Lyman 55 for measuring BP

Discussion in 'Shooting Accessories' started by GregLaRoche, Sep 25, 2019.

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  1. Sep 25, 2019 #1

    GregLaRoche

    GregLaRoche

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    I have been told it is unsafe to measure BP in a Lyman 55 Powder measure. The thinking is the possible cutting action could ignite the powder. Is this true or not?
    Thanks
     
  2. Sep 25, 2019 #2

    fleener

    fleener

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    I have heard similar. I have two of these, and I have used them for years for BP.

    Fleener
     
  3. Sep 25, 2019 #3

    hawkeye2

    hawkeye2

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    I'm sure that as soon as Lyman's lawyers see your post they will send a SWAT team to confiscate your #55 and put you on their "never sell to again" list. ;) I've been using 55s for black powder for about 45 years and haven't blown myself up yet. None of my friends have either. There's probably about as big a chance of it hapening as there is of having a comet strike you as you exit Starbucks with a latte in your hand.
     
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  4. Sep 25, 2019 #4

    Griz44Mag

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    I have used my LNL powder drops for loading (others) with black powder for years.
    I am sure glad no-one ever mentioned that it was risky!
    Just don't slam it around like a schoolhouse vandal breaking windows and you will be just fine...
     
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  5. Sep 25, 2019 #5

    Zonie

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    Looking at the instructions for the Lyman 55 powder measure, the only thing they say when writing about their standard smokeless powder version is "Do not use with Black Powder due to static electricity".

    If there was a possibility of the black powder being ignited from pinching or some other cause by using it, I am sure that there would have been a warning saying this was the case.

    There is also a "Lyman 55 Classic Black Powder Measure". The chief differences seem to be the reservoir is metal, there is a baffle in it and it has long "drop tubes" to aid in compressing the powder in the cases.

    As for the issue of static electricity igniting black powder, it has been proven that this won't happen. I can't say that lightning won't ignite black powder but any static electricity caused by plastic or rubbing yourself with a piece of wool won't be a problem.

    Here is a link to the Lyman 55 instruction sheet which includes both the smokeless and the black powder versions.
    The file is a PDF so you will need something that reads that format to read it.

    https://www.lymanproducts.com/media/user/file/7/7/7767775_55_classic_black_powder_measure.pdf

    As far as pressure that would break up black powder goes, as long as there isn't a flame involved, black powder will just crumble.
     
  6. Sep 25, 2019 #6

    fleener

    fleener

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    Quote: "happening as there is of having a comet strike you as you exit Starbucks with a latte in your hand"

    Well, I am safe. I rarely go to Starbucks and dont order latte.

    Fleener
     
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  7. Sep 26, 2019 #7

    GregLaRoche

    GregLaRoche

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    Is the Classic Black Powder Measure by Lyman still available? I checked Midway, but didn’t find it. They do have one for BP made by RCBS for $149.

    Can you change the normal Lyman 55 plastic part to metal?
     
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  8. Sep 26, 2019 #8

    hawkeye2

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    The Lyman metal reservoir won't fit in place of the plastic one on the older 55s, different threads. At one time there was an aftermarket metal reservoir avaliable but I haven't seen one in years. Just go on and use the plastic for black powder, most everyone I know does. See Zonie's post above about static electricity, not an issue. Lyman's site still lists both the regular 55 and the black powder 55.
     
  9. Sep 26, 2019 #9

    Grenadier1758

    Grenadier1758

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    I wouldn't recommend going out to buy a new Lyman 55 powder measure for a single purpose black powder measure. Other than making up a lot of Black Powder loads somewhat quickly, a standard volumetric measure works just fine and is probably just as accurate. If you have the Lyman 55 measure, just use it.
     
  10. Sep 26, 2019 #10

    curator

    curator

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    I have several Lyman #55 powder measures including the "black powder" designated model. I have used it many times when making up several hundred paper cartridges for various historical reenactments and BPCR loading. It has worked fine as it is fast and easy to operate. However, it must be very carefully taken apart and cleaned after measuring black powder or you will find it seized up the next time you go to use it. Salts in black powder will cause a reaction between the brass "tumbler" and the metal of the housing. Smokeless powder does not do this and its graphite coating keeps the parts nicely lubricated leading one to think they are maintenance free. I don't know if this would also take place using "substitutes" as I have never done, so but I suspect they would also require cleaning after use.
     
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  11. Sep 26, 2019 #11

    hawkeye2

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    I take the screw & washer off the left end, slide the cylinder out, wipe the inside of the body & outside of the cylinder with a paper towel & rubbing alcohol, dry, reassemble and it's ready to go the next time. A friend gave me one that had been used for black powder for years. It was frozen up and I had to drive the cylinder out with a dowel and hammer. I cleaned the parts and polished them with a Scotch Brite pad and it worked fine after I put it back together. The rust had pitted the inside of the chamber but it doesn't affect the function at all.
     
  12. Sep 27, 2019 #12

    Gene L

    Gene L

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  13. Sep 28, 2019 #13

    AZbpBurner

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    Look around on E-Bay for a used #55. It's much cheaper than buying a new one if you're not afraid to do a little work. I have several that needed cleaning & new paint. Most needed the powder reservoir cap, but parts are available from Lyman. I have several dedicated to specific powders & loads, but haven't found it necessary to set one up for black powder yet; my home-made dippers work fine for my purposes.
    Lyman 55's.jpg
     
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  14. Sep 29, 2019 #14

    scbuxton

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  15. Oct 1, 2019 #15

    Enfield58

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    I used the Lyman 55 for several years with the aluminum hopper. That avoided the static electricity issue.

    The problem I had with the Lyman 55, and other similar designs by other manufacturers, was inconsistency in the powder charges. It did this even when I was dispensing smokeless powder.

    Frustrated with the large variances in powder charges (even with smokeless) I looked around for a better measure. Harrell's Precision powder measures are not cheap but they are worth every penny. I don't regret spending the money for my measures.

    All manufacturers advertise +/- one tenth of a grain but you rarely see it. Harrell's really does give you +/- one tenth of a grain with smokeless. I see a little larger variances with black powder but not as large as what I saw with the Lyman 55.

    At one time, Harrell's sold an aluminum hopper that worked with their powder dispensers but I don't see it on their website now.

    If it looks like a Harrell will fit in your budget, you might give them a call and see if they still offer the aluminum hopper.

    http://harrellsprec.com/index.php/categories/powder-measures
     
  16. Nov 22, 2019 #16

    Frank Ambruso

    Frank Ambruso

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    Guys, if interested in reducing static just wipe down inside/outside of powder measure with anti static wipes used in your dryer/clothes.

    If you have further concern ground your powder measure with a solid core copper wire to the "in ground" ground rod for your house.
     
  17. Nov 23, 2019 #17

    Stumpkiller

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    I have a Lyman 55 on my metallic bench . . . but it's too much to carry in my shooting pouch and I don't carry anything to bolt it onto so I use a bone or horn measure in the field.
     
  18. Nov 25, 2019 #18

    fleener

    fleener

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    So which Harrell's do you recommend for BP? The $265 or $330 model?

    I would use it for long range ML shooting.

    Thanks

    Fleener
     
  19. Nov 25, 2019 #19

    hawkeye2

    hawkeye2

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    Consider the Montana Vintage Arms black powder measure. It's a copy of the Belding & Mull which was considered the most accurate measure made and still is among black powder aficionados.

    https://montanavintagearms.com/product/reloading/black-powder-measure/


    Of course you can still find the Belding & Mull at that infamous auction site, new to well used and prices from a bargain to outrageous. If I were to buy another measure it would be a vintage Belding & Mull.

    https://revivaler.com/the-belding-and-mull-visible-powder-measure/
     
  20. Nov 26, 2019 #20

    Enfield58

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    I got the $265 Premium powder measure. I think that the difference between the two is cosmetic. I prefer functionality over appearance.
     

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