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Republican!!!
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Discussion Starter #1
Does anybody have one of these?

Adj Charge Bar - Lee Precision


I'm hoping this can get me out of my predicament.

I've bought a Lee Classic Turret press with the Lee Auto Disk powder measure system and it was purchased for rifle reloads and it works for that, though I did have to invest in the disk doubler.

Next, instead of spending money for .380 dies on my Dillon SDB, I bought dies, etc. for .380 for my Lee. So, I'm setting it up today and then I get to measuring out the powder charge. I'm using Hodgdon TiteGroup powder which for .380 is recommended 2.6g to 3.0g. Those should produce velocities of 793 to 912 ft/s. I'm using Xtreme 380-100 RNFP copper plated bullets

Here's the rub...

The minimum powder charge on the Auto Disk charger comes out to 3.5g using TiteGroup.

Xtreme says not to exceed 1200 ft/s on their copper plated bullets.

Even though I'd probably be below 1200 ft/s with 3.5g of TiteGroup, I'm not comfortable exceeding the maximum recommended charge by Hodgdon.

Question: Does this Lee Adjustable Charge Bar work with/without disks and will it throw a 2.2cc charge (2.2cc with TiteGroup = 2.59g, 2.3 = 2.7g)

This Gizmo's only about $10, but I hate ordering something and then have it turn out to be the wrong thing.

Any suggestions (other than weighing each, individual charge)?
 

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I have not used one but actually just ordered one a few minutes ago. i believe it will work ok for my needs. I will be monitoring this post to see if I made a misstake or not lol. it has got to be better that using the disk.
 

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I have & use the charge bar. Now for some powders like Titegroup it doesn't do well especially with smaller charges. I'm not saying it's no good just be careful. Check charge. weights more than you normally would. I like it for some applications but I don't trust it for small charges. All of the Lee discs & charge bar are based on Bullseye powder which is a little more dense than Titegroup. Hope this helps.


BW
 

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There is a way to mod the auto disc that you can do without that charge bar. I have one of those and I think it's a staticky POS.

You can use a socket head setscrew like what you lock pulleys onto an electric motor with, drill a hole in the side of the metering chamber and thread it. Screw the setscrew in there and it will lessen the volume in that chamber as you screw it in. Works well for small charges.
 

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Republican!!!
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Discussion Starter #6
There is a way to mod the auto disc that you can do without that charge bar. I have one of those and I think it's a staticky POS.

You can use a socket head setscrew like what you lock pulleys onto an electric motor with, drill a hole in the side of the metering chamber and thread it. Screw the setscrew in there and it will lessen the volume in that chamber as you screw it in. Works well for small charges.
Hmmm, sounds interesting. Have you done and does it work? Theoretically it should as log as powder doesn't get hung up on the screw threads.

I think ideally, the threads on the end of the screw, once threads are made in the disk, should removed so that the part sticking through into the hole is a smooth surface.

I just might try it.
 

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The problem with very small loads of powder is that the hole in the ACB is not directly under the hole in the bottom of the hopper when it fills and/or not directly over the hole in the drop tube when it dumps. The ledge created by this means that it may not completely fill or completely dump.
 

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I also have a Lee Turret press and use it for all my handgun reloads. I also use an Auto Disk powder measure. I used the disks (2 sets) for while until I bought the adjustable charge bar. I use it all the time now. The chart and the markings on the charge bar will get you in the ballpark but you need to fine tune it with your scale.

I never load less than 4 or 5 gr. Of Unique so I can't comment on it working with Titegroup. I would definitely get the adjustable charge bar though it is much easier to use than the disks and more precise, (sometimes the load you want falls between two sizes of holes in the disks).

Hope it helps,

Grampie,
 

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I have an adjustable Lee's bar, used it a few times but not anymore. My loads are around 4.0 to 4.5 gr of N320 and W-231. With such small amounts of powder (and yours are even smaller) the adjustable bar has to be screwed in almost completely, thus creating rather sharp inside corners. I was afraid that powder grains will get trapped in these narrow corners, and that made me uncomfortable. I think that for larger loads the bar should be fine.

For your small loads maybe you should try to reduce the volume of one of the disc openings. You could use a set screw like suggested above, or you could perhaps partially fill one of the openings with epoxy and then file it down till it gives you the required powder drop. This will not work too well for a load development where you need to change your powder charge by 0.1 gr over a certain range, but load development you can do weighing each load manually. Once you get your load fixed, the epoxy "trick" should give you very reliable powder drops.

Actually I had to alter my disc as well, but in the opposite direction. With the closest hole I was getting drops about 0.1 gr lower than what I needed. So I made the hole a little bigger with sandpaper wrapped around a wooden dowel. Worked like a charm.
 

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There is a way to mod the auto disc that you can do without that charge bar. I have one of those and I think it's a staticky POS.

You can use a socket head setscrew like what you lock pulleys onto an electric motor with, drill a hole in the side of the metering chamber and thread it. Screw the setscrew in there and it will lessen the volume in that chamber as you screw it in. Works well for small charges.
Borrowed these pics from another forum, you can get an idea here:



 

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I got an adjustable charge bar several years ago. I used it with 40S&W and 9mm Makarov - small case very similar to a 380. I initially had lots of problems with the Makarov loads.

Like dickttx said. The charge bar is positioned such that the cavity is not directly under the powder hopper opening. Therefore, the hopper causes a ledge over one end of the cavity. As you adjust the cavity size for small loads, the slide in the bar starts going under the ledge and screws up powder flow.

I filed away a portion of the opening in my powder hopper so it matches the cavity of the charge bar and eliminates that ledge. That improved things a lot with small loads. Now, I use the bar for everything from 9mm Makarov to 45 Colt.
 

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Republican!!!
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Discussion Starter #12
Thanks for all the ideas and pictures. That set screw idea sounds like a winner. I may eventually get the adjustable charge bar, but I'll probably go with the screw first. Hopefully with the adjustable bar I can fine tune my rifle loads. Currently, I can only find one disk set that works for .223 and one for. 308. The disks alone will give me an acceptable charge for both calibers, but changing the disks puts me out of range. And I'd like to tweak some by a couple of grains.

I just finished 50 .380 rounds weighing each out to 2.8g on my beam scale. It went faster than expected using the dipper that came with the dies.
 

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Thanks for all the ideas and pictures. That set screw idea sounds like a winner. I may eventually get the adjustable charge bar, but I'll probably go with the screw first. Hopefully with the adjustable bar I can fine tune my rifle loads. Currently, I can only find one disk set that works for .223 and one for. 308. The disks alone will give me an acceptable charge for both calibers, but changing the disks puts me out of range. And I'd like to tweak some by a couple of grains.

I just finished 50 .380 rounds weighing each out to 2.8g on my beam scale. It went faster than expected using the dipper that came with the dies.
I use that same 100gr. Xtreme bullet & TiteGroup & 2.6gr. works in all 3 of my .380 autos for a target/range load. I also use 3.0gr HP-38 with good results.
Can't help with the charge bar, I use Lee's PP measure. Good luck!
 

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Republican!!!
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Discussion Starter #14 (Edited)
I use that same 100gr. Xtreme bullet & TiteGroup & 2.6gr. works in all 3 of my .380 autos for a target/range load. I also use 3.0gr HP-38 with good results.
Can't help with the charge bar, I use Lee's PP measure. Good luck!
I need more range time to make sure these new loads work OK. I've got a P238 as my only .380. It handles factory loads, FMJ & HP, just fine. I expect it'll handle these as well.

I almost went with 2.6g, but I decided to split the 4g range with 2.8.

I might wind up with a PPM, too. ;)
 

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I need more range time to make sure these new loads work OK. I've got a P238 as my only .380. It handles factory loads, FMJ & HP, just fine. I expect it'll handle these as well.

I almost went with 2.6g, but I decided to split the 4g range with 2.8.

I might wind up with a PPM, too. ;)
The Sig P238's are my wife & I's main carry gun. We also have the LCP & Taurus 738 TCP. That Sig is amazing, isn't it. I have never seen a pistol that small be so accurate & shoot-able.

My PPM has been great, with 1 exception. It has very minor leakage at the bottom during use. I use TiteGroup, HP-38 & Universal & from 2.6 up to 6 gr. it is very repeatable, once set. The key is to 1st. run a pound of powder through it & be consistent with it's operation. Every couple months , I take it apart & sprinkle some graphite powder in it. I do not do any of the "knocking stuff" I have seen on the internet, as you don't need to. I have loaded 200 shells at a time, dozens of times, with it being 98% accurate with those powders, with the 2% being 0.1 gr. higher or lower, & if I play with the setting, I can cure that. I find that Xtreme 100 gr. RN flat point bullet very accurate.
 

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I use the Lee APM almost exclusively for my pistol reloads. It's true some powders don't play well with the measure, particularly flake powders like Unique or Red Dot in small charge weights (under 4 grains). I learned that the hard way making many random squibs.
But the biggest advantage to the measure, to me, is its ability to go back to a previous, exact charge weight without any hassle. I make note of the measure's setting when it's originally dialed in, and I'm up and loading in no time. I placed a piece of glossy tape on the back of the measure and note with a white board marker what the setting is, making it easier to dial it up or back depending on what charge I want next. These old eyes ain't what they used to be. It's never been more than a ½-grain off when returning to a previous setting. My powders of choice are: W296, W231, 2400, and SR-4756. All meter accurately.

 

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Republican!!!
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Discussion Starter #17
Thanks for your input, everyone. After loading and hand measuring 200 rounds of .380 @ 2.6g of TiteGroup, I went ahead and ordered the Lee APM. $13 in Amazon with free 2nd day shipping with my prime account.

I got a system down for measuring on the scale that went by pretty fast, but I'm sure this APM will speed things up.
 

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I got the charge bar last week and use it with my Lee Loadmaster press. The Autodisc are great but if you need to fine tune it to a +-grain, you cannot get with the autodisc. I use titegroup powder to drop 4.1 grains for my 9mm. My suggestion is run about 100 or more powder drops to get it going, then measure the drops and make adjustments to your needs. I still measure about every 10 case for now to make sure it's dropping the right amount. I have read that the bar needs to get broken in and best results are achieved after running 1000 drops, I'm not even close to that yet. :)
 

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Larry the Conservative
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Do tools shape the path of my mind or does my mind shape the tools I use?

Sorry, I just had to add some philosophic thought to the discussion. I like the modified "disk" conceptually. Control your environment or your environment controls you. :D It's just a working day. :D ( lyrics from a 60's song I don't remember any more of - my mind is a Sargasso sea )
 
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