Reloading is a skill and art form for making bullets specifically for a certain rifle, a way to shoot expensive rounds cheaply and or a way to reload bulk at a savings. For me it's all the above and RELAXING....except for charging large lots with stick powder. I HATE stick powder!!! But I like the results with certain cartridges, so I've been stuck up until now using the balance beam. I've tried Lee Cups and trickle on scales, electric scales and electric chargers, multiple powder chargers and all are in some box on a shelf in my reloading room (and going up for sale). The balance beam and trickler was my only reliable and accurate way to get precise loads with stick powder.
I'm not a competition handgun shooter or a AR competitor so a progressive reloading system has never been that appealing to me AND it wouldn't fix my stick powder issues either. I do load about 30 different calibers and have been known to load upwards of 700 rounds of .223 in a day or two with W846 suplus ball. A standard RCBS powder measure works like a 'champ' for that.
Throwing powder is the most monotonous part of the process for me. The one part over all else that will make me push off a reloading session to the next day. On large batch reloads I will use ball powder and use my RCBS powder thrower. It works GREAT with ball powders and some flake powders.
This is fine for bulk military grade .223 62 gr or pistol rounds.
But, for most of my precise rounds I use stick powders. And with that, STICK POWDER IS MY ARCH NEMISS.
I HATE STICK POWDER (notice the theme). I have never (until now) found a reliable way to accurately repeat a load measured with stick powder other than using a balance beam scale. This is 'ok' for 20 rounds...mind numbing for 40 rounds...and down right 'cut your wrist' for anything above 60 rounds.
If you use a standard type powder measure, with stick powders, you get cut grains and light inconsistent loads.
So, I was reading Handloader Magazine (yes there is a magazine) and I was lamenting the fact that I needed to load 150 rounds of 174 SMK .308 w/Varget for a 1000 yd range day I had scheduled. In the back I noticed a small ad for JDS Quick Measure. This ad has been in the back of Handloader for sometime, but I never really read it. What caught my eye this time was..."designed to throw stick powder". I googled the company, and looked for reviews. There were only two independent reviews, but they were in depth and I decided to take a flyer and buy the Bench Rest Kit ($300.00 shipped). There is no online order, you call the company and the wife answers. 3 days later the complete unit (see pictures) shows up (WA to FL, not bad service
) in a nice case ready to go.
Quick Measure - The Accurate Powder Measure
I had to go out of town so I sat on the unit for a day. The Plano range box has a compartment for all the powder tubes and cartridge funnel ends as well as a nice nut driver for adjusting the powder amounts. The inside of the box has custom foam cutouts for storage as well as a precise gauge for quick sets on the powder amounts. The unit can also be mounted to a brass screw on the top of the range box (for range use...
Enough BS, now on to the review.
The unit works by setting a set screw in a brass powder tube to a level for the charge you want. The tubes are based on an inclosed powder chart and gives you ranges of amounts for that tube. You can use the supplied gauge to set the charge or you can "guestimate" the setting, weight, and adjust.
I made a $8.00 stand out of a few L brackets.
Once set you use the supplied measuring pan with the brass center under a cartridge and push up once to charge the tube's chamber, let the tube come down and move the brass center of the funnel off to release the charge. It's a simple 3 step motion. It takes less than 3 seconds to pick up bass, make the charging motion and finally put the charges cartridge back in the holder.
The way it's designed it can't cut powder and is less than +/- .05 grain off on loads.
I have loaded over 500 rounds and was measuring every 3 round for the first 100 rounds before I 100% believed what I was seeing.
I was able to charge 100 .375 H&H rounds in less than 5 minutes. Using a balance beam and weighting/trickling each round, this would have taken me HOURS and made me slightly insane in the process.
The unit is made with nothing but quality parts and craftsmanship.
This has brought the fun back to reloading certain belted magnums that I use to hate to reload. It has EASILY cut my time down 75% for any given reloading session. This allows me to reload more and or shoot more without feeling like I had the reloading hanging over me.
I 100% recommend this product if you have a lot of rounds that to like to load stick powders for. (think 4895, 150 gr Garand loads in bulk)
Can the JDS throw ball/flake, yes, but my RCBS is now 100% set for this and the JDS only is used for stick powders.
I know some of you will skim the 'word parts' see the cost and commence to telling me that your granddad's powder horn and your eyeball meter is all that needed and it may be for you. So be it, don't buy this product. This is just a simple review of a product that works for me and saves time when charging large batches of stick powder.