Jeff Tanner's powder dispenser
Published: 06.10. 2011
From time to time you stumble across things you can't manage without. One of my things is Jeff Tanners powder dispenser. It's simple, cheap, and best of all: it's incredibly time-saving. I've used mine for a couple of years now, and my old Lyman No. 55 is used less and less.
You can easily bring the dispenser to the range, or move it around in your house and attach it to, for example, a table. On the range it is handy for filling the phials that MLAIC shooters use (it is not allowed to fill powder directly from a flask or powder horn).
A simple device
The dispenser consists of a light plastic moulding with a spring-loaded aluminium cut off. On the back it has a clamp attached to it, thus making it easy to fasten the dispenser on a table, a plank or to the shooting bench. A plastic bottle filled with powder is screwed on top of the moulding. The bottles come in two sizes: small and large. I'd advise you to buy a couple of bottles to make sure you can bring different granulations to the range. I also carry a bottle of semolina for measuring fillers for cap & ball revolvers.
But how does it work? Tanners powder dispenser is a dispenser – not a measure. It lacks a measuring device, but is meant to be used with the adjustable powder measures most black powder shooters carry. The dispenser makes sure that the correct amount of powder is dispensed into the measure.
But is it consistent? The answer is yes. And no. It's accurate as long as the powder volume in the bottle is about the same, but when it starts to empty it throws slightly lighter charges. I'm known to be very particular about powder weights though, and you probably won't care about the difference.
See how the dispenser works in the video below.
What about disadvantages? There are some. You may experience some powder leakage from the cut off. Because of this, the cut off mechanism chokes from time to time, especially with the larger granulations. However, this is a device I cannot manage without. I still use my Lyman No. 55 for the large jobs – for example when loading large amount of cartridges, but for everyday use I stick to Tanners powder dispenser.
The dispenser can be ordered from Jeff Tanner and costs 50 USD, 25 GB or 40 Euros. Two bottles are included. He also makes affordable roundball moulds in all diameters, as well as patches and other black powder accessories.
Find out more!
You can learn more about black powder shooting in the upcoming book From Musket to Metallic Cartridge: A Practical History of Black Powder Firearms.