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The Best Powder Measures for Reloading

Best Powder Measures for ReloadingOne of the most important steps in reloading is putting in the right amount of powder, which is why picking the best powder measure for reloading is so important.

Imagine if you don’t put in enough powder into your cases. That means they won’t be accurate, and they may not even fire.

It’s much worse if you put in too much powder. That can lead to rather dangerous accidents when you fire your reloaded rounds.

It can be annoying when you end up with inconsistently accurate rounds, simply because you sometimes put in a little bit too much powder, and sometimes not just enough. It wastes all the money you spend in buying an expensive firearm with a pricy scope!

Top 4 Powder Measures for Reloading: Comparison Chart

Which one is best for you? Here’s a chart to quickly compare the various powder measures in our list of recommendations.

Powder Measure Size Charge Range View on Amazon
LEE PRECISION 90058 Perfect Powder Measurer 5.2 x 9.6 x 3.4 inches 2 to more than 100 grains Check Price
Hornady 050069 Lock-N-Load Powder Measure 2.9 x 15 x 4.2 inches 0.5 to 265 grains Check Price
Lyman Products Brass Smith Reloading Powder Measure 12 x 5.8 x 3.5 inches 1 to 130 grains Check Price
RCBS Uniflow Powder Measure 10 x 4 x 3 inches 0.5 – 40 grains Check Price

Best Picks of Powder Measures

Here’s a list of the best powder measure options available right now. Check out our reloading powder measure reviews to see how they performed when we tried them out, so that you have a more accurate sense of what to expect when you try them for yourself.

LEE PRECISION 90058 Perfect Powder Measurer

Features
  • Package length: 24.384 cm
  • Package width: 12.953 cm
  • Package height: 8.382 cm
  • Product Type: COAT

Last update on 2020-10-29 /  Affiliate Links (#ad)  / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

If you have a tight budget, then you may want to go with the Lee Precision 90058. This gun powder measure is so affordable that the Hornady 050069 Lock-N-Load Powder Measure (next on this list) costs 3 times as much!

Yet, this offers a lot of value for your money.

This is meant mostly for rifle rounds, as the grain charges range from 2 grains to more than 100 grains. This may not be the best powder measure for pistol loads, but it works for some pistols, however.

This features a micrometer adjuster, with readings using cubic centimeters. It’s all a matter of computing how many cubic centimeters you have for each grain to adjust the setting properly.

This works very smoothly, and you have a soft elastomer wiper that strikes off the metering chamber. It doesn’t cut the powder at all, and you get to enjoy uniform charges.

Check the package you’re buying, as it may come with a free powder measure bottle adapter. That means you can then dispense the powder straight from the bottle it comes with, rather than transferring the powder first into the powder measure hopper.

This works on most powder types, but it doesn’t work well with black powder. At least the design helps to minimize spilling the powder while you’re using this.

Dialing in the amount of the powder may take some getting used to, especially if you’re a newbie. However, it’s easy to use overall and you enjoy accurate calibration.

Pros
  • Extremely affordable
  • Works very well with rifle calibers
  • Also works very well with stick powders
  • Offers consistent charges
  • Easy to use
Cons
  • Works with only some pistol cases
  • Doesn’t really work with black powder
  • Fine grains leak a lot through the chassis

Hornady 050069 Lock-N-Load Powder Measure

Features
  • Includes lock n load powder measure, product manual
  • Largest charge range available
  • Push button release function
  • Multiple mounting methods

Last update on 2020-10-29 /  Affiliate Links (#ad)  / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

When you first get this powder measure, it’s has lots of oil around it to prevent any rusting while it’s in the package. You’ll first have to degrease and thoroughly clean this powder measure before you use it.

Once you get that done, you’ll find that it works great, with the high capacity hopper and the steel used for the powder measure. This should last a long while, and lots of Hornady powder measure review articles attest to this durability.

This can be mounted in several ways, such as with a standard mounting bracket and lock ring. You can also mount this on the Fast Load Powder Measure Stand, using the Lock-N-Load bushings from Hornady.

It works well with many types of powders, including fine grain and ball powder. You can work with 0.5 grains to 265 grains, but it doesn’t work as well with stick powder.

You can use this for many different charges, with preset inserts with the die sets. You can change metering inserts in no time, as you just push the release button and then out in the new one.

You can also adjust the O-ring to set a certain level of tension on the metering unit, so you can make incremental adjustments. Once you’ve made your adjustments, just tighten the lock ring to secure the setting.

This comes with large and small drop tubes so you can hurry up the powder flow. These drop tubes can fit in the mouth of the casing as you pour the powder inside.

There’s only 0.002 inches clearance between the rotor and the drum, which ensures smooth function with all propellant types.

Pros
  • Large range of charges
  • Several mounting options
  • Easy way to change metering inserts
  • Fine adjustments on metering insert
  • Large and small drop tubes
  • High capacity hopper
Cons
  • Doesn’t really work well with stick powder
  • Expensive

Lyman Products Brass Smith Reloading Powder Measure

Sale
Features
  • Ambidextrous metering cylinder/handle position for left and right handed reloaders
  • Includes two metering cylinders to accommodate the widest selection of cases
  • Machined with 7/8 inch x 14 threads to fit all presses and powder stands
  • Powder drop range is from 1-130 grains
  • Made with pride in the USA

Last update on 2020-10-29 /  Affiliate Links (#ad)  / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

You can quickly appreciate the quality of this powder measure, just by assessing the materials used to make it. It has lots of coated metal parts, along with a hopper that offers UV protection for the powder inside.

Mounting this should be no trouble, since it comes with the standard 7/8”x14 threads. That should work for just about every press and stand.

The main exception, however, is that it doesn’t work with the powder through expanding die made by Lee Precision.

This features a CNC-machined steel metering cylinder, with a thimble that you can adjust to the micrometer. It has reference lines so that it’s easy for you to reset the measure.

The hopper has a powder baffle, which maintains a steady powder level for accuracy. You also get 2 drop tubes that work for a wide range of calibers.

The metering cylinder/handle is also ambidextrous, so it’s great even if you’re left-handed. The handle also turns so smoothly that you might think there are secret roller bearings inside.

What really impresses here is its best powder measure accuracy. Using a scale that measures up to 1/10 of a grain, we always get the same amount each time.

When we used a much more sensitive scale that’s accurate to 2 decimal places, we found that the variance in charges is only +/- 0.02 grains. That’s extremely accurate!

The setup does take a bit of time, but it’s all worth it in the end. You do have to make sure that you tightly fasten the set screw before you use this.

Pros
  • Extremely accurate and consistent charges
  • Very smooth ambidextrous handle
  • Works with wide range of powders (including smokeless powders)
  • Tough design with lots of coated metal parts
  • Large hopper protects powder from UV rays
  • Comes with 2 drop tubes
Cons
  • Need some time to set up
  • Won’t work well unless the set screw is fastened tightly
  • Doesn’t work with the Lee Precision powder through expanding die

RCBS Uniflow Powder Measure

Features
  • Small: .
  • Large: 5-110 Grains of Ball, Flake or Extruded Powder
  • There are two Micrometer Adjustment Screws available for the RCBS Uniflow Powder Measure which are
  • Large Micrometer Adjustment Screw (Item# 654-966) fits RCBS Uniflow Powder Measure with a measuring
  • Small Micrometer Adjustment Screw (Item# 322-221) fits RCBS Uniflow Powder Measure with a measuring

Last update on 2020-10-29 /  Affiliate Links (#ad)  / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Mounting is not really a problem, since this comes with the standard 7/8-inch–14 threads. This normally (but not always) comes with a stand plate, which you can either mount on your reloading bench or set under the reloading die lock ring.

You use this with a good powder scale, when you’re setting the original charge. Once you get consistent charges, you can check the charges more infrequently.

This works with a wide range of powders. You can go with flake, cylindrical, and ball powder and not have problems with accuracy.

Even if you use cylindrical powders, it’s not an issue because it cuts the cylindrical powders to ensure precise charges.

The measuring cylinder features precision ground surfaces, and it neatly slides into the honed main casting. You then have a numbered measuring screw for reference.

This is accurate enough for plinking rounds, though it may not be super-accurate for the more finicky types. The charge weight variation can be +/- 1/10 of a gram.

This is rather expensive, however, since the price is about 4 to 5 times that of the Lee Precision 90058.

Pros
  • Nicely accurate
  • Works with many types of powder
  • Several mounting methods
  • Easy to set up
Cons
  • Expensive

 

What are the Best Powder Measures for Reloading?

Determining the exact powder measure model as the best is your call.

The best reloading powder measure has to work smoothly for the powder type you use, and it should be reliable and consistent.

Every time you throw a powder charge, it ought to be the same amount and weight of powder each time. Once you get this level of consistency, you may just weigh even 10th charge just to confirm that you’re still get the right amount of powder you need.

Some of these powder measures may be complicated to use, which may be a challenge for newbies. It should be simple to use, at least for you.

It ought to last long as well. If it breaks down too frequently, then it’s basically useless.

Different Types of Powder Measures

Powder Measure

Powder measures aren’t all the same, as there are 3 basic types of powder measures you can pick from. Each type offers a different design and its own set of pros and cons.

Volume Powder Dippers

The main advantage of this type is that it’s very affordable. In fact, it’s so cheap that it’s often a freebie included when you buy other reloading tools.

It’s the most basic method, since you’re simply using a measuring spoon into the powder, which you then weigh on a scale to confirm you got the right amount. That’s easy enough for newbies to understand.

It’s like putting in a scoop of coffee into your coffee machine.

It’s rather tedious though, and it’s really not a method that leads to consistent powder amounts. You may have to spend too much time getting the amount right for each charge.

Manual/Automatic Powder Dispenser

This type works best with the single stage reloading press, and it’s suitable for low-volume reloading.

You simply calibrate it first to throw a specific powder amount, and you can then set it to measure out that amount of powder onto your scale.

Case Activated Powder Measure

This time, you can use to many different types of reloading presses, and you can set it as a standalone tool.

The basic design is the same, with the powder container, the need to calibrate, and the dispenser that throws the amount of powder you’ve set it for.

Electronic Dispensers

These are generally among the most expensive powder measures. You have a keypad, an LCD readout, and usually a built-in digital scale in the powder dispenser.

Just enter the amount and the dispenser will weigh the amount so that you get the right weight each time.

One of the reasons why these dispensers aren’t extremely popular is that the built-in digital scale may not be as accurate as the reloader wants. You may have to pay extra to use another powder scale to work in conjunction with this one, and that also slows down the process.

Things to Consider Before Buying Powder Measures for Reloading

How do you know which ones are better than the other powder measures? You have to read spec sheets and reviews, including our reviews and the reviews sent in by customers.

When you read these spec sheets reviews, focus on what they say about the following factors.

Brand of Powder Measures

Now really isn’t the time for you to experiment with unknown brand and their powder measures. That’s because this is too important, and you can just waste time (and your money too) by trying out powder measures from brands you’ve never heard of before.

Instead, stick to the brands you recognize. Most of these famous brands have been around for decades, and they’ve lasted all these years by consistently offering high-quality reloading tools that don’t besmirch their reputation.

Cost of Powder Measures

We’re not saying that you stick only with the cheaper powder measures.

Like for most other consumer products, powder measures tend to cost more when they’re of higher quality. You may want to stretch your budget a bit so you can get the best powder measure for your money.

Ease of Use

When you read the reviews, check out what the reviewer has to say regarding any difficulties. The powder measure shouldn’t be too complicated, and it ought to be simple enough for even newbies to figure out.

Lock-N-Load-Powder-Measure-Easy-of-Use

Consistency

This is perhaps the most crucial aspect. What you want is a powder measure that puts out exactly the amount of powder you’ve set it for each time.

When this happens, then the reloading process goes smoothly since you don’t have to adjust the amount of the powder each time to get the right weight.

When you always get the right weight and amount of powder, you can then just weight the powder once every 10 times. That way, you can still check the consistency of the powder amount without wasting too much time.

Suitability for Your Powders

It’s unfortunate, but not all powder measures work equally well with all types of powders. While some powder measures are more versatile, others are more limited.

So, keep in mind that a powder measure that works for rifle calibers may not be the best pistol powder measure.

You don’t have to go with the versatile powder measures, as long as the one you get works with the powders you use. But it’s nice to have a versatile powder measure that can work with other powder types when you want to experiment.

Durability of Powder Measures

How long will the powder measure work smoothly before things go wrong? You need to read several customer reviews to get a sense of their quality and durability.

If you find too many reviews with complaints about broken components, then you have to be very careful with that powder measure.

How to Measure Powder for Reloading

 Lock-N-Load Powder MeasureThe particular steps you take will depend on the method and tools you’re using. It’s best if you read the manual for the powder measure, so you’ll know how to use and maintain it properly.

Powder Dipper

This is basically like scooping the powder onto your scale. Since you certainly can’t expect consistent amounts for every scoop, you can’t just put the powder directly into the case.

With this method, you often have to use a trickler.

First you put in an amount that you know is less than what you need. You then add more grains of powder onto the scale until you get the right weight.

Manual Dispenser

With this design, you first put in your powder into the powder container.

Then you have to calibrate the dispenser so that it’s set to disperse a certain amount of powder it’s time.  You do this with the scale first, so that when you crank the handle, you get the amount you’ve set it for.

Once you’re getting consistent charges with the same weight, you can just check the charges every now and then (maybe every 10th charge).

Just make sure that you use the same amount of force when you manually dispense the powder. If you bang the handle against the stop for one charge and then turn the handle gently on the next charge, you’re likely to get a different amount from each turn.

Electronic Dispenser

This is the easiest dispenser to use, though it’s certainly among the priciest powder dispenser methods.

You start by putting the powder in the container. After that, you just enter the amount you want on the keypad.

Usually, this type of dispenser has a built-in digital weight so it will weigh the powder before it dispenses the amount you want. This is a faster process, since you won’t have to use this in conjunction with a separate scale (especially if it’s a balance scale).

Some of the more advanced models may even keep some of your favorite powder weights in its memory. You can then just press a single button and get that particular weight.

Top Powder Measure Brands

We’ve included 4 of the most famous brands in the reloading industry for our list. These brands are RCBS, Lyman, Lee Precision, and Hornady.

Lyman

This is the granddaddy of all brands in reloading. It’s so old that it’s been around since the very early 1800s.

That means they’ve had a lot of practice when manufacturing reloading equipment. The fact that the brand name still thrives today speaks of their continuing commitment to quality through all these years.

RCBS

This is another established brand in reloading, as it was founded in California way back in 1943. It’s a part of a group of companies associated with military weaponry, and today it remains one of the largest reloading equipment companies in the world.

This brand is known for listening to its customers, and you can even send them product ideas through their website.

Hornady

Hornady offers a wide range of reloading tools and accessories, along with ammunition as well. It was founded in 1949.

This is a family-owned US brand, as the current boss is the son of the founder Joyce Hornady.

Who Makes the Best Powder Measures for Reloading?

There’s no consensus answer for this question. Ask different reloaders about which ones are the best powder measures, and you may get a wide range of different answers.

However, it’s fair to say that if you go to a US brand that has long been part of the reloading industry, you have a fair chance of getting an excellent powder measure for your money.

Final Verdict

We really liked the Lyman Products Brass Smith Reloading Powder Measure, as it’s the most accurate powder measure on our list.

While it does need a careful setup, once that’s done it’s so easy to use. You also get consistently the same amount of charges, no matter what.

Of course, you can go with any of the models here. These are the best powder measures for reloading you can get for you money!

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