H. M. Pope Powder Measures
The Reloading tools of H. M. Pope have always been very popular with Collectors. There are many variations, many types of tools. You could spend a lifetime just chasing after Pope tools and rifles and never get bored! There are three basic groups of tools. Hartford Tools, Stevens Pope Tools and Jersey City Tools. Often it is hard to tell the difference between tools of one era or another. My old friend Ed Curtis always said the Stevens Pope tools were finished better. If you are interested, start with " Respectfully Yours, H.M.Pope". If you like that, get copies of Warren Greatbatch's two volume set of books. My goal here is to show some really nice examples, and more views than you can see in a book!
The Stevens Pope Duplex Powder Measure
The Stevens Version of this powder measure is the easiest to find. Stevens actively marketed these and were well known to all the early Gunsmiths and Dealerships. You may have to look a while for one that is as complete as this one. The little wood plug for the internal powder tube is often missing. The Spider for hanging the measure is often gone. The drop tubes are often cut off or missing.
This is a page from the Stevens Pope Catalog. There is no description of how to use the measure here. I have never seen one of these in a shipping box. I assume they were packaged up and may have had some instructions in there. There may be one out there somewhere hidden away in a collection or an attic.
I always look for excellent examples to illustrate here. This Stevens Pope measure fits the bill. If you compare the two images above you will see one small difference. There is a raised ridge just below the cap on the lower powder container. The rim on the lid is a little thinner too. In "Reloading Tools", Vol. 2, by Rowe and Curtis, page 264, they say that this indicates a Stevens Pope Powder measure. The photo from the Catalog does not have this ridge, though the image is from the 1902 Stevens Pope Catalog. As usual, I called Ed Curtis. He said the image was recycled from the earlier Hartford Pope catalog. He repeated that the Stevens Pope tools are always finished better than the earlier Hartford tools.
This photo gives you a great idea of what an original drop tube should look like. The catalog says it should be 8 inches long. The longer length is supposed to help settle the powder and improve accuracy. Modern Black Powder Shooters say this is important when making target grade loads.
In the photo above, the powder charge is adjusted by screwing the large, lower brass piece up and down. On the top side of this part you can see a small screw. This large brass nut is Split on the top side. Once you have set the powder charge, you can lock it in place by tightening the screw.
If you want to load a single black powder or smokeless charge, you fill the large chamber only. For a duplex load you fill both chambers with your preferred powders.
These are nice closeups of the mounting bracket, or Spider, you could get with this measure. If you are not familiar with these powder measures, you could easily toss it aside and lose it. This happens a lot! I have odd pieces of metal I found in shooting boxes. I have no idea what they are for, but I never throw them away. Think of yourself as a Scientist or Archaeologist. You might learn what that little thing is someday!
Here you see a view of the back of the same measure. The knurled aluminum knob is moved left and right to drop the powder charges. It is also a "Clicker". Move it all the way to the right against the steel reinforced stop, rotate, and it bounces a little, settling the charge. This "clicking" produces a more consistent powder charge. Upper left, in the back view, you can see the metal plate with two slots for mounting the measure on two screws. The slots will also fit the knobs on the "Spider" or mounting base. This offered two ways of mounting the measure.
Schuetzen shooters did not load a bunch of cartridges. They used one cartridge case over and over, for each shot. Even for a 100 shot Match. You had to take your powder measure with you and set the powder measure up on the shooting bench.
The interior shot shows what these look like inside. Take a close look at that little wood plug. This is what it should look like.