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Old 04-19-2011, 18:29   #1
NMG26
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Unique load 125gr JHP Lee dipper

I am loading 38 Special.

The website for Unique calls out 5.7g for 125gr JHP and and 6.0 for +p.

Lee dipper .3cc=2.7g
.5cc=4.6g
.7=6.4g

two dips of .3cc would give me 5.4 just under the callout.
One dip of .5cc would give me 6.4g just over the callout for +p

I think my Blackhawk can handle the 6.4g but I don't want to load that in my S&W 638 Airweight that is rated for +p.

I'm thinking of starting off with 2 dips of .3cc and being .3g under the callout.

This is my first time loading this round.

Any advice and all comments welcome.

Thanks in advance.

Last edited by NMG26; 04-19-2011 at 18:31..
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Old 04-19-2011, 18:35   #2
GioaJack
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Just make your own dipper out of a .38 case with a piece of wire soldered on for a handle.

Cut the case down with a Dremel until a full case equals the charge you want. Since each dip can be slightly different than every other dip absolute max loads may not be the wisest idea.


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Old 04-19-2011, 18:46   #3
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Ditto Jack! I've got a variety of them made out of 9mm, .32 auto, .38 special cases. They all work great.

You will find the 0.3cc dipper will actually drop less than 2.7 grains. If you weigh them out you may find 0.7cc dipper drops a safe charge. You do have a scale, right?


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Last edited by dwhite53; 04-19-2011 at 18:46..
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Old 04-19-2011, 18:53   #4
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Did you actually measure what the dipper gives you or are you going from the data they publish. You need to actually test the dipper not go with some data they publish the dipper should give you.
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Old 04-19-2011, 18:54   #5
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Typically, the Lee volume system throws charges a little lighter than what is listed on the chart. In the case of Unique, for some reason, they throw VERY light. I don't remember what the exact numbers were, but my buddy got the Lee dipper set and we calibrated the .3,.5, and .7 dippers with Unique using my scale. They were significantly lighter than what was listed. If you want to play it safe, without a scale, use the .5, if you want to go higher, you can PROBABLY use the .7, but you really should use a scale to verify what the dipper is throwing. The dippers are fine for making functional ammo, but if you want to get near the edge of what is allowed, you need a scale to calibrate them.
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Old 04-19-2011, 18:56   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dwhite53 View Post
You do have a scale, right?
D. White
Maybe I should buy a scale.

LOL.

Thanks.
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Old 04-19-2011, 19:00   #7
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And while I hate to agree with Jack, making your own dippers is easy. The Lee dippers generally are too far apart on the bottom sizes. What we found with my buddy was the .5 wouldn't cycle his gun because the charge was too light (9mm). The .7 was too heavy going by the data. We split the difference with a dipper I made out of a 32ACP case filed down.

You don't need Jack's fancy Dremel and soldering equipment. You can use a file and super glue a bamboo skewer or chopstick on the case for a handle. Use a fine point marker to write the charge thrown by the dipper on the handle.

I found 32 ACP to be an ideal case size for pistol dippers. You don't need to file much off and they fit inside of the mouth of a 38 case so you can pour directly from the dipper into the case without spilling.
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Last edited by WiskyT; 04-19-2011 at 19:01..
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Old 04-19-2011, 20:00   #8
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Thanks for the advice.

I have decided to wait until I get a scale before I load this batch.

I started loading using someone elses load data. A 158g lead semi-wad cutter loaded with a .5cc Lee dipper should shoot out of your Blackhawk all day long. I had a good run with that. It worked fine.

Lead was a bit nasty for my liking. I have some 125g JHP but will wait until I get a more exact measuring device.
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Old 04-20-2011, 08:46   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NMG26 View Post
Maybe I should buy a scale.

LOL.

Thanks.
Ya think? Trusting the printed data is always risky. As noted, the charges stated by Lee will often throw a bit lighter. You really should weigh your charges, better to know than guess. It is the downside to using fixed dippers, no load range, it's this or that, done. Making your own is an option, so is a scale & good powder measure.
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Old 04-20-2011, 09:09   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NMG26 View Post
I am loading 38 Special.

The website for Unique calls out 5.7g for 125gr JHP and and 6.0 for +p.

Lee dipper .3cc=2.7g
.5cc=4.6g
.7=6.4g

two dips of .3cc would give me 5.4 just under the callout.
One dip of .5cc would give me 6.4g just over the callout for +p

I think my Blackhawk can handle the 6.4g but I don't want to load that in my S&W 638 Airweight that is rated for +p.

I'm thinking of starting off with 2 dips of .3cc and being .3g under the callout.

This is my first time loading this round.

Any advice and all comments welcome.

Thanks in advance.


The loads listed on the Alliant web site are max charges, they recommend you reduce those charges by 10% to start and work up your load slowly. To work up that load up safely in .1 to .2 gr. increments you will need a scale.

It would also be wise to have at least 2 reloading manuals so you can verify safe loads from several sources.
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Old 04-20-2011, 11:33   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ColoCG View Post
The loads listed on the Alliant web site are max charges, they recommend you reduce those charges by 10% to start and work up your load slowly. To work up that load up safely in .1 to .2 gr. increments you will need a scale.

It would also be wise to have at least 2 reloading manuals so you can verify safe loads from several sources.
Yep., almost impossible to do a proper load work up w/ dippers IMO. Yes, you can make them in 0.1gr or 0.2gr increments, but diff to even have a rpeatable technique that gives you 0.1gr increments. A scale is a must IMO, for every reloader, even using dippers.
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Last edited by fredj338; 04-20-2011 at 11:34..
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Old 04-20-2011, 19:32   #12
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So is there any way to get it right without a Chronograph?

It seems like it is all still guess work if you can not get close to the exact fps?
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Old 04-20-2011, 20:34   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fredj338 View Post
Yep., almost impossible to do a proper load work up w/ dippers IMO. Yes, you can make them in 0.1gr or 0.2gr increments, but diff to even have a rpeatable technique that gives you 0.1gr increments. A scale is a must IMO, for every reloader, even using dippers.
The dippers and the Lee chart are fine for making "ammo". If you use the powder and dipper listed in the sheet that comes with the dies, your ammo will go bang, it will hit the target, and will be safe. All of this can be done without a scale. They are not good without a scale for what the OP is trying to do. He is trying to make a specific load and that will require developemment that requires a scale. Basically, the dipper system makes starting loads, which is fine for most people.
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