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Old October 21, 2012, 11:54 PM   #26
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I just wrapped a wire twistie around the extractor groove of a fired 9mm cartridge and tried it as a dipper for Herco powder. The first dip was 7.0 grains, but that wasn't quite full to the top. I dipped a few more, and got to where I was consistently getting 7.5 grains -- which should be a good load with 158 grain SWC's.

To make a proper dipper you'd need a stiffer wire, this is just what I had handy. Steel electric fence wire would be about perfect. 14 gauge solid copper wire with the insulation stripped off should be good too. #12 might be hard to work with.
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Old October 22, 2012, 07:15 AM   #27
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Some twenty years ago I started reloading .38 Special and .357 Magnum with Red Dot, using the Lee dippers.
Tried Unique - had serious problems, and junked it. Not only in this caliber.
Have been using Bullseye with very good success, and still use the old 'tried&true' Red Dot powder. Works for me.
Even when using a scale, I often use the dipper first, then 'trickle up' to the exact grain weight I need, more especially in rifle calibers though. The basic dipper method is fine for handgun practice loads.
Lately I find I really like Hodgdon's Lil Gun powder in the .357 Magnum - less felt recoil without sacrificing velocity, and it nearly fills the case - no overcharge without it being very apparent!
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Old October 23, 2012, 01:50 AM   #28
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To make a proper dipper you'd need a stiffer wire
10-3 or 12-3 insulated copper wire works well .... and sufficient waste is laying around new construction home sites ..... trim case used to volume desired, strip insulation from end to wrap around extractor groove, add a drop or two of epoxy......voila': custom dipper.
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Old October 23, 2012, 07:23 AM   #29
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When I bought my 357 Lee Loader in 1981 I bought a pound of Unique to go with it. Unless the dipper is different, it was a fine choice for the 125 gr JHP bullets I bought at the same time.

I saved my pennies and bought myself a powder scale then next time I went back to the sporting goods store.
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Old October 23, 2012, 12:32 PM   #30
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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..

Not to disagree with good advice (advice I'd give myself), but you do need to spend a fair bit more than for just the Lee Hand Press.

(Back before I got my progressive, my hand press saw a huge amount of use. )

I tried the Lee Loader, for both .38/,357 and .223, and wrote a short review for a now defunct e-zine. I concluded that they really had a pretty small niche where they made sense -- folks with severe money or space constraints, and no need for flexibility.
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Last edited by lee n. field; October 23, 2012 at 12:39 PM.
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