Lee Loader

Discussion in 'The Ammo & Reloading Forum' started by TranterUK, May 14, 2009.

  1. TranterUK

    TranterUK Guest

    I always liked the Lee Loader and own a few. The idea you can carry it in a (large) pocket seemed an advantage, allowing reloading in small quantities to be done range side.

    Anyone familiar with them will know they come with a powder scoop measure. Now one problem I have had is that one scoop, say 3cc can represent different weights in different powders. It's a little hard to keep track. Up to now I have just kept a card in the loader box recording what weights are thrown with what powder, and keeping away from maximums. Clearly not as accurate as a proper bench mounted powder measure.

    Its very laborious and a pain to be fair, anyone else been here?
    Last edited by a moderator: May 14, 2009
  2. gdmoody

    gdmoody Moderator Supporting Member

    Sep 7, 2007
    Athens, Georgia
    One of my very first reloading setups was a Lee Load All (I think that is what it is called) in 38. At the time I just didn't know about the weights of powders and so forth and I can say it worked every time. Now that I have learned a little more about reloading, the only thing that I don't like about the Lee dies is that little yellow dipper. Each powder that can be used has a different consistency and will have a different weight, even with the same volume dipper.

    EDIT: It is not the Load All, but I don't remember what it is called. The load all is for shotguns, I think.
    Last edited: May 14, 2009

  3. PPK 32

    PPK 32 Active Member

    Apr 15, 2008
    Frickin, Illinois
    I don't know if this helps at all but I got a Lee Turret, I know nothing about reloading, but it came with a little plastic cup that is 1.6cc. The press came set up to load for 44 magnum. It also states to use the Lee table right on the cup. Maybe they supply different sized cups for each caliber?? Like I said I just got this one.
  4. TranterUK

    TranterUK Guest

    Well, as gdmoody said, they come with the little yellow dippers, and various calibres will come with different sizes. The problem I always had was the pain of working out average weights for various powders for a given measure.

    Just wondered if anyone else has been down the same road..
  5. Red84

    Red84 New Member

    Feb 14, 2009
    I agree, I use a Classic loader for both my 44 Mag and my 38 Spcl. It can be a pain, because you have to match powder to scoop for the right load, but I tend to vary between low and mid range loads with the scoops, and I have yet to be stumped with a certain grain bullet, and not being able to use it. I ended up buying the set of dippers, they were $9.99, a cheap solution, although not ideal. It definitely is not as nice as having a loader and scale, and all the tools, but it works nonetheless. I am soon purchasing an actual Lee Loader though, I am starting to get out of calibers that they make the Classic Loader for.
  6. Alpo

    Alpo Well-Known Member

    Feb 3, 2007
    NW Florida
    My load for 25 ACP is 1.0 of Unique. My RCBS Uni-Flo will not measure that small, but I found that I could, consistently, dip 1.0 grains with the dipper that came with my Lee dies. According to the paper that came with it, the dipper will hold 1.2 grains, but it throws 1.0 perfectly, for me.

    I read, years ago, that you must be consistent with your procedure. The man writing the article said he scooped, tapped the dipper twice against the side of the bowl, and then swiped across the top of the dipper with the edge of a business card. Said as long as he did that, every time, it came up with the same amount of powder, every time.

    I have found, with my use for the 25, that I must keep the powder container (I use a 3-ounce dixie bathroom cup) full. It depends on weight to put the powder in the dipper, and if I let the level get below 3/4 full, the dipper starts throwing light.
  7. gdmoody

    gdmoody Moderator Supporting Member

    Sep 7, 2007
    Athens, Georgia
    That is strange, I wonder why it does that.
  8. tEN wOLVES

    tEN wOLVES New Member

    Try using a cereal bow, a shallow one is best, you can scoop from the side instead of going from the top, you'll find you will get a fuller scoop this way, and then just use your card to scrap off the excess. ( IMHO )


    tEN wOLVES
  9. Alpo

    Alpo Well-Known Member

    Feb 3, 2007
    NW Florida
    You scoop down into the powder, and as you bring the scoop up to the surface, the weight of the powder above the scoop is compressing what is in the scoop. As the powder level gets lower, when you are bringing the scoop up, you are going up through less powder, and the weight of the powder on the scoop is less, so there is less packing down.

    You get the same thing with a powder measure. The powder goes into the drum from a mixture of gravity pulling it down, and weight pushing it down. As the level in the hopper decreases, the weight on the powder decreases, so the force being applied to shove the powder down in the drum is slightly less. So the resulting thrown charge is slightly less. As the level in the hopper decreases, so the weight of the thrown charge decreases. RCBS is aware of this, and sells, as an option, a powder baffle. This holds most of the weight of the powder in the hopper, so the weight on the powder going into the drum stays consistent, whether the hopper is plumb full or almost empty. Lee is also aware of this, and their Perfect Powder Measure has a baffle built into it.

    With a large charge - say I'm scooping 40 grains for my rifle, the difference is, pretty much, too small to matter. But with a one-grain charge, any difference makes a difference.
  10. tEN wOLVES

    tEN wOLVES New Member

    Alpo, well said, that makes sense, I'll have to give this a test run, thanks for the info Pard


    tEN wOLVES
  11. gdmoody

    gdmoody Moderator Supporting Member

    Sep 7, 2007
    Athens, Georgia
    OK, makes sense to me.
  12. BobMcG

    BobMcG Well-Known Member Supporting Member

    I picked up a tip about 30yrs ago that said to back the dipper down into the powder only as far as to fill it and then up and out, business card off excess if any. I used this method for a long time and had pretty consistent results.

    This method isn't affected by how much powder is in the container and it fills fairly evenly each time.
  13. merrill

    merrill New Member

    Mar 2, 2008
    Nashville, TN
    Lee makes a sliding scale thingy that tells the weight of powder that each dipper will handle. I use dippers when loading for my .270W and find it accurate to plus or minus .2 grains. Since I use RL-22, .2gr. is negligible for hunting purposes. The trick is consistency in how you use the dipper. Lee's manual gives good advice for that. Dippers will not handle all powders for all calibers.
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