How accurate are powder scoops?

Muir

Well-Known Member
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
 

Woodsmoke

Well-Known Member
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
 

Southern

Well-Known Member
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.
 

Woodsmoke

Well-Known Member
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?
 

gixer1

Well-Known Member
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
 

Muir

Well-Known Member
I only use dippers, & fine tune with a trickler, For every single loaded round.
I've got a couple of really good powder measures that drop the coarsest powders to inside of .2 grains every single time and don't worry about trickling.:D~Muir
 

Muir

Well-Known Member
Dipped then weighed/trickled my first 50 rounds today. Long job. Is a Perfect Powder Measure accurate?
GH
That depends on the powder you're throwing and how well practiced you are tossing charges. Coarser powder are typically less precise. Practice in throwing charges is imperative. I picked up a bench rest measure recently (circa 1980 make) and it took me 30 odd charges to learn how to do it accurately with INR 4350. I have the Lee and use it as well. It is quite good. AS was mentioned in an earlier post, in a test by a gun mag the Lee took 2nd place in accuracy in a larger field.~Muir
 

Southern

Well-Known Member
Card off the excess from the top of the dipper with a paper business card, not a plastic card, to avoid static electricity.
 

Northwest

Well-Known Member
one of the many things that greatly irritates me with regard to the Birmingham Proof House is this statement:

Although the same rules do not apply to home loaders, given that their products cannot be legally sold, in the interests of safety the Proof House affords those parties opportunity to batch test their ammunition to ensure that the associated breech pressures and velocities are within acceptable standards. By so doing it removes the potential for weapons being damaged, thereby injuring the user or, even worse, innocent bystanders. Previous tests of this nature in the past have indicated the poor standards adopted by such parties and the lack of uniformity between rounds of ammunition
along with a website that was last updated in 2003 and a penchant for charging extra for unpacking guns which have, in their opinion "been excessively packaged". So, you all adopt "Poor Standards" you home loaders you.

Rant over.
 

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