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Old June 29, 2000, 07:43 PM   #1
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I have recently received my new LEE 35th Anniversary setup, I thought I was getting a rockchucker, but oh well. It came with a wonderfull book by Mr. LEE as well.

I have 2 questions.

1. For my bolt action .308, would I be better off using the Pacesetter dies, or should I step up to the Collet dies?

2. Does anyone here really use the LEE dippers to measure out their powder??????

The whole dipper concept spooks me, especially since charges can vary by up to, if my calculations are correct, 7%! Fortunately, they differ to the low side and not the high!

Also, I just ordered the Zip Trim, now I know how to clean the outside of the cases, and I have the tools to clean the primer pocket, but how do I go about cleaning the inside of the cases? I will someday be able to invest in a tumbler/media setup, but I can't afford it right now

And since I'm in a question asking mood, some of the "Lake City" brass I received the other day, still has the primers in it. I'll assume they are Berdan for safeties sake. What steps do I take to punch out Berdan Primers vs. Boxer Primers?


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Old June 29, 2000, 08:18 PM   #2
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When I started reloading 29 yrs. ago I started with the Lee dipper set. They work but I'm sure sooner or later you'll get a good Powder Measure my choice is Redding BR as it's the most accurate I've every used.

Let me say this BE SURE you use the powder that the dipper specifies. I know a person that was using a dipper and he used a powder that wasn't on the dipper. He was a very fornuate person that he didn't eat the bolt. The rifle was a mess and if it wasn't for the strong Rem. action I might of been visiting him in the hospital.

Concerning Lake City. What do you mean for safeties sake? LC is boxer primed but will have a crimp on the primer unless it's Match loading. I may be wrong but I never heard of LC not being boxer primed.

Have a good day.


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Old June 29, 2000, 08:23 PM   #3
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Was unaware of LC using the Boxer. Thanks!

How bout the dies though, my kit came with a scale, and since its a single stage, I think I'll stick to weighing charges!

For GP, how do you pop out a Berdan primer! And do you have to cut out the dual hole system and make it a one hole system? My table is not finished, so I am trying to get my last few questions awnsered before I get going.
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Old June 29, 2000, 08:55 PM   #4
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IMHO, the only good die Lee makes is their collett set. Clean and polish the innards before use.
You can pop a Berdan primer out by setting the case over a primer-size hole, filling the case with water, putting a dowel that will barely fit into the case mouth, and smacking lustily with a mallet. Usually.
RCBS sells a tool for their removal that sort of prys 'em out. Or they used to. I don't expect they sold many.
Don't worry too much about Berdan, except for the Aluminum cases from Speer, there aren't all that many. A quick look down the mouth will generally show you "snakeyes", so you toss it...

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Old June 29, 2000, 10:40 PM   #5
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I really try to get people to by a scale and powder thrower to load with.Dippers do not do it and in opinion are not safe to use.Too much depends on how hard you push through the powder.It will pack differently and your charges will be consistent.Please invest the extra money and do it right you will not be sorry.
Safety first and allways

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Old June 30, 2000, 05:34 AM   #6
Bud Helms
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Did you get the whole Lee dipper set or just one dipper with a die set? If you ordered the dipper "set", it comes with a chart calculator that gives the weight, in grains, of most modern powders for each dipper in the set. I have used mine extensively and early on I weighed often to check them. I have not seen any variation larger than a fraction of a grain.

BTW, 7% of what?
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Old June 30, 2000, 08:05 AM   #7
Jack Straw
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For my bolt action .308 I use the collett dies. I do this primarily because it eliminates the need for any messy lubes, but also because they give me better group sizes. I do use Pacesetter dies for my dad's .30-06 auto and have been completely satisfied with them. It just boils down to whether you want to full-length or neck-only size.

I for one use the dippers to measure for my rifle charges. IMR 4064 (my primary powder) doesn't meter very well so I dip out some powder, drop it in my scale's pan, and then trickle powder into the pan to my desired level. Okay, so I don't really use them in the way you were asking, but they can be useful.


[This message has been edited by Jack Straw (edited June 30, 2000).]
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Old June 30, 2000, 09:28 AM   #8
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I have the dippers and a scale and use the dippers whenever I can. If you "scoop" (& level) the same way each time they are VERY consistent. The recommended scoop data in the Lee manual seems to be very conservative (light), however; in .45acp the recommended load for WST wouldn't even work my slide it was so light; but the .40 & .44mag data that I picked gave good, light, target loads.
As far as dies, from what I can tell, use the pacesetter dies if you will be using a pump, lever, or autoloading gun; use the collet die if you are using a bolt action.
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Old July 1, 2000, 12:12 AM   #9
Art Eatman
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Having used about every die known to man, I've gotten to where I like the Lee dies which say "RCBS" on the side. FWIW, I only neck-size brass which has been fired in my rifles.

I weigh all max-load rifle charges. Jack Straw's dipper-and-trickler idea is as good as any there is. For plinker loads, I'll happily use my powder measure. I'm a little more tolerant about pistol loads--don't ask me why--and use the powder measure. My max pistol loads are usually about one grain under the book's max, and I check the measure against the scale from time to time.

I load .45ACP on my Dillon, but again, I check the powder measure against the scale every little once in a while.

What I work at just real, real hard is not being in a hurry and screwing up. Life is better when your guns and you return from the field or the range in one piece.

Have fun, Art
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Old July 1, 2000, 11:47 AM   #10
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Going to Lee's excellent collet dies isn't necessarily a step up, it's just a different step than their full-length dies.

I think you'd be a lot better off trimming your brass, using the Lee cutter system, and chucking the shell-holder in a cordless electric drill. Pulling that cord on that silly Zip Trim is going to get to be old pretty quickly.

Get a powder measure and good scale when you can. Even the plastic Lee Perfect Powder measure works pretty well.
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Old July 1, 2000, 10:20 PM   #11
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Doc, there is no indication that Lake City ever made Berdan type cases. They do have that infernal military crimp, however. You have to either cut it off or swedge it away.

Real Berdan primers have a different outside diameter than Boxers. Many years ago I "converted" some Berdan cases to Boxer by depriming them with a Lee "military de-primer" and a big hammer. However, the Berdans are larger in diameter, so I had some difficulty with primer flow and loose pockets.
God just watches over some of us stupid ones.


[This message has been edited by Archie (edited July 01, 2000).]
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