Powder dippers?


April 8, 2010, 12:24 PM
Quick question.....

Do any of you guys prefer to use powder dippers over powder measures. I'm finding that as long as I don't "scoop" the dipper through the powder (as opposed to dipping), I get very accurate loads ( +/- .2 grains). Reloading is total relaxation for me so I'm not worried about speed, just accuracy and safety.

All thoughts welcome.

Happy Shooting!;)

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April 8, 2010, 12:32 PM
I use a dipper for making my .30-06 M2 ball ammo for my Garand. I weighed dipped charges of IMR4895 with my scale until I couldn't stand it anymore, and as long as I dipped the same every time they were always within a couple of tenths of where I needed them to be. So, I use the dipper for that. It's the dipper that came with my Lee .30-06 dies. I use 150gr. pulled military M2 flat-base bullets and 47-47.5gr. of IMR4895.

Pistol rounds, I always use the Lee powder measure/dispenser that came with the press.

April 8, 2010, 05:21 PM
If you are working with a load that has been proven safe for your weapon, and somewhat below max, the dipper deal works fine.

I wouldn't want to use dipper for benchrest loads, but for fun shooting on a budget, I think it is a nice money/time saver.

April 8, 2010, 05:29 PM
That's the way Skeeter did it, so its GOT to be right.

April 8, 2010, 05:38 PM
I use 'em like you do. I also find that if you just scoop them the same and use a business card to level them off, your pretty darn close to the weighed charge, every time. Sometimes I use my powder measure, but most of the time with reduced loads on cast bullets, I find I can get close enough for my purposes. For me, it has nothing to do with a budget, as I've bought most of the "toys" that I can use, it's just that I like the simpicity of it, and lets face it, if you use Unique in reduced rifle laods, it just doesn't meter well in mostr any powder measures.

Just another tool in the arsenal.

April 8, 2010, 07:28 PM
When using Unique I sometimes drop the charge from the measure into a dipper and then from the dipper to the case. Gives me an extra visual as to how the measure is dispensing. I weigh about 1 out of 10 because I'm not in a hurry and don't reload often. Seems like the dippers are fairly accurate on their own if filled properly.

April 8, 2010, 08:23 PM
I prefer the dipper cups. When I work up a load I usually do it with the idea I will use a specific dipper cup in lieu of my powder dispenser. It would be nice if Lee would offer finer granularity in the dipper set. I would be the first guy in line to buy a set graduated in .1cc as opposed to .3cc.

David Wile
April 8, 2010, 09:01 PM
Hey folks,

I use Lee dipper sets along with dippers I made myself, but I really only use them when I am in the field and do not have access to a dispenser, trickler, and scale. I also do not use dippers for anything other than moderate powder loadings. I enjoy sitting outside my camper reloading cartridges with my Lyman 310 Nutcracker tools and using dippers to charge the loads. It is fun to have folks stop by and watch what you are doing. I would not, however, think of using dippers and Lyman Nutcracker tools when I am at home and have presses and powder dispensers handy.

Best wishes,
Dave Wile

John Wayne
April 8, 2010, 10:54 PM
IIRC, Lee says to submerge the dipper in powder, let it fill up, then level it with a business card. The loads are definately safe; dipper loads are often below starting loads with room for error built in. Lee even designed the dippers so that if you have a heaping scoop you'll still be under the max load.

My Lee manual lists the starting load for a .357 Mag / 158 XTP with HS-6 at 8 gr., or the .5 CC dipper. Actual dipped charges weigh about 6.8 gr. I have loaded a few with the dipper, but have not fired them yet. It seems like it would be a decent tool to use for plinking loads if you don't have a powder measure, or don't want to re-set your measure for a different loading.

April 9, 2010, 12:30 AM
I hate scales so the dippers are perfect for me - no moving parts. Since I only use Unique for .38/.357 and .45 Colt once I weigh the first couple dipper loads I can put the scale away for a couple years if I buy the eight pound "keg" of Unique.

April 9, 2010, 12:42 AM
I used to use nothing but dippers and a scale forever till I got my first Uniflow. Even After, I began using the Uniflow and a trickler to charge accurate precise rifle charges but I could actual throw and a charge and trickle with the same dipper faster. So untill I got my RCBS Charger, I preferred my dippers. For rifle that is. For pistol my Uniflow was much faster.

I still do the dipper's thing even with the new fancy shmancy equipment I have. Long live the dipper.


April 9, 2010, 08:15 AM
It depends---I use both but for high volume target pistol/revolver loads I will use the dippers. Just the way I am.:D BTW to make a custom dipper size I will take an old brass of that cal and solder a copper wire handle to it, fill it with an appropriate amount of epoxy. Dip 10 times and weigh, use average weight, then using a twist drill almost the size of casing drill a small amount away and dip 10 more. repeat until desired weight is found. Mark weight and powder on handle with paper and clear tape. If the weight needs to be changed use more epoxy or cut some more out. Check with each new batch of propellant as usual.
Note: run the drill in reverse for a second at end to smooth out bottom of cut.

April 9, 2010, 09:34 AM
I used to use them all the time. Even custom made some from empty brass and bought the whole Lee set and sanded a few down to exactly what I wanted. Used a loading tray and funnel. Visual inspect all 50 rounds. Never have a squib that way.:) Every load was exactly the same. I now only use it for some rifle loads when I want 20-50.

Marlin 45 carbine
April 9, 2010, 09:47 AM
I use Lee powder thru expander and self-made dippers for my handgun loads.
some fine-grained rifle powder does'nt meter well through my Lee so I use dippers for that too.
with any bulky powder a little one way or the other won't amount to anything for target shooting.

April 9, 2010, 01:05 PM
The cut down funnel works real well with the dipper cups. A virgin funnel is shown on the right.


April 9, 2010, 01:13 PM
Man, look at that press...it's all clean and shiny! What's up with that?

April 9, 2010, 01:17 PM
I haven't had this one that long (2 years) but I do keep them clean and well lubed. Even my oldest and most used presses look almost new. If I know I won't be at the bench for an extended period of time I cover them with old bath towels.

April 9, 2010, 01:18 PM
My wife got a kick out of your signature line. :)

April 9, 2010, 03:19 PM
I used a set of LEE dippers wuith perfect satisfaction for the first full year that I reloaded. (I couldn't afford a measure.:p )

If they worked well 45 years ago, there's no reason they won't work just as well now! :D

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