Lee Adjustable Charge Bar... small review.

Discussion in 'Vintage Topic Archive (Sept - 2009)' started by rimfirehunter, Jan 23, 2008.

  1. A while back I picked up a Lee Adjustable Charge Bar on one of the auction sites relatively cheap. The charge bar is designed to work with the Lee Auto Disk or Auto Disk Pro die mounted powder measures. The Charge Bar replaces the disk and is used to set precise powder charge throws when loading on the Lee Turret presses.


    I tried the disk that were supplied with my Auto Disck powder measure and was not satisfied with the charge weights you had to work with. The disk work similar to the Lee Dippers, you have a certain cc volume to work with and are not able dial in precise charges, basically you use whats available for the powder being used or move on to another powder and charge. Unfortunately the disk charges available in 9mm using HP-38 powder was not a good combination in my pistols and 995 carbine, thats why I picked up the Charge Bar.

    In order to use the Charge Bar you simply install it in place of the disk in the Auto Disk powder measure. The Charge Bar has a micrometer type dial on the rear thats graduated in cc's, so you can cross reference the cc to grain chart and get close, or do like I did and dial it in by hand till it throws the weight you desire. Adjustments are very fine and precise so you can get an exact weight by making small adjustments or large ones, then fine tune it when you get close. The real beauty of the Charge Bar comes when you want to change charge weights while using the same powder, say for a different type of bullet in same caliber, or different caliber using the same powder. With the disk in the measure you have to remove the measure form the powder thru die, dump the powder, remove the hopper, change disk, reinstall, recharge powder and hope the disk throws the correct weight. If it does not toss the correct charge weight you repeat the process until you get it right. With the Charge Bar all you do is adjust the micrometer dial, throw a few loads while adjusting the dial for more powder or less.

    Couple days ago I got around to setting my Auto Disk measure up on my .380 dies using the Lee Charge Bar instead of the disk and HP-38 powder. It took about 5 or 6 powder throws to get the charge bar dialed in to the exact powder weight I wanted to use with that batch of loads. For the first 20 rounds I checked each and ever one for accuracy on my digital scale. The Charge Bar was throwing a very consistant weight, so I began cheking every 10th round for the remainder of the 135 rounds I loaded. Not once did the loads deviate +/- from the charge weight I started with, something I cant say for the disk becuase they always have a +/- .1gr deviation from one charge to the next. If anyone has ever loaded .380acp you know how small the powder charges are, and the Charge Bar handled those small charges very well. I think the small 380 case is about the lowest the Charge Bar will load because I am really close to being at the minimum setting on the micrometer dial. Anything lower and I would most likely choose to hand weight each charge anyway because the smaller the case the more precise your charges have to be, otherwise you may run into pressure issues if your charges are .1-.2grs over weight.

    I am very pleased with the accuracy and ease of use of the Lee Charge Bar and its performance with HP-38 powder. For those of you using W231 powder you should have the same results because both powders are very similar in flake size and powder density per cc. Next trial will be with Unique and my .44 Special loads, and if it throws consistant weights with Unique it should work well with just about any powder on the market.


  2. Yup, after your review, I is am definatly going to get one of those.

    Thanks for the review.

  3. Drilln,

    After using the Charge Bar I would find it very hard to go back to the disk system. Kinda like being a teenager going from a bicycle to your first car...LOL.

    I would like to get another auto measure so I can have one permanately set up on my .380 dies and one on my 9mm dies, maybe even a third for my 44 Special turret/dies as well. This would allow me to simply swap out the turret/die sets and start loading.
  4. Ari

    Ari Guest

    That is a good idea..
  5. I wasn't happy with the disk measure due to variation in throws, so I ordered the lee perfect powder measure, wich throws a accurate charge, but it doesnt work well with short rounds like the 45 acp, so I went back to the disks, but that charge bar looks like its just what I need.
  6. Drilln,

    I hope the Charge Bar works as well for you as it has for me, I know I like it a lot. I will either get another Lee die mounted powder measure and charge bar, to mount to my 9mm dies, or buy the swivel adapter so I can transfer my measure from one die set to another without having to disassemble it.
  7. Now I do have the swivel adaper and it does work as advertized, if that is the way you decide to go, I am sure it will work out good for you.
  8. Drilln,

    Thanks for the heads up on the swivel adapter, was wondering how well that thing worked. If it does what its supposed to do i could get by with just one die mounted powder measure at this time, then add more later.
  9. rimfirehunter,

    Keep us in touch with how it throws Unique powder. I'm a big fan of that powder. Also if it throws Unique well, then it should really do a good job of Bullseye. ;)

  10. Bandit320

    Bandit320 Member

    I use the charge bar to reload Red Dot for my 40 S&W. Every time I check the loads are right on the money.

  11. Hey rimfirehunter,

    Any reviews on that adjustable charge bar yet?

  12. My autodisk works great for what I need, but still might pick up one of these charge bars anyways to try it out. I also am a big fan of Unique powder, and will use it in any load that I can and the autodisk throws the unique better then any other powder I've yet to try.
  13. I have used the Lee adjustable charge bar for about a year with no troubles. I use Bullseye and have found that the thrown charges are right on no matter how full the powder hopper. I do not use the scale on the charge bar. I always set the charge by weight and check it many times before starting reloading and several times throughout the loading session.
  14. I have been really busy the last few weeks but I did get a change to check out the Charge Bar with Unique in my 9mm and .44 loads. Best I could get with the Charge Bar and Unique was +/- .1gr when loading 9mm range loads. When loading larger charges for the .44 it seems throw a more consistent charge, maybe 1 out of 15rds would be +/- .1gr as compared to the 1 out of every 4 on the 9mm throws.

    When using the smaller flake powders, HP-38 and TiteGroup, the Charge Bar makes very consistent throws. I only use the Charge Bar for loading low/mid level range loads, if I get within .2grs of a max charge for any caliber I weigh all my charges by hand using the Lee Safety Scale.
  15. That sounds like very good consistency out of the adjustable micrometer disk, especially for the Unique powder. Even powder measures like Redding, RCBS, Harrell, etc. have trouble metering flake powders like the Unique. That's about as good as a powder measure's going to get with flakes. That adjustable charge bar may be next on my list.

  16. ive used these charge bars for years i think for the 10 bucks they cost , maybe more but they work great ,i used ythem in my pro1000 and the regular lee powder measures
  17. Uraijit

    Uraijit Guest

    Wow, I'm gonna have to get one or two next time I place an order...