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Thread: Using Lee Dippers

  1. #1

    Using Lee Dippers

    Received some new Lee Dies today, along with a 2.5cc dipper. I have reviewed the load data that has come with the dies, and it would appear that any load made with the 2.5cc dipper is going to be fairly anemic. I realise this is to stop me blowing my head off, which is nice of them, but I was hoping for some advice as to how to go about dealing with the situation. Using a load I have been recommended by the bods at Barnes as an example, I would appreciate some suggestions on the following solutions as I see it;

    120 grain bullet, RL22, min 41 grains 2530fps, max 46 grains 2762fps
    • Sticking with the 2.5cc dipper as recommended in the Lee data would result in 35.9 grains, clearly well under the minimum.
    • Invest in a Lee Powder Measure Kit and simply use a bigger dipper than Lee provided with the dies. For example, the 3.1cc dipper would provide 44.5 grains, right in the middle of the Barnes recommendations. This is by far my preferred option IF it really is this simple.
    • Use a combination of the 2.5cc dipper and smaller 0.3cc and 0.5cc dippers to work up to a load.
    • Invest in a scale, use the 2.5cc and trickle up to the required load, but this sounds a big pain if I have to do it for every charge
    Thanks for your advice in advance.

  2. #2
    Simple solution buy a set of Lee dippers they aren't expensive, or make your own dippers. I assume that you have a set of scales (essential kit).

    Just noted that you don't have a scales. You need to get a set of scales ASAP. You can't reload safely without a means of checking your loads.
    Last edited by 8x57; 28-02-2012 at 19:33.
    It's the calibre of the shooter that counts not the calibre of the rifle.

  3. #3
    All my reloads are dipped with the nearest to my required charge measure, then trickled, It's just my choice, with practice, lots of rifle fodder can be made up very quickly, as to those who use powder charge droppers, that's their choice,but I can't be mithered banging the side to even up charge weights, I like to see an accurate charge straight off, can't beat every one measured off!
    (The Unspeakable In Pursuit Of The Uneatable.) " If I can help, I will help!." Former S.A.C.S. member!

  4. #4
    I use a dipper, but only to fill up the weighing scale. And make sure you get a good set of scales - don't waste money buying cheap ones, they won't be acccurate and you'll end up buying again.

    Welcome to reloading - you poor sod - laffin

  5. #5
    the dippers work on volume, the volume will change depending on which powder you use, another powder may well give a suitable charge from that dipper. my suggestion, as others have said get a set of dippers and check loads against a scale, belts and braces
    "Politicians must be allowed to panic. They need activity. It is their substitute for achievement"
    "'The matter is under consideration' means we have lost the file. 'The matter is under active consideration' means we are trying to find the file."

  6. #6
    Be aware that you can vary the load volume in a dipper by the way you use it.. You cannot be without scales !!

    I found that a charge weight I wanted was not close to a dipper unless I changed the way i sued the dipper. The just topped off the charge weight in the scale pan.

    As already mentioned.

  7. #7
    i have also just started reloading. i bought the lee classic loader in .308 and a dipper set. the dipper i had with the loader was a 3.1 but the manuel says i should start with the 2.8 . this 2.8 is well under start load and the 3.1 is the start load exactly so i went for that and it shoots really well. by buying the set of dippers you get a sliding scale which lists powders and the weight of grains that each dipper gives for those powders. i was able to check from this that i wasnt going beyond a safe load by using a bigger dipper.

    as i say i have only just started so my knowledge is very small but it has worked a treat for my rifle

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Brithunter View Post
    Be aware that you can vary the load volume in a dipper by the way you use it.. You cannot be without scales !!

    I found that a charge weight I wanted was not close to a dipper unless I changed the way i sued the dipper. The just topped off the charge weight in the scale pan.

    As already mentioned.
    I have used plenty of Lee dippers with plenty of loads and not used a scale. It's not necessary. After all, ammunition makers load to volume, not weight. If you use a correct and consistent technique a scale is unnecessary provided you are happy with the volume of powder that the dipper provides.

    But that said, if you want to vary the load, get a scale.~Muir

    PS: The dippers are designed so that even if you grossly misuse them and heap the powder in, you will still have a safe load.

  9. #9
    Thanks for your advice everyone.

    Quote Originally Posted by Muir View Post
    I have used plenty of Lee dippers with plenty of loads and not used a scale. It's not necessary. After all, ammunition makers load to volume, not weight. If you use a correct and consistent technique a scale is unnecessary provided you are happy with the volume of powder that the dipper provides.

    But that said, if you want to vary the load, get a scale.~Muir

    PS: The dippers are designed so that even if you grossly misuse them and heap the powder in, you will still have a safe load.
    So would the simplest idea, using the 3.1cc dipper to produce a charge in the middle of the load data I quoted, be doable? Or is that too risky given the size of the dipper compared to the Lee recommendations?

  10. #10
    Muir the problem is that you can vary the load quite a bit by not getting your dipping technique the same each time which is why I say use a scale to check. Once practiced yes you can be very consistant but one does not know this without checking.

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