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This is a discussion on Powder Dipper within the Reloading forums, part of the Firearm Forum category; There is nothing wrong with using a dipper, if that's what you like and don't want to buy a decent powder measure, or a Chargemaster. ...

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Old February 12th, 2017, 03:25 PM   #16
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There is nothing wrong with using a dipper, if that's what you like and don't want to buy a decent powder measure, or a Chargemaster. But if you have a measure, why don't you trust it and/or why would you think a dipper is more accurate? Most know some measures are not great with flake and stick powder, but a dipper won't be much better. With SO many new spherical powders, finding a powder that will meter is not hard. I use a Chargemaster these days, except for pistols rounds. I have 6 older Lyman turret presses, each with a Lyman 55 measure that I load various pistol rounds on. I have been "throwing" those charges for years and years. I weigh one every now and then, but it's not often. Can't remember the last time I adjusted one of those measures and you shouldn't have to. To get correct "thrown" charges, all you have to be is consistent and you can crank out a loading block full in no time

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Old February 12th, 2017, 03:56 PM   #17
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Sparkplug, Most decent powder measures will hold a +or- .1gr tolerance. This is great for powder drops of 10 grains or more (99%+ accurate) but for very light loads .... not so good. That's when you explore other options .... like a ball powder that will drop pretty much dead nuts every time.... even with loads as low as 2 gr. For 38 Specials or 380 Autos, nothing beats W-231 / HP38. It's a fine ball powder with the best burn rate for the cartridge and it drops magically accurate from just about any powder measure. Where people get in trouble is trying to use the wrong powder for a specific load. Again using a 38 Special as an example, not only does Unique have the wrong burn rate, it just doesn't drop very accurate at lower charge levels. I use a lot of Unique in my 45 ACPs .... 5.9gr under a 230gr FMJ. Powder drops will stay very uniform from my Dillon RL 550 powder measure or my RCBS Uniflo powder measure. I don't think I would trust a Unique load much under 5gr in any powder measure without weighing each charge.

Like powder measures, there has been a huge advancement in powder selection in this millennium. Most of the newer powders meter much better than the older popular powders. Again going back to Unique .... it was developed well over 100 years ago and its shape hasn't changed since then. I am slowly but surely transitioning from Unique to Power Pistol. It is one of the newer powders with a similar burn rate that meters way better than Unique plus it has a more generous applications.

So .... rather than concern yourself about Unique, try one of the newer powders that meters better and matches the optimum burn rate of your cartridge. You will get better performance plus it will save you some time.

The whole object with a powder measure is to save time and stay safe. If you have to spend time weighing each charge, you might as well go back in time 70 years and use dippers.
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Old February 12th, 2017, 04:23 PM   #18
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Bought a RCBS ChargeMaster Combo and never looked back. Best $$ spent. But still check ever 20 rounds with a RCBS 10 -10 loading scale. So far after a year both check out the same.
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Old February 14th, 2017, 09:48 AM   #19
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Jrobin, I'm the same as aqualung, I use lee dippers on the slower to mid velocity loads, and weigh them still, cause I'm paranoid, haha. But if in the middle ground, you'll almost never go above higheat loads. Plus it speeds me up on my single press, especially with powider like Blue dot. Your better off dipping that stuff than tring to get a dropper to drop the right weight.

I'd love to make something like these, as I currently could really use a 1.5 cc dipper, and a few other sizes.
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Old February 14th, 2017, 02:26 PM   #20
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I made some out of 38. brass when I started reloading. I had a 505 scale and would weight some also. I was batch loading and the dippers worked very well once I perfected my dip and scrape technique. Mine look very similar to yours Sparkplug.
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Old February 15th, 2017, 06:47 AM   #21
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Cool...if only I had a soldering set. Maybe this is a fine excuse to get one.

I have a Lee dipper set but it takes some practice to get consistent. I recently changed powders and it has really slowed down my charging. I weigh every charge now. With my previous powder I could dip within +/- 0.1grns. After a couple hundred rounds, I stopped weighing. For a 9mm and I wasn't at max load.

But for my 7mm and .44 I have to make multiple scoops. And then trickle (by tapping the dipper) the last 0.5grn.
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Old April 8th, 2017, 03:47 PM   #22
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I use a dipper for my mid range 44M Plinking loads.
I check every third to fifth by tossing in my beam pan. Works great with powders like W231 (.1gr +\-).

I remember lots of bench rest guys loading as firing, they went by volume, not weight.
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Old April 9th, 2017, 02:11 AM   #23
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Using any kind of dipper, the grain loads will vary, some quite a bit. Back in the day I too made some dippers. Then I discovered the Lee set of dippers. I always weigh each dipper full to make sure there is no over charge loading.
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Old April 12th, 2017, 09:55 AM   #24
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I use the Lyman 55 & for the money, it's the best measure out there. I see them for $70 all the time.

You do not need other inserts, cylinders or rotors, it will drop them all.

I love that it comes with a clamp built in, as I mount it to a shelf on my bench & it works great for me. It also includes a built in baffle for uniformity.
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Old April 12th, 2017, 11:32 AM   #25
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I've got two homemade dippers for the specific purpose of loading .32S&W and .38S&W black powder rounds. I don't load enough of them to justify buying a dedicated BP measure, and I'm not going to run BP through my Lee measure
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Old April 12th, 2017, 02:49 PM   #26
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GONRA hasalotta "231 experience" (for autopistol cartridges from .25 ACP on up)
weighing on a RCBS electronic scale and checking / touching up on a beam balance.
Agree with lowegan on all this.
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Old April 13th, 2017, 07:13 AM   #27
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Old April 13th, 2017, 06:14 PM   #28
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Personally, I don't see a problem with using a dipper. No reason to have to change powders just because I don't like the way they go through my measure, or for whatever reason. I used dippers a ton for black powder back when I shot it a lot and most of them were homemade also. I admit too, depending on what I'm loading, there are times when I was tempted to go make one. Not a lot of difference in dipping and trickling, and throwing and trickling, just depends on what you want or what you are used to.
I don't use a powder trickler most of the time anyway, I use a 30-06 case and do it by hand. Never had a problem with that ,either.

Note also that I wouldn't use a dipper because I think it's more accurate, just because it may be easier at the time.
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Old April 14th, 2017, 05:33 AM   #29
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I use dippers with my Black Powder guns.... But not with smokeless. If I did, the powder would have to be bulky and the cartridge with lots of volume like the .45 Colt, .44 Mag, .44 Special, etc. That way the variation would not be as critical. Also, moderate loads, not red-line loads. 9mm would be out for example unless you weighed each one. As above, I see no problem with using dippers, just a bit slower and not quite as precise.... And if you are shooting 25Y or less, you probably wouldn't notice the difference anyway.

I could see using a dipper also for portability. I could have my 310 tool and a dipper for .45 Colt in a small case and be able to reload in the field.... Now, I've always reloaded at home but, see the possibility.

Last edited by rclark; April 14th, 2017 at 05:39 AM.
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Old April 19th, 2017, 09:44 AM   #30
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I'm a dipper also. A lot of people don't realize how accurately you can dip powder charges , even with all those powders that don't meter well.
I started making my own in 1968 , Berdan primed cases , copper wire and solder. Had a scale but no measure ...still load a lot of accurate ammo with them.
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