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Anyone else like using Lee Dippers?

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by Smaug, Nov 1, 2022.

?

Do you like using Lee Dippers?

  1. Yes

  2. No

  3. Don't know; haven't tried them.

Results are only viewable after voting.
  1. Shivahasagun

    Shivahasagun Member

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    I've bought the set and a few of the .17cc ones (for modding) that don't even come in the kit. They were $1 ea.
     
    markr6754 and GeoDudeFlorida like this.
  2. Shivahasagun

    Shivahasagun Member

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    I will use dippers and pour through the "powder thru" die directly into the case.

    They've been accurate enough for pistol cartridges. Well...can't be too accurate with .25 acp!
     
    Smaug, CQB45ACP and GeoDudeFlorida like this.
  3. CoalCrackerAl

    CoalCrackerAl Member

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    I use them when im loading a few rounds. Instead of setting up my drop. I'll dip out what i need into the powder pan. When the wight is close. I trickle the rest then.
     
  4. CQB45ACP

    CQB45ACP Member

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    This is what a programmer does:) I first used the dipper because of something you said but no way am I going into all that.
     
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  5. GeoDudeFlorida

    GeoDudeFlorida Member

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    I maths pretty goodly sometimes. Other times, more Mongo than not. ;)
     
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  6. CQB45ACP

    CQB45ACP Member

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    I weigh every load. Each case is filled at an exact weight (provided my scale is accurate of course). When I used my uniflow I’d check every 10th load.

    And I only shoot 9mm & 45acp
     
    Linus101A and GeoDudeFlorida like this.
  7. Howa 9700

    Howa 9700 Member

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    The full set I have were actually my Dad's and are at least 30 to 40 years old. Probably some of the first ever made. Were in the stash of old reloading equipment I got from him. Interesting to see some of the now obsolete powders listed on the sliding chart.

    Anyway......that chart, and the Lee Reloading manual list the weight of powder each dipper is supposed to drop. Wondering how accurate that actually was, I weighted out several and compared that to the charts. Some were dead on.......some way off. Finally realized the powder in my can was probably not the same as the powder used to develop the charts. In some cases, number is the same........factories where they came from not even on the same continent.

    Also related.........the same dipper from way back when looks the same as it's modern era equal, but they don't drop the same weight. Close, but not identical. Chalked that up to probability new dipper molds were likely made at some point along the way.

    But I do use them. A lot. Would never follow the dipper load data that comes with Lee dies , but 100% certain it would safely go BANG if you did.
     
  8. Carl N. Brown

    Carl N. Brown Member

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    I have a set of the old cubic inch (black or red) and the new cubic centimeter (yellow) dippers.
    20220508_074935.jpg
     
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2022
  9. CQB45ACP

    CQB45ACP Member

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    My little setup is as simple as they come. If I wanted to load 50 I’d still do it this way because I want an EXACT load each and every time.

    998CB164-AA3A-431C-9334-6C5EF411AB20.jpeg
     
  10. GeoDudeFlorida

    GeoDudeFlorida Member

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    Me too. Two sets of each, actually.
     
    .45Coltguy, CQB45ACP and .308 Norma like this.
  11. Ifishsum

    Ifishsum Member

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    Like Carl I have a set of the old black ones as well as a set of the new ones. Between them I can almost always find one that is either on the money or close enough to dip and trickle up. They are my go-to unless I have a particular load I'll scale up on, then I switch to a powder throw.
     
  12. 3Crows

    3Crows Member

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    I dip to my scale and then trickle up. It is slow but I am loading for rifles so I do not need more than 20 at a time or so.
     
  13. Cacas ex Fortuna

    Cacas ex Fortuna Member

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    Dippers, Lee classic loader, TV tray, game on, can makem all day long.
    I have 3 sets, one dates to the 60s.
     
  14. cfullgraf

    cfullgraf Member

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    I used Lee dipper cups when I got started in reloading back in the 1989's. Once I discovered good volumetric powder measures, I stopped using the Lee dippers. I found the powder measures were more flexible and more accurate with powder charges than the Lee dippers.

    I sometimes still use the Lee dippers for load development where I might weigh each load. But, since I got a Culver 90 precision powder measure, that has also reduced the need for using Lee dippers.

    The Lee dippers come in handy here and there so I keep them around.
     
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2022
    Smaug likes this.
  15. Armored farmer

    Armored farmer Member

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    I use dippers. I have a Lee adjustable powder meter, but the dippers fit into my routine.
    I even modify them to get em just right.
     
  16. Jimster

    Jimster Member

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    For all my blackpowder rounds.
     
  17. Smaug

    Smaug Member

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    I'm not sure I follow. The wads would absorb some alcohol, no?

    You are talking about modifying the capacity, then filling with syringe to measure the new capacity?


    I haven't done it on record, but before I start dumping directly through the flaring die into cases, I measure at least 5 in a row. If I'm going for 5.0 gr. for example, the string looks something like this:
    • 4.9
    • 5.1
    • 5.0
    • 5.2
    • 4.9
    Close enough for handgun ammo shot at < 25 yards. Or, put another way, the ammo is still more accurate than I am. It's worth mentioning that it's about the same precision as a powder measure. For really accurate charges, each one must be weighed/trickled.


    Yep, this is how I'd do it for rifle rounds or precision handgun rounds. (ex. 44 Mag deer hunting ammo) It's unnecessary for day-to-day handgun loads.

    +1


    That is one sturdy TV tray, if you're pounding the Lee Classic Loader!
     
  18. Varminterror

    Varminterror Member

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    I have a tough time swallowing inherent variability - if you’re using volumetric dispensing, and eyeballing some heaped scoop versus random pack fill ratio in a “level scoop,” why add the variability and add the hand moving of scoops rather than a powder drop?

    For 32-33 years, I’ve yet to find real utility in dippers for any kind of reloading.
     
  19. CQB45ACP

    CQB45ACP Member

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    Don’t look, can’t see:)

    I use em to dip the approximately correct amount of powder onto my scale. Not directly into case. And since I no longer tolerate anything but exact loads each time every time, I have to weigh each time anyway.

    I’ve tried my Uniflow weighing each throw and it’s certainly no faster and I’ll wager the process is slower than dipping. Its not more accurate than the dipper either.

    But I’m doing small (9mm & 45ACP) pistol loads of between 3.8 - 6.0grs depending on powder type and I can fly if I want.

    And clean up time once a session is completed is negligible with dippers not so with the Uniflow. Changing powders even quicker.
     
  20. tominboise

    tominboise Member

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    I have the yellow set and use them for various reloading tasks. Sometimes I use them to dump the main charge on the scale and then trickle up. I use the little one as a trickler sometimes (faster for me then the Redding trickler). I also have the RCBS little dandy version which I use for pistol quite a bit.

    They are one tool in the toolbox and like most handloaders, I have several different ways to dispense powder into a cartridge case, depending on the case and what I am doing.
     
  21. Smaug

    Smaug Member

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    Well, most powder measures are still volumetric, but there is no auto leveling of the scoop with the dippers; you're right about that.

    As for "why", the dippers in conjunction with the powder-through-expanding die means that powder charging is combined in the same step as case mouth flaring; it saves a step and makes single stage (or turret) reloading more efficient.
     
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  22. Varminterror

    Varminterror Member

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    I’ve USED the dippers, including sanding to create specific volumes, or adding drops of CA to the bottom to reduce volume. I’ve dipped and dropped directly into cases, I’ve scooped into scale pans. I’ve found it all wanting. I do still use them when loading at the range, occasionally, because they’re easily portable. They’re cheap - that’s it. A guy can feel good about $12 for a bunch of dippers which say Lee on the handle instead of $24 for a PPM they don’t want to buy because it says Lee on the lid…

    You’re being exceptionally biased if you haven’t found dropping faster - and with less risk of spills - than dipping. Or you’ve not taken known opportunities to arrange your drop over your scale to eliminate hand movement. Stick a drop on a stand with a down tube over a scale pan, and a trickler beside it, things get speedy. Not as fast, obviously, as mounting the drop directly to the powder-through flaring and charging dies, but also obviously more accurate.

    I think you’re also being pretty generous to claim heaping dippers by eye is more precise than powder drops. Neither are precise, naturally, and LEVEL FILLING a dipper is effectively the same as what happens in a drop, but I’ve not found the calibration curve on anyone’s Mk I eyeball to be sufficiently precise for heaping dippers to better accuracy than a powder drop. Heaping is largely acknowledgement you’re using the wrong dipper.

    I do acknowledge, any of this advice is really falling on deaf ears. Multiple folks have offered the good advice to calibrate your “VMD” table for your respective lots of powder by dipping and weighing an array - but you’ve mentioned unwillingness to do so. It’s less time than charging 30 rounds, dip and weigh 10x with the 1cc, multiply to get your target dipper volume, dip & weigh 10 more with that dipper to confirm it delivers to expectation… if yes, party on, if no, move up or down in dipper accordingly.
     
  23. CQB45ACP

    CQB45ACP Member

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    Not interested in arguing thanks
     
  24. lightman

    lightman Member

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    I can't say I particularly like using them but I used them quite a bit before I bought a ChargeMaster. I would dump a scoop into the scale pan and trickle up to the desired charge. This was mostly with extruded powders. I've had a set for probably 50 years.
     
  25. GeoDudeFlorida

    GeoDudeFlorida Member

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    Nope. Card wads are compressed vegetable fiber. They’re not water soluble or alcohol pregnable. But, even if they were, the alcohol effervesces quickly and doesn’t leave a residue behind.

    My method is to pull the expected final volume into the syringe - for example, my target is 0.4CC so I pull that much liquid into the syringe - and squirt it into the unmodified dipper, e.g. 0.5CC. This gives me a visual reference for how thick I need the wads to be/how many wads to use. They press fit into the dipper, by the way. No glue or adhesive is necessary. Once I get to the point I think I’m close, I do the syringe thing again. I want the meniscus at the rim, not over and not below. Close is okay because the Lee Dippers as they come from the box are only close. We’re not talking a high-precision tool, here. Then again, it’s measuring nitro, one of the least predictable chemicals in common use. ;). I don’t shave wads or anything like that but I do compress them a little to get closer to the goal volume.

    HTH.
     
    Smaug likes this.
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