Powder measures and scales are used to insure that the proper charge of powder is loaded into each case during loading. Inconsistent charges can cause poor accuracy, improper functioning in some types of actions and in the worse case, a damaged gun or injury to the shooter.

There are several styles of powder measures. The easiest and least expensive type is the dipper. This type uses volume to measure the powder. You simply scoop the powder from a container, scrape the excess off of the top and pour it into the case. This type is limited though, because they are not adjustable and you must have several dippers for different charges and powder types.

The rotary drop measure is more versatile. This measure is adjustable for different charge weights and powder types. Once the desired powder charge is obtained, you hold the case under the measure and rotate the handle on the side. The correct charge is dropped from the hopper, down a tube and into the case. This type of measure can be used with most powder types although they do seem to prefer ball and flake types.

Electronic measures are the most expensive, but can make the process easier and faster. The powder is dispensed from the hopper into a pan automatically. You input the amount of powder desired with a keypad on the measure. Some of these measures have a scale built in and some are used with an external electronic scale. The measure will stop dispensing the powder when the desired charge is reached.

All powder measures must be used in conjunction with a powder scale. Powder is measured in grains, a unit exclusive to the shooting industry, so your every day kitchen scale won't work. The scale will check the charge from the measure to make sure it is correct and consistent. There are 2 types of scales, balance beam and electronic. Both types are usually accurate to 1/10th of a grain.

The balance-beam style is the least expensive and the most popular. The powder is placed in a pan and there are weights on the beam that slide to match the charge. This style of scale has been around for a long time and is basic and reliable.

The other type is the electronic scale. Its advantages are easier to read displays and speed. The powder charge is dispensed into the pan and the scale will show its weight, usually on a LCD display. Electronic scales will normally cost more that balance-beam types. For those of us with aging eyes, this may be the better selection.

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Powder Measures and Scales - Click Here
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