Lyman #55 Powder measure.

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  • Last Post 19 March 2016
Pigslayer posted this 25 August 2012

I have two Lyman #55's on the bench. Some find them hard to adjust but I've used them so much that I can have one adjusted in no time. I just picked up another (tonight) on ebay for $28.00. It has the original box, both lge. & sm. drop tubes & yes, the elusive hopper cover. It's in like new condition. that was a good buy in that they run about $90.00 new. I use one for Unique, one for 5744 & this one will be for H4831SC. I don't use them for the final charge. I adjust them to throw a charge just under the desired weight, & then bring the charge up to snuff on the beam scale with the powder trickler. I am a stickler to have all charges weighed & on the money.

If someone else had of done to me what I did to myself . . . I'd have killed him. Humility is an asset. Heh - heh.

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hunterspistol posted this 25 August 2012

:coffee    That's a good thing.   If I'd really started with Lyman powder measures, I might do the same thing.   Just bought an RCBS 5-10 scale because I only have a 5-0-2.  My little 5-0-2 has weighed everything for more than 10 years.  I think I'll use it to weigh bullets and the micrometer adjusted 5-10 to weigh powder. 

       I tried a friends' Lyman turret press with a #55 at one time except, what struck me was the press took considerable effort.  The Rockchucker solved that for me.  So, I naturally took up with RCBS and Redding. 

       Just bought a Uniflow (rcbs) powder measure with the small cylinder. That will help some because, I use a lot of small Unique loads in 44 Special.  Extra die sets and such keep factoring in too.

       I don't mind helping the other guy go digital, or change equipment.  Most of what I've gotten used is good equipment.  Some of the older die sets are worthless junk but, not all of them.

       Ron

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Pigslayer posted this 01 September 2012

Received The Lyman #55 powdermeasure that I bought ebay. This thing has got to be at least 30 years old, In the original box with original factory packing & brand new! Got it for $28.00 + shipping.

If someone else had of done to me what I did to myself . . . I'd have killed him. Humility is an asset. Heh - heh.

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onondaga posted this 01 September 2012

http://www.castbulletassoc.org/forum/view_user.php?id=6171>Pigslayer

I really like my #55 and also have a Lee Perfect. Between the two of them I can handle any powder I have ever tried.

The #55 works so well with small ball powders that the Lee chokes on  and the Lee likes long stick powders that the #55 chokes on, so it is  a good combo. The in between powders like H4831SC they both like.

My #55 was old and cranky when I got it  used 30 years ago;  I had to take it apart, wash and polish every part. The previous owner left black powder in it  for 6 months and had no idea how to clean it and get it working again.. I got it for $5 as a fixer upper! It is smooth as glass ever since cleaning and polishing and a wonderful measure. I wish I had 2 of them.

I also wish the Lee had a clapper like the #55 and may yet make one for it!!

Gary

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45ACPete posted this 01 September 2012

I have a #55 I found at a gun show for $25 a few years ago. I only use it for my Schuetzen rifle-- a light charge of AA#9 that never changes. Undoubtedly I would be using it for other loads but I found an older Lyman #5 measure in mint condition for $50 at the Reno gun show and it is every bit as smooth operating as the #55 and doesn't have the (unecessary, to my mind) compound slide assembly.

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Balhincher posted this 24 December 2012

Gary,

Your comment about your Lyman 55 measure working well with fine ball powders caught my eye.  I have a 55 that is over 40 years old and I'm wondering if it has worn after years of use.  When I use it for ball powder (H380, WW296, A1680), the powder seems to work into the space between the cylinder and the bore of the measure.  This makes the stroke sticky and more difficult to use.  It still seems to throw accurate charges.  I've taken the measure apart and cleaned the cylinder and measure to remove any residue smeared on the parts and it makes the measure run smoothly again until I measure ball powder again. I've suspected the bore of the measure is worn so that the powder gets into the space around the cylinder more easily.  Apparently you don't have this problem and I'm wondering if anyone else has seen this with a Lyman 55.

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onondaga posted this 24 December 2012

http://www.castbulletassoc.org/forum/view_user.php?id=222>Balhincher: My #55 is at least as old as yours and has been heavily used. The rotating drum with adjustable slides is brass but the bore is machined cast iron. I doubt your bore is worn but the brass could certainly lose fit if it was polished with an abrasive. I have never polished mine but I have taken it apart and cleaned powder buildup with Hoppe's #9 and a cotton ball. These old measures are pretty tough but your maintenence difference might have done that. How did you remove the powder residue smears. Steel wool, sand paper or any abrasive  or tool scraping would certainly wreck the drum fit.

Lyman does sell replacement parts, I believe.

H380 is one of the powders I use and my #55 handles it very accurately with zero leaking.

Gary

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Balhincher posted this 24 December 2012

I guess that is possible Gary but I don't recall cleaning the brass drum more than a few times over the years.  For the first 25 years or so I don't think I did any cleaning at all.  Just used the measure and it worked fine. 

Have you used any kind of dry lube on your 55 or just run it w/o any besides whatever is in the powder?  Maybe I just wore my brass drum down by using it or perhaps it didn't have dimensional tolerances a good as most Lyman measures to start with and normal wear opened the gap around the drum enough to let some fine powder get in there.

Now that this thread has me thinking about it again, I may take the thing apart and look it over again and see if I can see any signs of wear on the drum or in the bore.  It may be cheaper to find a used one that buy parts from Lyman but I'll look into that option if it looks like a new drum would help.

Thanks Gary for responding. 

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Pigslayer posted this 24 December 2012

Balhincher wrote: I guess that is possible Gary but I don't recall cleaning the brass drum more than a few times over the years.  For the first 25 years or so I don't think I did any cleaning at all.  Just used the measure and it worked fine. 

Have you used any kind of dry lube on your 55 or just run it w/o any besides whatever is in the powder?  Maybe I just wore my brass drum down by using it or perhaps it didn't have dimensional tolerances a good as most Lyman measures to start with and normal wear opened the gap around the drum enough to let some fine powder get in there.

Now that this thread has me thinking about it again, I may take the thing apart and look it over again and see if I can see any signs of wear on the drum or in the bore.  It may be cheaper to find a used one that buy parts from Lyman but I'll look into that option if it looks like a new drum would help.

Thanks Gary for responding.  I have one that seems to stick but the other two are smooth as glass. I need to take the sticky one apart & clean it.

Pat

If someone else had of done to me what I did to myself . . . I'd have killed him. Humility is an asset. Heh - heh.

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Lee Wiggins posted this 24 December 2012

I have the brass barrel for a #55 measure that I don't need. Was at a national match and John Ardito was using a Culver Conversion in a #55 and allowed me to take it apart and make a “Blue Print” of all the parts etc. Having a Lathe and Milling Machine, I made a copy in Stainless Steel for my #55. The #55 brass barrel had very little use before I took it out of service ,so wear on it is minimal. Measures 1” diam. Anyone want it? You pay the shipping and give me a few bucks for my trouble. Lee Wiggins

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delmarskid1 posted this 24 December 2012

I love my #55 and can't see any reason to use anything else. I've loaded ball powders to a .10th of a grain from one end of the session to the other. I like it for black powder. I need to get one of those brass hoppers I suppose. For the muzzle loaders I sometimes drop charges into fired 45-70 cases and put a fired .44 case into the inside to close it up. Makes a sweet little speed loader.

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onondaga posted this 24 December 2012

http://www.castbulletassoc.org/forum/view_user.php?id=222>Balhincher:

No, I never used any kind of lube on the drum. I do recall using Johnson's Paste Wax on the on the drum and working surfaces and cloth polishing once before re-assembly after a good cleaning. The wax was harmless.

Gary

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Lee Wiggins posted this 24 December 2012

Balhincher , I got a PM from you without a message , just blank. I sent a message back but got an error? Don't know what I am doing wrong . Try sending me an e-mail lwiggins30@verizon.net , I know me e-mail works. Put your phone # in the e-mail, I'll call you. Lee Wiggins

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MarkinEllensburg posted this 17 March 2016

Balhincher wrote: Gary,

Your comment about your Lyman 55 measure working well with fine ball powders caught my eye.  I have a 55 that is over 40 years old and I'm wondering if it has worn after years of use.  When I use it for ball powder (H380, WW296, A1680), the powder seems to work into the space between the cylinder and the bore of the measure.  This makes the stroke sticky and more difficult to use.  It still seems to throw accurate charges.  I've taken the measure apart and cleaned the cylinder and measure to remove any residue smeared on the parts and it makes the measure run smoothly again until I measure ball powder again. I've suspected the bore of the measure is worn so that the powder gets into the space around the cylinder more easily.  Apparently you don't have this problem and I'm wondering if anyone else has seen this with a Lyman 55. I know this is an old thread. I have a second hand (at least) measure I bought from my Dad years ago. It works fine for stick powders but does not play will with flake powders. I don't recall having issues with ball powder. I have two Uniflow measures that get more use. I swapped out one to a small micrometer drum and it is set up for my Piggyback II. The other has a large drum micrometer installed and it gets most of the use. I would rather use the #55 for several reasons but mostly reserve it for 4831sc use.

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onondaga posted this 17 March 2016

http://www.castbulletassoc.org/forum/view_user.php?id=9690>MarkinEllensburg

Mark, I believe it is important to figure out which powders work well in the measures you have. I have a variety of them that handle all of the powders I use. I don't assault my hobby by insisting on using a measure that doesn't work well for a particular powder.

One new measure has really caught my eye and my curiosity. I wouldn't be surprised at all if some of my posts and some of my communications with the maker led in some way to the development of this new measure. Check out this product information and video for the new Classic Cast powder measure from Lee:

http://leeprecision.com/classic-powder-measure.html>http://leeprecision.com/classic-powder-measure.html

It ain't cheap and it directly addresses complaints about other Lee powder measures and corrects them.

Gary

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Pigslayer posted this 17 March 2016

onondaga wrote: http://www.castbulletassoc.org/forum/view_user.php?id=9690>MarkinEllensburg

Mark, I believe it is important to figure out which powders work well in the measures you have. I have a variety of them that handle all of the powders I use. I don't assault my hobby by insisting on using a measure that doesn't work well for a particular powder.

One new measure has really caught my eye and my curiosity. I wouldn't be surprised at all if some of my posts and some of my communications with the maker led in some way to the development of this new measure. Check out this product information and video for the new Classic Cast powder measure from Lee:

http://leeprecision.com/classic-powder-measure.html>http://leeprecision.com/classic-powder-measure.html

It ain't cheap and it directly addresses complaints about other Lee powder measures and corrects them.

Gary

I have four Lyman #55's set up with various flavors of powders. They work very well with Bullseye, Unique & ball powders. The stick powders not so well. I would like to find one that works well with H4831, 4198 etc.. Have in fact been checking out the LEE Classic Cast powder measure & would like to hear from some “hands on” feedback. Pat

If someone else had of done to me what I did to myself . . . I'd have killed him. Humility is an asset. Heh - heh.

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onondaga posted this 18 March 2016

Pat,

I am waiting too but the elastomer wiper in the specifications for the Classic Cast Lee measure is exactly the feature that works well with stick powders like the H4831, 4198 etc. you mention. I believe you'd be happy with this one. The metal parts eliminate the complaints of those that warp the plastic parts of the Lee Perfect and the Classic Cast measure design eliminates tension adjustment of the Perfect.

Plus,it's cute! I want one.

Gary

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Wineman posted this 18 March 2016

I had my first PM in 1974 a Lyman 55, still wish I had it. Probably spent $25 on it then. I loved that knocker on the front and the slides. Back when Herc 2400 was full of yellow grains after firing. Maybe I need to get my youth back and find one on Evil bay...

Dave

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billglaze posted this 18 March 2016

The venerable Lyman 55 was one of my first purchases back when I started in 1951;  as I recall, I paid $14.95 for it.  (Plus a 3% sales tax.). Still have and use it, when I'm loading an intermediate quantity of cartridges--say, about 20 to 50. Works fine with everything; first ball powder was Hodgdon, (C-3?) and I also use it for 4831. (Began using 4831 before anybody knew the IMR number ca. 1953; back then it was known as “data” powder, because the one pound brown paper bag had “use 4350 data” rubber-stamped on it.)  The measure works fine with 4831; only thing I do different, is to go slow on the downstroke of the handle, and hit the clapper twice, to prevent the grains from “bridging."I have cleaned it once with alcohol to get rid of a slight graphite build-up. Bill 

In theory, there's no difference between theory and practice. In practice, there is. My fate is not entirely in Gods hands, if I have a weapon in mine.

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Pentz posted this 18 March 2016

I just finished loading up 100 rounds of 32-20 CPA with 12 gr of Enforcer. After zeroing I check-weighed every 10th round against my RCBS 505 scale (also zero'd with check weights). Not one variation and it ran smooth as glass. Its the black model with the chamber baffle.

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Pigslayer posted this 19 March 2016

Pentz wrote: I just finished loading up 100 rounds of 32-20 CPA with 12 gr of Enforcer. After zeroing I check-weighed every 10th round against my RCBS 505 scale (also zero'd with check weights). Not one variation and it ran smooth as glass. Its the black model with the chamber baffle. You can't beat those Lyman #55's. They're built like tanks.

If someone else had of done to me what I did to myself . . . I'd have killed him. Humility is an asset. Heh - heh.

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