Author Topic: Review - Lee Powder Measure Kit (Dippers)  (Read 17330 times)

Offline firetoad

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Review - Lee Powder Measure Kit (Dippers)
« on: November 16, 2008, 06:03:58 PM »
I figured that I would review my newly purchased and tested Lee Powder Measure Kit (Dippers).  Whenever you purchase a Lee Die Set, you will get a powder dipper (used for volumetric measurement of powder).  Well, the Powder Measure Kit comes with a vast array of 15 dippers in varying sizes.  You can double up dippers of different volumes so that you can get a more custom load. 


Positives -

  • Very inexpensive!!
  • Very consistent in measurement
  • Quick and easy to use
  • Great for the new reloader
  • Very comprehensive and easy to use volume to weight powder conversion card

Negatives -

  • Extruded powder can be difficult to level off without taking too much out of the dipper
  • Your loads are a prescribed set of measurements due to the limited set of dipper measurements (Difficult to tweak loads within that tenth of a grain if you are so inclined)

Overall, I am very happy with the purchase and use of the dippers.  They are easy to use and great for a new reloader.  The investment is very minimal and yet just as usable as fancier scales and tricklers for the average/new reloader.  I would recommend having even a simple powder scale to make certain that your dippers and your dipping technique is yielding the appropriate and a repeatable measure.


The Lee Powder Measure Kit



What is inside the kit



The very handy powder volume to grains conversion card



Using the dippers
















Offline chris

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Re: Review - Lee Powder Measure Kit (Dippers)
« Reply #1 on: November 16, 2008, 06:12:51 PM »
Thanks for the review.

Offline Bones

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« Reply #2 on: March 01, 2009, 09:07:02 AM »
I have a set of the dippers and use them for certain applications when reloading. I mainly use the Perfect Pwder Measure when reloading handgun ammo. For low volume production or someone just starting out, you can't go wrong with Lee equipment.

Offline The Sage of Monticello

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Re: Review - Lee Powder Measure Kit (Dippers)
« Reply #3 on: November 29, 2011, 07:29:22 PM »
Anybody have completely off measurements using the Lee dippers with Unique powder when checking them against a scale reading?

I have noticed that when testing out the Lee power load charts for the dippers and the Lee Auto-Disk Powder measure, the scale tells me I am under loaded.

For example, using the powder chart ruler (that comes with the dippers) for Unique powder if using a 1.0 cc dipper I should have 9.2 grains of Unique.

However, when measuring the load on my Lee Safety Powder Scale I get a measurement close to 8.32 grains.

When using the Lee Auto-Disk Powder measure using the 1.18, I should get 10.8 grains of Unique according to the chart that comes with the Auto-Disk. Instead, I get 9.21 grains of Unique according to my Lee Safety Powder Scale.

I have re-verified several times checking my zero every time I measure, same results.

Has anyone experienced the inaccuracy of the Lee powder charts?

Otherwise, my scale is broken which I don't think it is.

I have an RCBS Handy Dandy powder chart for using a #15 measure and it was almost exactly what it was supposed to be according to my scale using Unique powder.

So if anyone reloads using Unique and has come across the discrepancies between the scale and the powder charts using dippers please let me know for peace of mind.  LOL.

Thanks.

Offline hillclimber

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Re: Review - Lee Powder Measure Kit (Dippers)
« Reply #4 on: November 30, 2011, 01:36:05 PM »
I have noticed that issue with Unique, and Red Dot too.
I have a whole set of dippers like that, and I use them alot. Most of the time I pick the dipper that's closest to the desired charge,dump the dipper into the scale, and use a powder trickler to get the exact charge. I've had pretty good results using just the dippers on a lot of my lower powered target loads for the handguns. Now if I'm loading full powered stuff, I weigh every charge.
With rifle ammo I weigh every round too, but I'll use the scoop that's the closest.

In my opinion, if you use them right, they're reasonably consistant.

Offline joeinwv

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Re: Review - Lee Powder Measure Kit (Dippers)
« Reply #5 on: November 30, 2011, 01:53:23 PM »
I use these all the time - I would not use these to load rounds for the benchrest world championship, but then again, I don't do that shooting.

These are about the easiest, fastest way to make cheap ammo. Even with a single stage, I crank out 44mag shells using a Lee speed die, hand primer and scoops.

Offline The Sage of Monticello

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Re: Review - Lee Powder Measure Kit (Dippers)
« Reply #6 on: November 30, 2011, 05:39:39 PM »
Thanks for the feedback.

Lee emailed me today and stated "Unique is horrible" and extremely inconsistent and confirmed the inconsistencies would occur. I then noticed severe leading in the barrel today when I ran some decent stout 9.2 grains of Unique with a 260 grain Keith FN cast bullet.

I am debating on whether I should just store away the Unique and look for a new powder for my .44 Mag loads.

I am going to go down to 7.9 grains and see if that stops the leading. Then give up if it still leads the barrel.

endurance

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Re: Review - Lee Powder Measure Kit (Dippers)
« Reply #7 on: November 30, 2011, 09:59:35 PM »
Sage, I concur with Lee regarding Unique.  Try Hodgdon HP-38.  Much cleaner burning.  You'll get less muzzle flash, less smoke and spend less time cleaning your gun at the end of the day. 

Unique gives decent performance, but it's a very dirty powder compared to the Hodgdon.

Offline backwoods_engineer

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Re: Review - Lee Powder Measure Kit (Dippers)
« Reply #8 on: November 30, 2011, 10:05:12 PM »
Thanks for the review.  I'm weighing my charges, but considering something like this.

Offline The Sage of Monticello

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Re: Review - Lee Powder Measure Kit (Dippers)
« Reply #9 on: December 01, 2011, 08:52:47 AM »
Thanks Endurance I will give Hodgdon HP-38 a try.

I wonder if Unique was causing the leading at higher pressures I experienced.

Offline ag2

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Re: Review - Lee Powder Measure Kit (Dippers)
« Reply #10 on: December 01, 2011, 09:11:28 AM »
You guys just bummed me out.  I've been using Bulleye. An old fart at the local range who has been reloading for a 100 years just convinced me to switch to Unique for my pistol reloading.  I've got an unopened 1lb bottle of Unique taking up space.  Now what do I do with it?  Use it up?  Hold it for barter?

And you guys are normally so helpful!   Sheeesh.... ;)

endurance

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Re: Review - Lee Powder Measure Kit (Dippers)
« Reply #11 on: December 01, 2011, 09:30:47 AM »
ag2, there's nothing inherently wrong with it and I've had some very accurate rounds with it.  I'd just rather spend more time doing something else besides scrubbing my gun. ;)

Offline hillclimber

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Re: Review - Lee Powder Measure Kit (Dippers)
« Reply #12 on: December 01, 2011, 12:52:54 PM »
Unique isn't all that bad, but it is kinda dirty.
As far as the powder itself causing "lead fouling" I say no. The cast bullets will do that if you push them very hard. I don't use cast bullets in full power "magnum" loads, just in my lighter target stuff.
I haven't been reloading for 100yrs, but I guess I'm an old fart too. I have probably burned up 20lbs or more of Unique in my handloading career. It's not my favorite powder, but I do use it in quite a few of my loads.
If you really want to know, my favorite powder for 44mag would be 2400 8)

Offline The Sage of Monticello

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Re: Review - Lee Powder Measure Kit (Dippers)
« Reply #13 on: December 01, 2011, 02:25:53 PM »
I agree Hill climber.

I pushed lighter loads with Unique at 8.4 grains and had no leading. It was when I pushed it to 9.2 is when I experienced horrible leading.

Ag,

Don't worry. I have 6 pounds of Unique and they aren't going anywhere. However, I am not afraid to try some new powder if its cleaner. I am more concerned over the leading.

My cast bullets are Rim Rock Bullets from Montana.  I am not sure if it's the bullets, but you never know.

Offline r1kk1

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Re: Review - Lee Powder Measure Kit (Dippers)
« Reply #14 on: December 01, 2011, 06:14:17 PM »
I have burned more pounds of Unique, Bullseye, 2400, Blue Dot and H110/W296 than any other pistol powders. I have fired 5k rounds of 9mm and 45 ACP using Unique and cast bullets (that I cast), with no failures. I cleaned them and stopped the test at 5k. I have used HP38 in the past and it's clean but doesn't fill the case well. Blue Dot does and I will not disclose what data I use but with a 255 grain non gas-checked bullet, it clears my chronograph at 1570 with a 10 inch barreled revolver. Just a max load in the Lyman manual. Nothing special. This bullet is water quenched and run through the lubrisizer set up with a .431 die in it. It does not size the bullet but applies lube. If I use the same bullet and lube and load target .44 specials, it will lead. Why? Alloy too hard for the velocity.

Bullets lead for the following reasons:
Too hard or too soft alloy
Wrong lube for velocity
Wrong size bullet - mainly too small - .44s can take .429, .430,.431 - depends on YOUR firearm - may need to slug bore and cylinders
The list goes on.

The Lee dippers are great for other things than powder. I've used them for shot, buffer, etc. I do check them against my scale. I briefly had the Lee Perfect Powder measure and it went down the road. Hate that measure. The Lee Auto Disk was a much better measure in my opinion but bought a JDS Quick Measure. Expensive yes but I can dispense ANY powder. 3031 thru 800x which will cause other measures issues.

My pistols, revolvers, single shots, and rifles larger than 6mm use cast bullets. I hunt with them and do love to shoot them often.

I really don't use jacketed except for sub calibers and the 6 and 22 bench rest rifles.

take care,

r1kk1



Offline TDHern

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Re: Review - Lee Powder Measure Kit (Dippers)
« Reply #15 on: December 15, 2011, 09:07:53 PM »
I just like having a set around for backup.

My RCBS powder measure is pretty robust and trouble-free, but for the price it's nice to have a set of dippers tucked away.

Offline phils70

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Re: Review - Lee Powder Measure Kit (Dippers)
« Reply #16 on: December 19, 2011, 06:03:01 PM »
I noticed the same thing with Unique, got the same answer from Lee.  Love the dippers, but I mainly use them to get the scale close then trickle in the rest of the charge or for low pressure loads.  I like Unique for 44 SPC with cast bullets, Lil Gun is my new favorite for 44 Mag and 41 Mag.

Offline The Sage of Monticello

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Re: Review - Lee Powder Measure Kit (Dippers)
« Reply #17 on: December 20, 2011, 07:57:41 PM »
I have that stash of Unique so I am going to use them for my 44 special loads as well. Will try another powder for my mag loads.

My 44 rem mag cast loads won't fit the rotary magazines of my Ruger 77/44 rifle. If I use jacketed bullets it would fit, but my Keith bullets are too long.

Waiting for my shipment of 44 special brass.

Offline ritchfan

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Unique powder
« Reply #18 on: March 13, 2012, 01:25:29 PM »
unique is cheap and has worked well for me in .45acp.
I bought a 4 pound jug at the gun show in Houston for $67.

It has large flakes so your powder measure may have to "slice" the flakes as you close the cutter to measure the powder load.
that may result in some inconsistent loads.

I do prefer Winchester 231 ball powder for pistol, but Unique works well for me and it a bargain.

Bobby

Offline BlueSmoke

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Re: Review - Lee Powder Measure Kit (Dippers)
« Reply #19 on: April 19, 2012, 06:51:19 PM »
The dippers are great.  Don't worry that the chart that comes with the dippers may not match weights with your powder.  There will always be variations due to lot to lot variation, age of powder can affect the dryness of it....etc.  Use a scale to measure the charge of a given powder in the dipper you are using.....then choose a different dipper to adjust the charge.  Always remeasure the charge weight.  Don't use the dippers for MAX loads either....

I use dippers for my light 44 mag loads .....never a problem as I verify charge weight on a scale each time I load.

Regarding Unique powder......IMHO.......It is not horrible....In fact it is the powder all reloading preppers should have for a SHTF scenario. 

Unique has great ignition qualities, its energy output does not change much because of ambient temperature differences, It works excellent in handgun loads that are the correct pressure curve for its design (or can be loaded down to match the correct pressure curve for efficent combusion), it is great in rifle cartridges with cast bullets, and it is excellent for 1 1/4oz lead upland loads in the 12gauge. 

I fondly remember one very cold October South Dakota pheasant hunt where we were pounding the crap out of the pheasants with 1 1/4oz loads of #5 shot propelled by a correct amount of Unique.  (Would not have had the same ballistic performance with Blue Dot in the cold weather...)

There is published data for Rifle, Handgun, and Shotgun loads available. 

It is the most versatile smokeless propellant available one I would not choose to live with out. :)

Regards,

BlueSmoke