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James Gates recently made a post on the handgun cartridge forum with this statement:

<!--QuoteBegin--></span><table border="0" align="center" width="95%" cellpadding="3" cellspacing="1"><tr><td>Quote </td></tr><tr><td id="QUOTE"><!--QuoteEBegin-->The handiest thing I have in my loading room is a set of Lee Dippers, along with ones I have made. Boy, i can hear the uproar already! I saw my first set at a benchrest shoot. Most people don't even know what the weight variation at the factories are...3 full grains!!! and that's their best stuff loaded on machines that have been set to stroke slow! [/quote]

I'll have to confess to having used those inexpensive Lee powder dippers for several applications when the sum total of my loading equipment stored in an old fashioned shoe-box!  Yep!  You guessed it:  three sets of Lee Loaders and a set of their graduated plastic dippers, complete with their little cardboard slip-type slide rule to use the dippers.   They did their job, and I cranked out some really accurate ammo on those shoe-stiring budget tools!  In fact, some of the most accurate ammo for my .270 Winchester was loaded just that way!

Yes, I still have a set of Lee Dippers, and a whole collection of tiny dippers made from various  empty cartridge cases with a length of brass brazing rod soldered to the case for a handle.  Those homemade dippers are all cataloged into my loading notes, and the charges of various powders they throw recorded.

Now, for some controversial ideas.... yes, we have digital scales now, and automated powder tricklers and micrometer stem adjustable seating dies.   But, I am here to tell the newbie, the novice, or the loader on a budget that EXCELLENT ammo can be assembled using these dippers.   If they are used consistently, and uniformly the uniformity of your loads will absolutely astound you!  Sure a Redding BR3 powder measure is mighty handy, accurate tool and a great asset when handloading... but, you don't have to have it!  Those old fashioned powder dippers can still dish out some great ammo!

There are times when I have a known load, and I'm rushed for time and only need to put together a dozen loads to test a batch of bullets, that I pull out the appropriate dipper, fill the cases, seat bullets and am shooting them at the range in the time it would take to adjust the powder measure and clean it out from the last  powder used.    Interestingly enough, those loads shoot like those assembled using the dillon when the powder is dipped consistently with the same technique each time.

Even an experienced hand hasn't outgrown the old fashioned powder dipper!

God bless,

Marshall
 

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'I am here to tell the newbie, the novice, or the loader on a budget"....

OK Marshall, I'm listening  :biggrin:

I certainly trust your experience, as well as James', on using the dippers but it just seems like an easy way to get into trouble when using fast burning powders.  The anology that comes to mind is like making a pot of coffee with a measured tablespoon - some days it's perfect, others it's a bit weak while on others it can melt the elastic in your sweat socks!
 

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Alan,

The only way you will get into trouble using dippers for your powder is to be careless, and that can happen with even the most sophisticated of equipment!

If you have a set of dippers with known volume quantities, (such as the Lee Powder Dippers and the accompanying slide rule powder calculator), then use them to measure appropriate powder charges for your cases of interest, you won't have any problems!  The straight walled sides of the dippers I mention, either the commercial, or home-made versions are much easier to use than you might imagine!   quite different than the tablespoon for your coffee!  The key is to push the dipper through the powder the same way, every time, then tap off the surplus powder off the top of the dipper, making sure that it is level across the top.   It is that easy... and much more precise than you might think posssible with such a simple set-up!


Here's the set of Lee Powder Dippers:



Use them with the same caution you would use any other loading equipment and enjoy!

God Bless,

Marshall
 

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Amen, Marshall....If everyone looks inside of their favorite drum or rotary powder measure...all they see is an adjustable "hole"...not different than a dipper. I've used them for years, as has most bench shooters. I have a small plastic triangle I rack across the top. I've sat down with my scales and checked dipped charges Vs powder measured charges. No difference. If you are so close to the top pressure that you are afraid of these dippers, maybe you should back down some. They are not just for newbies. Try them, you'll like them....Best Regards, James
 

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I constantly use the dippers when I'm weighing out powder charges also. Simply pick one that throws a lighter charge than what you're after and use it to speed the weighing process.

Dump that charge on your scale and use the dribbler to bring it up the rest of the way to the weight you need. Very handy when loading a test series to check for pressures with a new load.

See what you started, James? (grin)


:cool:
 

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Up till now, even though I have the little dippers I still scaled each dipper full.  Yesterday I went and bought the Lee Perfect Powder Measure which from what I can understand and read is a good one for as low as it sells for &#3623.99, I think Midway has them a bit cheaper.

I will scale each load anyway for consistant loads.

The Montanan

(Edited by The Montanan at 6:19 am on April 19, 2001)
 

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I have a couple of questions, based on reloading using a single stage press. Would the powder dippers used in conjunction with a scale and trickler be more accurate than the Redding 3BR once it's adjusted?  Is the 3BR accurate enough to produce consistently uniform charges without constant re-checking on a scale? Finally, just for curiosity's sake, what would be the time using either method? Thanks!
 

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Interesting post! I've used the dippers that come with the Lee loaders, but don't have the full set. One thing I've noticed is that most people assume that, because you weigh each charge as accurately as humanly possible your velocities will be more consistent. That's not necessarily so! I have compared chronograph data of weighed charges vs. thrown charges (from an RCBS Uniflow that I inherited from my Dad) and you often cannot detect a difference in consistency. This has even been true with IMR4350, where I could MEASURE the difference in weight of the thrown charges, up to 3 tenths of a grain, and velocities were still as consistent as weighed charges! I haven't done this with very small cartridges, but in 30-30, 308 and 30-06 this has been the case. I was amazed! I've been weighing charges for twenty-two years, but I only got a chronograph last year and it has been truly educational! It's also saved a lot of time, because I use thrown charges almost all the time now. I may also invest in the dippers- I can see their advantages!      ID  :biggrin:
 

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My brothers and I have used them for many years. They are an excellent tool. Like Contender, I most often use them when weighing cahrges for test loads. Use the dipper just under the charge I want, top it off with the trickler. Easyu, safe, and oh so accurate.
 
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