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  #1  
Old 10-10-2006, 07:10 PM
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Using Lee dippers...


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Was wondering how you folks work up loads using Lee dippers? You look at the Lee Manual and it shows you which dipper to use for the starting load...and that is it. Is there a faster way than using a trickler for the rest of the powder as you increase the load? Not going to invest in a powder thrower until I have a realoading room...

Jim
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  #2  
Old 10-10-2006, 07:18 PM
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Jim... there really is no "load work" with the Lee dippers. The Lee Manual gives you the dipper and then that's about it.
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  #3  
Old 10-10-2006, 07:29 PM
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Have the full set of Lee dippers, plus extras that came with the reloading tools.

Don't use them as the Lee instructions say - use them to throw charges onto the electronic powder scale to just under the desired load (a little experimenting with the dippers and various powders will get you close to almost any load) and then trickle charge out of them. With the larger capacity cases, may have to use a combination of two.
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  #4  
Old 10-10-2006, 07:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DakotaElkSlayer
Was wondering how you folks work up loads using Lee dippers? You look at the Lee Manual and it shows you which dipper to use for the starting load...and that is it. Is there a faster way than using a trickler for the rest of the powder as you increase the load? Not going to invest in a powder thrower until I have a realoading room...

Jim

Well...if you had a scale, could use the dipper to toss a charge close to, but under, the charge you wanted and then trickle in the rest....and can make a pretty good home-brew trickler by using the barrel of a Bic pen. 1/2 filled with powder, held at a slight angle to the pan, and rotated with your fingers it tends to dribble out powder a grain at a time.
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  #5  
Old 10-11-2006, 04:58 PM
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This is a hobby that can be dangerous if you don't have the right equipment - you can blow your face or hand off.

If you can't get the right equipment, don't reload - buy factory.

Measuring spoons are for baking cakes and cookies.

Get a real powder measure and a scale either new or off ebay or at a gun show. Then, you can do this hobby with safety, and will be able to tune your loads to a finer degree than kitchen tools will give you.

I don't mean to be harsh-sounding or flame you. It's just that this is a serious undertaking, and should be done with serious equipment.
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  #6  
Old 10-11-2006, 05:24 PM
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Dippers are fine tools. They can be very accurrate too! One of my handloading mentors still uses them. He shoots very well with his rifles, pistols and handloads. His criteria for a good load is;
#1 It hits what he shot at.
#2 It did what it was suppose to do when it got there.
The only trouble that I see with them is "flexabilty" with a new lot# of componants. My friend seems to do well with all of this. He shoots well and is content with "what he is doing".

Cheezywan
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  #7  
Old 10-11-2006, 05:53 PM
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gmd3006,

I'm not trying to offend you, but I've learned that many things can be adapted to other uses if proper technique is consistently applied.

check out the Lee dippers being discussed in this thread at http://www.leeprecision.com/cgi/catalog/browse.cgi. These have long been used for reloading. LEE is so proud of them that they include one or more in the die sets they sell. To encourage their use, they also include some recommend powder charges with thier die sets.

one of Marshall's articles on this site gives detailed instructions on how to make your own powder dippers.

Until I bought a powder trickler, I used a common kitchen spoon to dribble powder onto my balance beam scale to reach a desired powder weight. I think I was able to do that with accuracy.

I can't afford a case tumbler right now so I found a case cleaning recipe on the Intenet with common vinegar as a key ingredient. Just so happens, I'm fairly conversant in the medicinal uses of apple cider vinegar, so when I found this recipe, I found something I knew I could trust. As they say necessity can drive a common man to become an inventer.
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  #8  
Old 10-11-2006, 07:39 PM
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DEFINATELY need a scale for max. loads, which is why LEE doesn't list dippered loads much past starting loads.

Given good technique, dippers aren't that far behind any other type of measure, but you need to practice a uniform techniqe (and to do that, really need a scale). Dragging a dipper through powder isn't the way to do it...that compresses the powder as yu drag it thrugh, but it's not unfiormly compressed from dip to dip.

About the only totally uniform force we can muster is gravity...press the dipper (bottom down) into the powder, then lift it straight up, letting gravity fill the dipper...then strike it level. That's about as unform as dipping gets.
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  #9  
Old 10-11-2006, 07:59 PM
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I've got to agree with ribbonstone. You can make good accurate ammo with the Lee dippers, but if your going to experiment with max loads you need a scale.

I've used the little Lee Safety scale for a lot of years now. I've used RCBS and several other scales and the Little Lee is the most accurate I've ever used. It is accurate enough to measure the weight of a pencil mark on a piece of paper.

They sell for around 30 bucks and used with a trickler and the powder dippers allow you to throw very accurate loads. Loads to a hundreth of a grain instead of a tenth of a grain most other scales measure.

Here's a pix of mine. I have it set up at eye level for ease of use.

If you want to go high tech here's a good system, RCBS electronic dispenser tied in with the RCBS electronic scales. There's three powder measures on this stand. I use the little Lee perfect measure the most.
Attached Thumbnails
Using Lee dippers...-lee-safety-scale.jpg   Using Lee dippers...-lee-safety-scale-custom-holder.jpg   Using Lee dippers...-rcbs-disp-scale.jpg   Using Lee dippers...-3-powder-measures.jpg  
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  #10  
Old 10-12-2006, 03:39 AM
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Dipper is just a fixed volume cavity that you run by hand.

Measure is an adjustable volume cavity that is run by rotation (most often).
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  #11  
Old 10-12-2006, 06:19 AM
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From deep within the dismal space of Ranch Dog's Reloading room and with more thought of using JUST the Lee Dippers for load development, I thought I would measure some results...

As we know, the dippers measure cubic centimeters and a given charge of powder is delivered based on the Volume Measured Density of the powder. From the loading tables offered in Lee's Modern Reloading, or any other published data, it is quite easy to work through developing a load with incremental steps from the dippers or a combination of dippers.

I'm presently working with my 444 Marlin & H4198 and my 35 Remington & H4895 so I thought I would record some information about the dippers. Keep in mind this about powders (From Lee's FAQ's)...

Powder cavity tolerances
The powder manufacturers allow themselves a 16% tolerance in the density of their powder, from lot to lot. We have to calibrate our chart to show the high side of that tolerance, so you should never get more than what the chart indicates, but you will sometimes get less. Believe the scale. If your measure consistently throws less than what the chart indicates, try going up to the next larger cavity. If the powder measure throws more than what the chart indicates, please let us know!


In both of my cases (see table in attached image) the dippers or combo of dippers delivered a good increment of charge from the starting load up to near max. In both cases, the max load is actually about 5% under max (and I suspect a pretty good charge in the development scheme). I've been using the dippers for various tasks (I actually have all three plastic sets; black, red, & yellow) and I have never seen a dipper deliver more than the calculated charge based on the published VMD. I dip as Lee recommends (and Ribbonstone described above) plus I slide a business card across the top of the dipper as Lee further recommends for consistent results.

I suspect that you would find one of the dropped charges that delivered near Optimum Barrel Timming for an accurate load. So with a Lee Improved Powder Measure Kit ($6 new) and a Lee Loader you could do a good job of developing a load.
Attached Thumbnails
Using Lee dippers...-lee-dipper-load-development.jpg  
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Last edited by Ranch Dog; 10-12-2006 at 06:27 AM.
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  #12  
Old 10-12-2006, 09:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gmd3006
This is a hobby that can be dangerous if you don't have the right equipment - you can blow your face or hand off.

If you can't get the right equipment, don't reload - buy factory.

Measuring spoons are for baking cakes and cookies.

Get a real powder measure and a scale either new or off ebay or at a gun show. Then, you can do this hobby with safety, and will be able to tune your loads to a finer degree than kitchen tools will give you.

I don't mean to be harsh-sounding or flame you. It's just that this is a serious undertaking, and should be done with serious equipment.
.
Tell ya what, the Lee dippers are great for someone just getting started in reloading, won't let them get too dangerous. I weigh every charge with dippers, but they will get you a good load, They have been in use for a minimum of 50 years so I can't see how you can go wrong with them. Remember dippers were included with the old Lyman and Ideal dies, so your statement rings very untrue. Just my opinion. I have a set and use them for known loads. Quicker than using my powder throw, and nope, haven't blown any of my guns up for at least 15 years. Les
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Last edited by Violator22; 10-12-2006 at 12:46 PM.
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  #13  
Old 10-12-2006, 10:20 AM
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I use the Lee dipper to drop the load on my scale and then trickle it up. After just a few scoops I find that I can come very close to my desired load by eyeballing the amount in the scoop. I weigh EVERY load on the scale though. I don't shoot thousands of rounds per month so the additional time doesn't bother me. I recently purchased a Uniflow powder measure and once I have it set up will wiegh sampled loads to assure uniformity.

Safety is paramount, followed by all the other reasons we reload.
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  #14  
Old 10-12-2006, 10:52 AM
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LET-CA:

Sounds like we're on the same page!
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  #15  
Old 10-12-2006, 04:00 PM
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I have never used dippers before. My good friend and mentor has never owned a scale or powder measure. I just did a informal experiment for the benifit of all members. Remember that I am not a scoop user.

Brand new scoop came with my .44 Special Lee die set. It is .7cc. I tried two powders with two techniques. I "scooped" ten charges and "leveled" with a credit card. Then I "dipped" ten charges and leveled with a credit card.

IMR-4831

Scooped: Dipped:
9.0 9.1
8.9 9.3
9.0 9.3
9.0 9.3
9.0 9.3
9.0 9.3
9.1 9.4
9.0 9.3
9.1 9.3
9.1 9.3


WW-296


Scooped: Dipped:
10.5 10.4
10.7 10.4
10.8 10.4
10.7 10.4
10.8 10.4
10.7 10.4
10.7 10.4
10.8 10.4
10.7 10.4
10.7 10.4

Static was an issue with the new scoop and WW-296 powder. I I just dumped the charge in the pan and ignored it. There was no static problems with IMR-4831.


You may draw your own conclusions.

Cheezywan


Edit to say that I typed more space between the weighed charges. The data is still there, just harder to read.

Last edited by Cheezywan; 10-12-2006 at 04:04 PM.
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  #16  
Old 10-12-2006, 04:17 PM
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Hi there!I am buckwalka

Never use the dippers!

buckwalka
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  #17  
Old 10-15-2006, 02:32 PM
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The Lee dippers can be very useful. However, you cannot work up loads, in the traditional sense, and if you want a powder weight that is different that what comes from the dipper, then you will need to use your scale and add the additional powder.
I have used my Lee set for many years, and when I started loading my .222 Remington and .308 Winchester, using the Lee Loader, I used the dippers with no problems. I ended up making a couple of custom dippers for the powder that I had on hand, but they were made with a scale at hand.
I still use the dippers frequently.
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  #18  
Old 10-15-2006, 05:23 PM
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I have used a SPOON for getting the last few .10's of a grain for 38 years. Don't let anyone tell you different.

It is a process. Get the correct powder at the correct weight into the prepped case with the right bullet. If you use your fingers or a $1000 measure it is all the same.

Load carefully and enjoy.

I have used the Lee dippers, and still use them. They are fast for non-max loads in quantity. Like the 357 mag you just blast with or my 7.62 M1A for fun, not looking for max accuracy, just safe useable bullets.

Last edited by Bigfoot; 10-15-2006 at 05:25 PM.
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  #19  
Old 10-17-2006, 02:10 PM
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I surrender!

Use your scoops, if you want.

I still think it's dangerous, though, to use a scoop with a powder density table ( which may or may not match your particular powder lot's actual density ) to scoop out a load that's listed in a table, and which is uaually a max load, and not check it with a scale.
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  #20  
Old 10-17-2006, 04:35 PM
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the scoops are no where near a max load, if anything they are low. Check your books against them. Les
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