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  #1  
Old 02-01-2013, 7:40 PM
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Default Dillon Powder Measure

Does anybody else have problem with consistency with Bullseye powder in the Dillon powder measure? It seems like I have anywhere from 5.3 gr to 5.8 but I'm looking for 5.3? Do certain types of powder flow better through this device like the stick powder?
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Old 02-01-2013, 8:02 PM
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GeoffLinder GeoffLinder is offline
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Stick powders flow/measure worse than ball powders through all drop measures. There are quite a few ways to make them more accurate. Use the larger charge bar if you can so the bigger cavity depth helps fill rate. Hit handle smartly at top of stroke and count to 3 to allow flow to settle, or pause and rap measure to ensure full flow. Polish inside of drop tube to make sure no grains stick.
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Old 02-01-2013, 9:15 PM
Bill Steele Bill Steele is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GeoffLinder View Post
Stick powders flow/measure worse than ball powders through all drop measures. There are quite a few ways to make them more accurate. Use the larger charge bar if you can so the bigger cavity depth helps fill rate. Hit handle smartly at top of stroke and count to 3 to allow flow to settle, or pause and rap measure to ensure full flow. Polish inside of drop tube to make sure no grains stick.
I agree. Also consider degreasing everything (most important the drop tube) and using only that spray on dry graphite as lube.

Bullseye drops very consistently in my Dillon drops. Using Geoff's idea of polishing the drop tube and also the bowl of the powder hopper helped greatly with Unique (although it still kind of sucks).

For the small stick powders like the VV handgun powders, they meter great in my Dillon, right up there with a fine ball powder like AA #9.

No powder drop I have ever used has ever metered the larger stick powders well. My favorite 308 Powder IMR 4064 is a drop and trickle thing for me, which would suck if I wasn't a zen master...
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Old 02-01-2013, 10:06 PM
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I've only had issues with the usual suspects like Unique and Varget.
Large flaky powders having static issues people either use dryer sheets of ground the press.
Charge inconsistency check your failsafe rod adjustment. Handle all the way forward top of failsafe rod should be at the bottom of the slot in the bellcrank with partial compression of the failsafe rod spring. Check the tension on the bellcrank screw. I've received powder measures where this was too tight and the powder bar didn't move freely.
Already mentioned but slow down, pause at the top and give it a good three count, and try to do each stroke with the same force and speed.
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Old 02-01-2013, 10:09 PM
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mine isnt very consistent using Unique
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Old 02-02-2013, 6:19 AM
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I appreciate the advise. When you guys are setting up your powder drop, how many test samples do you take? In the past I have always done about 3, but after finding these in-accuracies I'm planning on doing 20, writing them all down and then taking an average.
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Old 02-02-2013, 6:24 AM
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I check a few then every fifth round. Unfortunately, you need to have a shell in every station to check properly.
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Old 02-02-2013, 6:28 AM
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I do 10 drops and average (10 just makes the math easier), then check a couple individually.
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Old 02-02-2013, 7:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bearstatearmory.com View Post
I appreciate the advise. When you guys are setting up your powder drop, how many test samples do you take? In the past I have always done about 3, but after finding these in-accuracies I'm planning on doing 20, writing them all down and then taking an average.
When I set my charge, I cycle the drop at least 5 times before weighing. It takes a few cycles before it settles down. I have one of those Uniqutek Micrometer adjustors, so I can go right to a number on the dial and start cycling.

After 5-6 drops, I weigh it. For any of my pistol powders that meter decently (Unique being the exception), the weight will always be within .1gr of my target, unless something is wrong on the drop.

I then check it one more drop to be sure and then once at the end of a batch. I have never had it not be right at the last check, tens of thousands of rounds loaded that way.

Another thing to check is your scale. If you have check weighs, try them repeatedly to assure the scale is accurate and repeatable.

Also check out Brian Enos forums for good advice on Dillon equipment.

Good luck on getting the sorted out.

PS - .5gr is too much variation on the drop for Bullseye, you need to get it sorted out, not just average it, or at least if you do decide to just average it, stay away from max loads.
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Last edited by Bill Steele; 02-02-2013 at 7:49 AM..
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Old 02-02-2013, 7:58 AM
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I cycle twice after an adjustment then check the third. If the third is right on the money I do five in a row and see what the average is.
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Old 02-02-2013, 8:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Steele View Post
When I set my charge, I cycle the drop at least 5 times before weighing. It takes a few cycles before it settles down. I have one of those Uniqutek Micrometer adjustors, so I can go right to a number on the dial and start cycling.

After 5-6 drops, I weigh it. For any of my pistol powders that meter decently (Unique being the exception), the weight will always be within .1gr of my target, unless something is wrong on the drop.

I then check it one more drop to be sure and then once at the end of a batch. I have never had it not be right at the last check, tens of thousands of rounds loaded that way.

Another thing to check is your scale. If you have check weighs, try them repeatedly to assure the scale is accurate and repeatable.

Also check out Brian Enos forums for good advice on Dillon equipment.

Good luck on getting the sorted out.

PS - .5gr is too much variation on the drop for Bullseye, you need to get it sorted out, not just average it, or at least if you do decide to just average it, stay away from max loads.
I want to get it as accurate as possible, so any advise is appreciated
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Old 02-02-2013, 10:11 AM
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Bill's mode is a very good way.

Here is my mode. I don't bother with having all stations filled, this will not effect drop volume IME. I plan on wasting a couple cases because they will get belled numerous times in testing.

I start dropping charges and adjusting until a single powder charge poured into a scale weighs in range desired. Assume you will never get better than + or - .05 to .1 grain accuracy anyway. This is insignificant in practice. Make sure to tap case several times over the scale pan to get all grains in flash hole out. Once a single charge is right, I then drop 2-3 charges and dump them back into hopper, then I drop and weigh 5 in a row. If range of + - is centered on my desired value, I move on to next step.

I then drop 5 in a row pouring all 5 into scale pan and take final weight and divide by 5. If this average is on the money centered on desired value I go into production.

Once I start production I pop every 3rd to 4th charged case out of seating station prior to seating and weigh it as a QC test before I really go to town. I carefully pour weighed charge back into case and put it back into seating station and resume operation. Once I have done about 30-40 rounds with this QC process I stop QC and go into full swing.

I also do the QC spot check every hundred or so rounds when in production and do one last QC check of the last round when I stop the run. I also do an initial QC spot check of 1-2 rounds each time I start a new production run. Same spot check every hundred or so rounds is always done along with last round check.

Additionally for FYI I do similar spot checks for OAL at start and during production runs to make sure all is good there too.

Every round loaded is always checked with a drop test ammo gauge prior to boxing loaded rounds.

Cannot be too careful here :-)

Hope this helps.
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Old 02-02-2013, 4:42 PM
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Bill and Geoff both have great standard operating procedures, I do the same operations as a matter to fact leaning towards Bill's SOP.

A question though; Are you using the small or large powder bar? Sometimes the charge will not meter well if the bar is not correct. If the powder, in your case Bullseye, is metered in the large bar with a small amount, it won't meter well at all. You need the small bar. If you're using a bulkier or fluffier powder, the small bar may not be appropriate and you would need to switch to the large bar. I have seen and heard of these fluctuations and the fix was using the correct bar for the powder.
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Old 02-02-2013, 5:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Revoman View Post
Bill and Geoff both have great standard operating procedures, I do the same operations as a matter to fact leaning towards Bill's SOP.

A question though; Are you using the small or large powder bar? Sometimes the charge will not meter well if the bar is not correct. If the powder, in your case Bullseye, is metered in the large bar with a small amount, it won't meter well at all. You need the small bar. If you're using a bulkier or fluffier powder, the small bar may not be appropriate and you would need to switch to the large bar. I have seen and heard of these fluctuations and the fix was using the correct bar for the powder.
Correct, bulky or stick powders use large bar to get deeper rather than shallower cavity. Fine grain ball powders use the small bar.

Polishing inside of bar cavity and the whole bar externally improves the overall experience too
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Old 02-02-2013, 6:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GeoffLinder View Post
Correct, bulky or stick powders use large bar to get deeper rather than shallower cavity. Fine grain ball powders use the small bar.

Polishing inside of bar cavity and the whole bar externally improves the overall experience too
I wouldn't do that. The Dillon powder bar has a tefflon coating on it. All you're doing is removing the tefflon coating thus adding more friction and play when the bar moves during operation.
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Old 02-02-2013, 6:22 PM
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Polishing, yes....

I have polished the metal within the bottom of the powder hopper, (as well as cleaning up the rough spots) the inside of the powder tube, the outside of the powder tube including the expander, the powder bar and the slide that it runs in (plus cleaning up any rough spots there too) along with the sizer die. Even polished the primer slide a bit (not sure that actually did anything though). All were polished using a stainless steel polishing compound. Starting off first with a 3M pad.

Oh, and cleaned up the little square opening in the powder bar where the nylon square button sits so it wouldn't grab at all.
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Old 02-02-2013, 6:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by morrow View Post
I wouldn't do that. The Dillon powder bar has a tefflon coating on it. All you're doing is removing the tefflon coating thus adding more friction and play when the bar moves during operation.
I haven't bought one in over 10 years, have 12 different measures and toolhead setups. All of mine are plain aluminum and I used fine steel wool to clean them up to satin smooth, all worked better than original finish. No discernible amount of metal was removed.

If the newer ones are teflon coated then I would agree with not polishing the bar itself.
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Old 02-02-2013, 6:45 PM
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I was metering Bullseye the other day when loading .45acp. The first drop was heavy and then I got a consistent 5.0 weight checking every fifth round till I was comfortable.
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