclusion is incorrect. Most of the numbers are conservative by a tenth or so, some powders (like Unique) are way off, some very close to what the chart indicates and a few powders drop heavier than the chart. The good news is the chart can get you close and after a time you will know what cavity you want to use for a given load. You can download one of their charts from the Lee Precision web site if your press didn't come with a chart.

As Fred points out, you also need a scale. When using the AD, even when I knew what a cavity dropped, I still checked the first and last drop of a batch to assure everything was working properly.

Good luck.

4. ### jmorris

1,668
204
Apr 13, 2006
5 charges divided by 2?

Seems like it should be throw 5 charges and divide by 5 for an average. Or throw a charge from each oraface and weight each one by itself, and repeat.

Last edited: Jun 12, 2014
5. ### fredj338

22,307
1,254
Dec 22, 2004
so.cal.
Yeah, thinking & typing often doesn't work. Meant do it twice.

Last edited: Jun 12, 2014
6. ### Andrew Tacquard

473
1
Oct 16, 2000
S. MD

with a scale you could get density of the powder off of one or two of the cavities, them make your own VMD chart. Then you could use this as a starting point to estimate your loads, but always verify with a scale. I have the cheap lee scale, and I've verified against a better digital scale (I finally bought). Every cross check I did with it, the scales were reading the same thing. It works but I'd save for a digital scale if you can, makes it quicker and easier.

7. ### unclebob

7,476
405
Oct 14, 2000
Mary Esther FL
I always do 10. Like with the LCT you cycle the press all the way around for each charge you throw. Also make sure each cycle of the handle is the same.

8. ### ColoCG

936
0
Mar 18, 2011
You can get by with weighing your charges for the powder used and the particular disk you use.

But to make your own VMD chart you would have to test every powder available because almost every powder has it's own differant VMD.

Last edited: Jun 12, 2014
9. ### noylj

396
18
Jul 20, 2010
You take the cavity c.c. and the weight in grains. Divide grains by c.c. and you have grains/c.c.. Take all the other cavity c.c.s and multiply by this VMD so you have a good estimate for the weight you'll get with THAT LOT of powder in each cavity.
Bulk density and VMD depends on the amount of powder settling and is not an intrinsic constant for any powder.
I would post my version, but I can't post Excel files.

2
0
Jun 11, 2014
Hey guys,

Thanks for the replies, very helpful! I'll be buying a scale and doing what was suggested. I think I'll make my own chart showing the powder, auto disk #, and actual grains that it throws (average 10 throws).

Thanks again,
JC

11. ### glockrodNRA-Endow. Life

Aug 28, 2004
East of center, SC
When you start with any charge, throw about 2-5 sample throw and throw them back in the hopper before you measure out the 5 for an average. I have found that with most powders, the first few throws are not accurate.

12. ### fredj338

22,307
1,254
Dec 22, 2004
so.cal.
Very good point. Actually true with ALL powders. The powder settles & compacts if left for even 5min. Always best to throw back the first 2-3.

Last edited: Jun 12, 2014
13. ### unclebob

7,476
405
Oct 14, 2000
Mary Esther FL
When Im loading and need to walk away from the press, add primers, powder, brass etc. I leave the handle down on the press.

14. ### Andrew Tacquard

473
1
Oct 16, 2000
S. MD
I am talking about making a vmd for what ever powder you load for, it would be silly to do it for powders you don't use. And really I wouldn't even make a vmd, I'd just find density of the powder, like outlined in post 9; use this to get a volume close to where you want to start. If you weigh your powder charge, which I assume everyone reloading does, and know what volume you are using when you dropped the charge, then you have everything you need for density. Write it down, use excel or what ever prefered method you have and use this to guesstimate your volume. Or just randomly choose volumes. Either way you should still verify your charge with a scale, but with density known it should require a few less guesses.

15. ### k7ant

198
1
Feb 24, 2013
What I did with mine was find on the chart the closest
weight disk size and then using the scale get as close to what I
want to the proper weight or grains I need.

I make a list of all my loads, including power, bullet, etc.
also included is the disk size for the powder drop.

When I attach the powder drop, I usually drop 4 or 5 loads
and return them to the container. Then I do 10 drops and
divide by 10 to get my average. I also check with the
scale ever so often. I look into each case after a drop to see
if the powder looks the same as the last drop. i have a
light rigged on my press to see into the case.

There is no substitute for double checking yourself as
you go. If in doubt check it out.

I reload 9MM, .40 S&W, .45ACP and .223.

I find .223 to be a *****! Case prep is a bear! You need to size, check case oal, trim if necessary, remove crimp in primer pocket if necessary, oh, and don't forget to tumble if needed.

Actually, reloading is a heck of a lot of fun. And when you