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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Just started loading with Accurate #5 and a short while ago Ramshot Silhouette to go along with the HP-38 I first started loading with. I have been using 2 Lee measures, both the Auto Disk and the Auto Drum. The Auto disk I have polished over a lot of the rough machining marks and have gotten it to were if leaks very minimal powder and throws very consistent drops with these 3 powders. I do have to say that I love this measure for the simplicity of it. The drawback of course are the fixed cavities. Just have to take what ya get.

So starting with this Accurate #5 it is much more dense than the other two powders I've been using. First thing I noticed was I had to drop way down in cavity size to get to my starting target weight. Next was that with the other 2 powders moving one cavity size up was about a .3gr increase, were as with the Accurate it is .5gr increase.

With this load I'm using a 115gr X-TREME RN and the starting load that I'm using is listed at 5.2gr using a Rainier plated bullet at 1.140". Well the disk that I have was throwing at just under 5.2 but it was close enough that I proceeded. So I loaded up 30 of these to test in my 2 guns. Figured 15 rounds in each gun should give a good indication. I then today loaded up 30 more with the next size up cavity which brought the load to 5.7gr., a little more than I would have liked or am used to doing.. After finishing loading those I rotated the cavity to the next hole just to see where it would fall. That was almost 6.3gr. and the max load is listed at 6.1

So I've pretty much concluded that this measure is not a good fit for this powder unless I modify a disk to an in-between size or to just use it with the Drum measure. Even moving up to a 124gr bullet I appears I will only get 2 workable loads with the Disk.

Anyways I just thought I would share the experience.
 
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I like the Lee Auto Disks, they seem to work just fine for me. I have run into this same issue for some of my loads and I just adjust a hole to drop what I want. With a little effort I can find these powder measures as cheap at $20 so I have one for every caliber I load. The money spend gives me the time savings I need to reload when I can. I am a set it and leave it type person right now. I work up the best load I can in each caliber and stick with those components. This way I set the dies in a turret with a set powder measure and powder charge and it remains there unless a component is no longer available. A quick check of the first few rounds to confirm settings and I am off and running.

I work up my loads manually weighing the powders charges. When I am happy I look for a stock disk to hit that weight. If not I usually just open up the hole slightly to get what I want. Having many powder measures gives me many extra disks to play with. I have filled holes with JB Weld, let it set good and drilled new holes to get charges I want. More just to see if it work than anything.

If and when I run across a powder that does not meter well I guess I will come up with a different option. When and if I ever retire maybe then I will start getting more creative with powders and bullets.
 

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The Autodrum pretty much made the Autodisk's obsolete. I've got two Autodrums and will probably be getting a couple more eventually (too lazy to take the thing off of the rifle charging dies...)
 
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Fortunately for me I am retired now and have more time than money. Also still in that phase were I'm still searchin for those "best loads. I've learned enough so far to know tat I like the HP-38 powder along with the Ramshot. The Ramshot also seems to overlap with the AA#5 as far as burn rates though their makeup and densities are quite different. Have pretty much settled on the Berry's and E-TREME bullets as I can get them locally at Cabela's, plus they run sales pretty regularly so I'm not buying a couple thousand at a time..

I've got a Auto Disk upgrade kit on my Christmas list because I'm tired of cracking and stripping out the screw holes in the plastic hopper. I do also keep an eye out for disks on ebay so I can modify a couple and drill then out.

So for where I'm at with powders there are still 2 more that I would like to play with, AA#2 and then a slower powder but not sure which yet.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
The Autodrum pretty much made the Autodisk's obsolete. I've got two Autodrums and will probably be getting a couple more eventually (too lazy to take the thing off of the rifle charging dies...)
I have one and so far I've had to send it back twice so I've kind of lost confidence in it. Also for me with the fine grained powders I find my disks leak much less. When using it on a Pro1000 leakage makes a big difference. If Lee could resolve these issues that I'm having I would be right with you.
 

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you need THIS:
Chargebar.jpg
 

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yep, I got one.
to me though to be honest with a target/range load I am not really zoned into a exact precise weight of powder.
IF the disk will drop a load within a few tenths of a grain of what I am looking for then that's fine with me, my concern is that the drop is consistent.
Now self defense loads I hand weigh every charge, but paper punchers I find that I am not accurate enough inside 25 yards to tell the difference in say 2-3 tenths of a grain difference in where it hits the target.
 
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Well I had another post all written up then got the Security key thing again when I went to post it. Didn't post, nothing saved. Oh Well not retyping it all.
 

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I have one and so far I've had to send it back twice so I've kind of lost confidence in it. Also for me with the fine grained powders I find my disks leak much less. When using it on a Pro1000 leakage makes a big difference. If Lee could resolve these issues that I'm having I would be right with you.
If it leaked, you really should have just needed to tighten the hub screw a bit more. My three (yep, grabbed a third between comments!) don't leak a bit. My RCBS's leak a little bit with fine ball powder but not the autodrums. Disclaimer - I am not a Lee fanboy or anything, I just like stuff that works and if it works well at a great price point, then I get kinda happy (in a cynical sort of way...)
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I haven't used my Drum much since I've gotten it back though I did try it this evening with the AA#5 and the 380. Fail. Leaking powder everywhere and if I tighten it any more it's going to bind up. Next out of 20 cases it crushed or chipped out 5 cases. Took the measure off the die and replaced it with the Disk and the issue vanished. Just to be clear the die was not removed to remove and replace the measures.

Many love the Drum measure, I unfortunately am not having much luck with it. I'd post a picture of this but again it won't let me upload any.
 

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I like the Auto Disk measures, I do exactly as Fishingkeylargo says, I also have a few of the micro charge bars.

Have not tried the Auto Drum yet, just have not seen the reason to replace what I already have.
 
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I have a micro charge bar, never used it. I also got one of the what seems to be a very rare micro disk. Never used it either. Originally got it to load bullseye into .32 S&W Long, however my over current pressure load of Unique I found in a manual from the early 50's works great so I never went to bullseye in .32 S&W long.

 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Fish, I've seen those come up on ebay every once and a while and there is also a seller offering a copy of that same design. I have also not tried the micro charge bar as I've heard and read very mixed reviews. especially with small light charges.

So right now I have 28 samples loaded for the 380 with AA#5 which would have been 30 but 2 of them are so badly damaged and chipped out that I couldn't use them and now will try to extract the new primers.

After this little fiasco I'm about done trying to use the Drum measure. For one reason at least for me 380 brass is still hard to come by and too expensive when I have to buy it to waste it just trying to reload lt. Secondly is the leakage. On the Turret press it's not as big a deal but on the Pro1000 this amount of leakage is a disaster waiting to happen be I do prime on the press and the primer area must be kept clean.

One of my biggest complaints with the Disk measure is with the way the powder hopper attaches. I have 3 old hoppers that the screw holes are all broken out and a new one that has already cracked the 1st time I tried to install it. I even looked for a smaller diameter screw to use to no avail. I really need an upgrade kit with the better powder hopper.

Lastly, if any of you fine members happen to have a spare A & B disk you are not using and would like to part with it I could certainly put them to good use.
 

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I don't use AA #5 for the 380, don't think that I found a real effective load in that small case with that powder. need to check loading data again.
I use Unique ,although I have used win 231, HP -38 as well.
I use a hand dipper to load the Unique and the 380 cases cause I never could get a consistent drop with that small amount of unique (3.5 grains).
now I get very little spillage with my disk and press with any powder, including AA#5 or HS-6 much less the bulkier powders.
so far haven't broken a single lee powder canister either.
not sure exactly whats causing all the problems with your disk/ press?
but in any case its all about what works for the individual reloader and his setup.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Trying the AA #5 because I read from so many others that are using #5 in their 9mm and thought that as long as I have it now I might as well try it in the 380 also. Western shows data for 100gr bullet and #5 as 4.2gr/5.0gr which is a pretty good spread. So far I have loads of 4.3gr and 4.5gr. I have to say that this powder has measured very consistently, in the disk measure I had 15 of 15 that were spot on at 4.5gr. Will see how those shoot but unfortunately I will be limited because I'm not going to try and run any more through the Drum and the next cavity on the disk takes me right to Max load.

Have mentioned before that the HP-38 doesn't perform well at all in my 380 and the load data window is small for a 100gr bullet, Though I have found a load with the Ramshot Silhouette that I really like and so does the gun. It also works out tat I can get 3 different loading with it using the Disk measure.
 

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I use a lot of Acc #5- or did until the great powder/primer shortage when you could not find any Accurate powders.
I went to HS-6 at that time and have bene using it since, still got 9-10 pounds of Acc #5 , just haven't switched back to it.
I use it in the 9 MM, 10 MM, 38 Super and 45 acp, worked good in all.
the HS-6 does a good job as well although it does get a bit dirty fro me in reduced loads.
I don't really shoot powder puff loads so not to much of an issue for me.
Accurate #2 and #7 is a tad better performance in some of the calibers, but honestly the ACC #5 covers all the calibers with one powder very well with only minor performance drops, and most of the loads are target/ practice loadings anyway.
 
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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
One of the things I'm beginning to like with the Western Brands is that the also break down and give the +P listings in a separate subcategory.

Well it doesn't look like I will be getting to the range to test fire these 3 loads I just worked up. But I have to say that I an very impressed at the level the Accurate #5 meters.
 
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One of the things I'm beginning to like with the Western Brands is that the also break down and give the +P listings in a separate subcategory.

Well it doesn't look like I will be getting to the range to test fire these 3 loads I just worked up. But I have to say that I an very impressed at the level the Accurate #5 meters.
I grabbed a bottle of AA#5 last trip to gunshop because there was a shelf full of AA powders, have never used them before.
AA site had a lot of data , with cast and jacketed information . Downloaded it and so far have
loaded some 9mm Luger , 38 special , 357 magnums and 41 magnum with cast bullets all with good results .
I like the way it meters and so far the accuracy is there. I'm going to try some AA#2 with target/cowboy level loads.

Bullseye and Unique , powders I've used for decades, disappeared for awhile so I had to start trying other powders . AA#5 can work in place of Unique if necessary . I have used Red Dot when Bullseye was unavailable but want to try AA#2 .

I also am impressed with these Accurate Arms powders.
Gary
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Out of curiosity I went up and loaded a small batch of 380acp with the 100gr bullets to see which cavities on the Disk measure would work with the Ramshot Silhouette powder. Everything I have already loaded was done using the Lee Drum. Form the looks of things the smallest one (30) will give a consistent starting load of about 3.8gr.. Next size up (32) is dropping 4.1gr which will work because I had loaded both 4.0 and 4.2gr and they both worked very well. The next size up (34) is dropping charges right at the max load of 4.4gr..

I did weigh each of the first 10 and then every 3rd one and I must say I am equally impressed with this as I am the Accurate #5. Everything I scaled was right on the target weight or just a shade light. By that I mean the pointer mark was just under the line. So this fun info makes me happy as so far I have really enjoyed shooting the Ramshot.
 
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There are 3 powders with an effective equal burn rate that only differ in density, Unique, Universal Clays and SR-7625 (now discontinued). Back in the 1980s and before Universal Clays was on the market, I was looking for a powder to push a 90 grain .380 Auto bullet in my AMT Backup up to around 1,000 fps. I was told to try SR-7625 as it was very close to Unique, but denser, and IMR was severely under-publishing the max psi loads for the .380 Auto.

If you look around at all of the published data up until the Taurus 738 came out, the .380 Auto published data would only show max loads running 14,000 - 16,000 psi, when the SAMMI max pressure is 21,500 psi. There was lots of headroom left on the table so to speak and there were a few trying to push the envelope. I got SR-7625 up to a load of 4.6 grains behind a 90 grain Hornady XTP that went 933 fps across my chrono and with no pressure signs in my blow back AMT Backup. I had plans to run that up to 4.8 grains, but life interfered and now SR-7625 is being discontinued. I was pushing the envelope in the dark as to a max pressure load so everything was deliberate and slow.

I believe Universal Clays is a bit denser than SR-7625, and certainly denser than Unique, so it will work well in the .380 Auto's small case. Unique, Universal, SR-7625 are a bit slower burning than Accurate #5 and just a little faster than Power Pistol, which is another very good powder for the .380 Auto. Universal being the newest of these three powders, also has the necessary flash retardant for SD and is cleaner burning than the other two.

As far as the lightweight 80 grain copper bullets, on paper, Power Pistol is showing the most promise, but I haven't done enough testing to bear that out. My notes show I tested a load of 4.0 grains of Power Pistol pushing an 80 grain copper bullet to 834.5 fps with an SD of 9.0 and an OAL of .965" in my 738, and I have test loads I have not fired loaded up to 4.8 grains of PP, OAL of .975", and QL predicting a max psi of 19,300 with that load. Hopefully, I will find a place I can set up my chrono and spend a day or two just testing, I have a box full of test loads and it seems to grow faster than I can get out to test fire them.
 
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