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Old October 19, 2012, 08:38 AM   #1
HALL,AUSTIN
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Best powder/primer for .357 whack-a-mole?

I want to get a lee loader for .357, I know there are better choices out there but this is mainly to just get started and use my choice of bullet for a fraction of the cost.
It comes with a scooper, will this work with any/all powders or will there be a specific powder that I will need to use?


Or should I just stop being cheap and buy a scale?
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Old October 19, 2012, 09:04 AM   #2
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I am a dipper devotee, but you do need a scale to check your charges. The beauty of dippers is that there are no moving parts, and once you figure out what your charge weight is you can put the scale away. I tend to scoop. The key is to use the same technique every time you scoop. Richard Lee recommends pushing the dipper bottom first into the powder and letting the powder fall into the dipper and swiping off the dipper to level with a card or some straight edge. I find that throws a light charge from the chart weights. You can make you own dippers with old brass and wire to a custom volume or buy the cheap Lee Precision set. I have two, one standard and one for volume modification. You can fill in the bottom or cut off the top-end to get the right charge weight. There is no safer way to reload but you should get a scale, I hate using scales so that is one reason to use dippers.
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Old October 19, 2012, 09:10 AM   #3
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Stop being cheap and buy a scale.

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Old October 19, 2012, 09:18 AM   #4
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So order a scal, got it. But what powder/primer combination for 158gr JSP?
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Old October 19, 2012, 09:21 AM   #5
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Unique for mid power, 2400 or 4227 or AA9 for upper mid and 296/110 for high end. I use Unique but you can't go wrong with 2400. I'm not into recoil. With the bullet you describe, 2400 or 4227 or AA9 is what I would pick.
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Old October 19, 2012, 09:29 AM   #6
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But what powder/primer combination for 158gr JSP?
Alliant 2400, standard small pistol primer.

14.5gr worked well for me ...... Lee suggests the 1cc dipper. That should give you around 14.0.

I suggest you make a custom dipper out of a .45 ACP case....
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Old October 19, 2012, 10:48 AM   #7
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the Lee Loader kit will come with a range of powders that the dipper can be used with,so you won't be limited to one powder by the dipper.At least that's how mine came many years ago.

any brand of small pistol primer will work for blasting ammo.

it takes less unique for a round of ammo than 2400,and i've had very good results with unique. a penny saved....
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Old October 19, 2012, 02:47 PM   #8
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Read the instructions, it' all in there. If your loader didn't come with instructions, go to the Lee website and look at one of their instructional videos. The dipper supplied with your kit is for a specific load of a specific powder. Don't try to "make do" with your dipper using other powders and guessing at how much goes in the case...

For .38 Specials with 158 gr bullets I've used Bullseye, W231, and Unique with standard small pistol primers. Unique is the most versital, and you'll be able to use it when you start reloading other calibers...
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Old October 19, 2012, 03:07 PM   #9
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Herco (8 grains or just a little less) works really good with 158 grain cast bullets, and it's a bulky powder so it'll scoop well. But you'll probably need to borrow a scale to check your dipper -- and maybe make a custom dipper from a piece of brass and a wire.
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Old October 19, 2012, 04:19 PM   #10
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If I am not mistaken***, the Lee Loader in .357 comes with the .3cc dipper...That gives a listed 5 grains of Red Dot powder...

With that dipper I load a LOT of Red Dot in .357 and .44Mag...

In .357Mag case, 5gr Red Dot (.3cc) under 158gr lead is a good light-magnum load, and the same charge under a 240gr lead in .44Mag case is a mild .44Spcl level plinker...

***I WAS MISTAKEN, SEE POST #17!!!

Last edited by Salmoneye; October 21, 2012 at 07:52 PM.
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Old October 19, 2012, 04:43 PM   #11
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Would 2 .3cc scoops be a hot load then?
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Old October 19, 2012, 04:56 PM   #12
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If you are just looking for go bang loads, and not worried about barn burner velocity then I would say use Trail Boss with a home made dipper. You can make the dipper with a .38 Special case. You may have to cut it down just a wee bit. Go to the Hodgdon site for instruction on how to use Trail Boss. I like to use my home cast 158 grain lead semi wad cutters with any small primer I can find.
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Old October 19, 2012, 06:46 PM   #13
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Quote:
It comes with a scooper, will this work with any/all powders or will there be a specific powder that I will need to use?
There should be a chart with it, showing bullets and powder weights.

I may have the .357 chart around here, somewhere.
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Old October 19, 2012, 06:47 PM   #14
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Quote:
If I am not mistaken, the Lee Loader in .357 comes with the .3cc dipper...That gives a listed 5 grains of Red Dot powder...
Would 2 .3cc scoops be a hot load then?
You're kidding, right?
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Old October 19, 2012, 08:33 PM   #15
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2 scoops of ANY pistol powder is called a double charge,and a double charge will almost certainly destroy your gun,and poissibly injure you,or whoever is shooting the gun. !
Never ever 'guess' at how much powder is going into a case,the results can be bloody.
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Old October 20, 2012, 05:52 AM   #16
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Quote:
Would 2 .3cc scoops be a hot load then?
2 scoops of Red Dot in a .357 case will blow the gun up...

As pointed out, a chart will come with the loader...I was simply relaying MY favorite powder/charge for that SINGLE scoop of the supplied dipper...

It's pretty evident now that you really need to start with the basics...

Please find someone safe to Mentor you through your early days of loading...Read some books also...

http://www.amazon.com/ABCs-Reloading.../dp/0873491904
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Old October 20, 2012, 10:51 AM   #17
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***I WAS INDEED MISTAKEN IN POST #10!!!

This is what I get for going from my failing old Memory...

The dipper I was referring to is NOT the .3cc, it is the .7cc...This is the one that gives appx. 5gr of Red Dot, and the one I believe is supplied with the .357 Magnum Lee Loader...

I apologize for the confusion (mine)...

Last edited by Salmoneye; October 21, 2012 at 07:53 PM.
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Old October 20, 2012, 03:37 PM   #18
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I started looking over some loading info and educated myself a bit better. Im going to buy a scale and some unique powdder and start my loads at 5 percent under according to alliant's website.
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Old October 20, 2012, 07:48 PM   #19
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A lot of us started with the Lee. Follow the instructions and it will work although the loads they publish tend to be conservative. Nothing wrong with being conservative. You will expand your capabilities as time passes.
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Old October 20, 2012, 08:03 PM   #20
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There's also nothing wrong with using dippers. But it's a good idea to have a scale to check your dipper to make sure it's scooping the amount of powder you think it is.

I have a couple of nice powder measures, but am thinking about also making dippers for a few loads that I like that I do in small runs on a single-stage press. That way when I want to load a box, I can start loading right away without messing with the measure (which may have the wrong powder in it already)
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Old October 21, 2012, 12:54 AM   #21
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The chart/dipper measurments that are listed are on the quite-a-bit conservative side, for a reason. Using them and being consistent with how you fill the dipper is important. You don't 'need' a scale, which is why you use the chart and never guess or think you know better, losing fingers is probably no fun.

For peace of mind you can pick up a Lee scale for cheap(Or borrow a scale if possible) and see how good you are with the dippers.

Buying a $100 scale defeats the purpose of your intentions.
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Old October 21, 2012, 05:31 AM   #22
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I still have a couple bash-kits

I mostly highly recommend wearing safety eyewear (and a glove on the hand holding the rod when banging in the primer).

I suggest ease of use with W231, and CCI550 primers. Data abounds...
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Old October 21, 2012, 06:47 PM   #23
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2 scoops of ANY pistol powder is called a double charge,and a double charge will almost certainly destroy your gun,and poissibly injure you,or whoever is shooting the gun. !
Horsefeathers.

Two .3cc scoops of 2400 (nominally .6cc) would not make "start load" (.7cc) ..... it all depends upon the powder in question.
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Old October 21, 2012, 07:51 PM   #24
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Quote:
Quote:
2 scoops of ANY pistol powder is called a double charge,and a double charge will almost certainly destroy your gun,and poissibly injure you,or whoever is shooting the gun. !
Horsefeathers.

Two .3cc scoops of 2400 (nominally .6cc) would not make "start load" (.7cc) ..... it all depends upon the powder in question.
I already corrected my erroneous info (re .3cc scoop) in post #17...

The supplied scoop with the Lee Loader in .357 is .7cc, and doubling that with any 'Pistol Powder' can only end in tragedy...

I would edit that post (and the Mods can if they wish), but I have so far left it as I want to leave it as an example that even us old fahts need to check our manuals before we undertake this hobby/passion of ours...
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Old October 21, 2012, 10:53 PM   #25
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Why not just get the Lee hand press, they are only about 30 bucks... I have a couple of them and use them from everything from .32 to 454 casull..

JIM
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