Gentlemen, I just bought a pound of Alliant 2400. My lee dipper chart came with data for Hercules 2400. .7cc dipper is supposed to throw 9.4 grains of Hercules 2400. It throws 16.4-16.8 grains of Alliant 2400. Any idea why? Is the density THAT different? Or could it be the storage conditions? The can was sealed, but the powder is not all the way to the lid, but instead is all in the bottom half of the can. The powder was made in Sept. 2000. Is it safe to use?
Lee dippers and powder
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I have quite a number of dippers, many modified to go with “pet loads". We all know 0.2 grain or less in a 303 Brit load of IMR 4831 due to lot changes is unlikely even to be visible to the shooter in field conditions or have any measurable consequence to the shooting, so while I check, I don't really worry. File them down or put a bit of sticky target paster in the cup to reduce volume, or dremel for more volume. With practice one can get to be awfully consistent using the dippers. And fast. I find they work best where double loading is not possible as one great aspect of care is simply eliminated. otto
I like using dippers and use them a lot. Ed's method is pretty much how Lee describes how to use the dippers. What works for me is i pour the powder into the dipper with the largest dipper in the set then i strike the dipper with a business card. I wipe down the dippers and any plastic bowels i use with a dryer sheet to eliminate any static electricity. I have found that the chart that comes with dippers are on the light side i always check the dippers with scale. If there is a load i like and their is not a dipper the right size i cut down a shell case so it hold a little more powder than needed then i drill and tap the primer hole and install a screw with a lock nut to make an adjustable dipper.
I guess next time I will try to throw more consistent loads using the dipper. Just have to get a hang of it.
You don't want to simply skim the dipper through the powder and scoop it up as if you were transfering coal from a pile to a hod to fill the stove!
The correct way to use the dipper is to pour a small amount of powder at a time into a small glass or porcelain bowl or beaker which holds about 50g of powder. You want a non-sparking container which does not build static, with a large enough base to stand securely on the bench top. Its top opening must be large enough to enable lowering the dipper base-first into the powder, so that it flows into it of its own weight. Then raise the dipper vertically and with one smooth stroke, strike the powder off level, using a card or short, straight-edged knife blade. Done in this manner yuou should be able to dip charges within +/- 0.2 grain
73 de KE4SKY In Home Mix We Trust From the Home of Ed's Red in "Almost Heaven" West Virginia
l, guys, I loaded my first 50 rounds of 303 today using the hand press. Used a ram prime to prime the brass. 1.3 cc dipper of 2400. 174 gr .312 jacketed bullet. The whole procedure was easier than I thought. I wasn't too consistent with the load, though. Weighed the cases afterwards and found that the total weight varies within 1.5 grain. Most cases were pretty close together, but some went out of the way. Nothing to be worried about, though, all had 15.8-17 grains of 2400. I guess next time I will try to throw more consistent loads using the dipper. Just have to get a hang of it. I will try to get out this weekend to test the batch.
Yup, it happens to all of us every now and then. I shot a match last summer 1.5gr over my good load. Couldn't figure why my groups were so bad. I saved a couple rounds and pulled the CBs and checked it when I got home.
Moral: Now with a favorite load like that, I keep a couple of the throwed charges labeled so in 35mm film canisters to set my scale each time I load for a match. I could do the same with a 30gr ho-made scale weight, which I ought to do. :idea1: .............Dan
It's good that your problem turned out to be pilot error. Even better that you started asking questions when you saw a problem, rather than just charging ahead.
Back to dippers. I used a load of 39 gr S335 (South African powder) thrown with a 1.6 cc PLUS 1.3 cc Lee dippers (if I recall correctly). One tin of powder got hidden in the back back of the reloading bench for a couple three years.
When I started using that same tin, with the same combination of Lee dippers, the same load by volume now weighed 38 gr.
Sooooooooo, the question is which is more important, weight or volume ???
I continued using the same volume (the weight difference was small, weight was less than what I was using before, and the load still shot the same) until the tin was used up.
It was actually a load for jacketed bullets (39 gr), although with RN cast bullets it shot about 300 fps slower than spitzer jacketed bullets.
Interesting point: EVERY tin of South African Somchem powder comes with a chart of recommended loads for various calibers. This changes for each lot of powder. I ran across an article somewhere (now misplaced) that says that US powders have the same manufacturing “tollerances", US manufacturers just don't tell us about them.
Moral of the story: Check, Recheck, and check again.
Apparently, he does. I bought a digital scale on ebay for $7 + $13 shipping. The scale came with 2 calibrating weights. When I set the scales up I only put one weight on it. So 50 gram weight was calibrated as 100 grams. Therefore all my measurements were 2 times the actual weight. Glad I caught it. Today I'm doing my first attempt at reloading. Wish me luck!
Ok, my mistake. Just re-checked the scale. Apparently, I calibrated it wrong. Now that I re-calibrated the scale, it is pretty much inline with the chart. About a grain less than what's shown. Next time I have to be more careful.
When you think about it, powder measures actually throw charges based on volume. It is what that volume equates to in weight for a particular powder. If you were to make your own chart for a given can of powder, and verify each volume of charge to a weight, you should be pretty safe in using the powder dippers.
It is all just common sense.. All powder measures are is a more automated way to do just that.
I don't have apowder measure, and was planning on using the Lee dippers to throw the charge. I understand that weight is more important than volume, and I used the scale to verify the charge. I was just curious about the discrepancy in powder weight when using the dippers. The dippers throw almost double the weight indicated on the Lee chart. That's a big difference! If someone tried to load using their chart, he would be in trouble. Does anyone on this board use Lee dippers? Is this kind of difference usual? Good thing I got the scale, but I read advice from many guys how the dippers throw less powder than indicated and are safe and fast to use. Some people don't even bother with the scales. What a mistake!
I wouldn't worry about the container of powder if you bought it new and it was sealed. The container that Hercules and now Alliant uses are never full by volume when purchased, but full by weight. Same with reloading for the same reason, by weight not by volume.
I've never used to Lee dipper system for that reason, but I think it is a general chart you must have with the kit. I assume you don't have a powder thrower/measurer and want to use the Lee dippers. I'd find a dipper that matches your scale's weight of the powder weight/charge you want to use trusting the scale. Remember to start with a 'starting' load and work up to be safe...........................Dan
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