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It is easy to make a scoop from a case cut down to the correct level of powder. Ball powder works best in a scoop, of course.
This is true, but the OP is intending to make a go of it without a scale, and a scale is a prerequisite to determining the correct level of powder that you mention.
 

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It is easy to make a scoop from a case cut down to the correct level of powder. Ball powder works best in a scoop, of course.
Yep that is a common thing to use for custom scoops. Of course you need a powder scale to tell how much powder the custom scoop holds.
 
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a little trick I came up with when using the Lee scoops many years ago.

after acquiring a blue bazillon scoops with the Lee dies I bought, I took the biggest scoop I had and found a stainless steel flat head screw that the O.D. of fit snuggly inside the scoop, drilled and tapped the bottom of the scoop so when the screw was installed with the head inside the scoop, it could be screwed in or out and....ta-da...adjustable powder scoop. once I got it dialed in, I used a SS nylon lock nut to lock it in place, pretty accurate with ball powder.

but you gotta remember, this was several millennia ago when I was reloading with a single stage press clamped to the kitchen table and weighting every charge.....then I found the Uniflo.....with the micrometer stem.....and life got much better!
 

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For now I’m feeling good with just the scoop. However, I have a feeling that a scale and few other items are in the future.
The great thing about getting a quality scale is, as others have noted, it immediately gives you the ability to "work up" your loads, make a custom scoop and than have a traveling kit that allows you to make a perfect round for your gun with that particular powder and bullet.

The cool thing about the Lee Loader is you can premeasure your ladders, put them in some cheap vials you can buy on eBay, take everything to the range and "dial in" your best charge weight for the powder you want to try. Load five each of each rung on the ladder and find the best node for that bullet and powder. Once that is done, you make a custom dipper and you are done for that rifle, powder and bullet.

Lots of fun.
 

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The great thing about getting a quality scale is, as others have noted, it immediately gives you the ability to "work up" your loads, make a custom scoop and than have a traveling kit that allows you to make a perfect round for your gun with that particular powder and bullet.

The cool thing about the Lee Loader is you can premeasure your ladders, put them in some cheap vials you can buy on eBay, take everything to the range and "dial in" your best charge weight for the powder you want to try. Load five each of each rung on the ladder and find the best node for that bullet and powder. Once that is done, you make a custom dipper and you are done for that rifle, powder and bullet.

Lots of fun.
Willy, this is a good post. It more elegantly explains the point I was stumbling to make earlier.
 

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Discussion Starter · #29 ·
a little trick I came up with when using the Lee scoops many years ago.

after acquiring a blue bazillon scoops with the Lee dies I bought, I took the biggest scoop I had and found a stainless steel flat head screw that the O.D. of fit snuggly inside the scoop, drilled and tapped the bottom of the scoop so when the screw was installed with the head inside the scoop, it could be screwed in or out and....ta-da...adjustable powder scoop. once I got it dialed in, I used a SS nylon lock nut to lock it in place, pretty accurate with ball powder.
MAN why didn’t you patent that scoop back then and start producing them! You’d be Gaston rich by now! Well, maybe not Gaston rich, lol.
 

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i started with the lee classic this summer for 9mm. using the scoop with AA#5 was pretty inconsistent, so i ended up weighing each one, tap-trickling it in.

my problem with the lee classic was seating the bullet: often it wouldn't seat quite straight, even after chamfering or a little flange.
 

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Started my reloading with one in 1963. Exactly the same as today except the powder scoop had an aluminum bucket and a wooden handle. Turned out first class ammo then and still does today on the odd occasion when I break it out.
 

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I started out with a Lee Loader for the 44 Magnum in 1972. I advise you to get a different primer tool right away. Or wear welder gloves while priming. I had probably loaded a couple of thousand rounds using the hammer prime method. Then I hit a sensitive one and it went off. It hurts. Bottle neck cases will eventually need to be full length sized. If you are going to take these rounds into the field, best to try each one in the chamber. In a safe manner and in a safe place.

For new guys today, I recommend starting with the Lee Turret Press. Easy to use and if you do not like reloading, easy to sell. You can start out using it as a single stage to learn.

Powder scoops are just fine. But slow. I would not use them for MAX loads.

I have a Lee Hand Press for portable use. The whole setup will fit in a shoe box.
 

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for now I’ll try it with the single scoop.
In my normal reloading, I use a Lee scoop to pour into a scale and then weigh, adding more or taking away as needed.

In my opinion, there is a lot of "play" in how much a scoop weighs, unless you develop a very good technique. One suggestion is to heap the cup, then scrape off perfectly level with a credit card.

But you'd want to first establish how many grains in weight that method gives you with your particular powder, and whether that is within safe levels according to a couple reloading manuals :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #38 ·
I’ve been looking into a small digital scale. Any suggestions? I’d like something small and portable, and I don’t want to spend much money. Trying to keep things as basic and small as I can.
 

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I wish I could help you. I have bought an embarrassingly high number of so-called "great" cheap digital scales and they all sleep with the fishes (most within a few weeks).

You too will be lured by that sirens call. Just make sure you buy that cheap little RCBS check weight set. Then you will know when she quits telling you the truth.

I think you can probably find a balance beam scale in the $75 range that will work for the next 100 years. Maybe look at RCBS' least expensive offering or the Dillon balance beam.
 

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I wish I could help you. I have bought an embarrassingly high number of so-called "great" cheap digital scales and they all sleep with the fishes (most within a few weeks).

You too will be lured by that sirens call. Just make sure you buy that cheap little RCBS check weight set. Then you will know when she quits telling you the truth.

I think you can probably find a balance beam scale in the $75 range that will work for the next 100 years. Maybe look at RCBS' least expensive offering or the Dillon balance beam.
But you still need check weights. Not the weights that come with some scales. Those are calibration weights.
 
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