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Old August 11, 2005, 10:06 PM   #26
impact
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I'm not saying dippers are bad! I'm just saying it's not a good idea to check your load before you cap off with a bullet! I use two scales to check loads. I really like AAno2 for 9mm. It does not take much to go way over max. And yah I'm one of those guys that like my loads to exact! When I'm loading my 308 I want 40.0grs of IMR 4895. Not 39.9 or 40.1. It does make a difference at long range. I know there other things that can influence accuracy but I know it's not my charge.

All it takes is 4 kernels of powder to change the the scale to read + or - a tenth with 4895.
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Old August 11, 2005, 10:54 PM   #27
Leftoverdj
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Quote:
Safety first? Make sure you grabbed the right dipper? Make sure you grabbed the right powder? To verify there isnt a typo on the chart of how much powder each dipper throws? To make sure your dipper is actually the size it says it is? To make sure you are not "packing" small ball powder in as tight as it will fit? Because my load book tells me to always verify my powder charge every so often? I check it cuz it's easy to do and a scale is less than an ambulence ride... I dont check every charge, because I believe in voilumetric metering. But I do check every 10th or 20th charge or so.
You can do all that if you wanna, but you should not be claiming that it is necessary, or even that it is a safety measure. I wanna check that I have the right dipper, I look at the handle. Lee number was molded in when the dipper was made so it can't be wrong. If I had doubts, I could check it just as well with a graduate cylinder as a scale. If I wanna check the powder, I look at the can. Scale is only gonna tell you that you have the wrong powder when you check the scale against the volume. The Lee slide chart has been in use over 20 years and there ain't no typos in it. That's more than I can say for loading manuals. Already posted how I use dippers, and there ain't no chance of packing.

A fixed dipper ain't gonna change. Volume is gonna be exactly the same on first dip and the ten thousandth. I check adjustable measures because the adjustment can move. Can't change with fixed dipper, a Lee disk or a Li'l Dandy rotor. They are what they are. Dump the first few charges after you fill the hopper of the AutoDisk or the L'il Dandy and you are gonna get what you expect to get.

I got nothing against scales. They are very useful tools. They just ain't essential for all uses.
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Old August 12, 2005, 04:41 AM   #28
griz
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For the safety of a hypothetical cost cutting brand new reloader, are you guys saying that it's OK to depend on the charge that the chart says the dipper set will throw, or are you saying that the dippers are consistent enough that you don't need to check every throw?
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Old August 12, 2005, 05:11 AM   #29
Leftoverdj
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Griz, I am saying that the Lee Dippers used with the Lee Data Sheet that comes with the Lee dies do not ever need to be checked by scale. I will also say the same about the Lee Pro AutoDisk and the RCBS Li'l Dandy when the charge chosen is about 5% from both book starting and book max.

I'll add that the absolute safest way to start is with the single Lee dipper with the die set, one can of powder reccommended by the data sheet, and one weight of bullet. That reduces the possible ways to screw up to the absolute minimum.

You will note that there is some dissension in this matter.
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Old August 12, 2005, 06:18 AM   #30
Superhornet
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Montels------safety first ?? Is that not the consideration
in ever endeaver that potentially can have undesired results? Dipper parameters don't change when you leave the room, they don't change if they get dropped, they throw consistant Volume loads one after the other and in my humble short experience with reloading.......they work and they will produce good accurate ammo. Make sure you have the right dipper?? Make sure you don't pack the ball powder in the dipper ?? Are these not safety first items ?? Now--of course if you want to reach that ultimate super duper .5 grain from max, use the scale... Each of us, as always, have or has his own opinion and that is what makes the world go around. It also makes for a very lively discussion........IMHO
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Old August 12, 2005, 08:03 AM   #31
Olaf
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One last comment. I loaded the last of my empty cases last night....67 of them , to be exact. I had previously resized, trimmed, chamfered and installed primers in them....so I started from the point of charging the cases. I decided, since I had just run my "experiment" as to the consistency of the Lee dipper (I use) that morning - to use the dipper exclusively (and only weigh 3 randomly-selected charges)...after charging all of the cases. I did this...then selected 3 charged cases. The charge weights were as follows : 1st - 42.1 grains, 2nd - 42.1 grains, 3rd - 42.0 grains. 42.0 grains was the charge weight I was trying to get. Hmmm....I'd have to say that this worked out pretty well. My rifle and targets will never notice the additional .1 grain. Since this load is perfectly safe (WELL below maximum)...I think I obeyed the principle of "safety first".

As well, I had all of the cases charged in less than 15 minutes. With a scale, I would have been at it for 1 hour to 1.5 hours. In fact, I was finished - including seating bullets and crimping....in about 45 minutes from starting. I believe that I will load like this more often.
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Old August 12, 2005, 09:23 AM   #32
m0ntels
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I have the Lee dipper set, and I use it from time to time. Not so much now that I got another adjustable powder measure that is portable, but I used them and trusted them, and all charges were withing +/- .2 grains with W231, IMR-4064, Blue Dot, and whatever else I used.

My questions and comments arent saying that there is a definite chance of someone screwing up if they never use a scale. Odds are they never will. But using a scale is a good habit to get into. The MEC charge bars are close to something like a Lil Dandy, and the manual for that says to check the charge against a scale. You can do whatever you want. Maybe you've never put a dipper back in the wrong spot. Maybe your kid never stuck a cherrio in the bottom of one. Whatever.

I know now that I've gotten more experience that I dont check and double check near as much when I started. And I'm fine with that because now I know I have a good idea of what I'm doing. My point is, I dont think that if people are new at this and asking us for questions, we should be passing this kind of thing on to them right from the start. We're quick to tell them to not start with a progressive because they need to take their time and get aquainted with the process and to go slow and check things, but now we're going to tell a brand new loader that it is safe to assume some powder charges? I know plenty of people do. That's fine because it's their body parts and guns. Everyone I've shown how to reload has, and will always, be taught that a scale is a neccessary item. A Lee scale is only $20 for crying out loud.

Randy
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Old August 12, 2005, 11:08 AM   #33
Olaf
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mOntels,
Again, I certainly agree with you that a scale IS a necessary piece of equipment. Everyone who handloads should have one on hand - and use it when it's indicated. I don't think that anyone is arguing that point. I think that the point that is being argued is that no one need worry much about the accuracy and precision of the Lee dippers, AS LONG AS they are being used properly. I certainly agree that beginning loaders should probably weigh most/all of their charges...at least until they become comfortable.
My comments, in particular, (I cannot speak for others and will not pretend to) were designed ONLY to reinforce the concept that the Lee dippers ARE safe and effective, when used properly. Under NO circumstances should someone experiment with the Lee dippers, if working up a load....or if loading near the safe maximum. NO !!! Only use the Lee dippers if your chosen charge is comfortably below maximum...and this information is well-supported by published load data (preferably from AT LEAST two published sources). It would, in all cases, be a good idea to check the dippers to be used against data from a scale - to be sure of TECHNIQUE. In my SPECIFIC case, for example....the load that I have been talking about in my recent posts....it would be nearly impossible to get in trouble with that (with the dippers). I intended this information as only an example of a truly safe scenario. If I had been trying to get a consistent load of 46.0 grains...in the example I gave....I might well not have used the Lee dippers - as this charge is much closer to the safe maximum. However, if one of my dippers regularly produced a charge at or below 46.0 grains (with my powder), once I checked this carefully by other means (my scale...averaging the results from a number of tries)...then it certainly would be OK to use the dipper. In that particular situation though, I would be much more concerned if the dipper threw charges above 46.0 grains (even by a tenth)....because this charge is much closer to the max. I likely would NOT choose the dipper if I got results like that. If at or below 46.0 grains always...then the dipper would be fine.

Again, no one is arguing that anyone should be anything less than VERY careful when preparing charges for handloading. We are only saying that the Lee dippers ARE safe and efficient, when used properly - with good judgement. EXCEPT with known mild loads, the dippers may be something
that beginners should avoid. Of course, NO beginner should be loading ANY charges near maximum. anyway.
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Old August 12, 2005, 11:45 AM   #34
m0ntels
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Agreed!

Randy (I cant believe it's so hot as to make me so defensive of a scale...lol)
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Old August 12, 2005, 03:34 PM   #35
Olaf
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Hey mOntels, you just have the interests of others at heart. You obviously don't want anyone to get in trouble, or be injured - just as I do.
Nothing at all wrong with that, dude. Cheers.
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Old August 12, 2005, 11:10 PM   #36
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I've been loading the same 38sp load now for a dozen years always with the dippers and I can't remember the last time I weighed one of those charges. But their nice and mild and not really used for anything but blowing off steam. I use a 1cc and a .5cc dipper to place powder on my scale for just about everything else, but I'm one of those guys who just can't stand the thought of my good loads being off by .1gr.
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Old August 13, 2005, 12:31 PM   #37
444
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IMO, the only way to have a powder charge that is more accurate than a tolorance of .1 Grain is to trickle/weigh EVERY charge. I don't own a powder measure that is more accurate than .1 grain.
I own Dillon powder measures, an RCBS Uni-Flow, a Lyman, a Lee disk measure, a Lyamn digital measure/scale automatic deal (that currently doesn't work), a Harrel, and last weekend I bought a new measure at the gunshow that is guarenteed not to shear a grain of powder.
This is mostly just stuff I have accumulated over the years and I actually only use two of them on a regular basis. But, the dippers are just as accurate as any of them and more accurate than some of them.

Also, IMO, I think it would take a VERY seriously accurate rifle, with a VERY good shooter, at long range to be able to honestly notice the difference in .1 grain error in powder charge.
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Old August 14, 2005, 08:12 AM   #38
OkieCruffler
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I agree completely,

That's why when I miss it's obviously a case of a misweighed powder charge.
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Old August 14, 2005, 11:03 AM   #39
444
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I guess the point for me is that I am not willing to take the time to make sure that each powder charge is exactly the weight intended. And, in the end, I don't think it matters when we are talking about 1/10 of a grain. Loading rifle ammo is a time consuming pursuit to begin with. I am looking for ways to streamline the process.
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You know the rest. In the books you have read
How the British Regulars fired and fled,
How the farmers gave them ball for ball,
From behind each fence and farmyard wall,
Chasing the redcoats down the lane,
Then crossing the fields to emerge again
Under the trees at the turn of the road,
And only pausing to fire and load.
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Old August 17, 2005, 04:22 PM   #40
drinks
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Dippers and measures

This morning I went to the shop and tried 4 Lee dippers with BLC-2, all were within less than .1gr when I used a card edge to strike off the powder and did not tap the measure, just doing what the instructions say, I measured 10 loads in each dipper, never had worried about the Lee dippers in the past and sure shall not now.
I have 2 Lee PPMs, I tried the powders I have on hand that I consider the easiest to put through a measure and the worst, BLC-2 and H4831.
The BLC-2 was within less than .1gr for 10 individual loads and within .1 gr for 5 loads measured together.
H4831 was within .1gr for 10 individual loads and .3gr for 5 loads weighed together.
I am now going to quit worring about the Lee PPMs.
The loads were all over 45gr in size.
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Old August 26, 2005, 10:51 PM   #41
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I'll bump this back up to the top.

Using Lee's and Drink's method, I tried several dippers with AA #5, Universal, 700X, BL-C2, and 4831. I expected to get results similar to those already mentioned, and actual consistency was very good. Most were within .1 grains, and the worst (4831) was still within .3 grains of the average.

Quote:
Griz, I am saying that the Lee Dippers used with the Lee Data Sheet that comes with the Lee dies do not ever need to be checked by scale. I will also say the same about the Lee Pro AutoDisk and the RCBS Li'l Dandy when the charge chosen is about 5% from both book starting and book max.
But here is my problem. While I agree that the dippers are consistent they aren't always close to what Lee says they are. Compared to Lee's chart, the charges were from 2 to 14% less than what you would expect if you didn't have a scale. (for me they were never high) Now that will produce safe working loads, but they may not function in semi-autos and may be a good bit slower than you would want. Now if the your pistol doesn't cycle and the chart says the next dipper up would be too much, what do you do? I would try another powder and see if it worked. But powder is expensive enough that soon you could just buy a scale and use the powder that is best in your caliber instead of one that "fits" the dipper system.

So I agree with most of your post. You can load consistent, safe loads with the dippers. They have the advanatge of being much more mistake proof than anything else. But in the long run I think most people will want to go in between the charges that the dippers allow and will need a scale.
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