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Thread: LEE Dippers: Old (Balck or Red) powder dippers vs New (Yellow) powder dippers

  1. #1

    LEE Dippers: Old (Balck or Red) powder dippers vs New (Yellow) powder dippers

    "I use both the old red dippers and the new yellow dippers. Using the red ones often allows you to get powder weights in between the yellow dippers. If you use the yellow dippers, try to get a old red set to use with the yellow set"

    That is a quote from an archived thread. I was looking for a chart for the old dippers, to compare the volume to the new Yellow CC dippers.

    The history is well documented, LEE went out of business, and he started over. His old cubic inch dippers, made of black or red plastic were replaced with cubic centimeter ones.

    I couldn't find a chart, and to make the conversions easier I used an Excel speadsheet to come up with a comparison chart. After all it's just maths, convert cu to cc (and it helps if you keep the decimals right).

    Here is a chart that shows the old dippers cu marking and their equivalent cc.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    The formula is ((old dipper #)/0.061024/1000)

    And if you compare the cc, indeed you discover that the volume of the old dippers falls between the volumes of the new ones.

    I used the VMD chart in the back to make a list for the powders I use.

    And the formula is ((cc of dipper)/(VMD of the powder)). The VMD is from the LEE "Modern Reloading" manual, pages 704 and 705.

    IF ​you use a consistent method for your dipping and striking off or shaking off the excess, they can be surprisingly consistent, and It only takes a couple of seconds to check the weight with a digital scale. Digital scales are pretty cheap, as are a set of dippers. There are tons of old dipper sets out there, I picked up 2 at a gunshow the other day, 5 $ for one that was incomplete and 7$ for a complete set that was almost unused.

    I use them to update old LEE and MRC loaders, and those are cheap at gunshows also. Most of the parts are available from LEE, Sizer body is not, and reasonably priced. Some of the kits I just use for parts. After I get them cleaned up, I sell them, so I can buy more. It's a hobby.

    Click image for larger version. 

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  2. #2
    Boolit Master
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    When you run into a cheap used set of dippers you can "adjust" them with a file to the top or a spacer in the bottom. With a few extras you can throw almost any possible load.
    EDG

  3. #3
    Don't forget to file off the numbers while you're at it. Or drill a hole in the bottom and put a screw in, instant fine adjustment. Replacements cost a dollar.

    Oh my, I just realized I spent way too much time on something worth so little. On the other hand, if the SHTF, a stack of LEE loaders in common calibers, with some powder, molds, and a book, would make you king. Barter reloading for food and ????

  4. #4
    Boolit Master
    Mk42gunner's Avatar
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    I have at least one set (15) of the yellow Lee dippers, with the slide chart, I also have some of the Red ones. My problem with them is they hardly ever throw the exact charge that I want.

    A few years ago I thought about looking for a whole set of the red ones (the black in my experience were meant to be shot dippers), but they are getting hard to find; and some of the sellers want an exorbitant price for them if you can find them.

    Since I read a lot of Dean Grennell when I was growing up; I had a better, or at least cheaper, idea. I make my own from various brass cases. Solder on a piece of stiff wire or a nail for a handle and trim the case to throw whatever charge you want.

    Robert

  5. #5
    Boolit Master


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    I wanted some classy dippers so I bought some cheap old silver plated silverware to make the handle. Now to find a round toit to get the soldering done.
    Micah 6:8
    He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?

    "I don't have hobbies - I'm developing a robust post-apocalyptic skill set"
    I may be discharged and retired but I'm sure I did not renounce the oath that I solemnly swore!

  6. #6
    I prefer using the dippers vs my thrower.
    I put a small piece of foam in them to tweak the volume.
    I usually dip them a little light and trickle a couple granules to proper weight.

  7. #7
    Boolit Master
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    Since this is a thread on dippers .. . I'm just curious.

    I use dippers for a number of loads - my BP 38s but also for other various cartridges with primarily Bulls Eye, Red Dot and Unique. I use a combination of dippers made from various cartridge casings and also the smaller Lee yellow dippers.

    My curiosity is how do many of you do your dipping? In other words - consistency is the key, we all know that. But, when batch loading, are you weighing each charge that you dip? Or, are you just using "experience"? Most of my 48 loads are on the leaner side - nowhere near Max. As an example, I load 38 Colt Short with 2.2 gr of Red Dot. If I'm a tenth of a grain under or over, they still work just fine. I "practice" dipping and checking weights just to keep consistent and I'm usually "right on". So in a case of what I'm doing where the target load is 2.2 but 2.1 or 2.3 grains will work just fine . . . what would most of you do? Weigh each charge or just check every 5 or 10 as you load? Of course safety is the primary importance but I'm curious of what the "old timers" who have done this for ages do )and I'm an old fart).

    Normally I load on a Lee Turret and use a Lee Perfect Measure attached to the powder thru die - it throws very consistent charges for me but I still check every 10th round with the scales. I like using the dippers though - especially in conjunction with the 310 tool when I'm loading 38s and also when I'm loading RD in my 8 X 57 but those are "cat sneeze" loads and even then, I check each one and adjust as necessary to hit the exact grain weight..

  8. #8
    Boolit Master
    Mk42gunner's Avatar
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    bbb,

    I usually weigh a few dippers at the start of a loading session, for a couple of reasons: 1 to get back in practice since I don't use them everyday; and 2 to verify the dipper is throwing what it is supposed to.

    I will also measure a few during the session, usually at one end of the loading block. this way I know the charges are good and if I have a problem I don't have to dump the whole block of cases.

    Robert

  9. #9
    Boolit Master
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    Robert - thanks! For my "dipper sessions" when I'm not weighing each dipper full, that's pretty much how I have been doing it. If I know I'm going to be "dipping", I'll practice for a few minutes to make sure I'm consistent and then start in. I don't load anywhere near "max" so I know I'm safe as far as being off + or - a tenth of a grain. I also use loading blocks and have several when I do it - I place my empty casings in one - take from that to a block that holds a single cartridge - drop the charge with a funnel and then it goes to a separate loading block. I make sure I'm not distracted in any way - what can I say? I'm old and need all the help I can get! LOL Thanks for your reply - it's nice to hear how others do it as a person can always learn something new!

  10. #10
    Boolit Master



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    I hate using a scale. Dippers are the safest way to charge. No moving parts and static volume. Fast and efficient. The key is getting a standardized, repeatable, predictable dip or scoop. Richard Lee and Dean Grennell both used the same dipping method, push the dipper bottom first, let the powder fall in, and strike it off with a straight-edge/card. I like to scoop as the standard dippers tend to throw light charges. I scoop and shake off excess powder to level top. That gets me around +/- .1 grain. Close enough for me, but not for benchrest shooters.
    "Had his shooting been as good as his running, he might have given a better account of himself."
    James. C. Henderson

  11. #11
    Boolit Man

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    Quote Originally Posted by nitro-express View Post
    I couldn't find a chart, and to make the conversions easier I used an Excel speadsheet to come up with a comparison chart. After all it's just maths, convert cu to cc (and it helps if you keep the decimals right).

    Here is a chart that shows the old dippers cu marking and their equivalent cc.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	LEE Dippers OLD vs NEW.JPG 
Views:	242 
Size:	68.3 KB 
ID:	120974

    The formula is ((old dipper #)/0.061024/1000)

    And if you compare the cc, indeed you discover that the volume of the old dippers falls between the volumes of the new ones.
    Thank you, thank you! I've got both sets, and this information was the missing link.

    FWIW, here's a chart of both sets, interleaved.
    Attachment 124388
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

Name:	dipperOldNewTable.jpg 
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ID:	124392  

  12. #12
    Boolit Master
    Texantothecore's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jmortimer View Post
    I hate using a scale. Dippers are the safest way to charge. No moving parts and static volume. Fast and efficient. The key is getting a standardized, repeatable, predictable dip or scoop. Richard Lee and Dean Grennell both used the same dipping method, push the dipper bottom first, let the powder fall in, and strike it off with a straight-edge/card. I like to scoop as the standard dippers tend to throw light charges. I scoop and shake off excess powder to level top. That gets me around +/- .1 grain. Close enough for me, but not for benchrest shooters.

    That is the technique that I use. I also make sure that the powder which is falling into the dipper is always the same heigth above the dipper rim. Works very well.

  13. #13
    Boolit Master
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    Thanks for posting the chart. It will prove to be useful to me.

  14. #14
    Boolit Master



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    Here is a list of cartridge cases and their capacity in grains of water, H2O. This should get you close but actual capacity in powder will depend on the density of the powder. Pick a case a little oversize then weigh test charges and file the case down until you get to the charge weight you want. be sure you mark them plainly with both charge weight and powder type so you don't make a mistake and pick up the wrong measure.

    http://kwk.us/cases.html

    Cartridge Case Capacities

    .14 Hornet 12
    .17 Hornet 14
    .17 Rem 27
    .204 Ruger 33
    .22 Hornet 14
    .22 Hornet Impr 16
    .218 Bee 18
    .22 Rem Jet 18
    .221 Rem 21
    .222 Rem 27
    .223 Rem 31
    .222 Rem Mag 32
    5.6x50R 34
    .219 Zipper 34
    .225 Win 41
    .22-250 Rem 43
    .220 Swift 48
    .223 WSSM 53
    .22-06 65
    .22-15 Stevens 17
    .22 Sav 35
    6x47 33
    6x52R Bret. 36
    6 BR 39
    6x70R 39
    .243 Win 54
    .243 WSSM 54
    6 Rem 55
    .240 Wea Mag 65
    6 USN 51
    6x62R 67
    .240 Fl. N.E. 58
    .25-20 WCF 19
    .256 Win 22
    .25-21 Stevens 25
    .25-25 Stevens 29
    .25-36 Marlin 37
    .25-35 WCF 37
    .25 Rem 42
    .250 Sav 46
    .257 Roberts 56
    .25-06 Rem 66
    .257 Wea Mag 84
    6.5x70R 39
    6.5 Jap. 48
    6.5x52 Carcano 49
    6.5x53R 49
    6.5x54 M-S(.256) 50
    .260 Rem 53
    6.5x55 57
    6.5x57(R) 58
    6.5 Rem Mag 68
    .264 Win Mag 82
    .270 REN 16
    .270 Win 68
    .270 Wea 83
    .28-30 Stevens 37
    7-30 Waters 45
    7x72R 54
    7-08 Rem 56
    7x57(R) Mauser 59
    .284 Win 66
    .280 Rem 67
    7x65R 68
    7 WSM 81
    7 Rem Mag 84
    .30 Carbine 21
    .300 Whisper 24
    .30-357 AeT 25
    .30 Rem AR 44
    .30-30 45
    .30 Rem 46
    .303 Sav 48
    .300 Sav 52
    .307 Win 54
    7.62 NATO 54
    .308 Win 56
    .30 Fl.NE Purdey 58
    .30-40 U.S. 58
    .30-06 U.S. 69
    .300 H&H 86
    .30 Newton 88
    .300 Win Mag 89
    .30 Fl. H&H 90
    .300 Wea Mag 99
    .30-378 130
    7.62x54R 64
    .303 Brit 57
    .375/303 W-R 62
    .32-20 WCF 22
    7.65 Mauser 58
    8x72R 59
    .32-40 Ballard 41
    8x50R Lebel 66
    8x57(R) Mauser 62
    8-06 70
    8 Rem Mag 98
    .318 W-R 69
    .333 Jeffery 86
    .33 WCF 63
    .338-06 70
    .338 Win Mag 86
    .340 Wea Mag 98
    .338-378 132
    .348 Win 75
    9x57(R) Mauser 62
    .357 Mag 27
    .357 Max 34
    .357/44 B&D 35
    .400/350 Rigby 78
    .350 ME Guide 2 49
    .35 Rem 51
    .356 Win 57
    .358 Win 57
    .35 WCF 69
    .35 Whelen 71
    .35 Greevy 72
    .350 Rem Mag 73
    .358 Norma Mag 88
    .358 STA 105
    9.3x57 Mauser 64
    9.3x54R Finn. 65
    9.3x72R 67
    9.3x62 77
    9.3x74R 82
    .360 No.2 NE 111
    .375 Win 49
    .38-56 Win 62
    .375 2 N.E. 67
    .375-06 73
    .375 H&H 95
    .375 Fl. Mag 97
    .375 Ruger 100
    .369 N.E. 102
    .378 Wea Mag 136
    .38-55 Ballard 52
    .38-72 Win 74
    .38-40 WCF 39
    .400 Whelen 75
    .405 Win 78
    .400 Jeffery 117
    .450/400 NE 3 123
    .416 Taylor 92
    .416 Rem Mag 107
    .416 Rigby 130
    .416 Wea Mag 134
    .423 OKH 77
    .404 Jeffery 113
    .44-40 WCF 40
    .44 Spl 34
    .44 Rem Mag 39
    .444 Marlin 69
    .45 Colt 42
    .454 Casull 47
    .45-70 U.S. 79
    .450 Marlin 74
    .450 Alaskan 88
    .45-90 2.4" 90
    .458 Win Mag 94
    .458 Lott 108
    .450 3 N.E. 129
    .460 Wea Mag 140
    .465 N.E. 144
    .470 N.E. 146
    .475 3 N.E. 137
    .50-110 109
    .50 BMG 293
    Blacksmith

    S. G. G. = Sons of the Greatest Generation. Too old to run, too proud to hide; we will stand our ground and take as many as we can with us!

  15. #15
    Boolit Master
    Chev. William's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bedbugbilly View Post
    Since this is a thread on dippers .. . I'm just curious.

    I use dippers for a number of loads - my BP 38s but also for other various cartridges with primarily Bulls Eye, Red Dot and Unique. I use a combination of dippers made from various cartridge casings and also the smaller Lee yellow dippers.

    My curiosity is how do many of you do your dipping? In other words - consistency is the key, we all know that. But, when batch loading, are you weighing each charge that you dip? Or, are you just using "experience"? Most of my 48 loads are on the leaner side - nowhere near Max. As an example, I load 38 Colt Short with 2.2 gr of Red Dot. If I'm a tenth of a grain under or over, they still work just fine. I "practice" dipping and checking weights just to keep consistent and I'm usually "right on". So in a case of what I'm doing where the target load is 2.2 but 2.1 or 2.3 grains will work just fine . . . what would most of you do? Weigh each charge or just check every 5 or 10 as you load? Of course safety is the primary importance but I'm curious of what the "old timers" who have done this for ages do )and I'm an old fart).

    Normally I load on a Lee Turret and use a Lee Perfect Measure attached to the powder thru die - it throws very consistent charges for me but I still check every 10th round with the scales. I like using the dippers though - especially in conjunction with the 310 tool when I'm loading 38s and also when I'm loading RD in my 8 X 57 but those are "cat sneeze" loads and even then, I check each one and adjust as necessary to hit the exact grain weight..
    I currently load .25ACP and similar size cartridges so my process is to use a dipper to 'trickle' powder into a Ballance beam pan for EVERY Charge, then place the measured charge in a case and seat a bullet on it. One cartridge at a time to assure no overloads or Squibs. A Tenth of a Grain is too much variance for these small capacity cases with most powders for consistent Accuracy.

    Best Regards,
    Chev. William

  16. #16
    Boolit Master Pavogrande's Avatar
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    My "dippers" are all pre-Lee made from various cartridge cases trimmed to specific length--

  17. #17
    Boolit Master




    bruce drake's Avatar
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    the nice thing about the dippers is their multi use capability. I dip and level off with a card on my plinker loads. I scoop and pour onto my digital scale pan and then trickle the last few grains when I want specific load weights.

    To each their own. I like to use them and they do a good job.
    I Cast my Boolits, Therefore I am Happy.
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  18. #18
    Boolit Master

    gwpercle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EDG View Post
    When you run into a cheap used set of dippers you can "adjust" them with a file to the top or a spacer in the bottom. With a few extras you can throw almost any possible load.
    A small disk(s) of cardboard, pressed firmly into the bottom , can get an exact weight with a certain powder. I mark my "adjusted" dippers and record what weight each will dip with all the powders I use.
    I also do this with the standard marked dippers and the dippers I make with fired cases and wire handles. Dippers can be quite accurate.
    With all these new powders popping up my notebook is getting full.
    Gary
    Certified Cajun
    Proud Member of The Basket of Deplorables

  19. #19
    Boolit Master
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    I love my dippers. I use them for many of my hand loaders. I have all 3 of the sets. The red and black are the same. I find I can make a tailored charge pretty consistently. Great for taking on the road. The

  20. #20
    Boolit Master





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    Never dipped a smokeless powder load, never will. To easy to use a measure and a scale.

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Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check