The 4 Best Powder Measures for Reloading — Reviews 2023

best 1-4 scope, best 1-4x scope

Photo by mr.smashy / CC BY

One of the most critical parts of reloading is actually getting the correct charge of powder into your cartridge case. There are a number of ways of doing this, from premeasured scoops, to different bulk powder measures that throw a consistent charge.

Unless you are working up small batches of experimental loads, most people choose to forego the scoops, and go straight to a bulk powder measure. As an added bonus, most powder measures are designed to work with a wide variety of powders, and to interface with progressive loading presses from the same manufacturer, so as your reloading room grows, you don’t have to keep getting new powder measures.

While most powder measures can throw charges small enough for any handgun use, some are more or less designed to throw larger charges suitable for rifles or large handgun rounds. Make sure you know the minimum and maximum sized charges a measure can throw before you buy it, and make sure it is sufficient for your reloading needs.

Now, onto the 4 best powder measures for reloading on the market:

The Lee Powder Measure

This Lee measure is made by Lee Precision, who are famous for affordable and high quality reloading tools. The Lee Precision Perfect Powder Measure is about as entry level as you can get, yet still provides great versatility and an affordable low cost. Designed to throw charges between 2 and over 100 grains, it is not suitable for many handgun calibers, but ideal for measuring charges for rifles. Additionally, the Perfect Powder Measure will work with the popular Lee Load Master, which expands your reloading options. Despite its primary focus on rifle powders, the low cost of the Lee Load Master, and the simple operation and strong reputation of Lee within the reloading community more than justifies a long look at this particular powder measure. If it meets your needs, this is probably the best reloading powder measure if you’re looking for a wallet friendly price.

Step it up with Hornady

The Hornady Lock and Load Powder Measure is one of the most advanced and versatile powder measures on the market today. Capable of throwing charges starting at just one half a grain, and going all the way up to a whopping 265 grains, this measure can be used for loading even the smallest handgun cartridges (does anybody reload the .25 ACP?) or the mightiest .50 BMG loads. As a bonus, it can be used as a standalone measure, or integrated into the Hornaday Lock and Load system, and with the push of a button, you can swiftly change the type of powder you are using. This may very well be the most versatile and flexible powder measure on the market today. As a premium powder measure, the Lock and Load likely has no equal and can justifiably claim the title of best powder measure for reloading.

The Mighty Lyman

The name Lyman looms tall over the reloading industry. Famous for their reloading guides and top quality equipment, the Lyman Powder Measure is no exception to the rule of Lyman quality. Capable of adjustments of a fraction of a grain, and with a generous 2400 grain UV protected powder reservoir, this measure can be used on any turret press, or as a standalone measure. Made of a rugged metal construction with a thick protective hammered paint coating, the Lyman is a powder measure for the ages. The versatility and universal use, plus careful precision measurement ability make this the powder measure for the most demanding reloader looking to get the most “bang” for his buck.

The Perfect Choice for Handgun Loading

Some measures are designed to throw charges for just rifles, while others will throw any sort of charge. While some, are made for the dedicated pistol shooter who wants a top quality loader rigged for himself. The RCBS Competition Powder Measure for pistols is one such loader (see full specs here). Capable of throwing charges between one half and forty grains, this measure is built for the serious handgun reloader who needs an equally serious powder measure. Carefully designed to not damage powder when throwing charges, and capable of metering all types of smokeless powder, this might be the best powder measure for reloading if that reloading involves pistol cartridges.

But Why Use a Powder Measure in the First Place?

Quite simply, because it makes things go faster. Many people have progressive turret presses that perform one stage of the reloading process with each pull of a lever, and can rapidly crank out finished ammunition. You need a properly calibrated powder measure in this operation to make it work. But even if you are just using a single stage press, you’d want a powder measure, because it is the best way to reliably throw a consistent charge of powder each time, without resorting to manually scooping powder with calibrated scoops. A powder measure is faster, more consistent and safer than scooping individual charges, and will greatly speed up your reloading operation. Some measures will throw precise loads at fraction of grain measurements, while others are more suitable for throwing fairly basic full grain charges. The higher end powder measures have special precision metering chambers and can easily be adjusted to throw charges from one half a grain up to several hundred grains. Any of the best reloading powder measures will also leave powder uncut or undamaged from the measuring, which ensures both a consistent charge, and superior performance in the loaded ammunition.

No Matter Which One You Choose…

Your choice of powder measure will be based on many different factors. Cost may play a roll, as will precision and the type of reloading you are doing. If you are just loading common rifle rounds with fairly standard charges and don’t want to invest a lot of money into your equipment, the Lee will more than do the job for you, and save you money in the process, while a pistol shooter may want to seriously consider the RCBS. For reloaders who want the best, they need to look no further than the Lyman or Hornady powder measures. However, no matter which one you choose, you can be assured you’ve selected industry leading examples of the best the market has to offer you for the job at hand.

And for all other aspects of the reloading process, please check out our reloading articles category. Have fun!

  • Owner of, Boyd Smith is a major handgun enthusiast, and although he owns Glocks, he prefers the revolving wheel type. His go-to guns are a Smith & Wesson 642 Performance Center for carry and a Ruger GP100 in the nightstand biometric safe (he has kids). He loads both revolvers with old-school 148-grain Federal Gold Medal .38 wadcutters. It’s OK if you think he’s a wimp. Email him.

Share the Post and Images

3 responses

  1. Lyman Powder Measure

    Is one of the best out there.

    It does not require the use of the need, a plates, cylinder disk or a bars to work,

    This is at an added expense to the cost of owing the other type of powder measure
    when you change rounds.

    All adjustments on the Lyman Powder Measure is done by the slide, bars with set screws, very easy and quick to adjust and set. and repeatable loading.

    Lyman Powder Measure can be adjusted down to 1 grain powder loads with no issues.

  2. Thank you Sir , I just inherited a Measure like this and I’m completely new to reloading . This video helped me immensely considering I haven’t found the manual yet . I haven’t made a round yet still doing all my research . My measure was not marked ” Lyman” any place , just some serial #’s and T-7 stamped on the back . I assume it’s an older version ?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *