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Hornady Lock-N-Load Powder Measure

Hornady Lock N Load Powder Measure 


Revised 2011-09-28

A powder measure is usually one of the first tools a new reloader acquires after press, dies, and scale. It is possible to reload without one but it is very slow and tedious.

Most major manufacturers are now making powder dispensers that attach to their digital scales and automatically dispense the charge into the scale pan. These devices are relatively expensive and ( as of September 2011 ) not completely satisfactory.

The tested device can be acquired from most on-line stores for around $70.00.

 

Hornady tells us: 

The Hornady Lock-N-Load Powder Measure is loaded with innovative features that serious reloaders demand. The design allows you to change powders and settings with the push of a button. With the proper accessories you can dispense between .5 and 75 grains of powder. The push button release allows you to quickly change metering inserts for predetermined charge weights, so you can switch calibers quickly and easily without the hassle of resetting the measure. The tension on the metering insert is adjustable with an "O" ring that allows a slight amount of tension on the metering insert to make fine, incremental adjustments. The precision tolerance of .002" between the drum and rotor eliminate powder binding between the frame and the drum. Measure comes with small and large drop tubes plus a mounting plate. Measure has standard 7/8"-14 threaded dies.

Technical Information:

Material: Aluminum and Steel Body, Plastic powder hopper
Metering Chamber: Standard
Features: Additional metering inserts and rotors (sold separately) to expand the use of the measure
Attachment: Mounting Plate, or Stand (sold separately) that accepts standard 7/8"-14 threads.
Includes: Mounting Plate and Standard Lock-N-Load metering insert
Powder Charge Thrown: 0-75 Grains
Notes: Allows changing powder meters with the push of the release button.

This is a very well designed and made powder measure. As supplied it is set up for measuring rifle charges. If you plan to reload for handguns with charges around 10 grains or less, you will need the optional handgun metering assembly.

The Hornady Lock-N-Load Handgun Metering Assembly is the perfect tool for the reloader looking to improve the function of their Hornady Lock-N-Load Powder Measure. The Handgun Metering Assembly features an adjustment lock ring, which allows settings to be locked in place permanently for a favorite load. The assembly is designed to throw charges of pistol powders between 0.5 to 17 grains.

Technical Information

Fits: Hornady Lock-N-Load Powder Measure with Handgun Rotor
Function: Metering Assembly
Material: Steel
Notes: Must be used with the handgun rotor, will not work with the Lock-N-Load Bench Rest or Black Powder Measurers

Just what results can you expect from your Hornady powder measure?

Using the large drum the first test produced the following charges:

the 4198 charge was thrown with the measure mounted solidly on the loading bench.

The Unique charge was thrown with the measure mounted in the Hornady Progressive AP.

 

Test 1:

Small drum. Powder Measure mounted on the Hornady AP Progressive Reloader.
This is representative of what you can expect while reloading handgun cartridges  on this loader.  Not surprisingly the variation is larger with the smaller charge.

Powder Unique. Two different charge weights.
AP indicates charges thrown with the AP loader.

Manual indicates charges thrown manually. This is included a a control.

Note that manually thrown charges are slightly more consistent than those from the AP reloader. The 3+ grain charge was thrown with exactly the same drum setting. The only difference was the mounting of the powder measure.

  Unique AP Unique AP Unique Manual  
  3.1 4.4 3.0  
  3.0 4.4 3.0  
  3.0 4.4 3.2  
  3.1 4.4 3.2  
  3.3 4.5 3.2  
  3.2 4.5 3.1  
  3.4 4.3 3.1  
  3.0 4.4 3.2  
  3.0 4.3 3.3  
  3.0 4.3 3.3  
  3.0 4.4 3.1  
  3.2 4.5 3.1  
  3.3 4.5 3.1  
  3.2 4.4 3.1  
  3.1 4.4 3.3  
  3.0 4.3 3.2  
  3.1 4.4 3.2  
  3.2 4.4 3.1  
  3.1 4.4 3.2  
  3.2 4.5 3.2  
   
Avg 3.125 4.405 3.16  
Std Dev 0.120852 0.068633 0.088258  
Max 3.4 4.5 3.3  
Min 3 4.3 3  
Median 3.1 4.4 3.2  
Variation 0.4 0.2 0.3  
Variation % 12.80% 4.54% 9.49%  

 

Unique charge comparison Large Drum vs. Small Drum

  Large Drum Small Drum
4.5 4.4
4.8 4.4
4.7 4.4
5.1 4.4
4.9 4.5
5.3 4.5
4.9 4.3
4.9 4.4
4.9 4.3
4.8 4.3
  **3.7 4.4
5.1 4.5
4.7 4.5
5.2 4.4
4.8 4.4
5 4.3
4.7 4.4
4.6 4.4
4.5 4.4
4.3 4.5
Avg 4.77 4.405
Std Dev 0.352584 0.068633
Max 5.3 4.5
Min 3.7 4.3
Median 4.8 4.4
Variation 1.6 0.2
Variation % 33.54% 4.54%

** This 3.7 reading is NOT a typo.

 

Note that the variation is significantly greater with the large drum.
Even if we discard that 3.7 reading the large drum variation is still 1.0 full grain against .2 grain for the small drum.

Conclusion: Do not use the large metering drum for small pistol charges.

 

How about small rifle charges?

This test uses the large drum and compares two methods of throwing 4198.

This test was done manually with the measure mounted solidly to the bench.

 

 

Benchmark IMR 4198 IMR 4198
  Double Knock Single Knock
  19.0 19.0 19.0
  18.8 18.9 18.8
  18.8 18.9 18.9
  18.8 18.9 18.6
  18.9 18.7 18.5
  18.9 18.8 18.4
  18.9 19.2 18.9
  18.9 18.7 18.9
  18.9 19.0 18.6
  18.9 18.6 18.6
  18.9 18.6 18.5
  18.9 18.7 19.0
  18.9 18.8 18.8
  18.9 18.9 18.8
  18.9 18.9 18.6
  18.9 18.9 18.5
  18.9 18.9 18.7
  18.9 18.7 18.5
  18.9 19.2 18.5
  18.9 19.0 18.7
  18.9 18.8 18.8
  18.9 18.8 18.5
  18.9 18.6 18.8
  18.9 19.2 18.3
  18.9 18.6 18.4
  18.9 18.7 18.6
       
Avg 18.9 18.8 18.6
Std Dev .0366 .182 .185
Max 18.9 19.2 19.0
Min 18.8 18.6 18.3
Median 18.9 18.8 18.6
Variation 0.1 0.6 0.7
Variation % 0.53% 3.18 3.75%
     

Note two things:  The double knock method is not significantly better than the single knock method with this powder (4198) in this measure.

Benchmark meters much more uniformly than the extruded powder.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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