Jury rigged powder measures

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by ADK_40GLKr, Oct 7, 2012.

  1. You would think that the author would at least try an experiment before writing something like that. I would be embarrassed to have my name on something that is so obviously, and provably, wrong.


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  2. Even if the scale does all it says, how could we prove it? Our check weights are accurate to, perhaps, 0.05 gr. I don't know that they are any better than that and there is nothing on the RCBS web site that gives even a hint about accuracy.

    The only thing to do is test multiple weights over many readings and see how they correlate to the nominal value of the check weight.

    It might be worth the time to do the experiments. Just to see...


  3. A scale that has a readout to .02grains (or better) is kinda annoying in some ways. It drifts with the wind or any tiny movement of the table. Your seeing way more information then you need. Not that you can't ignore that stuff. But don't expect it to be super stable on your actual reloading bench. Of course it's just "noise" that can be ignored anyway.
  4. We all need to get together in the center of CONUS somewhere and bring all our respective scales and check-weights for experimental testing, perhaps in some bar somewhere. OR, just get together at some bar and drink ourselves silly and forget about all this, uh... stuff.

    I find that burying my head in the sand is the best way to cope with these burning questions.

    My head hurts! :faint:
  5. I am an NRA certified instructor for metallic cartridge and shot shell reloading. When students push me on ways to go cheap, like dippers instead of scales, old cans of powder, used dies of questionable quality Etc. All to save money. I ask one question.

    Right now, put a dollar amount on your eyes and fingers then tell me if that amount is higher than the amount you are saving by going cheap?
  6. It's exactly what I preach, I am also a NRA Inst. You want to go cheap, buy cheap dies & even cheap press, but spend your money on a good scale & measure. It may not matter much loading midrange load for the 223 or whatever rifle, but it can be huge in pistol loading w/ uberfast powders, where the diff between starting @ max is less than 0.5gr.:dunno:
    #66 fredj338, Oct 9, 2012
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2012
  7. Just don't quote this "noob" as an authority. I'm tryin' to figure it all out without blowing myself up!
  8. stak

    This guy says he compared the Gemini 20 using lab reference weights and a mg accurate certified scale. He said it did indeed meet the specifications listed.

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  9. shotgunred

    shotgunred reloading nut

    Of course you could buy a $50 beam scale and not worry about it.:tongueout:
  10. WiskyT

    WiskyT Malcontent

    This. Dippers are very precise. They are slow, but they are precise. The dippers need to be calibrated though. The Lee dippers are calibrated already. If you use the loads listed in the chart, you are good to go. But, the loads are limited. It can be hard to get a powder and bullet that you want to work with the Lee dipper you have. For 40SW, the only Lee dipper you can really use is the 0.5cc.

    Making dippers from cases is the best way to go. You can make them to throw any weight you want, but you need to use a scale to calibrate them. Hook up with a buddy who has a scale. Bring some pistol cases, 32ACP works well, a file, and your powder and data to his house and make up some dippers. Glue the cases to bamboo grill skewers for handles. You can use Popsicle sticks too, but trim the stick down where it attaches to the case so powder doesn't collect on it.

    I use a fine sharpie to write on the handle what the dipper throws. "3.5 Red Dot". You might need to use a Popsicle stick so you can write big enough to see:supergrin:

    Anybody who says dippers aren't precise doesn't have a proper understanding of the place that precision has in reloading.
  11. I can appreciate yours and other's can-do attitude and the ability to make something useful (even accurate) out of scraps of cases and sticks with mundane tools no more complex than a file, and running to a friend's house and playing with scales and files all evening to make it happen - but if I had to make 1/10, nay... 1/100 that effort, just for the privilege of having a system that's capable of producing perhaps less than 1/100 of what I need, I most certainly wouldn't have taken up reloading.

    As someone said earlier, and to me at least... these techniques are best left for the apocalypse. Perhaps we'll see this on future installments of "Revolution".

    I think I am happy that I wasn't 'here' for the good old days. :embarassed:
  12. WiskyT

    WiskyT Malcontent

    It seems irresponsible for a scale that people depend on for safety to mask inaccuracy, but it doesn't surprise me, I know for a fact that my cheap bathroom digital scale does this. I can weigh myself, get off the scale, pick up a 5# weight and get back on the scale. It will read the same weight. If I weigh myself, take a shower, and re-weigh, I find I can gain or loose 5# just from bathing. I guess the time in the shower allows the scale to reset.

    At any rate, I have said many times I don't trust cheap digital scales. You have no idea what is going on inside them. They could read correctly 99 times out of 100 and how would you know which ones are wrong? People pride themselves on the precision of their digital scales when as you pointed out, what they are really looking at is how many significant figures are being displayed.

    For $22.00, at least the Lee scale has to be correct.
  13. WiskyT

    WiskyT Malcontent

    It's not a good ole days or eotwawki thing, it's a money thing. Some people don't want to spend $100.00 on a scale and measure, and they don't need to. If the OP lived near me I'd make him up a dipper in 10 minutes and he'd be good to go. There really is no need to have adjustability. Many people are looking to make a cheaper version of ball ammo. Sine Win, Rem, Tula etc don't give you any expectation of a particular load, whatever load you come up with is as good as theirs. My buddy has been loading for two years now with a dipper I made him. I told him use this dipper, Unique, and any 124 grain bullet and you are good to go. The dipper is above the starting load, but still a full grain below the max. He'd have to use a hammer to pack the dipper and get his gun to blow up.
  14. You do realize that anyone, including the manuf, can post a review on the product right?:dunno:
    Dippers are fine for their intended task, making ammo that goes bang. If you do not have an adjustable measuire of some kind, then you are limited. Some reloaders/shooters are fine being limited, most though are not. Change powders or bulelts, make a new dipper? Not me, I like options. An adjustable measure & good scale give you unlimted options.
    #74 fredj338, Oct 9, 2012
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2012
  15. Taterhead

    Taterhead Counting Beans

    As I mentioned earlier, you could "calibrate" a homemade dipper, but different lots of powders can have different densities.

    Example: Just last weekend, I ran ran out of powder from one lot. I refilled the hopper after empty with a new lot of the same powder and did all the usual measures to settle it, etc. (I do not mix lots). The new lot threw 2 tenths heavier because it was more dense. 2/10 wasn't a too terribly big deal with the slower burning powder I was using, but it could be a big deal if using a fast burner. I weighed on the scale and "re-calibrated" the throw by turning it down to a smaller volume.
    #75 Taterhead, Oct 9, 2012
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2012
  16. How do you know if the beam scale is right?
  17. WiskyT

    WiskyT Malcontent

    Correct, you have to have some margin. the table that comes with Lee dies shows only start loads for the dipper. It will show powder X with the dipper and say a 180 grain bullet as a start load of 4.0 grains and the dipper throwing 3.9, then it will show a max of 4.9 of the same powder with no dipper recommended for a max.
  18. WiskyT

    WiskyT Malcontent

    You can check it with check weights or you could trust the manufacturer to have checked it out. Once it's correct it's always going to be correct. The only problem it can have is if the moving parts get out of whack, which you can see by the way it tracks and settles out.
  19. CanMan

    Silver Member

    about that scale;

    I bet you play a mean fiddle & I'd like you to keep it that way. :wavey:
  20. stak

    I do and lots of people on F___book just lost an average of 3% of their likes, upwards of 35%, due to the company shutting down fake accounts.

    This person has made numerous other reviews with the same type of writing style and detail. A large portion of the reviews are technology. They write negatives as well as positives.

    When mine arrives I will let you know what my tests bare out as I have access to a few certified scales and check weights.

    #80 stak, Oct 10, 2012
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2012


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