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Old September 25, 2006, 08:33 PM   #1
carl418
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Am I doing something wrong?

I'm really new to reloading, and haven't made the first bullet yet. I've been reading lots on here and other places, and decided on a load for my .357 mag. The load is as follows: 158 gr JSP, with 7.0 gr of Unique and Winchester small pistol magnum primers.

Now for the question: I had planned on using Lee powder dippers. But, none of them comes to exactly 7 grains. So, I cut down an old case and added a handle. (I read that on this forum!) Anyway, I got my scale set up, and checked it with a Lyman weight check. But, when I got out the Lee .7cc dipper, which is supposed to be 6.4 gr of Unique, it only weighed 5.8 gr.

Tonight was the first time I've used dippers, and used the scale. I believe the scale is right, but..... am I using the dipper incorrectly, or.... is there a problem with the Lee dippers and Unique powder measuring correctly?
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Old September 25, 2006, 08:44 PM   #2
Unclenick
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Unique has a bulk density of 8 grains per cc in my loading information. 0.7cc would then be 5.6 grains. Using the dipper you'll get a couple of tenths extra for the rounding on top. You are doing fine. The table information was wrong or intentionally conservative to prevent you from accidentally overloading. Some people heap the dippers so they wind up half a grain higher than the next guy.

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Old September 25, 2006, 09:44 PM   #3
carl418
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Thanks for the info. I just want to make sure I don't have too much or too little powder. You would think though that Lee would give out accurate info. I double checked on their site, and it shows the same info as on that slide card that came with the dippers.
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Old September 25, 2006, 10:20 PM   #4
gac009
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First there is a proper way to use the dippers. You must DIP them only, never ever scoop. Push your dipper bottom first into the powder untill the powder runs over the top of the dipper then raise it back up and wipe the excess powder off the top. Some find that they can get consistant results with "heaping" dips, where you dont wipe the excess off the top. The dippers are always gonna err on the light side, so people who use them improperly dont blow themselves up.

The dippers are meant to be a enconomical soultion, for people looking for a inexpensive and easy way to measure powder. The idea is that you will decide your load based on the load data inculded with your dippers. You cant expect fixed volume dippers to work for every load for every powder.
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Old September 25, 2006, 11:10 PM   #5
T. O'Heir
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My manual gives 5.5 to 8.0 of Unique for 158 grain bullets. So 5.8 will be safe, but use the dipper to get close to the load you want then use a powder trickler to finish. The dippers can vary +/- a whole grain. And you've seen how unreliable they are. A good powder thrower would be a good investment. Mind you, even the best powder thrower needs to be checked with your scale regularly. Every 10 rounds or so.
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