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Old August 13, 2012, 04:57 PM   #1
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Show off those homemade dippers!

Alright, this isn't earth-shaking, but I think it's interesting to see what other folks are doing to make custom powder dippers. Mine are pretty crude, what I do is take a piece of copper wire and bend it into a loop to tightly grip a shell casing. I'm sure others do it better.

From front to back:
  • A cut-down .40 S&W case that gives me 10.0 grains of Unique for a middling .44 Mag load under a 225 gr. LRNFP
  • A full .25ACP case that gives me 3.5 grains of Bullseye or 4.25 grains of Titegroup. The former I use under a 225 gr. WC for .45ACP (target revolver), the latter works great for a .44 SPC round under a 225 gr. LRNFP
  • The "double dipper" in the back is (on the left) a cut-down .25 ACP case that gives me 3.0 grains of Titegroup, very good for .38 special target bullseye shooting under a 148 gr. DEWC. On the right is a cut-down .32ACP case that yields 4.3 grains of Unique, useful under a 158 gr. LSWC in .38 special.

I also use the standard Lee dippers, as well as a few "sanded down" ones to give me quite a good assortment.
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Old August 14, 2012, 09:47 AM   #2
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No pic, but I use a .380 with a paperclip around the head. For now, it's used in lieu of a powder dribbler for fine-tuning tenth grain variations.

It's not perfect, but it was free Looks very similar to those in the pic above, but much more makeshift
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Old August 14, 2012, 09:51 AM   #3
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Like what you have done. Love my dippers, but they are stock Lee Precision. No moving parts, static volume, and no scale. The safest way to reload.
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Old August 14, 2012, 10:10 AM   #4
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If it makes my life easier I will file down or hollow out a Lee dipper to adjust the capacity. Then I will mark the handle with a magic marker so I know it has been tinkered with. This is most helpful with ball powders where the difference between dippers is more than the difference between min and max load.

I do like your idea though.
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Old August 16, 2012, 08:47 AM   #5
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I've done pretty much the same thing with spent cases for all my different handgun loads except instead of wrapping wire around the head I deprime and put a small screw into the flash hole--then solder the sire directly to that. It prevents powder from hanging up on the wire because nothing sticks out around the sided to grab it while dipping. No photos, but I'm pretty sure everyone can grasp what I'm talking about.
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Old August 16, 2012, 12:45 PM   #6
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Rangefinder -

Good idea, I've also heard of guys drilling straight into the side of case to attach a threaded handle, perhaps secured with a little solder.

I did worry about the powder that can catch on the wire, but found that most of it drops off as the handle is being inverted. I go directly from dipper to case (no funnel) so I haven't found it to be an issue.
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Old August 16, 2012, 02:46 PM   #7
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I use stiff wire and bend up the ends alongside the case, then use a thin strip of duct tape to secure it in place. Worked pretty well so far.

Now, I cut my cases so the powder is slightly heaped when dipping so I'm not having to tap and level every time. Makes the process go faster.

Last edited by chris in va; August 16, 2012 at 02:54 PM.
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Old August 17, 2012, 07:48 AM   #8
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Here's a homemade adjustable one.
No camera though, so no picture.
Years ago, I wanted something more precise than the usual, so I made one out of a large Lee dipper, a screw and a plastic washer that was a tight fit in the dipper.
Just turn the screw to raise or lower the washer to the amount of powder desired.
It's come in very handy on occasion.
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Old August 18, 2012, 03:10 PM   #9
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Not built yet

For a long time I considered the Lee dippers to be ill-designed. Lee recommends pushing the dipper straight down into the powder and letting the powder fall straight down into the dipper. But the handle goes off horizontally.

A vertical handle would be much easier to manipulate in the prescribed manner.

If you had a long enough handle, you could dip directly out of the original manufacturer's container. This would eliminate the need for a separate powder bowl with the related problems of returning the unused powder to the container without spills or (horrors!) into the wrong container.

Emptying the dipper into the cartridge case is the problem I have not solved. The short horizontal handle makes it easy. A long, vertical one is a bit unwieldy. Hinging the cup with a locking hinge is more complex than I want. Anyone have any ideas?

But if I were to make a homemade dipper it would have a vertical handle long enough to reach to the bottom of an 8# jug.

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Old August 18, 2012, 03:40 PM   #10
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Lost Sheep -

Good points, but in practice I don't find the horizontal handle to impede the dipper going into the powder. Unique is a bit challenging to dip consistently, but I understand it's also not the greatest powder to run conventionally on a press.

I put my powder in smallish tupperware containers (with lids) so it's more convenient to dip.
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Old August 18, 2012, 04:11 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by spacecoast
I put my powder in smallish tupperware containers (with lids) so it's more convenient to dip.
Same here. I use the same ChobanI yogurt cup over and over. It stays lubricated so powder doesn't stick inside when I dump it back in the can.

I just use the Lee dipper set as-is. If I follow the directions the scoops are very consistent and real close to what the slide-scale says it should weigh.

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Old August 19, 2012, 11:13 AM   #12
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No pics, sorry, but i use cases from .44 spl and .38 spl base-filled with candle wax so that a level fill is my preferred load. a bent paper clip provides the handle. i proudly stole the idea from an internet forum!
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