Retired mechanical design engineer, active prairie dog hunter and veteran handloader, Tim Johnson was disappointed with available powder measures because: 1) they inconsistently cut powder; 2) accuracy degraded as the powder height in the reservoir varied; and 3) vibration further contributed to inconsistent results.
Says Johnson: “I thought designing a valve system that allowed powder to move horizontally would eliminate the powder pack density problem found in drum-style measures. I also designed a smooth wedge in the top of the sliding brass valve that pushes extraneous powder aside, rather than attempting to cut the kernels.”
Johnson built 15 Quick Measures for a local gun show and, to his surprise, sold them all. When word-of-mouth indicated a growing interest in his design, Johnson made the plunge to start a business using his in-house CNC equipment and 50 years’ experience in mechanical design. His invention has found a niche among serious handloaders.
The Quick Measure ($200) is precision-machined by hand rather than cast, followed by anodizing that produces very smooth surfaces. Even the bottom angle of the reservoir is scientifically designed. As Johnson explains, “The angle of repose is the angle at which any material flows most efficiently. If you pour a can of powder onto your bench, the resulting angle of the pile creates a natural angle of repose—the same angle built into the bottom of the Quick Measure, resulting in efficient powder flow.”
Tests by the author verified claims of measured weight consistency to +/- .1 grain. Most measurements with my Hornady digital scale were exactly the same. Testimonials from other handloaders showed this to be true even with 125 grains of heavy stick powder for the .50 BMG, which held variances to +/- .2 grains.
Once you get your head around the new design, using the measure is a snap. First, select the adjustable drop tube for the general case volume. Next, fine tune the length of the tube using the socket head cap screw for the final measurement, something I achieved in five experimental throws. Next, the custom funnel is pressed against the bottom of the drop tube to seal it, quickly raised to open the valve and fill the tube, and lowered to close the valve and dispense the charge. If you prefer to dispense powder into a measuring pan, simply glue the provided extra button to your pan to provide the same consistent process performed by the funnel. That’s it.
Because only one hand is needed to operate the Quick Measure, the process is both faster and more consistent. Completing 100 cases in less than four minutes is easily achieved. During my testing, the compressed drop tube hung once during 50 throws of Vihtavuori N140 powder. This occurred after the accurate charge was dispensed and only required a simple tug on the tube to release the culprit flake of powder from the sliding valve.
Johnson provides a variety of high-end accessories including a progressive press mount ($225); setting gauge ($70) that will interest the most demanding handloader who wants to make the initial adjustments spot on, without experimentation; an anodized aluminum funnel ($45) to eliminate static electricity; and a bench rest kit ($350) that mounts the measure to the custom designed carrying case for use at the range. By purchasing additional drop tubes for pet loads, subsequent adjustment time is reduced to zero.
Learn more at www.quick-measure.com.
The Most Accurate Powder Measure?
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