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Thread: How accurate are powder scoops?

  1. #1

    How accurate are powder scoops?

    In the most recent batch of 2nd hand reloading gear I purchased there was a 1971 edition of "Handloading" and contained therein was a really interesting study on the accuracy of dippers. The author advocated making custom dippers but for his test he used the Lee dippers of the day. These were assigned random numbers back then -not the cubic centimeter volumes of today- so I can't tell you the exact grain weights they were tossing, but they did list the variances they obtained weighing 10 charges from several dippers of various sizes, using a half dozen different kinds of powder. The results were impressive.

    The finer powders all hit .2 grains max run out. Most were .1 grain. The coarse powders -H4831 and IMR 4350- did poorly with the smallest dippers (.9 gr variance for H4831) but in the larger dippers also stayed in the .1 and .2 grain range for deviation. This is as good as many of the best commercial powder measures.

    The author emphasized technique: He used a large volume of powder and pushed the dipper base first into the powder, letting it fall into the cavity. When submerged in powder he raised it up and out of the powder and struck off the excess with a small pocket knife blade or card. The technique of pushing base first is recommended by Lee and is why they call the dippers, "dippers" and not "scoops". You dip the unit into the powder. You don't 'scoop' up the powder with the dipper.

    I was bone tired when I read the article but that was the bottom line: That dippers aren't to be scoffed at when used correctly.~Muir

  2. #2
    My Lee dies came with dippers included. I've agonised over powder types before settling on the H4350 for my .270. One thing that swayed me (apart from having the load data for it) was that fact it's a short grain powder so theoretically should measure more accurately. Be an interesting exercise to run a comparison between the dippers, powder measure and digital scales I think

  3. #3
    On the American frontier, people cast bullets, dipped powder, and seated bullets with a hand press, often supplied by Colt, Winchester or Lyman. And it worked. German snipers in WWII handloaded 8x60S rifles with dippers, and powder from the 8x57 and picked up .30-06.

    With ball powders, I find them very accurate. In working up loads, I find the closest dipper, pour onto the scales, and will be so close that I can just trickle a few kernels of powder to top it off. You could certainly load just using the dippers.

  4. #4
    I have lost count of the number of rounds I've loaded using Lee Dippers.~Muir

  5. #5
    That's very interesting! I guess if they can consistently throw the same measure of a given powder & the results are good accuracy-wise, there really wouldn't seem to be much point in painstakingly weighing charges in a lot of cases then?

  6. #6
    I have both dippers and a thrower and use both, the dippers are great, I have some of the old red cu. in ones too...

    regards,
    Gixer

  7. #7
    I only use dippers, & fine tune with a trickler, For every single loaded round.
    (The Unspeakable In Pursuit Of The Uneatable.) " If I can help, I will help!." Former S.A.C.S. member!

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by finnbear270 View Post
    I only use dippers, & fine tune with a trickler
    Do you use a beam scale, or digital, Fb?

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by finnbear270 View Post
    I only use dippers, & fine tune with a trickler, For every single loaded round.
    Same here Finnbear, and I use a beam scales.
    It's the calibre of the shooter that counts not the calibre of the rifle.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Woodsmoke View Post
    Do you use a beam scale, or digital, Fb?
    I use this......
    http://media.midwayusa.com/productim...814/814722.jpg
    (The Unspeakable In Pursuit Of The Uneatable.) " If I can help, I will help!." Former S.A.C.S. member!

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